Our Brazil Guide...
Explore the Giant of South America
Brazil is a country of colour and contrasts, from the glitz and glamour of the Rio Carnival to the unspoiled wildernesses of the Amazon rainforest and the Pantanal. Few countries offer the chance to experience so many different adventures and it's safe to say that no matter what kind of holiday you're looking for, Brazil will be able to cater for it.
Most people begin their holiday in Brazil in the amazing Rio de Janeiro, which has to be one of the most attractive cities in the world. The classic view from the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, across the city to the golden beaches and deep blue bay, is one of those sights you just have to see for yourself.
Rio and other cities like Salvador and Florianopolis all offer a fantastic mix of restaurants, culture and nightlife, and all with superb city beaches to relax on during the day.
If beaches are your priority, then Brazil's long Atlantic coastline will leave you spoiled for choice. The tropical north-east has huge stretches of pristine white sands and palm trees, while further south you'll find coastlines dotted with hidden sandy coves, where the jungle tumbles down onto the beach...
And all this is before you even venture inland. The Amazon rainforest is top of any wildlife-lover's must-see list, but did you know that the vast Pantanal wetlands offer even better wildlife-spotting opportunities? And of course you mustn't pass up the chance to see the breathtaking Iguazu Falls on the border with Argentina...
Choose a Theme
Our pick of the top places to visit on your holiday in Brazil.
Our guide to Brazil's amazing wildlife and stunning scenery.
Explore Brazil's colonial past and it's ultra-modern present
Just between us... Our top tips for getting off the beaten track.
Some of our Holidays in Brazil
City Life & Culture in Brazil
From the beaches and bays of Rio de Janeiro, to the galleries and boutiques of Sao Paulo or the cobbled streets and colonial mansions of Salvador, city life in Brazil is as varied and intense as Brazil itself.
If you've ever strolled along Copacabana beach at sunset, or looked down on the city's forested hills and the Guanabara Bay from the iconic Christ statue, you'll know why the prospect of visiting Rio fires the imagination, so it's no surprise that it forms the centrepiece of so many Brazil holidays.
Meanwhile in the north-east, Salvador offers not only the charm of its colonial Pelourinho district but also the chance to enjoy the rich cultural traditions of its Afro-Brazilian heritage. Oh, and one of Brazil's best beaches just up the road at Praia do Forte, of course...
But many of Brazil's most interesting towns and cities are much more off the beaten track. Many people feel that towns such as Olinda and Ouro Preto offer a more authentic colonial experience than Salvador, for example. And very few tourists visit either Brazil's capital, Brasilia, with its stunning modernist architecture, or the country's largest city, Sao Paulo, which is in many ways one of the most exciting and under-explored cities in South America.
And everywhere you go in Brazil, you'll find music and dance to be more a way of life than a hobby, and football to be practically a religion...
Nature and Adventure on Holiday in Brazil
Brazil's geography varies from the vast wetlands of the Pantanal to the desert sands of the Lencois Maranhenses National Park, and from the deep primary rainforest of the Amazon Basin to the arid highlands of the Chapada Diamantina. Each environment is home to a completely different array of wildlife and plants, making Brazil not only a natural playground for adventurous travellers, but one of the world's biggest wildlife havens.
In fact, Brazil is probably the most bio-diverse country on earth, and the Amazon rainforest has been at the centre of the world's environmental concerns for decades. With a huge array of animals making the jungle their home, a visit to one of our jungle lodges or a cruise on the River Amazon itself is always an enlightening experience.
However, for our money, the Amazon isn't actually the best place in Brazil for seeing wildlife, and it's also not the most bio-diverse area of Brazil. That honour goes to the Pantanal, a huge area of wetlands roughly the size of France that is home to over 1000 species of birds, nearly 500 kinds of reptiles, and more than 300 different mammal species. It's a truly breathtaking experience, and we can't rate it highly enough.
Amazing Scenery and Beautiful Beaches
But of course, it's not all about wildlife. Sometimes just the scenery is spectacular enough, and one of the real highlights of any holiday in Brazil is a trip to the majestic Iguazu Falls. This gigantic series of waterfalls makes Niagara look puny, and although it forms part of the border with Argentina, the Brazilian side definitely has the best views!
And when it comes to views, it's hard to beat some of Brazil's beaches for sheer picture-postcard perfectness. Long stretches of deserted white sands such as Praia do Forte or Porto Galinhas look like they've stepped straight off an advert for the Caribbean, while the coastline further south around Buzios and Paraty offers you hundreds of little hidden coves, with crystal-clear waters and golden beaches. One of our favourites, however, has to be the off-the-beaten-track beauty of Jericoacoara, which is also one of the few places on earth you can see an "Emerald Sunset"...
Many of Brazil's beaches also offer excellent surfing and other watersports, and the southern town of Florianopolis is the only South American stop on the World Tour. If you like your adventure sports a little drier, however, then why not think about some trekking in the Chapada Diamantina, with its truly epic landscapes, or some rafting or kayaking at Iguazu Falls?
Medical Advice for Brazil
Much of Brazil is low-lying, with a tropical climate, so yellow fever jabs and anti-malarial medications are advised for holidays to many parts of Brazil. However, given the size of Brazil, advice can vary tremendously depending on where you're visiting, so check out our guide to immunisations for Brazil for advice on your exact itinerary.
Guide to Tipping and Currency in Brazil
Brazil's currency is the Brazil real and is easily available in the UK. With the growing Brazilian economy behind it, the real is a very strong currency and easily convertible. Cards are also more widely used than in many other South American countries, so have a look at our guide to using money in Brazil to see what will work best for you.
Language Guide to Brazil
All your guides and drivers in Brazil will be English-speaking, and you'll find English spoken in tourist locations, but English isn't quite as widespread as you might expect in Brazil, especially outside major cities. Happily, just a few words of Portuguese go a long way, so have a look at our Brazil language guide to pick up some basics.
Climate and Weather in Brazil
Brazil is one BIG country, so the climate can vary hugely from north to south and east to west. Most of Brazil is in the southern hemisphere (so our winter is their summer) but in practice whether it's the wet or dry season can be more important. Our Brazil weather guide will help you make sense of it all.
Carnival in Brazil
Brazil is the undisputed home of Carnival, and it's generally reckoned to be the biggest party on earth. Whether you choose the parades and glitz of the Rio Carnival, or the huge street party of the Salvador Carnival you're guaranteed to have the time of your life...