Brazil can be a volatile and unpredictable place. For evidence, look no further than a fall 2017 incident in which a Spanish tourist was killed by police in Rio de Janeiro. According to the New York Times, her driver failed to stop near the Rocinha favela, which is in the midst of a violent spree of tit-for-tat killings between the militarized police and local gangs. When you add political instability, a resurgent right-wing government, rampant income inequality, and a stalled economy, the nation's discord is an unsurprising development. Like anywhere else on earth, those factors have unfortunately correlated to increases in crime and violence.
Brazilians often say they live in a continent rather than a country. It’s an excusable exaggeration. The landmass is bigger than the United States if you exclude Alaska; the journey from Recife in the east to the western border with Peru is longer than that from London to Moscow, and the distance between the northern and southern borders is about the same as that between New York and Los Angeles. Brazil has no mountains to compare with its Andean neighbours, but in every other respect it has all the scenic – and cultural – variety you would expect from so vast a country.
One of the world's most captivating places, Brazil is a country of powdery white-sand beaches, verdant rainforests and wild, rhythm-filled metropolises. Brazil's attractions extend from frozen-in-time colonial towns to otherworldly landscapes of red-rock canyons, thundering waterfalls and coral-fringed tropical islands. Then there's Brazil's biodiversity: legendary in scope, its diverse ecosystems boast the greatest collection of plant and animal species found anywhere on earth. There are countless places where you can spot iconic species in Brazil, including toucans, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, capybara, pink dolphins, sea turtles and thousands of other living species.
With a population of over ten million just in its urban area and more than 20 million in its metro area, São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil by population. Moreover, São Paulo is the largest city in all of South America and among the world’s largest cities. Brazil is a vibrant city known for its countless skyscrapers, and for being the economic center of Brazil.
Piece together your own Brazil holiday by choosing from our variety of bite-sized trips, which we’ve organised below by region. Simply select a region and start adding your favourite trips to your travel plan. You’ll be travelling semi-independently, so we can be very flexible in terms of dates and routings.
Brazil is a land mass simply too big to describe with one brushstroke. Yet no matter which part of the country you go to, the following tips cover the essential basics that could come in handy at any point during your trip.
Brazil is the source of a lot of bad press, mainly for its crime, violence and high murder rates. The reality is the majority of this criminal activity takes place between gangs that are far from the tourist spots and, on the whole, Brazil is generally safe for tourists. The worst-case scenario usually involves a non-violent mugging or pick-pocketing, but most tourists never encounter this. Just take precautions in major urban areas such as Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Salvador, and keep an eye on your belongings.
Brazil’s capital city is sorely overlooked as a tourist destination, but has a lot to offer visitors who dig a space age 1950s feel. The city is an architecture lover’s dream filled with sites like Oscar Niemeyer’s spectacular National Cathedral, and his humble yet dramatic Igrejinha de Fátima. Visitors can spend their days in modernist dream world wandering through the Praça dos Três Poderes, where the prolific Niemeyer designed homes for the three branches of Brazil’s government. Take a tour of the Planalto Palace and for a new perspective on the Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge, rent a paddleboard and make your way across Lake Paranoá. To complete your designer tour, book a room in the Niemeyer designed Brasília Palace hotel.
I moved to São Paulo, Brazil 8 years ago from California. It's been a wild ride, but I'm desperately looking for a job back in California. It's ridiculously violent here.
Everything you said is correct. I've had a gun stuck in my face and pressed against my cheek by three Coke or crack heads when I got out of my car to open the security gate to my home. It was one of the worst experiences of my life.
If you have children you should absolutely NOT move to Brazil.
Also, if you wish to rent the greater majority will ask you for a Fiador. It means you need someone who will legally vouch for you. This person will need to actually own their own property and will have to provide several documents and all of it must be notarized in triplicate and verified.
The safest places to live are almost always in a high rise apartment building.
Brazil was one of the last countries to end slavery (make it illegal) and that says a lot. If you are still learning Portuguese and want to learn more about this issue there's a good book called Raízes do Conservadorismo Brasileiro, it's not an easy read though.
Jorge da Silva
Brazil is a fantastic country.! We're a welcoming people. Of course, we have suffered a lot of difficulties, especially with our government policy, which causes us to have serious problems related to public safety. To travel is to expose yourself. It's to challenge the unknown. But one must not defy common sense. Before you come to visit us, take a look at your script. Our country has rain forests, tropical diseases, scorching deserts, few mountains and many plains and gentle hills. And don't forget that we've beaches. Many beaches and a sun that will give a very special tone to your skin. We also have progressive and developed cities that are in no way owed to the larger cities around the world. But what we have of more special is the Brazilian people. We're a mixture of Europeans, Africans, Asians and native peoples who were already here in America. We're naive and insightful. We're beautiful and ugly, too. Why not?! So, if you get the chance, come on. When you return to your land, you will carry memories for all your days. A hug!
Brazil is an amazing country......we loved all the places we visited and the local people and would recommend it as a destination to others....we could not recomend the local tour operators, which is sad as we have always had such great experiences with Evaneous before and have recommended them to many friends
Brazil is one of the first countries that I fell in love with. I first went backpacking in Brazil following college. I’d heard so much about the country while studying that I decided to visit Brazil myself after graduation. What a ride that was!
I was blown away by Brazil. Everything that I’d heard, everything that I’d imagined about Brazil – the parties, the beaches, the women – everything was true. The beaches were superlative, the pleasures were never-ending, and the people were unforgettable. I was in love.
Brazil is as diverse as the colors of Carnival, where the unique pulse and rhythm of the parade fills every crevice of the country all year round. The waters glow with brilliant iridescence, and friendly smiles line sandy beaches. From the vibrant foliage of rainforests to vivacious cities, the colors of Brazil are unforgettable.