"South America’s biggest country is a sweltering, samba-dancing, soccer-mad melting pot, from the heights of Sugarloaf Mountain to the depths of the Amazon River."
Touring in Brazil
South America’s biggest country is a sweltering, samba-dancing, soccer-mad melting pot, from the heights of Sugarloaf Mountain to the depths of the Amazon River. Brazil’s coastal cities are the cultural hubs that define this nation: Rio de Janeiro, with its bountiful beaches, raucous Carnival and sprawling favelas, is quite simply one of the most captivating cities on earth, while sultry Salvador is a bastion of Afro-Brazilian culture and São Paulo is a true global megacity. Further inland you’ll find Brazil’s modernist capital, Brasilia, and the rainforest city of Manaus, a popular base for exploring the dense jungle of the Amazon Basin.
Brazil’s coastline is strung with spectacular beaches, from the paradise isle of Ilha Grande to Rio’s famous Copacabana. To experience natural beauty on an altogether grander scale head for the crashing cataracts of Iguaçu Falls, or make a beeline for the vast wetlands of the Pantanal, where you’ll encounter a myriad of wildlife including the bizarre capybara, a rodent the size of a dog. Wherever you go, you’ll be immersed in Brazil’s distinctive culture, expressed through the music of samba and bossa nova, the raucous celebrations of Carnival and the ubiquitous sight of kids playing football.
Touring Highlights of Brazil
- Swoop into Rio de Janeiro from above by helicopter for picture postcard views of Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer, or strut your stuff on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema.
- Brazil meets Argentina at Iguaçu Falls, where hundreds of waterfalls cascade down into the chasm known as the Devil’s Throat, filling the air with a fine mist.
- The sweltering city of Manaus, at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers, is the most accessible base from which to explore the dense Amazon jungle.
- Brazil’s vast wetlands, the Pantanal, provide a home to hundreds of species, including jaguars, toucans, parrots, monkeys, anacondas and the capybara, a sort of overgrown hamster that stands two feet tall!
- Salvador de Bahia is the capital of Afro-Brazilian culture, and the city comes alive with music and dance during the colourful festivals that frequently fill the streets.
- Music is integral to Brazilian culture, from the classic rhythms of samba and bossa nova to the avant-garde Tropicália movement of the 1960s.
- The world famous Rio Carnival brings partying to the streets on an epic scale, culminating in colourful, choreographed parades to the thumping sound of samba. Be warned, hotels get booked up well in advance!
- The English may have invented football, but it was the Brazilians who perfected the art. From the streets of the favelas to the Maracanã Stadium, the country that gave the world Pelé, Zico and Ronaldo is still utterly football-obsessed.
- The island of Ilha Grande, once a leper colony and later a political prison, is covered in pristine rainforest and encircled by sublime white sand beaches, making this a great place for some R&R after a busy touring itinerary.
- São Paulo is a true megacity, home to some 20 million people. The urban sprawl may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but big city lovers will enjoy the fantastic restaurants, buzzing nightlife and vibrant cultural scene.