Brazil has always had a great deal going for it in the travel destination department. Beaches, food, music, amazing scenery and a fantastic culture have put this South American country at the top of the list. However, all of that is about to get exponentially cooler in the next few years as Rio De Janeiro prepares to host a couple of little sporting events. Let’s explore some of the reasons why a visit to Brazil is something to be very, very excited about.
Undoubtedly the most famous display of debauchery in the world, Carnival in Rio is held every year in the weeks leading up to Lent. Over 2 million people descend upon the streets of the city to take in the parades, the street carnivals, the food, and, of course, the alcohol. Beer consumed during Carnival is said to be 80% of the city’s annual total. If you’ve been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, why not really see what you’re made of and take on Carnival in Rio?
The FIFA World Cup
Between 12 June and 13 July, 2014, footballers from around the world will storm cities all over Brazil for the FIFA World Cup. Brazil has a lot to offer in the form of incredible stadiums, cities booming with activities and nightlife, and legions of dedicated fans who are ready to make this the best World Cup in history, especially given the fact that Brazil has won the World Cup a record five times.
The Amazon Rainforest
What is more of a “must see” than the Amazon rainforest? With over 60% of the area contained within its borders, Brazil is the perfect place to have an Amazon journey. So many opportunities for adventure are on offer here, from jungle trekking and river cruises, to more academic pursuits. Whatever your reason for visiting Brazil, it would be a crime to forgo a trip to the second longest river in the world and the incredible biodiversity that surrounds it. Who knows how much longer it will be there?
Adopted from Miami by Rio DJs in the 1980’s and heavily popularized a decade later, funk carioca or favela funk is a huge music sensation in Brazil. Similar in culture to hip hop in other parts of the world, Brazilian funk was begun in the favela slums in Rio. Huge funk dance parties are held at clubs called bailes, and Rio’s funk DJs are among the most popular in the country. Today, it is a worldwide music phenomenon, but you can still only get that classic Brazilian baile funk vibe in Brazil.
The Food and Drink
With influences from Africa, Europe and its own South American neighbors, it’s no wonder at all that Brazilian food is so exotic and delicious. Staples like rice and beans go head to head with delicious meats grilled churasco style and virtually every imaginable type of seafood. Tropical fruits are available year round and Brazil produces some exceptional cheeses and a few very good wines. However, the drink of choice for Brazilians is the caipirinha, made with a sugar cane liquor called cachaça, a bit of crushed fruit, and crushed ice.
Nothing really says “Brazil” like the way they dance. With the samba easily being the most popular and the most well-known Brazilian dance style, it’s easy to see why Brazilian “escolas de samba” are the stars at every Carnaval. With roots in African dance, samba is a heavily costumed theatrical experience as well as a simple, impromptu jam found amongst the patrons at local bars and restaurants.
Brazil has the 6th largest economy in the world, and with a growth rate of 4.4% per year, it is stronger than the economy of Great Britain. For this reason and many others, expats are flocking there in droves to escape the stagnant growth in the USA and Europe. Job growth is booming in the financial and technical sectors and the country is second only to the USA in the production of biofuel. Combine steady work opportunities with all of the rest that Brazil has to offer, and that equals a rollicking, vibrant South American hotspot that should have you very, very excited.