Eu amo o Brasil
If there’s anyone in the world that knows how to celebrate and party that would be our brothers, the Brazilians. From wildlife monuments, to colonial cities, first class futbol, to some of the greatest parties in the world, Brazil has something for every kind of traveler.
It is truly unfortunate how corruption has prevented this country and its people from having a better quality of life and from standing next to the wealthiest nations in the world. They have everything that is needed for it except honest politicians. Their bad economy makes it one of the cheapest places for travelers to visit. Here are my top recommendations when visiting the largest country in South America:
Ipanema beach, Christ the Redeemer statue, and Pao de Azucar are probably the most iconic and visited places of the city, but what truly blew my mind was their Museu do Amanha (Museum of Tomorrow). Without a doubt one of the most impressive new museums I have seen. Their mission of creating global warming consciousness brought them to create this masterpiece. The rich live by the sea in Copacabana and Ipanema beach, but the poor have the best views of the city up in the hills of the favelas. Capital of the iconic Carnival festival and some of the best futbol in the world, you will not want to leave this place.
Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and the third largest in the world! With over 17 million people, finding love in the expansive lands of this world capital will not be that hard. Expect first class nightlife, music, and the best cuisine in the country. Did I mention that it has the biggest gay club in Latin America? The Week features two dance floors, a garden, a pool, several bars, valet parking, and a VIP area bringing in over 2,500 people every weekend. Talk about finding love.
If I could only explain to you how much I love this place. While tourists from all over the world travel to Rio to celebrate Carnival, locals from all over Brazil travel here. Known as the birthplace of Carnival, it is the place to celebrate this iconic experience the local way. Flying here with my best friends to celebrate Carnival has been the most joyful experience of my life. Home of Capoeira, sunsets by the beach, and Brazil’s tasty dish Muqueca, this colonial city will steal your heart.
Fernando de Noronha
If heaven was a place, it would be Fernando de Noronha. This tiny, volcanic archipelago of 21 islands and islets, located 220 miles off the Brazilian coast, is Brazil’s first Marine Park, with 70% of the islands being protected by it. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most expensive places to be and fly to in Brazil. One of the reasons is that only 420 people are permitted on the island at a time, giving visitors the opportunity to rest in exclusivity on some of the world’s most exotic and wild beaches. Praia do Sancho has been ranked #1 beach in the world on more than one occasion.
Just a 4 hour bus ride in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and you can access this paradise island that offers some of the best and most secluded beaches in the country. Covered by Atlantic forest and crossed by winding trails, Ilha Grande is an amazing place to disconnect from the buzz and noise of the cities. On its southeastern shore, the long, palm-lined stretch of Lopes Mendes Beach is known for its strong surf. This beach was one of the highlights of my entire trip.
The largest waterfall system in the world. No need to explain the reasons to go here. Just go! The falls may be reached from two main towns, with one on either side of the falls: Puerto Iguazu in Argentina and Foz do Iguacu in Brazil. The falls are shared by the Iguazu National Park (Argentina) and Iguacu National Park (Brazil). The two parks were designated UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1984 and 1987, respectively.
Florianópolis, or how locals call it, Floripa, is Brazil’s capital of surfing. It reminded me of Byron Bay in Australia. It has become one of Brazil’s most popular beach destinations and is famous for its massive clubs and eco-activities. Getting into these parties can be as expensive as $200 for a single admission, that’s the price visitors pay for going out with the elite of the region. I recommend spending your time in their incredible nature, there are enough things in Floripa to keep you busy. Sand boarding, paragliding, surfing, hiking, scuba diving, and snorkeling are some of the most desirable activities. For free partying, gays have taken over an entire section of Praia Mole in front of Bar do Deca, a restaurant-bar that hosts the biggest gay beach parties in the region. Save your money, avoid Club Pacha and hang out at the beach.
Capital of the Brazilian Steak houses, the city lies in front of a river where five other rivers converge to form the Lagoa dos Pratos (Lagoon of the Ducks), a giant freshwater lagoon navigable by even the largest of ships. The biggest city of the south can be a great destination for those looking for a great Brazilian culinary experience.
The gateway to the Amazons, few other places in the world offer such a big diversity of plants and living creatures. This colorful city situated at the confluence of the Negro and Solimoes rivers can only be accessed by plane or boat. This isolation has helped to conserve a lot of the native Brazilian tribes’ habits and influences. Most of the tours and Amazon expeditions can be a bit pricey. I recommend booking and searching for what to do prior to arriving to the city.
Gay City Guides
- Luxury Hotels The best rated rooms in luxury hotels can be found for $400 USD
- Budget hotels, you are looking to spend at least around $60-85 USD for a double room, private bathroom, TV, and breakfast.
- Hostels can start at $10-15 USD per night for a dorm room, though they can get as high as $50 in the big coastal cities. Private rooms with a double bed and a shared bathroom in hostels range between $30-40 USD per night.
- Airbnb can be an option if this is the budget you are working with. A good Airbnb close to a beach can be $25 USD for a room and $50 for an entire apartment.
Local restaurants can cost up to $14 BRL for a meal. In a nice restaurants expect to pay way more a plate can cost you up to $55 BRL per person. A good Brazilian Steakhouse experience can be $125 BRL per person. Prices can be higher depending the season.
Buses are the cheapest way to travel in the country. Bus tickets cost about $8-10 BRL per hour of travel versus a plane ticket of $600-800 BRL. Flights are insanely expensive, and if you travel a lot you will soon find out that most Brazilians don’t leave their region. They simply can’t afford it. A ride from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo costs $400-500 BRL. A ride from Rio de Janeiro to Florianopolis costs $160-240 BRL. Be sure to buy your ticket in advance. Local public transportation costs $2.85 BRL per ride. Uber is really good and a cheap way to move inside the cities.