Brazil, a vast South American country, stretches from the Amazon Basin in the north to vineyards and massive Iguaçu Falls in the south. Rio de Janeiro, symbolized by its 38m Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado, is famed for its busy Copacabana and Ipanema beaches as well as its enormous, raucous Carnaval festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes, and samba music and dance.
Vibrant São Paulo is packed with shops, restaurants and cultural institutions including the noted Museum of Art. Brazil’s capital, Brasília, founded in 1960, is a planned city with modernist buildings by Oscar Niemeyer. The northeastern state of Bahia, known for beaches and dense Amazon rainforest, reflects African influences in its capoeira martial arts, axé dance music and moqueca (a coconut milk-seafood stew).
Its capital, Salvador, retains its 16th- and 17th-century core. Farther north are Alagoas’ coral reefs, Maranhão’s sand dunes and Portuguese colonial town Olinda. Western Pantanal’s wetlands shelter caimans and jaguars.
When to travel to Brazil
Brazil is an all year round destination made up of several climatic extremes, none of which are severe enough to deter travel to any part of the country at any given time. Across the country, the warmest months are November to March – perfect for enjoying New Year and Carnival celebrations. The northeastern coast experiences some rain in June and July, but usually only in the form of afternoon showers. We recommend the Pantanal’s driest months between April and October, but like in the Amazon, its wetter months offer distinct wildlife spotting opportunities and experiences.