Rio, samba, football, the beach and a little bikini – that’s Brazil in a nutshell. You will go to Brazil to enjoy the warmth and sun as well as to experience its magnificent beaches and wonderful nature. Often, however, people remain the top memory.
Brazilians are colorful, pulsating and immersive like a carnival procession. Something about the attitude to life is that even in the poorest regions, people paint their homes in cheerful colors.
Joy catches on. Unnoticed, the mouth curves into a smile and the head begins to sway to the beat of the music. One of the most beautiful words in Portuguese is Coração, the heart. That’s something you should keep in mind because the earth is going to take a piece of your heart.
Many longer-time residents of the country acknowledge the sound of color that nothing has been as difficult to leave as Brazil.
Don’t rush to Brazil
It is difficult to choose the best pieces from Brazil because the country is huge and visible everywhere. There is something for everyone, but it is impossible to see everything at once. For a normal week or two vacation, it doesn’t even make sense to try to make trips to Rio, Iguaçu Falls and the Amazon rainforest.
According to countryaah, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world in terms of area, and the distances are surprisingly long. A direct flight from the northeastern city of Fortaleza to Rio alone, for example, takes four hours.
So it’s better to focus on one or two points of interest than trying to catch everything at once.
Beach life in Brazil
Brazil’s 7,400-kilometer coastline and warm and sunny climate make it a dream destination for sun worshipers.
The beach and the sun also mean a lot to the locals. It is said that the beach is the second living room of the Brazilians. It is a place to gather to meet friends and enjoy life. If you want to meet people, head to the beach.
Unlike tourists, Brazilians not only loung on the beach worshiping the sun, but jogging, exercising, playing games, surfing, dancing. Health and self-care are a way of life, you will notice it at the latest when you look at the trained bodies of the locals.
And then those bikinis. At best, women see stamp-sized tops and scanty bottoms, playfully called fio dental, floss. Although dressing is meager, full nudity is not acceptable. The locals never sunbathe in the topless.
There is life on the beaches and the latest hits are invariably playing loud. Beach traders wander around pushing for food and drink.
For the hungry, there are fruits, nuts or espetinhoox a, small skewers made of either cheese, chicken or meat. The Brazilian soft drink is guarana or Agua de coco, a coconut water that is found to be drunk with a whistle directly from coconut.
By far the most famous beach in the country is the legendary Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro.
The wonderland of football
Short for BR by abbreviationfinder, Brazil is the most successful football country in the world, from which many of today’s biggest stars have made an effort.
Even if you don’t care about football itself, watching matches on the spot is wonderful. The Brazilians are fanatical about their national game, each village has at least one team of its own and thousands of spectators can easily gather for local matches.
The auditorium is live throughout the game. People stand, jump, drum, scream, drink beer. Firecrackers, drink, empty mugs, paper, anything movable are flying in the air. Before you know it, you’re forced to dance with the crowd and sing encouragement songs.
Located in Rio de Janeiro, Maracaña, the world’s largest football stadium, is a place worth visiting even without a match. The final of the World Cup to be played at the stadium will have to wait until 2014.
Samba melts the heart
If you are interested in samba, you can get information about local samba schools before the trip. Often their exercises can be followed on site, and sometimes you can participate in the exercises yourself.
Even the smallest of the children involved in samba schools are mind-boggling dancers. A Rio traveler should also visit the Sambódromo, the scene of the annual Rio Samba Carnival.
The carnivals themselves have their own chapter. The February biscuits put the whole of Brazil in a mess for two weeks. Contrary to popular belief, the celebration is not limited to Rio alone, but all major cities have their own festivities and processions.
However, the Rio samba carnivals are still the culmination of Brazilian samba, and for those attending them, the experience is something incredible.
Shopping in Brazil
Brazil has a somewhat lower price level than Finland, and in some respects considerably. Food and drink are inexpensive in shops and restaurants, so when visiting the country, it is worth enjoying and getting to know all its delicacies.
Larger cities in particular are shoppers ’paradises. The multi-storey shopping malls are regular and full of attractive shops. Too bad, clothes are not much cheaper compared to the home country, except for beach pullers.
Brazilian bikinis are a must-buy, and there is naturally plenty to choose from. In the promised country of toe sandals, the brand stops are available for a few euros, the most popular brands are Havaianas and the top model Ipanema, advertised by Gisele Bündchen . To the delight of football fans, jerseys are also cheaper in many places compared to Finland.
Typical take-outs include local crafts such as hammocks, paintings or Brazilian wood carvings. Crafts can often be obtained most cheaply from marketplaces or special craft centers.
Many are also fascinated by country music, so Brazilian samba, Bossanova and forró are popular souvenirs. For Samba lovers, a good idea is to get a collection of Sambas de Enredo, which features the carnival pillars of the latest Rio carnivals.
In terms of contemporary music, the artist worth visiting is, at least in Brazil, the mega-popular Ivete Sangalo. Coffee and sugar cane Cachaça are also suitable as souvenirs – or at least as a warmth.
Good to know about Brazil
In addition to basic vaccinations, protection against hepatitis A is recommended for Brazil, yellow fever vaccination and antimalarial treatment during longer stays and especially when going to jungle areas.
Dengue fever also occurs in some parts of the country, and mosquito bites must be protected in these areas.
Tropical diseases are more common among Brazilian travelers lurking in traditional tourist diarrhea, sunburn, and sunburn. Stomach disease can be avoided by taking care of your own hand hygiene and avoiding uncooked foods and tap water.
The Brazilian sun is wonderful but deceptive. Domestic sunscreens are often not enough for protection. Proper creams can be easily obtained from home and it is advisable to choose a protection factor of more than 30 for the first days, preferably even more.
According to violence and crime statistics, Brazil is one of the most dangerous holiday destinations. The seed of truth lies in the statistics, but the biggest crime would be not to leave for Brazil because of this.
Robbery is common and even violent in big cities. The use of common sense is permissible, and certain types of situations and places should be avoided.
A good guideline is: Don’t take anything with you that you’re not ready to give up.
Jewelry and valuables should be left at home or in the hotel safe. According to only the amount of money for the day and also in pockets or under clothes. If you carry a bag, choose a cheap-looking beach bag.
The second guideline includes: Try to blend in with the locals. It may be difficult for a blond Finn, but this mainly means behavior. Avoid moving alone, especially in the dark. Prefer to take a taxi or move in a gang.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN BRAZIL
Flights to Brazil
You can’t get from Finland to Brazil on a direct flight, but you can change your plane. You can usually get a round trip for about a thousand euros. However, during the high season, i.e. between Christmas and the samba carnival, prices may be higher.
In addition to package tours, you can go on a guided themed tour to Brazil: in addition to the more traditional Brazil tour, trips can be found to the Bahia region, the Amazon rainforest, the Pantanal and the famous Rio Samba Carnival.
Accommodation in Brazil
Those looking for a more relaxed place to stay in hotels should check out the destinations’ own websites, which also provide links to the cheapest accommodation.
Pousadas are local inns or smaller hotels, often with breakfast included in the room rate, and reservations can usually be made in advance online.
Getting around Brazil
If you plan to explore the country more extensively and move from one place to another by plane, it will usually be most advantageous to obtain a flight passport suitable for the purpose. The Brazil Airpass ticket package covers at least four flights within Brazil.
Airport taxes and any fuel surcharge will be added to the rate, in addition to the booking fee when booking through a travel agency. Flight passes are sold by TAM and GOL, the largest airlines in Brazil.
In Brazil, transported by your own car or bus, train traffic is almost non-existent. Intra-city bus connections are very comprehensive, and inter-city and interstate travel is provided by high-quality long-distance buses.
Traveling by bus is cheap and comfortable, especially the local buses have enough atmosphere. The cars are crammed full of people and people are squealing with each other. Accompanied by a driver throwing a trip while on small pillar spins and singing, you can also jump aboard an acrobat or a poet to entertain passengers.
The traffic culture is much more active than in Finland, and traffic rules are often applied creatively. However, I get used to it suddenly. With a Finnish driving license, you can drive a car in Brazil and a rental car can be easily arranged through car rental companies.
In big cities, however, driving is worth considering. When navigating in fast-paced traffic, you easily lose the holiday mood. In addition to buses, and especially in the evening, the best option for getting around is a taxi.
Magnificent Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is probably Brazil’s main tourist asset, and everyone would love to experience it on their journey. Rio is called Cidade Maravilhosa, the ‘Great City’, and that is what it is.
Spread amidst emerald green hills and white sandy beaches, the giant city of about nine million inhabitants is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The view from Corcovado of the hem of the statue of Christ over the city catches the spirit. Dipping your toes in the beach sand of Copacabana or Ipanema is sure to be everyone’s dream.
Rio makes it easy to combine both beach and city vacations, with many also spending a week in Rio and a week in another destination on their way.
Located 190 kilometers east of Rio, Búzios has also become a favorite of foreign travelers through Brazilian holidaymakers.
The scenic Búzios came to the consciousness of the world in the 1960s while Brigitte Bardot spent time there. The place is one of the Brazilians ’own favorite destinations and although many Brazilian celebrities are on holiday in Búzios, the atmosphere is relaxed and immediate.
The capital of the state of Bahia, Salvador, cannot be missed. The city flourishes with colonial architecture, Baroque and Rococo-style churches and Monasteries rise along the wavy cobbled streets.
The history of the place dates back to the 16th century, when the area was ruled by Portuguese colonial lords. Most of the city’s residents are of African descent, and this is charmingly reflected in the culture of the entire region.
Salvador is known for its own February carnivals, whose atmosphere is praised even more authentic than in Rio.
In Pernambuco surfing and culture
The city of Recife in the state of Pernambuco offers its visitors both beach and city life.
Many also want to visit nearby Olinda, which is like a mini version of Salvador. The place is dominated by old baroque buildings and a bohemian atmosphere.
Olinda is one of Brazil’s best-preserved colonial cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The quieter options for a holiday in the city of Recife are the smaller beach resorts in the area, of which Porto de Galinhas is probably the most famous.
Those looking for good diving or surfing spots should also explore the islands of Fernando de Noronha, where Praia do Sancho is considered one of the best beaches in the world.
Fortaleza, the capital of the state of Ceará, is familiar to many Finnish tourists. There are plenty of good sandy beaches in the Fortaleza area, so its popularity is guaranteed.
Cumbuco and Iparana, located close to the city, are also great places to visit, and there are now package tours to Cumbuco.
For those who appreciate untouched beauty, you will find the right gem on the northwest side of Fortaleza, Jericoacoara, which has been chosen as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Jericoacoara is an idyllic fishing village especially popular with backpackers and surfers. There is nothing here other than a white sandy beach, turquoise water, sand dunes and palm trees for the unseen.
Amazon and Iguaçu: Brazil’s natural wonders
Brazil’s natural attractions are dominated by the Iguaçu Falls in the south, on the Argentine-Brazilian border, and in the northern parts of the country by the Amazon and Pantanal rainforests.
Exploration trips to even more pristine Brazilian rainforests in the Amazon or Pantanal are perfect for adventurers.
The leaning trees of the lianas, the sky mocking far from their tops, the rare animal species, the river, and the sounds of the jungle seek out their peers as an experience.
THE BEST OF BRAZIL
The most famous beaches
- Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
- Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
- Botafogo Beach, Rio de Janeiro
- Jericoacoara, Fortaleza
- Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha