by Michaela Trimble
Rio de Janeiro rightfully wears the title of cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city), as it’s the epicenter of Brazilian culture and soul. Part city, part sprawling jungle, Rio is a maze of spiraling hills, each containing a different neighborhood with its own distinct charm. With a direct flight on TAM Airlines from the US, you are transplanted into a tropical paradise, where samba, caipirinhas and acai are king in mere hours. Here’s how you can experience Rio de Janeiro in just three short days.
There are no two bones about it: São Paulo, Brazil’s financial heart and the Latin American capital of everything from food to fashion, is an unforgiving concrete monster that will totally overwhelm you. You’ll need to be willing to get your hands dirty if you want to conquer Brazil’s most modern megalopolis. Historically, the city was most visited by business travelers the world over, anxious to share air (and broker deals) with many of the continent’s most successful movers and shakers. These days, that hasn’t changed one bit, but tourists are starting to discover Sampa – so goes it affectionate nickname among locals – and are hitting the ground running, anxious to take in the city’s endless excursions: Gastronomy, museums, nightlife, shopping. You won’t want for anything here.
Photo: Bruce Tuten
The city of Puno, located at the shore of Lake Titicaca (the highest navigable lake in the world), is a gateway to fascinating cultures and breathtaking Altiplano landscapes. The city that boarders Bolivia is also a Ramsar Site (wetland of international importance) due to its large population of water birds.