Backpacking Spots In Brazil

in Brazil,South America

carnival backpacking rio brazilPlanning a backpacking trip through Brazil can be intimidating and exhilarating all at the same time. Brazil is a vast and unique country, specifically the 5th largest country in the world, that has many sights, sounds, and tastes to offer the curious traveler.

When to Go

When you should plan to travel throughout Brazil depends on how long you are planning to stay, and what it is you want to see or do. Due to its size, the climate of Brazil varies and can be characterized by 5 climates (depending on the region of the country you are in): equatorial, tropical, highland tropical, subtropical, and semi-arid. If you live in Europe or the United States, and it is summer on your continent, then expect it to be winter in Brazil and vice-versa. The weather is important to keep in mind when planning your trip because summers are generally very hot and humid in Brazil, while winters can be wet and rainy.


Traveling to certain areas of the world, especially South America and specifically backpacking in Brazil, may require you to get some vaccinations before your trip.  The United States Center for Disease Control has a recommended list of vaccinations for those looking to visit Brazil. The list includes: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Rabies, in addition to the routine vaccinations. Anti-malarial drugs may also be a necessary precaution to take if you plan on traveling to certain regions, including some urban cities.

In order to ensure that you have everything in order before going to Brazil, you will need to plan on getting your vaccinations at least 4 to 6 weeks in advance of your trip.


Carnival is an iconic festival in Brazil that every backpacker should experience. It is held annually about 1.5 months before Easter, sometime in February, and every Brazilian city celebrates in its own way. The Rio de Janeiro celebration is by far the most popular and well known, with large, official parades with floats, music, dancing, and elaborate costumes. Other cities have most public participation in the parades. About 70% of Brazil’s annual tourists visit during this time, and Carnival accounts for over half of Brazil’s annual consumption of alcohol.

backpacking spots in brazilSalvador da Bahia

Although Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s most popular city on the southeast coast, Salvador da Bahia is the largest city on the northeast coast. One of Brazil’s oldest cities, it is also known to be its happiest with street festivals throughout the year and a laid back daily tempo. With festivals ranging from music themes to Carnival, to gay rights parades, the city offers outdoors events throughout the year. Salvador da Bahia is famous for its food, culture, and history, and was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985. The African influences on the culture of the city are obvious, as the Portuguese brought African slaves with them as they were colonizing the area. Over half of the city’s population has African ancestry.

Capoeira, the Brazilian art that mixes dance with martial arts, has become an international sensation, and is popular with the locals of Salvador da Bahia. It has close ties with the city’s African ancestry as it blends African dances with Brazilian movements.

Getting Around

Traveling by air is the most convenient and fastest way to get around Brazil due to its size. There are several domestic airlines that offer cheap tickets to get around the country. If you are planning on traveling along the Amazon or from one coastal city to another, traveling by boat is possible. Brazil has virtually no rail system, but buses are also an economical way to get around between cities or within cities if you do not want to fly.

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