By Renata Prado
When it comes to sports, Brazil is the country of soccer and can be compared to hockey is to Canada. All you need is to make some adjustments in the temperature, the scenery and uniform. Consider exchanging the Canadian Prairies for tropical slopes, replacing large lakes for beaches/the ocean and adding silicone wheels to the rollerblades and ta-da…! The hot and humid setting is ideal for a season of tropical sports. Whatever sport is in Canada, there is an ideal sport for you from north to south of Brazil. Check it out!
Begin your journey in the Northern Region of Brazil
Dive into the Amazon waters
If you are looking for something a little more radical and definitely unique, consider visiting the meeting of the waters of the Amazon River with the open sea and let the magic begin. The Pororoca is a natural phenomenon resulting from the meeting of the fresh water of the Amazon with the ocean waters of the Atlantic.
The encounter of the river water with the sea can create waves up to 6 feet high running at a speed of 30 km / h. The intensity of this phenomenon transforms the landscape and creates an inviting setting for the more experienced or daring surfers.
If the idea of balancing yourself on rocky waves is not part of your vocabulary, try replacing the board with a kayak and navigate on the sweet and mystical waters of the Amazon basin. To add to the experience, you must stay in a rustic, cozy inn and consider purchasing a diving package with pink river dolphins.
Head to the Northeast
Fly with the wind of Ceara
The ideal slogan of Ceara should read: “Good winds bring you to Ceara.”
A true paradise for water sports adventures, the state is one of the best places in the world to practice kite surfing, windsurfing and surfing.
Kite surfing, also known as kite boarding, is a sport in which you use a kite (or parachute) attached to your waist and a surfboard to glide over the water. Using a bar attached to the kite, the surfer moves according to the wind, as if wielding a candle.
Windsurfing, very famous in the Caribbean islands, is well known by surfers in Brazil. With a surfboard tied to a candle 2-5 meters high, the challenge for the windsurfer is to literally glide on water using wind power and all body muscles.
If you want to enjoy the kite and the wind surf, you must go to the Jericoacoara beach, on the west coast, which offers good waves and excellent wind conditions year-round. With temperatures that can reach 40 Celsius in the summer, Jeri beaches like Paracuru, Prea, Flecheiras and Cumbuco are colour-dotted with boards, sails and kites throughout the season.
Take it easy in the Midwestern Region of the country
Climb up the rock walls of Goias
Goias is the home of the Chapada National Park, a conservation area with a unique fauna and flora that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2001.
The region is a must for ecotourism. If you are into walking, hiking and climbing, make sure you bring your backpack with you well stocked with water bottles and other provisions to hit the road. The adventure begins right on your way to the park, which is accessed by cutting through the town of St. George, connected to the city of Alto Paraíso de Goias by a 36km partially paved roadway.
The best thing to do is to hire a local guide, which can be done easily in the entrance of the park, or even in the village itself.
Once inside, the options are numerous. You can start by venturing into the steep hike of more than 6km to the edge of Black River Falls, where you can enjoy its rocky walls that house two incredible waterfalls. The first, with 120m height, can be admired from the top of a lookout and the second (with 80m height) forms a natural pool 300m in diameter, where you can (and should) bathe, relax and feel the energy of nature.
Mandatory stopover in the Southeast
Rio de Janeiro – The Marvelous City
If you are looking to enjoy an unforgettable view of the city, why don’t you start by jumping in the air on a hang gliding in Pedra Bonita, a rocky mountain 696m above sea level offering hang gliding experiences guaranteed to make you have an unforgettable memory of the city?
In order to be able to feel like a true “Carioca” (as they call people who were born in the city), you need to truly love any outdoor activity such as running, walking or riding a bike along the beautiful beaches and their famous boardwalks and trails. You will even be able to spot several national or international celebrities along the way.
Now if keeping your feet in the sand is what rocks your boat, try playing one racquetball match with one of the locals. It’s a typical beach sport resembling beach tennis.
However, if you are feeling more competitive, you must try the foot volleyball, which is a mix of volleyball and soccer that can be played by only using your legs, back, chest, shoulders and head. A real challenge.
End your trip in the Southern Region of Brazil
Sandboard, surfing on the sands of Florianópolis
The city, one of the most popular destinations in southern Brazil, is also a backyard extension of its Argentinean neighbours. A must-go destination for the young and beautiful, “Floripa” as it’s known among locals, becomes a solid destination for sandboard lovers. The sport is very similar to snowboard, but it takes advantages of the plentiful sand dunes in the region.
Created by surfers in the late 80s, as an alternative to the days of raging sea, the sport has gained popularity in the region and is wide spread across the country nowadays.
If you’re used to balance yourself on a surfboard, I can guarantee that zig zagging your way down the dune will be just as exhilarating. Make sure you bring your bathing suit, put your sunglasses on and don’t leave without the sunscreen lotion and enjoy your stay!