Climb Corcovado and admire Rio de Janeiro beneath you
The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the most famous attractions of Rio de Janeiro. Get up-close-and-personal with this Brazilian icon by climbing up its famous mountain, Mount Corcovado. Named “hunchback” in Portuguese for its curved peak, this 710-metre mountain is located in the middle of the Tijuca National Park. Hike through its jungle to see local monkeys swinging from trees, before emerging above the foliage. At the peak, not only will you be able to see the grandeur of this mammoth statue, but also admire the beauty of the city of Rio beneath you. Snap a selfie to capture one of the most iconic Brazilian vistas at the top of Mount Corcovado.
Immerse yourself in the wild Rio Carnival
One of Brazil’s biggest draw cards for tourists and locals alike, experiencing the Rio Carnival should be one of the key activities on your Brazilian adventure. Held every year to mark the beginning of the Catholic Lenten Season, the Rio Carnival is a five-day festa that culminates on Shrove Tuesday. While this festival is celebrated all over Brazil – and all over the world – no one throws a bigger party than Rio de Janeiro. Immerse yourself in this city during its liveliest period to experience street parades, food trucks, samba dancing and brightly-coloured costumes. Join along with the locals and party all weekend long at the Rio Carnival.
Explore the historic architecture within Downtown São Paulo
For lovers of architecture and design, you’ll fall in love with the streets of São Paulo. This bustling city is jam-packed with history, and one of the best ways to uncover it is by exploring some of its most famous buildings. Start off in downtown São Paulo, where you’ll discover colonial buildings decorated with taipa de pilão, a traditional material made up of clay, sand, grass and animal blood. These old-school buildings are juxtaposed with finely-decorated neoclassical ones, alongside those with more-modern Art Noveau and Art Deco styles. Next, visit some of the iconic modernist structures in the city, including São Paulo’s brutalist school, and architect Oscar Niemeyer’s Edifico Copan and the Latin American Memorial.
Go on a helicopter ride above Iguaçu Falls
One of the most impressive natural wonders of Brazil, you’ll want to spend some time exploring the incredible Iguaçu Falls. Home to almost 300 separate waterfalls, these massive falls reach heights of up to 100 metres. Spreading out between Brazil and Argentina, the Iguaçu Falls act as a natural border between these two Amazonian nations. The best way to see this natural beauty? From above. Jump into a helicopter for an amazing aerial tour of the Iguaçu Falls. From up in the air, you’ll get a proper grip on the size and scope of this massive body of water. Spend 10 minutes ducking and weaving around the falls for breath-taking views and one thrilling ride.
Soak up the colourful culture of Fortaleza
Fortaleza is a highlight of the Northeastern part of Brazil. Not only is it one of the biggest cities in the country, it’s also one of the most beautiful, thanks to its seaside location. Stretching 20 kilometres up the coast, Fortaleza is famous for its fishing villages, rolling sand dunes and Brazilian nightlife. Explore the ins-and-outs of this colourful city beginning in Centro, Fortaleza’s oldest district. This lively area is bustling with small boutiques and street vendors. Follow your feet east towards Praia de Iracema, a tightly-packed nightlife, restaurant and accommodation district, followed by the beaches of Meireles and the restaurants of Varjota. Teeter between working on your tan and filling your belly in sunny Fortaleza.
Things to do in Brazil
One of the most one most famous festivals in the world, the Rio Carnival should be on every traveller’s bucket list. Held for five days leading up to Ash Wednesday every year, Carnival is Rio de Janeiro’s craziest party. Come down to enjoy street parades, samba dancing, traditional costumes and lots of alcohol during the city’s liveliest period.
Festa do Peão
Translating to ‘Cowboy Festival’ in English, Festa do Peão has become one of Brazil’s most popular festivals. Held in different cities across the country, including Maraba, Uberaba and Barretos, this festival is features rodeos, bull riding and country music. The largest Cowboy Festival is held in São Paulo every August.
Celebration of Yemanja
Held at the beginning of February every year in the southern city of Salvador, the Celebration of Yemanja pays homage to the Goddess of the Sea. This annual event sees locals throw gifts for the goddess into the sea, including flowers, jewellery and perfume. The largest celebration takes place along Praia Vermelha, which culminates with a massive street party.
Dedicated to John the Baptist, Festa Junina is a month-long celebration of rural life in Brazil. Occuring in cities and towns all over Brazil, this festival sees locals wearing checkered shirts, straw hats and hand-painted freckles. Square dancing, rural foods and mulled cachaça and wine are also highlights of this fun festival.
Festival de Cachaça
Drinks & Food
Held in the colonial town of Paraty, just south of Rio de Janeiro, the annual Festival de Cachaça is dedicated to cachaça; the national liquor made from sugar cane. Happening every year over a long weekend in August, get down to the Festival de Cachaça to savour this Brazilian liquor, as well as musical performances, amazing food and local handicrafts.
Top 5 Festivals in Brazil
As the biggest country of Latin America, there’s always a party happening in vivacious Brazil. From the craziness of Carnival to the celebration of rural life, the Brazilian calendar is littered with amazing festivals. Here are our picks for the top five Brazilian festivals to check out.
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo
One of the most important museums in Brazil, the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo is the oldest museum in São Paulo. Located within a beautiful historic building in São Paulo, the Pina not only has one of the largest collections of 19th century Brazilian paintings and modernist art, but it also hosts various cultural events throughout the year.
São Paulo Museum of Art
If you find yourself in Avenida Paulista, the business hub of São Paulo, you won’t be able to miss the São Paulo Museum of Art. This museum’s massive art collection is houses in a large red, box-like structure that balances on large pillars. An amazing example of modernist architecture, this museum contains the most important collection of Western art in Latin America.
Museum of Tomorrow
Created just before the 2016 Summer Olympics, the Museum of Tomorrow has become one of Rio de Janeiro’s most-visited attractions. Housed in a futuristic building that looks like something straight out of a sci-fi, this interactive science museum explores sustainability and climate change, and predicts future scenarios of our planet based on environmental, social and economic implications.
Located in Petrópolis in Rio de Janeiro, Museu Imperial – or the Imperial Museum – is a former palace of the Brazilian Emperor D. Pedro II. This beautiful neoclassical building is now a museum that houses important pieces and artefacts of the former monarchy. Get glimpse into the lives of Brazilian royalty through exploring the Living and State Rooms of the nation’s former rulers.
Instituto Ricardo Brennand
An important cultural museum, of the the city of Recife, the Instituto Ricardo Brennand – or the Ricardo Brennand Institute – is home to historic art and artefacts from Brazil’s Middle Ages through to the 20th century. With a strong emphasis on the colonial era and Dutch Brazil, spend a few hours wandering around the castle complex of this incredible museum.
Top 5 Museums and Galleries in Brazil
With its complex social history spanning indigenous nations, Portuguese and Dutch colonisation and the arrival of African slaves, Brazilian culture is a melting pot of different peoples and cultures. You can learn all about this rich cultural history at some of Brazil’s finest museums. Here are five awesome museums to visit in Brazil:
When it comes to Brazilian food, brigadeiros are a national icon. Thick, sweet and delicious, these Brazilian truffles are made with condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder. Shaped into small balls and covered in sprinkles, you can pick up these treats at Brigadeiros do Tuiter in Rio de Janeiro.
Best eaten at Brigadeiros do Tuiter, R. Voluntários da Pátria, 45-108 Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
Crispy, deep-fried balls of goodness, coxinhas are one of Brazil’s favourite savoury snacks. With its name translating into “little chicken thighs” in Portuguese, these croquettes are stuffed with chicken and potatoes, formed into a triangular cone-like shape and deep fried. You can pick them up in bars all over the country.
Best eaten at Comadre Coxinha, R. das Pernambucanas, 30 Graças, Recife
Beijinho de Coco
Similar in shape and appearance to brigadeiros, these sweet treats are another fan-favourite at Brazilian parties and celebrations. Meaning “little coconut kisses” in Portuguese, beijinhos de coco are made with condensed milk, butter and flaked coconut. Pick up some of these delicious coconut balls at Balas de Coco in Rio de Janeiro.
Best eaten at Balas de Coco, R. Ana Neri - Riachuelo, Rio de Janeiro
Something like a cross between aranici and falafel, acarajé are a Brazilian fritter made using peeled black beans and onions. Rolled into little balls, crumbed and deep-fried, these delicious savoury balls are sometimes served with a spicy shrimp stuffing. Our favourite place for acarajé? Acarajé da Ciça in Rio De Janeiro.
Best eaten at Acarajé da Ciça, R. do Mercado, 7 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro
Moqueca de Camarão
Hailing from the Brazilian Coast, Moqueca de Camarão is a fragrant seafood stew. Made using prawns, coconut milk and lots of fresh herbs and spices, this orange-red stew is packed full of flavour. Grab a serving of Moqueca de Camarão and rice from Nomangue Caiçara in Rio de Janeiro.
Best eaten at Nomangue Caiçara, R. Sá Ferreira, 25B Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
Food in Brazil
From its fresh, fragrant seafood to its variety of sweet truffles, Brazilian food is a feast for the senses. Go on a culinary adventure in this vast and varied country and savour all the flavours Brazil has to offer. Here are our picks for five Brazilian foods you’ve got to try.