This is a guest post by Trip 101.
Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and the 5th biggest in the world. Brazil has something for every type of traveller, no matter your budget or trip duration!
Brazil is known for being very good at football, the vastness of the Amazon rainforest, and of course the carnival, sun, sea, and sand of Rio de Janeiro. That’s not all there is to Brazil though. Whether you’re looking for natural wonders, vibrant festivals, or off the beaten track adventures, Brazil has it all and much more.
There is an unlimited number of things to do in Brazil that will make your trip special. However, in this article, we’ll be taking a look at 5 of the best. These are guaranteed to help you make unforgettable memories on your trip to beautiful Brazil. It won’t be long before you’re planning your return journey!
1. Be Seduced by Rio
Although the world-famous Rio Carnival is held before Lent every year, the party atmosphere never really goes away. Over 2 million people head to Rio per day of Carnival for a truly unforgettable and hedonistic celebration. If you can’t make it then, you’ll be happy to know there’s plenty to do during the rest of the year!
Spend your morning taking a cable car up to Sugar Loaf Mountain for fantastic views of the city and the bays nearby. Spend sunset at another iconic viewpoint – Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado Mountain. Split your day up with a local favela tour or sipping on a caipirinha at one of Lapa’s vibrant bars!
We can’t talk about Rio without mentioning beaches! Copacabana and Ipanema are two of Brazil’s best-known beaches and it’s not hard to see why. Golden sands, beautiful people playing volleyball and soccer, and year-round sun mean you’ll probably spend the majority of your time here!
If you don’t fancy Rio’s beaches, no problem. As an alternative, head to Florianópolis where you’ll be spoiled for choice. There are 42 beaches in total, and you’ll find something to suit you whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a serious sunbather.
2. Explore the Amazon and spot Wildlife
It’s impossible to know where to start with the Amazon. The world’s largest rainforest covers not only most of north-western Brazil, but extends into Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia too. It contains more than 10% of the world’s biodiversity and no-one can call themselves a true wildlife enthusiast until they’ve visited this incredible part of the world.
Thankfully, spotting wildlife in the Amazon doesn’t mean heading hundreds of miles off the map. The city of Manaus is perfectly located to explore the river where you’ll find the pink river dolphins. You may even be able to do a spot of piranha fishing!
Eco-lodges are dotted along the main river and its tributaries, combining a luxury holiday and responsible travel all at the same time. From there, you can head on nighttime wildlife treks, kayaking through treetop forests, and daytime hikes to spot monkeys, birds, and many more elusive animals! It’s not just wildlife to look out for in the Amazon either. Visits to the indigenous village will help you learn about the customs and cultures of tribes who call the Amazon home.
Spending time in the Amazon will allow you to tick off several bucket list experiences in a short period. Just don’t forget your bug spray!
3. Marvel at the Incredible Iguazu Falls
Parque Nacional do Iguaçu is Brazil’s 2nd oldest national park and is home to arguably the most famous natural attraction in the country. The Iguaçu Falls are part of the world’s largest waterfall system and you won’t want to miss them!
The Falls straddle Brazil’s borders with both Paraguay and Argentina. However, it’s on the Brazil side that you can enjoy the Trilha das Cataratas (the waterfall trail). This is a 1.2km trail that along islands that have been cut into the river, passing many different waterfalls. Bring a waterproof as it’s impossible to avoid getting wet in the mists and spray of the falls!
The trail ends at the Garganta do Diabo (Devil’s Throat), one of the highlights of the Foz do Iguaçu. Once you’ve enjoyed the falls, you don’t have to head straight home. The national park offers great activities such as white-water rafting, boat trips, and hiking.
4. Spot a rare Jaguar in the Pantanal Wetlands
The elusive jaguar is the largest predator in Brazil. They live throughout the Amazon, but you have a much better chance of spotting one in the vast Pantanal Wetlands. Most jaguar sightings in Brazil are along the Cuiaba River, where the big cats relax by the river or gracefully prowl along the highway.
It’s impossible to get a scale of Brazil just from looking at a map, but the Pantanal is the largest tropical wetland in the world. It’s half the size of France – the biggest country in mainland Europe!
The best time to visit is during the dry season, although you can go year-round. As well as jaguars, you may be lucky enough to see caiman, maned wolves, capybara, and a whole host of bird life.
5. Cheer on your new team at a soccer game
Brazil is synonymous with the beautiful game. No team has won more World Cups and the country has produced some of the best soccer players of all time. So, where better to watch a game than here?
The best place to attend a football game is the Rio’s Maracanã Stadium, which has hosted world cup finals, the Copa America, the Olympics, and even a Rolling Stones concert! It can seat over 80,000 people and is a great day out even if you’re not passionate about football. This is where you’ll be able to feel the fierce passion and joy Brazilians have for football.
If you’re not in Rio, there are several stadiums and local teams across the country where you can spectate a soccer game at the fraction of the cost you’d pay in Europe!
Who knows, you may even witness the new Pelé, Ronaldo, or Neymar!
Looking for more travel guides, inspiration and tips? Check out Trip101!