Izabelle Leite, model and now a sophomore in Bollywood (Sixteen, Puraani Jeans), moved to Mumbai almost four years ago to make a career. Today, with all eyes on her country Brazil as it prepares to host the FIFA World Cup, Iza (as she is affectionately known) shares a handy insider’s travel guide to the vibrant South American country. Read on for some useful advice for those traveling to watch the World Cup football tournament (June 12-July 13). —Udita Jhunjhunwala
Eat and drink
Eat: Açaí, Feijoada (a stew of beans with beef and pork), Brazilian barbecue, pastel (fried pastries), coxinha (shredded chicken deep-fried in batter),
tapioca and Pao de Queijo (cheese buns)
Drink: Caipirinha (the national cocktail made with sugarcane liquor), Guaraná Antarctica (a soft drink) and Brazilian beer (Skol, Devassa, Bohemia)
Foz do Iguaçu (Paraná) is the perfect place for those who like nature. Here you will find the beautiful Iguaçu waterfall, which is part of both Brazil and Argentina. Búzios in Rio de Janeiro is a resort town with shopping, restaurants and nightlife. It’s a good place to go have fun with friends or family. Campos do Jordão (São Paulo) looks pretty much like a city in Europe. The weather is mostly cold, especially in winters. It’s a good place to go if you want to escape the beach and the heat.
Salvador (Bahia) is a big city in Brazil—also called its capital of happiness—and is most famous for its Carnival. In the old city you will find many people playing Capoeira (a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music). The beaches are nice and the food is exotic.
João Pessoa (Paraíba) is the perfect place to chill with friends. You will find beautiful beaches here and can enjoy a beautiful sunset on the river. The food is really good, too (each state in Brazil has its own kind of food). You can also hang out on the beach at night as everyone goes there to play sports or to take a walk.
The best Brazilian brands include Osklen (fashion brand), Farm (fashion), Havaianas (flip-flops), Shutz (footwear) and Colcci (clothing and accessories). As for the best gifts to bring back, pick up Havaianas, Cachaça (distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice, used in
the Caipirinha) and the Brazil football team jersey.
Leblon is a beach in Rio where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets. And if you like to play football and volleyball, this is the place to go.
Jericoacoara (Ceara) is located in the middle of sand dunes. Break out your bikinis as the beach is amazing. You will also find many clothing stores and get some great local cuisine here.
Pipa (Rio Grande do Norte), in the Northeast, is a small village with several beaches popular for its warm waters. You will find
lots of options for good food, drinks and places to party.
Coqueirinho (Paraiba) is a quiet beach in the Northeast. It’s quite private as not many people frequent it. Jurere Internacional (Santa Catarina) is a favourite haunt of football players and actors. It’s one of the best places to visit if you want to meet people. You will also find the best places to party in Brazil right here, with most of the clubs on the beach. Porto de Galinhas (Pernambuco) is a great place to go diving as the water is really clean and warm. It’s great for shopping, too.
? Learn a few words in Portuguese
? Leave your expensive
goodies at the hotel when you go out
? Spend at least three days in
? Be friendly — the people will help you out if
they like you