Why Brazil: The largest country in South America, Brazil has it all: huge swathes of Amazon rainforest, the Iguazu Falls, beautiful beaches, historic colonial architecture, a vibrant mix of peoples and cultures, and the amazing wildlife of the Pantanal.
Culture: Brazilian culture has historically been influenced by European, African and indigenous cultures and traditions. Because of strong colonial ties with Portugal, Brazilians speak Portuguese unlike most countries in South and Central America, which are mostly Spanish-speaking. One of the most enduring images of Brazilian culture is the festival of Carnaval with its spectacular street parades, glitzy costumes and catchy samba music.
When to Go: Brazil experiences a varied climate as a result of its large size. Rio de Janeiro, Parati, Ilha Grande and Buzios have good weather all year round, with the best months to visit being between Feb – May. From Oct – Jan, the region can be hot and humid. The Pantanal is best visited during the dry season (Apr – Sep), as it is very hot and wet during the rainy season (Oct – Mar). The Amazon is hot and humid year-round. Its dry season lasts from Jun – Dec and is often called “summer” by the locals as it is hot and sunny. The humid wet season typically runs from Dec – May and is referred to as “winter.”
Combine With: Peru and discover the Inca treasures of Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Alternatively, combine Brazil with the glaciers and mountains of Patagonia in Argentina/Chile for a completely different South American wilderness experience.
Getting There: Most visitors to Brazil enter via Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo, which receives direct flights from both capital cities throughout South America and major destinations around the world. Travellers departing from Australia most commonly stop in Santiago, Chile, where they board a connecting flight to São Paulo.