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Brazil

Where adventures are supersized
The largest rainforest on Earth. The longest beaches. The most famous statue. The best and wildest party in the world. In Brazil, everything is larger than life. 

Whether you plan to visit Brazil in a group, or travel solo,  you’re in for plenty of feisty, fiery and fun-filled adventures: drink one, two or more caipirinhas in Copacabana, explore the wild rainforests of Amazon, revel in the electric atmosphere at the Rio Carnival or just stretch out under the sun on one of the loveliest, longest beaches in the world. And after the sun sets, put on your dancing shoes and take whichever city you’re in by storm. 


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The largest rainforest on Earth. The longest beaches. The most famous statue. The best and wildest party in the world. In Brazil, everything is larger than life. 

Whether you plan to visit Brazil in a group, or travel solo,  you’re in for plenty of feisty, fiery and fun-filled adventures: drink one, two or more caipirinhas in Copacabana, explore the wild rainforests of Amazon, revel in the electric atmosphere at the Rio Carnival or just stretch out under the sun on one of the loveliest, longest beaches in the world. And after the sun sets, put on your dancing shoes and take whichever city you’re in by storm. 


Location

The fifth-largest country in the world, Brazil, is located in South America and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the east with a coastline of 7,400 km. The country’s huge landmass means that it shares borders with almost every other South American country,  except for Chile and Ecuador. Flights from India to Brazil take an average of 20 hours with one layover; however, based on the city of entry specified on Brazil tour packages from India, the duration of the journey will change.

When to go

The country enjoys a tropical climate all year round with short and sudden spells of rain meaning there is no bar on the best time to visit Brazil. The warmest months are from November to March, perfect for enjoying the festivities of the New Year and Carnival. If visiting the Amazon rainforest tops your bucket list, the best time to take that  Brazil vacation would be July and August. 

Where to go

The South American country is all about colours, magnificence, bohemia and impromptu samba dances. Places to visit in Brazil include the captivating city of Rio de Janeiro, the energetic yet underrated Salvador, the relatively less-crowded Foz do Iguaçu, Fernando de Noronha and the legendary Amazon rainforest to top it off!

Not surprisingly, Brazil is a popular destination for all kinds of travellers. Whether you are looking for leisurely vacations or are planning a last-minute holiday to Brazil, this South American gem will delight you at every turn.
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At a glance

Currency

Brazilian Real
The current form of Brazil currency is Brazilian Real. At the time of posting, Brazil currency to INR conversion is at: 1 Brazilian Real = 18.34 INR.

Weather

In Brazil, the temperature in average hovers around 24 °C in July. January is the coldest month, with temperatures dropping to about  -3.1 °C

Most of Brazil lies in the tropics which makes the weather quite warm throughout the year. While the inland climate is quite hot and arid, the Amazon rainforests are humid and sticky. Rainfall is moderate all year-round. 

Language

Portuguese
In Brazil, Portuguese is the official language. Besides Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, not a lot of residents in its cities and villages speak English. 

Expert travel advice

Travel tips and insider advice that have made the most difference to us, sourced from our
community of like-minded travellers and global experts.

Stare in wonder at the Iguazu Falls   

Recommended by Atlas & Boots

“The Iguazu Falls boat ride experience was frantic and completely exhilarating. Visiting a waterfall (or set of waterfalls) the size of Iguazu was incredible enough but actually getting down to water level beneath the roaring cascades was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.”

This outdoor travel blog is read by 250,000 explorers every month. It is run by author Kia Abdullah, and photographer Peter Watson who are the Lonely Planet ambassadors.

Party at Carnivale!   

Recommended by Hippie In Heels

“Prepare to have gravity-defying feather headdresses, extravagant beaded costumes, and rhythmic percussion bands encircle you with their contagious energy in the highlight of the festivities, the Rio Samba Parade in the Sambodromo. It is the most OTT party on the planet and it will leave you completely mesmerized.”

Rachel Jones posts have been featured in multiple leading international publications such as Elle, Grazia, Thomas Cook, and Lonely Planet.

Venture deep into Amazon National Park   

Recommended by Nomadic Matt

"The Amazon covers 8% of the earth’s surface but is home to 50% of the biodiversity. The Amazon national park is almost 40% of the nation’s land mass and is perfect for bird watching, trekking and kayaking.”

Matt Kepnes, aka Nomadic Matt, has travelled to nearly 100 countries. He shares proven tips and advice on his website which has been featured on major media sites including the New York Times, the BBC, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, The Independent, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and TIME magazine.

Soak in the sun at Copacabana and Ipanema   

Recommended by The Blonde Abroad

“Rio’s beaches are world-renowned for their clean, soft sand and their convenient accessibility from most hotels and hostels. Along the beach you’ll also find a plethora of rental tents and chairs, wet trails, free showers, and bars and cafes...You can practice your surfing skills or down a sanduíche natural, a cold sandwich with vegetables and mayo.”

Kiersten Rich created The Blonde Abroad to help women find the confidence to travel the world. She shares resources on everything from solo travel to packing guides to photography tips on her site. The Blonde Abroad is a Forbes Ranked "Top 10 Travel Influencer", and has been featured in The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Marie Claire, Business Insider, AFAR, Times Now & more.

Incredible places to visit in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

Perhaps no other city in the world takes the phrase ‘life’s a beach’ to heart quite like Rio de Janeiro does. The former capital is a staple on most trips to Brazil thanks to a coastline shot with white and gold, and crowded with beach bars, and bronzed revellers. Once travellers arrive, they’ll also find plenty of sites and pockets of healthy hedonism in the urban city - outdoor bars with lots of wine on the menu, food markets where you can quickly pick up sliced pineapple or tapioca crepes, and joyful live music on street corners.

Sugar Loaf and Corcovado Mountains

Among the most visited attractions in Rio, the Sugar Loaf Mountain offers panoramic views of the city. Rising straight from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the mountain is one of the several monolithic quartz and granite mountains in the vicinity of Rio and resembles a traditional refined sugarloaf. Watch the gorgeous city unfold before you in all its glory, catch glimpses of the beautiful Copacabana beach below or stare out into nothingness. This region is a hiker’s paradise; the trail leading to the top is sure to delight any wide-eyed visitor. 

While returning, take a cable car and make a stop at the Corcovado Mountain, also known as the Pinnacle of Temptation. Situated inside the Tijuca National Park, the mountain is iconic because of a foothold of the Christ the Redeemer statue. Trains are the prime mode of transport to the top to experience an incredible journey through the dense foliage and rugged granite rocks.

Christ the Redeemer statue

The Christ the Redeemer statue stands, arms outstretched, seemingly embracing all of the city’s people. It is one of the most iconic sights in the world, symbolic to Brazil, signifying peace, harmony and hope. Visiting the statue is a highlight on all Brazil tours. You can reach the mountain on which the statue stands by train, cable car or hiking. From the top, you’ll be able to see the bay, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, and a blue lagoon.

Copacabana

With the deep blue sky and Sugarloaf as its backdrop, the 4 km-long Copacabana Beach is Rio’s most famed and favourite coastline. The very mention of its name evokes images of a crescent of sea and sand, tiny bikinis, and fun-loving beachgoers surfing, swimming, playing volleyball and baking under big, beach umbrellas. To swim or soak up the sun here is an iconic travel experience. Toast to it with a caipirinha, or two, or more. In Rio, the glass is always half full.

Ipanema Beach

Ipanema rivals Copacabana in beauty, but has perhaps a better song to its fame. On Rua Vincius de Morais, you’ll find a mix of artsy bookstores, movie theatres, upscale shops and lots of clubs and bars. Stop by famous Garota de Ipanema Bar for a drink. This is where Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Morais wrote  the lyrics to "The Girl from Ipanema." If you’re visiting on a Sunday, you’ll find craftsmen and artists selling their work at the Hippie Fair. At night, head to the Baixo Farme and Baixo Quiteri streets where you’ll find locals and travellers laughing and dancing the night away.

The Rio Carnival

The loudest, wildest, biggest party in the world! Brilliantly designed costumes, infectious music, street parties, parades, beautiful locals, lots of drinking, dancing and revelry is everywhere you turn. The highlight of the carnival is the Samba Parade at the Sambódromo, with performers from over 200 samba schools competing for the title of Rio Carnival Samba Parade Champions. Get tickets to the parade and hit the streets with the rest of the crowd!

Sugarloaf and Corcovado Mountains

The other place in Rio for an unbeatable panoramic view is Sugarloaf Mountain. From the summit, you’ll have a view of the sprawling Atlantic, the busy city, and in the distance, Christ the Redeemer. The best time to visit Sugarloaf is as night falls, and the city’s lights blink into life. To reach the top of Sugarloaf, you can take a cable car or you can hike, which would take you around three hours. Note: Sugar used to be sold in tall, conical loaves. The mountain is named for its resemblance to this shape.

While returning, take the cable car and make a stop at the Corcovado Mountain. It is very pretty. Sitting in the middle of Corcovado National Park, it is a bubble of tropical greenery and exotic wildlife. Swirls of cobalt-blue butterflies flit through an emerald forest, and scarlet macaws through the air; it is full of life.

Salvador

Salvador is as Instagrammable as it is lively, making it one of the best places to visit in Brazil during your holiday. This is a city of candy-coloured colonial buildings, baroque churches and capoeira performances. There’s Brazilian music everywhere, as are plenty of seafood restaurants. (Do not leave Salvador without a mouthful of moqueca, a tasty seafood stew, or potful of lambretas, a juicy, flavorful local clam.) Head to the string of tiny seaside towns and islands around Salvador; you may find yourself with an entire beach to yourself.

The Elevador Lacerda

The Elevator Lacerda is one of the first things you will notice upon your arrival in Salvador. The world’s first, this now-restored outdoor public elevator is used by almost  28,000 people daily. It reminds you of how you can never have enough sweeping vistas of the city lying at your feet. Reaching an impressive height of 73m and a major attraction among travellers, the elevator connects the old town with the business centre. 

Pelourinho

Pelourinho is Salvador's historic center and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Portuguese-Baroque style architecture marks the streets; watch a live capoeira performance complete with traditional African music, or head to the Mercado Modelo market and bargain your way through souvenirs.

Sao Francisco Church and Convent

Here, all that glitters is gold. The interior of the church unabashedly shows off its splendor, wealth and extravagance. There are hundreds of ornate wood carvings gilded with gold leaf, and in the main chapel, blue and white hand-painted azulejo tiles narrate famous moments in the life of St. Francis of Assisi.  Do not miss the delicately dangling massive 80 kg silver chandelier - a visual delight!

Learn Capoeira

Capoeira is quintessentially Brazilian. Its historical significance dates back almost 500 years ago when African slaves used it as a form of resistance. To learn Capoeira is to learn how to fuse elements of music, dance and acrobatics into one. It might not be a part of your regular Brazil trip packages; however, you can sign up with private tutors during your stay, for a meaningful memento of your holiday.

The Elevator Lacerda

This is one of the first things you will notice upon your arrival in Salvador. The world’s first outdoor public elevator is used by almost  28,000 people daily. Reaching an impressive height of 73m and a major attraction among travellers, the elevator connects the old town with the business centre.

Eat acarje and acai

It is almost a sin to visit Brazil and not eat acarje. Originating from West Africa, this dish is made from mashed beans seasoned with spices and onions, formed into a ball and then fried in dende oil (palm oil). You can find kiosks selling acarje all over the streets of Salvador, often fried in a wok in front of customers. Take your pick from vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, the vegetarian alternative for beef and shrimp is peppers and green tomatoes. 

If you’re more of the healthy-eating kind, try a bowl of acai pulp! The fruit is a product of a variety of palm trees and is usually served at local eateries blended with ice, complete with granola and fresh fruits. After a long day of exploring the nook and corners of colonial Salvador, a fresh bowl of acai is a much-needed respite. 

Foz do Iguaçu

Foz do Iguaçu, a city in the state of Paraná, is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. It’s the base for exploring the Iguaçu National Park, in which you’ll see the world-famous Iguazu Falls. This place will make you immediately feel like an adventurer-explorer. Walking into the park, you’ll see a cascade around every corner, crisscrossed by rainbows. There are toucans and capuchin monkeys in the treetops, and raccoon-like coatimundis playing in the trails. If you’re very lucky, you can spot a spotted jaguar slinking about in the undergrowth.

Parque das Aves

If you’ve ever wanted to get over watching Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’, visit Parque das Aves or Bird Park. It is home to more than 800 species of exotic birds and butterflies going about their business. There are friendly and cheeky parrots, macaws, red ibises, herons, harpy eagles and more. In the butterfly house, a kaleidoscope of the little creatures reign, as well as small hummingbirds. And if you’ve ever been fascinated by the movie ‘Anaconda’, you’ll want to stop by the reptile section to see their smaller, safer, in-house anacondas.

Iporã Show

A visit to Iguazu Falls is incomplete unless you catch an Iporã Show. With the idea of presenting the region’s wide variety of cultures and customs, the show is a musical that depicts the ‘Legend of the Falls’ through a number of song and dance sequences. The graceful and aesthetic performances, along with the dazzling costumes, portray the richness of diverse folklore.

Bridges of Borders

The Border Bridge, more commonly known as the Friendship Bridge, connects the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu with the Ciudad del Este city in Paraguay. Take a walk along the Bridge of Borders to understand its importance in connecting the trade and economy of two countries. Uninterrupted views across the glittering Parana River from the bridge form a staggering constant amidst the modern city landscape.

Eat at a churrascaria

Ask a Brazilian for a suggestion on what to eat and you’ll find yourself directed towards churrascarias.A  churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse or more like an all-you-can-eat-meat eatery! A carnivore’s heaven, you can choose from about 20 types of slow-grilled, melt-in-your-mouth meat in the course of your meal at a larger churrascaria. It is one of the most important things to do in Brazil, as it is a unique gastronomic affair.

Iguazu Falls

All-inclusive holidays to Brazil include a visit to the most extensive waterfall system in the world- Iguazu Falls. Comprising hundreds of other waterfalls, the phenomenon of several falls merging and cascading down with a thunderous sound is a spectacular sight. If you’re an adventurous travellers, you’ll likely want to up to the wooden decking running along the edge of the falls.

Fernando de Noronha

The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is spectacular, and a must-see if you’re taking a luxury Brazil holiday. Here you can go snorkelling with wild turtles or surfing through tubular waves; the clear waters of the Atlantic provide great opportunities for scuba diving as well. Take a boat ride to explore the wild vegetation around the island or chase a couple of resident dolphins!

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

This national park is not a regular destination featured in most Brazil packages, an off-beat gem only the most discerning travellers find. Expanses of sand dunes mark the region, making it seem like a desert.However, the striking presence of blue lagoons in between the dunes, mangroves and migratory birds, will make you wonder whether it is a mirage or indeed for real.

Pantanal

Brazil’s best kept secret and biggest biodiversity hero, the Pantanal is the largest tropical wetland in the world. Jaguars to alligators to macaws, Pantanal has it all covered! Often overshadowed by the Amazon, the subtlety of this ecosystem makes it one of the best places for a variety of wildlife, all in their natural habitats.

Buzios

A captivating beach destination, Buzios, with its sunny winters, clear skies and upscale sea-facing resorts, is a hot favourite among laidback travellers. Once a picturesque fishing village, the shanty shacks lining the beach have witnessed a massive transformation into fine bars and posh boutiques. Visit this Portuguese-influenced town for its colonial architecture, quaint cobble-stoned streets and summer beach parties. 

Fortaleza

This sprawling city is one of Brazil’s biggest and is a travellers’ favourite as it is easily accessible and has a relaxed atmosphere. With its lively music venues, tropical infused ice-cream flavours and exciting gastronomic scene, Fortaleza will not disappoint.

Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest, vast and exotic, filled with the world’s most iconic wildlife, is a source of fascination for many of us, stemming from National Geographic magazines or world geography lessons in school. To actually explore this thick, tropical rainforest is to see it spring from imagination to life.

Most of the joy that comes from the Amazon lies in quiet discoveries: the calm but constant sound of the river, the 100 hues of green of the forest, birdsong filling the air, the mysterious rustling of leaves caused by some small animal. In the evening, the sounds of the wild grow manifold, and the rainforest is filled with the hum of giant crickets, and croak of exotic tree-frogs. Most tour operators provide Brazil travel guides if you want to venture deeper into the jungle. If you are visiting during the rainy season, parts of the jungle can become flooded and only be accessed by boat. 

Manaus Opera House

Yes, that’s right, you can listen to opera in the Amazon. The Manaus Opera House, also known as The Amazon Theatre, is a must-see for any traveller. It is built from locally-sourced wood, as well as  Italian marble and adorned with Murano glass chandeliers. Performances here range from simple recitals to entire orchestras.

Land of Waterfalls aka Terra de Cachoeiras

Located about 125kms from Manaus, the Land of Waterfalls is a quaint little town. As its name implies, it has an abundance of waterfalls. The Ministry of Tourism in Brazil has actually identified over 100 waterfalls in the city alone.

Anavilhanas Archipelago

Listed among one of the most spectacular sights on a visit to the Amazon, the Anavilhanas Archipelago is a greenish-turquoise patch of more than 300 hundred islands on the Rio Negro River. The rich, thickly forested islands make it an ideal shelter for a number of diverse animals, birds, insects and reptiles along with abundant aquatic life including piranhas and dolphins. Visit the archipelago to find a mosaic of flora and fauna.

Ponte Negra

Ponte Negra is one of the most famous urbanized Brazilian beaches lined with several shops, resorts and bars. The sun is almost always shining here, but the fresh and salty sea breeze makes it perfect for unwinding at one of the barracas or tents, with a classic cocktail and some barbecued shrimp.

Jungle treks and malaccas

Trekking in the Amazon is not for the fainthearted and is not a part of your regular all-inclusive Brazil trip. Those determined to do so are advised to carry a sturdy rucksack, basic toiletries, mosquito repellents, change of clothes and bottles of water. Treks start early in the morning, and most trails take you through thick bushy areas, muddy, slobbery pathways or shaky makeshift bridges. However, the effort is worth it. You’ll get to see wildlife in their natural habitat, even if it is a pink-and-yellow butterfly, bright green snake or cheeky capuchin monkeys. And you will be able to stop for lunch breaks at malaccas, traditional rounded homes of the tribes.

Top things to do & experience in Brazil

Nobody wants to be a tourist. Here are curated experiences in art, music, food, culture and communities
to help you have an authentic and memorable trip.

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