Brazil is the largest country in South America and is located at the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon crosses the north and on the east coast are beautiful sandy beaches.
Impressions of my Vlog
The city of Salvador impressed with its well-preserved colonial old town with colorful houses and cobblestone streets. At carnival, groups with a drum went through the city and it was extensively celebrated.
Rio de Janeiro
The city of Rio de Janeiro is known for the breath-taking carnival. I was at the Sambadrome, where the best samba schools perform. The spectacle went on until sunrise and was a lot of fun. Impressive was the Jesus statue, one of the new seven wonders of the world and the famous beach Copacabana.
Paraty is a very well-preserved city from the colonial era. Walking through it felt like time had stopped. The cobblestones had worn out and gone through the centuries.
The city of São Paulo is the economic center of Brazil with a good view from the Altino Arantes skyscraper, which also houses a museum. Impressive was the neighborhood Batman Alley (Beco do Batman) with beautiful graffiti and the Museum of Afro Brazil.
Iguazu Falls (Foz do Iguaçu)
The Iguazu Falls are one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World and consist of almost 300 waterfalls located on the border between Brazil and Argentina. The Brazilian side offers a panoramic view and the starting point for visiting is the city of Foz do Iguaçu. On the Argentine side you can get closer to the waterfalls and the starting point is the city of Puerto Iguazú. The park is large and you should plan one day. On the Argentine side, I had the feeling that there was a lot more going on and I really liked it. Both sides are connected by an airport, so that you can fly in in the morning and out in the evening. Flights from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu can be booked cheaply a few days in advance.
The city of Belém was the starting point for our trip by ship to Manaus. Worth seeing were the big colorful cranes at the harbor.
Ilha De Marajo
Ilha De Marajo is an island near Belém, known for its water buffalo. Since we had to wait a few days for the Amazon ship, we spent two days here and explored it by bike.
Ship from Belém to Manaus
We took a ship along the Amazon from Belém to Manaus with a stop at Santarem. With our own hammocks, we slept with hundreds of people squeezed together like sardines on a deck. Going upriver has the advantage to be closer to the edge of the river to see locals living in wooden huts by the water.
Floresta Nacional (FLONA)
Close to Santarém is the National Park Floresta Nacional (FLONA) were we stayed with a host family. During a tour through the rainforest, we saw large trees, for which over 20 people are needed to hug.
Alter do Chão
The town of Alter do Chão is close to Santarém and has a beautiful sandy beach to relax.
The city of Manaus is in the middle of the Amazon and is a good start or end point for a cruise along the Amazon. Worth seeing is the beautifully designed theater from the rubber boom. At Manaus, two rivers of different colors meet, that are visible with a sharp color border.
We spend close to Manaus four days in a jungle lodge. With a small boat we drove over the rivers and saw river dolphins and wild monkeys. On a tour through the rainforest, we learned how plants can be used for medical purposes, hunting and survival. With fresh meat, we fished hungry piranhas within a few minutes. During a stay in in the jungle for a night with hammocks we grilled our dinner over the campfire.
I traveled to Brazil on my world trip through Latin America:
1. Flight to the start of my world trip from Germany to Salvador for the carnival.
2. Flight from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro to see the city and the carnival in the Sambadrome.
3. Bus from Rio de Janeiro to Paraty.
4. Bus from Paraty to Sao Paulo.
5. Night bus from Sao Paulo to Foz do Iguaçu, where I was at the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls.
6. Bus across the border from Foz do Iguaçu to Puerto Iguazú (Argentina), where I was at the Argentine side of the Iguassu Falls.
7. A few months later I had a flight from Paramaribo (Suriname) to Belém.
8. Two-night excursion from Belém to the island of Ilha De Marajo.
9. Ship along the Amazon from Belém to Santarem.
10. Bus from Santarem to Floresta Nacional (FLONA).
11. Bus from FLONA to Alter do Chão.
12. Bus from Alter do Chão to Santarem and by ship along the Amazon to Manaus.
Brazil is a big country and distances look short on the map. Traveling by land can take a long time, because the road network is limited and there is not always a direct road. On Rome2Rio you can find the fastest and cheap means of transport from A to B.
Brazil has a well-developed bus system and you can find them on busbud.com and clickbus.com.br (which can be translated with Google Translate). You can buy tickets on both websites, partly as a voucher, which you can exchange for the ticket at the bus station, in some cases you have to print the ticket. There is a fee of about 10% of the ticket price. Therefore, it is cheaper to buy the ticket directly at the bus station. At times like the Carnival in Rio, the buses are quickly booked out and it's worth getting the ticket online. Bus travel is not particularly cheap and costs about 5 € per 100 km, so for longer distances flights are cheaper. With a quick search on the internet you can also find coupons with 5% to 10% discount for the two websites.
To fly cheap from Europe to Brazil, I can recommend TAP Air Portugal. If you book on their website, you have the possibility to add a stay of 1 to 7 days in Lisbon or Porto, which reduces the fare, for me it was 50 €.
I stayed in hostels and booked them on HostelWorld, Booking.com and Hotels.com. I had the experience that at least one hostel bought reviews and was not so good.
In the guidebooks and testimonials, you will have heard that Brazil is not a safe country. I've set some rules with them nothing happened to me or was stolen:
I was only in tourist areas and walked not blind in side street, these could belong to gangs and it is life-threatening, especially in large cities.
Once it was dark, I didn't go on the street, except it was a tourist area.
Keep your eyes open and keep an eye on your surroundings.
I usually only had cash with me and left the credit card in the accommodation.
Take valuable electronics such as a DSLR and GoPro only out for shots and then put it back in your backpack.