THE FAMILY ISSUE
Beaches and biodiversity in Brazil
The largest country in South America, Brazil has more attractions than you could possibly squeeze into one family adventure. There’s a lot of ground to cover, but the laidback vibe and sultry climate make for an instantly relaxing mood — even in buzzing cities like Rio de Janeiro.
You can’t visit Rio without whizzing up Sugar Loaf Mountain by cable car to marvel at the undulating metropolis. Far below, on the iconic beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon, kids can hone their football (and footvolley) skills with the locals or check out the high-kicking, back-flipping capoeira crews.
Once you’ve had your fill of rooftop pools, botanical gardens, and bossa nova shows, head west to the Costa Verde (Emerald Coast), a dazzling region where lush jungle blends into white sand beaches. From the pretty port of Paraty —the colonial capital of the Portuguese gold trade — boats service an archipelago of uninhabited islands. Kayak through mangroves, go stand-up paddle-boarding, learn to surf, or swim with sea turtles to deserted tropical beaches.
Incredible wildlife-watching opportunities abound in Brazil. Check into a jungle lodge in the Amazon, the most biodiverse region on earth, and go trekking in search of sloth, piranhas, and iguanas. Or go toucan, monkey, and jaguar spotting in the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland. If your kids are really daring, take a boat safari to the foot of the towering Iguaçu Falls, which cascade over a 90-metre precipice. Brazil is many things, but it’s never boring.