Reasons to Visit
Discovering that the indigenous peoples did not take well to forced labour, the colonial Portuguese shipped thousands of Africans to Brazil to work. Upon their emancipation at the end of the 19th Century, Afro Brazilians became integrated into society, resulting in the beautifully diverse people we see today.
From the beautiful towns of Ouro Preto and Tiradentes in Minas Gerais state, Natal and Salvador in the northeast to the cobbled backstreets of Santa Teresa in Rio, there are numerous fine examples of colonial architecture in Brazil. For a different type of architecture the retro designs of Brasilia dating back from the 1950's divides opinion!
With almost 3,000 km of coastline, it isn’t surprising that Brazil has some of the best beaches in Latin America. There’s a beach for every taste, miles of deserted sand and palm trees, havens for surfers, beaches to spot whales and beaches to watch the locals parade themselves in the latest swimwear trends.
One of the world’s most famous celebrations, Brazil’s annual carnival takes place across the country preparing for the start of Lent. Most well-known for the celebrations in Rio, thousands of sequin and feather-clad dancers samba their way through the parade ground.
Football is in the veins of Brazil and seen at every turn. Brazil has given us such footballing greats as Pelé, Ronaldo and Kaka and the love and passion shown by the children passing balls in the street leave little doubt that more stars will follow.
The Amazon rainforest is a haven for wildlife and a must for both nature lovers and those who are simply curious. It covers a vast area of Brazil and can be explored from a number of simple lodges or boats, most of which are easily accessible from the tropical city of Manaus.
For wildlife viewing, there are few better places in the world than the Pantanal between April and September. The animals and birds found here are similar to those found in the nearby Amazon, but they are much easier to spot in the Pantanal. Animals seen here include capybara, caiman, anteater, armadillo, otter, marmoset and even jaguar and puma.
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A small boutique hotel with 14 rooms only a short distance from the bars and restaurants of Buzios. The rooms are grouped either around beautifully landscaped gardens, or overlooking the ocean and the beach.
A small boutique hotel with 14 rooms only a short distance from the bars and restaurants of Buzios. The rooms are grouped either around beautifully landscaped gardens, or overlooking the ocean and the beach which can be found down some steps and directly in front of the hotel although it has to be said that the best beaches in the area are a short water-taxi ride away.
The hotel is equipped with two small swimming pools, one with warm water that looks right out across the ocean. It also has some lovely massage rooms that you pass on entering the hotel before you get to the colourful lobby area. Vila d'Este also has an in-house restaurant which can be a bit lacking in atmosphere during the week as guests tend to walk into town for dinner but it does serve great food.
A few hours’ drive east of Rio, you will come to the chic, almost Mediterranean resort of Búzios. Búzios retains a pleasant atmosphere, and makes for a good beach extension to any visit to Rio.
Our rating: First Class
Our rating: Medium
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