Brazil has been thrust into the spotlight of late as the upcoming host of two of the greatest sporting spectacles in the world, with a booming economy suggesting its emergence as a new world superpower.
With so much buzz surrounding Brazil as a coming force on the global scene, and figures suggesting that tourism is set to boom in the country, it is easy to forget that this magnificent country already has plenty of truly fantastic places to explore and experiences to behold. So, we’ve taken a look at the very best you can do on a holiday to Brazil in this handy guide.
Explore one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems
Brazil is a vast country, and huge swathes of it are covered in rainforest. The Amazon Basin covers approximately one billion acres, and represents one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. There are plenty of organised tours of this remarkable wilderness available, but Brazil also offers an interesting alternative – the Pantanal Wetlands. This similarly vast region in west Brazil is less well known than the Amazon region, but arguably offers even more untouched, unfettered wildness than its better-known sibling.
Tour Brazil’s best beaches
Brazil’s north-eastern coast is a hotbed of pristine sandy beaches and inviting clear waters just waiting to be discovered. The states of Bahia, Pernambuco host some of the country’s best beaches, such as the Praia dos Carneiros and Praia do Sancho. While the popular image of beach life in Brazil is of the crowded urban beaches of Rio de Janeiro, there are actually plenty of quiet, undiscovered gems to discover along Brazil’s vast coastline.
Eat your weight in meat at a rodizio
Brazil’s “all you can eat” steakhouse restaurants, known as “rodizio” or “churrascaria”, promise a feast of mouth-watering meats, all served at your table by waiters, who skilfully slice the meat from distinctive swords, on which the meats are grilled over an open fire. This unique style of preparation and delivery truly does justice to the fantastic cuts of meat that Brazil is famous for. Sample Picanha, a rare cut of beef in other parts of the world, but in Brazil, the most juicy and flavoursome of all the rodizio treats.
Stare into the abyss of the Devil’s Throat
Iguaçu Falls, straddling the border between Brazil and Argentina, are a wonder to behold – a multitude of raging torrents that you can walk right out into the centre of. Listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the falls are hugely popular with tourists, but have been well conserved, maintaining a wild quality despite being one of the country’s most loved tourist destinations. For a truly stunning perspective of the falls, take the boat tour, which delivers you right to the centre of this cacophonous wonder.
Visit the spiritual home of football
No guide to Brazil would be complete without some recognition of its place at the very pinnacle of the world’s best-loved sport. Football is a way of life in Brazil perhaps more than anywhere else, and the world-famous Maracanã stadium is revered as a spiritual home for the game and one of the world’s greatest sporting arenas. Any visit to Rio de Janeiro should be accompanied by a visit to the stadium. Club sides Fluminense FC and CR Flamengo play their home games at the arena, but if you get the opportunity to witness the nation’s true love, the Seleção Brasileira, or Brazilian national team, you should grasp it with both hands.
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