Is Brazil Worth Visiting?
Brazil is a country that offers diverse culture, vibrant cities, and stunning natural wonders. Is Brazil worth visiting in 2024? The answer is a firm yes!
This South American gem offers so many experiences that will cater to every type of travellers.
Embrace the warmth of the Brazilian sun on it’s many beaches, immerse yourself in the rhythms of samba, and travel to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world.
From the majestic Iguazu Falls to the pulsating energy of Carnival, Brazil promises a journey like no other.
Here are 10 reasons why you should consider making Brazil your next travel destination in 2024:
1. Iguazu Falls: One Of The Best Waterfalls In The World
Nestled on the border between Brazil and Argentina, Iguazu Falls is a breathtaking display of nature.
The falls, comprised of 275 individual cascades, create an awe-inspiring panorama. The sheer volume of water and the surrounding lush rainforest make Iguazu Falls a must-see destination.
Explore the national parks surrounding the falls, embark on exhilarating boat tours, and witness the mesmerizing Devil’s Throat – the largest and most powerful curtain of falls.
Iguazu Falls sits on the border between Brazil and Argentina. You can easily cross, see the falls from two different perspectives, and then carry on your travels into Argentina.
Check out this 1-month itinerary for Argentina to see where to go after Iguazu:
2. Sao Paulo: A Metropolis Alive with Culture
Sao Paulo, the second biggest city in Brazil, is perfect for travellers looking for a diverse and dynamic cultural scene.
From world-class museums and art galleries to vibrant street markets, Sao Paulo offers a diverse range of experiences. Immerse yourself in the local lifestyle by exploring neighbourhoods like Vila Madalena, known for its street art, or Jardins, a haven for shopping and dining.
Here are some of my favourite things to do in Sao Paulo:
- Relax in Parque Ibirapuera and get a great view of the city sky line reflected in the lake
- Walk along Paulista Avenue on a Sunday. The avenue becomes car free and a huge market opens up
- Museum hop – Pinacoteca do Estado and Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP) both have great collections
- Go hiking in Jaraguá State Park
3. Florianopolis: A Tropical Paradise
For those seeking sun-kissed beaches and a laid-back atmosphere, Florianopolis is a tropical paradise waiting to be discovered.
This island city boasts a stunning coastline with over 40 pristine beaches, each with its own unique charm.
From the surfing beaches of Joaquina and Mole beach to the tranquil shores of Praia de Jurere, Florianopolis caters to water lovers and beach enthusiasts alike. You can spend a good couple of weeks exploring this island and still not see it all.
I recommend staying in Lagoa Conceicao or Barra Da Lagoa to be in the epicenter of the island and in close reach to the best surf beaches.
Make sure you stay at The Search House Hostel. They have private access to the beach, great dorms and regular events. This is one of my favourite hostels in South America:
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4. Ilha Grande: An Island Paradise
A 3 hour bus ride from Rio, you’ll find the secluded beauty of Ilha Grande.
With no motorized vehicles allowed, this pristine island paradise offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Here you can explore lush rainforests, hike to panoramic viewpoints, and unwind on pristine beaches.
Ilha Grande is a haven for nature lovers, providing a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure amidst untouched landscapes.
Here are some great things to do on this island:
- Take a boat to Lopes Mendes Beach and spend the day on this 3km stretch of golden sand
- Hike to Pico do Papagaoi (Parrot Peak), one of the highest viewpoints on the island with panoramic views.
- One of my personal favourite things to do on Ilha Grande is scuba diving. The island is blessed with warm waters, a variety of marine life and fantastic visibility – the ideal conditions for any diving enthusiast. If you’re interested, try Dive And Cia
There’s so many other great things to do on Ihla Grande that can fill anywhere from 3 days to a week. Head to the post below to see more:
5. The Beaches: Sun, Sand and Surfing
Brazil’s coastline is adorned with some of the world’s most spectacular beaches. Whether you’re seeking vibrant beach parties or serene retreats, Brazil has it all.
From Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro to the golden sands of Jericoacoara, each beach offers a unique experience.
For surf enthusiasts, Brazil is a also surfing haven with world-class breaks. Florianopolis and Itamambuca are renowned for their consistent waves and vibrant surf culture.
Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner eager to catch your first wave, Brazil’s diverse coastline caters to surfers of all levels.
I would personally recommend BAIBAI Surf Hostel in Itamambuca. They offer all inclusive surf trips with food, accommodation, yoga and surf lessons all included.
If you are travelling to Brazil, I would recommend getting an eSIM (digital SIM card) instead of a physical SIM card.
I’m currently using Airalo.
Airalo is the world’s first eSIM store that solves the pain of high roaming bills by giving travellers access to eSIMs from over 200 countries.
Simply download the app, buy the digital sim, and then use the app to switch sims when you reach Brazil and you’ll have data on the go!
6. Carnival: A Week-Long Party
Brazil’s Carnival is synonymous with exuberance, color, unbridled joy and non-stop parties.
Held annually in February, this week-long celebration is one of the world’s most iconic parties.
I have been lucky enough to experience two carnivals. My first was in Rio in 2019 and I recommend everyone do their first here. I’ve never experienced a party like it, people were drinking and dancing in the streets from all day and until the early hours of the morning.
The energy was insane. I joined the lively parades, danced to the infectious rhythms of samba, and witnessed the elaborate costumes and vibrant floats that fill the streets.
My second was in Florianopolis in 2024 and this was an incredible experience but less hectic compared to the expanse of Rio.
Carnival in Brazil is a bucketlist item that offers an unforgettable experience. Make sure you experience your first one in Rio!
8. Rio: Iconic Landmarks and Vibrant Culture
No trip to Brazil is complete without experiencing the magic of Rio de Janeiro.
Marvel at the panoramic views from Sugarloaf Mountain, stand in awe before the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, and wander through the colourful mosaic staircase of Escadaria Selarón.
On top of all the great sights, the nightlife is also a must. Make sure you spend a night dancing away to the infectious rhythms of samba and cumbia.
Most adventures in Brazil will start from the capital. To see how to follow the coast South and tick off Sao Paulo, Ihla Grande, Florianopolis and Iguazu, check out the month-long itinerary below:
9. Caipirinhas: Brazil's Signature Cocktail
Indulge in Brazil’s signature cocktail, the caipirinha.
Whether you’re sipping caipirinhas on Copacabana or in the lively streets of Sao Paulo, this iconic drink is a must-try.
Made with cachaca, sugar, and lime, this refreshing concoction is the perfect companion for warm Brazilian evenings.
I still remember my first and favourite caipirinha on Copacabana beach. You can find small bars dotted along the boardwalk all along the beach.
Me and some friends played a game a football against some locals then sat with a caiprinha watching the sunset. One of my top travel memories.
10. The National Parks: Diverse Nature
Brazil is full of natural wonders that can be found in it’s many national parks.
Here are some of my favourites:
- Parque Nacional da Serra da Bodoquena in Bonito is the home of ecotourism in Brazil and travellers come here to go snorkelling or diving in the pristine river waters teeming with exotic fish and unique rock formations.
- Jericoacoara National Park is a Brazilian treasure on the northern coast of Brazil. It captivates with its unspoiled beauty and diverse ecological wonders. This coastal haven, accessible by flights from Rio or Sao Paulo, boasts golden sand dunes, turquoise lagoons, and mangrove forests, making it a paradise for nature lovers.
- Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses is a surreal masterpiece of nature, beckoning visitors with its otherworldly landscapes. The park, renowned for its vast, undulating sand dunes and crystal-clear freshwater lagoons.
Why Would Brazil Not Be Worth Visiting?
Brazil is one of my favourite countries in South America but there are a couple of reasons why you might want to pick another country over, especially if you are planning a trip to this amazing continent for the first time:
- The Brazilian real is the strongest currency in South America as of 2024. This means your money won’t be going as far as it would in some of its neighbours. If you are a budget traveller looking to travel longer for less, then pick somewhere like Argentina.
- It’s a big country and that means you’ll have to fly to most places like the Amazon. Again, this will impact your budget. It also adds extra admin to your trip. You may not get that backpacker like feel of adventure you get in other places like Ecuador and Peru where you can just hop on and off buses to the next town easily.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Brazil?
Brazil is a big country with multitude of microclimates. However, most people will be visiting the coast, going south from Rio to Iguazu.
The best time to visit this region will be from December to March. This is high season and you’ll have the best weather – hot with little rain.
However, the shoulder seasons of October-November and April can also be good. The weather will be warm but there will be more wet days.
To download this chart in a handy infographic, head to the link below:
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