The largest nation by far on the continent of South America, Brazil is one of the world’s most exciting holiday destinations. From the dense jungles of the Amazon to the golden sandy beaches and colourful colonial towns of the Atlantic coast, this vast and varied country, home to no fewer than 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rewards exploration at every turn, and with this year’s Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be receiving more international attention than ever. The former Brazilian capital, Rio de Janeiro is the ideal introduction to the country and home to some of its most famous sights and attractions, including the awe-inspiring statue of Christ the Redeemer, named as one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’. The 30m-high figure with its outstretched arms has watched over the city, the favelas, the beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema and the Atlantic Ocean beyond from atop Corcovado Mountain since 1931, and is the city’s most recognisable landmark.
Rio is also the venue for one of the biggest parties on Earth, the Rio Carnival, which regularly attracts more than half a million foreign visitors who come to join the locals, or cariocas as they are known, for the celebrations. There really is nothing quite like it, as the air fills with pulsating samba rhythms, drumming, whistles and horns as hundreds of dancers in vibrant multi-coloured costumes of feathers, sequins and tassels appear alongside gigantic over-the-top floats decorated in a variety of imaginative themes.
The breathtaking UNESCO-listed Iguazu Falls, on the border with Argentina are one of the natural highlights of the South American continent, made up of almost 300 individual waterfalls, with the highlight being the Devil’s Throat, the tallest of the cascades, twice as high and three times as wide as Niagara Falls. Around 60% of the Amazon Rainforest lies within Brazil and experiencing the wild beauty of the jungle at first hand is one of the most magical adventures of world travel. Tens of thousands of plant species, 1500 species of bird and hundreds of mammal species live here, including many of the most colourful and charismatic creatures on the planet. The region’s bustling main city, Manaus, is an ideal starting point for excursions into to the rainforest and is also something of an attraction in itself; known as the ‘Paris of the Tropics,’ it is furnished with some surprisingly ornate architecture including the opulent Renaissance-style Teatro Amazonas, which opened in 1896, and the Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, which was based on the design of Les Halles in Paris.
There is certainly a clear appetite presently from around the world to experience a little bit of the vast country which is Brazil. From the Football World Cup in 2014 to this year’s Summer Olympics, Brazil seems to be becoming ever more comfortable at being centre stage at world events. So taking the saying ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ literally, that is exactly what we at Titan Travel have done by introducing a classic tour of Brazil. Our journey starts in Rio de Janeiro which is nicknamed The Marvellous City and it’s not hard to see why. With long sweeping beaches oozing energy and iconic landmarks such as Christ the Redeemer reaching out from Corcovado Mountain it’s a city you’re bound to recognise. To ensure you capture the party spirit of Rio I have included a carnival departure which includes confirmed seats for the Winners’ Parade. The Winners’ Parade takes place a week after the main carnival and showcases the very best floats and dancers; best of all the area is less crowded and more relaxed. After the excitement of Rio de Janeiro we fly to Iguazu Falls to witness the sheer might and power of this natural wonder. To ensure our clients see the very best of Iguazu we experience the falls from both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides, getting to see all angles. A journey to Brazil would not be complete without time spent in the natural surroundings of the Amazon Rain Forest. Whilst in the jungle you’ll experience jungle walks, night canoeing down the Amazon and bird watching and get to interact with local indigenous people, learning their traditions and customs. A highlight for me however is the magical meeting of the waters; this is where the Rio Negro tributary (dark water) meets the Amazon River (sandy water) but they just won’t mix, creating a magical visual experience. Finally our tour concludes in Salvador de Bahia which was once the capital of Portugal’s resplendent new world empire. This bright and colourful city is now known more for its Afro-Brazilian culture and we will encounter this with a trip to Cachoeira which is one of the main centres for the striking religion of Candomble. Our new Colours of Brazil tour is a wonderful addition to our South America stable, showcasing the very best Brazil has to offer. In the coming months I’m sure to be reminded of the joy and vibrancy of Brazil whilst watching the spectacle of the Summer Olympics, and I’m positive this will also entice more travellers to experience Brazil first hand.
Discover more about our brand new ‘Colours of Brazil’ holiday here.