Travel in Brazil: Samba, jungle and wildlife - INTI Tours
Pure joie de vivre and natural diversity galore
Brazil - that is the "other South America". A country full of promise - so big that it could be a continent in its own right and impossible to grasp in all its fullness on a single trip. Travelling in Brazil - that is: Samba, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia, Manaus, Pantanál, Amazonas, and the world-famous waterfalls of Iguaçú.
Experience vibrant cities like Rio de Janeiro or Salvador da Bahia as well as small colonial jewels like Olinda or Paraty. Marvel at the lush, beautiful natural landscapes such as the world-famous Iguaçu waterfalls, gorgeous stretches of coastline and lush rainforest.
Brazil is also a country of great contrasts: on the one hand, the emerging country shines with state-of-the-art innovation and a high quality of life, on the other hand, it struggles with huge social disparities and dramatic poverty. Discover a country with many different faces, taste the national dish feijoada or a muqueca, enjoy precious pearls of this fascinating tropical state and let yourself be infected by the Brazilians' joie de vivre.
Welcome to Brazil!
Our types of travel in Brazil
Your dream trip to Brazil
Do you like to travel with people of the same interests, because travelling alone is only half the fun? Find the right group tour for you.Desired trips
Small group travel
Do you like to travel with people of the same interests, because travelling alone is only half the fun? Find the right group tour for you.Group tours in Brazil
Examples of individual dream trips in Brazil
Individual tour - Facets of Brazil
Experience pulsating metropolises such as Salvador, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiround marvel at the lavishness of beautiful natural landscapes such as the waterfalls of Iguaçú, dreamlike stretches of coastline as well as the Amazon.
38 days Rundreise 1 up to 6 travellers
Individual Brazil Trip: Jaguars and pure nature
This trip is an experience for nature lovers and nature photographers. In addition, there is the special focus on the search for the rulers of the forests, as you go in search of the tracks of the magnificent jaguar in a wide variety of places!
22 days Bestseller 2 up to 6 travellers
Individual tour through Chile, Argentina and Brazil
Experience the vastness of the Patagonian steppe, explore the wild beauty of the mountains at the "end of the world" and relax on breathtaking beaches on the Atlantic coast.
25 days Individualreise 2 up to 6 travellers
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12 days Bestseller 2 up to 12 travellers
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Peru Experience the Land of the Incas - Option II
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Country information on BRAZIL: „From 'A' like Amazonia to 'Z' like Sugarloaf Mountain“
With a good 8.5 million km², Brazil is the largest country in South America, the fifth largest country on earth and about 24 times the size of Germany! The Brazilian territory covers just under 50% of the total area of South America. It shares borders with all other countries on the continent except Ecuador and Chile. The eastern coastline of South America corresponds to large stretches of the Brazilian Atlantic coast. This measures 7,367 kilometres! The coast of South America runs parallel to the West African coastline - like a jigsaw puzzle, you can put the continents together. According to the theory of continental drift, the two continents were connected to each other during the Earth's formation and slowly drifted apart over millions of years. The American continent drifted westwards, and in this way the mighty Andes Mountains on the western side of South America were pushed upwards. Brazil can be roughly divided into two large landscapes: First, the Amazon basin in the north, which covers about 4 million km² and takes up about 41% of the country's area. Secondly, the high plateau of the so-called Brazilian Shield with average altitudes between 200 and 1,000 metres above sea level, which occupies the remaining 59% in the centre and south of the country. In the east, the mountainous area of the coastal cordillera slopes down to a narrow coastal plain. The coastal cordillera runs from south to northeast and, with its altitudes of 1,000 to 2,500 m.a.s.l., forms a watershed between the Atlantic Ocean and the interior. Most of the country lies between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. About 1/3 of the country lies within the drainage area of the Amazon River and its approximately 200 tributaries. Brazil's largest west-east extension of 4,319.4 km is almost equal to its largest north-south extension of 4,394.7 km. The majority of Brazilians live along the Atlantic coast and in the southeastern industrial regions, where, for example, 55% of all the country's goods are produced in the state of Sao Paulo alone. In the south and southeast of the country, 64% of the population lives on only 20% of the land area. In contrast, only about 4% of Brazilians live in the northwestern regions of the Amazon on about 40% of the country's land area. There is an absolute stark contrast and imbalance between rich and poor in Brazil. On the one hand, Brazil is considered an industrialised and modern country; on the other hand, there are areas that are among the poorest in the world. About 50% of the total income of all Brazilians goes to the top 10% of the population.
Brasilia is located in the centre of Brazil on the country's central plateau at an altitude of 1,172 metres near the watershed between the rivers that flow north to the Amazon on the one hand and south to the Río de la Plata on the other. The city was designed more or less on the drawing board and created in a region of the country that had not been heavily urbanised until then with only one purpose: to replace Rio de Janeiro as the capital. Its location was also intended to promote the development of inland infrastructure. Brasilia is far away from other centres such as São Paulo (872 km), Rio de Janeiro (930 km), Recife (1653 km) and Belém (1600 km). The responsible urban planner was Lúcio Costa. The architect Oscar Niemeyer, as head of the state building authority, was responsible for the Brasilia project and designed the public buildings. The design of Brasilia began on 22 October 1956. On 21 April 1960, the planned capital was already largely completed and was inaugurated by President Kubitschek. Brasília thus replaced Rio de Janeiro as the country's new capital. Today, the core city has about 2.57 million inhabitants. Around 4.29 million people live in the Brasilia metropolitan region, which extends into the states of Goiás and Minas Gerais. The centre of Brasília has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
Absolutely worth seeing:
- The Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia is Oscar Niemeyer's absolute jewel. The modern cathedral with its "crown format" as well as water mirrors and works by modern artists is a treat not only for architecture freaks, both from the outside and the inside.
- The Ministries Esplanade is part of the Monumental Axis. It is located in the eastern part of the "Monumental Eixão" and houses the organs of the federal government. The buildings were designed by the architect Oscar Niemeyer. The landscaping of the Monumental Axis was done by Burle Marx.
- The Praca dos Tres Poderes - Square of the Three Powers - is an extensive space between the three monumental buildings representing the three powers of the Republic: the Planalto Palace (Executive), the Supreme Federal Court (Judicial) and the National Congress (Legislative). Like almost all the city's streets, the urban part was designed by Lúcio Costa and the constructions by Oscar Nuemeyer with structural projects by Joaquim Cardozo.
- The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge connects Lago Sul, Paranoá and São Sebastião to the central part of Brasilia via the Monumental Axis.
- The JK Monument was also created by Oscar Niemeyer. It is intended to keep the memories of Juscelino Kubitschek alive in the attached museum.
- The Dom Bosco Sanctuary is one of Brazil's landmarks. The construction of the church complex designed by architect Carlos Alberto Naves in honour of the patron saint Don Bosco.
- The SQS 308 Quadra modelo is a model of how the urban planner responsible for Brasilia's projects, Lúcio Costa, envisioned the "Super Quadras of Brasilia".
- The Dawn Palace is a building designated as the official residence of the President of the Republic. It is located on the shores of Lake Paranoá and is the first building inaugurated in the federal capital on 30 June 1958.
- You can also explore all the architectural sights mentioned above with a guided bike tour.
Amazon in the north:
The Amazon basin in the north, which covers about 4 million km², takes up about 41% of Brazil's land area.
The natural region of Amazonia is distinguished by the federal state "Estado do Amazonas", which is the largest of Brazil's 26 federal states. Its capital Manaus is home to more than two million inhabitants, almost half of the state's population. The state encompasses the western Amazon basin in northwestern Brazil and consists largely of tropical rainforest. East of it, in the estuary of the Amazon on the Baía de Guajará, lies Belém, the capital of the state of Pará. Along with Manaus, Belém is the most important city in the Brazilian Amazon region.
The Amazon as a natural region is the largest river system on earth with more than 1,000 tributaries in a catchment area of over seven million square kilometres. Ocean-going vessels can travel 3,700 km upstream to Iquitos in Peru. In total, 50,000 km of the Amazon river system are navigable. Amazonia is home to about 50 million plant species. In just a few hectares of forest, there are often more tree species than in the whole of Europe. The slope of the Amazon outside the Andes is only a few centimetres per river kilometre, which is also the reason for the enormous water rise of about twelve metres or more in the rainy season. The Brazilian Amazon capital Manaus, for example, is only 26 metres above sea level. At the peak of the rainy season, up to 310,000 cubic metres of water per second flow into the Atlantic! The Amazon transports about 1/5 of the total freshwater of all rivers on earth. Before the Rio Solimoes, with its clay-yellow colour, joins the cola-coloured Rio Negro to form the Rio Amazonas, the Rio Negro is about 20 km wide. The different waters of the two rivers continue to move side by side in two colours for about 80 km after the union, then the clay-coloured water dominates. One third of the total animal biomass in Amazonia are ants! They are generally considered the "rulers of the rainforest". Almost 2,000 species of Amazonian fish have been described, and it is estimated that there are 3,000 species in total. The Amazon road network was extended from 7,900km to 49,800km between 1971 and 1986. Increasing environmental destruction due to deforestation of the rainforest in favour of mines, cattle breeding and agriculture are a hot topic.
Absolutely worth seeing:
- From Manaus there are many tours to Amazon lodges. A stay of several days at a lodge with excursions under the expert guidance of local guides offers the best insights into the fascinating ecosystem of the Amazon rainforest. Boat tours, hikes, survival overnight stays, botany, visits to settlers, animal observations, medicine men - the spectrum of offers is wide.
- Amazon Cruise from Belém to Manaus or vice versa
- In Manaus itself, the Teatro Amazonas, the Botanical Garden, the morning fish market and a tour to the "Meeting of the Waters" - the confluence of the Rio Solimoes and the Rio Negro - are worth seeing.
- From Belém, the Ilha do Marajó is a wonderful place to visit. Here, too, there are fazendas that are worth a stay of several days. Water buffalo riding. Boat trips, bathing, animal observation and hikes are the main activities.
- In Belém itself, the morning fish market Ver-o-Peso, the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi with its green spaces and the modern converted docks Estacao das Docas are worth a visit.
Northeast Brazil:Brazil's northeast officially comprises a total of nine states! These are: Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Piauí, Maranhao. All these states border the sea, and the coastline totals over 3,000 kilometres! In the south, the beaches are mostly lined with palm trees, while in the north, vast dune landscapes often spread out along the coasts. And freshwater rivers find their way everywhere, lined by mangrove forests. The climate in north-east Brazil is tropical-humid in the coastal area and dry-hot in the interior; local rainy and dry seasons are the only "seasons" in the region. Once, the entire southern coastal area of the northeast was covered by tropical coastal rainforest over a width of 50-100 kilometres. The heavy settlement of the coast and the accompanying plantation economy caused the original forest cover to shrink to only a few remnants, which are now protected. Adjacent to the "Zona da Mata" is an area about 150 kilometres wide called "Agreste". This is a 400-800 metre high plateau with far less rainfall than the coastal area. Here, staple crops are grown, as well as tobacco, citrus fruits and cashew nuts. This is followed by the steppe-like "Sertao", which is mostly dry because it has little rainfall. It takes up more than half of the area of the northeast in Brazil! Here, only succulents, certain types of palms, thorny plants and cacti grow and form the so-called "Caatinga vegetation". In the northern area there is no "Zona da Mata". "Campos Cerrados" with hot tree savannahs or dry areas with thorny plants, the "Caatinga", extend into the coastal regions. Or even vast dune landscapes as in the "Parque Nacional Lencóis Maranhenses". Economically, the northeast is known as the "poorhouse of Brazil". On the one hand, this is due to the extreme weather conditions, on the other hand, the property relations in the Northeast are extremely unfair! Nevertheless, agriculture is still the most important economic sector in the Northeast, followed by tourism - especially in the coastal regions. The people from the Northeast call themselves "Nordestinos"! Today they are a colourful mixture of peoples with origins of Portuguese, Dutch, French, and especially of course Africans!
Absolutely worth seeing:
- Brazil's beaches are fantastic. There is something for everyone here - from large resorts with all the amenities of a 5* hotel to secluded coves with no development. It's difficult to give beach recommendations - there are countless. Browse around a bit - and you will find your favourites.
- The "Parque Nacional Lencóis Maranhenses" is located south of the Amazon region in the federal state of Maranhão. It is an extensive dune area that you would never expect to find in Brazil. At 1550 km², it is the only desert in Brazil and has been declared a national park. During the rains, the depressions between the huge dunes fill with fresh water and form hundreds of fabulously beautiful, shimmering blue bathing lagoons.
- The state of Bahia has its very own flair. It was here in 1500 that the Portuguese navigator "Pedro Álvares Cabral" went ashore at "Porto Seguro" to form the new colony of Brazil! Bahia is often called the "soul of the Northeast" or even the heart of all Brazil. This state - especially the capital "Salvador" - is very strongly influenced by African traditions, religion, music, dance and influences in food. The proverbial temperament of the Brazilians is probably most pronounced here. It is also said that Bahia's carnival is the liveliest and musically most demanding in the country. Worth visiting in Bahia are the baroque old town, the Pelourinho of Salvador da Bahia, the colonial small town of Cachoeira with the Dannemann tobacco factory, the scenically fabulous Chapada Diamantina for all hiking enthusiasts, as well as the coasts, e.g. at the Morro de São Paulo, the Costa do Dendê south of Salvador or the Estrada de Coco north of Salvador.
- The sister cities of Recife and Olinda offer modernity and colonial flair in equal measure, as well as nearby beautiful beaches.
- A special Atlantic jewel is the island archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a complex ecosystem. Here you can hike, dive and relax.
Central Brazil and the South:
The southern part of Brazil is the most populated and most modernly developed part of the country. Here lies the economic triangle between Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Foz do Iguaçú. In the very south, due to the temperate climate, various immigrant streams have settled, especially descendants of German immigrants can be found here. For example, the world's third-largest Oktoberfest is celebrated outside of Blumenau every year; there are half-timbered houses and the beer gardens and festivals typical of Bavaria. Two of Brazil's major attractions - the Iguaçú waterfalls and Rio de Janeiro - can be found in the south. In the central hinterland, Brazil's capital Brasilia rules the country's fortunes. Nevertheless, there is also a wild, untouched region in the "wild west". Due to its huge fauna, the Pantanál enjoys more and more guests who are looking for a remnant of adventure and wilderness.
Absolutely worth seeing:
- Rio de Janeiro is world-famous for its spectacular location alone, surrounded by green mountains and lapped by the Atlantic Ocean. Certainly, the viewpoints Corcovado and Pão de Azucar are among the best you can experience in the city. But the various districts such as Santa Teresa, Copacabana, Ipanema, Lapa and the old town also surprise with their diversity. Carnival or New Year's Eve in Rio!
- Im Dreiländer-Eck Brasilien, Argentinien und Paraguay liegen die Iguaçú-Wasserfälle. Über eine Abbruchkante von 2,7 km Länge ergießt sich hier der Rio Iguaçú umgeben von subtropischer Pflanzenpracht in die Tiefe. Schauen Sie sich auf jeden Fall beide Nationalparks rund um die Fälle an – den brasilianischen ebenso wie den argentinischen – es lohnt sich!
- The Pantanál is considered the largest inland wetland on earth and is a true natural paradise. With a gradient of only three centimetres per kilometre, the enormous amounts of rain hardly flow off and the Pantanál is therefore under water in some areas for up to six months a year. This labyrinth of river branches, wet forests and dry zones is home to around 240 fish species, around 60 amphibian and 100 reptile species, 650 bird species - including the world's largest occurrence of the Hyacinth Macaw - more than 120 large mammal species, including rare species such as the jaguar, tapir and giant river otter, and more than 1,700 plant species. Experience the Pantanál from a fazenda where you can take tours on foot, jeep, high on horseback and by boat.
- Bonito and Jardím are located in the hilly landscape of the Serra da Bodoquena. This natural paradise offers stalactite caves, crystal-clear river water for snorkelling and wonderful landscapes with wildlife viewing opportunities.
- A train ride with the Serra Verde Express from Curitiba over the coastal cordillera to Morretes. Boat trip from Paranagua to Ilha do Mel with hiking and swimming opportunities.
- Serra Gaucha with the 200 km Rota Romântica through the mountains with the towns of the German emigrants São Leopoldo, Novo Hamburgo, Nova Petrópolis and São Francisco de Paula. Experience Blumenau's Oktoberfest in the Vila Germânica.
- Florianópolis und die Ilha de Santa Catarina.
- Take a journey back in time to the 17th century and explore the small town of Paraty, beautifully romanticised below the coastal cordillera and on a bay on the Atlantic Ocean. The old town, together with four nature reserves in the surrounding area, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as Paraty and Ilha Grande. The stretch of coast between Rio de Janeiro and Paraty is called Costa Verde and is one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in Brazil. Bathing, hiking, on the way on old gold trails...
Facts and figures Brazil:
Land area: a good 8.5 million sq km
Population: approx. 210 million - approx. 60 % of European descent, approx. 25 % of African descent, approx. 15 % of indigenous descent; transitions between ethnic groups are often fluid in Brazil, as the vast majority of the population descends from more than one population group.
Capital: Brasilia with 2.57 million inhabitants; around 4.29 million people live in the Brasilia metropolitan region.
Highest mountain: at 3,014 m.a.s.l. the Pico da Neblina in the north on the border with Venezuela.
Form of government: presidential federal republic
History: In 1494, Spain and Portugal concluded the so-called "Treaty of Tordesillas", in which the spheres of interest and property claims of both countries in the "New World" were clearly laid down by an imaginary line. This line cut through the hitherto completely unknown South American continent in the eastern part and was, so to speak, Brazil's first border (much further east than today), although the formal discovery of the country did not take place until six years later. At that time, several hundred indigenous peoples populated the land, and the total number is said to be around 5 million. The organised occupation of the colony began in 1530, when Portugal sent out the first colonists with livestock, plants and seeds to establish permanent settlements on the spot. Huge plantations of sugar cane, tobacco and cocoa soon sprang up in the narrow fertile coastal strip. The Portuguese royal court brought black slaves from its colonies in Africa to Brazil to use them for the hard work in the fields. The sad chapter of the enslavement of African captives in Brazil began, and many large slave markets sprang up along the coast in the port cities. Crown Prince Pedro proclaimed Brazil's independence in 1822 and appointed himself the first emperor. The abolition of slavery in 1888 simultaneously brought about the decline of the monarchy as well as economic collapse. Since then, Brazil has been struggling to rise as a modern emerging economy.
Economy: Brazil is the economically most important country in Latin America. Enormous contradictions characterise the Brazilian economy. The country has all the necessary prerequisites for economic success: raw materials, labour, means of production, transport systems, sales markets. And yet Brazil has been in a permanent crisis for decades. After the Second World War, a large-scale wave of industrialisation began in Brazil. Presidents Varga and Kubitschek wanted to modernise Brazil at any price. Gigantic projects such as the large-scale postmodern new capital Brasilia and the hydroelectric power plant ITAIPÚ were realised, but could only be carried out with foreign financial aid, i.e. with an immense debt of the state. Since then, Brazil has been stuck in a huge foreign dependency. The prices for Brazilian raw materials have fallen dramatically, so that export revenues are nowhere near enough to cover the costs of imports.
Currency: Brazilian real
Language: Brazilian Portuguese
Festivities: The New Year's celebration in Brazil is bigger and more pompous than the Christmas celebration. The biggest party in the country is held in Rio de Janeiro. At midnight, fireworks are watched from boats by up to two million people on the beach.
Brazil is famous for its carnival. At this huge folk festival, Brazilians celebrate for several days in a row. Particularly famous is the "Carnaval do Rio", where the city's samba schools compete in a breathtaking parade. Salvador da Bahia, on the other hand, is home to the largest street carnival.
In mid-April, the Festas de Cavalhadas take place in Pirenópolis(in the state of Goías. Every year, historical equestrian games and battles between Christians and Moors are recreated. The event lasts three days and begins with a horse parade.
Festa Junina, also called Festa de São João, is held annually in honour of John the Baptist in June. The celebrations take place mainly in the northeast of Brazil and are as popular there as the carnival. The June festivals follow the tradition of the Midsummer Night Festival and therefore often include bonfires.
7 September is Independence Day in Brazil. Brazilians celebrate Brazil's final separation from Portugal, and celebrations are held throughout the country.
The day of Brazil's patron saint is an important date, especially for devout Brazilians. The patron saint is honoured throughout the country on 12 October, but especially by devout Brazilians. On the day of Nossa Senhora Aparecida, thousands of devout Brazilians travel to São Paulo to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary in the basilica dedicated to her.
On 15 November, Brazil celebrates the proclamation of the Republic. On this bank holidays, festivities take place all over the country.
Brazil also celebrates outside the usual carnival season, these celebrations are called Micareta. The most famous is a big carnival celebration that takes place every December in the city of Natal. This involves a converted truck with a band on board driving through the streets of Natal. The revelers follow the truck and the music.
Christmas is celebrated in Brazil on 25 December, as in many other countries. This day is a bank holiday when family members get together and have a feast together.
Travel in Brazil:
Entry requirement: Travel documents must be valid for at least six months upon entry. Since the agreement between the EU and Brazil came into force on 1 October 2012, German nationals are allowed to enter or transit through Brazil without a visa for tourism or business purposes and to stay there for a maximum of 90 days during a six-month period.
Vaccinations: Brazil does not require proof of yellow fever vaccination for entry from Europe. However, most of Brazil is now a yellow fever endemic area, so vaccination becomes necessary for personal protection there. The extent of the affected regions in Brazil also changes at short notice. The WHO issues current recommendations for travellers. Vaccinations against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies are recommended for long-term stays or special exposure.
Climate/travelling season: The north of Brazil has an equatorial climate, which is very rainy in the interior and very dry in the eastern part. The central area and the south-east of the country are characterised by a tropical climate, i.e. it is hot and humid with lots of rainfall. In the south, the climate is subtropical, partly with distinct dry and rainy seasons and under the influence of Antarctic air currents, which can lead to rapid cold snaps.
In principle, you can travel to Brazil all year round. In the jungle region of the Amazon basin, the climate is equatorially humid and hot with heavy rainfall all year round. May to October can be considered the best time to travel, as it rains a little less than usual. The most pleasant temperatures are in June/July and the driest month is August. The rainiest month in the north is March. This is when the rivers are at their peak. The average temperature is 24-27 degrees Celsius. In the coastal region, the main rainy season is in June/July. In Bahia, there is almost no rainfall in the months of August/September, which is why these months are considered the best time to travel. The Sertão in the interior is the driest and hottest region in the northeast, with an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. On the south-eastern coast of Brazil, it rains mainly in the Brazilian summer (December-March), with the fewest rainy days in July. The best time to travel to southeastern Brazil is from October to April. The mountainous areas in the southeast have a tropical highland climate, but the rainy and dry seasons are more pronounced and temperatures are generally lower. Average temperatures here are 18-23 degrees Celsius. Temperatures in Rio vary between 18 and 40 degrees Celsius, depending on the season, and rarely rise above 21 degrees Celsius in winter. Brazil's south beyond the Tropic of Capricorn has a humid subtropical climate. The hottest time, with temperatures between 21-32 degrees Celsius, and therefore the best time to travel, is from December to February, during which time there is almost no rainfall. With temperatures between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius, it gets cold and wet in the months of June-August. The driest and hottest time in the interior is from May to September, while the months from September to March see the most rainfall. During this time, large parts of the Pantanál are flooded and impassable. The best time to travel is from June to October, when the dry season begins and the animals return to the waterholes. Animal observation is more promising this way. Those who can should avoid holiday periods, as Brazilians also like to travel around their country.
Local time: Due to its enormous size, Brazil has several time zones. It is best to find out about your specific travel region.
Brazilian Tourist Office