Over the last three weeks, I’ve been exploring the southern part of Brazil with G Adventures, discovering quite a bit of what the country has to offer. We traveled from the colonial fishing town of Paraty where we island-hopped (and drank too much caipirinhas) and feasted on fresh-from-the-sea fish, before finding our way to the earth-shattering waterfalls of Iguassu that’s so massive it straddles two countries. From there, we headed on to Bonito to snorkel in its famous freshwater rivers and then continued on to the lush wetlands of the Pantanal where some of Brazil’s endangered wildlife species still live.
The trip ended with a bang in sexy and sizzling Rio de Janeiro, home to some of the biggest Carnaval celebrations in the world. I’d long dreamt about visiting Brazil during Carnaval, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Throughout the week, street parties went on all night long in various parts of the city and everyone dressed up in elaborate costumes. The personal highlight for me was the Sambadrome parade: thousands of samba dancers decked out in massive glittery headdresses and bikinis strutted their stuff on over-the-top chariots; the atmosphere was impalpable and the energy infectious — I’d never quite seen anything like that before and it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
READ MORE: Two Weeks in Brazil Itinerary
As I piece together the memories from this trip, here are some photos from Brazil to give you a glimpse of what I’ve been up to. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more on my trip here, stay tuned!
Walking under the thundering Iguassu Falls on the Brazilian side
A spectacular view of Rio de Janeiro from the Sugarloaf (Urcu Hill)
A beautiful toucan bird warms up to me at the Iguassu Bird Park
This bright orange flower is a perfect representation of Brazil
The cobblestoned streets of Paraty are especially busy during the day
Our group of travelers sit and chat by the campfire in the Pantanal
Expressing their emotions through street art in the favela of Santa Marta in Rio de Janeiro
More street art in the colorful and eclectic district of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro
Colonial architecture in Lapa reminds me of the country’s history
Massive and over-the-top chariots parade through the Sambadrome
Each samba school has around 3000 to 4500 participants. Every single one of them is dressed in elaborate costumes.
Colors, music and lights make the Sambadrome parade one of the most spectacular shows in the world
Disclosure: This experience was made possible by G Adventures as a part of their Wanderers In Residence program. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Read more about my travels in Brazil here or follow me on Twitter with the #gadv hashtags.