Traveling to Brazil: A Complete Guide
Traveling to Brazil is an exotic escape that includes a vast landscape of jungles, beaches, and cultural attractions. It is home to 60% of the Amazon Rainforest, one of the seven wonders of the world, which makes it one of the best places to visit in Brazil. In addition to this natural treasure, there are endless avenues to explore throughout this popular South American country. Although day-to-day excursions may vary, you’ll want to pack at least one sexy designer bikini to spend time on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
Plan your trip between March and November when temperatures aren’t quite as humid. You’re more likely to avoid the heavy rainfall that occurs during the other months of the year. The tropical weather means you should be packing clothing made of billowy fabrics and designer sandals, in addition to your swimwear choices. Whether you’re looking for more secluded locations or a lively city scene, a trip to Brazil is sure to deliver a memorable time. There is an endless opportunity for fun no matter what you decide to add to your travel itinerary. This guide will take you through a few of the ins and outs of traveling to Brazil, what else to pack, and the best places to visit.
How to Get to and Around Brazil
Photo by: Eric Rubens Photography
Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo both have the most popular international airports with connecting flights leaving regularly throughout the rest of the country in large cities such as Salvador and San Recife. LATAM is the top international carrier and has flights departing from big cities including New York, Miami, Paris, and London. When traveling to Brazil, purchase a Brazil Airpass beforehand if you plan to stop in several major cities over the span of a few weeks.
Once at your destination, think about how you’ll get around. Larger cities like Rio and São Paulo have metro systems which are easy to navigate and inexpensive to use. The bus is another option that travels within the city as well as longer distances when city hopping. While you can always plan your trip as you go, it can save time, money, and headache by mapping the different towns and cities you want to explore ahead of time. It’ll also help you not have to backtrack through cities or take longer routes than necessary.
Enjoying Local Cuisine
One of the best parts about adventuring to a new country is eating the local cuisine. In Brazil, there are both African- and European-influenced dishes with a heavy emphasis on pork, beans, and grains. There is a broad mix of casual cafes to Michelin-starred restaurants, depending on where in Brazil you go. In general, look for a boteco for a pub-style atmosphere, a churrascaria if you want a restaurant specializing in grilled meats, a lanchonete for a snack or more casual eatery, and por kil restaurante, which means you pay by weight.
Although Brazilians don’t shy away from heavily-spiced meat in many of their dishes, there are quite a bit of vegetarian and seafood options as well. Fish stews, exotic fruits, and fritters are among the many items you’ll find as you travel through South America. Also, indulge in the nation’s cocktail, the caipirinha, and a traditional staple, pao de quejio, a cheese and bread snack.
In the metropolitan areas, it’s easier to find the standard fare of pizza, sushi, and other international options. However, if you’re looking for an authentic Brazilian culinary experience, try the tacaca (soup) that’ll numb your lips or traditional dishes from Brazil’s wine region, Vale dos Vinhedos. Part of understanding a new country is getting familiar with the cuisines of the region.
What to Pack
Photo by: Eric Rubens Photography
Brazil’s tropical climate means swimsuits, beach dresses, and other light, loose clothing. The country celebrates all body types, and it’s not uncommon to see the teeniest of bikinis. Feel free to show off your sexy side with a designer Brazilian bikini of your own. In addition to swimwear, you’ll want to pack a few layers of clothes to accommodate changing weather conditions.
It’s mostly balmy in Brazil, but it can cool off at night. For the most part, you can go casual unless you’re going out in the evening, in which case you’ll want something a little dressier. Other items besides swimwear to put on the packing list are:A pair of designer sandals and walking shoes
A sarong or cover up
A water-resistant jacket, in case it rains
Beach hat or visor
Also, don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen, bug repellent, and aloe for sunburns. You’ll want these necessities with you always as you travel to different areas of the country.
Best Places to Visit in Brazil
Brazil is well-known for many things. Some of the famous places in Brazil are Copacabana Beach and the Christ the Redeemer statue. While these are meant to be experienced at least once in a lifetime, the country is also known for its vineyards, art scene, and historical traditions. The good news is you can visit it all - beaches, mountains, museums, and more - all in one trip by heading to these popular cities.
Rio de Janeiro
The trendiness of a place doesn’t mean it’s overrated, at least not in the case of Rio de Janeiro. The beaches are the main allure here because they’re not just for people watching in the sand, although that’s perfectly acceptable, too. Thrill seekers love to hang glide, rock climb, sail, and hike nearby. Copacabana, specifically, has activity bursting at the seams with sidewalk cafes, casual bars, and five-star hotels lined up along the shoreline. Visitors and locals also like to bicycle, jog, and rollerskate on the lively beach promenade. It’s one of the best places in Brazil and is situated right next to Sugarloaf Mountain for stunning views.
Rio is the place to break out your favorite bikini; one for each day, perhaps? A bandeau bikini creates a sexy silhouette to give you an extra boost of confidence when spending an entire day on the sand. With regards to what else to see, where to stay, and what to eat in Rio, don’t miss seeing Christ the Redeemer, the world-famous art deco statue or dancing at Carnaval if you’re lucky enough to travel during festival season. Stay at Hotel Saint Teresa, a 19th-century coffee plantation-turned-boutique hotel. It has a full-service spa, an award-winning restaurant, bar, and pool. Eat at Bazzar, a restaurant favorite in the Ipanema neighborhood with a menu that focuses on sustainable seafood and organic vegetables to create classic Brazilian dishes.
Step into Afro-Brazilian culture in the city of Salvador, known for its colonial architecture and cobblestone alleys. The streets are lined with colorful buildings and stunning artwork. It’s a place to soak up a different side of Brazil through music, food, history, and dance. A beautiful one-piece swimsuit can double as a bodysuit when paired with a skirt and sandals to browse shops and stop for lunch.
Head to the waterfront and take the Elevador Lacerda art deco elevator which descends a cliff to the Mercado Model, a crafts market along the water. You can also set out to see the Santo Antonio da Barra fort and lighthouse that overlooks All Saints’ Bay. Stay in Rio Vermelho, a bohemian district near the water’s edge. The area’s Zank boutique hotel has a spa, restaurant, and several outdoor seating areas, including hammocks to sway in a relaxing atmosphere. To dine, try the artsy Casa de Tereza for a medley of Brazilian staples such as grilled octopus, seafood stew, and of course, caipirinhas.
Fernando de Noronha
A trip to this Brazilian island is a must for nature lovers, especially divers. It’s a protected national marine park where visitors can spot sea turtles, dolphins, and even reef sharks that call this area of the world home. Surfers, hikers, and kayakers all take to Fernando de Noronha because of the many adventurous activities set among a serene environment. It’s a place to unwind and fully engage in your surroundings. Pack a bold and sophisticated t-back bikini for comfort and versatility throughout the day.
If you’re up for outdoor adventure in one of the world’s most beautiful spots, this is the place for you. It’s less about time spent on the beach and more time spent in the water. Baia do Sancho, Baia dos Procos, and Praia de Cacimba do Padre are among the favorite places to embark on the vast array of water activities. Stay at Pousada Maravilha, which has luxury bungalows that sit on the hillside overlooking Bahia Sueste. There is a full-service restaurant onsite and an infinity pool. The panoramic views are unbeatable, and it’s a relaxing retreat after long afternoons of adventuring.
Although it boasts similar beauty as the rest of Brazil, São Paulo is more known for its urban offerings rather than its nature trails. Explore the city’s history by browsing through museums, such as Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, known for its Brazilian art since 1905. A visit to the Patio de Colegio church will show you where Jesuit priests founded the city in 1554. And, explore other regions of the world right within the city by visiting Liberdade, the Japanese cultural district or Bela Vista, São Paulo’s Italian community. Art galleries, museums, architecture, and cuisine: here you’ll find it all.
Stay at Hotel Emiliano, a five-star hotel that sits on the Copacabana’s southern shore. With artistic details from photographer Leonardo Finotti, this popular hotel greets guests with a complimentary pair of Havaianas flip-flops, fruit tray, and a free cocktail upon arrival. Pack a designer swimsuit from the Bia Collection and head to the spa after a full day of urban exploring. It’s the ideal respite to indulge in and appreciate a relaxing oasis among the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Amazon rainforest is a destination all its own and is understandably, one of the most famous places in Brazil. While it’s accessible from several different countries, a flight directly to Manaus will get you to the largest part of the rainforest. Tours are recommended even for the most adventurous types because it saves time and trouble navigating an area you’re not familiar with. You don’t have to stick with the standard type of excursion, though. There is a wide variety of trip types from luxury riverboat tours to rustic camping trips that can satisfy any travel agenda.
Additionally, the accommodations in the Amazon are unique. Ever dream of sleeping in a treehouse? You’ll get close to making this a reality when staying at Mirante do Gaviao Amazon Lodge. The entire property is built using sustainable local wood. Plus, it has an observation tower and restaurant by the water. Tap into your wilder side when roaming through the rainforest where adventure awaits around every corner.
Prior to heading to this part of the country, talk with your doctor about malaria and yellow fever treatment, vaccines, and other health precautions. Pack clothes with breathable fabrics that are light and comfortable, as well as sturdy shoes or hiking boots and socks. A stylish travel visor is also a good idea to shield your face from the sun; plus, it hardly takes up any room in the suitcase.
Off the Beaten Path of Brazil
Brazil is a great place for a relaxing vacation. However, there are also places that are a bit more off of the regularly trekked pathways. If remote beaches, rocky landscapes, and rainforest reserves are more your style, you’ll want to explore further into what the different cities of this region have to offer.
The Peninsula de Marau, for example, is a far cry from the festive chaos of Copacabana. The quiet beaches are a place to be mindful of where you are and take time to reflect as you saunter along the shore. Additionally, discover prehistoric rock paintings at Parque Nacional da Serra da Capivara or trek through the rainforest north of Manaus at the Reserva Extrativista Baixo Rio Branco-Jauperi.
Other exciting day excursions include everything from hang gliding to rock climbing. And, since ecotourism abounds in Brazil, activities like river snorkeling and cave crawls are also common in many areas. There is more than one side to Brazil and part of it is designed for the well-traveled soul who wants to see and do as much as possible.
Planning Your Brazil Trip
When traveling to Brazil, make a list of the things that matter to you most. Is it daring escapades, tasting all the local cuisine, or, simply soaking up as much culture as possible in a single trip? Once you know how to get there, what to pack, and the top places to visit, you’ll have a good idea of how your trip will unfold.
Plan ahead for the bigger moments and make reservations when necessary, while still leaving plenty of room for spontaneity. The more you know before you go, the better prepared you’ll feel. Then, you can focus on enjoying your trip without worrying about too many last-minute details. Everyone who’s traveled to Brazil has their own, unique stories to share. What will yours be?
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/brazil#in-detail; https://www.rio.com/practical-rio/copacabana-beach; https://www.eater.com/maps/best-restaurants-rio-de-janeiro-brazil;
https://www.acanela.com/blog/10-things-to-know-before-traveling-to-brazil; https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/top-10-foods-try-brazil; https://traveltips.usatoday.com/amazon-rainforest-57077.html;