Brazil is known for its love for futebol, or soccer as some call it, but the game did not originate in this South American country. There are other sports, however, that were created here that are not as well known abroad or even to Brazilians themselves. Here are seven sports that are native to Brazil, some of which may surprise you.
The word “peteca” comes from the Tupi indigenous tribe which means “swing” or “blow.” The peteca is made of a rubber base with feathers attached at the top and played very much like badminton, but with the hands instead of a racket. The peteca game was widely used by the indigenous before the Portuguese arrived in what is now Brazil. In 1920, at the Antwerp Olympic Games, some Brazilian athletes carried with them petecas for recreational purposes. This attracted the attention of athletes from other countries, but only in 1973 was the first Peteca Federation created, in the state of Minas Gerais. In 1987 the first Brazilian Peteca Competition was held and in 2000 the World Peteca Federation was created in Berlin, Germany. The largest peteca federations today are found in Germany and Japan. The game in other parts of the world is called indiaca.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Acqua ride/boia cross
This water sport actually started out as a children’s game, who used truck tire chambers filled with air to raft down rivers and streams in the interior of São Paulo and Minas Gerais state. The first Brazilian Acqua Ride Championship was held in 1983 in Iporanga, São Paulo. By the 1990s there were already special gloves and protection for the sport. In 1997 the Brazilian Acqua Ride Association was created to regulate the sport.
Created in the mid 1940s in Rio de Janeiro, frescobol is considered the icon of beach sport in Brazil. The sport resembles tennis, but on the sand and without a net or boundaries. The rackets are made of wooden planks in the shape of table tennis paddles, but resistant to salty, ocean water. The ball is also made of soft rubber, which easily dries off. During the 1980s several competitions were conducted in several states in Brazil, but only in 1994 was the first Brazilian Frescobol Circuit held.
Created by surfers in Florianopolis in the 1980s when the waves were not good for surfing, the sport of sandboard calls for athletes to “surf” the sand dunes with a plank similar to that of a snowboard. The sport has four categories: big air, slope style, boarder cross and slalom, and has been gaining fans all over the world. There have been competitions of sandboard in the US, Australia, Uruguay and Argentina.
Futevôlei, or footvolley, was created in 1965 in Copacabana Beach and combines the elements of soccer and beach volleyball. The teams started out consisting of five players on each side, but today, games of two to each side are more common in Brazil. The first International Futevolei tournament outside Brazil occurred in 2003, in Miami Beach, USA.
The love Brazilians have for futebol led them to create the game even on the sands of Rio de Janeiro. Beach futebol has become internationally known as famous Brazilian futebol players such as Romário, Júnior and Zico played the sand version of the national sport after leaving the grassy playing fields. In 1993, the first professional beach soccer competition was organized on Miami Beach, with teams from the US, Brazil, Argentina and Italy among those participating.
The sport considered by many as a cultural expression of African slaves who came to Brazil, capoeira has gained admirers worldwide. Always accompanied by African instruments, “players” must learn how to move with the rhythm of the music while engaging in a unique “dance” with their opponent. The capoeira is a mix of Brazilian martial arts, dance and acrobatics. While two players enter the circle to play, others gather around the “ring” singing and playing instruments. In 2014 capoeira was included in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.