Bask in the sun by day, and dance to the rhythm of samba by night! Take a holiday to Brazil and discover an intoxicating country of tropical jungles, vibrant cities, boundless beaches and much more.
Brazil is vast - taking up almost 50% of the South American landmass, and stretching from just above the Equator south to (and through) the Tropic of Cancer. Its three-million-plus square miles variously carpeted by dense tropical rainforest, punctuated by towering mountains and ridgelines, and criss-crossed by rivers.
It's perhaps no surprise that a nation so huge is home to some of the world's most impressive natural wonders. The Amazon River and Amazon Rainforest are so famous they need no introduction, but Brazil is also home to an equal share (with Argentina) of the largest waterfalls in the world - Iguazú Falls, and the verdant marshes, lakes of the world's largest wetland - the Pantanal. Even the beaches are vast - the pure white dunes of Lençois Maranhenses stretch over 600 square miles of northern Brazilian coastline. Everywhere you go on a tour of Brazil you'll find astonishing sights and unforgettable landscapes teeming with the most incredible and diverse wildlife anywhere on earth.
And it's not just Brazilian nature that's huge. Rio de Janeiro may be the sixth largest city in all the Americas, but it's only half the size of its near neighbour, Sao Paulo. Manaus is an economic powerhouse in the heart of the jungle and a major sea port almost 1000 miles from the Atlantic coast.
Even everyday life is lived large in Brazil. Carnival may only whirl its way through the country's streets once a year, but that doesn't stop the Brazilians. Every little festival offers an easy excuse to dress up, dance till dawn and generally live life as a non-stop party. In Ouro Preto the streets are carpeted in flowers for Holy week, while Blumenau hosts the largest Oktoberfest outside Germany.
Whether you’re going to relax on the beach, commune with nature or soak up the country’s culture, Brazil has plenty to offer visitors. So, when you’re planning your holiday to Brazil, make sure you add at least one of the below to your itinerary.
The food you’ll find to tempt you on a Brazilian holiday will combine Latin, West African and indigenous South American flavours.
The national dish is feijoada - a hearty stew of black beans and fresh and cured meat. Sometimes spicy, sometimes mild, sometimes almost a soup, there as many feijoadas as there are cooks in the country. Eat it with rice, or on its own from a steaming bowl.
If you're looking for something cooler, and with a lot more kick, opt for a Caipirinha, a simple muddled mix of sugar limes and cachaça, Brazil's famous sugar-can liquor. And, if your sweet tooth needs satisfying during your holiday in Brazil, don't miss quindim. This sweet yellow treat is little more than eggs, sugar and coconut baked in a small mould until the bottom is golden and toasted and the top sets into a smooth, sweet custard.
First holiday to Brazil? Here are a few questions you might have.
No – British nationals can enter Brazil without a visa if travelling as a tourist. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of your entry to Brazil.
Brazil has a reputation for being a dangerous country to visit. Despite this, serious crime is largely confined to particular cities and areas, which Newmarket do not run tours to. That being said, petty crime is not uncommon, although taking sensible precautions will negate the risk, such as not wearing expensive jewellery in public and sticking to built-up, well-lit areas at night.
Brazil uses the Brazilian Real, which has a symbol of R$ and is abbreviated to BRL. For the latest exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
Brazil is one of South America’s most expensive countries. That being said, it is relatively cheap when compared to Western European destinations.
Brasilia is the capital of Brazil, and has been since construction of the city was completed in 1960. Rio de Janeiro was Brazil’s capital between 1763 and 1960.
Generally speaking, Brazil is a year-round destination, experiencing warm weather all year, with varying rainfall. The warmest and driest months are during the summer, which runs from November/ December to March. Heat and humidity rise the further north you go during the summer. Winter in Brazil is from June to late August;. September to October is a good time to visit, free from the crowds heat of summer, unless of course you want to go to Rio Carnival, which almost always falls in February.
Brazilian cuisine is vibrant, colourful and diverse, with influences from Portugal, Africa, Asia and other South American countries. The national dish, feijoada, is a rich hearty stew made with black beans and pork. Barbecue is a popular method of cooking all over Brazil, with pork, beef and chicken the most common meats. Shrimp and fish are also ubiquitous in Brazil.
Brazil is known for its outstanding natural beauty, encompassing large parts of the Amazon Rainforest and the Amazon River, together with the Iguazú Falls. Rio de Janeiro is one of Brazil’s most visited cities, and is home to Sugarloaf Mountain, the Christ the Redeemer statue and Copacabana Beach, as well as being the location of the annual Rio Carnival.
Portuguese is the national language of Brazil. However, English is becoming increasingly widely spoken, particularly in touristy areas. Below are a few useful phrases in Portuguese:
Hello – olá
Goodbye – tchau
Thank you – obrigado
Please – por favor
Do you speak English? – você fala Inglês?
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