In 2009 I spent six weeks travelling around Brazil whilst on a six month trip to South America and I barely scratched the surface of this beautiful and diverse country. Brazil is the largest of the Latin American countries and the 5th largest in the entire world, and I could have easily spent my entire trip visiting Brazil alone. Brazil really does have it all; bustling metropolises, deserted tropical beaches, wildlife-rich rainforest and thundering waterfalls.
I covered quite a lot of distance during my time in Brazil and from my own experiences and hearing those of countless other travellers, I feel like I have a good idea of all the must-see destinations within the country. So, if you had just two weeks for a Brazil tour and you wanted to see and experience as must as possible without exhausting yourself, here is what I would recommend!
Rio de Janeiro
Rio is unlike any other city on earth and it quickly knocked New York off the top of my favourite city list. It is set in such a beautiful location and with the combination of all the iconic sights (Christ the redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and Copacabana beach), the friendly locals, the fantastic nightlife and the awesome beaches; four days here will simply fly by!
From Rio it’s about a two hour flight to the city of Foz do Iguazu, which is just a few miles from the most impressive set of waterfalls to be found in the Americas, the Iguazu falls. The falls are jointly owned by Brazil and Argentina, with the Brazilian side giving you the grand overview and the Argentine side giving you the up close and personal experience.
I suggest taking the time to take a full day to visit each side of the falls and if you are feeling brave, taking a jet boat ride that takes you so close to the main falls, you’ll get a proper soaking.
An Amazon jungle experience is usually at the top of most people’s list when planning a Brazil holiday. The city of Manaus is the main gateway to many of these lodges and a typical package includes transfers, by boat, about 2-4 hours deep into the rainforest. I’d suggest fitting at least 3 days into your itinerary to enjoy all the excursions available here- ranging from kayaking trips, night hikes and even fishing for piranha.
Finally, to finish off your Brazil adventure you could head to the African influenced city of Salvador, staying in the old town for a night or two and soaking up a bit of the local culture, before spending your final few nights in nearby Praia do Forte, lazing on one of the picture perfect palm tree beaches.
This two week suggestion is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Brazil has to offer, I could probably come up with a dozen more that are all totally different. So my advice to you now is simple: get to Brazil, and pronto!