Brazil is a massive country with so many exciting regions, and with three different host cities for our international volunteer programs, there are endless possibilities for weekend trips around the country. Whether you find yourself in Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, or Florianopolis, you will have an incredible time exploring your new home and will likely be able to squeeze in a few exciting weekend trips during your time off.
Here we have just a few of the many incredible adventures you can take around Brazil; now it’s up to you to narrow them down and figure out how you want to put yourself out there!
Better known as the Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, this massive waterfall and natural wonder of the world will surpass your expectations, make you feel so much smaller, and inevitably soak your clothes in mist or falling water to remind you of the experience days after the fact. Located at the meeting point of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, these famous falls touch all three borders and can be seen from either side, but many argue that the Brazilian side has the most magnificent view. You can take a boat tour of the falls, visit wildlife at the many ecological reserves, or explore the area’s unique and diverse religious traditions — from Mosques to Buddhist temples to Jesuit mission churches, this area has a very rich history.
The Amazon Rainforest
How could we make a list of the top sights in Brazil and not include the largest rainforest on the planet? Brazil is home to the Amazon Rainforest and the river of the same name, one of the largest and most diverse expanses of rainforest land known to man, much of which is still unexplored territory! The best way to visit is via Manaus in the north, which may require an airline flight but is well worth it. There are other means of entering this massive jungle, but may require a bit of extra planning or travel time. Regardless, if you have the time, definitely go for it! A jungle trek through the Amazon Rainforest will be an experience you will never forget.
The Old Cities
As a hub for colonialism during the 17th century, Brazil is home to countless historical towns and cities famous for their old-world architecture, interesting designs, and fascinating histories. With many to choose from around the country, some of the most famous are Ouro Preto, not far from Rio de Janeiro, Olinda in the north, and Paraty near São Paulo. The colorful colonial streets and vibrant city life will definitely make you want to break out your camera and snap more than a few beautiful shots, and a visit to any of these cities will provide you with a glimpse into the colonial history that has shaped Brazil’s past, present, and future.
The Major Cities
Unless you are volunteering in Rio de Janeiro, you may not be able to experience the charm, excitement, and vibrancy that either Rio or São Paulo has to offer. That is not to discount the incredible experience that volunteering in Curitiba or Florianópolis has to offer, but a visit to either of these beautiful cities will definitely provide you with an interesting contrast in Brazilian way of life and are sure to be a fun-filled weekend getaway. Visit Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, or attend one of the many festivals or art events constantly happening around São Paulo — and if you are in Brazil at the right time of year, experiencing Carnaval in one of these cities is an experience like no other.
If you haven’t yet noticed, Brazil has quite a bit of gorgeous Atlantic coastline, and thus countless miles of beachside views. You can never go wrong with a weekend getaway to the beach, all of which are extremely accessible from Curitiba, Florianópolis, or Rio de Janeiro. From city beaches such as the infamous Copacabana Beach in Rio to more secluded areas such as the secret surf spot of Praia de Itacoatiara, there is a beach to seaside town for everyone in Brazil, just remember to pack a bathing suit, a towel, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Brazil, there are countless activities for you to choose from whether you immerse yourself in your host city and make lasting connections there, or branch out and explore other parts of the country. You will pick up some Portuguese, get acquainted with the Brazilian way of life, and have make memories to last a lifetime.
Are you ready to start volunteering abroad in Brazil with World Endeavors? Apply today or get in touch with us for more information! It’s time to change your world.
Posted by World Endeavors on December 10, 2016
World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.