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If the chanting of “It’s coming home” is making you think about getting away – well, this is the place.
Forget your fantasy football leagues, we’ve got our own match lined up – Brazil versus Croatia, two incredible destinations perfect to get away from it all that couldn’t be more different! Well, we’re all about the escapism after al.
But who would win our fantasy match? You tell us…
In footballing terms, Brazil is a heavyweight – and in wildlife terms, the story continues the same. This is the realm of the mighty jaguar, both a figurative and literal heavyweight weighing at 135 kilos for an average male.
Wildlife in Brazil
This hefty apex predator is top of many wildlife aficionado’s wish lists, with South American swagger in spades making this charismatic cat a real crowd-pleaser.
But it’s not alone – also on the Brazilian team line up are noisy families of giant river otters, colourful Hyacinth Macaws grabbing the tabloid headlines on the lead up to match day and mischievous monkeys in the wings.
Find out more: Trips to Brazil.
Croatia’s celebrity wildlife is a little more elusive. Its main stars are the natural wonders of the scenery – Plitvice National Park, a series of tranquil boardwalks and pathways interlaced with impossibly coloured lakes, Skradinski Buk waterfalls perfect for a rewarding dip after a days’ riding, and of course a phenomenal coast (more on that later).
These wonders are best explored actively, and Croatia is a wonderfully welcoming host with miles and miles of good-quality tarmac and winding mountain trails, whether you want to take to two wheels or two feet respectively.
In terms of getting out on the water, the focus couldn’t be more different. Croatia’s lively coastline is the jewel in the country’s crown, where the sea sparkles like sapphires topped with diaphanous surf and embedded with emerald and jade islands.
Culture of Croatia
The ports come alive after dark, the fortified walls lit up with colourful lights and midnight revellers meander along the cobbled streets between bars, where locals and travellers alike sip Karlovacko and chat until the small hours.
The best way to enjoy these shores is out on the water, where you can kayak over a sunken city or island-hop between the lavender-scented islands and the mainland.
Find out more: trips to Croatia.
In Brazil, you’re both literally and figuratively half a world away from Croatia’s picturesque ports and glittering seas. Floating on the Paraguay River’s murky depths in a small, low-slung motorboat, the engine cut and the only sound the needling whine of mosquitos may not sound appealing on its own.
But introduce the next moment – a rustle, a sharp intake of breath, and a sudden quiet cacophony of a thousand camera shutters as a lone jaguar prowls into the viewfinder, sloping down to the water to drink, clear of foliage and obstruction, padding across the sandy river bank.
This is what getting out onto the water affords you in Brazil’s Pantanal.
So which appeals more? Browse our trips to Brazil and Croatia below.