Brazil (actual spelling: Brasil) is a beautiful country. But before we pack our bags and head to the airport, I want to address a concern many citizens of other locals have when considering a trip. Is Brazil safe for tourists?
The answer to that, is the same answer for traveling safely in ANY country:
- Keep a low profile–don’t wear expensive jewelry, clothes or flash around expensive gadgets.
- Keep an eye on your stuff–don’t leave your purse, wallet, computer, iPad, etc. anywhere unattended.
- Keep with other people–don’t wander off alone (or in small groups). Stay with the pack. Hang around where others like you are eating, shopping, touring, or enjoying a beautiful day.
- Keep your wits about you–avoid heavy drinking or recreational drug use, stay well hydrated (Brazil is a warm climate!), keep your blood sugar up, and get plenty of sleep.
Common sense stuff, but you’d be surprised how many people think they’re impervious to trouble. That said, let’s explore Brazil!
Brazil is a large country (duh), so if you only have a week, it’s wise to concentrate on the area or city that best matches your preferred type of fun.
For a relaxing beach experience, head for Ceará. Found on the northeastern side of the country, the capital of this tropical paradise, Fortaleza, offers plenty of restaurants and things to do. For great local cuisine, try Colher de Pau (Wooden Spoon) and enjoy one of their popular dishes like carne de sol (jerked tender beef) and galinha caipira (countryside chicken).
To really enjoy your relaxation time, I recommend seeking out one of the smaller towns near Fortaleza such as Porto das dunas. There are plenty of beautiful rentals to choose from such as those found through the on-line community Airbnb, as well as hotels and bed & breakfasts.
But…if it’s fun and excitement you’re after, then Rio de Janeiro is the place for you. And if you really want to party, put off your trip until February 8 – 12, 2013 and steep yourself in the Carnival experience.
Some cash for a ticket ($70 – $150) and a costume or great outfit will get you in to one of the Carnival balls, which are held during the celebration. And the Sambadrome parade will wow you with its elaborate floats and costumes, plus fantastic music.
There are also street parties and local bands scattered all over the city with everyone welcome. If you love to dance, the Carnival is for you!
For a taste of traditional Portuguese food, don’t miss Antiquarius on Rua Aristides Espinola. Their grilled cod fish is a cultural staple and rates highly with customers, but there are also many other delicious entrées to choose from.
If you want both types of vacations rolled into one, then an Amazon cruise is the perfect solution. This is also a good choice if you’re interested in seeing local wild animals and plants, but still want to enjoy some luxury and pampering. You might spot pink dolphins, sloths, macaws, pythons, or any number of critters that are exotic to much of the rest of the world. Most of the cruises leave from Manaus.
Thank you for traveling with me to Brazil, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you want to know more about this beautiful and exotic country, please take advantage of the numerous links scattered throughout the article.
Next stop: India!!