Everybody’s favorite travel companion, Lonely Planet, has named Brazil as the top country to travel to next year.
To take number one, it beat out the competition in Antarctica, Scotland, Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Belgium, Macedonia and Malaysia. Brazil takes out the top spot in rather understandable fashion, let me show you why:
One of the biggest draw cards Brazil has up it’s sleeve in 2014 is the FIFA World Cup, set to begin Thursday, June 12. They will be taking over the hosting duties from South Africa, who hosted the previous World Cup in 2010, when Spain won and Brazil were knocked out in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands. Brazil will be looking to get back to it’s winning ways next year, they are the most successful team having won the World Cup five times and being the host for the second time should only spur them further. To make matters even more appealing, Brazil will play host to the Olympics in 2016; This all means large upgrades and billions or dollars spent making the venues grander and the cities livelier.
Earlier in the year, as with every year, there is a certain Carnival that sweeps the nation; filled with elaborate, glittering, colorful costumes on bodies that seem to hide very little, while music charges through the streets like a raging bull. The event continues to draw tourists from across the world and for good reason, it’s important to get in quick as accommodation prices skyrocket!
The party lovers dream, and beach goers paradise, Rio de Janeiro is what comes to mind in many people following mention of Brazil. The city boasts well-known, body filled beaches Ipanema and Copacabana; Sugarloaf Mountain with it’s panoramic views of the cityscape; and statue Christ the Redeemer, which stands tall overlooking the city and across the ocean.
If parties, carnivals and sports aren’t your thing, no need to worry, Brazil has you covered with a grand array of natural beauty, stunning wildlife and old historical settlements.
The Amazon Rainforest, while suffering from a large amount of deforestation, is still something everybody should witness once in their life. The home to some 40,000 plant species, 2,000 birds and animals, and 2.5 million insects makes it one of the greatest sources of wildlife on the planet. There’s no shortage of options for the adventurous, from kayaking the Amazon River, camping deep in the bush, photography tours, and a birds eye view while soaring overtop in a helicopter.
On the boarder with Argentina flows the Iguazu Falls, a monstrous set of waterfalls unlike that of any other. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Iguazu Falls are taller than Niagara Falls and have more volume than Victoria Falls.
Finally, we’ll finish on Olinda, a quaint, picturesque little colonial village situated on the far east, right next door to Recife. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring a historic downtown, many beautiful churches, it’s own Carnival, and the signature beaches that appear across Brazil. With a population of just under 400,000 it’s tiny in comparison to the major cities like São Paulo, but well worth a visit.
Is there something I’m missing? No doubt, Brazil is a huge country with no shortage of attractions, I’ve only mentioned a fraction. So, will you be heading there in 2014?
By Sam Brinson.
Sam is a writer for Language Trainers. A struggling musician from New Zealand currently scaling the depths of South America, he carries with him the ambition to compose music for film, and finds enjoyment in other creative areas including writing, design and photography.