5 Tips for Planning The Perfect Vacation in Brazil!
There aren´t many countries in the world with potential for tourism growth as promising as this South American giant. The variation is incredible. The best beach vacations in Brazil will allow you to experience lost paradises you didn’t know could exist.
You can explore the Amazon jungle, trek the deserts and get lost in the metropolitan cities of the South. Tourism in Brazil is a key sector that has been growing over the past number of years and is one of the main revenue streams that is helping the country recover from its economic downturn in 2008 – 2009. Brazil had over 6 million (6,621,376) tourists in 2019 and the government is aiming to double the amount of tourists by 2022. One of the most of the most effective policies is expected to be the decree signed by Jair Bolsonaro in June 2019, which removed visa requirements for citizens from the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada to enter Brazil. Brazil is a huge country (5th largest in the world) so planning a vacation here can be challenging. It almost always involves internal flights if you plan on visiting more than one place and each region has different customs, important events and even weather that you should be aware of! It is recommended that for a trip to Brazil you enlist the help of a local Brazilian travel agency to help you plan your vacation.
When is the best time to go to Brazil?
The time you decide to visit Brazil is sure to have a big impact on your vacation in several ways. First of all the weather, remember that Brazil is in the Southern hemisphere so the seasons are inverted when compared to Europe for example. When it is summer in Europe, it is winter in Brazil and vice versa. Also, some regions in Brazil (such as the Amazonian regions in the north) experience heavy rainy seasons. Depending on your choice of activities, the rain can affect your trip. For example, if you were to go bird watching in the Amazon, it is better to go just after the rainy season so that the water levels are elevated and you are closer to the birds who are nesting in the canopy. Also it means you have greater access to the forest through the “ígarapés” which are the rivers of water that penetrate the forest. If you wanted to explore the beaches on the river deltas however, you would need to go in the middle of the dry season. Therefore it is important to inform yourself on when the best time to go to Brazil is. The other thing you must consider is price. During certain times of the year there can be a great increase in the price of hotels and also availability. During the New Year and Carnival it is necessary to book months in advance if you want a place in the hotels and the prices can be surprising.
Where to go in Brazil
Again related to the size of Brazil! You need to consider which parts of this massive country you want to visit. Of course, you can visit as many parts as you like depending on how much time you have and whether you mind taking domestic flights on your holiday (which will surely increase the price). Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Brazil include Rio de Janeiro, Iguaçu Falls, São Paulo, Pantanal and The Amazon rainforest. Some of these destinations are thousands of kilometres apart. Also, you may need to take some boat or water transfers if you plan on visiting islands such as Ilha Grande off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
Activities in different parts of Brazil
Here are some recommendations of the top tourists regions in Brazil – If you want to enjoy a sunny beach holiday then check out the beautiful beaches of the “Nordeste” coast. The beaches there are more like a “lost paradise” kind of atmosphere although kitesurfing has become popular in more recent years which has caused an influx of European visitors. You can take exhilarating buggy rides between the secluded little beach towns along the coast and travel along the beach and the sand dunes instead of by road. For more populous beaches and a more busy and tourist atmosphere, you should try the beaches further south in the country in Santa Catarina for example. Florinópolis is a popular destination in this area.
If you are more of an animal lover or nature watcher, then you should definitely head to the Pantanal. You can cross the “Transpantaneira” which is the only road that crosses this immense wetland and stay at the local “fazendas.” These are traditional farms that have been converted into “pousadas” which are charming little guesthouses you will find throughout Brazil. Here, the local guides will take you on expeditions and tours on foot and on horse (or buffalo!) back to explore the lush local nature. You may even be lucky enough to see a jaguar! The national animal of Brazil.
If you prefer to travel in style and want to enjoy luxury travel in Brazil then you should definitely consider heading to Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. As well as the world famous cultural sites, these cities are making a name for themselves in fine dining and luxury accommodation. Most luxury hotels will also be able to book luxury tours and transfers by helicopter for example.
For a cultural and culinary visit, you should head for the rolling hills of Minas Gerais. In the fascinating historical towns such as Tiradentes and Ouro Preto, you will find some of the most impressive colonial architecture existing today. A cooler temperature attracts many domestic tourists as well as the local gastronomy. “Mineiro” food is said to be some of the tastiest in Brazil, a good place for a culinary tour is the capital: Belo Horizonte. Specialities include: “Pão de queijo,” a delicious cheesy bread with a closely guarded recipe. “Frango ao molho pardo” is a special chicken recipe where the cuts of chicken are prepared and then cooked in the blood of the animal (mixed with vinegar) to make the sauce.
One of the biggest times of the year in Brazil is certainly “carnival.” Every year millions of revellers flock to the streets and the beaches to enjoy one of the biggest street festivals in the world. The most popular cities to celebrate carnival are Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. The “sambodrome” in Rio de Janeiro is home to the famous samba contest were the schools perform with their huge floats hoping to impress the judges with the best music and most flamboyant costumes. There are however lesser known options that offer a fantastic carnival experience such as in Recife or Olinda where you can enjoy “frevo” a kind of music linked to the local culture of the area. Remember that to enjoy carnival in Brazil, especially in the like of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador you need to book 4 – 6 months in advance to be safe!
In summary, planning a trip to Brazil can be a daunting task but if you follow these 5 tips, the whole process should become a lot clearer. Contact a Brazilian travel agency and ask for more information to be sure!
Please share your best tips for Brazil in the comments below, on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Great news about the relaxed Visa requirements!