Samba your way through Brazil
Put your traveling shoes on and head to the picture-perfect and entertaining country of Brazil. First things first, you should definitely book a tour of the Amazon Rainforest. It’s time to venture out and witness everything you have seen on television programs – there is even a night hike for the adventurous at heart. Don’t forget to do an Amazon or Rio Negro River cruise!
While you are in Manaus, take a trip to the Rubber Plantation Museum, where you will see what is was like to work on the rubber plantations. You will also learn about the rubber harvesting process. Even tour a replica of a rubber baron’s home and see the wealth of the era with your own eyes.
Head to the Anavilhanas Archipelago. The more than 400 islands are inhabited by exotic birds, monkeys and iguanas. Hop on a boat with a tour guide and spot some incredible wildlife. If you feel like lazing on the beach, then Brazil has beaches aplenty! Lopes Mendes beach on the island of Ilha Grande is popular among surfers. If you feel like doing something different, why not sail through the trees of Rio de Janeiro on a suspended cable for an epic canopy tour which offers superb views.
What’s a trip to Brazil without a visit to a street market? Anyone who loves food will enjoy an outing to the Liberdade street market where you will experience authentic Brazilian dishes. While making your way through Brazil, try barbequed meat, Moqueca and Brigadeiros.
Off the beaten track-Brazil
Being a country strewn with stunning beaches you can only imagine what the marine life must be like in Brazil. Turtles, dolphins and colourful fish await scuba divers. There are also a number of shipwrecks to dive for an underwater history lesson. Divers won’t be sorry in exploring Bonito, which is considered as one of the best diving spots in Brazil. Don’t miss abseiling down 72 meters into the abyss of a cavern at Abismo Anhumas, which is like an underground lake. It’s recommended that this dive be booked in advance. This is a cave diver’s dream!
Things to see and do in Brazil
- Christ the Redeemer: A huge statue of Jesus Christ is situated on top of Mount Corcovado. This colossal statue was completed in 1931. It stands 30 metres tall and the arms on the statue span 28 metres. The Christ the Redeemer statue was designed by Heitor da Silva Costa and created by sculptor Paul Landowski. The impressive statue is the fifth largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world and is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone. The towering monument is a symbol of Rio de Janeiro and is famous the world over. Some say that that Christ’s outstretched arms is the people welcoming you to Rio de Janeiro while others believe the outstretched arm is a reminder that Christ loves them. This is a must-visit! It’s very hot at the summit, so take plenty of water.
- The Pantanal: This is the largest wetland in the world and is home to a variety of plant and animal species. The Pantanal is great for horse riding, hiking and you can also explore the wetlands by boat or canoe. This awesome tourist attraction is bursting with wildlife, so if you are a lover of nature, this is the place to be. Take a guided tour of the wetlands too if you wish.
- Sugarloaf Mountain: Get a fantastic view of the whole of Rio de Janeiro! The best part has to be travelling to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car (it’s a two-part journey to the top). When you get to the top you will be amazed at the view of forests and beaches down below. Stop off at one of the shops to purchase souvenirs. There are also hiking trails, so explore Sugarloaf Mountain adventure-style. There is a daily weather report online, so check that out before you plan to head for Sugarloaf Mountain.
- Manaus Opera House (Amazon Theatre): The Manaus Opera House was built during the Belle Époque period when fortunes were made from the rubber boom. It is also commonly known as the Amazon Theatre because it’s located within the Amazon Rainforest. Host to the annual Amazonas Opera Festival, the beautiful theatre took 15 years to build. Take a tour of the opera house with a guide and discover how the city of Manaus used to be. The opera house boasts almost 200 chandeliers. The theatre was also closed for 90 years following the decline of the rubber boom. It’s well worth it to watch a performance at the theatre.
- The Julio Prestes Cultural Centre: Impressive acoustics will have you enthralled when you visit this former railway station, which is today a building of wondrous architecture, classical music and home to the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra.
- Fortaleza Canyon: Located in the Serra Geral National Park, the canyon is 8 kilometers long. Be fascinated by rock formations as you walk the various trails.
- National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida: One of the largest basilicas in the world, is dedicated to the patron saint of Brazil, Our Lady of Aparecida. The shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida is the largest shrine in the world. Tradition of the shrine goes back to 1717 and millions of visitors flock to the shrine every year.
- Rio de Janeiro carnival: The Rio Carnival is held every year in the week leading up to Lent and attracts visitors from around the world. Filled with samba dancing, great music and food, the festival is simply electrifying with fun and entertainment. If you’re in Brazil you can attend a Samba dancing class. It’s the perfect way to get into the swing of the carnival. Join the carnival parade and Samba to the beat of one of Brazil’s most important cultural events.
- The Church of Sao Francisco: The church’s amazing interior will have you mesmerized. The church has a barroque feel to it and is a good visit for those who like history. There’s even a crypt, so check it out.