Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

Visiting the Amazon basin often appears on a person’s bucket list for the simple mystery of the unknown and a chance to witness life in all its majesty.

Spanning nine South American countries and 2.5 million square miles (roughly the size of the 48 contiguous United States), the Amazon represents over half of the world’s remaining rainforest. Its moist, tropical vegetation stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Andes Mountains in the west, a reflection of the high rainfall, high humidity and high temperatures that prevail in the region year-round. Running through the north of the rainforest is the Amazon River. Flowing a length of 4,000 miles, it contains the largest number of freshwater fish species in the world.

Forest Trip

Unrivalled by any other location on the planet for its beauty and contrast to our urban lifestyles, the Amazon is an eye-opener to the world at its most pure.

It has been described as a paradise on Earth, a place depicting the sheer breath of life in all its majesty. The amazon is so much more than a river meandering through the rainforest of South America. The Amazon River starts its journey in Peru, carving its way through several countries, including Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela, before exiting land into the Atlantic Ocean.


It’s this river, alongside its humid climate, that gives way for one of the world’s most breathtaking rainforests. But while it may take your breath away visually, in reality it is a breath giver, delivering 20 per cent of the world’ oxygen. The Amazon rainforest spans an impressive 1.4 billion acres, giving host to one in ten species on earth. As the world’s most biodiverse haven, the Amazon basin has continued to evolve an grow for 60 million years. It’s currently understood that 40,000 plant species, 1,300 bird species, 3,00 fish species, 430 mammal species and more than 2.5 million insect species call the Amazon basin home.

Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest is found in Brazil.

One of the best ways to view the rainforest’s many wonders and rich greenery is to take a boat trip down the Amazon river itself. Stretching 6,992 kilometers, you’ll pass through several countries in the southern hemisphere on your journey. It’s common for squirrel monkeys and the three-toed sloth to make an appearance among trees near the water’s edge. As macaw fly overhead, if you’re lucky enough you might catch a glimpse of one of the Amazon’s most iconic and unique residents, the Amazon River dolphin. A freshwater version of its ocean cousin, the river dolphin is most recognizable for its pink appearance. Through magnificent in its rendition of paradise, the Amazon rainforest has faced devastating deforestation rates in recent times, with 18 percent of the part that lies in Brazil lost in the past 40 years.

Amazon Rainforest: Essential Information

One of the most important considerations to make when travelling to the Amazon are vaccinations. Yellow fever vaccinations are a must, and is required that you carry proof that you have been vaccinated. The rainforests are vast and dense, therefore do not attempt to explore without a tour guide.

When to visit

The rainiest months in the Amazon are February to April, and the driest and hottest months are from September to November. Therefore visiting during May and June is the best time of the year to explore all the Amazon has to offer.

Getting There

The vast rainforest spans nine different South American countries including Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia – although it’s most prominent in Brazil.


Planning to visit the Peruvian Amazon? Flights can be arranged into Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado from Cusco. Hoping to experience the Brazilian Amazon? Flying into Manaus in the north is your best option. If it’s the Ecuadorian Amazon you’re after, then you can take a bus from Quito into Tena City (five hours) where you can hop in a pickup truck. Or, if you’re eager to explore the Bolivian Amazon, fly from La Paz to Rurrenabaque (around 45 minutes) and then ride a motor-boat upriver to Madidi.

Where to stay

Staying in the Amazon largely depends on which country you visit. The Amazon has many comfortable lodges with spacious guest bungalows. You can also stay in cities such as Manaus in Brazil and take full day tours to explore the forest and return to the city at the end of the day. Or you can stay at a luxury resort in Puerto Maldonado (Peru) or high-end river cruises in Iquitos for an unparalleled adventure into the wild without losing comfort.

Best Amazon Rainforest Tours

  • Experience canoe trips to appreciate the sounds of the forest and the tropical wildlife and spot small alligators, tapirs and sloths.
  • Visit indigenous communities and discover their habits and customs.
  • Take a trekking in the jungle and learn about the biodiversity of rainforest, savannah and creeks;
  • Dine on line-caught river fish, fresh tropical fruits and delicious Amazonian specialties
  • Sunbathe on sandy river beaches and cool off in clear waters and natural river pools;
  • Take guided forest hikes to see an amazing array of tropical birds and wildlife;
  • Sleep in hammocks under the forest canopy and awake with the sunrise and the morning chorus;
  • Spend time fishing, harvesting Brazil nuts and making handicrafts with the locals.

Fully tailor-made tours

If you are planning a trip to the Amazon rainforest, contact our local travel designers and they will personalize your trip. They are always up to date with the latest news and guidelines. They will provide you with clear, unbiased information and advice to create a trip  of a lifetime.  Contact us and share your questions and ideas with us.  

Fernando de Noronha. Brazil most beautiful and exclusive beach paradise

Fernando de Noronha

Brazil most beautiful and exclusive beach paradise

Any list of “Brazil’s most beautiful beaches” must have at least five of Fernando de Noronha on its Top 10. Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago located 350km off Brazil’s northeast coast. The archipelago belongs to a protected national marine park that was created to preserve the abundant ecosystem of the area. The surf spots in Fernando de Noronha are considered to be the best in the country due to the fact that the volcanic island doesn’t have any continental shelf to reduce the power of the swells. The main source of waves come from the North Atlantic lows and the best time to surf in Fernando de Noronha is from November to February when the waves rarely drop below 3ft. The best surfing area is on the eastern coast of the main island and the best surf spot is Cacimba do Padre that has a powerful beach break with hollow barrels both for the left and the right. If you visit Brazil you should highly consider making a stop at Fernando de Noronha and find out why this is considered as one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The archipelago is also an important reserve preserved as a National Marine Park; in 2001, UNESCO designated Noronha as Natural Patrimony of the World – fauna and flora are strictly preserved, and there are protection plans for marine turtles and spinner dolphins, frequently seen in the region. A trip to Noronha is a ticket to retiring from the real world for a while and dedicating yourself to paradise on earth, as a family, group or couple.

What to see and Do

Under the Sea

Noronha is world famous among divers. Get to know more about Scuba Diving in Fernando de Noronha. Fernando de Noronha is one of the best diving areas in Brazil. Its clear waters with an optimum temperature of 28-30 Celcius ( 73 - 86 Fahrenheit) and visibility of around 30 m ( 98 ft) allow for viewing the varied and sometimes endemic marine life in over 20 dive sites around the island, including:

Scuba Diving in Fernando de Noronha

Below 20 m (66 ft) depth dive sites Pedras Secas (17m - 56 ft), regarded as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, has an impressive rocky formation of tunnels, caverns and canyons, covered with corals and sponges. Squirrelfish, black margates, grunts, sea turtles and sand sharks frequent this spot. Buraco das Cabras (16 m - 52 ft) is one of the most vibrant diving areas, with a plethora of colors emerging from the rock formations, and huge variety of marine and plant life seen here such as manta rays, barracuda, turtles, angelfish, octopi, hammerhead sharks, lobsters, blackjacks, corals and sponges. Morro de Fora (15 m - 49 ft) is a nursery site with several infant species, including flounders and queen angel fish. This and Cagarras Rasas (16 m - 52 ft) where fire coral and a huge number of beautiful ornamental fish can be viewed, such as surgeons and damselfish, are good spots for beginner divers. 20 – 40m ( 66 - 131 ft) dive sites Laje dos dos Irmaos (24m - 79 ft) is the largest coral covered dive site of the island and attracts reef sharks and schools of chromis, hawksbill turtles, horse-eye jacks and fine bearded sharks. At Iuias (24m - 79 ft) rock formations, covered with coral and sponges, have created narrow passages and fissures, where schools of fish take shelter. Sightings of big fish like jewfish and black grouper are often made as well as nurse sharks and eagle rays. Carragas Fundas (30m - 98 ft) is a wall dive with great flora and fauna biodiversity and rare reef fish such as gray angelfish and rock beauty can be spotted here. Cabeco Submarino (20 m - 66 ft) is probably the best dive area for turtle lovers. Above 40m (131 ft) dive sites Cabeco da Sapata (43 m - 141 ft), an excellent multi-level dive site, only suitable for advanced divers, due to the depth and strong currents, is a small submarine mountain that rises nearly above the water level. Here triggerfish, grunts, chromis and horse-eyed jacks can be found. Pontal do Norte (45m - 148 ft) is a huge submerged rock where large sharks, black groupers, snappers, rock hinds and hawksbill turtles are often sighted. Corveta V 17 (63m - 207 ft), with the well preserved remains of a sunken naval ship, is considered one of the best wreck dives in the world. Marine life frequenting this site includes mahi mahi, tunny fish, manta rays, mackerel, eagle rays and sometimes even a whale shark. Advanced divers can explore the interior of the vessel. Snorkeling and diving are perfect aquatic activities in Noronha, even for beginners. The best levels for independent diving range from 8 to 60 meters deep and visibility is up to 30 meters of range. Schools of fish, rays, turtles, rocky formations, coral reefs and shipwrecks are visible in the region. There are several diving operators on the island who will provide equipment and training; we are happy to liaise with them for you.

Stunning Beaches

If you love the idea of remote and isolated beaches even during peak season, Noronha is perfect for you. With a strict control on the number of visitors at any time, beaches in Noronha remain quiet all year round. Very few have beach bars or any kind of infrastructure – a scenario which many modern travelers crave for. We think some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil are located here. Easily. Baia do Sancho is a unique reddish brown sandy beach which requires access by bolted iron ladders. Baia do Sueste is an amazing snorkeling spot ideal for kids due to its shallow waters. At any given day, only thirty people are allowed at the Praia do Atalaia. No sun tan lotion, please. Natural pools are the attraction here formed by the extension of volcanic rock shelf along shores. What about surfing? Praia da Conceição, Cacimba do Padre, Praia do Cachorro, Praia do Boldró, Praia do Meio, and Praia do Bode.

Surfing & beaching

From November to April good swell waves can be found on beaches such as Laje, da Cacimba, Boldró, Ruro and Abrás, which are favorites and very popular with surfers from all over the world. National and international surfing championships also occur in Noronha during that period. If you prefer to sit back on the sand and just enjoy the beach, we highly recommend that too! In Noronha your time can be spent as actively or laid back as you choose.

Best surf spots in Fernando de Noronha

The best and most famous surf spots are Cacimba do Padre, Abras, Praia da Conceição and Boldró.

Exploring Noronha

The island of Noronha is a manageable destination for travelers to explore by buggy, with or without a guide. The highlight is that all the beaches are beautiful, without exception, the clear turquoise sea and the wilderness of each one is stunning. Some places are even more striking than others: Leão and the beaches on Sancho and dos Porcos bays are must do’s; but don’t miss the chance to visit the village known as Vila dos Remédios. Trekking is also a good way to venture around the island.

Feast your eyes with dolphins

Fernando de Noronha is home to the largest concentration of spinner dolphins in the world. The spinner dolphin is the most acrobatic of all dolphin species with incredible jumps out of the water. Practically all-year round, colonies of up to 2000 dolphins can be seen around the island close to sunset, so get on a boat and enjoy this marvelous sight.

Start Planning your Trip

Ideas can plan every step of your trip, allowing you to relish the tremendous adventures and wonderful sights of Brazil, knowing that Ideas will be taking care of all the details.

Places to visit in Brazil

Places to visit in Brazil

Every time I think of Brazil, I smile thinking about the vibrant sunsets on Praia do Espelho, the genuine joy of the Cariocas (Rio dwellers) dancing on Copacabana beach, the celebration of Salvador de Bahía waiting for the new year, the colonial houses and colorful buildings of Paraty and the baroque architecture of Ouro Preto.

Brazil is more like a "continent country" where there are many nations in one. Each state has its history, food, personality, culture, music and gastronomy that differentiates it from the other. There is a state for each traveler: places with dreamy beaches; cities such as Sao Paulo with the best contemporary art of South America; colorful festivals and places to visit with a great variety and abundance of wildlife like Pantanal and Amazonas.

Brazil really has it all and it is a destination that I adore for the diversity of its landscapes, the culture in its cities and above all for its people. Having spent many years traveling around this extraordinary country, here is my choice for the best and most beautiful places to visit in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro

Home to the world-famous Carnival, Rio de Janeiro has been officially named the World Capital of Architecture for 2020 by UNESCO. Its designation is a recognition of the historical and modern architectural heritage of Rio and aims to reflect on the future of architectural culture, landscaping and urbanism. Rio de Janeiro will also host the World Congress of Architects, an event that occurs every three years.

Known as the Cidade Maravilhosa (Wonderful City), the city is lined with white sand beaches, lush rainforests, and it is surrounded by massive green mountains. Rio de Janeiro has spectacular views from almost every angle. From the slopes of Corcovado Mountain, you will admire the striking 125-foot-tall Christ the Redeemer, which overlooks Rio's pristine long crescent beaches. Or you can reach Sugar Loaf summit with cable cars and have a great panoramic view of Guanabara Bay.

In Rio you will marvel at the largest street murals, find many local artisan workshops, excellent restaurants and a handful of unique fashion boutiques that showcase the extraordinary talent of Rio de Janeiro’s designers.

At night, you can listen to samba through the streets of Lapa district or you can visit a concert venue like Rio Scenarium and see live shows of local bands. And if you visit Rio in February, just in time for Carnival, you will witness Brazil's energetic carnival that draws people from all over the world.

Cristo Brasil


Paraty is one of the best preserved and most beautiful 17-century colonial towns in Brazil. In addition, it is surrounded by dreamy beaches and secluded islands. This combination makes visiting Paraty one of the best things to do in Brazil. It is considered a getaway from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo since it is a 4 hour-drive from each of them. Most of the accommodations are small boutiques built into colonial homes. To me, it is a must-do if you visit Rio de Janeiro.

São Paulo

São Paulo is the largest urban center in the country and constitutes the most important economic center in all of Latin America. It concentrates a huge textile, chemical, metallurgical, iron and steel and food complex. It is also the commercial health and financial center and the most important communications center in the entire country.

When it comes to culture, São Paulo has some of the best contemporary art galleries and museums in the country (São Paulo Museum of Art is a gem), and you can excite your taste buds at one of the many international restaurants famous for fine cuisine.

Due to the intense traffic of the city, I recommend that you dedicate at least two days to visit its most important attractions.

Cataratas del Iguazu (Iguassu Falls)

Divided between Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls (Cataratas del Iguazu in Spanish) are one of the largest waterfalls in the world. The majestic falls are one of the most spectacular places in Latin America and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Due to its location in the middle of the jungle and the enormous volume of water and its many waterfalls, it is a must on any trip to Brazil. An experience that will always be remembered.

Iguazu Lado Argentino y Brasilero

TIP: If you have time, visit both sides of the National Park. Over the Brazilian side you will enjoy jaw-dropping panoramic views of the falls. While on the Argentine side, you can literally walk into the heart of the falls and have the best frontal view of the “Devil’s Throat”, the largest jump in the Iguazu Falls.

Pantanal (Mato Grosso)

For those looking for an adventure similar to that of an African safari, the Pantanal is the best destination in Brazil.

The Pantanal is the largest tropical wetland in the world and is home to the largest concentration of wildlife on the continent, with some calling it the best-preserved wetland in the world. Also, because the terrain is fairly flat with thinner and lower fauna than that of the lush Amazon, it is easier to spot jaguars, giant anteaters, green anacondas, and howler monkeys that call it home. You'll want to work with a travel specialist that can help you arrange transportation from Rio, São Paulo, or the nearby Cuiabá airport (a four-hour flight from Rio), several days of excursions, and staying at a lodge to explore the region.

The best time of the year to visit Pantanal is from May to early August to avoid the rainy season.

Ouro Preto

It is located 100 km southeast of Belo Horizonte, the state capital. It is part of the cultural heritage of humanity endorsed by Unesco. It is the center that brings together the best baroque heritage in Brazil, reflected in its temples and ancient mansions that belonged to those who were enriched with gold.

Brasilia (only for those interested in architecture)

If you travel between different regions of Brazil, you will probably have to make a stopover in Brasilia. Unless you are an architect or have a special interest in visiting the works of Oscar Niemeyer, I do not recommend that you go to Brasilia.

The capital of Brazil is an entirely planned city, established in 1960 as a centrally located seat for the government and based entirely in functionality.
For architecture lovers and brutalist aesthetes, it's a must visit: Brasilia is home to iconic buildings from Brazilian national treasure Oscar Niemeyer, who designed most of the city, including the Cathedral of Brasilia and its National Museum.

Manaos: Entry for the Brazilian Amazon

The city of 2 million people is located in the heart of the Amazon (it is right in the center of the largest jungle in the world). Manaus is one of the tourist attractions to see in Brazil for its colonial past, its markets, and for being the starting point for all jungle tours.

Salvador de Bahia

Salvador de Bahia is the cradle of colonial Brazil; it was the first capital of the country. The city is home to 365 churches, one for each day of the year. And of course, the colonial heritage is noticeable everywhere, including the strong African influence brought by the slaves. In addition, it is surrounded by beaches that will take your breath away. In short, one of the best places to visit in Brazil.

Porto de Galhinas

This beach town was classified seven times by Viagem e Turismo magazine as the best beach in Brazil. It is located one hour from Recife by road and it has 11 miles of white sand and turquoise water.

Porto de Galhinas is known for its pristine reef pools, best explored on a small “jangada” sailboat, promising fantastic snorkeling, diving, and warm-water swimming (average water temperature is around 79 degrees Fahrenheit). This northeastern seaside town is located 1 hour drive from Recife.

Trancoso (The best beaches of Brazil)

Perched on top of a cliff and surrounded by the exuberant beauty of the coast of the Brazilian state of Bahia, Trancoso is the ideal place to enjoy tranquil and scenic beaches well-suited for social distancing.

A former fishing village turned trendy Brazilian getaway, the modest 16th-century seaside town of Trancoso remains a hidden gem of preserved colonial architecture, lush greenery, and spectacular secluded beaches and natural pools with coral reefs.

Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen, Diane von Furstenberg, Neymar, Beyoncé or Will Smith are regulars of Trancoso and they own the best and most isolated houses in the place.

The most famous beach is Praia do Espelho, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in Brazil. Other beaches near Trancoso that I highly recommend visiting are: Pitinga, Praia dos Coqueiros and Praia dos Nativos.

Fernando de Noronha

The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is a paradise of great beauty and was declared a Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO. In order for the place to preserve its nature, the number of visitors is limited and an environmental preservation fee must be paid to enter the island.

It is very common to find some of its beaches among the most beautiful in Brazil and in the world, like Praia dos Porcos, Leões and Sancho Bay, twice voted the best beach on the planet by TripAdvisor's and Traveller's Choice Awards.

The easiest (and almost only) way to get there is by plane, flying from Natal or Recife (there are daily flights). There are no boat lines that cover the route on a regular basis.

Other recomended destinations:

The best Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro


The best Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro

It’s hard to write an introduction for a food city as Rio de Janeiro. There are many great options in every single neighborhood. And while a lot of them are good, we want to make sure that you have all of the best Rio de Janeiro restaurants on your radar. What are some of your favorite Rio de Janeiro restaurants? Let us know in the comments!


One of the first restaurants in South America to be awarded a prestigious Michelin star, take a seat and discover the most sophisticated pan-Asian cuisine in Rio. The vision of celebrity chef Ken Hom and led by Executive Chef Kazuo Harada, MEE takes you on an exotic gastronomic journey. Taste your way through countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. Among the exciting menu, Michelin recommends the spicy Thai salad with tangerine and quail egg sushi with truffle.

WHERE: Belmond Copacabana Palace / CUISINE: Pan-Asian


Overlooking the Copacabana’s legendary swimming pool, Pérgula Restaurant offers first class Brazilian and international cuisine in a refined yet relaxed atmosphere. The casual poolside ambience is perfect. Don’t miss the Sunday ́s Brunch overlooking the beach. It is superb!

WHERE: Belmond Copacabana Palace / CUISINE: Brazilian-Mediterranean


Climb up an alley to the very top of Santa Teresa and you'll stumble across this family-run restaurant surrounded by a lush tropical garden. The solid timber tables are set at various levels and all boast views of the neighborhood itself and across to the city. The shady garden with its soothing birdsong provides a relaxing setting in which to sip one of the special cachaças and choose from a menu that offers a whole host of delicious dishes from right across Brazil.

WHERE: Santa Teresa / CUISINE: Brazilian


Known as one of the best restaurants in Rio, and named after the finest hotel in Venice, this award- winning restaurant offers exceptional Northern Italian cuisine. The vibrant menu combines the best in Brazilian and Italian ingredients. Innovative dishes sit alongside classic recipes that have been passed down for generations. Chef’s Table: Located in the heart of the Hotel Cipriani Restaurant’s kitchen, the Chef’s Table is one of the most exclusive fine-dining adventures in Rio. Guests to follow the chef as he prepares an array of dishes inspired by the day’s freshest ingredients. This special menu is paired with carefully selected wines. A 24-hour notice is required to reserve the Chef's Table.

WHERE: Belmond Copacabana Palace / CUISINE: Italian


The barbecues served at Assador Rio ́s is prepared the traditional gaucho style by the Guanabara Bay with amazing view to Sugarloaf mountain. Among several delicious meat cuts we highlight tomahawk, chorizo steak and lamb shoulder. Side dishes are always fresh and varied.

WHERE: Botafogo / CUISINE: Brazilian barbecue


The kitchen of Pedro de Artagão reached the seashore. Snacks or dishes, seafood or meats, have options for all palates. But if you accept a tip, try the prawn pie (ask for a spoon!) And the octopus with the vinaigrette, they are eating and praying. The oysters coming from Santa Catarina are also very fresh and combine with the kiosk atmosphere.

WHERE: Leblon beach / CUISINE: Mediterranean


Bagatelle is located on the Jockey Clube Brasileiro, offering a menu of French dishes with a Brazilian touch. The classic French dishes, Calamars à la Plancha and the Entrecôte Angus au Poivre, are the highlights of the menu. A change in the atmosphere happens after dinner, when the lights go dim and a DJ steps in, transforming the place into a dance floor.

WHERE: Gávea / CUISINE: French-Brazilian


Creative and contemporary cooking in a modern and urban space. The menu features dishes made from Brazilian, as well as Eastern and European, ingredients, so dried meatballs with pumpkin and barbecue sauce compete with duck carpaccio with goat's cheese and thyme. Quick snacks are also available, such as soups, sandwiches and dishes to take away.

WHERE: Ipanema / CUISINE: contemporary


Creative and contemporary cooking in a modern and urban space. The menu features dishes made from Brazilian, as well as Eastern and European, ingredients, so dried meatballs with pumpkin and barbecue sauce compete with duck carpaccio with goat's cheese and thyme. Quick snacks are also available, such as soups, sandwiches and dishes to take away.

Where: Ipanema/Cuisine: Contemporary


Charbon Rouge located at Lagoa is a restaurant created for art and gastronomy lovers. The high celling lounge is finely decorated with natural and organic elements in great balance with the view to Lagoa. The speciality is meat and the menu is signed by chef Pedro Pecego.

WHERE: Lagoa / CUISINE: meat, contemporary


Located in the refurbished Marina da Glória with a pleasant atmosphere in the best porteño style, revealing an exquisite and tasty menu dedicated to Argentine barbecue. With a project signed by Zeh Arquitetura, the house has an air-conditioned wine cellar, a balcony overlooking the Guanabara Bay and wooden decoration.

WHERE: Glória / CUISINE: Argentinian


Ella Pizzaria brings to Rio the authentic Neapolitan pizza, of natural fermentation, super light dough and made in the wood oven (handmade oven specially made for the pizzeria). The big star of the house is the edge of the pizza. The pizzas have high edges and "leopard spots" - small black dots around the edge, which, as the name implies, look like the leopard spots.

WHERE: Jardim Botânico / CUISINE: pizza


What makes the Botafogo branch special is its amazing view of the Guanabara Bay with its many colorful boats and the Sugar Loaf on the background. The steakhouse is usually sought after by those who wish to spend their leisure moments or event work a little in an exclusive restaurant with a view of the sea. The branches offer excellent meat cuts and the desserts are delicate and have amazing textures combined with flavors that are traditionally Brazilian.

WHERE: Botafogo / CUISINE: Brazilian barbecue


Located in Leblon, the authentic bistro combines classic Parisian recipes with Brazilian touches by carioca chef Pedro de Artagão, chosen chef of the year in 2014 by Veja Rio Prêmio Comer & Beber awards. The menu is divided in four parts: pour partager – to share; las entrées – starters; le plats – main courses; and les desserts – desserts.

WHERE: Leblon / CUISINE: French


Located in Leblon, the Giuseppe Grill is a classic steakhouse, complete with wood panelling and exposed brick. On the menu: fine cuts of beef including the Bife de chourizo, a flavorful picanha, the Filé Porterhouse and an Ojo de bife, served with basic sides that help to highlight the meat as the main attraction. For the less carnivore, there is also fresh seafood on ice and one the menu. Check out the extensive international wine list.

WHERE: Leblon / CUISINE: Brazilian, meat


One of the restaurants responsible for turning Botafogo into a gastronomy center, has been sweeping up prizes and customers. Born with the idea of creating a "new Brazilian cuisine". This old colonial house in Botafogo is one of the most sought after and busy restaurants in town.

WHERE: Botafogo / CUISINE: Brazilian-contemporary


Occupying a vast room inside the MAM (Museu de Arte Moderna), Laguiole's personality comes from its black painted ceiling, its colourful armchairs and its interesting paintings by contemporary artists - making it a space within the museum worthy of a visit in its own right. Here, the young chef - who trained in some of the best restaurants in Rio and Paris - creates dishes with contemporary flair; these are accompanied by wines from one of the best cellars in Brazil. Opens from 12:00-5:00pm

WHERE: Flamengo / Cuisine: Contemporary


The artisanal and technological cuisine inspired by the Basque Country gastronomy is run by chef Rafa Costa e Silva. Rustic local produce and also from its two gardens are used in the recipes that challenge the taste buds. The restaurant presents different menus to please all tastes.

WHERE: Botafogo / CUISINE: Contemporary


Located in the heart of Ipanema, one block from the beach, the colorado bordeaux house is an excellent choice for seafood lovers. While strolling down Avenida Henrique Dumont, one can observe the interior of the restaurant, elegant and at the same time bare and pleasant, through the charming windows. However, the menu super varied, does not leave aside the pastas, risottos and meats, these always differentiated since the sauces are made from fresh ingredients, using many herbs, mushrooms and vegetables in their preparation.

WHERE: Ipanema / CUISINE: seafood


Nam Thai is one of the few to have the Thai government seal of approval – the Thai Select. After three successful years in Itaipava, chef David Zisman went down the Rio de Janeiro mountain range and chose Leblon to house the awarded establishment. The house makes some of their own ingredients, and import others to guarantee its authenticity.

WHERE: Leblon / CUISINE: Thai


The restaurant chosen as one of the 50 best restaurants of Latin America has a Michelin Star. Through Claude Troisgros’ work done since 1983, Olympe marks the combination of the evolution of the Brazilian cuisine with French techniques, and proposes a new gastronomic experience led by Claude Troisgros. His contemporary vision reinterprets the Brazilian flavors, valuing products of the land and charming the customers.

WHERE: Jardim Botânico / CUISINE: French-Brazilian


The perfect partnership is formed between the chef, Felipe Bronze, and the sommelier - his wife, Cecilia Aldaz - and they will transform your visit into an event that will linger long in the memory. The modern, intimate space is embellished with designer details, while the contemporary Brazilian cuisine showcases fine textures and delicate flavours - it is presented as small portions or snacks.

WHERE: Leblon / Cuisine: contemporary


The restaurant concept focus on bringing the essence and authenticity of the Portuguese cuisine to Rio with classic recipes passed from generation to generation and full of stories; in an ambient that reflects the culture that has long been part of the Brazilian history.

WHERE: Lagoa / CUISINE: Portuguese


A gastronomic proposal of high quality, based on the concept "from farm to the plate", it is an experience, where you enjoy the best products, prepared with respect, in a rustic and cozy environment.

WHERE: Jardim Botânico / Cuisine: Brazilian, meat


For seafood-lovers the temptation begins the moment you enter this restaurant with its display of fresh fish and continues with the fish tanks containing lobsters, slipper lobsters and mollusks. The secret of this famous restaurant is its use of the best products to prepare simple, carefully- considered dishes. Try the Southern King Crab (shredded crab served with lemon and oil) and sea bream in salt.

WHERE: Ipanema / CUISINE: Mediterranean


With a project signed by the architect Ivan Rezende, the new house occupies 490 square meters and offers 183 seats at the table. The menu, in addition to the classic dishes of Soho, is branded by award-winning chef Rafael Hidaka, owner of a star in the Michelin Guide. Founded in 1998 in the capital of Bahia, Soho incorporates the concept of fusion cuisine: it combines the best of Japanese cuisine with other Asian varieties.

WHERE: Glória / CUISINE: Japanese-Brazilian


The friendly Taj Mahal is set in a beautiful house in the Botanical Garden and brings together the colorful decoration of Indian culture with the aromas and flavors of gastronomy. The tip is to invest in the classic menu and taste from the breads, made in Tandoori to the samozas of vegetables or chicken accompanied by the lassi made in the shell of passion fruit.

WHERE: Jardim Botânico / CUISINE: Indian


The name of the business means "nature" in Hebrew. Accommodated in the elegant Chicô Gouveia design room, examine the 100% vegetable menu of Daniel Biron, chef from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. Signed by Dionísio Chaves, the wine list brings only biodynamic, organic, natural and sustainable labels.

WHERE: Ipanema / CUISINE: vegetarian


Designed in amphi-theater, this environment was created to fully integrate with nature in front of you. With a menu managed by chefs Daiske Takao, Fernando Vaz and Dianna Macedo, the flavors of modern Asia compose a vibrant setting. Drinks, sakes and wine menus harmonize the experience.

WHERE: Centro / CUISINE: Asian-Brazilian


The clean lines inside and out at the inviting, wood-panelled Zuka on Leblon’s foodie favorite Rua Dias Ferreira are echoed in the carefully prepared dishes emerging from chef Ludmilla Soeiro's kitchen. The focal point of the restaurant, amid its blonde-wood paneling, is the open grill where diners can catch a glimpse of the chef preparing, say, filet mignon with goat cheese risotto.

WHERE: Leblon / CUISINE: Contemporary

Iguazu Falls: Unlike any other waterfall on Earth

Awasi Iguazu

Iguazu Falls: Unlike any other waterfall on Earth

Our Recommendations for your visit to Iguazu Falls

The glorious Iguazu falls lie on the Argentina-Brazil border, up north the province of Misiones. Declared a World Heritage Area by Unesco in 1934, these 275 waterfalls form one of earth’s most unforgettable sights. Excellent walking circuits on both the Argentine and Brazilian sides allow visitors to peek over the tops of raging sheets of water, some with sprays so intense that it seems as if geysers have erupted from below.

Getting There

Different airlines fly daily from Buenos Aires City to Puerto Iguazú (an average of 9 direct flights per day). The flight takes 90 minutes. The town of Puerto Iguazu serves as the main base from which to explore Iguazu National Park. On the Argentine side, the Grand Melia Iguazu Hotel is the only hotel inside the National Park, the rest of the hotels (wide range of hotels with a variety of services and amenities) are located in the small town of Puerto Iguazu, 18 km (11 miles) away from the national park. From Rio de Janeiro, it takes 2 hours to fly to the Brazilian town of Foz de Iguazu. On the Brazilian side, the 5-star Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas is the only hotel in Iguassu National Park on the Brazilian side.

Awasi Iguazu

How long to stay at Iguazu Falls?

Many people wonder whether they should spend one or two nights in Iguazu. In our experience, you need 1 full day for the Argentine side of the falls and a half day for the Brazilian side.

Two days on the Argentine side means that you can take as long as you want, without rushing anywhere.

If you have 3 full days in Iguazu, you should consider visiting the Jesuit ruins where the missions of San Ignacio, Santa Ana and Loreto were built and which serve as a spectacular insight into the history of our country.

Better safe than sorry

We strongly advise you not to visit Iguazu in one day, without staying overnight, because of possible flight delays that will ruin your plans. Flight delays are very frequent and there is a risk of not arriving in time to explore the National Park. If your flight is delayed and you arrive at Iguazu when the National Park is about to close, you will have the following day to visit the falls.

Argentine Side

Your first stop will likely be the visitor’s center, where you can get maps and information about the flora and fauna of the area. Next to the visitor’s center, you will find a restaurant, snack shops and souvenir stores. A natural gas train takes visitors to the path entrance for the Upper and Lower Circuits (1-mile path each; it takes 2 hours to walk each circuit) and to the footbridge leading to the Devil’s Throat (3 km; 1 ½ miles).

Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) is the mother of all waterfalls in Iguazu, visible from vantage points in both the Brazilian and Argentine park. The water is calm as it makes its way down the Iguazu River, and then begins to speed up as it approaches the gorge ahead. This is the highest waterfall in Iguazu and one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. You might take a raincoat – you will get wet!!!!!

Awasi Iguazu Excursions - Iguazu Falls upper circuit

Iguassu Falls – Brazilian Side

Is it worth visiting the Brazilian side?

If you want to have a different perspective of the falls, rent a helicopter or fly over the national park or visit the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant, you should consider visiting the Brazilian side.

If you want to visit the Brazilian side of the falls you need to consider the following points:

1. To experience a panoramic view of Iguazu falls you should go on an excursion over the Brazilian side of the Park. From the Argentine side, you will get very close to each fall but the panoramic view can be experienced only from Brazil.

2. To visit the Itaipu dam and powerhouse is a short trip from Foz do Iguassu (Brasil). It's only worth going if the water level is high enough for the spillway to be in use. It is an impressive feat of engineering and it is fascinating.

3. If you want to witness a beautiful aerial view of Iguazú National Park, helicopter flights are available from the Brazilian side only. It is the best way to understand the real dimension of the Falls. Another option is to fly over the Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant. Helicopters are not allowed in the Argentine side of Iguazu National Park.

4. Check with the Consulate of Brazil in your country if you need a visa to visit Brazil or if your passport require stamp granting entry. The requirements change very frequently and in order to visit the Iguazu Nation Park in Brazil you will need your passport and maybe a VISA depending on your nationality.

5. Many visitors to the falls also take day trips to the city of Foz do Iguazu in Brazil. It’s a chance to eat more tropical food and also fly to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo or other cities in Brazil. Iguazu Falls is, quite simply, one of the most incredible natural landscapes we have ever seen. Unlike overhyped destinations that can leave you feeling disappointed, Iguazu Falls instantly turns even jaded travellers into a raving fan.