Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to some of the world’s most metropolitan cities, but this is just the beginning. The world famous Carnival takes place every year where millions dance, samba, and party the days away. Wildlife fans will enjoy exploring the wetlands of the Pantanal and the Amazon rainforest, while those who enjoy colonial architecture and historic cities will revel in the chance to visit Salvador. Throw in beaches, soccer, beautiful people, and cheap prices, and it’s pretty easy to convince someone this is a country worth seeing. Brazil sells itself and this travel guide can help you plan your trip there.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Brazil
1. Rio de Janeiro
3. Amazonia National Park
4. Fernando de Noronha
5. Iguacu Fall
Other Things to See and Do
(Click the title to expand the text)
1. See a fútbol match
Soccer is religion here, and going to a match is one of the most entertaining things you can do in Brazil. Maracana is one of the largest stadiums in the world and seats 100,000 supporters. With the 2016 Olympics turning the world’s attention to the country, soccer fever is all the rage. Take in a match if you can.
2. Enjoy Rio Carnival
The Rio Carnival is one of the most famous parties in the world. Music and dancing take over the streets with thousands of people enjoying the celebrations before the start of the somber period of Lent. Prices during this festival triple and you need to book months in advance, but it’s worth every penny to experience the local flavor.
Although not as famous as Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia is definitely worth a visit. The city was inaugurated in 1960 and is a masterpiece of modernist architecture, attracting aficionados the world over. The city is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. The Pantanal
These are the largest wetlands in the world, located in the west, stretching into parts of Bolivia and Paraguay. As can be expected, the Pantanal is a wildlife watcher’s dream come true. Over 11,000 species of animal live in the wetlands, from the rare Marsh Deer to the Giant Anteater and the Hyacinth Macaw.
Recife is home to some of Brazil’s most beautiful beaches and is the second largest city on the country’s northeastern coast. The city’s historical center is extremely beautiful with dozens of restaurants and quaint establishments. Head to nearby Olinda, a colonial city designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982.
Visit Brazil’s first city and cultural capital, Salvador on the country’s northeast coast. Also known as the ‘capital of happiness’, visitors enjoy the city’s easy-going atmosphere and colonial architecture. The colonial center of Perlourinho was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
7. Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo is the third largest city in the world and the largest in South America, home to over 17 million people. Visitors to this expansive city can enjoy world class nightlife, music, and cuisine. While it lacks the charm of Rio, I still like it.
8. Manaus Opera House
The Amazon theater is located in the heart of Manaus. Built in 1896, it strongly reflects the Italian Renaissance influence from the time. It has been featured in several movies.
9. Dance the capoeira
This Afro-Brazilian martial art is a “war dance” practiced and performed by thousands of people throughout the country. If you aren’t too embarrassed to try it out, it’s a memorable experience for everyone involved.
10. The Manaus Municipal Market
Located in Manaus, this building is right on the bank of the Rio Negro and covers 12,000 square meters. Many locals come here for their daily shopping. You can find almost anything you can imagine—fish, caimans, turtles, fruit, wine, and knick-knacks.