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Brazil tours

Brazil tours

Panoramic views, colonial architecture, and world-famous beaches—experience everything this cultural hot spot has to offer on our trips to Brazil.

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Grand Tour of South America: Brazil, Argentina & Peru
15 days | 18 days with Lima & the Amazon extension

4.8 star rating

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What travelers say about their trips to Brazil

Three Totally Different Experiences
09/07/19 by 2nd-time traveler Jim
Three totally different worlds, all in one tour. A big thank you to the friendly and courteous people of Brazil and Argentina. Muchisimas Gracias! Muito Obrigado!
Rio, Iguazú Falls & Buenos Aires
07/06/19 by 2nd-time traveler Marie
What a fabulous trip! We met a great group of folks on this tour and we had such a great time. The Falls were incredible, as well as Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf in Rio, and the City of Buenos Aires was great!
Rio, Iguazú Falls & Buenos Aires

Travel tips for trips to Brazil

What are some interesting things to do on a trip to Brazil?

As the largest country in all of Latin America, Brazil offers something to satisfy nearly every interest. Here are a few experiences to consider when browsing our trips to Brazil.

  • Experience Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. In late-February and early March each year, visitors and cariocas (residents of Rio) alike take to the streets of Rio de Janeiro for colorful, over-the-top carnival. The celebrations bring together the Catholic tradition and African-influenced samba music and dance. Around 5 million people celebrate carnival in Rio, making it one of the largest carnival celebrations in the world.
  • Explore modern architecture. Modern architecture is an important part of Brazil’s cultural heritage. Oscar Niemeyer, a native of Brazil, is the country’s most famous and prolific Modernist architect. During your free time on tour in Rio, check out the Niemeyer-designed Niterói Contemporary Art Museum. (Headed to São Paulo on an independent pre- or post-tour stay or on a Customized Tour of Brazil? Niemeyer standouts in that city include the wave-shaped Copan residential building, and the Ibirapuera Auditorium.) Another Modernist marvel in Rio is the Edgar Fonseca-designed Metropolitana Cathedral.   
  • Visit a samba school. Fast-moving, foot-shuffling, and highly rhythmic, samba—a style of both music and dance—is wildly popular throughout Brazil. Samba draws locals and travelers alike to nightclubs and live music venues, and it’s performed atop larger-than-life floats and in city streets during carnival. When you travel to Brazil with us on tour, you can visit a samba school for a demonstration and lesson.
  • Take in a soccer match. Soccer, or futebol, as it’s known locally, is by far one of the most popular sports in Brazil. (The country is the birthplace of Pele, one of the most legendary athletes to ever play the game.) Take in a televised match—and cheer alongside local fans—at a sports bar.
  • Explore the Pantanal. At 42 million acres, the Pantanal, which lies north of Iguazú Falls, is the world’s largest tropical wetland. Visits to the Pantanal aren’t included on itineraries for our Brazil trips, but travelers who want to see the area’s wildlife in person can ask our staff for help planning a pre- or post-tour stay in the area, or a Customized Tour of Brazil. 
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When is the best time of year to visit Brazil?

Happily, there’s a case to be made for planning trips to Brazil any time of year thanks to the country’s year-round warmth and its tropical climate. Here are some general weather and climate tips by region in case you’re thinking of booking one of our Brazil tour packages but aren’t sure when to go.

  • In general, the warmest months in Brazil are from November through March.
  • June and July can bring afternoon showers to the country’s northeastern coast.
  • If you’re heading to the Pantanal on an independent pre- or post-tour stay or on a Customized Tour, consider trips to Brazil that run between the drier months of April and October, or during rainier, more humid months for unique wildlife-viewing opportunities.
  • If your goal is to see Iguazú Falls at their fullest, consider guided tours of Brazil that run between November and March, as these months see the most rainfall. (If you’d rather experience the falls with fewer people around, consider Brazil tours during drier off-season months.)
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What are the top attractions to see in Brazil?

It would take multiple trips to Brazil to see all the country’s worthy attractions. Here are a few highlights not to miss:

  • Christ the Redeemer. Standing 98 feet tall and perched atop a 26-foot-high base, this iconic statue of Jesus Christ is the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world. Find it, plus stunning views of the city and Guanabara Bay, at the summit of Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro’s Tijuca National Park.
  • Sugarloaf Mountain. For the best bird’s-eye views of Rio, ride a cable car to the top of this steep mountain, which lies at the mouth of Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro and soars nearly 1,300 feet in height.
  • Copacabana Beach. Head to this famous beach in Rio, and the neighborhood that surrounds it, for swimming, sunning, music, beach volleyball and soccer, people-watching, bar hopping, and plenty more extrovert-friendly activity.
  • Ipanema Beach. Just south of Copacabana, the trendy Ipanema district and its jaw-droppingly beautiful beach are also popular among travelers, but the atmosphere here tends to be quieter and more laid-back. Beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana are among the reasons Brazil is one of our top tropical destinations to visit on tour.
  • Iguazú Falls: Nature lovers booking trips to Brazil won’t want to miss a visit to this natural wonder, which straddles the border between Argentina and southwestern Brazil. It comprises more than 275 breathtaking cascades.
  • The Amazon: This vast and vital rainforest blankets more than half of Brazil and is a dream destination for travelers who want to spot wildlife on their tours of Brazil.
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What should I pack for a trip to Brazil?

Whichever one of our Brazil tours you’re looking to book, be sure to add these items to your packing list.

  • Comfortable and secure walking shoes. Our Brazil tours include time in both urban and natural environments. Cushioned, comfortable shoes will come in handy for walking tours of Rio. For wetter areas, like Iguazú Falls, skip the slides and flip-flops. Instead, choose shoes that are sure to stay on your feet.  
  • Sun protection. The sun can be strong in Brazil year-round, so protect your skin with a brimmed hat, sunglasses, loose, lightweight pants, long-sleeve shirts, and waterproof SPF.
  • Insect repellent. Brazil’s climate is tropical, which means you’re likely to encounter a few pesky mosquitos and other bugs when you’re on tour. Bring a bottle of bug spray to keep them at bay.
  • Your favorite camera. From Iguazú’s rushing waterfalls to Rio’s breathtaking, beach-meets-city landscape, our Brazil tours offer plenty of jaw-dropping photo ops.
  • Light layers. Days in Brazil can be hot and sunny, and nights along the coast can be breezy and cool. Having layers handy will give you just-right options for all scenarios.
  • A minimalist mindset. Our advice to travelers on trips to Brazil: Leave valuable jewelry at home. Rio is a big, busy city, and conditions at Iguazú can be very wet. Eliminate the risk of losing precious pieces by leaving them at home.
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What are some common dishes to order on tours to Brazil?

Brazilian cuisine is influenced by both European and African cultures and varies from region to region. Here are a few tasty dishes to try:

  • Pão de queijo. We bet you won’t be able to have just one of these bite-size, cheesy rolls. Made with tapioca flour, they’re popular for snacking and for breakfast—and they’re downright addictive.
  • Fresh fruit. Thanks to its tropical climate, Brazil grows some of the most delicious and colorful fruit—including several types you probably haven’t seen before—on earth. A few to look for: açaí, umbu, guava, cerrado pear, mapati, and sweetsop.
  • Barbecued meat. In Brazil, barbecue is a way of life. At churrascarias, or barbecue restaurants, throughout the country, roving servers drop pieces of perfectly cooked meats straight from skewers onto patrons’ plates.
  • Moqueca. This beloved fish stew, whose name is pronounced moo-KEK-a, is served from a hot clay pot and can include ingredients such as coconut milk, rice, farofa (toasted manioc flour), and other types of seafood.
  • Feijoada. Widely considered Brazil’s national dish, this slow-cooking bean-and-meat stew is typically served over rice. To enjoy it like a local, order yours along with a Caipirinha, or another cocktail made with cachaça.
  • Caipirinha. It’s not a dish, we know, but no trip to Brazil would be complete without trying the country’s national cocktail. The refreshing sipper is made with sugar, fresh lime juice, and cachaça—a rum-like Brazilian spirit made from sugar cane juice.
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What should I know before visiting Brazil?

Of course, there are exceptions, but Brazilians tend to be vivacious and outgoing. Don’t be afraid to embrace that energy. If there’s any place on Earth to step out of your shell, this is it.

Although Brazilians are also hospitable, English isn’t spoken as widely or readily as it is in some other countries, so come prepared with a key Portuguese phrase or two. To say “hello” takes a simple “olá.” If you’re a traveler who identifies as male, say “Obrigado” when you want to thank someone. If you identify as female, say “Obrigada.”  Those rules apply regardless of the gender of the person you’re talking to.

In Brazil, the gap between rich and poor is vast. While visiting Rio on one of our Brazil trips, your Tour Director or local guide will show you around, and explain the history and significance of, one of the favelas, or slums, that lie at the edges of Rio and other major cities, such as São Paulo. Favela communities may lack resources and wealth, but not spirit, as traveler Rick learned while visiting Rio on our Grand Tour of South America. “I witnessed extremely resourceful and proud locals making a life,” he said of visiting a favela. “The favela we visited, Rocinha, is the largest in Brazil and contained bustling shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as its own network and radio stations.”

Read about more lessons learned in Brazil, Argentina, and Peru as told by traveler Rick.

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