Brazil is a country of distinct and incredible geography, with stunning natural features like Iguazu Falls and Sugarloaf Mountain providing as much of a draw as its pulsing cities, samba rhythms and flavorful food. Covering 3 million square miles, Brazil lays claim to rainforests, beaches and towering peaks, while many sections of the coastline have little patches of islands right off the shore, making them enticing holiday options for families and more adventurous travelers alike.
Amazon jungle trips are a must when you come to Brazil. Charting through the untouched lands which flank the Amazon River, some tours offer the chance to meet the native people living along its banks. Whether seeing jaguars, camping under the forest canopies, watching a beautiful sunrise or hanging out with the alligators, you can explore an entire world out here.
Perhaps one of most photographed man-made attractions on Earth, Christ the Redeemer stands proudly overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. Completed in October of 1931, this statue was dedicated by the Catholic Circle of Rio, marking the flourishing of Christianity in Brazil. You can get here by train or arrange a tour, but hiking up Corvado Mountain with the magnificent landscape at your back is the best way to approach this monumental figure
Foz do Iguaçu acts as the entrance route for getting to these huge, mist-laden waterfalls, stretching between Brazil and neighboring Argentina. Helicopter rides are available for those preferring an aerial view but, for those who want a more authentic trek, visitors can hike along the many trails for a day or an entire week to get a feel for the area.
Considered one of the safest places to explore the sea waters, Noronha is a beautiful beach on a small island. Because visitor numbers are closely controlled in order to maintain the area's natural beauty, reservations need to be placed well in advance. Octopi, fish, sharks and turtles thrive off these shores, so it's definitely worth the effort to visit these prime snorkeling waters.
A heavily forested beach, the Sao Paulo State nestles within mountains, making it more secluded than most. A popular place for surfers, you can also kayak or just settle back and watch the dolphins and whales crest the waves. Stay here in one of the more traditional Brazil hotels—or pousadas—beneath the palms, and you can spend your days on the sugary sands.
One to experience for the bragging rights and people-watching opportunities, Copacabana is also one of Rio’s finer shores, with its impossibly perfect sands and friendly games of futevolei (volleyball using your feet!). Also a great spot for motor watersports and a good old-fashioned swim.
Major cities like Rio de Janeiro are packed with both branded Brazil hotels and low-cost accommodations along the Copacabana and Ipanema shores. Prices range from more than $300 for a top-notch suite by the sea, to more functional three-star rooms for around $50 a night. The capital of Sao Paulo offers some excellent inner-city stays at around $100 a night, but if you're on a budget, you can bunk for less than $30 further out of the city center.
Brazil has a subtropical climate, meaning it stays wet and warm for the majority of the year. Because it sits right on the equator, it hardly ever reaches colder temperatures but can sometimes get cool enough for a jacket. Brazil doesn't experience any major seasonal changes, and the temperature averages around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. South of the Tropic of Capricorn, frost can sometimes occur during the winter months (between June and September).