Exceptional Experiences: Brazil

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Travelers at Iguassu Falls.

Brazilian Bounty

Carnival Dancing, River Trips, and More

Participating in Rio’s carnival.
A beach in Caraíva.

Cavorting in the Carnival Parade
Why simply watch Rio de Janeiro’s famous Samba Parade when you can be a part of it? You’ll don an exotic costume and join one of the city’s famous samba schools at the Sambadrome, singing and dancing to the rhythms of the world’s biggest Carnival celebration.

Samba Drumming Workshop
Visit the Santa Marta favela, or community, for a hands-on workshop in samba drumming. You’ll make
your way through narrow alleys to the “Michael Jackson rooftop,” where the pop singer filmed the video for his song, “They Don’t Care About Us.” There, local kids will demonstrate various percussion instruments—and you’ll get a chance to make your own rhythms—as you gaze upon the sprawling views of Rio.

A Fisherman’s Life in Caraíva
From Trancoso, ride a rustic canoe along the Caraíva River to Caraíva, a traditional fishing village. Upon arrival, you’ll board a typical fisherman’s boat and explore the area, taking a short forest trek and a swim in the river. Stop at a bar famous for its delicious deep-fried shrimp pastries, before trying your hand at stand-up paddle boarding.

Eco Safari at Iguassu Falls
Head out on an unforgettable eco-adventure. Trek through the forest and take a guided rafting trip along the Iguassu River. Hike to Macuco Falls for a refreshing dip; then board an inflatable bi-motor boat and travel up-river past the dramatic canyon walls on your way to the base of Iguassu Falls. Extreme sporters can rappel over 180-foot-high cliffs overlooking the Falls or zipline through the jungle.

See What Else You Can Do in Brazil

Originally appeared in Virtuoso Best of the Best: 2014 Guide to the World's Best Hotel Experiences.

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Christ the Redeemer statue.