What Are The Best Places To Visit In Brazil?
Everyone wants to visit Brazil, but more specifically, everyone wants to visit Rio de Janeiro and the Brazilian waterfalls at Iguazú.
The Brazil currency is the Real and the Brazil population was 209.3 million in 2017 making it to most populated county in Latin America.
The Brazil language is Portuguese, although you can get by if you speak Spanish to most Brazilians. The Brazil culture is all about music and dance – Samba is the most famous dance in Brazil.
Brazil tourism is always blighted by the safety and security issues in Brazil, so we recommend leaving anything valuable back in the UK before setting out on your travel to Brazil.
It gets very hot in Brazil in the Summer months (December to February), so it may be better to take your Brazil holiday at another time of year if the heat bothers you8 it never gets really cold). You can see an all-round guide to the weather in Brazil here.
What other places, apart from Rio de Janeiro and Iguazú, are worth adding to your Brazil holiday?
Rio de Janeiro
We will start with Rio de Janeiro, famous for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, 38m Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado and for Sugarloaf Mountain, a granite peak with cable cars to its summit, the Maracanã football stadium and the world’s largest carnival.
It is also known for its sprawling favelas (shanty towns) which overlook your 5-star Rio hotel, and the danger of straying more than a block from the beaten track.
Another bad part of Rio de Janeiro is the traffic. Leave plenty of time to get to Christ the Redeemer statue, and make sure that you have enough time as normally there are long queues for the train. Here you will find an excellent guide.
The best hotel on Copacabana Beach is Belmond Copacabana Palace, but if you do not stay here make sure that you check out its excellent Asian restaurant.
If you visit Brazil (or Argentina), the one place that you must visit is the Iguazú Falls.
Iguazú Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. Together, they make up the largest waterfall system in the world.
The only waterfalls in the world that can be compared to Iguazú are the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, but the Iguazú Falls are much more accessible, and it is possible to cross over into Argentina to view the Brazilian side of the falls.
You can even pop into Paraguay and visit the chaotic Ciudad del Este, affectionately known as ‘the Supermarket of South America.
You can read a full guide on the Iguazú Falls here.
The Brazil capital is Brasília, which was inaugurated in 1960, and is a planned city distinguished by its white, modern architecture, chiefly designed by Oscar Niemeyer.
Laid out in the shape of an airplane, its “fuselage” is the Monumental Axis, 2 wide avenues flanking a massive park. In the “cockpit” is Praça dos Três Poderes, named for the 3 branches of government surrounding it.
During your visit to Brasilia, you can explore the Chapada dos Veadeiros, a national park renowned for its exquisite waterfalls.
Also, worth visiting is The Cathedral of Brasilia which is defined by its hyperboloid structure, which starts out wide at the base, curves inwards and then extends outwards at the top.
There are various cities that can be visited on the Atlantic. If you take the cruise from Rio de Janeiro to Miami, then it is certain that you will stop off in one or two of these cities.
Recife is known as the “Venice of Brazil” for its many waterways. Recife has a nice old town while nearby Olinda, is famous for its pastel-colored houses and quaint colonial churches
Fortaleza is the capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará. Many people travel to Fortaleza because of its beautiful its beaches surrounded by red cliffs, palm trees, dunes and lagoons
Salvador, the capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia, is known for its Portuguese colonial architecture in the Pelourinho neighborhood, Afro-Brazilian culture and a tropical coastline.
Amazon and Manaus
If you visit Brazil, then you must see Amazon River, the key component of the Brazil rainforest.
One option is to stay in Manaus and visit the Opera House and view the rainforest from the Canopy.
Two must do excursions are The “Meeting of the Waters” which is the point at which the Rio Negro meets the Rio Solimões to form the Amazon River and the catching of kayman at night in the Amazon. The Amazon Rainforest is home to a amazing array of wildlife, including macaws, toucans, tyrant flycatchers, sloths, squirrel monkeys, red howler monkeys, jaguars, anacondas and tarantulas!
Another, more relaxing way, is to take a cruise. Several cruise lines offer a cruise from Rio de Janeiro to Miami which includes a week in the Amazon. We can recommend Regent Seven Seas Cruises for this journey.
Typically, the cruise will have two nights in Manaus to enable you to discover the city as well as the river-based excursions.
While not as famous as Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo is the financial powerhouse of Brazil. It is quite likely that your flight will stop at Sao Paulo so it is well worth the visit and feels a lot safer than Rio de Janeiro.
Sao Paolo is so large it makes London feel like a village. The city has a vibrant music scene, top designer shopping and delicious fusion cuisine, not to mention museums and galleries on a par with any other world city.
Sao Paulo is one of the most famous football cities in the world, home to Santos, where the legendary Pele played the majority of his career. Competing with Santos are three other massive clubs – Corinthians, Palmeiras and São Paulo.
We recommend staying at a hotel near Avenida Paulista. This major thoroughfare is in the centre of the city, with many shops and relatively safe.
What is the best way to see Brazil on your holiday?
We recommend that your Brazilian holiday is taken in the order of the destinations in this article.