From Rio de Janeiro, to the Amazon, and everywhere in between, Brazil is a mosaic of color, diversity, rhythm and tranquility. When people think of Brazil, they think of the vibrant costumes and the insanity of Carnival, but it’s more than just that. The roaring waterfalls, bustling cities, white-sand beaches, and abundant rainforests pull at the heartstrings of anyone in the good fortune of travelling there. Romance and passion are waiting around every corner, which makes it one of the most desirable honeymoon destinations in the world. With metropolitan madness and breathtaking biodiversity, Brazil has something for everyone.
Brazil offers the most unique romantic environment: with rainforests, sand dunes, beaches, waterfalls, and metropolitan cities, Brazil has diversity and a vibrant energy that no other country offers.
Jump feet-first into the land of samba, no rose-coloured glasses necessary, Brazil comes with the tint without the extra fees. Check out the land of romance with no strings attached, where anything and everything goes. Visit the country rich in history, with natural beauty, irresistible beaches and passion lurking around every corner. It’s every honeymooners dream, with both the affordable and the extravagant in one package.
The Pros & Cons of Brazil
Brazil may seem half a world away, and in a way is, but don’t let this get to your head. Flights are about the same length as travelling to Europe, and also about the same price. There are some direct flights from the United States to major cities such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Fortaleza, and Recife, but non-stop flights that aren’t out of Florida or New York are harder to find. Most flights ballpark around $600-900.
For Americans to travel here, you don’t need just a passport, but a travel visa as well. There are plenty of online resources to help you out, and the good news is that the visa is five-years, multiple entry, so once you fall in love with the country then you have the option to go back.
Summer runs from December through February, when temperatures hover around the mid-80s. Keep in mind that February is also when Carnival begins. If you plan on going then, make sure you loosen up your wallet and book in advance, as Carnival in Rio alone in 2011 drew 4.9 million people from out of the city. Since this is the ideal time to travel to Brazil, expect prices to be a lot higher than in the low season.
From June through September (quite possibly when you’re going in this honeymoon), expect cooler temperatures, fewer tourists, less rain and a reasonable amount of humidity. It’s pretty relaxed around this time of the year, so this time is more ideal for honeymooners. In reality, it depends on what you’re after, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
For the best packages, check out Zicasso or Yatra. These guys refer you to 2-3 top Brazil travel agencies after you customize your own Brazilian adventure.
Many different packages are available and usually hover around $3,500USD.
Where To Stay In Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Rio de Janeiro. Some claim it’s the heart of Brazil, overflowing with romance and luxury, and never far from a party. From Pão de Açúcar to Praia Copacabana, it has everything that the honeymooner could want, including a Wonder of the World, Christ the Redeemer, watching over the city. If you’re planning a honeymoon where the hotel meets your every need and is still within walking distance of everything you need, Sol Ipanema is the place for you. This five-star resort is right on Ipanema Beach, a close walk to Arpoador Stone, which is arguably the best place in the city to watch the sunset, featuring live samba music and buskers on the boardwalk, alongside a stunning view of the Atlantic. Walk along Avenue Portugal in Urca during the day. This area features classy restaurants right on the water in one of the richest neighbourhoods in Rio. When you’re done with that, take a gondola up to Pão de Açúcar – Sugarloaf Mountain – and enjoy the best view of the skyline that Rio has to offer. Brimming with romance and endless white-sand beaches, Rio is a pearl waiting to be discovered.
Armação dos Búzios
Just 130 kilometres south of Rio de Janeiro sits Armação dos Búzios, otherwise known as just Búzios. If you’re looking for the perfect rose-petals-on-your-fresh-white-sheets kind of honeymoon, look no further. This place features over twenty beaches, mouth-watering seafood, world-class galleries, and stunning natural scenes. Orla Bardot Boardwalk is where the radiance of Búzios is truly appreciated, with bar, restaurants, and shops, all under the romantic haze that comes free of charge with the city. Salt Restaurant is supposed to have some of the best seafood that the city has to offer, and Bar do Ze has desserts that even Gordon Ramsey couldn’t complain about. Ferradurinha Beach is known to be the best beach for honeymoons. Its location between cliffs gives it a serene atmosphere. There are unlimited hotels to choose from, some of which feature honeymoon packages, including Casa Brancas Boutique, but if that’s too pricey, PortoBay Búzios offers rooms at less than half the price. Check out Rua das Pedras for a break from the romance if you want, and bust a move at one of the many clubs along the street, or check out Radical Parque to relive your days of competing each other on Mario-Kart with real go-karts.
On the flip side, Floripa offers a honeymoon for the choose-your-own-adventure types. With endless hiking trails and rainforests, be prepared for a unique honeymoon. To some, Floripa may be considered Rio on steroids, but if you know where to go, it can be just as quiet and serene as Búzios, for those with a smaller budget in mind. The island itself is massive, and there’s lots of hot spots to choose from, but staying on Praia Mole makes the rest of the island easily accessible. Floripa is a modern metropolis with 16th century colonial fortresses, relaxed markets, unlimited oysters, and local farms. The northern part of the city has five-star resorts, pool parties, spas and designer stores, while the southern part of the city, in contrast, features hiking trails through rainforests which wind through local markets. Neufragados hiking trail leads to a private beach with peacocks and a crystal clear ocean. This island is for those who want a romantic experience with unique sights and a bit of adventure as the cherry on top.
Another option for the adventurous couple is Iguazu Falls. Right on the border of Brazil and Argentina is one of the largest roaring cascades in the world. The nearest town to stay in is Foz do Iguaçu, which features five-star resorts with tranquil rooftop pools and cocktail bars. Again, it’s cheaper than Rio and Búzios, but is a bit of a journey from the nearest international airport. So if you and your honey are looking for somewhere with a bit of a challenge that’s rewarded with helicoptering over the magnificent falls, Iguazu is for you. Because of the remoteness of the falls, there’s a lot of biodiversity featured here that can’t be seen anywhere else in Brazil. Grab a guide and trek through the rainforest. How many people can brag that they’ve seen jaguars and toucans on their honeymoon?
Jijoca de Jericoacoara
Northern Brazil is famous for its flawless weather and colourful culture. Jericoacoara is a town that used to be a simple fishing village, but became more cosmopolitan due to the flux of international travellers a few years back. Despite the waves of foreigners, it’s managed to keep its authenticity by having a lot of homestay options, mostly with fishermen. However, there are quite a few sophisticated inns to choose from as well, if you wanted a more luxurious experience. That said, the hotels can be a bit pricey. Pousada Jeriba or Pousada La Vie Jeri are both beautiful, and around only $150 a night. Jericoacoara Beach is internationally recognized as one of the most beautiful in the world, and despite the fact that it’s a tiny town, expect samba to be played on this beach every single night. Praia Mangue Seco offers boat tours during the day, where you can snorkel with seahorses and dig your toes into the white-sand. Be sure to watch the sun rise at Pôr do Sol Dune, and don’t forget the coffee and mimosas!
Recife is gutsy, gritty and proud, to say the least. It’s great for all-inclusive hotels, crystalline waters and perfect year-round temperatures. With this in mind, Recife is also perfect for day-trips, as there are so many unique towns nearby with stunning beaches and various cultures. Praia dos Carneiros is perfect for couples who would like some alone time, as it’s a private beach not too well-known yet in the area. Olinda features astonishing Portuguese architecture, and Caruaru has a wide variety of markets and unique indigenous ceramics. Itamaracá Island is also popular for day trips, as it features many beaches and local restaurants. However, if day excursions sound like too much work, Recife has a lot to offer itself. It features a vibrant entertainment and restaurant scene, with a historic centre and beautifully clear, blue waters to gaze at from a rooftop bar.
Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of islands with unrivaled, unspoiled beaches. Created for the romantic-adventurer couple, this collection of islands only takes on 420 tourists at a time, so keep that in mind when booking. The warm waters make it ideal for snorkelling. Many tourists have seen pods of dolphins or sea turtles just below the surface. If diving is your thing, then these islands are the right choice for you. The natural rock sculptures, abundant forests, waterfalls and natural swimming pools make it an irresistible destination for the non-diver as well. There are many trails to check out, but Jardim Elizabeth, Esmerelda Coast or Sancho Bay are those with the most rewarding results. Since there aren’t many hotels – and as far as hotels go, most are on the pricier end of things – Airbnb is the more popular option.
Although the region of Jalapão isn’t anywhere near the coast, it made it to the list because it’s for the couple who wants to do everything but doesn’t have the time. This place is also for those who want to go somewhere beautiful where there aren’t a lot of tourists to distract you from each other, or the stunning scenery. As for the scenery: not only are there the typical pools accessible by narrow hiking trails, but the area also has sand dunes and a rich local culture embedded in the microregion. Mumbuca and Prata villages are the most popular for those who stay here, but that is to say that there still aren’t a lot of people who come here. This region is also famous for Cachoeria da Velha, which is an enormous horseshoe waterfall, which attracts not only foreigners, but Brazilians too. Jalapão is perfect for those looking for an authentic experience with all the perks of the romantic aspect of nature without the crowds.
We know what you’re thinking, why on earth would I want to go to the Amazon for my honeymoon? Well, why not take her on a luxury cruise in an unforgettable atmosphere? Cruise the river in style, enjoying dramatic sunsets and returning to your private cabin at night. Have a glass of champagne or a drink of your choice on the patio, retiring to a comfortable bed in the rainforest. There are many options for day excursions as well, like fishing for piranhas, renting a canoe or paddleboards, or even visiting local villages. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Amazon while still relishing the amorous atmosphere.