Brazil has recently emerged on the world adventure travel radar as travelers have discovered all that it has to offer: a wide range of unique cultural experiences, captivating adventures and a paradise for wildlife seekers. And with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games quickly approaching, Wildland Adventures
offers three ways active travelers can capitalize on the opportunities created by the international sporting event.
1. It just adds up: Brazil has temporarily lifted the mandatory $250 visa for US citizens this summer (through Sept.18), and, on top of that, the US Dollar is the strongest it’s ever been to the Brazilian Real. Add that to that the fact that roundtrip flights from the US to many of the most sought-after adventure destinations in Brazil are as low as $450 in July and August (including the Amazon and Pantanal), travelers can expect significant savings. Many of the popular adventure resorts still have availability for July and August.
2. Can you taste it? There is an emerging mouth-watering culinary scene in Brazil thanks to its being one of the word’s cultural melting pots. From churrascaria to feijoada, Brazil’s distinct tastes and flavours entice and satisfy even the most discerning gourmands.
Brazil's history and culinary stage are inarguably intertwined. Sugar and coffee are vitally important crops while also being labor intensive, which fueled the African slave trade to Brazil and in turn, African culinary traditions as well. Brazil’s national dish, feijoada, is thought to be an African take on a traditional Portuguese dish. Another beloved Brazilian dish, acaraje, originally from Nigeria, has become a staple of Bahian street food and the use of dende (African palm oil) is one of the principal ingredients inmoqueca, an otherworldly classic Bahian stew.
After the abolition of slavery, immigrants from Italy and Japan joined the Brazilian labor market and added their own influences to the melting pot of the Brazilian culinary scene. Pizza in Brazil can easily rival that of Naples and New York and is practically its own food group. Unique ingredient additions find their way into the pizza ovens of Brazil's urban centers that include everything from soft catupiry or local minas cheese, cinnamon, bananas and even guava.
3. Where to go: With the huge crowds expected in Rio this summer, now is the perfect time to venture off the beaten path and explore the wilds of Brazil. Brazil offers many rare opportunities such as scouting for jaguars in the expansive wetlands of Brazil's Pantanal or swimming with pink dolphins in the Amazon. Active visitors can snorkel in crystal clear rivers and explore ancient caves in Bonito, or trek through mysterious valleys, past table top mountains and waterfalls in Salvador’s Chapada Diamantia. One can cruise on a private schooner past pirate coves on the Costa Verde in Paraty or gaze dumbstruck at Brazil’s Iguassu Falls. Wildland Adventures has even pioneered a new activity where travelers are able to swim at the “Meeting of the Waters”, a natural phenomenon where the Negro River (originating in Colombia) meets the Solimões River (originating in Peru) to form the Amazon River.
Brazil and Zika: Is it safe to travel to affected regions? Until more is known, and out of an abundance of caution, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends special precautions only for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant: Pregnant women in any trimester or women trying to become pregnant should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first. Wildland Adventures urges all passengers to travel sensibly, and to take preventive measures against mosquito bites. Any passenger who is pregnant or think they may become pregnant during or prior to their trip should contact their doctor and potentially reconsider their trip in accordance with CDC/WHO advice.