Christmas is over and the last of the turkey has been devoured in the form of sandwiches. Festive jumpers are being packed away ready for next year and the discussions are already starting about the perfect holiday destination in 2014. Oddly, a lot of the guys are touting Brazil as a fantastic place to visit. There must be a reason for this sudden enthusiasm? Why aren’t they promoting a royal holiday timeshare instead?
World Cup fever
Well, unless you’ve been living on a desert island, you’ll know that 2014 is a World Cup year and the beautiful country of Brazil is the lucky host. This would explain the keen interest from the male population for a visit next year.
Don’t be put off though by the thought of thousands of footballs fans descending upon this South American wonder, as Brazil has a lot to offer everyone. Extravagant carnivals, sun-drenched coastlines and beautiful colonial villages make Brazil a truly diverse place to visit.
The world’s biggest carnival
Rio de Janeiro is widely regarded as the Carnival Capital of the World. This is because the Rio Carnival is the biggest on the planet and attracts more than 500,000 foreign visitors alone. It truly is a spectacle that cannot be appreciated unless you experience it for yourself. The annual carnival starts 40 days before Easter and 2014’s event will begin on February 28.
The carnival itself is a celebration of Brazil’s rich culture and serves as a way of conveying this to the world. It seems that the most important thing to do at Rio Carnival is have fun; something which is not difficult due to the dancing, singing and partying that goes on during the day and throughout the night.
If the euphoric atmosphere of the Rio Carnival isn’t your scene, then why not consider a trip to one of Brazil’s exquisite colonial towns like Ouro Prêto. Located in the state of Minas Gerais, Ouro Prêto (Black Gold) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its magnificent Baroque architecture. Much of its buildings are testimony to its former prosperity and influence during Brazil’s golden age in the 18th century. Ouro Prêto really is a delightful place to visit and a world away from the party atmosphere of Rio. Visitors may at first find the cobbled hills tricky to navigate but the spectacular views of 23 beautiful churches make the effort all worthwhile.
Brazil has a plethora of beaches, all of which are sure to satisfy even the most hard-to-please sun worshippers. Copacabana and Ipanema, both made famous by songs, boast beautiful shorelines and are teeming with equally beautiful people. For this reason, some people may be reluctant to visit them but there are great alternatives close by. For example, Prainha Beach is just along the coast and offers a much more laid back atmosphere. It is a half-moon shaped beach, which is secluded and one of only three in Brazil with a Blue Flag. The soft white sands and bright blue waters are set against a backdrop of rainforest-covered mountains. The pristine environment makes it a haven for both surfers and families alike.