Brazil – so much more than just carnival and football. As the fifth largest country in the world, a lifetime of exploration couldn’t discover all that it has to offer, and it’s impossible to sum up the country in just a few paragraphs.

Most visitors head straight to the colourful, chaotic metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, one of the great cities of Latin America. Here you’ll find the iconic landscape of Sugarloaf Mountain and the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, the legendary beaches of Copacabana and the colourful favelas, stretching up into the hills at the edge of the city. And course, the city comes alive each year with the annual Carnaval, one of the liveliest parties you’re ever likely to attend.

But Brazil is just so much more than this. Of course, there’s the Amazon. Brazil is home to the bulk of this mighty rainforest, the river running through it on its epic journey to the Atlantic Ocean. This is home to some of the most traditional ethnic groups on the continent – some still uncontacted – and wildlife such as jaguar, anaconda and giant river otter. Much of this region is inaccessible, holding secrets yet to be discovered.

To the south lies the Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland. This is a paradise for enthusiasts, with a huge array of mammals, reptiles and amphibians, as well as around 600 bird species, and is generally considered to be the top spot on the continent for wildlife sightings.

Brazil’s other landscapes include the cerrado, a type of savannah that is rich in biodiversity, and the chapada, the plateaus of the Brazilian highlands. Here you’ll find gushing waterfalls, hidden canyons and table top mountains, with great opportunities for hiking.

Brazil’s cultural highlights hold just as much allure. The southern state of Minais Gerais holds some of the most exquisite colonial architecture anywhere, a treasure trove of picturesque towns with colourful buildings, whitewashed churches and traditional plazas. The city of Salvador is an intoxicating fusion of Portuguese and African influences, with distinct traditions that take much from the heritage of the slave trade.

Its present is equally fascinating; the capital Brasilia is a futuristic ensemble of cutting edge design, while cities like Sao Paolo ooze urban chic. Yet hundreds of miles away, deep in the rainforest, live groups who are unaware of the existence of the modern world.

Top highlights on Brazil holidays and tours

  • Stay in a jungle lodge deep in the Amazon
  • Discover the African heritage of Salvador
  • Explore the landscapes of the Chapada Diamantina
  • The gorgeous colonial town of Ouro Preto
  • Rio de Janeiro


Brazil is the odd one out in Latin America, with a Portuguese rather than Spanish heritage. Most people here can trace their heritage to Portuguese, African or indigenous roots, with the lines having blurred over many generations of intermarriage. More than its neighbours though, Brazil has a strong African influence, having been one of the major destinations for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and this is easily in some of its coastal towns and cities.

Brazil is also a stronghold of indigenous culture – the Amazon is home to a multitude of different groups such as the Yanomami and Waorani, some of whom are under intense pressure from increasing encroachment on their homelands. A small number of groups remain isolated within their forest strongholds and have not had any contact with the wider world.

Successive waves of immigrants have also made the country their home, and many cities have sizeable Japanese, German and Italian populations.

Brazil is one of the liveliest countries on the continent – best exemplified in Rio’s annual carnaval, but easily seen in any of the other countless celebrations and fiestas that take place here. Music is an important part of Brazilian culture, with African rhythms and sassy salsa beats the soundtrack to a nation.

When to go on holiday to Brazil

Brazil is such a vast country that there’s no easy answer to this. Only in the south and south east is there anything resembling a winter – June to September sees the coldest temperatures here. In contrast, the north and north east is reliably warm all year round. In the Amazon and the Pantanal it tends to be driest from July to October

Start planning your trip to Brazil

Check out our small group tour to Brazil, Brazilian Rhythms. Although many of our trips are small group adventures with set departures, as a bespoke operator, we can design and create trips to suit any traveller, from solos to larger group. If you would like to find out more about tailor-made holidays to Brazil or our group tours, call us on 01473 328546 or email us via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.


Good for:Historic cities and wildlife experiences