Due to the sheer scale of Brazil, getting around will be an adventure in itself. But if your family is seeking an unforgettable, action-packed holiday, we’ve put together a list of activities that won’t disappoint.
Learn to surf like a pro in Florianópolis
Try catch a wave with the kids
Florianópolis – Floripa as the locals call it – is known as the surf capital of Brazil. You merely have to cross the Hercilio Luz Bridge over to the island of Santa Catarina to find turquoise lagoons backed by jungle, bar-lined strips of golden sand and great surf. Even if it’s the family’s first time on a board, local surf lessons will help everyone feel like professionals in no time. As for dinner, the local fishermen have done all the hard work. Once the family has had their fill of fresh seafood, come home to the Jurerê Beach Village. There is a games room to keep the kids entertained, which will gives the adults an excuse to indulge in the hotel's massage services.
Tropical bird watching in Foz do Iguaçu
Spot a toucan at Parque das Aves
For wildlife-loving families, Parque das Aves is a must-see. Follow verdant walking trails amongst extensive aviaries built within the forest. Here the family can get up close to over 120 different bird species including toucans, macaws, scarlet ibises, flamingos and parrots. As Parque das Aves is the largest bird park in Latin America, this will also be an opportunity for the kids to learn about species conservation and the Atlantic Rainforest. Stay at Pousada Nanai; with an outdoor pool to splash about in and enough garden space to run around, this inn is ideal for the active family. Plus, they offer a delicious buffet breakfast to fuel everyone for the next adventure.
Drive a dune buggy in Natal
Explore the beach with a dune buggy
Natal is a city built on sand. And the best way to explore isn’t on foot – but by dune buggy. Strap in the kids, pop down the roof and drive over sandy hills and along the coastline to uncover isolated beaches, lagoons and quiet fishing villages. The best part is that you can stop and explore when curiosity gets the better of the family. There is also an option to join a buggy tour to be guided through the dunes by locals. After a day of exploring, rest up at Residence Vespucci, which is located only 25 metres from the beach, with private, water-facing balconies.
Discover the hidden rainforest close to Rio de Janeiro
Swap your flip-flops for hiking boots
Located a short drive from Rio de Janeiro is the natural wonderland of Tijuca National Park. Here the family can swap their flip-flops for hiking boots and trek the well-marked trails of the rainforest. With wildlife such as coati and capuchin monkeys and over 50 species of birds, it will be hard to believe the city is so close. Aside from sighting native wildlife, rewards include waterfalls and picnic resting areas along the way. There is also no internet coverage so expect plenty of uninterrupted, quality time. After a day of hiking, come home to Hotel Novo Mundo and its views of Rio's distinctive Sugarloaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay.
Meet the locals under the sea in Búzios
Scuba dive with the fishes
Escape the chaos of the city for an underwater adventure in Búzios. You would never guess that this small fishing village – situated just two hours from Rio de Janeiro – was settled by pirates and slave traders. But after Brigitte Bardot holidayed here in 1964, Búzios quickly turned into a holiday hotspot for celebrities and locals alike. For families with teens, this is an amazing place to scuba dive among oarfish, boxfish, arrow crabs, pufferfish and flying gurnards. If you’re travelling with younger children, glass-bottom boat tours are also on offer. When you get back to land, the best place to rest and relax is at Casas Brancas Boutique Hotel & Spa, with large rooms, private terraces and ocean views.