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Posted by Cayla Capri
Brazil Parade Your Love
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Dive head first into the spicy mosaic that is Brazil, thanks to a dizzyingly diverse array of Portuguese, African, and European influence. A sun-kissed glow is all fine and good, but don’t forget to throw a little caution to the wind. The spirit of Rio will no doubt beckon you and your squeeze to explore a few different rhythms. Peruse the grounds of whitewashed colonial antiquity or catch a set of sizzling bossa nova in an eighteen-seventies mansion. Chow down gaucho-style on skewers of churrasco, sip bottles of cachacas, and sport a pair of floral havaianas before taking samba circles, jungle paths, and (not to mention) your hubby, by storm.
the romance
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Escape back in time to the elegantly preserved, five hundred year old town of Parati. Hugged by the Baia de Ilha Grande, meander down its cobblestone streets and savour the ‘No Cars Allowed’ rule. Or acquire memories of aerial proportions at the Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel, built high above leafy layers of bedazzling Amazonian canopy. The beaches of northern Fortaleza may well be the best Brazil has to offer, but feel free to indulge in its silken suites and ocean views fit for any nautical nymph. Check out the chocolate festival in Canela e Gramado and take back truffle-like brigadeiros for a little late-night noshing just for two.
the scenery
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Brazil is divided into big, brilliant regions of mountains, plains, rainforests, archipelagos, white-sand beaches, and of course slews of bikinis. Pumas and jaguars roam deep within the dense, tropical foliage, while cheeky monkeys and macaws rule their emerald roosts. Locate a tour for a stretch of infamous Amazon rainforest from the city of Manaus.
the adventure
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Brazil’s landscape lends itself to adventure possibilities of summer-blockbuster proportions. Pão de Açúcar, or Sugarloaf Mountain, provides the backdrop for hard core rock climbing excursions. Sunset on a clear day makes for an optimal view. Maybe you’re enough of a beach babe and good sport to brave the breaks off of Prainha, or sea savvy enough to sail into the waters of Guanabara Bay. The island of Marajo provides welcome sanctuary from river regulars like crocodiles and boa constrictors. Hire a guide to take you down the Amazon River by canoe, but make sure to retreat back to the jungle lodge for well-deserved air conditioning and back rubs. Within the reserve on Lake Mamirauá is a floating lodge where you can observe and become one with Uakari monkeys and pink river dolphins.
the secrets
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Get to know the Afro-Brazilian city of Salvador da Bahia by allowing yourself to be hypnotized by a local drum corps. Make sure to take in the spectacle of a capoeira circle on a twilight-hued plaza. Detour in the name of charm and take a dune buggy across the northern stretch of Mangue Seco. In fact, buggy or boat are the sole means of reaching this unequalled village built upon sand dunes. Experience a realm of rare spirituality off the island of Fernando di Noronha, as only you, your loved one, and a pod of dolphins congregate together at daybreak. It’ll be no secret on how all that sand came to be in the sheets that following afternoon.
the attractions
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The resplendent spectacle that is Carnaval, takes place annually for the commencement of Lent, but it is anything than holier-than-thou. Traipsing parades fluttering with floats, music, costumes, twirlers, samba schools, vendors, and of course the crushed lime and sugar of caipirinhas, conjure up nothing less than the fantastical. For more sublime subtlety, the deluge of Iguacu Falls is an outpouring of mystique, having once been holy burial of indigenous tribes. Postos (posts) divide up Ipanema Beach, a cleaner alternative to Copacabana. Cristo Redentor, (Christ the Redeemer), located atop Corcovado mountain, is 1145 tons of statue, which makes for one heck of a landmark. Try going up by cog train for a view that is unpardonably miraculous.
before you go
What to Expect
Fall/Winter: November-April are sunny and hot months in the northeast, but it’s the rainy/peak season in the South (Rio de Janeiro) and the wet season in the Amazons. Temperatures are usually around 25-30°C/77-86°F
Spring/Summer: May–October will be hot no matter where you go, but May to July is the wet season in the northeast. Temperatures usually hover around 20°C/68°F.
The heat and humidity calls for light and comfortable clothing – don’t be afraid to bear a little skin. To minimize risks, avoid donning any expensive or flashy jewelry in less-touristy areas.
The Brazilian Real
The Lingo
A valid passport and an entry visa (check with your local Brazilian embassy or consulate)
Local Delicacies
Feijoada: a hearty stew made with black beans, pork and beef, served with rice and orange slices.
Misto quente: a toasted ham and cheese sandwich