It’s not often that everyone in a family is 100% happy with summer vacation plans; however, I think that there is a solution for everyone this summer. This summer, you should look into the 2014 World Cup tournament. It is every father’s dream to go to a World Cup tournament. Moreover, I cannot think of a better, more culturally-enriching way to introduce your children to Central and South American cultures. This month long extravaganza will be held in Brazil, with twelve different cities hosting the various tournament games. With such rich culture and history, you can count that fun will be had by all. The following is a list of places and reasons that you (and your children) can and should visit while your husband enjoys various football matches across the many, beautiful cities that are hosting games for the 2014 World Cup Tournament.
One of the most breathtaking locations in the world is Iguazu Falls. Between the Brazilian and Argentinian borders, a helicopter ride over Iguazu Falls is truly a once in a lifetime event. While Iguazu Falls is ranked #5 on Buzzfeed’s “26 Breathtaking Places In Latin America You Should Visit Before You Die,” Brazil also has other beautiful sights (also ranking 9, 11, 14, and 26th).
Rio de Janeiro
Brazil’s capital, Rio de Janeiro, will host the final game of the 2014 World Cup Tournament. As Brazil is favored to win the tournament, the city is bound to be full of energy. With 3-1 odds in favor of Brazil, the entire country is nostalgic and the contagious happiness abound is giving Disney a run for their money as the “happiest place on earth.” It is of no coincidence that Rio de Janeiro was selected as the city to host the final game—Rio de Janeiro is beautiful; words cannot do the city justice. Often placed first on most list of best places to visit in Central and South America, Rio de Janeiro is home to some of the world’s most pristine beaches. The Grumari Beach is often ranked as one of the best beachfront’s, offering a plethora of restaurants and luxurious hotels right on the beach.
The Julio Prestes Cultural Center
The Julio Prestes Cultural Center, a historic civic center located in Sao Paulo, is a must. One of TripAdvisor’s Travelers' Choice® 2013 Winners, the Julio Prestes Cultural Center is home to the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo. The São Paulo State Symphony is one of the largest orchestra’s in South America, and plays more than two-hundred concerts a year. The acoustics of this facility is nothing less than heart-stopping. You don’t have to take my word for it…
Wet Your Whistle and Talk Football
If you didn’t bring your children with you, and you are just as big of a football fan as your husband, there are many places one can go to talk smack about the other teams and build camaraderie over the team you hope will win. The two major cities for the football events are Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the following are recommendations for both cities. For Rio de Janeiro, I recommend the Botto Bar. The Botto Bar is considered by many a “hidden gem,” providing not only a large selection of beer, but superior quality for a fair price. For Sao Paulo, one cannot go wrong with Bar Astor. It’s considered the best bar in Vila Madalena (the most hipster neighborhood in Sao Paulo). Everyone raves about Bar Astor’s atmosphere.
I do warn you, Brazilians know their soccer, so don’t arrive underprepared. Make sure and check in with a site like at liveworldcupodds.com, so that you are up to date with matches, players, and the current standings of teams in the tournament.
Planning a summer trip to the 2014 World Cup games is a guaranteed win, no matter which cities you decide to visit. If you think about it, planning a trip anywhere else is foolish. Worst case scenario, you have an excellent trip, get an awesome tan, become a tad more informed on other cultures, and your husband will always owe you one.