The World Cup, Wondrous Statues, and More in Brazil

World Cup 2014 - A Life Changing Trip! Huguys/Flickr

We have a new guest post from Andre Smith this fine Monday that I’m pretty excited about.  Brazil is high on my list of destinations.  Not for the silly game of world cup soccer that stops the world but for that cool giant statue of Christ the Redeemer!

Gorgeous beaches, delicious food, soccer, and beautiful women – Brazil in a nutshell. The country has gained a lot of attention lately because of films and the upcoming World Cup in 2014, and for good reason: Brazil is the largest country in South America, and holds a lot for the curious traveler. Whether you’re there for sports or for the other draws of the country, make sure to take the time to explore some of the destinations Brazil has to offer.

Ouro Preto
Take the time to explore Ouro Preto, a gold mining hotspot in its early days. This is a great location for history and architecture buffs, with tons of extremely well preserved Portuguese architecture. There are many churches decorated with the gold the city is famous for. Not exactly a party location, Ouro Preto is a good choice for families exploring Brazil that want something a bit different than the usual.

Fernando de Noronha
These islands could be the poster image for Brazil tourist attractions. A gorgeous archipelago with untouched beaches and wildlife, Fernando de Noronha is found about 220 miles off the coast of northeast Brazil. The islands have a population of just 3,500 residents, and offer the warm and clear waters Brazil is famous for. If you’re into diving and snorkeling, this is the perfect location.

Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)
Perhaps the most well known statue in the world, Christ the Redeemer stands 98 ft tall over Rio de Janeiro. Built sometime between 1922 and 1931, the statue was recently restored to its original state after years of erosion and wind had degraded it. When it was unveiled in 2010, lights were added to illuminate it green and yellow in support of the Brazilian soccer team. The attraction is easily visited, given its proximity to Rio de Janeiro, and is considered to be one of the “new” Seven Wonders of the World.

World Cup

world cup stadium

  Gareth Evans/Flickr

The biggest tourist attraction of them all, soccer fans from all over the world will be flocking to Rio in 2014 to watch the teams of the world duke it out for the championship title. Beginning on June 12, the world will watch as the best players in the world compete. If you plan on going, there are a few things you should take care of immediately.

Tickets
The first step is getting your ticket. The World Cup is perhaps the most anticipated sporting event in the world, so tickets have to be purchased well in advance in order to secure a spot. Check Ticketbis’ live sports events section for obtaining tickets at a relatively low cost, especially for Australian residents. If you don’t have tickets yet, don’t wait much longer, or you may not be able to get any.

Accommodation
The next step is finding a place to stay. Booking a hotel is important, but can be difficult. The city will be flooded with visitors from all over the world, and hotels fill up quickly. Tourist hostels are an option, but they aren’t the most private of places – or the most comfortable. Many local residents open up their homes at this time of year to make a bit more money, so you can look into that, and Couchsurfing is always an option. This holds almost as much urgency as getting a ticket for the World Cup itself.

Flights
Try to book a flight a week before the World Cup begins. Ticket prices will skyrocket as the event approaches, making it much more expensive as the tournament draws near. If you book in advance, you can save some money. Another alternative is to wait until the very last moment to book your flight; airlines often sell tickets at a greatly discounted price in order to fill up the planes and make the most money possible. Waiting in an airport and snatching those last minute deals is a good idea, but be sure to have a backup plan if it doesn’t work out.

Visa Information
Make sure all of your information concerning your Visa is up to date. The Brazilian government has made special arrangements for Australian visitors who hold World Cup tickets, making it easier for them to enter and exit the country than under normal circumstances.

It should be stated, though, that many governments have placed a travel advisory out for Brazil due to the number of protests happening in their major cities. In addition, Rio de Janeiro carries a reputation for being a hard-partying city, especially during World Cup times. With this partying comes higher rates of violent crime and robberies. If you are traveling to Brazil at this time, make sure you stay aware of your surroundings, and keep your valuables in a place they cannot be stolen, such as a hidden wallet. Avoid wandering the streets intoxicated; save the drinking for when you’re in a safe area. Also, be sure you have comprehensive travel insurance – fans have a tendency to riot when things don’t go their way, and this can make a dangerous situation for travelers.

Brazil has a lot to offer any traveler, and especially one who loves soccer. Make sure to check out the other attractions the country holds. However, it’s best to be careful and keep an eye out no matter the location. And if you plan to attend the World Cup, make sure you have everything in order as fast as possible, or you might lose your chance!

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