I have been to Brazil five times and have written about it a lot. But I still haven’t really covered the country’s most popular city – Rio De Janeiro where I also stayed so it gets a mention today. The reason I didn’t mention Rio before was I didn’t really like it much and in truth it served its purpose – we were only really there for the World Cup Final. The beaches and Jesus statues were just extras to tick off so I could be as textbook a tourist as you. In general though, these were my top 5 sights when backpacking Brazil as it’s simply a huge country with so much to see and do.
1.Crossing the Equator in Macapa
The northern city of Macapa was a true backpacking gem for us. It acted as a gateway to French Guyana for us, as we got a night jeep through the marshland to lonely Oiapoque. Macapa itself has an impressive fort which we toured, some cool local market and of course this is where the Equator is! So this gave me an excellent opportunity to cross the equator on foot again, as I had done when backpacking Ecuador in 2010. I was now back in the Northern Hemisphere. I should also note that national parks around Brazil are superb places for camping out. There is still a threat of mosquitoes, crocodiles and other such animals, so a great option is to go Luxury Camping, or Glamping. It’s easily organised through many companies and offers a great base for touring the Amazon.
2.On the Rip in Recife
The city of Recife was a great spot back in 2011 on my second trip to Brazil. It was here that I went on the rip with my friend Katia. We drank cocktails long into the night, watched Black Tuesday Festival and had some sunset cocktails and beers on the beach. It’s a gorgeous beach resort worth checking out. They also have a decent football team, Sport Recife and nearby Olinda is a World Heritage Site. It was also the first city where I ever ate octopus.
3.Backpacking Sao Paulo
I landed in The Monster. It was huge and outrageous. Luckily I was staying with backpacking buddy Rodrigo (who I also backpacked Indonesia, Argentina and Antarctica with). I toured this immense city and loved it. It is so vast and huge. I later returned for a second visit and still remember it fondly.
4.Waterfall Hunatation in Foz do Iguacu
I actually visited Foz do Iguacu in Brazil on two separate trips. The first time I visited was in 2010 alone and I assumed I would never ever return. It seems like a once in a lifetime. But as my Mum and Dad were coming to Brazil to meet Panny and I in 2014, we decided to go back there together. So we stayed in the Green House Hostel and toured the amazing waterfalls again. I’m done though. I don’t want or need to go back there.
5.Maracana Stadium, Rio De Janeiro
As mentioned, I haven’t written much about Rio De Janeiro. In fact, my first four trips to Brazil didn’t even feature or consider this city. Then, in a hostel in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2013 I found out I had tickets for the 2014 World Cup Final so I had to go. It meant a trip with my Mum, Dad and Panny to the magnificent Maracana Stadium to watch the 2014 World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany. The Germans won 1-0 thanks to Mario Gotze’s goal. But just being there was immense.