The giant of South America and the fifth-largest country in the world, Brazil endures as one of the worlds most lusted-after and popular travel destinations. Brazil holidays open up a world of luscious beaches, tropical Amazon rainforests and upbeat Samba rhythms.
Culture-filled, melting-pot urban centres, such as the capital, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo offer the traveller an insight into modern life in Brazil, with all the usual hustle and bustle you’d imagine alongside hearty nightlife and eclectic architecture.
On the other hand, a Brazil tour is incomplete without contemplating the natural wonders of the country, such as the incredible Iguazu Falls and the immense Amazon basin, filled with exotic wildlife. Brazil has a vast Atlantic coastline and shares borders with all other South American countries except for Ecuador and Chile.
This close proximity to its neighbours has created the vibrant culture that Brazil is so famed for. The only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas, Brazil is unique in every way, and so diverse that you might struggle to fit all the sights into a single trip! A package tour of Brazil is the best way to make the most of your travel time and gain a good overview of the country’s sights and attractions. So grab your dancing shoes and head to the land of Carnival, where the rhythm of Samba music is sure to lift your mood and bring you closer to the warm hospitality of the locals.
History of Brazil
Prior to the arrival of Portuguese explorer, Pedro Alvares Cabral in 1500, who claimed the territory of modern-day Brazil for the Portuguese Empire, Brazil was home to a number of diverse indigenous peoples, estimated to be composed of around 200 different tribes and nations. Colonisation followed, along with 200 years of conflict and near-constant wars between the colonists and indigenous groups.
Unlike the ruins found in countries such as Peru and Bolivia, the ancient culture of the indigenous groups are instead preserved in the isolated communities of the Amazon; witnessing the practices of these unique communities is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity during a trip to Brazil.
Sugar plantations and gold mining were the most popular and profitable industries during the age of Portuguese rule, and the discovery of gold attracted many new settlers from Portugal and its colonies around the world, perpetuating the age-old legend of ‘El Dorado’. The hunt for more natural resources, preferably shiny ones, expanded the borders of Brazil to its modern-day size.
Brazil declared independence in 1822, under Prince Pedro, who was famed for his military might as three international wars, resulting in victories for Brazil, were won during his reign. In 1889, Brazil transformed into an independent republic following a military coup. It was not until more than 100 years later in 1985 that a democratic system was established, following an oppressive century of military dictatorship. Visitors who choose a Brazil holiday packages today visit a country that is considered a major global power and is known for its rich history and natural beauty, preserved in its plentiful UNESCO sites.
Nature in Brazil
Natural attractions are at the heart of all holidays to Brazil. A geographically diverse country with landscapes ranging from tropical palm-fringed beaches to mountainous highlands and the mysterious, wildlife-rich Amazon, Brazil is the perfect adventure travel destination. Perhaps the most iconic sight is the magical Iguazu Falls, an immense border-spanning waterfall system, shared with Argentina.
Visitors to the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls can get up close to the thundering waters on well-placed walk-ways and really gauge the scale of this bucket-list favourite.
Over 40% of the total land area of Brazil is in the Amazon rainforest, the most biodiverse place on earth. Eco-lodges give visitors, on a trip to the Amazon, the chance to spend the night surrounded by an orchestra of animals sounds and to get close to the diverse wildlife and black, mystical waters of the Amazon River, home to animals as unique as the pink Amazon dolphin! Pumas and jaguars are the most iconic inhabitants of the Amazon.
An altogether different kind of environment, the dreamy archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, 200 miles off the coast of Brazil is filled with paradise beaches and crystalline waters, perfect for dolphin watching, snorkelling and diving. These idyllic islands are a must-visit stop for beach-lovers on a tour of Brazil. Another natural paradise, the Pantanal wetlands of west Brazil is the largest wetland in the world and home to diverse bird and animal life.
Culture in Brazil
Although a predominantly western-style culture, Brazil has preserved many of its more ancient traditions and culture. As a Portuguese colony for more than three centuries, the legacy of this period is evident in many parts of everyday life such as the language, national cuisine and also in the architecture, particularly in the quaint city of Salvador de Bahia and the gorgeous historic town of Paratay, close to Rio.
Brazil is famed for its love of a good fiesta, the most famous of which, the Rio Carnaval, attracts worldwide attention, although Carnaval is celebrated throughout the country in the 46 days leading up to Easter every year.
Music is at the heart of Brazilian culture, and the country has been the birthplace of many different popular genres and styles, such as the sultry Samba, Choro and Forro. If you spend an evening out in the streets of Rio, or any other major city, during a tour of Brazil, you’re sure to see the prevalence and popularity of these musical delights, often accompanied by cheerful dancing.
Of course, football is another national treasure, with Brazil having produced countless prestigious football players, such as Pele, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Neymar, and the national team is one of the best in the world. On a trip to Brazil, you’re sure to see youngsters having a kick-about almost everywhere!
Succumb to the rhythm of Samba music and set off on an adventure to Brazil, the giant of South America. From the devastating beauty of the Iguazu Falls to the tropical treasures of the Amazon, a holiday to Brazil is the bucket-list adventure you’ve always dreamed of!