Five Spots You Have to Visit in Brazil
“Brazil is not what you see but what you feel. Once you spend time here- a week, two weeks- you get into the vibe. It’s really intoxicating.” – Designer, Francisco Costa
From bustling cities to pristine beaches, Brazil is one of the most breathtaking places on the planet. Whether you’re interested in exploring its natural wonders, taking in a football match or eating your way through your destination city (or all three!), we’ve got 5 locations you should consider if you’re planning a trip anytime soon.
Christ the Redeemer
For some it’s the ultimate religious symbol; for others, a beautiful landmark essentially synonymous with Brazil.
As Padre Omar, rector of the chapel in the base of the statue told the BBC, they’re both right.
“It’s a religious symbol, a cultural symbol and a symbol of Brazil. Christ the Redeemer brings a marvelous vista of welcoming open arms to all those who pass through the city of Rio de Janeiro.”
Completed in 1931, the colossal statue stands 98 feet tall and 92 feet wide. As the largest Art Deco-style sculpture in the world, the reinforced concrete figure is a must-see sight for about 5,000 tourists a day.
⛰ Insider tip: Take the train to Corcovado instead of a bus or taxi. The two-car train will take you through the beautiful Tijuca Forest where you may be able to catch a glimpse of a monkey or other rainforest animal! Thanks, Wanderlust Wayfarer!
Pick a Beach, Any Beach
With so many excellent options, it’s virtually impossible to choose a favorite beach in Brazil. But Buzios, a chic village just 80 miles north of Rio, boasts 23 beaches with each with a different vibe to fit your vacation.
Love a nature walk and snorkeling? Try Azeda Beach. Nestled in an Environmental Protection Area, this beach is surrounded by soaring cliffs and lots of leafy vegetation. The water’s clear and usually calm and perfect for snorkeling and kayaking.
If spending all day without looking up from your book sounds like heaven, Brava Beach is the spot. Less crowded than many other beaches in the area, it’s the perfect place to relax. There are kiosks and restaurants to explore along the glittering sand and, carved in the nearby rocks, you’ll find a big heart repeatedly filled with ocean water by crashing waves.
Up for a bit more social atmosphere? Geriba Beach is a gathering spot for surfing, paddleboarding, and meeting your fellow vacationers. Fishbone Café is the place to grab a cocktail and see what the night has in store after a day of fun in the sun.
? Insider tip: You’ve been to the beach before; it’s pretty much the same protocol. We’ll just say if you head to a “clothing optional” beach, it’s polite not to gawk or stare. ?
The Amazon Rainforest
While the Amazon is spread throughout nine different countries, the majority (about 60%) of its majestic landscape is in Brazil. There are approximately 10 million different species of animals in this massive expanse of land, including jaguars, Black Caiman, cougar, anaconda, wild piranha, vampire bat and some pretty scary spiders. Does this change the vision you had in your head of trekking through a lush jungle on foot? ?
Travel experts agree that the best way to experience the Amazon is by boat. According to Rainforest Cruises, you’re a typical itinerary would go something like this:
Tours into the rainforest will kick off in Manaus, the most populous city in the Brazilian Amazon region. From here, you will be able to hop on a boat and cruise along the mighty Amazon River in search of some of the forest’s incredible wildlife. From Manaus you will be able to check out other unusual places such as the Lago Janauari Ecological Park, Jaú National Park, and the Anavilhanas Archipelago.
Have you booked your ticket yet? You can see why an Amazon tour is a once in a lifetime experience if you head to Brazil.
? Insider tip: Lonely Planet recommends planning your trip between May and June which is midway between the rainiest months (February to April) and the hottest driest ones (September to November). With the water level in the Amazon at its peak, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to canoe through a flooded forest. A uniquely Amazonian experience, they say.
Mercado Central Belo Horizonte
Translating in English to “Beautiful Horizon,” Belo Horizonte is the sixth largest city in Brazil and the capital of Minas Gerais. Known to locals as Beagá, Belo Horizonte is a bustling metropolis set against a beautiful mountain backdrop. Our founder Junea grew up in this area and turned us on to the “must-visit” market of Mercado Central.
According to dozens of Yelp reviews, this unique market offers…pretty much everything! Spices, produce, household items, live animals, the list goes on and on. While it can get crowded and a bit hectic, the sights and sounds of the market are well worth the visit. Wander through the maze of reasonably priced and high-quality offerings for a perfect Brazilian afternoon.
? Insider tip: Come hungry! There are many local bars and restaurants in Mercado Central offering authentic Minas food. Casa Cheia is the perfect spot for a casual lunch as you show off your haul from the market.
São Paulo Futebol
“Everything in life changes, except for the team you choose to cheer for.”
You’ll find this quote in the Museum of Football, located within Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo. In addition to providing historical context for the rich tradition of Brazilian football, the experience transports you into the excitement and drama of a match with Samba beats and breathtaking videos.
With four soccer clubs that set the largest city in Brazil on fire, Corinthians, Palmeiras, São Paulo and Santos, you’ll find pretty much everyone talking about the big games of the week no matter where you go in the city.
⚽ Insider tip: Stay safe. Although it’s a game, football is serious business in Brazil. If you do decide to go to the stadium, avoid wearing the colors of either team. It will reduce your chances of getting involved in any confrontation that could get out of hand.
We’ve had an absolute blast putting this list together; we actually feel like we just got back from a trip to Brazil! Please tag us on Facebook or Instagram if you do head over and take any of these suggestions. Bonus points if it’s with a bag of Brazis.
Tchau, for now!