Brazil

Average cost p/day: US$90

Time frame: 1 month +

Language: Portugese

Currency: Brazilian Real

 

Brazil’s land area takes up about half of South America. So it’s masssssive. You could spend months here and only really begin to scrape the surface of what this beautiful country has to offer. Endless picture-perfect beaches, as well as jungle adventures and island getaways await you.

The food is much better quality and much more worldly than anywhere else in South America. Often, restaurants are ‘pay per kilo’ – you fill up a plate and they charge you based on weight. The better quality places will have a huge variety of meats and salads as well as just about anything you can imagine. The sushi is surprisingly good there! If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then definitely get into brigaderos; balls of chocolate covered in chocolate!

 

WHERE TO GO

Rio de Janiero

I spent one week in Rio, but could’ve spent weeks and weeks exploring this amazing city, if I weren’t rapidly burning through my money! There are endless famous sights to see while you’re here – including Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain. Be sure to spend some time in the Lapa, not only to see the colourful Lapa Steps, but also because it’s by far the best spot for nightlife. Here, the bars all spill out onto the street and there are drink stands outside selling endless caipirinhas at super cheap prices. The boardwalk and beach at Copacobana are perfect for people watching and sunbathing as well as bartering at the markets. It’s really interesting to do a tour of the favelas; the poorer neighbourhoods of Rio. The favelas are along the mountainside, so you get stunning views as well as an insight into everyday life for some of the poorest residents of Rio.

 

Igauzu Falls

Sitting across the border of three countries, the views of Iguazu from the Brazil side are panoramic. You get to see the falls from a distance, admiring how incredibly massive it is. Foz de Iguazu, the town you’ll stay in, is a popular spot for sky diving and also boasts a fantastic bird sanctuary, where you can see toucans and flamingos up close.

 

Paraty

The aborable cobble stone streets and Colonial buildings of Paraty have a charming vibe. Just outside of town, Toboga Waterfall, which was really more of a water slide than a waterfall, is amazing fun! Locals will give you a push start to get you going at the top and then laugh at you when you lose control, spinning right around and crash landing into the icy cold water at the bottom. Then they’ll go down on their feet, performing all kinds of tricks and landing perfectly into the water at the end. Brilliant! There are also a few nearby beaches and a popular booze cruise if you fancy a day out on the water.

 

Bonito

Bonito translates to ‘Beautiful’ which is incredibly fitting for this little town. From here you can do many awesome little adventures into the outdoors. You can swim under waterfalls, go tubing down rivers, snorkel in a fresh water river, explore nearby caves, and go stand up paddle boarding and kayaking in the lakes. Most of these excursions are quite pricey, so Bonito is not an ideal place if you’re on a tight budget, but I thoroughly enjoyed it all!!

 

Pantanal

The Pantanal is a huge wetland in the north-western part of Brazil, famous for its picturesque landscapes and abundant wildlife. While here, you’ll hopefully be able to spot caimans, toucans, eagles, frogs, deer, kingfishers, parrots, capybara (like a giant guinea pig) and jabiru storks – said to be the symbol of the Pantanal. A highlight for me was pirhana fishing in the river! The teeth on these fish are fiesty!! After we went fishing the hostel cooked up our fish and served them for dinner. Quite tasty!

 

Still on my to do list —

Florianopolis: I didn’t get to visit Florianopolis because there was torrential downpour right when I wanted to go, but by all accounts it’s island life at its best.

Isla Grande: Another island to relax on!

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