Sparkling beaches, winding rivers, dense jungles, rocky mountain peaks, colourful coral reefs and abundant wildlife: there’s little Brazil doesn’t offer when it comes to natural beauty. From the packed beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema to the isolated villages of the Amazon, travellers can choose nearly any kind of holiday in Brazil.
In this country though, the urban jungles are just as big an attraction as the natural ones. Cosmopolitan cities like Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Sao Paulo offer visitors a dizzying array of cultural activities, whether it’s a samba lesson in a nightclub, browsing designer shops, wandering through museums and art galleries, or taking a trip up to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.
The Brazilians are a passionate people who love to have fun, packing the beaches full on weekends and filling soccer stadiums to capacity for every match. Festivals like the famous (or infamous) Carnaval showcase this love for life, one that tends to rub off a little on every visitor.
Brazil’s attractions are equally divided between the urban and the natural, with the cultural delights of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo balancing the natural wonders of the Amazon and Pantanal rainforests and ensuring there’s something to see and do in Brazil for just about everyone.
Every year, thousands flock to the world-famous Carnival in Rio, when the entire city is enveloped in parties, parades, music and dancing. Rio also features the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, which is one of the seven marvels of the modern world, and the architectural marvel Samba City. The mild climate of the major cities makes them an attractive destination all year long, with the coastal areas being even warmer and suited to year-round sunbathing. Brazil’s major cities are known for their wild nightlife, with enough bars, clubs, dance halls, and parties to satisfy even the most hedonistic.
Brazil’s beaches are just as famous, with several (Ipanema and Copacabana) immortalised in song. There are several well-known nude beaches, including one in the relaxed town of Pinho. The southern beaches, including Praia Do Rosa, offer big waves that attract top surfers from all over the world between April and November. There are also many popular scuba diving spots that have beautiful coral reefs, volcanic islands, caves, and shipwrecks.
Brazil is a huge country, with an area larger than the continental United States, and over half of that is rainforest. The Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covers seven million square kilometres and is a bird-watching and wildlife paradise, home to countless species of plants and animals you won’t find in any other country. The pink dolphin, for example, is only found in the Amazon and its tributaries. You might also find jaguars, howler monkeys, sloths, toucans and anacondas, among many others.
Brazil’s marine life is also teeming with amazing creatures. Dolphin and whale-watching are popular activities in places like Fernando de Noronha, or go snorkelling in Bonito, whose name fittingly means ‘beautiful’. Praia do Forte and other beaches are also good places to find sea turtles hatching.