Brazil

Things to do in Brazil

The options of things to do in Brazil are endless because the country is so diverse. For starters, it’s home to the most biologically diverse habitat in the world, the Amazon rainforest. Guided tours and walks, flyovers and more are available to let you explore this incredible habitat in your own chosen way. Meanwhile, the cities of Brazil contain an intensity and diversity of urban experiences that can’t be matched elsewhere. Americans walking through the streets of São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro might be reminded of a mashup of New York and New Orleans, with nightlife to match.

Activities in Brazil aren’t limited to wildlife and nightlife. There’s also culture, from the São Paulo Museum of Art is an architectural masterpiece. Inside, find collections of contemporary, local, African, indigenous, and Asian art. But if that doesn’t hold your interest, you could take a closer look at the gigantic statue of Christ the Redeemer that towers over Rio, take the cable car to the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain, or visit São Paulo’s glorious Ibirapuera Park.

This Sao Paulo-based boutique travel agency specializes in custom luxury itineraries from Bahia to the Amazon. Robert Betenson is an invaluable local resource for everything from locating the perfect pousada in Fortaleza to gallery hopping in Caruaru and finding secret beaches in Natal.

Colorful, boho- chic dresses and tunics are displayed on luggage trolleys at Brazilian designer Adriana Barra’s new flagship store, in Jardins. Barra also creates the vivid prints for the home-furnishings collection on the second floor.

Before strutting Brazil’s 4,603 miles of soft sands, stop here to load up your iPod with bossa nova, samba, axé, and forró—any Chill: Brazil compilation will do. (Just don’t take anything with an apple on it to theft-prone beaches in Rio or Recife.)

Skinny pants, diaphanous camis, and slinky tube dresses in eye-popping orange and fuchsia fill the racks at this younger, hipper sister to Brazilian designer line Maria Bonita.

With its soaring tin roof and stained-glass windows, the century-old Manaus fish market is nothing if not a temple dedicated to Amazonian biodiversity, a museum of the soon-to-be-eaten, illuminated by strings of hanging 15-watt bulbs.

Years as agent: 12. Other Specialties: Brazil, El Salvador, Amazon River cruises. Consulting fee: $350.

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.

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.

Above the city's fray in the boho-chic hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa sits a tiny shop specializing in native crafts. Loosely woven cotton rugs in sorbet shades are stacked next to 1920's photos of Corcovado Mountain. Also of note: sterling-silver jewelry.

Years as agent: 12. Other Specialties: Brazil, El Salvador, Amazon River cruises. Consulting fee: $350.