Latin America’s largest and most diverse country, Brazil has enough must-see attractions to keep you busy for months. Wildlife, iconic city attractions and breath-taking scenery, as well as plenty of magnificent beaches to escape to, make Brazil the perfect destination for family travel. A country with something for everyone, Director Kirsty offers her recommendations for a two-week family trip.
Brazil has so much to offer visitors and we think it is particularly well suited for families. Incredible natural sights, amazing wildlife, exciting cities and beautiful beaches combine to make it a great destination for everyone to enjoy. Two weeks is of course not long enough to discover a country the size of Europe, but it will give a good introduction to this vibrant destination.
For the city element of the trip, the first option has to be Rio de Janeiro. The Marvellous City, as it is known by locals, is exactly that. It lives up to the hype in terms of its resplendent tropical beauty and famous sights. The Christ the Redeemer statue on Mt. Corcovado watches over the city and offers simply stunning views. Sugar Loaf mountain is equally famous and equally worth making the time for. Travel up in the cable car and be glad that there is no giant Bond villain gnawing at the wires as you ascend to another, ever more spectacular vista. Children and adults alike will be enchanted by the tiny marmosets which inhabit both mountains. Easy to spot, these little monkeys are delightfully charming.
With two such famous sights, some of the rest of the city can be eclipsed but it is worth visiting central and downtown Rio for grand old buildings or the modern port area where you can find the Museum of Tomorrow, a definite must-see for a family visiting the city. The Botanical Gardens are great fun with beautiful plants, fascinating trees and more cute inhabitants in the form of marmosets and cheeky capuchin monkeys.
Rio is famous for its beaches and life in the city revolves around the beach, a key reason for why it is such an appealing city. From cool and trendy Leblon, to the more famous Copacabana and Ipanema, there are so many to choose from. Visitors can go for a swim, relax, and enjoy the view or take part in some football or volley ball with the locals. We think one of the best ways is relaxing at a beach bar and indulging in some people-watching, drink in hand.
The next stop on a family holiday to Brazil should be Iguassu Falls. Without doubt the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, they span Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. A two-hour direct flight from Rio will take you to Foz do Iguaçu. The town itself is not much to write home about and instead it is best to take a private transfer into the Brazilian national park to the beautiful Belmond Hotel das Cataratas. The only hotel inside the national park on the Brazilian side, it allows guests access to the falls when the park is closed, meaning you can explore the Brazilian falls as the sun goes down without the crowds, a truly special experience. The views from here are spectacular and although more of the falls are found in Argentina, Brazil has the best vistas precisely due to this.
On the Argentine side you can get more up-close to the water and one of the highlights has to be the speedboat which takes you right up to the face of the falls, ensuring you get completely drenched! For a different view, why not take a helicopter ride over the falls. From up high you appreciate the full scale of the water crashing over the cascades and also the location of the falls inside the jungle and surrounded by lush vegetation. Children will love a visit to the Tropicana Bird Park, a chance to get up close with some of Brazil’s beautiful exotic bird species.
For more wildlife, the best choice in Brazil is the Pantanal. The world’s largest floodplain, it covers a huge area in two Brazilian states and even stretches into Bolivia and Paraguay. The wildlife here is exceptional and visitors can see any number of fascinating mammals including anteaters, tapir, capybaras, giant river otters and, the star of the show, the jaguar. It is the best place in the world to see jaguars in the wild and the dry season from June to October is the best time to come for the highest chance of sightings. There is a huge variety of birds here and wonderful activities on offer. Visitors can explore by boat, on foot, 4×4 or horseback and will be astounded by the ease with which they encounter so many different species.
Every good holiday includes some time relaxing on the beach and Brazil has some of the best in Latin America. A good choice for families is the Emerald Coast, located between Rio and Sao Paulo. It is easily driveable from both cities which cuts down on flying time. There are some stunning beaches in this region and charming colonial towns such as Paraty which offers cobbled streets, pastel coloured buildings and a lovely laid-back atmosphere. There are plenty of opportunities for water sports along this stretch of coastline from snorkelling and diving to SUP and boat trips.
Family travel always implies an element of compromise, but with a varied two-week itinerary in Brazil, you can enjoy a fabulous overview of one of the most dynamic countries on Earth and come as close as possible to keeping everyone happy! Warm and welcoming, both in terms of the people and the weather, Brazil is the perfect choice for a luxury family getaway.
Are you planning a trip to Brazil? Find our sample itineraries here and contact us to begin planning your tailor-made tour today. Looking for more information? Read more on Rio de Janeiro, the Pantanal, Iguassu Falls and the Emerald Coast.