Brazil is a destination which evokes images of colour, flair and adventure. Whether you’re looking for a special holiday that combines culture, scenery and amazing beaches, or you are an avid nature enthusiast, in your element in the rainforests and wetlands, this fun-filled country has a broad appeal.
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Kick-start your journey with a few days in Rio de Janeiro, a city unlike any other, with its iconic setting against the backdrop of Sugarloaf Mountain and its vibrant music and dance scene – at its peak during the spectacular carnival but we can also arrange tours ‘behind the scenes’ at other times of year.
Beyond Rio, Brazil stretches out in front of you like one big adventure! Our only note of caution is that for many destinations, due to the vast size of the country, two internal flights are often required – but you’ll be richly rewarded for the journey. For wildlife, where better to head than the Pantenal or Amazon. The best place for animals is actually the former, the largest inland wetland area in the world, where you’ll be pretty much guaranteed the incredible opportunity to see jaguars in the wild if you stay at Caiman Lodge. A trip to the dense rainforest of the Amazon provides a verdant backdrop to learning about the local communities along the river, where the way of life has hardly changed.
The jaw-dropping natural spectacle of Iguacu Falls is also sure to impress, whether viewed from the Brazilian or Argentinian side (we suggest both if time allows!). For white sands and palm-fringed beaches, take your pick of the North East coast beaches near Recife, or chill-out Brazilian style in your very own private beach house in an idyllic, away from it all spot on the Costa Verde.
Wherever you go, Brazil’s rich cultural history pervades – whether it’s in the form of the Belle Epoque opera house in the middle of the remote Amazon, or the colourful coastal colonial villages, prepare to succumb to Brazil’s infectious charm and sense of fun.
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When to go
The most popular time to visit Rio and the Northern coast of Brazil is during the country’s summer, from December through February – the perfect time for a beach based break if you want to make the most of high temperatures whilst Europe’s decidedly chilly and don’t mind the humidity. However the largely tropical warm climate make it a year-round destination and many travellers prefer the more comfortable temperatures outside of this season, especially if you are planning on seeing the sights as well as relaxing by the pool.
If spotting a jaguar in the wild is your focus, the best time to see animals in the Pantanal is during Dry Season, which runs from May – October. In the UK Summer holidays you can be confident of seeing high concentrations of wildlife and the receding waters reveal a spectacular landscape.
We always recommend including Iguacu if time allows. They are spectacular year round, but April / May heralds more sunshine (but avoid the Easter crowds if possible). The August and October holidays are also traditionally dry months and whilst the waterfalls night not be at their peak, they are still very impressive. We would suggest avoiding July and the local school holidays, unless you are happy to be up early to avoid the crowds!
Flights: There are daily British Airways flights to Rio's Galeão Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport from the UK during peak seasons. Journey time is roughly 11 hours 40 minutes. Virgin Atlantic is also now flying directly to Sao Paulo from which many connections can easily be made. Alternatively non direct services are operated by a range of European airlines including TAP Air Portugal via Lisbon, including to alternative international airports in the country, such as Recife.
Typical carbon emissions for a return flight (Economy) per person: 590 kg.
FCDO travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/brazil
Time Zone: GMT-3
Capital City: Brasília
Where to Stay in Brazil
Insolito Boutique Hotel & Spa, Búzios - Rio de Janeiro
Fasano Rio de Janeiro - Rio de Janeiro
Sanma Hotel - Foz do Iguaçu
Nannai Resort - Recife
Cristalino Lodge - The Pantanal and Amazon
Belmond Copacabana Palace - Rio de Janeiro
Casa Caiman - The Pantanal and Amazon
Belmond Hotel das Cataratas - Foz do Iguaçu