Brazil is a huge country, not just in terms of land but also in terms of cultural diversity, history and most importantly the natural attractions. According to many travellers that have visited Brazil, it is a much underrated Holiday Destination .it’s so much more than what people expect. Brazil has it all, from exotic wildlife to international standard cities. Here are 10 reasons why a lot of travellers regard Brazil as a top Holiday Destination and why you should consider Brazil as your next holiday destination.
1. Home of the Amazon
Brazil is home to the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, which produces so much oxygen that it has been nicknamed as the lungs of our planet. The size of the forest can be assumed by the fact that a lot of states in Brazil are 90% covered by the forest. You can find guided tours and packages if you want to enjoy nature a bit more closely.
There are also ways to go deep inside the forest but it’s largely illegal and I won’t recommend you to do that unless you’re willing to pay heavy fines or spend a few nights in prison. The Amazonian rain forest is a world within a world, so, pack your bags and grab your gear who knows what wonders you’ll find hidden there.
2. Multiethnic cities
Brazilian cities are very diverse, particularly Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In fact, Sao Paulo has the largest Japanese speaking community outside of Japan. Other than that you have the Italians, the Germans and other immigrants from all over the world living in some of Brazil’s largest cities.
Don’t forget the favelas of Rio, the favelas are quite diverse in terms of ethnic demographics; you have indigenous people, afro Brazilians and other ethnicities living there. And because of these diverse demographics favelas look quite artistic and colourful.
But, remember, don’t just go walking straight into a favela; some favelas are no go areas due to high level of crimes so make sure you know where you’re going. During the days of colonialism, slaves from Africa were brought to Brazil to fill the labour shortage and to advance the economy. After slavery was outlawed, these slaves formed their own communities as equal citizens of Brazil. Today, African culture is evident in almost all festivities around Brazil.
3. A place to learn ancient indigenous cultures
Before the arrival of the Portuguese, Brazil was mostly covered with dense jungles which were home to many independent communities that had their own language, their own culture and their own way of living.
However, they lived a very primitive life and were largely unaware of the world beyond the forest. Although a noticeable part of the forest was lost to loggers after the arrival of the Portuguese, some indigenous communities still managed to hang on. Today, a lot of these communities have assimilated with modern society and it would be hard to tell the difference between them.
There are still museums and places where the indigenous history has been recorded so if you’re interested in how our ancestors once lived then this is one of the most important reasons for you to visit Brazil. You might even find a Brazilian with indigenous roots, a great opportunity to learn more about their culture and traditions.
4. Picture-perfect beaches
Beaches in Brazil are among the most scenic in the world. I know the first thing that would’ve come to your mind would’ve been Rio de Janeiro. The beaches of Rio de Janeiro are indeed some of the best Tourist attractions in Brazil but the coastline of Rio is a fraction of Brazil’s coastal beauty. Brazil’s coastline is one of the longest in the world, stretching up to 7400 kilometres. In Rio de Janeiro alone there are more than 5 beaches.
Other than that you have the coastal city of Florianopolis as well which lies in close proximity to the Praia do Campeche beach. Moreover, you have the Porto de Galinhas in Recife which has shallow waters (shallow enough for you to walk on the sand underneath) and lies close to Brazil’s largest reef so you can imagine how beautiful it must be. There’s also the state of Bahia which is famous for its picturesque beaches and exotic marine life, so, do check that out as well.
5. A hotspot for international travellers
Brazilians are not strangers to international travellers. In fact, Brazil is one of the most visited Holiday Destination in the world with tourists from all around the world visiting the South American country at least once in their lifetime. Brazil is very capable of hosting tourists. Therefore, you should not worry much about finding hotels or transportation as a foreigner.
However, there is one thing that foreign travellers find difficult to manage in Brazil, the local language. Brazilians speak Portuguese and a lot of locals have little to no command of the English language, so it would be better to practice your Portuguese before landing in Brazil.
6. Presence of natural wonders and unique phenomena
Apart from the vast stretch of coastline, Brazil has numerous mountainsides, rivers and lakes. But that’s not all, Brazil is home to some of the most mind-boggling natural phenomena in the world.
One example is the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. It is a mix of sand dunes and shallow lakes. You’ll be able to better understand the uniqueness of the phenomenon by looking at the picture.
7. Portuguese Heritage
The Portuguese originally arrived in Brazil in the 1500s. Since then they have influenced the development of Brazilian culture. Today, Brazil is an independent country with its own culture; however, relics of the past can still be seen in Brazilian cities today.
Sao Luis in Maranhao is said to be the most Portuguese looking city in Brazil, having distinct Portuguese architecture and cobblestone streets. Other than that Brazilians have still held on to Portuguese as their official language however the dialect is distinct from the European one.
8. Exotic Wildlife
Brazil is teeming with exotic wildlife. You might encounter Capybaras or the magical looking Toucans along your trip. It’s a good thing that Brazil has a strong set of laws which protect such animals. Brazil is home to a number of natural parks and numerous companies that offer wildlife safari. There are also some interesting zoos that are worth visiting.
If you’re an adventurer who is more interested in exploring the remote parts of Brazil, then you should remember, some of these exotic-looking animals are actually quite dangerous. You can encounter the Poison Dart Frog in the jungle while the Amazon River and its tributaries are home to the deadly piranha and a bunch of crocodile species.
9. Unique cuisine
Brazilian cuisine is endless, to say the least. There are 26 states in Brazil each having their own unique culinary culture.
You can have different food every day at breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire length of your trip, there’s just so much variety.
You can try the shrimp Moqueca at lunch along with some Cachaca drinks (made from sugar cane juice) and then enjoy some classic Brazilian steak at dinner. I am pretty sure you’re not going to be disappointed by the culinary culture of Brazil.
10. Colourful festivals
Brazil is also home to many colourful festivals that attract many international audiences from all over the world. Festivals such as the Amazonas Opera in the city of Manaus or the Semana Santa in Ouro Preto are celebrated with full zeal.
While the Semana Santa is not exclusive to Ouro Preto, I think if you want to enjoy the full energy of the event then this is the perfect place. Then there is the carnival which also acts as an icon of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. While the spectators are busy enjoying the bright lights and the decorated dancers, there’s a competition brewing up in the background.
GRES Beija-Flor de Nilopolis 11 by Carnaval.com Studios:Flickr [link]
What a lot of people don’t know is that this is actually a way to compete in samba schools. The 5-day carnival is worth your money. You’ll get to see caravans of different sculptures, different kinds of samba dancers and the best of all the crowning of the Queen of the carnival.