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Welcome to Samba land
By Anwesha Mittra/fnbworld.com
White silvery beaches, architectural marvels, hypnotic drumbeats of samba, Christ – the Redeemer, breathtaking Iguassu Falls and an unspoilt natural beauty sums up Brazil as the hot favourite destination for eco tourists and holidaymakers alike.
At the historical city of Congon, appreciate sculptural masterpieces by Brazilian-born architect and sculptor Aleijadinho. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will be impressed by its famous ‘Twelve Prophets’ carved in soapstone and ‘Stations of the Cross’ done in polychromatic woodwork. Considered an architectural marvel of the 20th century, Brasilia is an exotic blend of traditional and modern architecture styles. Again a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city has been designed by Lucio Costa to resemble an air plane from above, though many prefer it as a bird with open wings. Best way for a bird’s eye view of the city is an elevator ride to the top of its Television Tower, the tallest in Latin America!
A tour of the Valley of Dawn (approx. 42 kilometres from Brasilia) is a great way to see the spiritual side of Brazil. Regarded as the country’s spiritual centre, here is your chance to learn about age-old healing rituals of different civilizations of the world. Home to more than 150 religious groups that practise physical and spiritual healing, this mystical valley draws you into the fascinating world of Brazil’s ancient rituals.
Drive past the spectacular beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon of Rio and watch scenic Brazil unfold. Top it up with a train ride deep into the Brazilian rainforest to where the world-famous Statue of Christ, the Redeemer stands tall on the summit of Corcovado Hill. Offering a panoramic view of the city and its famous beaches, a trip to the Christ statue is a must-do for every visitor to Rio de Janeiro.
A helicopter ride over the Redeemer statue is also a great idea! When at Rio, go for a samba show and watch colourfully dressed dancers swirl to the enchanting drumbeats. Influenced by the culture of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, these dances reflect the true spirit of South America.
Head to the state of Ceara and visit Canoa Quebrada dramatically cut-off from the rest of the world by its massive pink sand dunes. Buggy ride on the coloured dunes, banana boat ride, sea rafting, horse riding and paragliding are some activities you can choose from at Canoa Quebrada.
Or if you're in mood for a lazy beach excursion, make a trip to Fernando de Noronha. Unwind on its unspoilt beaches and work on your tan. Go snorkelling in the azure waters and spot schools of tropical fish swim past you. To watch dolphins splash in the deep blue waters of the Atlantic, visit the Dolphin’s Bay. You will realize why Amerigo Vespucci lovingly called Fernando a “paradisiacal place”.
Don’t miss a trip to the Iguassu Falls in Parana and behold the spectacular vista of over 240 thundering waterfalls and a diversity of flora and fauna. Board a glass elevator to the top of the Floriano Falls with the roar of the waterfalls in your ears. To get up close to the thundering Iguassu Falls, a motorboat ride is a great idea! Sail to the Devil’s Throat, the largest of the waterfalls, and take in a 360 degree view of the falls. With the spray of water on your face and surrounded by dense rainforest, this will truly be an experience of a lifetime.
You will get to savour plenty of seafood delicacies and traditional cuisine all over Brazil, from reputed luxury hotels to the humble beach restaurants, the fare is equally tantalising. Nature and wildlife, sun and sand, water activities, plenty of scenic locales and a rich culture and heritage - Brazil is the answer to your perfect family vacation.