Brazil brims with quintessential venues and experiences. Planners looking to add local flavor to events in Rio will find distinctive choices, while Sao Paulo, South America’s largest metropolis, serves up options on a grand scale.
Rio de Janeiro
- Christ the Redeemer (www.corcovado.com.br): One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this 130-foot statue of Jesus is the city’s most recognized icon. The train that takes visitors to the top can be chartered by groups for private meetings, presentations and demonstrations, accompanied by breakfast or cocktails.
- Sugarloaf (www.bondinho.com.br): Tourists have been visiting Pao de Acucar since 1912, and groups can partake in a private ride aboard the famed cable cars as they enjoy a stunning view of the city. The hilltop venue has three spaces that accommodate between 30 and 2,500 people, including a 550-seat amphitheater that is ideal for parties and performances.
- Carnival: Aside from perhaps Mardis Gras in New Orleans, no pre-Lenten celebration is as famous as Rio’s. Groups can enjoy a bit of the festivities regardless of when they visit by staging events at the Sambodromo Marques de Sapucai, a purpose-built parade area in downtown Rio, or by hiring a DMC like Open House (www.openhouserio.com.br) or Events by TLC (www.eventsbytlc.com), which can arrange carnival-themed affairs in just about any venue, complete with performers, costumes and music.
- Artistic Experiences: Sao Paulo is known for its world-class array of museums and cultural institutions. Private events exude an artistic ambience at venues like the Museu de Arte Contemporanea, (www.mac.usp.br), part of the University of Sao Paulo, which in 2011 opened a new building in Ibirapuera Park, or the nearby Ibirapuera Auditorium (www.auditorioibirapuera.com.br), a 7,000-square-foot venue designed by world-famous architect Oscar Niemeyer.
- Industrial Heritage: Sao Paulo is an economic powerhouse, and at Casa das Caldeiras (www.casadascaldeiras.com.br), a former factory that dates to the 1920s, groups can enjoy creatively staged gatherings in one of the city’s early symbols of industrial know-how. Up to 1,200 people can attend events here, with exposed brick, high-tech lighting and giant (nonfunctioning) smokestacks providing dramatic decor effects.
- National Passion: Soccer is undeniably a source of great pride and excitement in Brazil, and groups can experience a bit of the enthusiasm by meeting at the Museu do Futebol (www.museudofutebol.com.br), a 1.7-acre museum filled with exhibits and memorabilia. The museum is located at the 40,199-seat Pacaembu Stadium.