I backpacked Brazil for 2.5 weeks on my way back to Sydney from England over Christmas and New Years. As a Canadian, it was required to obtain a tourist visa to enter.

Arraial do Cabo – 2 nights

Getting there:

I flew into Rio de Janeiro airport then took a shuttle to Arraial do Cabo, which is a little beach town north of Rio. Unfortunately on my journey over I lost my luggage (first time, which is a pretty good track record!)


We stayed at Books Rehab hostel. Arraial do Cabo is a common relaxation spot after partying in Rio de Janeiro. See link:

Things to do:

– I joined the hostel on a gorgeous hike along the several cliff points

– Walk the town

– Go to the beach

What I wish I knew/did:

Brush up on your basic Portuguese; it’ll go a long ways. Buzios is another common beach town I would’ve liked to check out.

Rio de Janeiro – 5 nights

Getting there:

– Took the shuttle back into the city and then used Uber all around Rio. Rio is a large city and Uber pool is an affordable way to get around.


– We stayed at Books Hostel in Lapa, which is where the party tourist area is of Rio. See link: This hostel is a party hostel so prepare for sleepless nights if you choose to stay here.

Things to do:

– visit Copacabana and Ipanema beaches

– see the views up Sugar Loaf Mountain

– visit Christ the Redeemer

– do a Favela tour – it was so cool and interesting !

– see the fireworks off Copacabana

– visit the Escadaria Selaron

– do the night life of Lapa

– have a Caprihini – the cocktail of Brazil

What I wish I knew/did:

We used Uber pool all around Rio and it was a great way to get around the city.

Paraty – 3 nights

Getting there:

– Took the shuttle from Rio to Paraty where the architecture reminds me of Europe.


– We stayed at Che Largarto Hostel Paraty which is a popular chain of hostels in Brazil. See link:

Things to do:

– this town is so cute and we just walked around it

– took a local bus to Trinidad beaches and they were incredible (did a little hike around to the natural pools)

– wander in and out of the cute shops (try the hot sauces!)

– there were two popular day excursions – waterfalls and a boat trip but we passed on both due to weather and just chilled

What I wish I knew/did:

We visited Paraty twice for cumulative 3 nights and should’ve done Ilha Grande first

Ilha Grande – 4 nights

Getting there:

– travelled by local bus and ferry ride to Ilha grande / you can also take a tourist shuttle in between rather than the local bus.


– We booked a hostel quite late into the game for Ilha grande so I wouldn’t recommend where we stayed as it was over priced.

Things to do:

– island hopped and visited beaches

– hiked up to the tallest point of the island (unfortunately didn’t get a view as it was clouded over)

– went to the beach

– we got tattoos here

What I wish I knew/did:

We didn’t have the best weather here as it was rainy season so it stormed a lot; I would recommend going to Ilha grande in the months of February / March to get the best weather.

Foz d’Iguazu – 4 nights (2 overnight buses)

Getting there:

– Took an overnight sleeper bus to foz from São Paulo


– We stayed at the Che Largato Hostel in Foz, which was amazing! See link:

Things to do:

– visit Iguazu falls (UNESCO World Heritage Site) from the Brazil side

– visit Iguazu falls from the Argentina side (obtain the visa via the tour)

What I wish I knew/did:

You can also see the falls from Uruguay

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