Thinking of Brazil, the beat of samba immediately comes to your mind. The kaleidoscope of vibrant colors of feathery, silky, glitzy Mardi Gras costumes. The scantily clad, exotic beauties and alluring gents gyrating to the intoxicating beat of the drums; the festive atmosphere of the Carnaval; the parade of lights and the whole grandiose celebration—these elements are just a minute part of Brazil’s diverse and extremely popular culture. There are plenty of hidden treasures that this daughter of the Amazon has to offer tourists and locals alike. Read below for some of our favorite highlights of Brazil!
Ring a bell? Yes, Ipanema is a popular go-to place in Brazil—it’s a sprawling white sand beach that is free for all. This is where the widely popular, top-earning supermodel Giselle Bundchen adopted the label of her flip-flops line “Ipanema.” When in Brazil, you must never miss visiting this lively hub of people where you get to learn why so many Brazilians are sun worshippers! After all, it’s all about the sun, sand and sea in Brazil. Brazilians like to live healthy—no wonder there are so many noteworthy fashion icons and models hailing from Brazil. When going to the beach, be prepared to see skin. Release your inhibitions and enjoy the atmosphere. Spoil yourself. Watch out for too much sun though. Always apply sunscreen. Beach towels and wide-brimmed hats are also available for rent. Ipanema is a perfect spot for budget travelers and for party animals!
The beach of Copacabana is another celebrated coastal area of Brazil. In Ipanema, you will witness bronzed beauties flaunting their well-sculpted bodies. In Copacabana you’ll see twice as many! You might just find love from the thousands of Lolas or Fernandos walking by, or, get to meet a varied crowd, make friends and create meaningful memories. Copacabana is Ipanema’s sister beach. Access is free. In the morning, people frequent Copacabana for a household game of foot volleyball or what they call “futevole.” Surfers and swimmers invade the waves. While at night, the deafening sound of the samba, maracatu, and forro define the quintessential nightlife of Brazil. Copacabana beach is considered one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
RIO DE JANEIRO
Rio de Janeiro (translates to January River) is a melting pot of tourists and natives of Brazil. It is an excellent shopping and tour destination for
families, friends and couples. A fusion of the modern and the archaic architecture is evident in the walls and buildings of Rio. Rio de Janeiro is home to the world famous beaches mentioned above where many of parties and sporting competitions take place. There are loads of shopping destinations in Rio, outdoor cafes, bars and restaurants. The cariocas (residents of Rio) like to live their lives to the fullest as evidenced by the numerous dance studios, striking fashion, and their works of art. Hiking and outdoor adventure is plentiful throughout the city and nearby mountains. Be sure to take the tram ride to see Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city and sea in an epic view amazing for travel photography (this is a separate highlight below that deserved its own section). Rio de Janeiro is tagged as cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) and this is really an understatement.
For anyone who likes to visit Brazil for more adventure & photography related activities Iguazu falls will not disappoint. Unravel this countries natural wonders with a trip to Iguazu Falls; a breathtaking commune with nature. Nearly three-fourths of Iguazu belongs to Argentinean territory but most of its cascades are visible on the Brazilian part of the falls. At its peak flow of the water, as close to 300 isolated waterfalls gush through the corners of cliffs measuring 1,600 miles. The widest cascade of Iguassu is known as “devil’s throat” which is also the most spectacular view of the raging waters. Its roars can be heard thousands of miles away. The falls are accessible by double-decker buses which provide a comfortable drive to Iguazu National Park. Numerous trails wind around, through, above, and under the falls for endless photography and exciting, easy hikes. Our travel clubs photography tours here are awesome here!
SALVADOR DE BAHIA
Having a trip to Salvador de Bahia transports you back in time—16th century style. The city of Salvador is a heritage site and boasts of magnificent, ancient Baroque architecture reflective in cathedrals, monuments and buildings in all of Latin America. Take a quick stop at the first fort created at the portal to All Saints Bay for safeguarding the city from foreign invaders. Catch a glimpse or capture a photo at the Barra Lighthouse. Explore the quaint city centre of Salvador while paying a visit at the dwelling place of the Bahian Symphony Orchestra. An array of products and keepsakes delight the senses and your pockets in the historical streets of Peroulinho. Savour gastronomic delights as you explore cafes and restaurants in every corner.
KRISTO REDENTOR (Christ the Redeemer)
Designed by French architect Paul Landowski; with collaboration from Engr. Heitor Silva da Costa, the monolith cement and soapstone sculpture of Christ the Redeemer is undoubtedly the best-known landmark of Brazil. Year after year, thousands and thousands of visitors frequent the huge statue that sits on Corcovado Hill. This is a famous pilgrimage site for devout Roman Catholics throughout the world. The best time to visit the sacred monument is in the afternoon particularly when the sun is about to set and the temperature cools down. The statue is even more marvelous at night as it gets lit up from below. There are two ways to reach the top—by train from Cosme Vello 513 or by car. It can be heavy traffic on the weekends so it is preferable to take the train for only R$15- $30 round trip. By train, it’s only a 20-minute drive up to the hill compared to potential hour long waits with a car. Either way, make sure this is on your trip itinerary for Rio!
If these highlights of Brazil don’t get you salivating for an adventure here we don’t know what will. But if it does than come with us because we will be exploring all of these amazing places on our group tour to Brazil!