A group of friends and I are planning to go to Brazil just after Christmas in 2015. Besides Rio, where would you recommend we should go or do? We love beauty, local flavor, beaches, adventure... we're a pretty diverse group. One thing we're not TOO into are very touristy areas, so something/somewhere incredible but not crowded might be perfect. I expect we will have about 8 to 10 days in Brazil total. Thanks!
I have been to Brazil on several trips. I would recommend the northern part of Brazil as it is much more authentic and lively and colorful. Salvador
is a good place to start, you can take a cheap flight from Rio. It might feel touristy but it is still a great city that should not be missed.
In my opinion, you can skip Natal, Recife and Fortaleza because there are much better things to do in 8-10 days. One of the highlights of my recent trip to Brazil was Jijoca de Jericoacoara. When I was there a couple of years ago they still didn't have a road leading to it and you had to take a jeep through the dunes for 2 hours. They also didn't have an ATM so be prepared to bring some cash. The atmosphere was relaxed and the beach is beautiful.
From there we went to Sao Luis by land which was the best adventure ever as we had to take at least 5 different means of transportation to get there. It included a boat trip through the Área de Proteção Ambiental Delta do Parnaíba, a visit to Lençóis Maranhenses National Park and various jeep, mini bus and coach bus rides.
Our journey ended in Belém but only to take the flight back to Rio.
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