For many people, Brazil is a synonym to Soccer, colorful Carnivals and the wide-open arms of Jesus Christ – a statue which is called Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). Brazil is the biggest country in South America and famous for it’s wildlife and natural beauty, particularly, the Amazon Rainforest.
Apart from this, the country has some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, in particular, the Iguazu Falls in the state of Parana. Last but not least, the beaches of Brazil, such as Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio, are huge drawers for travelers from all over the globe.
Brazil Travel Info
Language: Portuguese is the official language of Brazil and spoken by 99 percent of the population. The other languages spoken here include German, Spanish, Italian and English.
Currency: Brazilian real.
Visa: Visiting Brazil requires a tourist visa, which is valid for 90 days. It is imperative to know your visa requirements when planning a visit to Bolivia.
Electricity: Brazil operates on 127/220 volts, and the frequency is 60 Hz. I recommend bringing a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each country you visit.
Brazil Festivals & Celebrations
Rio Carnival: Rio Carnival, celebrated each year since long, is one of the biggest festivals on our planet that continues for five joyous days. This festival occurs typically during Easter starting from Friday till Tuesday. Visitors from around the world make it a point to visit Brazil to see this event.
Festa do Peao: Festa de Peao in English means “Cowboy Festival” is being celebrated in Brazil from the last sixty years. The most popular of Festa de Peao takes place in Sao Paulo’s Barretos every August. The main highlights of the festival are horses and rodeo bulls. The park is so big that it easily holds a crowd of thousands of people.
Oktoberfest: When we talk about Oktoberfest, Germany comes to mind. But the Oktoberfest of Brazil is entirely different and is hosted in the beautiful city of Blumenau. More than 1 million people come to Brazil every year to enjoy this festival with the mix of Brazilian and German cuisine, culture and music.
Safety In Brazil
Just like most countries in South America, Brazil is a relatively safe place to travel to. Thefts, bag snatching and scams are prevalent in all big cities so be mindful of this. Based on my own travel experiences in South America, I wouldn’t leave home without travel insurance no matter how safe the destination is considered. You can still miss flights, lose your luggage or break a leg, especially if you’re as accident prone as I am. For this reason I recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few weeks or months before you plan to visit Brazil.
Top Things To Do In Brazil
Sugar Loaf, Rio de Janeiro
Sugarloaf is the emblem of Rio de Janeiro which is a rounded rock peak 394 meters above sea level. The tip of the rock is the first place that tourists visit once they reach Rio. The site provides an excellent view of the city, and the harbor and the thrill of riding a cable car from Morro da Urca to Sugarloaf are unmatchable. Another highlight of the area is the star-shaped forts at Praia da Urca.
The location of the Iguacu Falls is at the meeting point of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. The cascading white waters with a mesmerizing rainbow across and the moss covered stones makes this place a must-visit in Parana state. To get the broadest view of the fall you need to see it from the Brazilian side.
Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janerio
Barrio of Copacabana is a renowned beach that is visited by over two million visitors every year to celebrate New Year alone. The fireworks displayed here are the best in the world and the longest too. The beach is 2.5 miles long and pleasing with mountains surrounding it. Several beach sports are available here which include jet skiing and volleyball.
Head to the Pernambuco Beaches
With its clear waters, miles of silver sand and tall palm trees, the Pernambuco is among the best beaches of Brazil. The town located along the shore is lazy, vibrant and a perfect blend of modern and chic boutiques and plain town fun. Even the hotels and resorts are close to the land instead of standing tall. Beautiful sailboats escort tourists to the reef-top pools where you can sit with your feet in water with dazzling tropical fishes swimming about your feet.
Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro
With arms wide-opened, the colossal statue of Cristo Redentor overlooks Rio de Janerio from Corcovado. The 709-meter high figure that seems to encompass the entire humanity is situated in Tijuca National Park. This structure is one of the major attractions of the city and is visible from far away. This 30 meters long immaculate piece of work got constructed by Paul Landowski and Heitor da Silva Costa. The raw materials used were soapstone and reinforced concrete.
Climb the Escadaria Selaron
Escadaria Selaron is also called the Selaron steps and is a flight of 215 steps that are designed by Jorge Selaron, a Chilean artist. The artist kept on renovating these steps for about 23 years and dedicated them to the people of Brazil. Jorge started by fixing the steps opposite his own house, and soon it started growing. Currently, it has nearly 2000 pieces of tiles, ceramics and mirrors gathered from across the globe.
Admire the modern architecture of Brasilia
Brasilia is the new city of Brazil constructed in the wilderness, and the entire place got completed in just three years. It replaced Rio de Janeiro as the capital of Brazil in 1960. The planning of the city was by Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa and is among the very few cities in the world that are built entirely on a single plan and architectural concept. Among the most striking buildings are the presidential palace, congress buildings, and the Supreme Court.
Experience the diverse wildlife of the Amazon Rain Forest, Brazil
Amazon Rainforests cover much of the northwest of Brazil and extend to Peru, Columbia, and a few other South American nations. It is the largest tropical forest in the world and is famous for its unparalleled biodiversity. You can find one among every ten species here, and the tropical forests are known to be home to the most extensive array of plants as well as animals in the world. These include millions of plants, some 2000 animals and birds and about 2.5 million insects.
Museum of Tomorrow
This science museum was inaugurated in 2015 and was designed by Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish architect who was into neo-futuristic designs. The location of the museum is around the Pier Maua waterfront. There are five main exhibits here-Tomorrow, Now, Cosmos, Anthropocene, and Earth. In every section, science and innovative designing are combined to create an experience that is rich in learning and fun. The most prominent feature is the tomorrow laboratory focusing on robotics, 3D printing, and Artificial Intelligence.
Visit the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon
The history of this lagoon dates back several years. Long ago it was inhabited by Portuguese colonies, Tamoio Indians, and the Royal family of Portugal. The lagoon is connected to the Atlantic Ocean, and many family-friendly attractions surround it. The visitors can run on its walking trail, explore its natural sites, go for bike rides, take pictures, go rowing and spend time in the social clubs situated along the lagoon.
Other than these top things to do in Brazil, there is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Be prepared to be flexible because sometimes other travelers that you meet on your travels will have the best suggestions for things to do in Brazil that are off the beaten path.
What To Eat In Brazil
The cuisine of Brazil is delicious and hearty, and there are many local delicacies that one must sample when in Brazil. A few of the best are listed here.
Barbequed Meat: Brazil is a champion of Barbecue with ogre-sized quantities enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Meat is seasoned with a liberal amount of coarse salt and grilled to perfection over charcoal. The meat is sliced directly into the plates by waiters.
Moqueca: Moqueca is a fish stew where fish gets stewed in onions, diced tomatoes, and coriander. The locals serve it in style in clay pots that are uncovered right on the table between clouds of fragrance and mouthwatering aroma.
Cachaca: Cachaca is an age-old drink that made up of fermented Sugarcane juice. It is also called the national cocktail of Brazil. Usually, cachaca is available in different varieties and are of several qualities too which are aged inside wooden barrels and are directly sipped up by enthusiasts.
Brigadeiros: It is the Brazilian version of chocolate truffle and gets prepared so quickly that they have become a favorite among kid’s parties. These sweet balls formed out of condensed milk that is simmered with cocoa powder and then whisked with butter. It is then shaped into balls and rolled in sprinkles.
Quindim: Quindim is a glossy sweet treat that is yellow and made with eggs, sugar, and coconut. The locals then bake it in small molds. The preparation is rich and dense and golden at the bottom. The top is smooth and sticks to the palate of the mouth.
Where To Stay In Brazil
Brazil is a very affordable place to visit. Finding excellent accommodation in Brazil is easy even if you’re on a tight budget. Brazil hostels and dormitories make travel here very affordable for backpackers and any travelers on a shoe-string budget.
Don’t wait until you arrive to see what’s available or you may be disappointed to find that all the best accommodation options have already been snapped up. Brazil is a very popular year-round destination.
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in Brazil.
If you’re backpacking in Brazil or traveling on a tight budget then Hostel World is another great option. Staying in hostels makes travel in South America very affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies.
Brazil Trip Planner
Best Time to Visit Brazil
Brazil splits into four distinct climatic regions. The only part of Brazil that ever gets really cold is the South and Southeast, the region roughly from central Minas Gerais to Rio Grande do Sul that includes Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Porto Alegre. Here, there’s a distinct winter between June and September, with occasional cold, wind and rain. The best time to visit Rio is between December and March, when the weather is warm and sunny enough to hit the beaches.
Brazil Travel Budget
Brazil is generally an affordable destination for travelers on a tight budget. The cost of your trip to Brazil really depends on the level of comfort you will want while here. If you’re backpacking and planning on staying in dormitories, hostels and eating fast food then budget between $35 to $50 a day. If you prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotel rooms and eat in mid-range restaurants you could spend anywhere between $50 to $100 per day. If you want to enjoy luxury 4-5 star accommodation and gourmet restaurants then budget about $250 plus a day.
- Budget: $15 – $35
- Mid-range: $35 – $100
- Splurge: $100 +
Meal For One
- Budget: $8 – $25
- Mid-range: $25 – $60
- Splurge: $60 +
Brazil Packing Guide
Packing for a trip to Brazil, like most places in South America is easy, just remember to pack lightweight and breathable clothing for dry season and warm, waterproof clothing for trips during the rainy season.
Be prepared for the weather to get extremely hot during the summer so pack a high factor sunscreen and a sun hat. If you forget to pack something you can buy anything you need while you’re in Brazil. Prices are generally higher in smaller boutiques (aimed at tourists) than they would be online so expect to pay a premium if you don’t have the option of shopping around due to time restraints on your South America trip.
Other essential items to pack for a trip to Brazil include a good quality travel backpack. Choose the brand carefully and make sure you find the right size backpack for your torso. Believe me, doing this will make all the difference and prevent major backache. Smaller items to pack include a padlock, sleep sheet and a money belt to keep important documents close to you.
For the full list of everything you need to pack for a trip to Brazil check out the Jetset Bunny Ultimate South America Packing List For Female Travelers.