Expert travel guides and holiday advice

The largest country in South America and Latin America, Brazil presents a smorgasbord of attractions for travellers, from full-tilt Amazonian adventures in the rainforest to cocktails and tan top-ups on its swathes of pristine beaches. Its cities resonate with rhythm: the jiggery two-step of forro in Fortaleza, the heartbeat throb of carnival drums outside the glittering baroque cathedrals of Salvador, the swing of samba and lullaby lilt of bossa nova in Rio de Janeiro – visit during the world-famous Carnival for the full experience. Africa, Portugal and Indigenous America swirl together in its people, who are among the world’s warmest and most engaging.

<p>Sao Paulo is grey, unwieldy, busy – but with a beautiful side to discover </p>

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Getting to and around Brazil and back

Flying with TAP via Lisbon could cut down your air miles and carbon footprint depending on your final destination. While other carriers fly into either Rio or São Paulo in the Southeast (BA go direct to both from Heathrow), TAP has flights to many other Brazilian cities, meaning you can fly into the northern beaches and back home out of the southeast without having to double-back and burn more fuel.

Brazil is bigger than Australia and there are no intercity train services, so to get the most out of a visit, you will need to fly. The country has an extensive domestic network. For the greenest flights, use local carrier Azul, whose new Embraer E2 jets are the cleanest small jets in the world, cutting emissions by over 30 per cent from previous generation aircraft. Intercity buses are also frequent, cheap and comfortable.

FAQs about Brazil

Average price list of items in Brazil

Prices last updated: 4 January 2024
  • Taxi - 1km
    5.00 R$
  • Local transport - One-way ticket
    5.00 R$
  • Restaurant - Mid-level, per person
    30.00 R$
  • Bar - Beer 0.5L
    10.00 R$
  • Shop - Bottle of Wine 0.75L
    40.00 R$
  • Shop - Water 1L
    3.49 R$

Brazil’s best Carnivals

  1. Rio Carnival

    Dubbed “the greatest show on Earth”, Rio Carnival is what most people think of when they think of this monumental festival that takes place every February: more than 600 official street parties (and countless more unofficial ones); parades with elaborate floats and the most extra of costumes, in which local samba schools attempt to outshine one another performing in the celebrated Sambadrome; and nonstop drum beats and live music that fills the city for nine days.

  2. Recife-Olinda Carnival

    When it comes to South America’s biggest party, Rio hogs the limelight, but Carnival is a nationwide event, and nowhere is it brighter or truer to its African roots than in these twin cities on the northeast’s sunniest stretch of coast. The music is some of Brazil’s best – from the pounding maracatu drum orchestras that parade through Recife’s old Dutch centre, to the acrobatic frevo dancers skipping over the cobbles in church-filled Olinda.

  3. Bahian Carnival

    This annual carnival festival celebrated in the Brazilian state of Bahia mainly takes place in its capital, Salvador. The event officially lasts for six days, and sees trio elétrico parades and Afro blocks presentations on display amid numerous street parties involving around 2.5 million locals and tourists combined.

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil’s unmissable city is also an unmissable state. Visit the city for Christ in the rainforest on Corcovado Mountain, the creamy beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, and the samba clubs in Lapa. Then head south along the Emerald Coast where the jungle-covered ridges of the Serra do Mar mountains drop into a bottle-green, beach-fringed ocean speckled with gorgeous road-free islands.


The great river Amazon flows through nine different countries, but only in Brazil is it as broad as the eye can see, hovered-over by giant thunderclouds and rainbows, and dotted with more islands than the entire Caribbean. River turtles by the hundreds of thousand nest here, manatees graze water hyacinth meadows and bubble-gum pink dolphins chase piranhas through mazes of submerged roots.

São Paulo

Brazil’s largest city and lively economic centre is fronted by long stretches of beach and is home to a welcoming population that make it a vibrant place to visit. This vast metropolis is characterised by an abundance of skyscrapers, such as the 161m-high Farol Santander building and the 46-storey Edificio Italia, plus Ibirapuera Park, its 400-acre oasis.


Manaus is just one of two cities in the Amazon – along with Belem – that is home to over one million people. The city is the gateway for the river and rainforest, close to where many tours set off and providing a final bit of civilisation before setting off on an Amazonian adventure. It’s home to natural beauty such as the nearby ‘Meeting of the Waters’, where the almost black water of the Rio Negro meets the khaki-coloured Rio Solimoes.


Salvador was once Portugal’s colonial capital, and today parts of the city are characterised by the former empire, from a range of colonial architecture to a vibrant Afro-Brazilian culture. Its beaches and more temperate climate make it a popular tourist destination with Brazilians, with many also visiting for Carnival parties that rival Rio’s in scale.

Brazil's beaches

With over 4,500 miles of shoreline facing the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil’s beaches are primed for paddling and bathing on golden grains. And the country’s coastline is as versatile as it is vast. Copacabana and Ipanema, world-renowned crescents of culture in Brazil’s old capital, meet crashing surf swells on laid-back Praia da Pipa, while Jericoacoara’s idyllic lagoons and dunes beg beach dwellers to sink their toes into the sand.

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