South America: Things to do in Brazil
As part of my 76 days South America tour, I’ll be doing a quick overview of the highlights in each of the countries I’ll be visiting!
Brazil is the largest country in South America and spans more than a third of the continent. Also known as the samba capital of the World, their hedonistic Rio Carnival draws more than 500,000 foreign visitors every year! But more than just that, Brazil is an incredible country with a huge and varied personality. From the lush Amazon forests to pristine beaches and Portuguese colonial cities, there is something for everyone.
While it is impossible to cover the entire country in one trip, this hopefully gives you an idea of the things you might want to explore! Here are the 7 incredible things to do in Brazil.
1) Watch a football match
A trip to the country of football will not be complete without watching a match in one their magnificent stadiums. Bask in the pride and joy of Brazil by soaking in the atmosphere together with the locals during their league season which typically runs from May to December.
Estádio do Maracanã (Rio De Janeiro) is the largest stadium and probably your best bet to catch the beautiful game due to it’s capacity and ease of access.
2) Be awed by the Iguazu Falls
Bordering both Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls is one of the widest waterfalls in the World. It stretches for almost 2.7km along the Iguazu River and can be visited easily from both sides of the border and from Paraguay. The most impressive of the 275 cascading waterfalls is the U-shaped Devil’s Throat. Did I mention that rainbows are aplenty too (unicorns not included)?
3) Canoe down the Amazon River
photo credit: Neil Palmer
It is impossible to think about Brazil without thinking of the Amazon rainforest. 60% of the jungle lies within Brazil and large portions are still unexplored till this day. The best way to discover your inner Tarzan and the rainforest is to take a slow canoe down the many tributaries of the Amazon Basin.
Manaus is the most common access point to the rainforest and most tours run from here.
4) Lose yourself with dance and music in Salvador
Known as Brazil’s capital of happiness for it’s outdoor parties, Salvador is the place to be for taking in all the sights and sounds of Brazilian dance and music. Lose yourself to the rhythms of the beating drums and luscious jazz harmonies while watching the deft movements of people “dancing” to Capoeira. Salvador is also host to the biggest Carnival in Brazil, with up to 4 million people partying and participating in the parades.
5) Wildlife watching at the Pantanal
Touted as the best places to see wildlife in South America, the Pantanal wetlands offer a better chance for breathtakingly close encounters with exotic animals compared to the more famous Amazon. Join one of the ecological tours exploring the Pantanal and spot wildlife ranging from Jaguars, marsh deers, and anacondas to the largest diversity of birds.
Major entry points from the towns of Cuiaba, Campo Grande and Corumba.
6) Hand gliding over Rio De Janeiro
photo credit: Nadar Couri
Probably the most adventurous way to see an overview of Rio and the iconic Christ the Redeemer. It just seems really cool to be flying tandem with an experienced guide over the second largest city of Brazil. Definitely one of the things to do in Brazil for your bucket list!
7) Immerse yourself in the beach culture
photo credit: Angelina Bergers
Brazilians love the beach and there’s no better thing to do then join in! With 7483km of mainly tropical coastline in Brazil, it is little wonder why beach culture is a big part of their lifestyle.
Some of the best beaches are at: Ipanema (Rio de Janeiro), Praia dos Carneiros (Pernambuco), Caraiva (Bahia), Taipus de Fora (Bahia), Porto da Barra (Salvador), Praia da Pipa (Rio Grande do Norte), Praia do Sancho (Pernambuco), Porto de Galinhas (Pernambuco)
Drop a comment below if you have suggestions for other incredible things to do in Brazil!