Top Choice Carnaval in Olinda


Traditional, colorful and has an intimacy and security not found in big-city Carnavals. Fast and frenetic frevo music sets the pace, balanced by the heavy drumbeats of maracatu. Costumed blocos and spectators dance …
Top Choice Hot Air Ballooning in Torres

Festival Internacional de Balonismo

Every April Torres hosts a hot-air balloon festival, a spectacular sight.
Cultural in Salvador


Salvador’s Carnaval is Brazil's second largest and, for many, the best. It’s characterized by parades of axé and pagode bands atop creeping trios-electricos (long trucks loaded with huge speakers). A trio or drum co…
Music in Diamantina


Diamantina has a long-standing tradition of evening serenades known as the Vesperata, held two Saturdays per month in season (see the website for current dates). At 8pm on Vesperata night, dozens of local musicians …
Art in Parque Ibirapuera & Around

Bienal de São Paulo

Modeled on the Venice Biennale, the Bienal de São Paulo, founded in 1951, has grown into one of the world’s most important arts events. Many of the participants are working artists who have been nominated by their h…
Parade in Natal


Natal’s out-of-season Carnaval, Carnatal, takes to the streets of the Lagoa Nova district over four days in early December, with Salvador-style trios elétricos (bands playing atop huge trucks) and blocos sporting na…
Religious in Salvador

Festa de Iemanjá

Perhaps Candomblé’s most important festival, the event pays homage to the orixá Iemanjá, goddess of the sea and fertility. Devotees descend on Praia Rio Vermelho in the morning, where ceremonies are held to bless of…
Carnaval in Recife


Recife holds one of Brazil’s most colorful and folkloric Carnavals. Groups and spectators deck themselves out in elaborate costumes such as maracatu (headpieced warrior), harlequin, bull and frevo (crop tops with ru…
Holiday in Rio de Janeiro

Reveillon & Festa de Iemanjá

New Year’s Eve (Reveillon) in Rio is celebrated by millions of people. Tons of fireworks explode in the sky over Copacabana. New Year’s Day coincides with the festival of Iemanjá, the sea goddess. Wearing white, the…
Cultural in Ouro Preto


Thanks in part to Ouro Preto's huge student population, Carnaval here is boisterous and fun. The town government hosts free live music on multiple stages in the historic center, while dozens of blocos parade through…