This weeks Top 5 Reasons to Backpack Brazil is brought to you by our South American backpacking buddy Emily from Emily Luxton Travel Blog.
Brazil, with it’s stunning coastline, breathtaking natural beauty and air of constant party, is an amazing place to backpack. The people are full of passion and joy (you just need to watch a football game with them to see how much!), the food is delicious, and there is so much to see and do. It’s hard to squeeze the whole country into a four week trip, let alone a top five, but her’s a decent crack at the top 5 reasons to backpack Brazil…
Sexy Samba and Carnival
Rio’s iconic five day festival takes place before lent every year, but year-round the city pulses with the spirit of the samba celebration. The hypnotic dance style, with it’s crazy, colorful costumes and serious overdose of hip-shaking, is at the heart of carnival, where the main parade is actually a competition between the city’s samba schools. Throughout the year it’s possible to visit samba schools to watch shows and carnival rehearsals to get a taste of carnival before the main event.
If you only needed one reason to backpack Brazil, the incredible Atlantic coastline is surely enough. Choice surf, palm trees, fresh coconuts and paradise-inspired scenery, Brazil has it all. In the south, there’s the rugged coastline around Paraty, with dramatic cliffs skirted by the dense green of the Atlantic rainforest. In Rio it’s all trendy beach bars and outdoor gyms, overlooked by the unmistakable Sugarloaf Mountain. Up in the north, there are some spectacular beaches, especially around Porto Seguro and the popular Afro-Brazilian island Morro de São Paulo near Salvador. Island lovers shouldn’t miss Ilha Grande; home to idyllic waterfalls, tropical rainforest, and howler monkeys, not to mention some stunning white-sand beaches.
Incredible Iguassu Falls
This stunning, and simply enormous, waterfall has to be one of the best reasons to visit the country. It’s actually made up of over 150 individual falls, and is so big that it spans two countries. In my opinion, Brazil is the best side to see Iguassu from, as it’s only from here that you can see the massive horseshoe fall, Garganta do Diabo (Devil’s Throat).
The largest eco-system on earth, the Amazon takes up about 40% of Brazil’s total area – so it’s pretty hard to miss. And you really shouldn’t miss it; this enormous swathe of rainforest is a real adventure. Fall in love with the breath-taking scenery stretching on either side of the Amazon river, endlessly repetitive and almost shockingly green. The best place to visit the Brazilian Amazon is Manaus, a surprisingly huge city right in the middle of the enormous Amazon and seemingly cut off from the rest of the country. From here you can take tours into the forest and even spend a night or two in a jungle lodge.
Churrascarias (Brazilian BBQs)
An absolute must-do dining experience in Brazil has to be the churrascarias (barbecues). Basically all-you-can-eat buffets, these restaurants serve up amazing barbecued meat, particularly steak, which is served right off the cooking spit. The waiters bring the spits to the table and serve up a little bit of meat at a time, over and over until you stay stop – it’s a carnivore’s heaven!
About the Author
Emily is an aspiring travel writer and wannabe digital nomad currently on an indefinite gap year with her partner Sam. You can follow her adventures on www.emilyluxton.co.uk, a blog which she hopes will show people like her, who missed out on the pre-uni gap year, that it’s never too late to travel. You can also follow her amazing adventure on Facebook and Twitter.