Help a Reader Travel: Brazil

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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsPacific Coast HighwayArgentina /Buenos AiresCosta RicaCape Cod & The IslandsIcelandGenevaCanadian RockiesRomeIsraelPeruLas VegasStockholmChicago,ParisHanoiAustinPuerto RicoBrugesSalzburg, and Istanbul.

So this weeks travel destination includes Brazil. I received the following email from reader Jillian:

“I am looking to travel across Brazil in June with my boyfriend for about three weeks. We are in our mid-20’s, adventurous and would like moderate priced hotels since we will be traveling for so long and the cost can add up. We have some SPG points and can start accumulating other points as well to give ourselves some nicer/luxury hotels here and there. Where are some places we have to go? What are some hotel suggestions? Is it safe to travel around Brazil do you think? Any recommendations in general would be great! Thanks so much!”

If you’ve ever been to Brazil and have any recommendations, let’s help out reader Jillian by commenting below.

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. Would definitely recommend going to Morro de Sao Paulo, which is a boat ride away from Salvador. It’s a world away from all the hussle and bustle of the touristy attractions in Rio.

    No major chain hotels there, but prices are reasonable if I remember correctly. Make sure to bring some Dramamine for the boat ride because the waters can be rough, but once you’re there, it’s amazing!

  2. Keep in mind that a good chunk of Brazil is in the southern hemisphere. Which means June would be winter there. So if you are a beach person, you will really have to stick to North/North-East brazil, Places like Natal is 75ish all year round.

    I think Rio/Sao Paulo will be quite a bit colder. You should check out Florianopolis. It’s south east from Rio. It’s like the Ibiza of South America. Has a bit of everything. 40+ beaches. It’s an island. It’s also extremely safe. I had my wedding there(wife is from there). I been there end of May, pretty cold. It’s peak season is prob Nov-March. We will probably be there again in March. Been to Brazil 3 times so far. Still love Florianopolis the best.

    Check out Iguazu Falls.

  3. I found driving very easy. The quality of the freeway system was fantastic. We happened to get stuck in the south during the worst flooding in decades and were very impressed by how quickly they had the major freeways up and running. Google maps on my GPS enabled Blackberry proved invaluable while driving and while walking in some towns, so consider a data plan.

    We found it very safe and were never concerned, just followed normal common sense travel safety.

    I highly recommend Florianopolis and Curitiba — much less touristy than the north and a very interesting mix of cultures/ethnicities, history, and politics (if you are interested in urban planning, transportation, and environmental issues, it is a great city to check out).

    You’ll notice big differences as you move around the country. That was one of the most fascinating things about it. One area very German influenced, another Japanese, another African, and all over mixes of it all. The diversity of people, cultures, food all blending together was great to experience.

    Everyone was very forgiving of our poor Portuguese and appreciated our efforts. I recommend the Lonely Planet phrase book for your pocket. I am vegetarian and found everyone very accommodating, but I did have a Brazilian friend write down my dietary desires on a note card which I could show in places where my language skills failed.

  4. Been there twice a year for 15 years (wife is Brazilian). First, make sure you have a VISA – not passport, but Brazilian visa.

    For winter, I highly recommend Natal. Stayed at the Ocean Palace – very nice, and the Pestana (perfectly fine). Make sure you eat at Camaroes (there are two in town right across the street from each other. For an adventure, try a trip up to Jericoacoara.

  5. I´m here right now. My friends (three of us) are in the same age group as you and are staying at the Sheraton Rio next week, and at the Sheraton Iguazu (technically in Argentina) in about two days. Both on points and with Gold status – I´ll update you with the experience when we´re done!

  6. Hi Jillian,

    I guess the previous comments already gave you some of the important tips.

    The suggestions are also great. Morro de São Paulo, Natal, Florianópolis, Curitiba, Iguaçu Falls, etc, but
    Brazil is a very large country (actually larger than the continental US!) and a very diverse one. You can go from the famous beaches to hiking in awesome canyons to islands to experiencing culturally oriented programs,to the amazon jungle, etc.

    You can go from a german/italian/easter european culture in the south to a more african culture in the northesat to a more indian culture in the north.

    Since the regions are too far apart, you are better off traveling by plane and renting a car to do side trips. An updated GPS should be enough to get you around without any problems.

    So, having said that, you should first decide how long you have to spend here and what kind of sightseeing you want and build your trip from there.

    I am from Curitiba, which is a nice place to visit with some interesting places to see around town. Also, Iguaçu Falls is in the western part of our state. Very much worth visiting.

    I would be more than glad to help you more if you give me some more details. Try to get my e-mail with Ms. Deals or send me a DM to @pinheiromark on twitter.

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