Does the mere thought of partying at Carnival or seeing Victoria Secret models in their homeland have you wanting to pack your bags and head to Brazil?
Shhh . . . if you listen carefully, you can almost hear the strains of music from the samba and bossa nova, calling you to join in.
Although rail travel to Brazil is not possible, you can drive, fly, sail or cruise to the largest country in South America. Pack your pocket-size Portuguese translator – English and Spanish will help you only a little in this country.
Here are seven places to visit in Brazil, in no particular order. Let’s go!
Rio de Janeiro
If you love all that makes up a big city, yet still want sweeping panoramic views, then Rio de Janeiro is your go-to destination. Rio is a bustling metropolis of 12 million people.
With Sugarloaf, Christ the Redeemer, Ipanema Beach and the Copacabana, your time in this city will be far from still. Rio can be an expensive city, so be prepared. It’s less expensive to visit Rio if you’re willing to skip some of the big events, like Carnival, but thenut of course, you’d be missing Carnival!
While in Rio, head up to Sugarloaf Mountain for spectacular views of the metropolis below. The granite and quartz mountain called Sugarloaf, stands at 1300 feet and offers the best views of Rio. There’s a cable car that will take you through the stations of Praia Vermelha, Morro da Urca and Pão de Açucar on your way to up Sugarloaf Mountain. Each car holds 65 people, and there’s a chance you could be sharing your car with a celebrity; many famous people also take the ride up to the mountain to enjoy the view.
After Sugarloaf, don’t miss one of the newer Seven Wonders of the world: the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Almost 80 years old, this statue stands 98 feet tall on a base that is 26 feet high; the statue’s arms stretch 92 feet across in benediction. Made of concrete and tile, formed into art-deco style, was begun in 1922 and completed in 1931. At one time the only way to it was by climbing 200 stairs; today you can take a tram or car, and there are escalators and elevators at the base.
Enjoy some of the water sports by heading over to Ipanema Beach, where you can swim or surf in the clear waters of the Atlantic. However, if you are a novice to aquatic sports, stick to the shoreline. The currents and waves here can be treacherous, but there’s still plenty to do. You can play volleyball, football or shop at the Hippie Fair for trinkets.
The Copacabana is yet another beach to check out. You likely have heard it once was the site of questionable activity, such as prostitution. All of that has been changing in recent years. The best times to enjoy the gorgeous area is sunrise or sunset, when you can grab a beverage at a juice bar, and sit back to relax as the sun rises or sets. The hotel by the same name is now a national landmark.