Paul Irvine, co-founder of luxury Latin American travel specialist Dehouche, shares with LUX FIX just a few of the many hidden gems that Brazil has to offer.
Top 5 must sees…
Sunsets in Rio followed by live samba in Lapa
Speedboat trips deep into the Amazon
Spotting Jaguars in the Pantanal
Sao Paulo for culture, nightlife, innovative restaurants and Formula One fever
Long beachside lunches in Trancoso
When to visit…
The beauty of Brazil is that it is a year round destination due to the sheer size of it, when it is rainy season in one place, it is brilliant sunshine in another. High season in Brazil runs between December and March (traditionally from New Year to Carnival) and the country is buzzing, with endless events, parties and people (and no-one does any work). It is also when prices are highest, so if you are just looking to kick back, then consider coming in the quieter months.
The country’s most incredible beaches…
Party – Trancoso, a very laid-back beach in southern Bahia, has cast a spell over many an off duty celebs and although there are some chic little hotels, we tend to rent private beach villas that make for the best after-parties and daytime lounging.
Seclusion – Hit the beaches of the Brazilian North-East and you are in danger of never coming home. An iconic trip is to start at bohemian surf spot Praia da Pipa, swimming with dolphins until you slip into the Brazilian rhythm, then head up the coast to kite-surfing mecca Jericoacoara for brilliant sunsets, via a few days on diving paradise Fernando do Noronha.
(Praia da Pipa)
From heels to havaianas, the beach hotels NOT to miss…
Set right on Ipanema beach, the rooftop infinity pool at the Fasano Rio has killer views that draw everyone from Gisele to Jamiroquai and is one of our favourite spots for sundowners in style.
For bare-foot chic, this year’s under the radar hot-spot is Praia do Rosa in the south of Brazil, where you will find Quinta do Bucanero, a ten suite boutique pousada, which as well as being an almost shamefully romantic spot, could be bottled as the antidote to life’s trials and tribulations.
(Quinta do Bucanero)
Favourite beachside bar/restaurants…
There are few things we love more than a very long lunch. One place we can’t get enough of is beach-lounge Rocka in Buzios. Set on a beautifully rugged horseshoe bay with a rhythmic pattern of waves that draw the local surfers with a menu that changes according to the daily catch. Over the summer season, dinners go on till late and the restaurant deck transforms into a dance floor for impromptu parties and moonlight dancing.
(Rocka Beach Lounge, Buzios)
What to do / where to go for Carnival…
For the ultimate Carnival experience, it has to be Rio every time. After many years of dancing like lunatics in the street, we may have just about got it down to a fine art: Join one of the samba schools and don a ridiculous costume to dance in front of 75,000 people in the Sambodromo parade, and then mingle with the international glitterati at the wondrous Copacabana Ball – both once in a lifetime experiences.
The secret to making the perfect Caipirinha…
It’s all down to how you cut the lime, you have to remove the pith to avoid a bitter Caipirinha. Using a good quality Cachaca doesn’t hurt, my favourite is Espirito de Minas.
The best bikinis…
Not my main area of expertise but my sources tell me that Olga Olsson and Lenny make the chicest bikinis. For men I recommend FB Collection trunks, I now have three pairs… you need the right gear for all that strenuous beach research!
The beach party soundtrack…
Brazil is defined by its music, from lilting samba rhythms to breezy Bossa Nova – Listen to Dehouche’s own beach party soundtrack on Spotify.