Start planning your tour to Brazil
Brazil; a country that takes up roughly half of South America, home to the second-largest river on the planet, one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World (Rio’s ‘Christ the Redeemer’), one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature (The Amazon Rainforest), and of course, the world’s most famous carnival; in short, a travel destination of colossal proportions. The sheer size of Brazil means that it borders every country in South America, in fact, with the exception of Chile and Ecuador, making it a great option for travellers looking to experience a range of the continent’s different personalities and scenery but who don’t have time to travel to each one separately. Few destinations on Earth could serve as a greater example of the expression ‘something for everybody’, with anything from adventure, culture, great food, and wildlife on offer on a holiday in Brazil.
Travelling around Brazil can be overwhelming, with so much to see and do there, but with a local guide you can rest assured that you’re being shown the best hidden spots around the country. Planning a trip to Brazil with one of Evaneos’ carefully-selected local travel agents will give you an insider’s perspective on the climate and the best time of the year to visit particular areas, as well as the most useful insights for creating your perfect Brazil tour. Above all, they can be your on-the-ground support for everything, whether you need a translator, tips on the best local restaurants and bars, or you’re experiencing a problem during your trip.
Best things to see and do in Brazil
What to see in Brazil
Most travellers are drawn to Brazil for its stark contrast between colourful cities packed with art, music, and history, and its staggeringly-impressive natural sites. The truth is, whatever your reason for visiting, the first thing to consider when planning any holiday to Brazil is how many areas you can realistically cover in the time you have away. For the sake of helping you narrow down the sites to include on your itinerary, here’s a quick guide to the top highlights of Brazil:
- Christ the Redeemer: just as noteworthy as Brazil's landscapes are its unique landmarks and architecture. Perhaps the most iconic image of Brazil can be captured from the top of the world-famous, 38 metre statue of Christ The Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. This huge art deco statue of Jesus Christ, with outstretched arms and a benevolent gaze watches over the city from the peak of Mount Corcovado. At such a high point, the statue even strikes an impressive silhouette from Sugarloaf Mountain on the other side of the city. It's an impossible site to miss - both literally and figuratively - and a must for any travellers thinking of spending a few days in Brazil's capital city.
- The Amazon Rainforest: if time permits, you'd be mad not to allocate a portion of your trip itinerary exploring the world's ultimate natural playground; the Amazon Rainforest. Not only is this the largest tropical rainforest in the world, but it is also intersected by the Amazon River, meandering through the dense wilderness and biodiversity in snake-like turns. Both forest and river are home to a huge variety of different flora and fauna, from prehistoric piranhas to elusive jaguars, and have made this a mecca for biologists, photographers, and tourists alike. Conveniently, Manaus City isn’t far from the rainforest, making it a great base for those who aren’t able to spend weeks away.
- Iguaçu falls: head to Iguacu falls and Iguacu National Park to see the world's largest complex of waterfalls, stretched across the border between Brazil and Argentina. Travellers never tire of hearing the earth-shattering sound of the water as it crashes down at tremendous speed for the first time, or seeing the rainbows forming in the water spray as it rises from the lower basin below. The falls aren't all you'll find here though; animal lovers and birding enthusiasts can set off on a safari to lock eyes on the wildlife hiding away in the natural scenery.
- Beaches and islands: a popular option for travellers exploring Brazil is to set aside a few days to relax on one of the country's idyllic beaches. White sands and blue waters provide the perfect conditions for getting some down time into your itinerary, although you'll have to accept that unless you're staying in a lesser-known resort or area, you'll be sharing the sand with hordes of other sun-seeking tourists. If you don't mind crowds then Copacabana, the most famous beach in Brazil, is a great option. Here you can see one of Brazil’s most lively areas, boasting clubs, beach-side bars and restaurants, and various souvenir shops to discover. Brazil’s shores are also home to some of the world’s most beautiful islands, where you can relax or set off on an island-hopping tour. Rent a boat to sightsee around the islands in style, Marajo and Boipeba being two popular destinations for day trips.
- National parks and natural gems: as such a vast country, it should come as no surprise that Brazil has a huge number of national parks to its name, each with its own distinct identity. Chapada Diamantina National Park is one of the most scenic and is filled with lakes, caves, and mesas that always go down well with adventure lovers. From there you can see the enchanted pool, ‘Poço Encantado’ for example, which was celebrated in the past as an area where large diamonds could be found - who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky! Aparados da Serra National Park is known for dizzying canyons and dense rainforest and is a perfect option for people looking to see the sheer scope of nature here - there are a limited number of visitors allowed into the park each day, however, so ensure that you get this organised early on in your planning.
- Wildlife: Brazil’s wildlife includes some strange, fascinating, and beautiful creatures. See the famous poison dart frog in the trees of the Amazon Rainforest, or the ancient caimen as it slinks under the moss-covered surface of the water. The three toed sloth is often a favourite for young visitors, and a sighting of one of these weird and wonderful mammals is sure to make your children's day. The Pantanal is an area that's well-known for its wildlife-spotting opportunities, boasting eco-lodges from where you can wake up to the sounds of nature. Navigate the Amazon on a traditional river boat for a truly wild experience - popular for honeymooners looking for some seclusion. You can also visit the savannah of Chapada dos Guimaraes for a more off-the-beaten-track wildlife experience.
What to do in Brazil
Brazil is what you might describe as an all-round holiday destination, as loved by couples as it is by families and groups of adventure-seeking friends. With such an abundance of activities and excursions on offer all across the country, however, it can be hard to know where to start, which is why we’re here to lend a helping hand with a handful of some of the most popular things to do in Brazil:
- Take a cable car up to Sugar Loaf: while in Rio you will notice a large mountain between the bright lights of the city, known as Sugarloaf Mountain. The peak juts out into Guanabara Bay and provides those willing to venture to the top incredible views over the city, harbour, and ocean. Luckily, there is a cable car which will take visitors right to the summit, meaning that you can relax and enjoy the view the whole way up.
- Join in at Rio Carnival: any visit to Brazil planned for the period just before Lent would be incomplete without seeing the Rio festival, or 'Carnaval,' which usually take place in February or March. Street parties, vibrantly-dressed dancers, jaw-dropping parades, and musical festivities await you all across the city. Most travellers typically only manage a day or so attending the carnival (if you're not big on noise and crowds then it's probably not for you) so if you need an escape route for a few hours why not slip away and check out other areas of the city, such as Lagoa and Ipanema?
- Try a samba class: get your dancing shoes on because there’s no better way to soak up Brazilian culture than by taking part in a Samba Class during your holiday. It might not be the first activity that jumps to mind, but most cities will offer this fun and immersive music experience and it's a popular option for honeymooners or romance-seekers in particular.
- Go on an Amazon River safari: a river safari is one of the most authentic and exciting ways to take in Brazil's wildlife. You can either opt to glide through the waters of the Amazon River or to explore the river complexes of the Pantanal area, where you might be able to catch a glimpse of some of the elusive animals tucked away in the wilderness. You can even stay on a river boat converted into a comfortable accommodation - perfect for a family holiday with an off-beat twist.
- Go wine tasting: Brazil’s climate makes it a challenge for farmers looking to producing grapes, meaning that vineyards can only be found in the south of the equator in the area known as Rio Grande do Sol. This region, however, is full of sun-soaked vineyards, making high-quality and unique wine that won’t taste like anything you’ve experienced in other destinations. Vale dos Vinhedos is one place that lives up to its name, with vineyards here winning international awards for their wines.
For the best tips, information, and inspiration to plan your holiday to Brazil, ask the experts: Evaneos' hand-picked local travel agencies based there. As well as providing unparalleled local knowledge including access to hidden gems and advice on how to avoid tourist-traps, they'll organise the trip of a lifetime for you based around your needs and interests.
Best time to visit Brazil
Seasons in Brazil fall at different times compared with European seasons, so choosing when to go to Brazil can be overwhelming without the help of a local agent who knows the destination. Peak season falls between November and February, meaning that travelling in November, at Christmas, and in January usually means more crowds, since tourists flock to enjoy the hot weather. It can be difficult to find accommodation availability unless you book in advance during this period. Summer in Brazil can become very humid, so for some visitors, including young children, it can be a good idea to visit during the milder period between June and September. August is the perfect time for trekking and outdoor activities in Brazil, but ultimately whenever you choose to visit, you’re bound to have the time of your life.
Travel tips and advice for travelling to Brazil
Visa regulations for Brazil
A visa is not actually necessary for EU citizens taking a holiday to Brazil, making it a particularly accessible and hassle-free destination to travel to. For more information we nevertheless recommend checking Brazil’s visa exemptions online on the website of your home country's embassy.
Vaccinations for Brazil
Before your trip it is recommended that you top up your typical booster vaccinations like Tetanus, as well as organising a few necessary injections for Brazil. These include Hepatitis A and B, Diphtheria, Rabies, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever. Speak to your GP before leaving to ensure that you can enjoy your holiday without worrying about anything.