Brazil is a classic on the F1 calendar. It has a rich history of homegrown drivers who have gone on to take victory in their homeland in front of thousands of adoring and passionate fans, including arguably the greatest driver of them all, Ayrton Senna, who won twice at Interlagos in 1991 and 1993. The circuit is quick and its location on the fringes of Sao Paulo gives it a location near to the parties and yachts of the South American elite who turn up here in droves. Brazil is a huge country and there’s so much to see after the race: cities, waterfalls, beaches, forests, art and architecture and the indomitable Brazilian spirit you can enjoy everywhere.
How can you go on the trail of Oscar Niemeyer?
The legendary Brazilian architect and designer's museums – Oscar Niemeyer was the legendary architect who created the modern face of Brazil. He lived a long and colourful life filled with politics and parties. His art centre at Niteroi which looks over the harbour of Rio is a stone cold classic. And don’t forget his theatre and art gallery in the Ibirapuera Park in Sao Paulo. Also in Sao Paulo is the Edificio Copan - a monumental apartment building that curves like a giant wave and dominates the downtown streets. His buildings dot Brazil and each will leave you breathless.
Where to relax?
Ipanema and Copacabana – Rio’s beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema are known worldwide. These gorgeous and glamorous stretches of sand are perfect for winding down after the F1 action. The Oscar Niemeyer-designed Hotel Nacional is a classic of modernism. The Hyatt at Marapendi Lagoon is a solid choice with beach life well catered for. The Belmond Copacabana Palace is a no-expense-spared Grand Dame looking over the sea and offering heritage and indulgence.
How can you get an unusual dose of modern architecture?
Modernism in Brasilia – Not many tourists make the journey up to the new Brazilian capital in the countryside of Brasilia, but they should. Developed to try and bring the country into the new world and to open up the interior, the city took the crown from Rio and plonked a dizzying array of brutalist buildings high on a plateau in the country’s centre, surrounded by a lake. From the air the plan looks like a bird with spread wings and there are grand monumental axes between ministries. Drivers will love it - it’s a city built for the motor car.
Where to live it up in Sao Paulo?
Enjoy the Fasano and Unique Rooftop – Sao Paulo is not as visited as Rio but it still has plenty to entertain visitors - its cathedral, coffee museum, grand station, modern art museums and plush villas are impressive. Its bars and clubs are some of South America’s wildest. The city buzzes after dark. Enjoy the scene from the rooftop at the Unique Hotel, a one of a kind design by Ruy Otake with a kicking bar and delectable rooms downstairs.
How should you get the best of Igaucu Falls?
Spa weekend at the Sanma and trekking the Falls – No visit to Brazil would be complete without trekking into the jungle to see the captivating sight of the Igaucu Falls (in Spanish: Iguazu). The huge falls crash down and create a thundering noise and visual drama that attracts millions to this spot on the border with Argentina and Paraguay. Stay at Sanma Hotel to enjoy the most elegant entrance to the Falls and a chance to relax by the pool or in the spa after your visit. The hotel is right by the entrance to the National Park.
How can you enjoy the drama of Rio?
Rio sights – Brazil’s seaside metropolis has been cleaned up for the World Cup and Olympics, its carnival is world famous if you want to come back in February. It’s a city that entices. Sugarloaf Mountain gives the views and of course the Christ the Redeemer Statue presides over things. A cable car also stuns with its views. Colonial architecture in Rio’s Old Town hints at the past while sailors will love taking a boat out in the protected harbour.
If you love nature where should you head?
The Amazon – The Amazon is the chef d'oeuvre of Brazil - hard to get to; impossible to forget. The world’s most important pristine rainforest stretches over territory bigger than entire countries and contains some of our most important trees and wildlife. It’s under threat and touring must be done sensitively. Eschew wooden souvenirs and consider boat trips from Manaus along the serpentine rivers populated by piranhas - do not fall in!
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