10 Must-See Spots & Things to Do in Brazil

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For over 4 years, Susan has been managing the blog and social media accounts for InStyleSwimwear.com, a fashion-forward online designer swimwear boutique. Whether you’re planning an exotic getaway to Brazil, the Caribbean, Hawaii, you name it, InStyleSwimwear.com will have you looking stylish as can be.

So you’re finally through all the holiday parties and gift-related bills and it’s time to start thinking about this year’s resolution to travel more and see some awesome places. It’s often overlooked, but there is one South American country that deserves some serious consideration when you’re researching airfare. If you’re into beautiful beaches, spicy and delicious foods, fun and friendly folk,s and sexy nightlife, start packing your bags for beautiful Brazil!

Need some help planning your itinerary? Here’s a crash course of the top ten things you need to check out once you’re there.

Rio Carnival

Rio Carnival

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. If the thought of an overblown Latin American Mardi Gras makes you want to get up and shake your groove thing, then this is a must-see for you. If the thought of seeing flamboyantly dressed men and women smothered in feathers, sequins, bright colors and little else sounds like your kind of people-watching, then this is a must-see for you as well. Basically, it’s one of those things that would be inexcusable to miss if you’re in town because you are guaranteed to create some vivid memories for years to come.

Christ the Redeemer Statue

Christ the Redeemer Statue

One of the largest and most iconic statues in the world, this huge replica of Christ overlooks Rio with open arms. It stands over 100 feet tall by itself and considering it’s perched on top of Corcovado Mountain, it’s literally about as close to Heaven as a man-made structure can be. Needless to say, this is a photo-op you can’t pass up.

Brazil beaches

Hundreds of Miles of Beaches…

There are too many public access points to name just one, but it would be hard to be disappointed with any of the white sandy stretches that border much of the country’s coast. Dotted with lush greenery and palm trees, you can just as easily lounge under a cabana at an upscale chic resort or strip down completely at a nude beach! Copacabana and Ipanema are pretty well-known beaches across the globe; the latter was even the topic of a hit song in the 60’s.

Iguacu Falls

Iguaçu Falls

Basically the Niagara Falls of South America, these breathtaking falls were named a Wonder of Nature. At the fastest rate of any waterfall on earth, Iguaçu Falls dumps over 12,000 cubic meters of water over its edge per second! Considering that it stretches over 1.5 miles long, there is plenty of space for all that water to spread out. The falls can be viewed from Brazil or Argentina, either side providing its own equally impressive view. Smaller falls and terraces comprise the huge work of nature, and with a little hiking you can reach a point of being entirely encapsulated by the falls.

The Pantanal

The Pantanal

Yet again boasting a world-renowned distinction, the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil are truly massive. Brimming with more plant and animal life than the Amazon, you are likely to see things here that you have never heard of. Boat tours, horseback riding, safaris, hikes and fishing expeditions let you tailor this natural area to your interests. Keep your eyes peeled for such exotic fauna as jaguars, anacondas, and Capuchin monkeys.

The Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon

If you didn’t get your wildlife fill in the Pantanal, you don’t have to look far for exciting sights in this tropical jungle. Even knowing that you’re entering the biggest rainforest in the world won’t prepare you for the sheer magnitude and incredible diversity of this natural wonder. Equally fascinating, freaky, and intriguing, you can find species deadly enough to kill you with little more than a touch, as well as lifeforms that have yet to be discovered in this incredible ecosystem.

Rio Favela

Visit a “Favela”

If you’re more into people-watching than bird-watching, this is the best way to get up close and personal with some real citizens of Brazil. Ripe with funky Caribbean colors, it’s best to take a guided tour with a well-reputed company, as these areas are poorer and less policed, thus creating the potential to run into some less-than-desirable consequences. But with a little common sense and respect, you can get an inside view of the daily life of some of Brazil’s proudest and most interesting citizens.

Brigadeiro

Chow Down

To the delight of many American tourists, the Brazilian people are mighty comfortable with all things cheesy, fried, and chocolate-y, but with their own unique twist. There is also an emphasis on beans, coconut, breads, and more Latin staples like yucca, cassava, and papaya. You know the food will be delicious because the people  have so much spice. Look for regional specialties ranging from coastal seafood dishes to traditionally prepared cheeses. Pictured above is Brazil’s famous Brigadeiro, a chocolate truffle made with condensed milk and covered in chocolate sprinkles.

Caipirinha

Sip and Dip All Night

In any of Brazil’s major cities, you won’t be able to miss the pulsing nightlife of numerous bars and clubs. Traditional samba music blends into the country’s Top 20 hits, as sexy Brazilian locals dance the night away. You won’t go thirsty either, as cocktails are fresh, tasty, and plentiful. Make sure to try the famed Brazilian cocktail, the Caipirinha, which is a sweet and surprisingly potent concoction made from sugar, lime, and cachaça, a sugar-based liquor.

Rio Skyline

Sign Up for a Cultural Tour

Whether art, colonial architecture, or classical music is your thing, you can enjoy Brazil’s uniquely rich culture and history by signing up for a cultural tour. With influences from a number of different countries, cultures, and ethnicities, you can expect to see a truly eclectic culture. Immerse yourself into Brazil’s rich cuisine, art, architecture, music, dance, and language, and see first-hand how diversity can truly flourish within a country.

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