Brazil

Brazil Travel Guide

Some of Rio's most beautiful—and well-preserved—colonial architecture can be found in these adjacent up-and-coming neighborhoods.

Originally founded in 1636, this church was rebuilt in Neoclassical style in 1828.

If you’ve been putting off a visit to the dentist, this spotless dental office will clean your teeth, whiten, and take X-rays for a fraction of the U.S. price ($40-$60). The doc is in from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Guarulhos Airport seriously lacks world-class shopping, something it must rectify before Brazil hosts the 2014 World Cup; but for now, this jewelry shop and art gallery is the best bet for coming away with some memorable items.

Texas-based HomeAway lists 30 properties along the coconut grove–lined coast, and its "rent with confidence" guarantee refunds unsatisfied guests up to $5,000 per booking.

Galeria Melissa is a mecca for plastic and rubber footwear. Expect stylish sandals, sneakers, and kitten heels by Vivienne Westwood, Karim Rashid, and Jason Wu, among others; the rotating installations by local artists at the massive entranceway draw even the non-shoe obsessed.

Rent a car at the airport—it’s an hour to Trancoso—or hire a driver ($113) through Mangue Alto Turismo. Owner Henrique Costa speaks fluent English and knows the region well.

Although not quite a thousand, there are more than a hundred flavors of natural ice creams and sorbets at this shop near the Jardim Botânico. Mil Frutas makes its frozen desserts by hand, when fruits like the tropical jungle cupuaçu and berries from the açaí palm are in-season.

Nightclub?Bar?Furniture warehouse?It defies description, but if you go to only one place, check out Rio Scenarium—two adjacent three-story buildings full of multiple dance floors, lounge areas, cocktail stations, and, yes, antiques (the club moonlights as a furniture-rental house for TV and film

In the evening, "urban bossa" and other live music entertains an energetic crowd .

Years as agent: 8. Other specialty: Family reunions. Consulting fee: $50 a day, not above $500 total. bobby@matuete.com