Brazil is an impossible country to summarize, because Brazil is a country of immense diversity, both culturally and geographically.
The spotlight has been on Brazil with the recent World Cup, and it will turn to Brazil again in 2016 for the Summer Olympics. The attention is well deserved. Brazil is an impossible country to summarize, because Brazil is a country of immense diversity, both culturally and geographically. Here you’ll interact with the ultra-wealthy and the truly impoverished. You’ll see dazzling beaches and monolithic sculptures. You’ll hear very little English, but you’ll be welcomed into parties and dances around every corner. It would be impossible to highlight all of Brazil’s wonderful delights in one short article, so instead we have summarized a few of the top things that we think you should do, see, and look forward to during your travel to Brazil.
1. Visit Iguazu Falls
You’ll have to travel all the way to the Brazil-Argentina border, but the trek will be well worth the effort. Iguaza’s powerful waterfalls spread over one and a half miles wide, making it the widest waterfall in the world. At its highest point, Iguazu drops 269 feet, which is nearly as high as the Flatiron Building in New York City. When it is at its peak, 1.72 million gallons of water flow over the falls every second. There’s truly nothing like this waterfall anywhere else in the world.
2. Leave your shy side at home
If there’s one thing you need to know about Brazilian people, it’s that every last one of them is an extrovert. This is not a shy culture, and body language is nearly as important as spoken language. When you have a chance to interact with locals, don’t be surprised if you are greeted with a kiss on each cheek. This is a perfectly normal way to greet a stranger in Brazilian culture. Parties are also an important part of Brazilian life, so be sure to bring your dancing shoes. Try out a traditional samba, or share some of your moves from back home with the locals.
3. The Christ the Redeemer statue is as impressive as you imagined
There are countless reasons to visit Rio de Janeiro, but high on the list should be seeing the Christ the Redeemer statue which towers over the city. The statue itself is 120 feet tall, and it is perched on top of Corcovado Mountain, making it seem even larger. The statue was completed in 1931 and has since been named one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.
4. Don’t expect everyone to speak English
You probably already know that Portuguese is the main language spoken in Brazil. But you may not know that very little English is spoken in the country, particularly outside of Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. If you don’t speak any Portuguese or Spanish, you’ll definitely want to find a trusty phrasebook and start practicing before your big trip. You might end up in some sticky situations if you’re relying on English alone outside of the big cities.
5. Don’t forget your Brazil visas
Remember that you need a visa in order to visit Brazil from the United States. At Swift Passport Services we can help you get your Brazil visa taken care of quickly and conveniently. We’d also love to hear your travel stories. If you’ve visited Brazil, share your experiences (good and bad) in the comments section below!
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.