Every year more tourists flock to the country of Brazil, as it is becoming one of the top tourist destinations for a summer vacation in the world. The popularity began rising with the 2016 Olympic Games, which were hosted in Rio de Janeiro, as fans of sports from all over the world visited Brazil to witness their favorite athletes competing against each other. However, there is so much more to Brazil than just sports, and while it is a huge part of Brazilian culture, we cannot forget all the other beautiful things about the country. With stunning sandy beaches, over a thousand surrounding islands and plenty of natural wonders, including the famous Amazon River and rainforests, Brazil is the perfect destination of choice for nature lovers. If you would rather stay in the cities, there is also plenty of things to do – in recent years, many more attractions, hotels, and restaurants were opened to meet the needs of the coming tourists. To help you get a better grip on what Brazil has to offer, we made this Top 10 Hidden Secrets about Brazil culture and traditions list, which spots some of the lesser-known facts about the country.
While Mexico often brings tons of tourists every year to their beautiful beaches, people are often forgetting about Brazil. This South American country actually features tons of romantic, sandy beaches with over four thousand miles of coastline and a warm, tropical climate that will keep you warm. The coasts of Brazil are also filled with coves, islands, and even underwater cave systems, which only add to the beauty of Brazilian beaches. One of the most famous of the Brazilian beaches is Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, of which almost everyone in the world has heard. The beach is over two miles long and is usually quite busy, but the locals love mixing with the tourists and getting to know each other!
Brazil is the biggest country in South America, and with such an amount of terrain to spare, diversity comes naturally. In Brazil, you can easily spot glorious waterfalls, calm wetlands, mountain ranges, jungles, and even deserts. One of the most unique landscapes you can see in the country is Lençois Maranhenses, which is a national park filled with sand dunes and pools of rainwater. There are over 600 square miles of terrain to explore in this national park, all of which are filled with sights that look as if taken from another planet. Another natural beauty of Brazil is the Amazon itself and the sprawling rainforests which surround it. If you're lucky, you may even get to experience piranha fishing, which is a popular pastime among the locals who live close to the Amazon.
When it comes to the cities of Brazil, many people focus on the negative sides, such as massive swathes of favelas, which are a type of Brazilian slums. However, cities are a huge part of Brazil culture and traditions, and most of them are gorgeous sights to see. For example, the city of Curitiba, one of the largest cities in Brazil, is famous for its innovative public transportation and dozens of green spaces all around the city. Fun fact – the city actually has so many parks, that city officials use sheep to help keep the grass short, as employing enough people to take mow the lawns would be too expensive! The city is also filled with a number of great monuments and attractions to visit, including multiple museums and art galleries.
One of the most famous features of Brazil culture and traditions is the Carnival of Brazil, usually held in March or February, just before Lent. While carnivals are popular all over Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is known for the biggest one. Actually, the Rio Carnival is considered to be the largest carnival in the world, with over two million people walking through the streets every day. The carnival is filled with costumes, parades, parties, open-air performances of samba, and food. Make sure to visit the Sambodromo, which acts as the heart of the festival in Rio and hosts most of the samba competitions between the most renowned dance schools in Brazil.
Brazil is often considered to be a melting pot of cultures, which also highly influences their national cuisine, which varies from region to region. Brazilians love using root vegetables and various tropical fruits that grow in their region, with papayas, mangos, and pineapples filling the menus of most restaurants. Brazil is also known for its tasty barbecue, but they are also not afraid of fish-based dishes, such as the Moqueca, which is a stew made with fish and seafood, boiled in a mixture of diced tomatoes, coriander, and onions. For dessert, we recommend you try brigadeiros, which resemble chocolate truffles. These sweet balls of goodness are created out of condensed milk, mixed with cocoa powder and sprinkled with even more chocolate, and are served at most bakeries.
A huge portion of Brazil culture and traditions are their national drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Beer is widely popular in Brazil, with local brans filling the market and pushing out the foreign ones. When it comes to cocktails, Brazilians love using cachaça, which is a liquor made out of sugarcane juice. The most common form of cachaça is porradinha, which is half a cup of cachaça and some soda. For a more sophisticated drink, you may want to try a caipirinha, which is among the most famous of the Brazilian drinks. Caipirinha is made out of cachaça, lime juice, and some brown sugar. The famous drink actually comes from a homemade recipe used during the outbreak of Spanish Flu, but years of experimentation turned it into a popular cocktail!
Brazil is filled with tons upon tons of magnificent monuments and landmarks which attract tourists from all over the world. One of such monuments is Christ the Redeemer, the most famous Christian statue in all the world. The sculpture was designed by Paul Landowski, a French sculptor of Polish descent and features a thirty-meter-tall depiction of Jesus Christ. However, Christ the Redeemer is not the only famous monument in Brazil. If you happen to be visiting the capital of Brazil, Brasilia, you may want to see the famous Cathedral of Brasilia. When in Sao Paulo, make sure to save some time to see Altino Arantes, which is a gorgeous skyscraper and one of the most popular sights in all of Brazil.
While you may think that hotels look more or less the same everywhere around the world, you might be surprised by what Brazil has to offer. With the recent increase in the tourism industry, more and more luxurious resorts are being built all over the country, providing a huge range of choices to wealthy travelers. If bustling hotels and all-inclusive resorts are not your things, you may instead want to choose one of the many rainforest lodges, which are becoming popular and provide the perfect setting for escaping the bustling cities. There are also many Pousadas, which are similar to bed and breakfasts, which are small, independent lodges usually run by the locals.
Unlike in most countries around the world, which are popular only during certain seasons, Brazil stays beautiful and warm all around the year, with around 300 days of sunshine annually. Even during fall and winter, you will probably not see any rain or snow and the temperatures stay high enough to forget your coat and scarf. Many locals hit the beaches all throughout the year, and they even prefer the more temperate weather off-season than the scorching heat of summer. However, remember that nights in Brazil can get quite chilly, so remember to pack something warm to wear for this occasion.
Currently, there are over 70 gorgeous national parks all over Brazil, which show some of the best of what Brazilian nature has to offer. The first parks were opened around the 1930s, with more and more slowly being added every year. Itatiaia National Park is the oldest national park in Brazil, situated within the Mantiqueira mountains. Today, most of the Amazon rainforest belongs to national parks, as more and more dangers arise to this jungle-like environment. The largest of those is the Mamiraua Reserve, which is home to the largest selection of wildlife in the country, including over 400 species of birds, dolphins, monkeys, and rodents.