Tips for your first trip to Brazil

Monday, January 27, 2020
By Azamara

A country of captivating beauty, sandy white beaches and rainforests, bursting with a metropolis of birds, plants and experiences. Brazil is a location unlike any other and one that anyone looking to find their next cruise deal should consider.

A location that is adaptable for both experienced travellers and those looking for their first experiences of vibrant South American cities. We have put together some simple tips to follow to make your experience that little bit easier.

Learn some basic Portuguese

As with a trip to any non-English speaking country, learning some of the local language can make your experience a whole lot easier. From ordering food to finding significant locations, knowing a few basic words really will make your trip a smoother and more enjoyable one.

Danielle Benjamin blogs all about her travel experiences on her blog Wanderlust on a Budget, she told us a few tips that she would recommend to anyone visiting Brazil for the first time: “For people visiting Brazil for the first time, they should prep for their trip by learning some basic phrases in Portuguese. I found that Brazilians aren't as fluent in English or other world languages as other countries.”

Learning some Portuguese, which is the main language spoken in Brazil will really elevate your trip. Learn the basics like please and thank you and make sure you take a translation book with you for when you get stuck.








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Some basic Portuguese phrases to learn:



  • Please – Por favour

  • Thank you – Obrigado

  • Water – Agua

  • Do you speak English? - Você fala inglês?

“Try to immerse yourself in the culture. Learn a couple of basic words - you'll be surprised how far it can get you. Brazilian people are extremely welcoming and would love to teach you about their country. Don't shy away from starting a conversation with your Uber driver or waiter.” Says Ruet, who has visited Brazil many times and always recommends travel lovers visit. Read all about her travel experiences on her blog Sugar Travels Blog.

Try the authentic cuisine

Renowned for outstanding food offerings, South American street markets and authentic restaurants all serve up some of the world’s most delicious dishes. One of the biggest tips is to make sure you immerse yourself into the culture and try as many of the local and authentic dishes as possible, you won’t be disappointed.








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“My best piece of advice would be to try as much Brazilian food as possible. Coxinha is my favourite food in the world. Pao de queijo, farofa, brigadeiro, and feijoada are all dishes visitors should try.” Says Danielle.

Danielle also told us that, “one of my favourite tips for Brazil is to go to Parque Lage or Jardim Botanico for the best views of Christ the Redeemer in the distance, surrounded by gorgeous gardens. For people into street art, definitely check out Olympic Boulevard in Rio de Janeiro and Beco de Batman in São Paulo.”

Brazil is about exploration, new experiences and excursions, which is exactly what our Guided Tours can offer you. Book onto our Colonial Brazil programme and delve into the economic core of the countries unique culture, arts and world heritage centres. Explore world-famed sights, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Congonhas do Campo. Visit local art workshops, enjoy an underground tour of the world-famous gold mines, and enjoy mealtimes full of historically beloved dishes – what better way to really get to know South America?

Authentic Brazilian dishes to try:

  • Brigadeiro – A Brazilian dessert made of chocolate fudge

  • Moqueca – A traditional fish stew

  • Pão de queijo – Small balls of cheese and bread

  • Feijoada – Black bean and sausage stew

Be vigilant

“Take some simple safety measurements, just as the locals do and your trip can be amazing. No use of phones in public places, no ostentatious jewellery (embrace the simple life, you'll love it), and no walking alone after sunset.” Says Ruet.

Safety is something visitors often worry about when planning a trip to South America, and Brazil in particular, but as long as you are vigilant, there really is nothing to worry about. There are a few basic rules to follow that’ll make sure you don’t stand out from the crowds; keep your phone hidden in public places, no jewellery and don’t walk alone after dark. Follow these simple steps and you really will have nothing to worry about.

Take your time and plan

One of the most important things about visiting Brazil is to take your time and plan so you can really take in the experiences you are witnessing, allow plenty of time to explore your chosen towns or cities, Brazil is not a location that can be experienced in a rush. There is nothing worse than spending your time trying to figure out what to do, plan beforehand and you won’t find yourself wandering without a purpose.

“Brazil is a very diverse country with so much to offer every type of traveller.” Says Lucy Frank, blogger at A Travellers Footsteps, who spoke to us all about her experiences in Brazil.

She recommends taking it slow and seeing fewer locations but exploring them in-depth: “When planning a trip to Brazil, my number one tip is to travel slow. As the country is so big, trying to cover too much ground will be exhausting. Seeing fewer destinations with more time will allow you to enjoy the experience more.”

If exploring the diversity of each location is something you plan to do on your next cruise to South America, why not consider planning in some of our shore excursions? Discover iconic landmarks on a Panoramic Rio tour, or explore the neighbourhood of Salvador on a historic tour of famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the perfect way to make the most of your time and learn all about the culture of these rich locations.

Ruet agrees that the only way to see Brazil properly is to allow plenty of time to really capture its true beauty: “My first visit to Brazil was enchanting. Walking the streets of Rio I felt like there was a soundtrack to my strolls around the city. In my head music was playing (old Sambas or popular Pagode songs.)”

Experiences not to be missed:

  • Copacabana Beach

  • Explore the markets of São Paulo

  • Get up close to wildlife in Pantanal – Included on our In Search of Jaguar South America Guided Programme.

Brazil and South America, in general, are both world-class locations that everyone should plan to visit on a cruise at least once. The vibrancy, culture and food alone should be enough to draw anyone in. Explore our last minute cruise deals to delve into what Brazil has to offer, and make the colourful lands your next port of call.

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