There may be no better time to plan a trip to South America for an off-path sunny escape. Many American travelers opt for Mexico and the Caribbean, but South America offers a wide range of travel experiences.
This time of year brings bitter cold weather in many parts of the U.S., giving travelers even more motivation to seek a sun-soaked getaway.
One country in particular has been surging in popularity, largely in part because of Americans. Bringing in over 4.7 million international tourists through October 2023, that’s a whopping 74% increase from the prior year.
Here are 5 reasons why Americans are flocking to the diverse South American country of Brazil:
Culture Is A Driving Force
Embratur, the Brazilian Tourist Board, claims their unique culture throughout the country has been a driving force for increased tourism this year.
Over half a million American travelers have made their way to Brazil, where each destination in the country seems to have its own personality.
Some cities are more popular than others, of course, but many are still being put on the map beyond the recognizable names we all know.
In addition to culture, Embratur claims travelers are seeking a variety of ways to experience their diverse country, such as beaches, nature, historic cities, gastronomy, sunny escapes and sustainable tourism.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio may have the biggest recognition when we think of Brazil. Although it’s one of the furthest destinations from the U.S., that doesn’t stop Americans from checking this bucket-list beach city off their list.
With unmatched scenery and a lively, bustling culture, Rio is nonstop action even at famous Copacabana Beach.
This area is not for a tranquil beach getaway as you may get lost in a maze of crowds, a mix of locals and tourists alike.
Rio is a gem any time of year, but thousands flock to the city for the celebration of Carnival in late winter.
Those seeking an escape to an urban jungle brimming with cultural experiences should look no further than Brazil’s capital – Sao Paulo.
Often seen as the engine that runs Brazil, travelers can immerse themselves on the cheap into this underrated cosmopolitan giant.
Here is one of many places across the country to take advantage of phenomenal cuisine, arts and a variety of entertainment.
Stays are much more affordable compared to Rio, plus there are ample direct flights from the U.S., which tend to save travelers money on airfare.
Sao Paulo is then a cheap domestic flight to other popular destinations or a reasonable bus ride to Rio or other stunning coastlines even closer.
Other Destinations Being Spotlighted
Brazil is a vast country with many cities and regions not known to the average Joe or Jane. It’s not only Rio and Sao Paulo that are gateways into the country.
Sao Paulo can be your city escape, while Rio checks off the luxury beach destination, but what about the Amazon jungle or peaceful mountains of Minas Gerais?
There are also other coastal cities, such as Salvador gaining attention as a cultural hub and beautiful beach getaway – all easily connected by air.
According to Travelmath, U.S. travelers can fly nonstop to Manaus to explore the Amazon, Sao Paulo for a taste of the city life, and Rio for a bucket-list beach getaway.
Taking Advantage Of Visa Postponement
The U.S. requires a visa for Brazilian travelers, so Brazil flipped the script and will require the same.
Taking effect In April 2024, after a recent delay in implementation, all U.S. travelers will have to pay an $81 fee to obtain a visa to enter the country.
Americans are pouring in while they can to avoid the hassle and payment.
While the surge of travelers has only been reported through October, when the new visa requirements were originally supposed to be imposed, it will be interesting to see if tourism numbers dip from April onward.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com