Friday, 15 July 2016

Go nuts for wonderful Brazil

With the Summer Olympic Games upon us, discover more about the host city

Written by Wendy Gomersall
All eyes will be on Brazil this August when it hosts the Summer Olympic Games, closely followed by the Paralympics. Interest in the South American country as a holiday destination is sure to increase, and for first-time visitors, I’d recommend a combined Rio and rainforest itinerary.

The vast coastal city of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most stunning settings in the world and, when I visited, it wasn’t nearly as scary as I was expecting, though the usual rules about carrying valuables and not going into hazardous areas apply.

travel-590-2The Amazon Rainforest

Of course sightseeing must include the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, and a visit to the 38 metre-tall Christ the Redeemer statue on top of Mount Corcovado, from where you have a magnificent view over the city – weather permitting.

Take a cable car up Sugarloaf, the famous rounded mountain, for an alternative view. Retreat into the 340-acre Botanical Gardens for a quiet moment, then take a tour of other city highlights – favourites include the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, which looks like a modern pyramid.

Don’t leave Rio without trying a caipirinha cocktail (it’s very strong), and feijoada, a traditional thick stew of black beans, beef and pork you can stand a spoon up in. You can order it without the traditional pig ears, feet and other bits if you’re slightly squeamish.

travel-590-3Copacabana Beach: a must-see

Brazil is a huge country, encompassing different time zones, and it’ll take you around four hours to fly from Rio up to Manaus, gateway to the astonishing Amazon Rainforest, and a completely different Brazilian experience.

Wonderful nature in this part of the world of course includes amazingly colourful birds, caiman, piranha, insects and monkeys. I’d love to see the region’s famous pink river dolphins one day. A second visit to Brazil should include the Pantanal region to see jaguars at Caiman Ecological Refuge and a trip to Iguazu to see the breathtaking waterfalls.

travel-590-4Sugarloaf Mountain offers spectacular views.

Meanwhile, Last Frontiers offers a great first-timers’ holiday in Brazil. It includes three nights’ B&B in Rio at the newly renovated Royal Tulip hotel near São Conrado beach, taking in Corcovado and Sugarloaf as well as a bike tour along the city’s famous beaches. Then you fly to Manaus for one night before cruising the Amazon on the Tucano for four nights’ full board with excursions.

For the last two nights, you return to Rio to the historical district of Santa Teresa with its narrow, winding cobbled streets and lovely views, with free time to relax and explore. The price, from £3,420 per person based on two sharing, includes direct flights with British Airways and internal flights with Gol. 

More information at: 01296- 653000, www.lastfrontiers.com

Contact Wendy at wendy.gomersall@lady.co.uk
Prices are correct at time of going to press.



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