One of the largest countries on the planet, with an awesome array of treasures to match. Brazil’s attractions extend from enchanting, frozen-in-time colonial towns to dramatic landscapes of red-rock canyons, thundering waterfalls and idyllic tropical islands.
An intoxicating mix of the big, the bold and the beautiful
It’s also one of the largest countries on the planet, with an awesome array of treasures to match. Brazil’s attractions extend from enchanting, frozen-in-time colonial towns to dramatic landscapes of red-rock canyons, thundering waterfalls and idyllic tropical islands.
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Undoubtedly the greatest draws are the Brazilians themselves; probably the most hedonistic people on earth. Whether it’s Rio’s effervescent Cariocas going overboard at Carnival, or São Paulo’s sultry citizens gyrating in chic nightclubs, Brazilians love having fun.
Music is the lifeblood of Rio, with a soundtrack comprising rock, old-school bossa nova, hip-hop, funk and Brazil's many regional styles. You can hear it all over town, but the soul of samba resides in Lapa, an edgy, red-light district that is home to dozens of live-music halls and an enormous weekend street party that draws revelers from all walks of life. Samba is also the integral sound during Carnival and the danceable backing music to street parties and all-night parades.
There's no other place like Rio. It's the combination of many things that is found so captivating: walking through parks inside the city and seeing monkeys and toucans, spending the evening catching music jams around Lapa, joining a few friends amid the roaring crowds at Maracanã or greeting the sunrise (after an early morning or late night) from Copacabana beach. It's those precious moments when you realize you're hooked. It's no wonder that in a 2013 survey, Rio was rated the world's happiest city.
Big adventures are offered for travellers with budgets large and small. There’s horseback riding in the Pantanal, kayaking flooded forests in the Amazon, ascending rocky cliff tops to breathtaking views, whale-watching off the coast, surfing stellar breaks off palm-fringed beaches and snorkeling crystal-clear rivers or coastal reefs – all part of the great Brazilian experience. And then there’s the Iguaçu Falls, an unforgettable natural spectacle featuring hundreds of waterfalls, which cascade from the tropical rainforest as blue morpho butterflies flit through the spray.
City-hoppers can go to Brasilia to see what futuristic architecture looked like in the Sixties, to São Paulo for some of South America’s finest food, to Salvador da Bahia for Afro-Brazilian culture, and to Olinda or Ouro Preto for colonial treasures.
Adrenaline junkies can go wild in Brazil; shooting the big surf of Santa Catarina; bouncing in beach buggies over the sand dunes of northern Natal; snorkeling in Fernando de Noronha National Park; or abseiling in the Chapada Diamantina National Park.
Or you can take life easy and let Brazil come to you by lolling in a hammock on an Amazonian ferry, looking out for the occasional macaw, or browsing the backstreets of colonial towns such as Ouro Preto and Paraty, which are lined with architectural monuments and chic boutique hotels.
Now is a good time to plan a trip to Brazil. There is no doubt that thanks to the growing strength of the economy, and the improved infrastructure required for the events, the country is safer and easier to travel around than ever before. It is unquestionably an exciting time to be visiting South America’s most diverse and most seductive country.
Because of its tropical and subtropical climate, Brazil is an all-year round destination. The Brazilian winter lasts for only three months from June to August. From December to February it's summer. The temperature varies within a year with monthly averages in winter between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius.