1. Get Moving at Samba School
Music and dancing might be the only things on par with Brazil’s passion for soccer. Rio de Janeiro is home to several samba schools, which house groups who perform in Carnival.
2. Hit the Beaches in Florianópolis
There are 42 beaches in the city of Florianópolis, each with unique features that will appeal to you based on what you’re looking for – whether it’s seclusion and tranquility or a place to party in your bathing suit. Most popular is Praia Mole, which is surrounded by lush hills and rocky mountains, while Lagoinha do Leste is more secluded, bordered by a rocky coastline, sandbanks and dunes.
3. Sail at Regata da Jangadas
Brazil is renowned for its white sands and warm waters. But there are also plenty of adventures to be had on the ocean – among them the huge Regata da Jangadas sailing festival. Crowds gather along the shores of Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil for the annual event in July. If you’re looking for an optimal view, you can organise a ride on one of the non-racing jangadas – a type of traditional Brazilian fishing boat.
4. Feel the Mist at Iguazu Falls
Brazil’s version of Niagara Falls spans 2.7 kilometres, which makes it the widest waterfall in the world. While Brazil shares the falls with Argentina, the Brazilian side gives you a better view of this natural wonder.
5. Visit Cristo Redentor
Also known as Christ the Redeemer, this is one of the most iconic landmarks in Brazil. The 30 metre statue perches atop Corcovado, a mountain that overlooks Rio de Janeiro. Be sure to visit on a clear day for the best views.
6. Watch the Sunset in Arpoador
Located in the southern part of Rio, Arpoador is known as a walker’s paradise but it is the rare (most of the coast faces east) view of midsummer sunsets over the water that draws large crowds. For the romantics, visit on June 12, Dia dos Namorados – Brazil’s version of Valentine’s Day.
7. Ride Up Sugarloaf Mountain
This is among Rio de Janeiro’s most famous sites, rising 396 metres straight from the water’s edge. ‘The site is accessible by a cable car that was opened in 1912 and most recently rebuilt in 2008 with glass-sided cars to give passengers a panoramic view. With 60 climbing trails, Sugarloaf is a popular spot for climbers. The mountain consists of granite stone and little vegetation.
8. Visit a Famous Church
Dedicated in 1970, the Santuário Dom Bosco (Sanctuary of Dom Bosco) honours the 19th century Italian saint who dreamed of a utopian city and partly inspired the foundation of Brasilia, Brazil’s capital city. Notable for its interior, the church is made of 80 concrete columns that support a huge golden chandelier made of 7400 pieces of Murano glass. Stained glass windows in 12 shades of blue cast everything in a mystical glow.