When Fred Astaire starred in Flying Down to Rio in 1933, Brazil was already attracting millions of tourists from the emerging jet set of the US. The bacchanals promised by Carnival season and the comparatively laid-back lifestyle appealed to travelers hoping to escape buttoned-up American society, and tourists streamed to the country in a way that hasn’t really stopped since. But this tourism has been until very recently confined to Brazil’s beaches.
The interior of the country was of little interest to short-sighted tourists who were simply looking to see a little skin at Ipanema Beach, but with the rise of ecotourism just as many people are interested in heading down the Amazon as showing off banana hammocks on the beach -- and the world is better off for it. Here are some of the best spots to hit up.