Best place to visit in Brazil
Brazil is a captivating South America destination. The largest country in South America, Brazil occupies almost half the continent. Sunseekers can soak up the lively ambiance at Ipanema Beach in Rio, attend a world-renown Carnival festival, explore the Amazon rainforest and marvel at spectacular waterfalls. For tourists, Brazil is both a tropical paradise and an exciting cultural destination with attractions for all tastes.
Here are some of the world’s most scenic landscapes, visit these top places in Brazil.
Not only is Sao Paulo the largest city in Brazil, but it is also one of the largest in the world according to the population. Located in southeastern Brazil, Sao Paulo is known for its skyscrapers, gastronomy and robust culture scene. It is home to many ethnic groups from all over the globe including the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. Although Sao Paulo is known for its concrete jungle, it also contains a large number of public parks and even portions of the Atlantic rainforest.
Rio de Janeiro
There’s just no other place like Rio. Welcome to lush mountains, brilliant beaches, over the top nightlife, and fanatic football fans. Known as Cidade Maravilhosa, the Marvellous City, Rio is ringed by green mountains while the coast stretches for miles. Most people come first for the beaches. The Cariocas (locals) consider the beach home away from home and so much happens here that you could never leave and still have a complete vacation. You’ll love biking on the beach, hiking in Tijuca rainforest, hang gliding, rock climbing, and sailing to one of several small islands just off the coast.
Porto de Galinhas
One of Brazil’s booming beach destinations, Porto de Galinhas attracts hordes of tourists during holiday times. For starters, it boasts pretty white sand beaches, beautiful weather, warm waters, and a nice selection of accommodations in all price ranges. But what truly sets Porto de Galinhas apart is the stunning natural pools that form in the reefs at low tide where visitors can swim with large schools of colorful fish.
Belo Horizonte is known for its bar scene rather than thumping nightclubs that comprise dozens of bars packed together to create the ideal late-night drinking spot for socializing and winding down at the end of the week. For food, you’ve come to the right place as everything from mobile stalls to sophisticated restaurants serve up classic Minas Gerais cuisine molded around home comfort and slow-cooking. If art is more your thing, hire a car to Inhotim, a large interactive art gallery set within a botanical garden.
At the point where Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina meet, the Iguaçu river drops spectacularly in a semicircle of 247 waterfalls that thunder down into the gorge below. Just above the falls, the river is constricted to one-fourth of its usual width, making the force of the water even stronger. Some of the falls are more than 100 meters high and they cover such a broad area that you'll never see all of them at once, but you do get the broadest panorama from the Brazilian side. Catwalks and a tower give you different perspectives, and one bridge reaches all the way to one of the largest, known as the Garganta do Diabo (Devil's Throat). You can cross to the Argentinian side for closer views from catwalks that extend farther into the center of the falls. The two sides offer different perspectives and views, so most tourists plan to see both. The falls are protected by the UNESCO-acclaimed Iguaçu National Park, where subtropical rainforests are the home to more than 1,000 species of birds and mammals, including deer, otters, ocelots, and capybaras.
If you’re interested in history, Salvador will lure you in with its beautiful historic center dotted with pastel-hued buildings, churches, museums, and shops. Situated on the coast of the Bay of All Saints, Salvador also offers access to picturesque beaches, such as Porto de Barra, Flamengo, and Stella Maris, where you can go swimming and surfing. Head to Pelourinho for food and entertainment, or simply sit back and photograph its colorful colonial buildings, small cobblestone alleys, and churches with gilt woodwork and Baroque features.
Built in the 1960s, Brazil’s capital is a thoroughly planned and intricately organized city. Brasilia’s landmark infrastructure is laid out in the form of an airplane. Each section of the plane is a different district like residential, government, finance, culture, and commerce. The architecture here attracts tourists and professional architects alike. Be sure to check out the Three Powers Square. Here you’ll find the Supreme Court, Congress, and the Presidential Palace.
Recife is called the “Venice of Brazil”, known for its variety of waterways and bridges. Nestled amongst tropical forests, rivers, and peninsulas, it captivates travelers with its historic old town, beautiful beaches, and vibrant cultural attractions. Meander through the town center to discover buildings dating back to the 16th century, visit glitzy designer stores, see Brazilian and European artwork at Instituto Ricardo Brennand, then soak up the sunshine at Boa Viagem Beach that is sheltered by reefs.
Amazon Rain Forests
About 20 kilometers southeast of Manaus, the dark Rio Negro waters meet the light muddy water of the Rio Solimões, flowing side by side for about six kilometers before mixing as the Amazon. Boat trips from Manaus take you to this point, called Encontro das Aguas, meeting of the waters. Other boat trips take you into the heart of the rainforests and the network of rivers, channels, and lakes formed by the three rivers. In the Rio Negro, the Anavilhanas Islands form an archipelago with lakes, streams, and flooded forests that offer a full cross-section of the Amazonian ecosystem. You can see monkeys, sloths, parrots, toucans, caimans, turtles, and other wildlife on a boat trip here.
Originally founded in the early 16th century by the Portuguese settlers, Olinda is a small colonial town neighboring the much larger Recife. Its collection of baroque churches, 18th-century convents, and vibrantly-colored houses cling to the hillside coupling exquisite architecture with sweeping ocean views. The local bohemian crowd has restored many of the buildings into artistic hubs, creating a center of art galleries, museums, and open studios. Go there in February to experience one of Brazil’s most traditional and lively carnivals.
Lencois Maranhenses National Park
For most people, Brazil conjures up images of stunning beaches and verdant jungles — not sand dunes. But one of its most interesting national parks, Lencois Maranhenses, is home to massive dunes. But this is not the desert. During July, torrential rains actually create gorgeous clear lagoons that can reach depths of 3 meters (10 feet) in some areas. Interestingly enough, even though these pools are temporary — disappearing during the dry season — there are fish in them. Swimming is allowed, but visitors should be prepared for warm waters. Temperatures in these pools can be as high as 30 °C (87 °F).
A paradise of tropical forests, waterfalls, emerald sea and coastal mountains, Parati is a popular tourist attraction located along Brazil’s Green Coast in the Rio de Janeiro state. Also spelled Paraty, this beautiful city is a former Portuguese colony established on the shores of the Bay of Ilha Grande. The heart of Parati is its historic center with cobbled streets and multicolored colonial houses, many of which now serve as bed-and-breakfast accommodations called pousadas. One of the most popular attractions are the colonial defense forts that still boast original walls and cannons.
Bonito is a one-street town full of charisma. It serves as an ecotourism model for Brazil and as a hub for the surrounding areas. If you’re an outdoor adventurer and water enthusiast, then this is your spot. Discover Abismo Anhumas, a gigantic cavern covered in stalactite where you can dive and swim in an underground lake as well as do some abseiling. If you’re a bird lover you won’t want to miss the macaws that nest deep in the Buraco das Araras. To top it all off, explore the Serra da Bodoquena National Park.
Considered by many as the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest, Manaus sits on the Negro River. The capital of Amazonas and one of the largest cities in the country it has incredible landmarks like the Rio Negro Palace and the Amazonas Opera House. If you’re in the mood for some phenomenal nature, check out the Meeting of the Waters, a three-mile stretch where the Solimões and the Negro Rivers run side by side without fully mixing. Eventually, both rivers converge to form the Amazon. Most people come here as a stopping point on their way into, or out of, the Amazon. If you’ve got time, check out the zoo that lets many of the animals roam free, and a little beachside museum just outside the city center.
Stock photo from marchello74