Brazil is a surprisingly diverse tourist destination. In which other country can you find beautiful beaches, wild and untamed forests and vibrant cities?
It will take you a long time to see all that Brazil has to offer – it is the largest country in South America and the fifth largest in the world. There is so much to see that you can spend months travelling around the country and get only a superficial glimpse.
Brazil will surprise you with its dazzling urban complexes, multicultural art scenes and quiet fishing villages whose beauty would perfectly illustrate a postcard. Take your time to fully enjoy each destination, to really immerse yourself in Brazilian culture and its rhythm of life.
Here are some destinations that should absolutely be on your list.
Rio De Janeiro
Of course, you can’t visit Brazil without spending some time in this amazing city. It is one of the prettiest cities in the world, surrounded by lush green mountains and lush golden beaches. Climb to the top of the Mont du Pain de Sucre for an exceptional view.
Walking on Copacabana beach, you will discover the rhythm of Rio, the vibrant music, the people who play volleyball in the sand, the residents who rollerblade and jog on the promenade and the sound of laughter and conversations from the bar terraces.
The carnival period is the most exciting time to visit Rio de Janeiro. It is a festival of sounds and colours, the streets come alive to the rhythm of samba and dance all night long.
This beautiful island is located on the coast of Rio de Janeiro State and is renowned for its natural beauty. One day from Rio, you will find yourself on unspoilt tropical beaches, wild forests and steep hills. It is one of the best preserved remnants of the Atlantic rainforest and one of the richest ecosystems in the world.
Take a hike in the forest and you may see alouates, brown howler monkeys, wide-mouthed caimans, lazy mane lazy, or aï, and many other creatures. The seas surrounding the island are protected and their wildlife is exceptional, you may see killer whales, dolphins, sea turtles and Magellanic penguins.
Foz do Iguaçu
Iguaçu Falls is one of the most impressive wonders in the world, a huge waterfall that stretches 2.7 km along the border with Argentina.
The height of the falls varies between 60 and 82 metres high, and when you walk on a wooden walkway along the falls and feel the water vapour on your face, you realize that the power of this water wall is truly amazing. This magnificent show should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Brazil.
The Amazonian wild forest is a must when travelling in Brazil. It is much more than a great river, it is also a vast natural expanse containing lakes, forests, wetlands and much more.
The Amazon River contains more water than the other eight largest rivers in the world combined, and the Amazon attracts many different wild creatures, such as the boto, or pink Amazon dolphin, howler monkeys, caimans, among others. The best way to fully enjoy this region is to stay in accommodation in the heart of the jungle and hire a local guide to explore the rainforest. You will have the opportunity to fish for piranha, canoe in the wetlands; see dolphins and caimans up close.
Praia de Pipa
Near the city of Natal, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Praia de Pipa is one of Brazil’s most famous beaches. It was a small fishing village until the 1970s, when cyclists and surfers discovered the site, its fine white sand and crystal clear waters. It’s a place that has that hippy atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re out of touch with the rest of the world… it’s so quiet that you might not want to leave it again.
You will find the Baia dos Golfinhos, the “dolphin bay”, where you will have a good chance to swim with dolphins who like to jump and play in these calm waters.
The city of Salvador is one of the oldest cities in North and South America, which seems obvious when you walk through the cobbled streets between magnificent and colourful buildings of colonial architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries, decorated with forged metal balconies. This city is known as the “Capital of Happiness” and it will surely make you smile.
This Afro-Brazilian jewel was at the time the superb capital of the Portuguese colony of the New World. Food, religion, music and dance, among others, are greatly influenced by the culture of the descendants of African slaves. Be sure to stop by the Mercado Modelo, a large yellow building that is a market place for craftsmen, antique dealers, etc.
Sao Paulo is the most populous city in Brazil – in fact, it is the most populous in the southern hemisphere. It is a cultural and artistic place that offers many sites to visit. This city is very cosmopolitan, home to the largest Japanese, Italian and Arab communities in Brazil, as well as the largest Jewish urban community in the world.
You will find excellent museums, such as the Sao Paulo Art Museum, the Portuguese Language Museum and the Paulista Museum. You can also take a walk in Beco do Batman, a surprising street that has become an open-air graffiti museum, covered with unique and colourful artistic expressions. You will have no problem finding things to see and do in Sao Paulo.
Praia do Rosa
This arched bay with a charming beach licked by soft, warm waves is known to be one of the best whale watching sites in Brazil. Right whales return every year from July to November to reproduce, give birth and raise their offspring.
They often approach the cliffs close enough for you to see and take pictures of them from the mainland. But if you want to see them up close, many tour operators offer boat trips to see the whales. Strict environmental regulations govern the excursions, so as not to disturb the whales. If you want the opportunity to get closer to nature in an exceptional setting, Praia do Rosa should be on your list of things to do in Brazil.
Florianopolis is a super funky city and a paradise for surfers, another destination not to be forgotten when you go to Brazil. It is an island off the south coast, known for its magnificent beaches, nightlife and seaside hotels.
There are more than 40 beaches around the island – each with its own unique atmosphere. The island of Florianopolis is also famous for its seafood; you can enjoy a meal in one of the excellent restaurants with a view of the sea.
Paraty is a wonderfully charming little town on the Brazilian coast. Its Portuguese colonial architecture and cobbled streets will delight you. Paraty is known as a holiday destination for writers and artists, and the historic centre is full of small art galleries and independent shops.
You can also take a boat trip to the Bay of Islands, where you can visit remote beaches lined with palm trees and crystal clear waters. You can dive and discover the amazing marine life of the Costa Verde, or relax in the sun in a sun lounger.
Pantanal means wetland and this vast tropical meadow is an incredible destination to discover nature in Brazil. The Pantanal is considered the “Savannah of South America” and is a favourite place to go on a safari – a must for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Brazil.
This protected area is home to hundreds of bird and animal species, such as the aunts, tapir, jaguar, hyacinth ara and giant otter. It is one of the best places on the continent to observe wildlife – the dry season is better for seeing mammals and reptiles, and the wet season is more suitable for bird watching.
These destinations are among the best to visit in Brazil, but there are many others to which your travels can lead you. What is your favourite destination in Brazil?