Now don’t get me wrong, Rio rocks, Sao Polo is stunning and Iguassu is immensely impressive. But, Brazil is massive, really massive, as in, the UK could fit into it 34 times over kind of massive. While the big sights are a must, spend a little time looking into the wilder side of Brazil, and you won’t be disappointed.
Hold on to your havianas, we’re about to venture in to the wild side of Brazil for this week’s High Five…
Visit the Edge of the Great Rainforest in Manaus
Manaus is the surprisingly modern capital of Amazonas and the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest. Built with rubber money (there’s even a rubber museum) the city is one of the 12 hosts for the 2014 FIFA Wold Cup and boasts an opera house and a zoo… In the middle of the Amazon. Go figure.
The real excitement comes when you leave the city behind and head out on an Amazon adventure. Visit indigenous villages, watch Caiman slide by in the moonlit river and spot pink dolphins from tree top eco lodges. You can even go fishing for piranhas… which honestly, just sounds like asking for trouble!
Get Active in Jericoacoara
A Brazilian beach haven frequented mostly by surfers (of the wave, sand and kite variety), hippies and travellers looking to get away from the general bustle of Brazil.
Until recently, this stretch of idyllic sand in the far north of the country was a sleepy fishing village. Now it retains its laid back vibe and village atmosphere (street lights are limited to keep the night dark and the view of the stars breath-taking) while attracting adventurous visitors from around the world, and with a view like this, we really can’t blame them.
Watch the Wildlife in Pantanal
Smack bang in the centre of South America the Pantanal is the world’s biggest inland swamp: but don’t let that word put you off. The Pantanal is simply bursting with fantastic wildlife including macaws, giant otters, caiman, giant anteaters, capuchin monkeys, jaguar and capybaras (essentially, massive guinea pigs and a nice snack for the jaguar). With everything from budget eco hammock camps to luxury wildlife lodges there’s plenty of options to get the most out of your wilderness experience.
Capybaras in Pantanal.
Climb the Dunes of Jalapao
Despite sitting well off the main tourist trail in the Northeast of the country, Jalapao is fast becoming a solid eco-tourism destination. The landscape is more Africa than Amazon with sweeping dunes that rise out of scrub covered red earth dotted with oasis. This ‘desert’ is far from dead however, five rivers run through the area, so hiking, rafting, sand barding, swimming in waterfalls and general exploring are the order of the day.
Soak Up the Beauty of Bonito
Though the town itself is nothing to write home about – the area surrounding Bonito is nothing short of stunning. The limestone rocks create a natural water filter which results in some of the clearest rivers in the world. If snorkelling in natural aquariums and azure underground grottoes isn’t enough to keep you occupied you can explore the surrounding area on horseback, go rafting or just chill by the river.