Why you should go: It’s unbelievably vast, with plenty of tropical paradise that gets skipped over in favor of mega-cities like Rio and São Paulo. Ever heard of the Bahia coast? It’s full of fishing villages, rainforest, and secluded golden beaches that go on for miles. Take Trancoso, which is basically the ultra-secret St. Tropez – a hippie settlement where the likes of Matt Damon and Leo DiCaprio go on vacation.
Why you should go right now: Well, if you still haven’t ruled out hitting the Olympics it’s actually proving to be pretty affordable – plenty of tickets are still available, the government’s partnered with Airbnb to ensure bountiful accommodation, and Brazil’s new low-cost airline Azul is offering competition on flights from the States. All summer, too, Brazil has waived the visa requirement for Americans – so there’s an upfront $160 discount. By September, it’s likely that there will be post-Olympics hangover and some pretty good sales. The lead-up to the Olympics has exposed many of Rio’s fault lines (it might be dangerous, it’s definitely polluted), but here’s the beauty of Brazil: it’s a giant country, so much bigger than mere Olympic venues, and always up for a party.