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.
For decades, Brazil’s international image has been synonymous with its festive Carnival season. And while Rio is ground zero for the action, it is certainly not the only place to celebrate. In a country as large and diverse as Brazil, various regions and cultures have created their own rendition of Carnival, differing from state to state. But to truly understand the diversification of Carnival, we need to take a look back at the party’s origins.
Contrary to popular belief, Carnival isn’t actually a Brazilian creation; it’s a Catholic one, which is why Carnival is celebrated around the world. Introduced to Brazil in the early 1700s, the festival is essentially a chance for Catholics, or anyone looking to engage in a bit of revelry, to get in a few last bits of sin before Lent. In 1641, the first Brazilian Carnival celebrated the crowning of John IV as King, beginning a long and storied history of celebrations throughout the country.
Although Rio Carnival is the most famous, it’s by no means the only festival worth visiting in Brazil. Here’s a look at where else to celebrate.
Photo: PortoBay Hotels & Resorts
There’s no denying it: few people know how to party quite like Brazilians do. If you’re looking for an unforgettable location to ring in the New Year, then look no further than Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Between dancing the night away under a starry sky to enjoying a grand, family-friendly fireworks display, here’s what you need to know to have the ultimate New Year’s Eve celebration in Rio.
Photo: Christopher Kirk
As a traveler or expat, experiencing the holidays outside the U.S. can be an eye opening and life changing experience. As we usher in a new holiday season and begin to reflect upon the past year, on the surface, traditions around the globe may appear very different, but dig a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re all just searching for a cause to celebration. With each country having their own interpretation of food, family and fun, you may be surprised to learn at the core just how similar we actually are, despite personal beliefs and rituals.
Photo: Sergio Olivier
Holiday traditions vary wildly around the world from gift giving to elaborate festivals. But in South America, one tradition has stood the test of time no matter where you are—raising a glass of holiday cheer. Here’s a look at six of our favorite South American countries and their spirited holiday offerings.