Brazil

All Destinations

Brazil

It is almost impossible not to fall in love with the colour and culture of this vibrant country. This is the place to come when you need a reminder that it’s the simple things in life that make us truly happy. The gentle beat of samba music; fresh fish pulled straight from the ocean and onto your plate (eaten with your fingers); warm, white sand under bare feet on an abandoned beach – no fancy deckchairs just you and the crashing waves of the Atlantic.

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The Amazon River begins in Peru and snakes its way across the north of Brazil reaching widths of nearly 25 miles in the wet season. One of the best ways to explore the Brazilian Amazon is to take a private boat charter and let Exceptional Travel design a bespoke navigation to guide you into the backwaters of this mighty river.

The North of Brazil is also home to some of the world’s most remote and beautiful beaches. It is worth allowing time to explore Salvador, Bahia’s colonial capital city before heading to the coast. From the incredible dunes of Jericoacoara to the charming seaside town of Trancoso there are miles and miles of untouched beaches and a handful of fantastic hotels to choose from.

The southern region if Brazil is a tapestry of varied landscape and culture. The glitzy streets of Rio offer a fascinating contrast to the rolling hills and centuries-old churches in the province Minas Gerais. Vast coffee plantations swath undulating hills and, on the coast, charming towns such as Paraty and Buzios are alive with literary festivals, independent art galleries, hidden coves and music. There is always music in Brazil!

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Quick Facts

Capital
Brasilia

Area
8.55m sq km (3.3m sq miles)

Major Languages
Portuguese

Major religion
Christianity

Monetary Unit
real

Flight time from London
12 hours

Time Difference 
GMT – 3

When to go
Brazil is a year-round destination. The north of the country is best visited between September and May and the south tends to be warm and sunny in our summer months.

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  • High Season
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  • Shoulder Season

Highlights

Fernando de Noronha

This fiercely protected archipelago 22 miles off the coast of Natal is a treasure trove of Marine wildlife. The warm, crystal-clear waters are alive with turtles, dolphin, fish of every shape, size and colour imaginable and (for now) thriving coral reefs. This has long been a dream destination for marine biologists who are presented with thousands of species to research without having to move a flipper. Keen divers alike will find some of the best diving on the continent here.

The accommodation is charming and friendly but do not expect the high price tag for getting to the island to be reflected in the hotel. It is the park fees and isolated nature of this archipelago that make it expensive to reach and as soon as you have set foot on the golden beaches lined with emerald forests and turquoise water, you will understand why.

Bahia

As it crashes into the northeast coast of Brazil, the Atlantic Ocean finds miles and miles of unspoilt, golden sand lined with picture-perfect palm trees, freshwater lagoons and quiet Colonial towns that have paused in time. Those lucky enough to visit Bahia in their lifetime will remember it for the delicious ‘moqueca’ fish stews, the stunning beaches and a culture defined by a magical fusion of Afro-Brazilian influences.

From Trancoso to the State capital, Salvador, there is so much to see and do along this coastline and chic and charming places to rest for the night. For those wanting to escape in sumptuous surroundings, we work with a number of private houses designed by some of the world’s finest architects. Others may prefer to immerse themselves in music and vibrant Bahian life with a stay in Trancoso.

Paraty

Arriving in Paraty you are presented with cobbled streets lined with little white houses and pastel doors and window frames. This quaint and unassuming Colonial town has a sense of timelessness that makes you feel immediately relaxed. The town was founded formally by the Portuguese in 1667 as an important landmark for trading gold between the ever-expanding mines in Minas Gerais and Europe.

Recognised as a World Heritage Site, Paraty has preserved its history perfectly and some of the slave trails that wind their way from the mountains to the cobbled streets of the town can still be explored. Nearby there are some soft, golden beaches including the famous Trinidade Beach, which was infamous in its day for pirate attacks of the gold-laden ships, which eventually led to the demise of the city.

There are some fantastic private houses to rent if you want complete privacy or charming boutique hotels. Best visited in our summer months, Paraty is approximately three hours by car from Sao Paulo or Rio and makes a  memorable addition for those who want to combine a view of the ocean with a sense of culture.

The Pantanal

The world’s largest wetland sprawls over an area of about 195,000 square kilometres of pristine landscape teeming with wildlife. The name ‘Pantanal’ comes from the Portuguese word pântano, meaning wetland, bog, swamp or marsh.

The region is home to one of the largest and, thanks to dedicated conservation teams, thriving jaguar populations in the world. The rare Marsh deer and giant river otter are also spotted more frequently along with over 1000 species of birdlife. Nearly 500 species of reptile also inhabit these lands from the iconic caiman to the yellow anaconda.

These wetlands should be on the travel list for all wildlife-lovers as well as those who enjoy walking and the great outdoors. We work with a handful of the very best lodges to ensure comfort alongside exceptional guides and experts.

Fernando de Noronha

This fiercely protected archipelago 22 miles off the coast of Natal is a treasure trove of Marine wildlife. The warm, crystal-clear waters are alive with turtles, dolphin, fish of every shape, size and colour imaginable and (for now) thriving coral reefs. This has long been a dream destination for marine biologists who are presented with thousands of species to research without having to move a flipper. Keen divers alike will find some of the best diving on the continent here.

The accommodation is charming and friendly but do not expect the high price tag for getting to the island to be reflected in the hotel. It is the park fees and isolated nature of this archipelago that make it expensive to reach and as soon as you have set foot on the golden beaches lined with emerald forests and turquoise water, you will understand why.

Bahia

As it crashes into the northeast coast of Brazil, the Atlantic Ocean finds miles and miles of unspoilt, golden sand lined with picture-perfect palm trees, freshwater lagoons and quiet Colonial towns that have paused in time. Those lucky enough to visit Bahia in their lifetime will remember it for the delicious ‘moqueca’ fish stews, the stunning beaches and a culture defined by a magical fusion of Afro-Brazilian influences.

From Trancoso to the State capital, Salvador, there is so much to see and do along this coastline and chic and charming places to rest for the night. For those wanting to escape in sumptuous surroundings, we work with a number of private houses designed by some of the world’s finest architects. Others may prefer to immerse themselves in music and vibrant Bahian life with a stay in Trancoso.

Paraty

Arriving in Paraty you are presented with cobbled streets lined with little white houses and pastel doors and window frames. This quaint and unassuming Colonial town has a sense of timelessness that makes you feel immediately relaxed. The town was founded formally by the Portuguese in 1667 as an important landmark for trading gold between the ever-expanding mines in Minas Gerais and Europe.

Recognised as a World Heritage Site, Paraty has preserved its history perfectly and some of the slave trails that wind their way from the mountains to the cobbled streets of the town can still be explored. Nearby there are some soft, golden beaches including the famous Trinidade Beach, which was infamous in its day for pirate attacks of the gold-laden ships, which eventually led to the demise of the city.

There are some fantastic private houses to rent if you want complete privacy or charming boutique hotels. Best visited in our summer months, Paraty is approximately three hours by car from Sao Paulo or Rio and makes a  memorable addition for those who want to combine a view of the ocean with a sense of culture.

The Pantanal

The world’s largest wetland sprawls over an area of about 195,000 square kilometres of pristine landscape teeming with wildlife. The name ‘Pantanal’ comes from the Portuguese word pântano, meaning wetland, bog, swamp or marsh.

The region is home to one of the largest and, thanks to dedicated conservation teams, thriving jaguar populations in the world. The rare Marsh deer and giant river otter are also spotted more frequently along with over 1000 species of birdlife. Nearly 500 species of reptile also inhabit these lands from the iconic caiman to the yellow anaconda.

These wetlands should be on the travel list for all wildlife-lovers as well as those who enjoy walking and the great outdoors. We work with a handful of the very best lodges to ensure comfort alongside exceptional guides and experts.

Where to stay

These are just a selection of the properties we can personally recommend. Please get in touch to hear more about our full portfolio.

Hotel Santa Teresa Rio McGallery

The Hotel Santa Teresa Rio McGallery by Sofitel provides peaceful a peaceful escape from the busy streets of Rio hidden within an oasis of calm. The pool and terrace of the Santa Teresa face the twinkling lights of the city over Guanabara Bay and this is a fantastic spot for those who prefer to combine the hustle and bustle of Rio with some peace and quiet to escape to.

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Casa Cairuçu

Casa Cairuçu takes its name from its spectacular location near to the coastal town of Paraty. A few steps from the calm, protected waters of Paraty Bay, this pretty, three bedroom house is located inside the Environmental Protection Area (APA) of Cairuçu surrounded by pristine beaches, uninterrupted swathes of rainforest and traditional fishing communities.

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Caiman Ecological Refuge

The Caiman Ecological Refuge is a pioneering ecotourism enterprise in the Southern Pantanal. The reserve takes great pride in the research activities it carries out alongside partnerships with leading universities and scientists from across the world.

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Casas Brancas

Casas Brancas is a charming and stylish boutique property in the heart of Buzios. The rooms are light and fresh and most have direct views of the ocean from the floor to ceiling windows and a private terrace. The atmosphere is warm and friendly with pretty views of the bay from the bar (best enjoyed with a lovingly created caipirina cocktail).

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Pousada Maravilha

This intimate and friendly lodge is one of the only properties with unbroken sea views on Fernando do Noronha. The team who operate the lodge are passionate about playing their part in the conservation of this pristine archipelago and everything they do is carried out with thought and care for the island they inhabit.

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Reserva do Ibitipoca

Reserva do Ibitipoca is a stunning hideaway in the rolling hills of Ibitipoca State Park amid swathes of Atlantic Rainforest that drape the Ibitipoca mountain
range and the Mantiqueira mountains.

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Txai

Everything about Txai feels exclusive. Private bungalows with peaceful terraces facing the fringes of the forest or the Atlantic ocean; a near Olympic sized swimming pool lined with palm trees and a spa is widely recognised for its excellent treatments.

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Uxua Casa Hotel

Tucked away in the main ‘Quadrado’ Square of Trancoso, Uxua Casa Hotel remains one of the most sought-after boutique hotels in Brazil. The ten charming cottages, gardens and main house have been carefully designed to reflect Bahia’s laid-back and fun-loving culture.

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Get in touch with us now to start planning your journey

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