Brazil is one of the most, if not the most exciting places in the world to travel. Yes, it has a huge array of stunning beaches, beautiful colonial architecture, and astonishing bio diversity, but its trump card, the thing that makes it stand out from everywhere else, is the vivacious energy that pulsates through every street.
As you might expect from a country of its size, there’s a huge amount to see and do, so we’re counting down 18 of its most spectacular sights and experiences, some of which you’ve probably heard of, and some you may not.
So if you’re desperate for a travel experience that will make you’re head spin and your heart dance, look no further than wonderful Brazil.
18 Experiences you Simply Must do in Brazil
Get Wet in Pantanal
One of the world’s largest wetland areas, Pantanal stretches across 210,000 square metres and is chock-a-block with animal and plant life – even more so than the Amazon. Jump on a boat and zip through the swamps rivers, spotting wildlife including Jaguar, Capuchin Monkey, Tegu Lizard, Caiman and Parakeet
Climb the Escadaria Selaron
Take a picture at the The Escadaria Selaron, Rio de Janeiro. Created by Jorge Selarón, it’s an explosion of colour and creativity and Jorge has since dedicated his life to updating his magnificent piece of art with new tiles.
Visit a Favela
If you go to Rio, it would be pretty hard to miss the huge communities of shanty towns, also known in Brazil as the Favelas.
These communities are a huge part of the culture in Brazil, so it’s important to understand them and the way of life for those that live there. Take a tour, learn, see, take it all in but make sure you go with a recognised company for safety and to ensure that the community reaps the benefits of your visit.
You can also volunteer to work within Favelas spending time assisting in a community-run daycare that provides support to over 50 children.
The spectacular Iguassu Falls sits on the border of Argentina and Brazil and is one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature. Be prepared to be left open mouthed by its size, power and sheer presence.
A trip such as In Search of Iguassu will take you to various spots along the waterfall’s landscape as well as other iconic spots in Brazil.
Go Wild in the Amazon
Head to Manaus, the gateway to the Amazon basin. From here you can hop on a river boat and follow the winding Amazon River deep into the rainforest – the biggest in the world. For anyone interested in wildlife and the natural world, this is the absolute daddy of nature experiences – be prepared to be impressed and humbled by the sheer awesomeness of our world.
While Brazil is probably best known as being spoilt with some of the most awesome natural wonders of the world, it’s also home to some immensely impressive man made structures too. Head to Olinda, a time-warp of colonial architecture.
Hit Copacabana Beach
It’s one of the most, if not the most, iconic stretches of sand in the world, swim in the warm seas, work on your tan and watch the beautiful people go by in Rio de Janeiro.
Hang Out with the Cool People in São Paulo
It’s Brazil’s most trendiest city, Sao Paulo is slick, stylish and full of a young cool crowd. There’s a huge amount to keep you entertained including some of the best art galleries, bars, nightclubs, outdoor cafes and music venues in the country.
Dancing and music are the beating heart of Brazil and a hugely important part of the Brazilian culture; it’s at the very core of what it means to be Brazilian. Wherever you come across Music, whether it’s on a favela street corner, in a Samba dancing class or at the world famous carnival drink, dance, be merry and get involved!
Salvador, Brazil’s first capital city, is a bit of a secret to some. It’s not as notorious as Rio or Sao Paulo among travellers, but has just as much – if not more – to offer – colonial architecture, afro-Brazilian culture and a carnival that some would say is better that Rio’s (but we’ll leave that to you to decide…)
Drink (lots) of cocktails!
The spiritual (and actual) home of the famous Caipirinha cocktail, made from cachaça, (sugar based liquor), sugar and lime. It’s unthinkable to come to Brazil and not drink at least one!
Party at Rio Carnival
It’s the biggest party in the world – and one of then most iconic events ever. Rio Carnival is full of the weird and wonderful.
Be prepared to dance lots, party hard, see more sequins and feathers than you even thought existed and as well as lots of scantily clad dancing carnival queens.
Take in the View at Christ the Redeemer
Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue is one of the most iconic sights in the world. Built to look over Rio between 1926 and 1931 it stands at the top of Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park.
The statue is undeniably impressive, but just as striking are the views of the city from the foot of the structure.
Play Beach Volleyball
The Brazilians are pros at beach volleyball, it’s as engrained into the culture as much as a pint of ale and a round of darts here in here the UK – only beer bellies and hairy backs are substituted for bikinis, budgie smugglers and toned torsos.
If you’re on Copacabana beach you’ll be dodging flying volleyballs from every angle.
Eat, Eat, Eat at Brasil Sabor Food Festival
It’s the largest culinary festival in Brazil created to promote the huge array of flavours of Brazilian cuisine. Come, sample and fall a little bit in love with the taste of Brazil.
Hike Diamantina National Park
Diamantia National Park is one of Brazil’s adventure hot spots, go trekking, and caving while you explore the forest, mountains, caves and underground lakes of this beautiful landscape.
Chill on Aventureiro Beach, Ilha Grande
Powdery sands, lagoons like, turquoise water, this is the point at which Brazil meets paradise head on. Aventureiro Beach is remote and lined with thick palms – access is by private boat from Villa do Abraao so it’s a bit of an effort to get to, but the very best places always are.
Surfs up at Garopaba
A quiet beach with cracking surf hidden from the majority of international tourists on Brazil’s southern coast; great waves, great people and a ‘no stress’ vibe.