The Real Brazil

"I want to go to the real Brazil!"

That's what my niece exclaimed when we landed in Foz do Iguaçu, a city in the state of Paraná.  In the 5-year-old's mind, Brazil pertains to Rio de Janeiro.  And we pretty much predicted that she wouldn't stop looking for the "real Brazil" until she sees the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) up close lol.

And for most, that is their vision of the largest country in South America.

But what is the real Brazil?

For some people, you haven't really been to Brazil unless you've watched a football match.  For some, it's all about the carnaval, the samba, the parties.  Some think getting the full experience is about filling your stomach with churrasco (barbecued meat) flushed down with the perfect caipirinha, their national cocktail. Then there are those who believe that it's equally important to experience the favelas (slums) as it is to bask under the scorching Ipanema sun.

For me?  It's all of those and more.

I'm yet to finish sorting my three thousand plus photos from the trip.  But here's a glimpse of "the real Brazil" as captured through my lens and ever-so-curious eyes :)

The view at the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, a lagoon and district in the Lagoa, Zona Sul (South Zone) of Rio de Janeiro.
Praia de Ipanema (Ipanema beach).
Beco do Batman (Batman's Alley).
Graffitiland.  In Brazil, particularly in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, graffiti is everywhere.
A mural on the wall of a bar in Praia de Bonete (Bonete Beach).  Can I pass as part of this artwork? :p
Caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail.
Mercado Municipal de São Paulo (São Paulo Municipal Market).
Praia dos Castelhanos (Beach of the Castilians) in Arquipelago de Ilhabela, an island 205km from the city of São Paulo and 340km from the city of Rio de Janeiro.
The coastline of Praia de Copacabana as seen from Pão de Açúcar (the Sugarloaf Mountain).
The Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer).
Rocinha, one of the hundreds of favelas (slums) around Rio de Janeiro.
Cataratas do Iguazú (Iguazu Falls), one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It can be accessed through three entry points: Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.
Performers for the GRES Acadêmicos do Salgueiro, a school of samba in Rio, rehearsing for the 2014 Carnaval.
Escadaria Selarón, the world-famous steps created by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón as his "tribute to the Brazilian people". The late Selarón began this project in 1990 and it now has 250 steps covered with more than 2,000 tiles from around the world.
Angra Dos Reis.  The municipality was given this name which means "Bay of the Kings" because it was first reached on January 6th 1502, the Day of the Three Kings.

So at the end of the day, the real Brazil is how you let yourself loose in the music and the high of dancing among strangers; It's how you let your palette savor every dish you taste; It's about drinking both the colorful and caste side of the country's culture;  and, it's saying "Bom dia!" (Good morning!) and stepping out without any expectations because, really, Brazil is a place that will always, always be filled with colorful surprises.


  1. Will you be writing about each of the places? �� I love Brazil!!! I can live there!

    1. That's the goal! And hopefully I don't forget any details!

  2. A wonderful post with lovely colors from nice places.

    wish i could be there.

    Greetings, Joop

    1. Thank you :) It is indeed one of the most colorful places I've been to :)

  3. WOWWWWW, I can swim in these cheerful colours, LUV your blog and pictures....the wall mural with you and the collage of people&fruits are my fav...I am soooo glad that you had fantastic time, as when we went in Nov 2005 we got very controversal tips+were partly very scared (to walk in streets of Rio, etc.); cant wait to read more:-)) keep THEM coming!

    thanks so much for your comments on my blog too, I answered (few of) your questions...the white hearts are indeed cheese:-)) a very YUMMY one, a funny story about them is now in my reply on my blog; ...about Sofia, I luv so much my home town, you know u still have an open invite for there:-))

    tons of LUV+winter sunshine from Europe+happy new week!

    PS: we need to discuss the Feb-destination-plan again...what do u think?

    1. There were actually some hesitations every now and then because of Rio's reputation but I guess I'm a bit used to that kind of environment because there are some areas in the Philippines as well that you have to be a bit more cautious.

      So really, it's nothing a person with presence of mind can't handle :)

      Sorry for bombarding your blog with coments haha. Haven't been able to bloghop when I was away and I'm just beginning to catch up on what everybody's been up to.

    2. Oh, and don't worry, I will someday take you up on that invitation ;)

    3. I loved the "bombarding", do it anytime AGAIN:-))) it made my Sunday morning! thanks for the lovely words+messages!
      PS: I know u will come one day to Bulgaria, globetrotters like us feel where the good vibes+places are, right?:-)))
      PPS: any news/updates on Myanmar?:-)

  4. You are a world traveler for sure and my hero! Brazil - wow - that is an exotic place full of color, warmth, music, good food, and great beaches as your photos show. You have captured its beauty and allure - thanks for sharing.

  5. I didn't find my words when I saw your very colourful photo series from Brasil. Really wonderful country and you shared this feeling with this post. Thanks for it and congratulations!
    Warm greetings, Miklos

    PS Hope we will meet again on my new Facebook site :) It's a fully opened site without any restrictions :)

  6. An awesome point of view. Am a friend of your Tita Ding, have plans to visit Brazil as well, your pics is certainly a great incentive. Thanks.

    1. Hello! Thank you for dropping by my blog. I do hope you push through with your trip. You will definitely enjoy Brazil especially with an awesome tour guide like Tita Ding :)

  7. Wow! Im so inggit!


  8. Weird. My comment wasn't published pala! Was dropping by your blog to check if you have new Brazil entries ;)

    Anyway, your photos are so nice mother!!! As always. Looking forward to reading more about your Brazil trip! But I know how hard it is to sort through photos.. What more thousands of them! :P

  9. i thought i already commented on this post, but i obviously don't know how to work a phone. ha! love, love love these! you have a fantastic eye and your joy of being here comes through!

    are you on facebook or G+? you asked about my night shots, so it'd be nice to be able to message you instead of filling your comment board. look me up! kandy watson (madison, wi.) *hugs*

    1. bah! find me again! i saw your friend request via my phone but neglected to click on it. when i got home later, it was no longer there! #fail lol

  10. Cool! Your pictures depicted exactly what I think of Brazil. Colors! So full of colors! =)

  11. Will you be posting some sort of backpacker tips article? :-D Like take this train here, bus there, go to this tiny town, etc? :-D

  12. inggit ako :(
    just from your photos, brazil is such a vibrant country.



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