Brazil is one of my favorite vacation destinations for families looking to visit South America. But as the largest country on the continent, deciding what to do and where to stay can be overwhelming. Luckily, our partners at Abercrombie & Kent have amazing suggestions for families traveling in Brazil, no matter which area you are visiting.
Rio de Janeiro
Considered by many to be one of the most naturally beautiful cities in the world, Rio de Janeiro is a great destination for families. Its lively culture and gorgeous scenery combine to create a unique experience for your next family trip.
Explore the Tijuca National Park with the whole family! Start your adventure riding with the top down in a rainforest jeep, then hop off for a light hike to one of the park’s many waterfalls. You’ll end your rainforest adventure with a private gourmet picnic, where you can enjoy delicious food while you take in the city’s mesmerizing views.
Views of the City from a Private Sailing Boat
There are plenty of different ways to see Rio, so why not try it from a private sail boat? Take in the beautiful and vivid landscape from Guanabara Bay, where you’ll see the city’s skyline, lush green hills and the unmistakable silhouette of Sugarloaf Mountain — with tropical mimosa in hand of course!
Since opening in 1923, Belmond Copacabana Palace has been considered by many to be the most glamorous hotel in Rio de Janeiro. This five-star art deco hotel offers lavish rooms, complete with marble bathrooms and panoramic ocean views. Spend some time soaking up the sun by the magnificent pool, or join Brazil’s style setters at the Piano Bar.
Located in the heart of Ipanema Beach, Fasano Rio is a member of “The Leading Small Hotels of the World.” The coastline hotel’s contemporary design is both elegant and understated, making it a wonderful choice for sophisticated couples, families and friends who wish to enjoy Rio. Featuring ample rooms, an exquisite restaurant and a rooftop with amazing sunset views, it’s no wonder the Fasano is so highly recommended.
Iguassu Falls are a must-see for visitors to Brazil, especially if it’s your first time in the country. The falls mark the point where Brazil and Argentina converge, making it a great connecting point for other South American destinations. This destination not only offers spectacular scenery, it also offers wildlife. The animals in Iguassu will be so fun to discover for your kids.
Parque de Aves Experience
Surrounded by the Atlantic Rainforest and neighboring the amazing Iguassu National Park, Parque de Aves is an internationally-recognized bird rescue and conservation center. We can work with Abercrombie & Kent to allow your family access to usually-restricted areas, giving you the chance to feed some of the birds all while learning about the park’s amazing conservation and rescue programs.
Private Macuco Safari
If you want to get up close and personal with the Iguassu Falls, this is the experience for you. On this two-hour private tour, you can sail up the Iguassu River on a Macuco motorized, inflatable boat. These small, private boats are able to go right up to the roaring falls, guaranteeing that each and every guest on board will be soaked — but surrounded by nature — before the tour is over!
Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas is the only hotel located within Iguassu National Park, in an unrivaled location just a short stroll from the waterfalls. Staying here allows you exclusive access to this magnificent sight in the evening and at dawn, when the park is closed to other visitors. Enjoy the hotel’s timeless ambience while you float in the infinity pool or stroll through the gardens, surrounded by the sounds of the jungle.
*I must add that it can be equally compelling to stay on the Argentina-side of the falls but the accommodations are not as luxurious.
Iguassu covers such a large area and boasts a variety of views, activities and excursions from
different sides of the falls. Because of this, we encourage you to visit both the Brazilian and the Argentinian sides to fully enjoy the area. We can work with our partners to craft the perfect itinerary that includes both countries, giving you the complete Iguassu experience.
Also, consider planning your trip during a full moon! This will give you the chance to see an amazing ‘moonbow’ over the falls.
The gateway to the Brazilian Amazon, Manaus offers guests the ability to relax on its beautiful river beaches, search for waterfalls or marvel at the luxurious Amazonic Theatre. A unique feature of the Brazilian Amazon is the meeting of the waters just outside the city, where the Rio Negro and the Salomões Rivers converge and turn into the beautiful Amazon River.
Swimming with Pink Dolphins
This family adventure starts in Manaus, where you’ll navigate into the heart of the jungle to Paricatuba Lake. Lush vegetation and a floating house in the horizon make up the beautiful scenery, but here you will be greeted with a finshake! The hosts will swim you around the place, as you actually get to feed, swim and share a moment with the Amazon’s iconic pink dolphins.
Experience the world’s largest forest in style with a private yacht! This experience offers the luxury of touring some of the most exotic spots along the Amazon River. Staffed with a professional crew, including experienced captain, personal chef, butler and expedition director, every part of this yacht experience is tailored to you. You can choose to see the pink dolphins, hike through the Amazon, encounter local communities or just sit back and relax — it’s all up to you.
Located just a few steps from the Opera House in the Manaus historic center, this boutique hotel preserves the design of a restored historic mansion that dates back to the golden rubber age. The spacious rooms, indoor garden and natural stone pool provide everything you need to relax. Additionally, the hotel’s Fitz Carraldo Bistro offers a contemporary menu, blending international dishes with Amazonian cuisine.
Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge is an exclusive property in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, just up the river from Manaus and accessible by land or float-plane. Resting in front of Anavilhanas archipelago, the lodge is touched by the black waters of the Rio Negro and is surrounded by the sounds, smells and mysteries of the Amazon Jungle. Nearly free of mosquitoes and located within a vast stretch of untouched rainforest, the hotel strikes the perfect balance between nature and comfort.
Extending 195,000 square kilometers through Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland and a true wonder of nature. It is considered the wildlife sanctuary of South America and the best place in the world to see wild jaguars, in addition to capybaras, tapirs and howler monkeys. Think safari but in South America. Such an undiscovered jewel in South America.
North Pantanal begins 120km south of Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso state. The region is traversed by the Transpantaneira road, a raised dirt track with over 100 wooden bridges. Those willing to travel to the end of the road are likely to be rewarded with a sighting of the elusive jaguar. This is one of the few places in the world where, from June to October, there are very good chances of seeing wild jaguars in their natural habitat.
Southern Pantanal offers a wide array of wildlife and a more intense nature experience. This is the place that many parrots, toucans, macaws, caimans, howler monkeys and giant otters call home. Additionally, Southern Pantanal floods much more than the north, causing an increase of aquatic vegetation, meaning there are more animals to see!
Located in the heart of “Jaguarland” along the Piquiri River, the Jaguar Suites is a floating barge that offers a high-quality hospitality experience close to the action. This is one of the only places in the world where you can see a jaguar from your room, and each of the suites offers full-length windows and a private terrace. Daily skiff excursions provide even more chances to see jaguars, giant river otters, large caiman and capybaras among other regional wildlife.
Caiman Lodge offers an amazing combination of wildlife and hospitality for a totally unique experience. Composed of three independent lodging complexes, Caiman has one of the largest protected private reserves in Southern Pantanal. The lodge has a variety of wildlife activities — don’t miss the opportunity to accompany a biologist from the Onçafari program to monitor the various jaguars on the property.
Salvador Da Bahia
Salvador Da Bahia was Brazil’s first capital city and truly represents the country’s soul with its unique cuisine, music, and architecture. With a combination of European, African and native South American influences, it’s no wonder the historic center of the city, known as Pelourinho, has been recognized as an UNESCO cultural heritage site. This is one of my all time favorite cultural destinations anywhere in the world! The history here is so remarkable and it has a tremendous legacy with Carnival. My tip is to visit the week before the crazy party starts to see all the groups practicing and experience the decorations, but without all the chaos of the party itself.
Capoeira Class Experience
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music. During a private Capoeira class, you’ll be introduced to experts (capoeiristas) who will teach you its history, as well as how to play the traditional instruments and perform basic moves. You will see how culture, dance and history converge to form this beautiful art and make it such an important part of Brazilian heritage.
Bahian Percussion Insight
Bahia’s musical soul is African, with rhythms that have attracted musicians like Paul Simon and Wayne Shorter, just to name a few. In this hands-on experience, local percussionists will guide you, focusing on the most interesting rhythms in an instructive, interactive and fun workshop! This is a fantastic option for families and is a perfect opportunity for you to try your hand at local instruments, such as the rhum, lê drums or the iconic berimbau, the soul of capoeira.
The Fasano Hotel Salvador sits in a privileged location where history, Castro Alves Square and a wonderful view of All Saints Bay all contribute to the ambiance. The hotel is located in the former headquarters of the newspaper A Tarde, which was listed by the Institute of Cultural and Artistic Heritage as Cultural Heritage of Bahia. As the seventh hotel development by Fasano, it reflects high standards of gastronomy, amenities, interior design and outstanding customer service.
Located right in Salvador’s Historical Center, Villa Bahia is just steps away from the Jorge Amado Museum, the Lacerda Elevator and the Praça da Se overlooking All Saints Bay. This boutique hotel offers 17 rooms that reference important moments in history, including Portuguese explorers, the African and Asian trade exchanges and the sea routes closely tied to the spice trade. The restaurant and bar also evoke the theme of the Spice Route, where you can enjoy Bahia gourmet cuisine.
As the Portuguese word for beautiful, Bonito really is more than just the name of this area. The town is well-known for its ecotourism, and is a haven for those who love nature and exploring. You will not experience anything like this anywhere else. The iconic flotation experience is totally unique and can be done with young kids. It's an unspoilt experience that you fear may not exist forever.
Flotation in Bonito
Flotation is the best way to discover the underwater world in Bonito! It is similar to snorkeling, but without using your legs or arms. You’ll be provided with a snorkel and mask, as well as a flotation device then encouraged to simply float along, letting the very slow moving current carry you along. You float as to not damage anything under the water. Lose yourself in the beautiful kaleidoscope of colorful fish and underwater flora in either Natural Aquarium, Sucuri, Silver River or Mysterious Lagoon. It is almost like a feeling of a hot air balloon but for the water!
Spread out over 600,000 meters squared (720,000 yards squared), this eco-resort blends effortlessly into the surrounding nature of Bonito. The Bodoquena Mountains serve as a magnificent backdrop for you to take part in all that Zagaia has to offer. There are four swimming pools, a sauna, a spa and a swim-up bar for adults, while children can enjoy two heated and roofed pools, a sand volleyball court, tennis courts, two soccer fields and a mini golf course.
As the largest city in the Americas, and with the highest population in the southern hemisphere, São Paulo is a metropolis composed of skyscrapers, bridges and beautiful urban fountains. Due to its size and location, it became home to many European and American immigrants, whose influence is evident in the architecture, distinctive accent and delicious food. Those who visit this amazing city will not only enjoy five-star accommodation, but also interesting urban activities, cultural centers and one-of-a-kind restaurants. Plus, it’s in a great location for both international and domestic flights!
From Street Art to Galleries
São Paulo is arguably South America’s most important city for art, fashion and culture. Dive head first into the local art scene with a specialist art guide, who will take you on a carefully crafted experience showing all the unique art that São Paulo has to offer, from street art to fine galleries. Visit Beco do Batman, one of the city’s most impressive graffiti displays, as well as the São Paulo art museum and the museum of modern art.
The Country of Futebol
With five World Cup championships under its belt and as the home to many of the world’s best players, it’s no surprise that football is Brazil’s number one sport. We can work with our partners to arrange for you to visit some of the best stadiums in the country, as well as the fascinating museums within them. You can learn how the sport began in Brazil and why it became so important to the country, visit trophy galleries and step into the locker rooms of some of the most popular local clubs. And for the biggest football fanatics, we can even organize an exclusive activity that will allow you to meet football legends, as well as organize friendly matches for you to cheer on.
Hotel Fasano São Paulo offers five-star accommodations in the upscale Jardins district, a short walk from the luxurious Rua Oscar Freire street. The rooms are spacious, bright and elegantly decorated, with traditional parquet floors and leather furniture. The distinguished Fasano Restaurant is renowned for its high Italian cuisine and impeccable service. After a dip in the pool or relaxing visit to the spa, enjoy a drink from the bar or spend an evening relaxing on the terrace and take in the views of the city.
Tivoli São Paulo Mofarrej is a contemporary and sophisticated hotel located near Avenida Paulista, in the heart of the Jardins district. The hotel’s interior is a perfect combination of style, elegance and a welcoming environment. With a stunning pool, relaxing spa and a wide range of rooms, Tivoli Mofarrej guarantees maximum-well being and comfort.