Brazil Travel Guide

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.

The bar where, legend has it, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Morais wrote the song The Girl from Ipanema, and where you can still hear live bossa nova.

A typical airport bookstore with a limited selection of English paperbacks and a lot of people flipping through Caras, one of Brazil’s best-known gossip rags.

Among the diapers and canned hearts of palm are dozens of Havaianas at only $6 a pair (a fourth of the cost on the Quadrado).