A gap year in Brazil – it really is all you think it is! From beautiful beaches to the tropical Amazon, and from bustling cities through to indigenous tribes, you’ll find a new experience around every single Brazilian corner. So how could you not possibly want to jump on a plane today, and head to South America’s most exciting and vibrant country?
Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo are the two cities you are most likely to land in, and they provide the perfect starting point for your South American adventure. Sao Paulo is the most populous city on the whole continent, and has heaps of culture, loads of great restaurants and approximately 15,000 different bars. And Rio… Well, what can we say about Rio? World famous beaches (Copacabana and Ipanema to name but two) and vibrant streets sit in the shade of the magnificent Christ the Redeemer. And when the carnival is on, there’s nothing quite like it on earth.
Don’t let the cities draw you in too much though, as there’s so much more to Brazil than its huge metropolises. You won’t help but notice on a map that the country is plastered with the green shades of the Amazon rainforest, and every backpacker has to visit here when in Brazil. It’s home to a massive percentage of the world’s wildlife, plus you might even get the chance to visit some of the remotest tribes on earth. Then there’s the Iguazu Falls, Salvador de Bahia and, not forgetting, the truly awe-inspiring experience of visiting a Brazilian soccer match. If you can’t find something to do in Brazil, you clearly aren’t looking very hard…
Working in Brazil
As with a large amount of countries throughout the world, your best chance of paid employment comes with teaching English, especially when in or around the larger cities. This could be in schools, adult education centres or privately. Aside from teaching, there is not much else, aside from helping out at hostels or with activities like surf schools or SCUBA centres. Volunteering is a much more popular choice for backpackers, and there are absolutely loads of different volunteering programs all over the country.
A gap year in Brazil is the perfect way to start any South American trip, before moving on to countries that are slightly more challenging to backpackers. You’ll find Peru offers some exhilarating experiences, as does the often maligned, yet stunningly beautiful, country of Colombia. Argentina is also a great favourite with those heading away from Brazil, especially for those who love a good steak! It’s also easy to head over to Europe if you have finished your time in South America, and the USA is also a very realistic destination.