Mini Guide to Brazil
Main Cities and Towns
Rio de Janeiro
It’s impossible to not fall in love with the relaxed pace of life, the beautiful bodies, and the amazing beaches and urban jungles. Make sure you see the city from the top of Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer) and Sugarloaf Mountain. You’ll also want to catch a football match at Maracanã, and dance the night away at Lapa in the city center.
Salvador has one of the biggest Carnival parties in the country, but it also oozes charm and history. It’s the perfect place to get a deeper insight into the African culture as you walk the streets and see the colorful colonial buildings and churches. The Pelourinho area in the Lower City tends to be a safer area for tourists.
Some people like to say that Floripa (Florianópolis) is like a big city with a village atmosphere. The urban area is spread out across the island, so unless you’re in the city center, you’ll hardly see skyscrapers. Floripa is also considered the surfing capital of Brazil, where it hosts international championships.
The Amazon is fondly called the “Lungs of the World” as it alone represents over 20% of the world’s oxygen. Fly into Manaus and from there take a slow boat up the Amazon River where you can truly see its incredible biodiversity.
The Iguaçú Falls are comprised of 275 waterfalls and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The falls are part of Brazil (where you get the best views) and Argentina (where you can get up close). Once you’re there, you can go on boat trips and also practice some rappelling.
Imagine an area with thousands of white sand dunes that resemble bed sheets. After the rainy season, hundreds of freshwater lagoons are trapped between the dunes for you to swim and have fun. You’ll need to fly into São Luís and take a bus to Barreinhas, which is the best place to base yourself before exploring the national park.
Safety and Health
It’s impossible to talk about Brazil without mentioning its problem with violence. The truth is that it is indeed a dangerous country, but it’s not unbearable. The best course of action is to talk with locals to learn about no-go areas and how not to draw attention to yourself. It’s, unfortunately, something you have to live with.
Depending on the areas you’re traveling to, you might need to take some vaccinations. You should definitely take ones for Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and yellow fever. If you know you’re going to the Amazon or will be having contact with wild animals, you should consider getting a rabies shot and malaria tablets.