Brazil: Bem-vindos ao Brasil!
If you're looking for a place where you can follow up a jungle adventure with a visit to an exciting city, or conclude a day of wandering historic neighborhoods with a walk along a sandy beach, you can find that and more in Brazil. This land of samba music and Carnivale intrigues scores of visitors each year, and you can be next, with help from the Web. We’ve rounded up some excellent online resources revealing Brazil’s most sought-after cities and features, tools to help you find and book your accommodation and transportation to and within the country, plus sites connecting you with other travelers.
With the diverse mix of activities and experiences available in a country this large, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Explore Brazil’s diversity online to get a feel for the unmatched natural features and bustling city life as you begin planning your stay.
- If you see a Web address that contains a ".br," the site will likely be written in Portuguese. Look for a British or U.S. flag or an "Ingles" link somewhere near the top of the homepage to access an English version of the content.
- Brazil is known as "Brasil" to locals. If you're not finding what you want on the Web using "Brazil" as your search term, try "Brasil" instead. Similarly, you might see Carnivale spelled as “Carnaval” or “Carnival.”
- When searching for information about specific cities in Brazil, remember that some cities and states in the country have the same name; Rio de Janeiro is one example. You might need to double check that a Web site isn’t focused on a city when you want to learn about the state, or vice versa.
For an overview …
The Brazilian Tourism Office
is such a good site that we reference it in several places in this guide. With its pages free of distracting ads, you'll easily find extensive information about Brazil here. If you want to start with a good overview of the country and its people, place your cursor over the "This is Brazil" link and then click on the subtopic that interests you.
delves into the culture and history of Brazil using videos, maps, music clips, and well-written text. Enjoy features on Brazil's isolated Indian populations, the sounds of samba music, and an interactive gallery of Latin America.
provides an excellent country profile of Brazil, explaining the history of the country and its political and economic structures.
Lonely Planet TV
has videos submitted by travelers all over the world. This four-minute video is of especially high quality in its overall aesthetic, showing aspects of a traveler’s month-long journey around Brazil. You’ll get a taste of Carnivale, city life, and stunning footage of natural features.
For information about local customs and traditions …
focuses on the culture of Brazil and the Brazilian way of life. If you're looking to learn about Brazilian cuisine, music, sports, or wildlife, this is the place to do it. Unlike many travel Web sites you'll find, DonaBrasil.com is not heavily laden with advertisements. The homepage is clearly organized, and you can also browse the site easily from the “Information” menu on the left of the page.
The Consulate General of Brazil
in San Francisco, California, has a page about Brazilian culture. Learn about Carnivale, folk dance, folk drama, music, the arts, and more.
is an online travel magazine that emphasizes cultural immersion and publishes stories capturing just that. This piece is a detailed account of one traveler’s experience in Manaus that offers compelling insight. The site also has photo essays—don’t miss the one of Brazil
For some popular tourist attractions …
has a "The Best of Brazil" section with its take on the must-see festivals and celebrations and the best markets, museums, views, and nightlife. Explore island life in Brazil and check out Lencois Maranhenses, a national park that can only be entered on foot.
The Brazilian Tourism Portal
from Brazil's Ministry of Tourism has a "Destinations and Itineraries" page that allows you to search for various tours and events in Brazil. Just select the type of tour that interests you and your desired location, and the search will return relevant results for you.
by Intelligent Leisure Solutions provides a detailed description of the Amazon River and the history of its surrounding rainforests. Make sure you read the "Amazon Travel Tips"
section for useful items you should take with you if you're planning a trip up the Amazon.
has a feature called “Journey into Amazonia,” that was designed for elementary school classroom use but provides general background information and interactive features on the region’s plants and animals that are helpful for any newcomer to Brazil, regardless of age.
New 7 Wonders
reveals the newest Seven Wonders of the World, which were officially recognized in September 2007. The list includes Christ the Redeemer, a nearly 38-meter-tall statue of Jesus on Corcovado Mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro.
is the official site of Iguazu Falls, the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site shared by Brazil and Argentina. Iguazu is known for powerful falls, a foggy atmosphere, and rainbows. Find more description, as well as practical information regarding how to get there and where to stay, on this site.
For major cities …
City of São Paulo
is the official tourism Web site for the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The site is well-suited to tourists with a variety of interests. Browse through the "Sightseeing Tips"
section, which is uniquely organized into recommendations for families, art lovers, romantics, and others looking to explore what city has to offer. The site also features a 36-hour guide to São Paulo
from The New York Times
The New York Times
has a 36-hour guide to Rio de Janeiro that offers lodging, dining, and sightseeing recommendations for this bustling city. Thinking of staying longer than 36 hours? No problem: this page also features recommendations from Frommer's
(look for them on the left side of the page) that point you to the best beaches, best views, and historic neighborhoods worth a visit in the city.
takes you straight into Brazil's capital. By law, Brasilia is not a traditional municipality, but rather an administrative region of the Federal District, with which it occupies the same area
. This Web site is about as straightforward as they come in terms of presenting the information you want. Every page is clearly labeled and simply organized for ease of use. Look for maps of the capital, tourist attractions, lodging, and photos.
is part of the Discovery Travel Network. This Web site serves a variety of people well, as it highlights museum and cultural information about the city, great beaches, the nightlife, and several other attractions. If you have specific needs, try using the search options in the "Site Search" section. For example, you can search for nonsmoking restaurants that welcome children.
pinpoints the best of Belo Horizonte, a vibrant city “in the heart of Brazil.” Learn what it has to offer, find places to stay, and explore the surrounding area. You'll primarily navigate the site by placing your cursor over the links across the top of the page. After the additional links appear, make sure to move your cursor to the right, as some great content is unfortunately hidden (the "Services" section contains some particularly useful contact information for car rental agencies, hospitals, and more).
Favela Tourism Workshop
is a company that leads sustainable tours through Rocinha, the biggest slum in South America and one of more than 800 in Rio alone. The company provides tourism workshops for favela residents, teaching them how to lead tours through their own intriguing neighborhoods, helping them to learn English, and taking them on trips around Brazil that they otherwise could not afford. The trend of favela tourism is also growing in India
, but not everyone approves of the practice, according to the New York Times
For festivals and major events …
The Brazilian Tourism Office
details the history of Carnivale in Brazil, lists Carnivale dates, and offers great advice about obtaining tickets and good seats at the Sambodromo stadium, which is a central hub of activity during Carnivale.
Brazil World Cup Blog
is part of the BootsnAll Travel Network. Here you can track the progress of Brazil's soccer team and its preparations for hosting the 2014 World Cup, along with news and updates about some of Brazil's best and most popular players.
For news from Brazil …
publishes news from the World News Network. Review breaking news updates in the top half of the page or scroll down toward the bottom, where news about Brazil is sorted by categories such as "Culture & Religion," "Education & Society," and "Health & Medicine."
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