This Epic Bucket List Is Why Malaysians Should Seriously Travel To Brazil
Brazil may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning for vacations, but here are just 7 reasons why it deserves a spot on your travel list:
PS. If it's the hefty airfare that's been stopping you, take advantage of the 100PLUS contest going on now and you might just score a free trip to Brazil. Scroll to the end of this article for more information.
1. Sit on the same bench legendary footballer Pelé did after scoring his 1000th goal
Location: Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro
No trip to Brazil is complete without immersing yourself in one of the nation's wildest passions: football! Go on a tour of the iconic Maracanã Stadium and get the inside story on some of the most memorable matches hosted at the stadium.
As your guide drops little-known anecdotes on Brazil's devastating loss at the 1950 World Cup, feel free to explore the VIP press boxes and of course, the players' lockers rooms. Whatever you do, don't miss the Brazilian team bench; where else can you try to imagine what the great Pele might have felt after scoring his 1000th goal?
For a complete football experience, check out the match schedule and get tickets to catch a live match!
2. Take a walk through the rainforest to reach the Christ the Redeemer statue
Location: Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro
What's a trip to Brazil without visiting this majestic statue? You can take a van or a funicular up the hill but for a completely different experience that promises to be more memorable and rewarding, take the road less travelled - through the 2-hour hike up Corcovado Mountain.
You'll start the hike at Parque Lage, a lush park in the neighbourhood of Jardim Botânico. Provide your details at the sign-in guardhouse and be on your way! The trail starts off fairly easy, offering the opportunity to catch sights of marmoset monkeys along the way. Around the 30-minute mark, the trail gets very steep and requires some stamina and balance to reach the top.
Despite the challenging route, most hikers profess that the feelings of accomplishment and excitement as you see the view from the top make it all worth it. Enjoy the stunning aerial view of Rio de Janeiro, and see if you can spot Sugar Loaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach!
3. Find out what it's like to be a gold digger (literally)
Location: Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais
Take in a little history and culture at this old mining town, which became the center of the gold rush in Brazil in the 18th century. Head to Mina da Passagem for a tour at this world's largest mine open to the public. To reach the mining galleries, take a ride on the mining trolley and descend 315 meters to start your adventure.
Pro tip: Wear swimwear underneath your clothes if you're planning to take a dip in the mine's refreshingly cooling underwater lake! The lake was formed as a result of miners caving a spot that contained groundwater and if you're curious about its unique turquoise hue, it's the result of copper sulfate and iron on the bottom of the lake.
Ouro Preto is also the first Brazilian location to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its well-preserved Baroque-style buildings, some of which include carved sculptures by celebrated Brazilian artist Aleijadinho.
4. Walk along one of the largest waterfalls in the world
Location: Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná
If you're all about natural wonders, you wouldn't want to miss Iguassu Falls! Take a walk along the main trail to take in the sights and sounds of the majestic 2.7km stretch, which comprises of 275 waterfalls. Keep a look out for the famous 80-meter Devil's Throat cascade.
At the end of the trail, take the lift up to the observatory deck and enjoy an unbelievably spectacular panoramic view of the waterfalls.
If you're tempted to get doused by the cooling water, sign up for a drenching boat tour! Spot the rainbows and mist as the boat travels up-river, and as the captain approaches the Three Musketeers falls, get ready for a good soaking!
5. Put on your samba shoes and dance the night away
Location: Salvador, Bahia
The colourful city of Salvador is perfect for a stroll along its cobblestone streets, with pit-stops along the way to snap shots of its quirky, colourful building façades. The vibrant city, rich in Afro-Brazilian culture, is always alive with the beat of the drums.
Be sure to stick around for the most happening night of the week on Blessed Tuesdays, where percussion groups show off their best rhythms and the whole city breaks out into a samba party on the streets!
6. Hang with the cool crowd at Posto 9
Location: Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro
Think of Brazil and thoughts of perfectly-toned Brazilians hanging out on white, sandy beaches may come to mind. If you've been working hard in the gym, then head to Posto 9 at Ipanema Beach to join the rest of the supernaturally gorgeous crowd (even if you haven't, put on that Speedo or bikini anyway, the locals don't judge!).
Interestingly, the long stretch of Ipanema Beach is marked by posts that serve as an informal indication of the social groups that hang there. If you're a pro surfer, you'll be right at home riding some gnarly waves at Posto 7. If you're looking for some peace, head to the quieter family-friendly parts of Posto 8. If you'd rather spend the afternoon playing beach tennis and volleyball, then join the sporty crew over at Posto 10.
7. Try a glorious meat buffet - you don't even have to leave your table!
Location: Available in most parts of Brazil
The best way to enjoy a carnivorous feat is to head to a churrascaria restaurant! At this all-you-can-eat meat feast, take your pick from a wide array of succulent, fire-roasted cuts of meat. The only twist to this buffet: the food comes to you!
Sit tight as the attentive passadores offer skewers of freshly-grilled cuts of meat right at your table. Be sure to keep a look out for the picanha, a special cut of beef that's quintessentially Brazilian.
Ready to start exploring the best of Brazil?
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