Brazil - the place to be

Christ the redeemerThis is the place to be right now. With the FIFA World Cup coming up in June, Brazil is the hottest place to visit in 2014. I would definitely second that.

The city was pretty hectic when I first arrived. It reminded me of my Middle Eastern trip where everyone was just breathing down my neck but, it soon picked up after I settled in. It was pretty surreal standing in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I am a total sucker for narrow lanes with brick houses lining uphill. The aerial view of the city was simply breathtaking- best photo-taking spot would be from the Christ Statue at Corcovado Mountain.

The people won a spot in my heart. It was the way they speak, eat and dance that seemed almost magical, I kid you not. Portuguese is widely used language in Brazil- it helps if you have some ‘to-go’ phrases to get you around. I loved their food. If you are looking for an appetite boost, find the cheapest flight from Singapore now!

Some of the sinful must-try are Bolinho de Chuva (balls of fried dough sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon), Pão de Queijo (rolls of bread with cheese baked into it) and Moqueca de Camarão (shrimp stew cooked in coconut milk and palm oil).

Some of the best arts found in Brazil are Capoeira and Samba. It was insightful to hear from the locals what Capoeira meant to them. I was very humbled by their stories to learn how emotionally connected they were to their culture.

Of course, there is the wilderness of Amazon rainforest which you have to go to and, the magnificent view of the city nestling between the mountains and the sea from the Sugar Loaf Mountain. It is just a short drive down to downtown Rio for Sugar Loaf Mountain. You would need to take the cable car up to the mountains. The sunset over at Copacabana Beach will make the trip a worthy one.

One of the things you should never miss when you are in Brazil is the Iguazu Fall. The natural waterfall is nestled in the Iguazu National Park. I would highly recommend taking a day or two to explore the lush subtropical area. It was quite an adventure crossing bridges amidst the waterfalls. If you are looking for tours in Brazil, you may contact Flight Centre Singapore at 6692 9778 for some fantastic deals.

Our Recommended Itinerary:

Buenos Aires

Day 1 –Depart from Singapore to Buenos Aires
Upon arrival, our collaborators will transfer you to the hotel. A documentation kit, detailed program explanation plus luggage and hotel registration assistance are offered. Overnight in Buenos Aires.

Day 2 –Buenos Aires – City Tour (Breakfast)
Get acquainted with Buenos Aires during this tour highlighting the city’s major neighborhoods and attractions. Among the points of interest you will see the Main Square Plaza de Mayo surrounded by the Casa Rosada (Presidential Headquarters Office), the Cabildo (Colonial Town Hall) and the Cathedral. You will also drive through the charming streets of San Telmo and down the colorful roads of La Boca, famous for its multicolor tin houses. Later, drive through elegant Barrio Norte on your way to the Recoleta Cemetery, an amazing aboveground cemetery lined with mausoleums and statues. Finally, visit Palermo and its magnificent mansions and parks. Overnight in Buenos Aires.

Dinner & Tango Show at La Ventana OPTIONAL
The various Tango Houses, located in San Telmo, offer the possibility of admiring all qualities of tango in its different expressions. First category of tango dancers and singers as well as a tango orchestras, will let you enjoy and feel this particular Buenos Aires music at its utmost while having a wonderful dinner. Andean music, as well as typical argentine folk music, will also be performed to fulfill your expectations. Born around 1880, the tango was the vulgar dance and music of the capital’s “arrabales” or lower class neighborhoods, blending gaucho verse with Spanish and Italian music.

Day 3 – Buenos Aires (Breakfast)
Free time during the day. Overnight in Buenos Aires. 

Full Day Gaucho Party at Santa Susana or similar OPTIONAL
Home to the gaucho, the humid pampa is one of the most fertile natural prairies in the world and is famous for its production of beef and cereals. Only a few kilometers away from the City of Buenos Aires, in a natural environment with beautiful landscapes, we will be honored with their typical national asado, empanadas, and excellent Argentinian wines. The wild smell of the countryside will invite us to break away from routine and discover a charming hundred-year-old rural tradition in the midst of the XXI century. Folk songs and dances, equestrian activities, and unbeatable shows of traditional gaucho skills, such as ring races, cuadreras (horse races), entrevero de tropillas (horse games): let’s live the traditional lifestyle of Argentinian ranches through the gaucho, the greatest symbol of these lands.

Day 4 –Buenos Aires – Iguassu (Breakfast)
At proper time, transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight from Buenos Aires to Iguassu. Arrival in Iguassu, meet and transfer to the hotel. Proceed on with a tour to the Iguassu Falls. Iguazu WaterfallsLocated on the west end of the Paraná river, the Iguazú Park is a huge tropical rainforest which has been declared a World Heritage Site: it is one of the largest forest reserves in South America. Countless flora and fauna species live in it. We will take an elevator down to the base of the waterfalls and stop right above the river level.

Day 5 – Iguassu (Breakfast)
Iguazú National Park —a total of 55,500 hectares— bears the name of the river serving as northern border, which means ‘great waters’ in the guaraní language. Surrounded by a lush subtropical rainforest, we will find the majestic Iguazú Waterfalls. Its water volume and more than 275 falls places it among the most important and spectacular waterfalls in the world. On different footbridges, we will visit the heart of the waterfalls, appreciating them from different angles. We will visit the lower circuit, and feel part of nature, refreshing ourselves with waterfall drizzle. On the upper circuit, we will stop at different viewpoints, and then reach the balcony at Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat). Overnight in Iguassu.

Day 6 – Iguassu – Rio De Janeiro (Breakfast)
At proper time, transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight from Iguassu to Rio de Janeiro. Arrival in Rio de Janeiro, meet and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.

Cable Car in Rio

Day 7 – Rio de Janeiro (Breakfast/Lunch)
After breakfast, a pick-up from hotel is made available for your tour to Corcovado and Sugar Loaf. Visit to Christ Statue at Corcovado Mountain taking the cog train through the luxuriant rain Forest. Enjoy the spectacular views of Rio and the surrounding countryside. After the morning tour, relax and enjoy lunch. 

In the afternoon, join the Sugar Loaf tour, driving by downtown Rio, with its fine colonial-style Portuguese buildings, and continuing on to the cable car at Praia Vermelha (red beach). A ride to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain gives the visitor a wonderful view of the city nestling between the mountains and the sea, and the sight of the sun going down over Copacabana beach is magical. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.

Day 8 – Rio de Janeiro (Breakfast)
Free time during the day. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro. 

BBQ Dinner & Samba Show at Plataforma OPTIONAL
In the evening depart from hotel for a typical Brazilian Night, starting with a Barbecue Dinner one of the highlights of eating out in Rio. The "Churrascaria" is a local steak house, but very different from those found abroad. For fixed, very reasonable price, several different types of meats are brought on skewers and cut in front of the client. After dinner, the tour will proceed to one of the famous samba show houses in Rio de Janeiro. This is the display of carnival throughout the year. Beautiful costumes, the rhythm of a typical "samba school", wonderful "mulatas", and the diverse richness of the Brazilian Folklore.

Day 9 – Rio De Janeiro – Singapore (Breakfast)
At proper time, transfer from the hotel to the airport for your departure flight back to Singapore.