Home to the mighty Amazon River, the irrepressible party city of Rio de Janeiro, the world’s greatest carnival and some of the most beautiful beaches on earth, Brazil could be accused of being greedy. Luckily, nothing is wasted in brilliant Brazil where the spirited locals are known for embracing life to the fullest. Thankfully, they are happy to share their magnetic homeland with the rest of us!

Brazil Tours & Travel

Top holiday deals in Brazil

Abreise Days Preis USD
24 Oct 2015 Buenos Aires to Rio 19 $1989
28 Nov 2015 Northern Brazil 14 $2156
12 Dec 2015 Buenos Aires to Rio 19 $1989

All our Brazil trips

Travel from the city sights of Lima through to the vibrant beat of Rio via Machu Picchu, the Amazon Jungle, Buenos...
USD $2,810
CAD $2,900
AUD $2,845
EUR €1,720
GBP £1,640
NZD $3,170
ZAR R28,640
CHF FR2,080
Experience Brazilian beaches, Uruguayan home cooking and vibrant Argentinean culture on this unplugged Buenos Aires...
USD $8,445
CAD $9,890
AUD $10,380
EUR €7,335
GBP £5,380
NZD $11,385
ZAR R97,595
CHF FR7,505
Prepare yourself for the ultimate South American adventure starting in Ecuador. From the dizzying heights of the...
USD $2,645
CAD $2,865
AUD $2,810
EUR €1,935
GBP £1,560
NZD $3,135
ZAR R28,095
CHF FR2,340
Carnival, the famous festival of Rio de Janeiro, is the greatest party on earth! Join the fun with Intrepid and visit...
USD $4,185
CAD $4,315
AUD $4,230
EUR €2,720
GBP £2,445
NZD $4,715
ZAR R42,360
CHF FR3,295
Uncover the many faces of South America on a tour through Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Cities, beaches and...
USD $1,989
CAD $2,153
AUD $2,150
EUR €1,454
GBP £1,234
NZD $2,357
ZAR R21,129
CHF FR1,759
Soak up the sizzling South American sunshine on an escapade through Brazil and Argentina's attractions. Hearts will...
USD $2,660
CAD $2,885
AUD $2,830
EUR €1,910
GBP £1,570
NZD $3,150
ZAR R28,330
CHF FR2,310
Journey to South America and make tracks to Brazil. Visit Rio de Janeiro, marvel at Iguazu Falls and tour the...
USD $7,285
CAD $7,515
AUD $7,370
EUR €4,700
GBP £4,255
NZD $8,215
ZAR R73,785
CHF FR5,685
Visit South America and travel through Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay. Visit Potosi, Salar de Uyuni,...
USD $2,935
CAD $3,180
AUD $3,120
EUR €1,950
GBP £1,730
NZD $3,470
ZAR R31,210
CHF FR2,360
Experience the best of everything Argentina and Brazil have to offer on this fantastic, fast-paced tour of the South...
USD $2,990
CAD $3,085
AUD $2,385
EUR €2,060
GBP £1,750
NZD $3,375
ZAR R30,280
CHF FR2,495
Take the family on a colourful holiday to remember through Argentina and Brazil. Explore lively cities, heavenly...
USD $4,880
CAD $5,285
AUD $5,185
EUR €3,570
GBP £2,880
NZD $5,790
ZAR R51,870
CHF FR4,315
Travel to South America and visit Brazil to experience the spectacle of the Rio De Janeiro Carnaval. Visit Christ the...
USD $2,440
CAD $2,643
AUD $2,635
EUR €1,786
GBP £1,512
NZD $2,893
ZAR R25,948
CHF FR2,159
This tour captures the zesty culture of two amazing countries in South America. Between Rio and BA, visit Paraty, the...
USD $12,170
CAD $13,187
AUD $13,107
EUR €8,900
GBP £7,478
NZD $14,426
ZAR R129,421
CHF FR10,768
Visit South America and travel through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Follow the Inca trail and...
USD $12,200
CAD $13,220
AUD $13,139
EUR €8,923
GBP £7,493
NZD $14,461
ZAR R129,732
CHF FR10,797
Visit South America and travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Follow the Inca trail,...
USD $1,695
CAD $1,835
AUD $1,800
EUR €1,240
GBP £1,000
NZD $2,010
ZAR R18,010
CHF FR1,500
Join Carnival, the greatest party on earth! The famous festival of Rio de Janeiro is an unmissable event. Amid...
USD $6,389
CAD $6,920
AUD $6,903
EUR €4,672
GBP £3,964
NZD $7,567
ZAR R67,900
CHF FR5,649
Go Overland from Lima to Rio with Intrepid Travel. Uncover hidden treasures from Peru to Brazil via Bolivia and...
USD $345
CAD $357
AUD $350
EUR €240
GBP £202
NZD $390
ZAR R3,502
Spend the night in Foz do Iguazu, and enjoy day tours of Iguazu Falls. Visit both the Argentinean and Brazilian sides...
USD $10,895
CAD $11,235
AUD $11,020
EUR €7,220
GBP £6,370
NZD $12,275
ZAR R110,300
CHF FR8,740
Spend over five weeks travelling through the delights of South America – from the elegant capital of Ecuador, through...

Brazil trip reviews

Our Brazil trips score an average of 3.94 out of 5 based on 69 reviews in the last year.

Classic Brazil, August 2015

Classic Brazil, August 2015

Articles on Brazil

Rio step-by-step: a walking guide to Brazil’s most colourful city

Posted on Mon, 27 Jul 2015

Within about 17 seconds of our leisurely Rio stroll, I had embraced the fact that the best way to see any city is on foot.

Read more

Eight reasons every traveller should go to Rio de Janeiro (at least once in their life)

Posted on Thu, 26 Mar 2015

Consider this list a starting point, not a definitive guide.

Read more

Helping South America build a brighter future

Posted on Thu, 18 Dec 2014

South America is a beautiful destination, candid and colourful, but many South American countries are still working towards economic stability and equality.

Read more

5 reasons North Brazil is the new Rio

Posted on Wed, 29 Oct 2014

When most travellers think of Brazil they only see the big cities, the crowded beaches and the crazy nightlife. But head a little further north and there's a secret Brazil just waiting to be explored.

Read more


Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in Brazil, you may find yourself travelling by:


Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When travelling with us in Brazil, you may find yourself staying in a:

About Brazil

At a glance

Capital city: Brasilia (population 1.8 million)
Population: 203 million
Language: Portuguese
Currency: BRL
Time zone: (GMT-03:00) Brasilia
Electricity: Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin) Type C (European 2-pin) Type I (Australian/New Zealand & Chinese/Argentine 2/3-pin)
Dialing code: +55

Best time to visit Brazil

In most parts of Brazil, temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, regardless of the season. The summer months between December and February can be hot and humid, bringing temperatures to the high 30s – perfect weather to enjoy Brazil’s famous beaches. It’s also festival season, so it’s well worth visiting during this time.

Rainfall varies greatly around Brazil so depending on where you’re travelling, you could experience some rain. Around the Pantanal, Manaus and the Amazon basin, expect patches of rain all year round. Rio and the areas around Foz de Iguacu don’t have distinct rainy seasons and are typically drier than some other areas of Brazil.

The south of Brazil experiences extreme seasonal changes, so pack accordingly.

Brazil weather chart

Culture and customs

Happy local kids Rio carnval
Brazilians are universally known for their infectious enthusiasm and lust for life. The wild celebratory atmosphere of Carnaval isn’t a one-off —impromptu street parties, heaving nightclubs and busy dance halls all display the same vibrant energy and passion all year round. Travellers will find that music, dance and good times are all passionately pursued by most Brazilians, regardless of income, gender or age. But it doesn’t stop there. Fun is not limited to the dynamic bars and clubs of the big cities - the natural world is also enjoyed by most Brazilians. With so many spectacular beaches, national parks, mountains and forests, there are plenty of places for Brazilians to enjoy their favourite past times – football, surfing, swimming, hiking, volleyball and capoeira (a Brazilian blend of martial arts and dance). Brazilians are also known for being one of the most open, friendly and affectionate nationalities – personal space isn’t regarded as highly in Brazil as in most other countries, so expect to be hugged and kissed by new and old friends when travelling here.

In contrast to the exuberant, modern life that Brazil's city dwellers live, are the humble, traditional ways of the indigenous tribes that live in the Amazon and surrounds. Despite modern advances, many still live off the land – hunting for wild animals and gathering fruit and berries - although sadly this is rapidly changing due to deforestation and urbanisation. In the face of this, many tribes still cling to their ancient culture through traditional clothing, dance and song.

Eating and drinking


Intrepid believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world.

Brazil’s major cities feature a wide range of international cuisine, so it’s possible to eat a western-style breakfast, Mexican for lunch and Italian for dinner, with a few traditional Brazilian snacks in between.

Things to try in Brazil

1. Churrasco

This traditional Brazilian barbecue is a true pleasure for meat eaters. Beef, pork, chicken, duck, lamb and fish are all skewered and cooked to perfection over hot coals, creating a smoky flavour and tender texture.

2. Seafood

Brazil’s coastline is home to a bounty of marine life so when on the coast, be sure to eat seafood while it’s at its freshest. Fried baby octopus, king prawns and fragrant, seafood stew are great options.

3. Feijoada

This stew of beans and beef is Brazil’s national dish, and reflects its rich immigrant history. The flavours and style are a mix of African, Indian and Portuguese food traditions, making it a direct culinary link to Brazil’s past.

4. Caipirinha

This refreshing cocktail made from cachaca (a spirit derived from sugar cane), sugar, crushed ice and lime is the Brazilian national drink, and the perfect accompaniment to a beachside sunset.

5. Fruit

Brazil has plenty of tropical fruits and berries – so for a quick snack, head to the markets and buy fresh bananas, limes, oranges, guava, jackfruit and acai berries.

Geography and environment

Iguazu falls Lizard
Being the fifth largest country in the world, Brazil shares land borders with many other countries including Venezuela, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Suriname and French Guiana. Home to many different landscapes and ecosystems, Brazil’s natural environment is one of the most famous in the world. From the steamy tropical rainforest that surrounds the Amazon River and the swirling torrents of white water at Iguazu Falls, to the stunning beaches, reefs and islands of the coast, Brazil is certainly blessed with the very best of Mother Nature. Home to many of the world's most rare and endangered species, travellers will be able to see the full spectrum of colourful bird life, curious mammals, gigantic snakes and unique marine life.

With such a large population, Brazil’s major cities are busy, crowded and chaotic. It can take some getting used to, but once you’re working with the flow of the Brazilian way of life, you’ll begin to enjoy the pace. With a widening gap between the rich and the poor, housing can vary from large mansions in upscale neighbourhoods and modern apartments right in the heart of the city, to humble tin sheds in the sprawling favelas. In some ways, Brazil’s major cities are full of contrasts but the universal appeal of partying, dancing and drinking seems to cross all cultural and social barriers.

History and government

Local girls in Rio

Early History

Indigenous tribes inhabited Brazil for centuries before the arrival of the first European settlers from Portugal in the 1500s. Colonisation brought agriculture and crop growing to Brazil, resulting in extensive land clearing which dispossessed much of the indigenous population. The growing of sugar cane resulted in an influx of new residents, mainly slaves who brought rich African traditions with them. Remnants of this can still be seen in much of today’s music, dance and food. By the 19th century, coffee had taken the place of sugar as Brazil’s most valuable crop. The increase in coffee production brought a new wave of migrants to Brazil, mainly from Europe, and Brazil’s economy continued to flourish until the military coup of 1889.

Recent History

Brazil’s more recently history has also been characterised by wide spread immigration – especially during and after World War II - with large numbers of Jewish people choosing to flee persecution to live in Brazil, as well as significant numbers of people from the Middle East and other European countries.

In 1989, Brazil held its first democratic election in almost 30 years after decades of military rule. More recently, a stable government has resulted in increased economic prosperity, although many of Brazil’s residents are still impoverished, living well below the poverty line.

Top Picks

Copacabana beach Praia do Forte, Bahia, Brazil

Top 10 Beach Spots of Brazil

1. Praia do Rosa

The big surf and relaxed vibe of this hip holiday haven in Southern Brazil makes it a firm favourite with visitors and locals alike. Praia do Rosa manages to balance development with tradition - elegant small-scale hotels and eco-lodges provide the perfect place to rest after hiking, whale watching or surfing.

2. Ipanema

The cosmopolitan charms of this world-famous beach make it popular with people from all walks of life. Expect to see enthusiastic travellers, smug millionaires, bohemian artists and indifferent locals all enjoying Ipanema’s magnetic magic.

3. Jericoacoara

Far away from the showy extravagance of Rio lies this secluded spot only accessible by 4x4. Strictly protected from overdevelopment, the slow pace suits the windsurfers and kite surfers who prefer to get their thrills from the ocean's wild tides.

4. Lopes Mendes

This beach, located on the island of Ilha Grande, is considered one of Brazil’s best. The killer combination of fine white sand, great waves and clear, blue water guarantee perfect conditions for swimming, surfing and sun-worshipping.

5. Canoa Quebrada

This mellow hippie haven boasts stunning sand dunes and a deep blue-green sea. Horse riding on the dunes at sunset or cruising the coast on an old fishing boat are great ways to make the most of this picture perfect piece of Brazil.

6. Buzios

Put on the world map by Bridget Bardot back in the 1960s, Buzios is the epitome of Brazilian sophistication. The designer boutiques, glam hotels and cool bars attract the celebrity jet set – but it’s the beautiful bays and beaches that are the true superstars of Buzios.

7. Copacabana

One of the world’s most famous urban beaches, Copacabana, is a top spot to indulge in a bit of people watching. Watch an eclectic mix of people play football, work on their tans and strut their stuff on this busy meeting spot that attracts all walks of life.

8. Praia da Mole

Soft white sand for lazing in the sun and a year-round supply of waves for surfing make this beach in Florianopolis a top pick. Paragliding, wakeboarding and other water sports provide more thrills, while the nearby bars and clubs ensure good times when the sun goes down.

9. Maragogi

Found on the Coral Coast of Brazil, Maragogi’s calm waters offer some respite from the big breaks found on many other Brazilian beaches. Colourful offshore reefs make snorkelling or scuba diving a must for visitors looking for aquatic adventures.

10. Tambaba

One for the free spirits of the world, Brazil’s only official nudist beach is flanked by steep, dramatic cliffs and dotted with swaying coconut palms. Choose to get cheeky and take advantage of lying on Brazil’s only sanctioned nudist beach in all your glory, or keep your kit on and stick to the “non-naturist” side.


Buying a hammock

While not the cheapest South American country to travel or shop in, there are plenty of markets and weekend fairs full of interesting antiques, artisan wares and jewellery at low prices. You'll also find modern shopping malls and boutique shops in Brazil’s major cities.

It's also a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Brazil

1. Precious Stones

Rio is known as the gemstone capital of the world, so make the most of the wide variety of topaz, tourmaline, emerald and aquamarine on offer in markets and shops.

2. Hammocks

Take a piece of holiday relaxation home with you by buying a brightly-coloured hammock at one of Brazil’s open-air markets. Set it up at home to extend the holiday vibe!

Festivals and Events in Brazil

Rio Carnaval

One of the biggest, boldest and brightest events in the world, Rio Carnaval is a time of dancing, drinking and delirium. While the main event is a flurry of music, make up, glitter and feathers, the month-long street parties and other gatherings may be smaller in scale, but are no less fun.

Boi Bumba

Giant puppets with serpentine heads, floats of women dressed in native-inspired costumes, rousing drum orchestras and troupes of frenzied dancers make Boi Bumba an unforgettable extravaganza. Held on the remote island of Parintins, this festival is less frequented by tourists due the isolated location, but is well worth the journey.

FAQs on Brazil

Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Yes - in advance
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
United States: Yes - in advance
Tipping is up to the individual when travelling in Brazil. It isn’t expected but will be happily received by service workers like taxi drivers and waiters. Restaurants in Brazil add a 10% surcharge, which is included in the bill. Feel free to leave spare change or tip extra if the service is particularly good.
Internet access is widely available in cities and tourist areas like Rio and Sao Paolo, where there are many internet cafes. Internet access is less frequent in rural and remote areas.
You will be able to use your mobile phone in most urban areas of Brazil, although some of the more remote areas may not have network coverage. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your mobile carrier before you leave home if you wish to use your mobile while in Brazil.
Toilets in Brazil will vary depending on what area you are travelling in. Flushable, western-style toilets are common in the cities large hotels, malls and clubs but more modest squat toilets are the standard in rural areas and while camping. Either way, carrying a supply of toilet paper and soap is a good idea, as these aren’t always available in public toilets.
Cup of coffee in a café = 2 BRL
Beer in a bar = 3.5 BRL
Budget meal = 10 BRL
Three course meal in a restaurant = 60 BRL
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Brazil. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water and fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Major credit cards are widely accepted by large shops, hotels and restaurants in Brazil. However, they may not be accepted by smaller vendors such as small family restaurants, market stalls or in remote towns and rural areas. Make sure you carry enough cash for purchases, since credit cards aren't always an option everywhere in Brazil.
ATMs are found widely throughout Brazil and withdrawing cash shouldn't be problematic in most areas. Some smaller villages and rural areas may not have ATM access, so prepare for this before venturing too far from a city or major town.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Jan 20 Founding of Rio de Janeiro *
Jan 25 Founding of San Paulo *
Feb 9 Carnival
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 21 Tiradentes
May 1 Labour Day
May 30 Corpus Christi
Sep 7 Independence Day
Oct 12 Our Lady Aparecida, Patron St of Brazil
Nov 2 All Souls’ Day
Nov 15 Republic Day
Dec 24 Christmas Eve
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 31 New Year’s Eve
* These holidays are only observed regionally

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to:

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

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From New Zealand?

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From Canada?

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From US?

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From UK?

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The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to:

Responsible Travel

Brazil Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Brazil

1. Be considerate of Brazil’s customs, traditions, religions and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

8. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.

Roupa Suja Project (UMPMRS)

Working to improve the lives of the families living in the favela in the Roupa Suja neighbourhood, through education. Run by local residents, UMPMRS is providing supplementary education for the disadvantaged local children, family support, a women's group and vocational training in a challenged area of Rio.

Image supplied by UMPMRS.

To learn more or donate, go to:

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Accidental President of BrazilFernando Henrique Cardoso
The BrothersMilton Hatoum
The War at the End of the WorldMario Vargas Llosa
The SeamstressFrances De Pontes Peebles
Gabriel, Clove and CinnamonJorge Amado