The song The Girl From Ipanema captures the sensation, the sensuality and the electricity a place like Brazil evokes: “When she walks, she’s like a samba that swings so cool and sways so gentle
that when she passes, each one she passes goes…ooh”. These lionized lyrics that appear to describe a gal, are in fact reciting an emotion. And this June 12-July 13, aside from the samba, the sun-swept beaches, the gentle swaying, the bossa nova, the caipirinhas and the carnivals and festivals; the world’s attention will be on the largest country in Latin America that triumphantly will entertain football aficionados from every continent for a series of adrenaline-pumping matches.
Soccer (or football, as it is referred to in most of the world) is to Brazil what the Holy Sea is to Italy — yes, you may venture to say it is a religion for the cariocas. It’s the only country to have qualified to play in the final stages of all 20 tournaments since the event was first played in Uruguay in 1930, and it’s the only nation to be a 5-time winner of the World Cup. The last time they hosted the FIFA [Federación Internacional De Football Asociación] was in 1950.
This summer brings the World Cup back, and in 2016, the Summer Olympics. As such, Brazil is ablaze in glory, parading its best ornaments, and giving major facelifts to iconic stadiums like The Maracanã, in Rio, where the last game of The Cup and closing ceremonies will be held.
Make sure to experience the globe’s most anticipated sporting event this year with a customized trip to Brazil during the World Cup.
“Now more than ever — particularly for sports enthusiasts — timing is ripe for discovering this Amazonian Eden.”
Among the 12 cities that will play host to the games is São Paulo, the 4th-largest urban center of the world — think New York City, but with a dynamic Latin American flare. Sans the charm neighboring Rio has, it does pride itself in gastronomic excellence and a thriving nightlife. It’s also the economic pulse and heart of South America.
East of São Paulo is Rio De Janeiro a place as seductive and enchanting as the reputation that precedes it. Part tropical resort with miles of beautiful beaches from the Copacabana to Ipanema, and part major cosmopolitan city with its enticing nightlife, world-class restaurants, carnivals and major attractions including Corcovado Mountain and the statue of Christ The Redeemer, considered one of the 7 Modern Wonders Of The World.
South of Rio, is a picturesque city that was settled in the 17th Century by Jesuits that built their missions alongside the native Guarani Indians. Paraná, of which Curitiba is the capital, is the region responsible for Brazil’s outstanding beef and fine wines. Here European influences merge with those of the ‘gaúchos’ noticeable in the eclectic culture and the city’s architecture. Just an 8-hour drive south from Curitiba, is Rio Grande Do Sul in Porto Alegre, home to the Iguazu Falls that border Brazil and Argentina; a must-see experience while enjoying your trek between host cities during the World Cup.
From there you can travel way north to the most famous gateway to the Amazon River and the city of Manaus, a port-of-call to the world’s largest cruise ships. The rubber boom that lasted from 1890-1920 catapulted this city into one of the richest of that time period. The lavish rubber barons brought their elite European style — and what better way to do so than with an opera house in the middle of the rainforest!
East of Manaus is Fortaleza, Natal & Recife. These states are considered to be a part of the tropical playground region of Brazil. In Natal, you’ll find the ecological reserve Pipa made up of beaches that include Praia Da Amor and Tibau De Sul. Recife boasts its colonial buildings and churches recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites that date back to the 16th and 17th Century.
About a 10-hour drive south of Recife is the city of Salvador, in the state of Bahia. Founded in 1549 by the Portuguese, Bahia was a major epicenter for the sugar industry and the slave trade — it’s no surprise that the African influences are prevalent still today in the regions: music, dance, gastronomy, dress, arts and religion. At its heart is the colonial section of Pelourinho, which has been restored to its former glory and also considered a World Heritage Site.
From Bahia we move to the next host city and the capital of Brazil, Brasilia. Inaugurated as the new capital in 1960, it’s a city founded on innovative architecture. Urban developer Lucio Costa devised a layout that combined esthetic beauty and functionality with simplicity. Brasilia is modernism meets tradition, and a welcoming destination for the World Cup. It’s a perfect segway to the final host city during The Cup: Belo Horizonte. It’s capital Minas Gerais produces half of all the coffee in the country, making it is one of the riches and most prosperous states in all of Brazil.
With so much to see and do before, during and after The World Cup, Brazil awaits visitors with open arms and the charm and hospitality that has come to define the county and its people. Regardless of where your experience takes you, you can bet you’ll hear plenty of the world-famous soccer incantation: GOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL!!!
Want to plan the perfect World Cup trip? Brickell Travel offers fully customized World Cup Packages including air, accommodations, game tickets, on-site multilingual hosts, concierge and services, luxury excursions and adventures. 5-night packages with 2 games start at $7,445 per person based on double occupancy and while available; Brickell Travel; 305.809.8894; BrickellTravel.com.
Wait! There’s no way you’re venturing to Brazil without experiencing these must-sees at some point during your trip.
Standing a jaw-dropping 98 feet at the summit of Mount Corcovado is the colossal statue of Christ The Redeemer overlooking all of Rio. It’s considered one of the 7 Wonders Of The World.
Largo Do Pelourinho, in Salvador, is the colonial square of that city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once a slave-trading market, it’s drenched in history and nostalgia.
A Belle Époque Theatre, Teatro Amazonas, located in the middle of the rainforest in the city of Manaus is a sight to been seen on a first-person account. Make sure to add it to your itinerary.
Prepare yourself to witness one of nature’s wonders, Iguazu Falls. For those who love nature and wildlife, this is the daddy of them all. And it offers tons of opportunities for amazing photo opps.
Parque Ecológico Do Côco located in Fortaleza is an eco park that promotes environmental awareness with boat tours that take visitors on the Río Côco to see wildlife and flora.
You can’t possibly travel to Brazil without taking in the beaches in Rio — from Copacabana and Ipanema to Barra — you haven’t been to Brazil, if you haven’t splashed in these waters.
Fernando De Noronha is a 21-island archipelago with unrivaled beaches considered one of the top diving destinations in the world, featuring one of the most delicate ecosystems around.