The town of Ouro Preto and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the Mina Gerais State in Brazil © Yadid Levy / Offset
People line up wearing animal masks in Northeast Bahia © Gabriel Boieras / SambaPhoto / Offset
The cultural diversity of Brazil, cultivated over 500 years of recorded history, has given rise to some of the most distinctive travel experiences in the world, from the five days of elaborate parade floats, cross-dressers, stolen kisses, and laughter that fills the streets during Carnival to the sleepy days spent sunbathing on 5,000 miles white sand beaches.
Only in Rio de Janeiro can you sip frozen drinks made with açaí berries fresh from the Amazon, join the locals playing footvolley–a cross between beach volleyball and soccer– between dips in the surf, or listen to the percussive music flowing from the spontaneous Samba circles that crop up throughout the Lapa neighborhood.
In honor of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, we’ve selected some of our favorite images from Brazil, all curated from the remarkable Offset collection. These photographs capture the flavors Bahia, where seafood stew is cooked in a clay pot and served fragrant and spicy, and the colorful facades of old, colonial houses that line the oldest, most well-trodden streets of Salvador.
The hallowed Late Baroque churches in Ouro Preto, with decadent facades chiseled long ago by the legendary Rococo sculptor Antônio Francisco Lisboa, still stand, while Brasilia is flush with the famous Modernist architecture of Oscar Niemeyer, who transformed the country with his sleek and elegant buildings that took Portuguese influence to create something entirely new.
Whether you’re seeking cosmopolitan nightlife in Sao Paulo or one-of-a-kind, traditional craftsmanship in the market at Fortaleza, Brazil is a melting pot of old and new, native and faraway cultures, proving not only to be a feast for the eyes but for all the senses at once.
Porto da Barra beach © Yadid Levy / Offset
Cobbled streets and colonial architecture on Largo de Pelourinho © Yadid Levy / Offset
Typical colonial houses in the historic part of Parati, Rio de Janeiro © Yadid Levy / Offset
Beaches stretching along Rio de Janeiro © Tim Clayton / Offset
Kiosk by Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro © Tim Clayton / Offset
Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi © Yadid Levy / Offset
Flags on a street of Corumba in Mato Grosso do Sul © SambaPhoto / Offset
A man with colorful ribbons woven in his hair © Gabriel Boieras / SambaPhoto / Offset
A small church at dusk at Porto Preguicas Resort, Barreirinhas © Matthew Wakem / Offset
Colonial architecture and cobbled streets of Largo de Pelourinho © Yadid Levy / Offset
Moqueca dish © Yadid Levy / Offset
Freshly caught fish for sale, Iguape, Fortaleza district © Yadid Levy / Offset
Colorful homes in Iracema © Yadid Levy / Offset
Man walking in front of colorful home, Salvador, Bahia © Paul Edmondson / Offset
Coconuts and drink bottles © Kerry Murray / Offset
The soapstone doorway of the Sao Francisco de Assis Church in Ouro Preto © Yadid Levy / Offset
All photos featured in this post can be found on Offset, a new curated collection of high-end commercial and editorial photography and illustration from award-winning artists around the world. Offset is a sponsor of Feature Shoot.