June 13, 2014

About this series: SI senior writer Greg Bishop and photographer Simon Bruty chronicle their travel throughout the opening weeks of the World Cup to offer a taste of the cultural side of Brazil. Stay tuned as this page is updated with their adventures.

Day 1: Manaus

A taste of the local culture and food of Manaus, and an excursion fishing for deadly piranhas in the Amazon River.

Day 2: Manaus

Locals say they are hopeful of the impact the World Cup would have on their community, even though those changes may only be temporary.

Day 3: Manaus

The stadium built for the World Cup in the middle of the Amazon jungle makes little sense, even to locals.

Day 4: NATAL

The opening match provides a brief respite from Brazil's troubles in favor of fútbol, the country’s uniting force.

Day 5: NATAL

Meet Cajueiro de Pirangi, whose branches go on. And on. And on.


Not everyone is please at FIFA planting its flag in the northeastern city.


Prostitution is as much a part of Brazil's tourism industry as a jaunt into the rainforest -- just one more stop on World Cup itineraries for soccer fans from across the globe.


Salvador remains under construction due to World Cup preparations, with some areas fenced off downtown and near the beach and restaurant patios half completed, not to mention rampant poverty throughout the city.


Candomble, the Brazilian religion with African roots, allows for people like Gilson Ferreira dos Santos to be a link between the spiritual world and the material one.

Day 10: RIO

You feel the Maracana before you begin to understand it: the way it shakes the senses; how it evokes emotions of places where it’s less about games and more about history.

Day 11: RIO

Meet Lucas Rodrigues. He’s 20 years old. He lives in the favela known as Santa Marta, near the top of a mountain in a house that stands above the others. Rodrigues has a job that earns him prestige in the neighborhood and credibility on the streets. See, Rodrigues is a soccer player, and a professional at that.

Day 12: RIO

Outside the World Cup, on the beaches, in the streets, away from the games, life unfolds in snapshots.

Day 13: RIO

Silvestre Varela's game-tying goal for Portugal at the end of stoppage time vs. the U.S. broke American hearts...but not many of the brokenhearted were in Sao Paulo.

Day 14: Sao Paulo

In this installment of Viagem Brazil, SI's Greg Bishop explores how religion and sports intersect in Aparecida, Brazil.

Day 15: Sao Paulo

Late Monday, on the rooftop at the swanky restaurant Che Barbaro, champagne sits on ice. Palm trees sway near the entrance. Candles light the tables... But this is still Brazil, activists are still protesting, poverty is still rampant, and the World Cup is still raging on.

Day 16: Belo Horizonte

SI's Greg Bishop explores one of Brazil's most bizarre art museums, Inhotim, in Brumadinho, about an hour by car from Belo Horizonte.

Day 17: Belo Horizonte

Ouro Preto is a city of history and tradition, built in a baroque, colonial style — the streets cobblestone, the churches Catholic and ornate and decorated with angels and silver candlesticks the size of baseball bats.

Day 18: Belo Horizonte

Brazilian journalists see the World Cup as a diversion, a way to showcase the best of Brazil and forget, momentarily, the reasons for all the protests before the soccer started. But not everyone agrees on the impact of the most important soccer tournament in the world being played in Brazil.

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