Country guides South & Central America
Brazil Travel Guide
Sparkling beaches, winding rivers, dense jungles, rocky mountain peaks, colourful coral reefs, and abundant wildlife: there's little Brazil doesn't offer when it comes to natural beauty. From the crowded beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema to the isolated villages of the Amazon, travellers can choose nearly any kind of holiday in Brazil.
In this country, the urban jungles are just as big an attraction as the natural ones. Cosmopolitan cities like Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and Sao Paulo offer visitors a dizzying array of cultural activities, whether it's sweating through a samba lesson, browsing designer shops, wandering through museums and art galleries, or eating one's way through the diverse restaurants and eateries.
The Brazilians are a passionate people who love to have a good time, packing the beaches full on weekends and filling soccer stadiums to capacity for every match. Festivals like the famous (or infamous) Carnaval showcase this love for life, one that tends to rub off a little on every visitor.
Best time to visit Brazil
The weather in Brazil varies greatly from city to city because of the country's huge size. The best time to visit Brazil is in August and September, when temperatures are moderate and relatively dry in most of the country. Read more on Brazil's Climate and Weather.
What to see in Brazil
-Take in the panoramic views from the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
-Explore Lake Janauari Ecological Park by canoe.
-Enjoy Brazil's cultural scene at the museums, theatres, and galleries of Sao Paulo.
What to do in Brazil
-Play sand volleyball or relax on Copacabana Beach.
-Learn to samba in the nightclubs of Rio de Janeiro.
-Go surfing in Itacaré.
-Ride the roller coasters at Hopi Hari. Read more about Brazil Activities.
Getting to Brazil
Getting to Brazil is rarely cheap due to the long distance travelled from most Western countries. Direct flights to Brazil from the US and Canada are available, mostly landing in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. There are few direct flights to Brazil from the UK; however, connections are available from other cities like Lisbon. Get more information on Brazil Airports.
The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas by Joachim Maria Machado de Assis, and Gabriela: Clove and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado
The Girl from Ipanema (Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz)
Rio (2011), Favela Rising (2005), and Fast Five (2005)
Caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane rum), sugar, and lime
Churrascaria, or Brazilian barbecue
Buy in Brazil
Havianas, gemstone jewellery and carvings
Pack for Brazil
Casual clothes; very few places in Brazil require formal attire
What's on in Brazil
Rio de Janeiro comes alive for Carnaval each year at the beginning of Lent, Salvador de Bahia's Reveillon festival rings in the New Year on the beach, and the Sao Paulo LGBT Pride Parade each June is South America's biggest gay pride event. Get more information on Events in Brazil.
Some random facts
-Brazil has more species of monkeys than any other country.
-Brazil is the only country in South America that speaks Portuguese. The Portuguese first arrived in 1500.
-Brazil has won the soccer World Cup five times.
A final word
The laidback and fun-loving culture of Brazil is a perfect complement to its stunning natural beauty in creating an ideal South American holiday destination.