Here is how to spend three amazing weeks in Brazil during the Carnaval
Brazil or Brasil is a huge country. It is rightfully famous for the Carnaval in March and the beaches and the Amazon rain forests. Here is how to see the highlights in three weeks.
Three week Itinerary for Brazil on a map
Here is how to do three weeks in Brazil. You will most likely land in Rio since its the most popular international aiport. Leave for Foz. See Rio on the way back as you work through this three week itinerary for Brazil
What to do in Foz de Iguassu
Fly to Iguassu from Rio and spend two days in Foz. See the falls and the zoo. Have a nice meal at the Tropical das cataratas.
This is the largest water fall system in the world and also the 6th largest in terms of water flow. It is an amazing sight. Go right down to the falls to feel the water. You can always take a helicopter tour if you are pressed for time.
You can also take the full day biking and kayaking tour of the rain forests – Banieras Jungle safari.
What to do in Manaus
Fly out to Manaus from Iguassu.
Manaus if the gateway to the Amazon and the Amazon’s are a great sight to see.
We took a four day tour of the Amazon. It was great. We felt we were being shown around by locals. Jerry was a great host and his team made us do fun activities like:
- Sleep in hammocks
- Hike into the forests to see local flora
- See local settlements and see how people live in this environment
- Catching crocodiles at night. This was a lot of fun
- Handle a boa constrictor
- Cook food from local root vegetables
I think they are now offering the tour via Iguana Tours
We had a 3 hour stop over in Brasilia. We took a cab to see the architecture in Brasilia.
What to do in Recife, Olinda and Natal
Recife, the capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco. Recife and Olinda have nice beaches and are slightly off the tourist circuit. Good places to relax before you head to Salvador.
See the Boa Viagem Beach and the pastel houses in Olinda. The Carnaval was picking up as we headed to Olinda. We ran into festivities where ever we went.
Take the bus to Salvador de bahia.
What to do in Salvador de bahia
Since we only wanted to do three days of the Carvanal in Salvador, we stayed in Itapoa and took the bus into the main city. Itapoa has a nice beach and is quiet and open.
Take the elevator to the old town of Pelurinho. It is beautiful and Michael Jackson’s “they don’t really care about us” was shot in Pelurinho. The pastel colored houses and cobbled streets are full of activity in the days of the carnaval.
Unlike the cordoned off festivities in Rio, the carnaval in Pelurinho is participatory. Various streets go through the streets. There are a lot of colors. There is a lot of dancing, drumming and dress up. Pelurinho was the best part of our trip.
Do try acaraje from the Bahiana women. Its fried in Dende oil and really tasty.
Head off to Rio to see the Carnaval at Sambadrome.
What to do in Rio de Janeiro and Isla Grande
We bought tickets on the night of the carnaval. It was fairly easy to get in and got good seats. We spend the entire night at the sambadrome watching each samba school dance to impress the judges.
We went to see the sights next afternoon. We saw Corcovado, statue of Jesus the redeemer and Pao de acucar with great views of Rio from both. We spent the evening at Ipanema. The beaches in Rio are great for families and for people watching. It felt like everyone was wearing a bikini and it was ok inspite of body type. There was impromptu dancing on the beach during the days of the Carnaval.
We headed out to Ilha Grande the day after the Carnaval ended. Ilha Grande is a big island about 2-3 hours from Rio via bus and ferry. It is a place to relax away from the big city. We had countless caipirinhas and sweet in the central square and stumbled back to our pousada each of the two nights we were there.
We highly recommend Ilha Grande. It was a great end to our three weeks in Brazil.