Olá e benvindo ao Brasil – Translates into “Hello and welcome to Brazil”. Be prepared to hear this often when you step foot onto the warm and friendly country of Brazil. You’ve seen them at the Olympic Games; the super-devoted fans decked out with bright green and yellow attire. If you are planning to visit Brazil someday soon, it might be fun to tie in your visit with the 2014 World Cup or the 2016 Olympic games. Once you arrive, try to make time to see some of the following sites, in between all the soccer, swimming and track events.
By Bill Weston.
Here’s eight must-see places to get your Brazilian spirit going:
1. Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor)
It’s become Rio’s trademark as much as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris or Buckingham Palace to London. The giant statue of Jesus, arms spread open at the precipice of Corcovado Mountain stands at height of 130 feet.
It would be difficult not to see him as you travel along the streets of Rio far below his outstretched arms. There is a tram that can take you to the up the mountain and with an additional climb of 222 stairs you can reach the statue.
2. Fernando de Noronha
If sultry breezes and clear tropical waters are on your must-see list, then be sure to include this little tropical paradise.
Not a big nightlife destination, but if sand and surf appeals more than drinks and dancing stay here and leave the city things back in Rio. Carnival is a non-stop four day party. As a matter of fact, book a trip here after Carnival, you’ll probably need a little rest and relaxation.
3. Amazon River
Of course, what trip to Brazil would be complete without checking out one of the largest rivers in the world! (Only Egypt’s Nile River could compete with a tributary this size and volume of water).
The Amazon river offers home to more than 3,000 species, among them the rare River Dolphin and the ever-popular piranhas. Careful dipping those toes in!
Unlike the crystalline waters of the Atlantic, this is all part of Brazil’s unique fresh-water rivers system. A haven for nature lovers and for those who want to keep their travels green and eco-friendly.
Blue Lake Caves are some of the most beautiful and idyllic settings to snorkel among tropical fish and plunging waterfalls, best part: no sharks to worry about, just soothing water and lots of nooks and cranny’s to explore.
In keeping with your eco-theme you won’t want to miss this protected wildlife habitat. If bird-watching is a passion, then you can do your birding here until your heart’s content.
Picture macaws, hawks, herons and egrets all in their natural environment. There’s some other residents here you’ll want to get lots of photos of, too. Lizards and Capybaras are among a couple of non-feathered friends here, well, those and jaguars.
6. Sao Paulo
It’s one of Brazil’s busiest ports, but also one of the most historic. If history is part of your travel experience, then you’ll want to book a tour here.
Basilica de Sao Bento and the Museu Afro Brasil should both be on that historic itinerary. The Basilica is an architect’s dream with its spires and stained-glass windows, flanking the entrance are columns of palm trees, be prepared to be impressed. Afterwards, go learn about Brazil’s unique African heritage at the Afro Brasil Museum.
7. Iguacu Falls
Named as one of UNESCO’s modern natural wonders, once visiting here it should not come as any surprise that it would earn one of these top titles.
Breathtaking in its natural beauty and wonder, it’s set deep in the verdant jungles, after visiting here make sure you jump on a jungle train tour. Where else can you see monkeys and jaguars in the wild?
8. Copacabana Beach
Yep, just like the famous song crooned by Barry Manilow, music and passion are always in fashion, here.
Wander the beaches and enjoy the restaurants and nightlife just like a “Cariocas” (for those not in the know, that’s some who was born in Rio).
Wow, what a trip! Rainforests, jungles, wild animals, idyllic landscapes, beaches and of course, big city nightlife. All you’ll be thinking about on the flight home is all those places you didn’t get to but will sure you do the next time you come down.
Author bio: Bill Weston is an avid adventurist and outdoorsman who loves hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, writing, and good conversation with new and interesting people. Bill blogs on the topics of the RV lifestyle and outdoor recreation for Lakeshore RV, a dealer of a wide range of RV brands and manufacturers.