When you go to a travel agency or tour operator in your country and ask about Brazil, he probably will try to sell you the whole country in a ten day trip to typical locations, such as Foz do Iguazu, Salvador, the Amazon, among others….
Are these really Brazil’s most popular travel destinations? Yes, they are. And is it worth to visit them? Depends. If your objective is to see a large number of beautiful sights in a short time and don´t care about mass tourism, costs and transportation time, this is probably the right choice. But is this the real Brazil, where I can meet unspoiled culture, people and habits? Probably not.
So, where would I have to go and what would I have to do, to come a little closer to Brazil’ s “heart” and “soul”? You must visit locations that are less accessible to the average tourist, for instance places you can only reach on foot, by trails or by boat.
Can I do this on my own? In most cases not, as tourism so far hasn´t reached these places, trails are unmarked and only locals know the path. There are frequently people getting lost in the rainforest. For your own safety, only enter these trails with an experienced tour guide.
How is the comfort level there? Relatively low, many of these places don´t have electricity and overnight stay often is in the houses of the local community. These are simple, hospitable, charming places and above all, this is the real Brazil.