Brazil's colourful diversity and abundance seem to embody everything that is best in South America. Brazil is home to magnificent cities, exquisite waterfalls, lush rainforests, thousands of miles of pristine white sand beaches and the Amazon flows through its heart! Whether you want to travel in Brazil, try your hand at capoeira, see Carnival, do more than just sunbathing or experience the highlights of the country - we have some incredible holidays for you.
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Brazilian cities are connected to a number of worldwide airports and most flights arrive into Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. You can also cross the border by land from countries like Argentina or there are also cruises and boat trips which stop off at ports in the country. Most Nationalities do not need to apply for a tourist visa in advance of arrival and you can stay for up to 90 days.
Brazil has a warm climate almost all year round, even in winter - July to September, the temperature is usually around 10-20 degrees. During summer - December to January you can expect the temperature to be well in the 30's. The North of the country is a lot warmer than the South and the weather can be unpredictable in places like Sao Paulo. There is no best time to visit this country, every month offers a different experience
We are certain to have a holiday to match any interests, you can choose between short one day, or one month and longer options. Our holidays are authentic and you will get to travel like a local.
Geographically speaking, Brazil is a huge country and culturally has extremes of diversity. You will find delightful regional differences in culture, from the Amazon in the north to the famous southern cities of Rio and Sao Paulo. North-East Brazil is well worth a visit too. We have a selection of the best small group holidays where you can explore new destinations like Recife, Olinda, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia, the Pantanal, Manaus and the spectacular Brazilian Amazon. Here are some highlights and must-sees when traveling around the country...
The most famous spot in Brazil – Rio de Janeiro. Not many cities in the world hold an allure quite like Rio. There are bountiful things to see in this city of rich beauty; delicious Brazilian fruits and acai berry stands, sunny beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, exciting football matches, lively nightlife, tourism landmarks of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain, and even its own Atlantic rainforest park. The beaches in Rio can get crazily crowded on hot summer weekends and the average temperature is higher than 30°C. Taking part in Rio Carnival, going to a ‘sambódromo’ (sort of a parade stadium) or simply partying on the street carnival is a great cultural experience. The atmosphere and the energy are thrilling.
We couldn’t imagine going to Brazil without stopping in the Amazon. This brilliant biome is home to some of the most diverse range of species on earth. Having learnt about it since elementary school it invokes a true sense of enthrallment, and a much needed refresher to realize to us humans how many spectacular other creatures we really do share this world with. You fly into the city of Manaus, a hub to many jungle companies. Make sure you check up on them before to ensure reliability, experience, and satisfaction. I did a four day experience, involving piranha fishing, jungle nature walks, and overnight stay in the jungle.
One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Iguazu (Iguacu) Falls lives up to its reputation. With over 275 individual falls it is wider than Niagara and set in the middle of a sub-tropical rainforest. The falls themselves formed only 20,000 years ago where it has since eroded the bedrock and retreated 28km from its present day location. Plan on two days here, as you will want to see both the Brazil and Argentina side of the falls.
The place where the first Portuguese ship dropped anchor more than 500 years ago. Historic city to visit and sun kissed beaches to relax, let alone the buzz and great atmosphere at Carnival. Salvador not only celebrates Carnival with the rest of the country but they have a pre and pos Carnival. It’s also not as expensive to get around and go out in Salvador as it would be in Rio. The coastal city of Salvador is in the Bahia state on the east coast. By far the culture hub of Brazil, if you stay/visit the historic Pelourinho it will allow you to experience traditional musical performances and celebrations which seem to lighten up this square night after night. Lots of neat day trips to the surrounding area and beaches are assessable from here as well.
The most cosmopolitan and biggest city not only in Brazil, but in South America. São Paulo boasts a wide range of pubs, restaurants, museums, street markets and the night life is effervescent. Although it’s virtually impossible to escape from the packed public transport and the daily headache of traffic jams in rush hours, you can easily scape to the sea side. The coast is only 1 hour by car or bus from Sao Paulo.
A small town in South West Mato Grosso do Sul. ‘Bonito’ in Portuguese means ‘beautiful’ and the places lives up to its name. It’s heaven for those who love adventure and ecotourism. Hiking and biking in forest trails, explore caverns (dry and flooded), see marvellous waterfalls, go swimming and snorkelling are a couple of things in can do in Bonito.The temperature is always pleasant at about 27 °C in the summer.
Fly to North Brazil, visit Manaus and go further from there to venture in the Amazon Rainforest. Manaus is the port of eco-tourism to river boat trips, the impressive Amazon Rainforest and cruises. It’s the largest city in Brazil that is in the middle of the jungle and be prepared for the heat. The average temperature there is 40 °C in the summer. However, in North and North East Brazil you can count with a summery climate pretty much all the year round. Don’t miss the ‘Meet of the Waters’ and a visit the impressive Amazon Theatre built in 1896.
One of the most stunning locations in terms of nature and wildlife in the world, there are lots of excursions available here. You will get to travel by land and boat seeing nature, learning more about the area and also seek out exotic wildlife.
A reliable public transport system runs in Brazil but due to the size of the country durations can be long. Internal flights can be quite expensive but there is a relatively cheap bus service which runs throughout the country and stops in most towns and cities. There are different levels of comfort depending on what your budget is.
Brazil is one of the most expensive places you can visit in South America - but this country is worth spending the money to see - you will not regret it. You will find Rio and Sao Paulo the two most expensive cities in terms of hostels, going out and sightseeing. If you do not speak Portuguese and would like to see the highlights we highly recommend booking a tour which includes transport, accommodation and selected meals.
Brazil is a very expensive destination, currently £1 is around 4 Riel ($1 is 3 Riel). Travelling in Brazil on a budget can be difficult, avoid the period around Carnival in February as accommodation, food and general activities all go up in price. If you travel during winter around May - September this will be the quietest and cheapest time, during summer expect to pay more. If you would like to save money during your trip try to eat food at street stalls or local cafes instead of mainline restaurants. Also if you are taking a taxi always try to agree a price or have a rough idea of what it is going to cost.
Eating out or even buying food in supermarkets can be very expensive in Brazil and this can quickly eat away at your budget. Fast food outlets like Mcdonalds, Bobs and Burger King are also expensive, some basic burger meals can cost around 18-25 Riel (£8)! Avoid expensive tourist areas like Ipanema as some of the bars and restaurants charge a small fortune for food and drink which you can get elsewhere for a fraction of the price. If you are looking to save money try to eat and drink at locally run places and avoid big chain restaurants, there are also pay per kilo restaurants located throughout Brazil which are great if you are looking to eat on a budget. You pay for how much food you get and then pay per kilo - usually you can eat a big plate of food for around 7-10 Riel (£3 / $4.50).
Visiting Brazil can seem a daunting prospect, if you mention to someone that you are planning to visit they might mention the crime and social issues which you must be aware of. You are not likely to encounter any problems, millions of people visit Brazil every year and very few face problems. Top recommendations include asking locals for tips, always try to walk in a group at night and avoid areas which are problem areas. Even thought it might be appealing do not wander into a favela (community) by yourself, there are safe excursions available if this type of thing appeals to you. The safest way we recommend to see this country is to join an organised experience. If you are visiting certain areas of the country like the Amazon or Pantanal you might need to get medication like malaria tablets, check before departing. Brazil is a country where extreme wealth is alongside extreme poverty and crime is quite high in certain areas.
Take extra caution in larger cities like Rio and Sao Paulo and also find out which areas you shouldn't go to, some tips include walking in a group or with someone when at night and also don't go to places like the beach in Rio by yourself after dark. Try always to be street safe and keep on the tourist trail, also do not drink to excess. Try to not stand out too much, this can be difficult but obvious things include not walking around with a large map looking lost, possible get a drink in a cafe instead. It is also never a good idea to flash valuables in public, for example a laptop, tablet or phone. Be discreet and don't attract any unwanted attention, the same goes with money don't let people see you carrying large amounts of money. You shouldn't let crime put you off visiting though, remember Brazil is a country with over 200 million people and very few foreigners ever encounter any problems.