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Travel to Brazil and stay in romantic hotels, resorts and luxury hotels. Special accommodations from where to get to know the beauty of Brazil, tropical cuisine and exotic fruits, incredible beaches and awesome landscapes. Whatever your reasons to travel to Brazil, be it a romantic getaway, a cultural tour, or the thrill of staying at a small luxury hotel, Secretplaces will help you find the perfect spot.

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Boutique & Romantic Hotels in Brazil

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Brazil surely lays claim to being one of the most exotic countries in the world. A wonderful place in so many ways, it dances to its own unique rhythm and the result is a sensuous melting pot of cultures, peoples and landscapes like no other place on earth. It is also huge! With a population of 190 million people and 8.5 million km2 – almost twice the European Union – Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, both in area and population.

Indeed everything is big about this country that takes in a coastline of 7,367 kilometres, occupies half of South America and borders every nation of this continent (9) with the exception of Chile and Ecuador.

Politically, Brazil is divided into 26 states and one federal district (containing Brasília), distributed over 5 regions (North, Northeast, Centre-West, Southeast and South). Economically most important is the Southeast region that comprises the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo.

Now a quick history lesson on this marvellous country: It was discovered in 1500 by Pedro Álvares Cabral and remained a colony of Portugal until 1822. It retains Portuguese as its official language.

The variety of its lands are almost endless: hills, mountains, plains, highlands, scrublands, savannas, rainforests and an interminable coastline. The extensive low-lying Amazon Rainforest covers most of the land at the North, whereas small hills and low mountains occupy the South. Along the Atlantic coast there are several mountain ranges, with a highest altitude of roughly 2,900 meters.

The highest peak is the Pico da Neblina (3,014m). Major rivers include the Amazon, the largest in terms of volume of water, and the second-longest in the world; the Paraná and its major tributary, the Iguaçu River, where the Iguaçu Falls are located; the Negro, São Francisco, Xingu, Madeira and the Tapajós rivers.

Below we outline some useful information when planning your trip to Brazil:

Entry Requirements Valid passport with expiry date at least 6 months after date of return from Brazil. No visa required for citizens from member countries of the EU. Note: Tourist visa needed for citizens of the USA.

Health Up to date anti-tetanus vaccine required. Yellow fever necessary for the Amazon region. Anti-malaria treatments usually not necessary, except if you travel in certain areas of Amazon.

Money The local currency is the Real. Currency exchange is possible at the airport. Credit cards are generally accepted in the major cities such as Rio and São Paulo, but cash points are fairly rare. It is recommended to change your Euros or dollars at the airport, in sufficient quantity, where the rate is better. Brazilians are usually not keen to be paid in dollars.

Language Portuguese. English and French are rarely spoken outside hotels and tourist sites.

Safety The local population is friendly and welcoming, especially in the countryside. Making contact is easy. The violence and trouble one often hears is concentrated in certain neighborhoods of the major cities (Rio and São Paulo). It is wise to exercise caution and to keep a low profile, particularly in Rio, especially at night. Yet the level of safety in the small coastal cities of Brazil is on a par with Europe.

Culture The Carnival or Carnaval, as it is known in Brazil, is an annual celebration held forty days before Easter and marking the start of Lent. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is known worldwide for the elaborate parades staged by the city’s major samba schools in the Sambadrome and is one of the world’s major tourist attractions. In other regions, such as Bahia and Pernambuco, Carnival takes on a unique regional flavor. Carnival celebrations in Brazil feature locally-originating traditions and music (such as axé and frevo).

The Portuguese who first landed on Brazilian soil in the 16th century began the transplantation of European culture to Brazil. While they were still forming small, cautious groups to explore the unknown beaches, native Indian potters were at work. Indigenous craftsmen were polishing ceremonial axes of flint. Musicians and dancers decked out in fibre masks, plaited straw, and fantastic, feather helmets were retelling the legends of the flood and the creation.

Brazil's cultural tradition extends to its music styles which include samba, bossa nova, forró, frevo, pagode and many others. In the 1950's, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes, Baden Powell, and João Gilberto popularized the Bossa Nova sound, which was followed by Música Popular Brasileira (literally "Brazilian Popular Music," often abbreviated to MPB). In the late 1960s, Tropicalismo was popularized by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil.

Gastronomy Feijoada has become the national dish for Brasil. It is typical fare for Saturday lunch, both at home and at the better restaurants. This speciality consists of black beans simmered with a variety of dried, salted and smoked meats, often including the tail, ears, feet, etc., of the pig, served with white rice, finely shredded kale, farofa (manioc root meal toasted with butter) and sliced oranges.

The "churrascaria" is an experience in itself; tables are set with a variety of side dishes in the centre – potatoes, farofa, vegetables, etc – and a never-ending parade of waiters bring long skewers directly to you, carving right on to your plate. Every imaginable cut of meat, poultry and even sometimes fish, is available. Often pitchers of house wine or beer are included. Don't miss sampling the typical refreshingly-dangerous "caipirinha", made from the Brazilian cachaça rum and lots of sugar and lemon juice.

Brazilian cooking history is in every bite of the country's food. Native Indians developed corn porridge, cassava meal, sweet potatoes, many roots, hearts of palm, many species of game and fish, and the preservation of meats by smoking and drying. After the Portuguese colonized the country and following a lengthy Moorish occupation where it had adapted a variety of North African cooking traditions that included coffee, dried fruits and pastries, these culinary customs were in turn exported to Brazil, with the twist of being prepared using local ingredients.

During the Nineteenth Century, slavery ended and an independent Brazil became a melting pot for immigrants from all over the world. Waves of new arrivals from Asia, Western and Eastern Europe and the Middle East brought kitchen traditions with them that put a truly eclectic spin on Brazilian cuisine. The nation's multi-ethnic and multifaceted cooking is always unique and delicious.

Boutique & romantic hotels by city in Brazil


Secretplaces is an independent hotel guide to some of the most beautiful and charming hotels and guesthouses, independent of price. Over the years, we have visited thousands of lodgings of which only a few have made it into this fine selection