Exotic, exciting, eclectic, extraordinary and so much more – that’s Brazil for you, the largest country in South America endowed with unmatched attractions to bowl you over and over again. The fascinating things to do in Brazil range from exploring the wild Amazonian rainforest to unwinding at the powdered sand beaches, witnessing amazing natural landscapes and experiencing the magic of Rio Carnaval. While Christ the Redeemer will leave you awestruck, the unusual animal species like pink dolphins and scarlet macaws will fill you with a sense of wonder. Let’s say ‘Open Sesame’ to this magical world and discover the top things to do in Brazil.
10 Top Experiences For A True Brazilian Holiday
Of all the things to do in Brazil, here are the ten best experiences that you ought to include in your bucket list. Take a look before you pack and leave.
1. Prepare to be awestruck by Christ the Redeemer
This colossal statue of Christ the Redeemer atop the 700-metre high Corvocado summit not only stands tall as the iconic symbol of Brazil but is also counted amongst the seven man-made wonders of the world. The exhilarating ride up the mountain and spellbinding 360 degree views of Rio de Janeiro from the top make this a once in a lifetime experience and amongst the best things to do in Brazil, Rio. You can visit early morning to beat the crowds or late evening to witness the gorgeous sunset.
Timings: Daily, 8AM-7PM
Ticket cost (same for the vans and track railway): 62 Real/person
2. Stare in wonder at the majestic Iguazu Falls
The very sight of 275 cascading falls in a semicircle gushing down into a gorge is one that’ll be etched in your mind forever. The spectacular falls are a part of the UNESCO acclaimed Iguazu National Park which boasts of lush tropical rainforests and an amazing variety of birds. The well-maintained walking trail takes you along viewing points to witness the falls in their full glory, especially The Devil’s Throat. There’s an option for a boat ride for those seeking to experience some Brazil adventure activities.
Timings: Daily 9AM-5PM
Ticket cost: 62 Real/adult; 10 Real/child
3. Get a bird’s eye view of Rio from Sugarloaf Mountain
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This unforgettable ride and the panoramic views from above undoubtedly top all major lists of 15 best things to do in Brazil. The thrilling cable car ride between Morro da Orca and Sugarloaf peak is an experience to remember and the amazing views from the summit are nothing short of mesmerising. Watching the surreal sunset and the Copacabana beach bathed in it its hues is magical while the views of Rio and Christ the Redeemer are breathtaking. Book in advance to skip the queues and enjoy the sublime experience of smoothly gliding above the city.
Ticket cost: 110 Real/person (online discount available)
4. Get immersed in the beauty of Salvador’s Pelourinho
Ambling along the Upper Town (Cidade Alta) of Brazil’s erstwhile colonial capital city is one of the most charming things to do in Brazil. This lovely UNESCO World heritage site with its pastel-coloured buildings, cobbled stone streets, magnificent churches and rich colonial architecture is like walking back in time. The quaint streets brimming with art and music schools as well as hip restaurants and bars will keep you engaged and enchanted. With music and dance performances on the square and lovely souvenir shops all around, the buzz is just amazing.
5. Soak in the breathtaking beauty of Porto de Galinhas
Considered to be the most beautiful beach in Brazil, Porto de Galinhas enticing silvery white sands and crystal clear waters are just perfect for a rejuvenating break. Whether you choose to float blissfully in the many shimmering pools or take a boat trip to a lagoon with tiny seahorses, the magic of this place is hard to resist. With shallow reef-top pools brimming with rich, vibrant marine life, diving and kayaking spots and surfing opportunities nearby, visiting this charming beach is amongst the nicest things to do in Brazil.
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6. Explore the wild and exotic Amazon rainforests
One of the most unique things to do in Brazil is to grab the chance of exploring the largest tropical rainforests in the world with their wild beauty, exotic flora and fauna and unmatched adventures. Embark on a wild an exciting boat trip from the town of Manaus that takes you through the labyrinthine Amazonian waterways and allows you to witness sloths, toucans, caimans and other wildlife. A visit to the Janauri Ecological Park with its giant water lilies is equally rewarding.
7. Experience the visual extravaganza of the Rio Carnival
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Arguably amongst the greatest shows on the planet, the grand Rio Carnaval is a riot of sound, colours and action that’ll take your senses by a storm. Plan in advance to witness this amazing and extravagant display by Brazilian samba dancers from the stands of the Sambodromo. Expect to be dazzled by the brilliant costumes, sizzling performances, infectious music and elaborate performances by the dancing troupes. Non-stop action and street parties take the Carnival atmosphere to dizzying heights, making it one of the most fun things to do in Brazil.
8. Admire the architectural marvels of Brasilia
Brazil’s brand new capital city is populated with so many architecturally magnificent buildings that it earned a UNESCO world heritage site status. The uniquely bold architecture of the Brasilia Cathedral with its concrete arms supporting a glass roof is sure to make you stop and admire it. The Palacio da Alvorada (President’s official residence), Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace are awesome too, as are the impressive Palacio dos Arcos with is beautifully landscaped gardens and the iconic Monumento JK.
9. A tryst with exotic birds at Parque das Aves
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Sprawled over 16.5 hectares of lush rainforests, just a stone’s throw away from Iguazu Falls National Park, this spectacular zoo with over 1300 birds is a must-visit when in the vicinity. One of the best things to do in Brazil with kids, get up close and personal with vibrant macaws and toucans in their natural habitat. Along with the exotic birds, the park also has butterflies, fish, coloured lizards and lovely tropical plants and flowers.
Timings: Daily 8:30AM-5PM
Ticket cost: Real 40/person
10. Explore the fantastic Sao Paulo Museum of Art
Art aficionados must add this wonderful museum to their list of things to do in Brazil. The impressive architecture of the building makes it a work of art too, with its modern box-like structure suspended by red columns. The fantastic collection of 8000 paintings ranges from works of European masters (Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, etc) to modern Brazilian artists. The uniquely creative way of exhibiting paintings in transparent frames allows you admire them in great detail.
Timings: 10AM-6PM (Tues-Sunday). Opens till 8PM on Thursday.
Ticket cost: Real 25/person (half-price for senior citizens and students). Free entry every Tuesday.
The above list barely skims the surface of the myriad exciting things to do in Brazil including numerous national parks, beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema and heritage cities like Ouro Preto. Add to that the sizzling Brazil nightlife and shopping in Brazil and you have the recipe for a perfect international vacation
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