Brazil is famous for its football, its Carnival and the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics. But it has so much more to offer.
So, shrug off those stereotypes and explore the largest country in South America. Judd Hall recommends 10 great things to do on your next visit.
1. See the Amazon rainforest
There’s a mystique about the Amazon rainforest, especially since much of the 2.5 million square miles remains unmapped. Belem or Manaus are great spots to depart from on a tour into the forest. Just make sure you go between May and June to avoid the worst of the rainy and hot seasons.
2. Time travel in Ouro Preto
Wander through this old gold mining town, with its narrow streets, 23 gorgeous churches, and the impressive Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pilar. You’ll be dazzled by the 2,000 pounds of gold and silver that adorn the interior of this church.
3. Visit Pedro’s place in Petrópolis
Petrópolis, also known as ‘the Imperial City of Brazil’, is where cariocas (residents of Rio) go to escape the city. It was also once home to many Brazilian emperors, including Emperor Pedro II, whose summer palace is now the Imperial Museum. Act like royalty and get a posh pint from Bohemia brewery (one of the first in Brazil) and a beef croquette from Casa do Alamão.
4. Top up the tan on Copacabana Beach
Brazil has plenty of gorgeous beaches, but arguably it’s most famous is Rio’s Copacabana Beach, and for good reason. The winding promenade, gorgeous sunbathers and picturesque surroundings make it a tough beach to beat.
5. Eat piranha in Manaus
Manaus, the ‘gateway to the Amazon’, is also the place to snap up some piranha for supper. Yes, those little biters are a popular local delicacy. You can even catch your own dinner in the Amazon River and let the restaurant chefs cook it for you.
6. Swim in Gruta do Lago Azul
Ever swam in a cave? Just west of Bonito, Gruta do Lago Azul (Blue Lake Cave) has its own dazzling blue water pools, perfect for a refreshing dip. The best time to visit is between late December and early January.
7. See both sides of Florianopolis
Florianopolis is a city with two very different tales to tell. By day, surf the incredible waves off the shoreline of Santa Catarina Island; by night, party in a town that rivals Ibiza for dance clubs, beautiful people and good vibes. Find the best deals on hotels in Florianopolis with Skyscanner.
8. See Carnival early
Carnival’s one of the greatest parties in the world, but it gets pricy. Instead of going to the big show, travel to Rio de Janeiro the week before while the schools rehearse throughout the city, giving you a sneak preview. While they do charge for the rehearsals, it’s nowhere near the same high costs to see the big show.
9. Taste açai in Belem
There’s a lot of great food in Brazil, and acai, grown in Belem, is what all the health conscious lot are raving about. Whether you get it as juice or frozen pulp topped with granola, it’s delicious. One of the best spots to sample this superfood is at Point do Açai in Belem, where much of this fruit is harvested.
10. Take in Iguazu Falls
Marvel at Mother Nature at Iguazu Falls, 2.68 km wide and 269 feet high, making it one of the biggest waterfalls in the world. Legend has it that the falls were formed by an angry god who split the river to stop his lover from escaping with a mortal man, causing them to plunge to their deaths. So you might want to leave the canoe behind and just take in the stunning views instead.
Judd Hall is Skyscanner’s Content Manager for the US and Canada, Judd’s interests run the gamut: sport, theme parks, rock music, vacations with his family around the world… and pugs.