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17 Best Places to Visit in Brazil

By Kay Pierce · Last updated on May 4, 2024

Famous for being home to one of the world’s top football teams, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival and the remarkable Iguazu Falls, Brazil is an exciting world travel destination. As South America’s largest country, Brazil covers a majority of the continent’s northeastern region and borders all of its countries except for Chile and Ecuador .

From the Amazon rainforest in the North to the tropical beaches along the Atlantic , to the Pantanal wetlands and the vibrant metropolises of the Southeast there are plenty of interesting places to visit in Brazil .

17. Jericoacoara


Located in the northeast of Brazil in the state of Ceara, Jericoacoara is a lovely, laidback place nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and a national park of the same name. Often referred to as Jeri or Jijoca, the small and secluded seaside town boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in Brazil and is an increasingly popular tourist destination.

Besides its beautiful beaches, Jeri is surrounded by delightful dunes and lagoons that offer countless recreational opportunities, with hiking, swimming and watersports all very popular. Exploring the area on horseback or in dune buggies is a fantastic way to see as much of its splendid scenery as possible; Pedra Furada – or the ‘Arched Rock’ – is the standout sight and symbol.

While its remote setting makes visiting Jericoacoara a challenge, it is well worth the effort for its sumptuous scenery, wealth of outdoor activities, and surprisingly lively nightlife.

16. Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo

Not only is Sao Paulo the largest city in Brazil, but it is also one of the largest in the world according to population. Located in southeastern Brazil, Sao Paulo is known for its skyscrapers, gastronomy and robust culture scene. Home to many ethnic groups from all over the globe including the largest Japanese community outside of Japan.

Dividing the city between its old and new districts, Paulista Avenue is the city’s busiest strip, brimming in businesses, shopping malls, art galleries, theaters and restaurants. Although Sao Paulo is known for its concrete jungle, it is also home to a large number of public parks and even portions of the Atlantic rainforest.

15. Brasilia


Located in the Brazilian Highlands, Brasilia was installed in 1960 as Brazil’s capital. Brazil’s former President Juscelino Kubitschek of the late 1950s ordered the city to be planned and developed into what some refer to as a utopia. Brasilia’s modern day infrastructure is designed in the shape of an airplane in which each of its sections serve as different districts such as government, commercial, residential and cultural.

Brasilia’s new and creative architecture attracts many visitors. Most significant is the Three Powers Square, which houses the Presidential Palace , the Congress and the Supreme Court. Other important buildings include the Palácio da Alvorada, the President’s official residence and the TV Tower. The Brasilia Cathedral with its glass roof that resembles hands reaching up to heaven is a must visit.

In addition to all its concrete, steel and glass, Brasilia also features a large artificial lake and several beautiful parks that all offer a variety of leisure activities. The capital is also an important transportation hub for travel within Brazil.

14. Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto

Tucked away among the mountains of Minas Gerais, Ouro Preto is the most picturesque, popular, and well-preserved colonial town in Brazil. As it was one of the main centers of the Brazilian Gold Rush , wealth and riches poured into its streets – along with the power and prestige that came with it.

Strung out across a series of hills, its historic center is full of steep, winding cobbled streets that meander past gorgeous old buildings and 18th-century churches. The small city also has several interesting museums for visitors to check out; many of these focus on the artworks of Aleijandinho or Ouro Preto’s mining past.

Many people visit the city for its rich history and culture or to visit the numerous mines via a guided tour. In recent years, Ouro Preto’s colorful carnival has attracted more and more revelers to its ancient streets.


Lying in the southwest corner of Mato Grosso do Sul, the small city of Bonito is a great place to go in Brazil if you are looking to explore the gorgeous Pantanal region. While there’s not all that much to see or do in the town itself, it has long been the posterchild of sustainable ecotourism in Brazil.

Awash with natural wonders, the area surrounding Bonito is home to sparkling waterfalls, gushing rivers, and huge sinkholes and lake-filled caves that you can go swimming or snorkeling in. Hiking in the lush rainforest is also popular, with lots of colorful fauna and flora to be spied in Serra da Bodoquena National Park .

Many companies operate out of Bonito’s pousadas, and excursions usually focus on the Pantanal’s rich ecology and ecosystems. Among the most popular are snorkeling below underwater stalagmites at Anhumas Abyss, enjoying a canopy walk in the rainforest, and exploring Blue Lake Cave – one of the largest flooded caves in the world.

12. Fortaleza


Nice beaches, dynamic shopping and lively culture all make Fortaleza one of Brazil’s popular tourist destinations. The capital of the Ceará state on the country’s northeastern coast, Fortaleza is Brazil’s fifth largest city, well-known for its forró music .

Featuring a mix of colonial and modern day architecture, Fortaleza offers plenty of things to see and do. Praça do Ferreira is the city’s main square where restaurants, shops and a movie theater are all located. Praça José de Alencar is another popular square where street performers can be observed.

Fortaleza’s 16 miles of urban beaches are one of the reasons many tourists flock to the city. The most popular beach is Praia do Futuro , but other favorites are Iracema, Mucuripe and Meireles. Not only are the beaches great for swimming, sunbathing, fishing and surfing competitions, but they also offer hotels, restaurants and markets. Fortaleza also serves as the jumping-off point for many visitors to truly spectacular beaches, rolling dunes and idyllic fishing villages along the Ceará coast.

The shopping experience in Fortaleza is another of its main attractions. Because the city is home to a large textile industry, clothing is cheap here. Local handicrafts and fresh seafood and produce can be found among the city’s markets while the Iguatemi Mall offers a little of everything.

11. Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park

Chapada dos Veadeiros

Home to sparkling lakes, dramatic waterfalls , and stunning landscapes – as well as some of the oldest and most biodiverse tropical ecosystems in the world – Chapada dos Veadeiros really is a treat to explore. Covering a huge area in the center of Brazil, the marvelous microregion can be found in the state of Goias, some three hours drive north of the nation’s capital Brasilia.

Chapada dos Veadeiros’ main attraction is the wonderful national park of the same name that lies atop an ancient rainforest-coated plateau . Scarred by jagged cliffs and crumbling canyons, the park is fascinating to hike around, with lots of awe-inspiring waterfalls hidden away among its verdant flora and fauna.

Other highlights include the appropriately named Moon Valley , which is home to lunar landscapes. Swimming and bathing in any one of the numerous waterfalls and rivers that dot the area is a must-do. The two main places to stay when visiting Chapada dos Veadeiros are Alta Paraiso and Sao Jorge, a small city and village which lie not too far from all of the main sights.


A paradise of tropical forests, waterfalls, emerald sea and coastal mountains, Parati is a popular tourist destination 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 . Some of the most visited attractions here are the colonial defense forts that still boast original walls and cannons. The historic center of Parati is pedestrian-only .

Surrounding the city are several beautiful parks and nature preserves where visitors can hike and explore the natural setting of mangrove forest, waterfalls and wildlife. There are also indigenous villages here that can be visited. The bay offers gorgeous beaches where visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, diving and boat cruises.


Nicknamed the “ Venice of Brazil ” because of its numerous waterways and bridges, Recife is the capital of the Pernambuco state and one of the largest and most important cities on Brazil’s northeastern coast. Situated amid tropical forests with many islands and rivers, Recife is an interesting place to visit because of its historic old town, beaches and vibrant culture.

Recife was a Dutch colony during the early 17th century, and nowhere is this more evident than the city’s historic district where many colonial buildings still remain. Some of the most significant structures include the oldest synagogue in the Americas and one of Brazil’s most beautiful baroque churches, the Franciscan Convent of Saint Anthony.


Saint Peter Square is also noted for its history and picturesque setting of colorful buildings, shops and restaurants.

The city’s main market, the Sao José Market , is a popular place to find traditional handicrafts, medicinal herbs and locally produced food. Recife’s beaches are considered some of the best in Brazil. Lined with hotels, restaurants and bars, Boa Viagem is the most popular beach with its pristine white sands, clear water and coral reef.

8. Chapada Diamantina National Park

Chapada Diamantina

Created in 1985 to protect, preserve, and promote its spectacular scenery and rich ecosystems, Chapada Diamantina National Park lies in the northeast of Brazil in the center of the state of Bahia. Popular among nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, the park encompasses everything from dramatic mountain ranges and sweeping valleys to teeming rivers and towering waterfalls.

As it is set atop of a plateau, the park is very mountainous, with its tallest peaks reaching more than 2,000 meters. Crumbling, rugged cliffs line the plateau, as do lots of epic waterfalls ; the awe-inspiring 380-metre-high Cachoeira da Fumaca is the tallest in Brazil. Cavernous caves also punctuate its rugged terrain, with Lapa Doce and Pratinha two of the largest.

Chapada Diamantina

Thanks to its diverse landscapes and gorgeous scenery, Chapada Diamantina National Park is an increasingly popular tourist destination. Visitors can choose to either camp or stay in one of the small towns, such as Lencois and Vale de Capao. Horseback riding and hiking are popular pastimes, as is swimming in the rivers and pools of the area.


One of Brazil’s best-preserved colonial cities, Olinda is located on the country’s Atlantic Coast in the northeastern state of Pernambuco. Founded by the Portuguese in the early 16th century, the city served as the state’s capital until it was burned by the Dutch, thereafter losing its sovereignty to its nearby neighbor, Recife.

Perched on a picturesque hilltop surrounded by trees, Olinda’s historic downtown is a treasure trove of colonial churches, colorful old houses and numerous artisan studios. Because of its love affair with art, Olinda packs many shops and markets selling paintings, ceramics, sculptures and handicrafts.


Every year, Olinda hosts its lively Carnival celebration that differs somewhat from those of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador in that Olinda’s festival is best at daytime and features the music, dances and traditions of African culture . Olinda’s Carnival involves parades, lavish costumes, giant puppet dolls, street parties and the rhythms of maracatu and frevo.

However, even outside of the Carnival season, Olinda offers an animated culture where every weekend buzzes with parties, bars, nightclubs and singing groups who perform serenades of traditional songs in the streets.

6. Pantanal


Covering a vast swathe of western Brazil, as well as parts of Paraguay and Bolivia , the Pantanal is the world’s largest and most diverse tropical wetland area. Due to its stunning scenery and incredible wildlife, the region is increasingly popular to visit, although its remote and watery nature does pose a few challenges.

During the rainy season, around 80 percent of the floodplains are submerged, so the only way to get around is by plane or boat. It is worth it, however; the endless marshes and grasslands are home to an astounding array of fauna and flora.


Besides exploring the scenic landscapes ranging from swamps and savanna to lakes, forests, and wetlands, visitors are also sure to spot many caiman and capybara . The highlight of any trip is spotting the South American jaguar ; the Pantanal is the best place on the continent to catch a glimpse of the elusive creature.

5. Florianopolis


The capital of Santa Catarina state, Florianopolis lies in the south of Brazil, with half of the city set on the mainland and the other on a beautiful island . Due to its scenic setting, it is a very popular tourist destination and is widely considered one of the best places to live in the country.

An important economic, cultural, and political center, Florianopolis is a modern city with lots of large shopping malls and chic restaurants, as well as lively bars and nightclubs. Despite this, it is a lovely laidback place, and each of its neighborhoods has its own distinct identity.

The main attraction, however, is the wealth of fabulous beaches . While relaxing in the gorgeous scenery is divine, Florianopolis also has stunning dunes, sparkling waterfalls, and forested mountains – as well as a large lagoon for visitors to explore. Hiking and cycling around the ‘Magic Island’ (which it is also known as) are popular activities, as are paragliding and watersports.


The capital of the Amazonas state in northwestern Brazil, Manaus is an important tourist destination because it serves as a gateway to the Amazon rainforest .

As a result of the region’s flourishing rubber industry during the early 20th century, Manaus today is Northern Brazil’s largest metropolitan area, featuring distinguished landmarks like the Amazonas Opera House , the Adolpho Lisboa Market and the Rio Negro Palace.

Amazonas boat

Not only is the port of Manaus an important commercial hub for several manufacturing industries, but it also serves as the most popular starting point for river tours into the Amazon rainforest. Some of the most striking things to see on these tours include the Paricatuba Waterfall, Love Cascade and glimpses of the Pied tamarin, Brazil’s most endangered monkey. Another significant sight is the Meeting of the Waters , which is a natural phenomenon where the two rivers of Negro and Solimões run side by side for more than three miles without mixing.

Besides the rainforest and river, Manus also offers public parks, a botanical garden and a zoo. Several beaches are here as well such as Ponta Negra with a number of restaurants, bars and hotels.

3. Salvador


A historic Old City, beautiful beaches, lively culture and one of the world’s biggest Carnival celebrations all fashion Salvador into one of Brazil’s top tourist destinations. One of the oldest cities in the Americas, Salvador is Brazil’s third largest city and the capital of the Bahia state.

Formerly a major center of sugar and slave trade, Salvador today still bears traces of its history in Pelourinho or Old City, which features colonial architecture, stunning churches and plazas where important events once occurred. Also found in the old quarter are many restaurants, bars, art galleries and handicraft shops. Contrastively, Salvador’s New City district is where all the modern day developments of shopping megaplexes, entertainment venues, golf courses and residential neighborhoods are located.

Porto da Barra Beach

Situated on the coast of the Bay of All Saints, Salvador offers fantastic beaches that are ideal for sunbathing, swimming and surfing. Some of the most popular include Porto de Barra, Flamengo and Stella Maris.

One of Salvador’s main crowd-pullers is its annual Carnival celebration . Acclaimed as one of the largest in the world, this extravagant event involves music, dancing, parades, costumes and street parties.

2. Foz do Iguacu

Foz do Iguassu

One of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in the world, Iguazu Falls straddles the Argentine-Brazilian border. It is often compared to Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls, such is its staggering size and scale. Surrounded by dense rainforest, its endless series of cascades stretch for almost three kilometers, making it the largest waterfall system in the world.

Every second, incalculable gallons of water from the Iguazu River course over the Parana Plateau, plunging onto the rocks and pools below. While 80 percent of the falls are in Argentina , it is the Brazilian side that offers the most spectacular views, with Devil’s Throat canyon being the highlight.

Iguazu Falls

Besides gazing in awe at Iguazu Falls and taking in the deafening roar, visitors can take a boat ride beneath the falls or go hiking in the steamy rainforest that surrounds them. The gateway to the falls on the Brazilian side is Foz do Iguaçu, a big and reasonably safe city by Brazilian standards.

1. Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer

There is no destination on earth more animated and exciting than Rio de Janeiro. Located in southeastern Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city of South America due to its famous mountains, beaches and Carnival festival.

Rio de Janeiro is situated on one of the world’s largest harbors surrounded by natural attractions that include the Sugarloaf and Corcovado mountains and famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema . Within this sprawling metropolis is Tijuca National Park , one of the world’s largest urban forests, teeming in native flora and fauna.

Ipanema Beach

The city’s iconic landmark is the enormous Christ the Redeemer statue sitting atop Corcovado mountain. Other important landmarks include colonial fortresses, former presidential palaces and Maracanã Stadium, one of the world’s largest football stadiums.

See also: Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro

Sadly, most people also know Rio for its crime and favelas. The favelas are areas of poor-quality housing, slums usually located on the city’s many mountain slopes, juxtaposed with middle-class neighborhoods.

Rio de Janerio is home to one of the world’s largest Carnival celebrations , renowned for its vibrant parades, costumes, dancing, music, fireworks and street parties. Outside of the festival, the city buzzes nightly with an abundance of bars and dance clubs.

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Reader interactions.

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October 11, 2019 at 3:37 am

I would also recommend Maceió. Beautiful beaches, great nightlife and safer than the big cities. But, you can’t go to Brasil for the 1st time and not go to Rio (my hometown for 16 years/Copacabana). As one person said above, do your homework before you go and you should be safe. Don’t dress like a gringo… just saying!?

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February 16, 2019 at 3:44 pm

I highly recommend you guys to go to Porto de Galinhas (translates to…Hen’s Harbour, yeah), i’ve been there a couple of times and it’s one of the most beautiful places i’ve ever been, with amazing beaches, some handicraft fairs (that show a lot of brazilian’s northeastern culture) and splendid sights and hotels.

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March 30, 2018 at 8:04 am

I recommend “Porto de Galinhas-Pernambuco” and “Maragogi-Alagoas”. Paradise! They are safe places. Really Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are very dangerous.

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June 29, 2017 at 7:44 pm

@Laura Morgenstern, I have to say that there are some places that are dangerous. But people generalize about it. Like most countries, there ares some dangerous neighborhoods but it is not the entire country. There are very safe cities, and I’m sure that if you speak with local people they will tell you where you have to avoid going to. There are amazing places in Brazil that some people don’t know about such as Gramado, Aguas de Lindóia, Brotas – radical sports in the water, Balneário camboriu

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June 11, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Isla do Mel……amazing! Curitiba, fantastic city.

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January 10, 2017 at 3:52 pm

And about Espirito Santo… Beaches. Guarapari and Vila Velha and beautiful mountains like Domingos Martins with a wonderful wine by the fireplace

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December 22, 2016 at 12:19 am

I went to Brazil for three weeks this summer and there weren’t any cases that made me feel uncomfortable or where I felt unsafe. I was in both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero during my trip. I wouldn’t recommend going to certain parts of both cities because there are gangs but if you do your research you’ll be able to figure out where not to go and what is safe.

My trip was absolutely amazing and I would recommend going if you ever get the opportunity.

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October 20, 2016 at 9:33 am

Gramado is the best city

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June 30, 2016 at 12:46 pm

I think Brazil is a beautiful place, but ‘s very dangerous. It’s true?

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November 23, 2015 at 11:07 am

Thank you for recommending all these interesting places. My husband I are thinking to go to Brazil next year but I do not wish to go to big cities – may go to Rio for a few days only and then travel to other small places. Which ones would you recommend – We are not beach people. Like the culture and ”naturaleza” from these places people are recommending? which is the best time to go?

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October 13, 2015 at 8:21 pm

Forget about the big cities in Brazil… The best and safest tourism here is in small and fantastic places. Keep noted: 1. Bonito – Is, by far, the most amazing place in Brazil!!! There you can swim in small rivers with several fishes and enjoy the real nature 2. Fernando de Noronha – Is an isolated island in the north east of Brazil. Destination of the Hollywood movie stars. You can swim with dolphins or sharks. Amazing beaches and is a very calm place. 3. Iguaçú falls (Foz de Iguaçú) – Much bigger than niagara falls and really beautiful. You can feel the power of nature there. 4. Chapada dos Veadeiros – A lot of water falls and a mistic place. Great site to meditate and to be in touch with yourself.

All these places are safe and really cheap if you have Dollars or Euros. Forget the big cities…

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June 12, 2015 at 12:07 am

I do not speak English , I am using a translator , sorry . Anyway , I wanted to leave my opinion ‘m from São Paulo SP Brazil ( love this place <3) , and put the ranking as: 1 – Maranhão – National Park Maranhenses 2 – Amazonas – Manaus, located in the center of the largest tropical forest in the world 3 – Bahia – Morro sp 4 – Bahia – Chapada Diamantina National Park 5 – Pernambuco – Porto de Galinhas 6 – Ceará -the beach of Canoa Quebrada 7 – Rio de Janeiro – Paraty 8 – Minas Gerais – Sao Tome das letras 9 – São Paulo – SP ( Paulista Avenue, Ibirapuera Park) 10 – Rio de Janeiro – RJ

Sao Paulo has little beauty , but it's where you find the best hotels, bars, parties and museums in Brazil.

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May 15, 2015 at 6:47 pm

I think that you should mention Mato Grosso do Sul ( Bonito the city) , crystal clear waters, a lot of different animals. It s amazing and perfect

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July 30, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Christ the Redeemer statue sitting atop Corcovado mountain is wonderful and unbelievable! I really want to visit that place 🙂 Great!

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July 24, 2014 at 10:16 am

I think you should put Graemado and Canela (two cities of Rio Grande do Sul) too! It doesn’t have beaches, but it’s like a cold paradis. It’s VERY beautiful and there are a lot of cultural attractions. I would recommend the dates around Easter and Christmas (specially the last one), because there’s really maaaany beautiful things. During the winter it’s very cold and good to stay there! It’s awesome

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May 27, 2014 at 10:58 am

Brazil is Amazing and Fascinating!! I hope I visit it soon and the first place ide love to visit is amazingly the Rio De Jeneiro!! ..its the most wonderful place I’ve heard of and apart from this comes the iguazu Falls..SPLENDID..its Paradise On Earth!..

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May 23, 2014 at 6:18 pm

You should visit the south too, specially Rio Grande do Sul, where many cities still conserve the german and italian culture! June and july is the best time of the year

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May 14, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Wow, I never knew there were so many beautiful cities in Brazil! I visited Floripa and it IS beautiful!

Please add it between 2 and 6!!

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May 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

I agree with you! There are a lot of beautiful cities in Brazil to visit!! Not just São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro! Floripa is very beautiful too

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April 14, 2014 at 7:44 am

Thanks for mentioned Sao Paulo!

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January 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I also would put Floripa between 3 and 6 for sure!

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December 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I want to understand how Florianopolis isn’t in that list…

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December 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I appreciate your information about the top ten in Brasil.. But I would like to inform another city: Ouro Preto, very interesting,, cultural and beautiful , the first capital of the important Minas Gerais state. Rich Baroque, churchs from the XVII and XVIII, is a place very important to the cultural tourism. All the gold from Brasil to Europe, in these centuries came from OURO PRETO ( black gold) regions , the name of this city, in the heart of Brazil, between mountains, near the new Capital of Minas Gerais State: Belo Horizonte.

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18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Brazil

Written by Michael Law , Lana Law , and Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Mar 29, 2024 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

The largest country in South America, Brazil occupies almost half the continent. Nearly all of it is in the Southern Hemisphere, and much of it is tropical, with vast stretches of rainforest filled with exotic plants and wildlife.

View over Rio de Janeiro

Brazil's 7,400-kilometer Atlantic coast is lined with golden-sand beaches , and its interior is filled with mineral resources. Gold from Brazil's mines still lines the churches of Portugal, the colonial power that ruled Brazil until 1822. This strong Portuguese influence is evident in Brazil's colonial architecture , in decorative arts such as the glazed tiles in its churches and convents, and in the language.

For tourists, Brazil is both a tropical paradise and an exciting cultural destination with attractions for all tastes, from idyllic beach holidays and jungle explorations to world-class art museums and the pulsing rhythms of Rio's Carnival.

To discover the best places to visit and things to do, use this handy list of the top tourist attractions in Brazil.

1. Cristo Redentor and Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro

2. sugar loaf, rio de janeiro, 3. iguaçu falls, 4. copacabana, rio de janeiro, 5. amazon rainforests, 6. carnaval, rio de janeiro, 7. brasília's modernist architecture, 8. jericoacoara, 10. salvador's pelourinho, 11. ouro preto, 12. museu do amanhã (museum of tomorrow), 13. ibirapuera park, são paulo, 14. museu oscar niemeyer, curitiba, 15. botanical garden of curitiba, 16. porto de galinhas & pernambuco beaches, 17. art museums of sao paulo, 18. belo horizonte.

Christ the Redeemer from the base

With arms outstretched 28 meters, as if to encompass all of humanity, the colossal Art Deco statue of Christ, called Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), gazes out over Rio de Janeiro, Sugar Loaf, and the bay from the summit of Corcovado. From here, you have possibly the best view in the city .

The 709-meter height on which it stands is part of the Tijuca National Park, and a railway climbs 3.5 kilometers to the top , where a broad plaza surrounds the statue. Completed in 1931, the 30-meter statue was the work of Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, and is constructed of reinforced concrete and soapstone.

Christ the Redeemer on a mountaintop above Rio de Janeiro

The steep ride up to the statue on the railway is part of the attraction as it passes through a lush forest, home to a wide variety of tropical birds, butterflies, and plants.

  • Read More: Top Attractions & Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf in the distance

The easily recognized emblem of Rio de Janeiro, the rounded rock peak of Sugar Loaf juts out of a tree-covered promontory, rising 394 meters above the beaches and city. From the summit are outstanding views of Rio and the harbor , as well as a stunning view of Christ the Redeemer. This is an absolute must-do when visiting the city but plan to do this on a clear day and preferably in the morning.

Part of the attraction is the thrill of riding the cable car between Sugar Loaf and the Morro da Urca , a lower peak from which a second cableway connects to the city.

View from Sugar Loaf to Copacabana Beach

Rio's first settlement began below these peaks, near the long Praia da Urca beach, and you can tour one of the three early forts there, the star-shaped Fort São João .

Iguaçu Falls

Iguaçu Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. 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 falls, 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 home to more than 1,000 species of birds and mammals, including deer, otters, ocelots, and capybaras.

In early November 2023, water flows that were ten times normal levels caused significant damage to many of the walkways in and around the falls. The most famous, the Devil's Throat, has reopened but the Garganta del Diablo will be closed for quite some time with no reopening date announced as of writing.

Copacabana Beach

It's hard to think of Rio without conjuring up an image of Copacabana. This is Rio's playground, a popular escape from the heat filled with sun-worshipers, swimmers, and kids building sand castles. A seemingly endless assortment of beach shacks offer chair and umbrella rentals, snacks, drinks, and even free showers.

Downtown Rio's most famous section follows Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana and is bordered all along one side by four kilometers of white sand and breaking surf .

View over Copacabana Beach

The beach is separated from the buildings and traffic by a broad promenade paved in black and white mosaic in an undulating pattern reminiscent of streets in Lisbon, Portugal. Along this promenade, the famed Copacabana Palace is protected as a national monument. Inside this hotel's lobby, you can easily imagine seeing the royalty and film idols who have stayed here.

Amazon Rain Forest

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. Also close to Manaus, the 688-hectare Janauari Ecological Park has a number of different ecosystems that you can explore by boat along its narrow waterways.

An entire lake here is covered with giant water-lilies found only in the Amazon region. While in Manaus, be sure to see its famous Teatro Amazonas , the Italian Renaissance-style opera house, designed to put Manaus on the map as South America's great center of culture.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Manaus

Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro

Few shows match Rio's pre-Lenten Carnaval (Carnival) extravaganza for color, sound, action, and exuberance. Make no mistake, this is not just another rowdy street party, but a carefully staged showpiece, where spectators can watch the parades of competing samba dancers from a purpose-built stadium designed by none other than Brazil's best-known architect, Oscar Niemeyer.

Called the Sambódromo , this long series of grandstand boxes provides ringside seats to a 700-meter parade route where dancers and musicians from the competing samba schools strut their stuff in a dazzling explosion of brilliant costumes.

If mob scenes are less appealing to you than more spontaneous celebrations (that are equally riotous and colorful), you'll also find Carnivals in Salvador , Bahia, Recife, and other Brazilian cities.

Brasília's Modernist Architecture

Brazil's new city of Brasília was carved out of the wilderness and completed in less than three years to replace Rio de Janeiro as the country's capital in 1960. The ambitious plan by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer became a showpiece of city planning and avant-garde architecture, and it remains today as one of the world's few cities that represent a completed plan and a single architectural concept.

Without the normal mix of residential and business districts, the entire governmental section is composed of major architectural highlights, which are the city's main tourist attractions . Some of the most striking surround Praça dos Tràs Poderes : the presidential palace, supreme court, and the two sharply contrasting congress buildings, plus the Historical Museum of Brasília and the Panteão da Liberdade (Pantheon of Freedom), designed by Oscar Niemeyer.

That architect's best-known building in the city is the circular Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida , whose curved concrete columns rise to support a glass roof. Another of Niemeyer's landmark works is the Palácio dos Arcos , surrounded by beautiful gardens designed by Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, who worked with Niemeyer on several projects throughout Brazil.

The round Memorial dos Povos Indígenas (Museum of Indigenous People) is patterned after a traditional Yąnomamö round house. But many consider Niemeyer's finest work to be the Monumento JK , a memorial to President Juscelino Kubitschek, the founder of Brasilia. Brasilia has been named a UNESCO World Heritage city.

The beach in Jericoacoara

If you've ever dreamed of a beachside village where all the streets are sand and like with good restaurants, decent hotels, and the odd donkey wandering around, Jericoacoara is the place for you. Jeri, as it's commonly referred to is, located within the confines of the spectacular Jericoacoara National Park , access is only through a huge expanse of massive sand dunes in a 4WD vehicle or, for the more adventurous, on the back of a beach buggy.

Evening in Jericoacoara

Each night the town comes alive when the mobile vendors set up shop on the sand and the band starts to play. Grab a bite from one of the small BBQ stands and catch the sunset as it sinks into the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, or even better secure a rooftop patio seat. Later on wander the sandy, pedestrian-only streets and enjoy a dinner with your toes in the sand. After dinner, check out one of the many boutiques featuring a variety of beach and resort clothing.

Buggy in the sand dunes near Jericoacoara

Windswept beaches run for hundreds of miles north and south of Jeri and this draws wind sport enthusiasts from around the world. Jeri is considered by many to be the best place in the world to go kiteboarding and as a result, draws a diverse set of participants from across the globe.

To experience the dunes or explore freshwater lagoons, where you can set up beachside at a restaurant and go for a swim, hire a buggy for the day , and go on an excursion. You can also head down towards Guiru or further along to Tatajuba to see or enjoy more kiteboarding. It's a fun trip that involves a river crossing on a small, flat barge.

Kiteboarding in Guajiru

You can fly directly to Jericoacoara . As an alternative, you can fly into Fortaleza and hire a car and driver to run you up the coast, which is about a five-hour drive . The best option is to stop off for a night or two along the way in some of the other beach towns like Cumbuco or Guajiru , both of which are popular kiteboarding areas.

Aerial view of Ipanema and Leblon Beach

Beyond the beaches of Copacabana, the glorious white sands merge into the just-as-famous beaches of Ipanema. The same wave design of Copacabana's wide promenade continues here, separating the sand from the line of hotels, restaurants, cafés, art galleries, and cinemas that make this a popular social zone year-round.

Farther along, beyond the Jardim de Alá Canal, which drains Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, are the beaches of Leblon . With more locals and fewer tourists, these beaches are favorites for families. Sunday is especially busy, with an antiques market at Praça de Quentaland and the Feira de Artesanato de Ipanema , alive with music, art, handicrafts, and street food.

The waves at Ipanema and Leblon can be very strong and unpredictable, so be careful where you swim. Follow the locals and stay out of the water where you don't see others swimming. If surf is what you're looking for, head to the stretch between Copacabana and Ipanema, where the surfers hang out.

Salvador's Pelourinho

The Cidade Alta (Upper Town) of Brazil's former colonial capital has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its exceptional collection of 17th- and 18th-century colonial buildings, the finest such ensemble in South America.

Called the Pelourinho, this old quarter is where you'll find Salvador's most beautiful churches and monasteries, built at a time when Brazil was the source of Portugal's riches, and the plentiful gold was lavished on the colony's religious buildings.

The finest and most opulent of the city's churches is São Francisco , built in the early 1700s and filled with intricate carvings covered in gold. In the choir and cloister, you can see excellent examples of Portuguese tile panels, called azulejos.

This was the friary church, and next to it is the church of the Franciscan Third Order. It's impossible to miss the riotously carved façade covered in statues and intricate decoration. The interior is just as ornate, surpassing even the Portuguese Baroque in its opulent detail.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Salvador

Ouro Preto

The wealth of Brazil's state of Minas Gerais in its glory days of the colonial period is easy to imagine from the interiors of the churches in its old capital, Ouro Preto. Entire walls are washed in gold that flowed – along with diamonds – from the mines surrounding the city in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Cascading down the sides of a steep valley and surrounded by mountains, Ouro Preto is a jewel of a colonial town, but its steep narrow streets and mountain setting – however captivating for tourists today – didn't meet the needs of a growing provincial capital. The government moved to the newly built capital of Belo Horizonte, leaving Ouro Preto in its time capsule.

The 17th-century Baroque and Rococo churches of São Francisco de Assis and Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Pilar are the best examples, but the entire town is so rich in colonial architecture that Ouro Preto has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The steep streets, so precipitous in places that they become stairways, are lined by gracious colonial mansions, and white churches crown its hills with Baroque bell towers.

Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro

The futuristic architecture of the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro gives a clue about its contents. Thought-provoking exhibits invite visitors to think about what the world might be like in the future, exploring scenarios of how our planet may change in the next half-century.

Examining these times of fast-moving changes in society, technology, and the physical world, the museum prompts viewers to consider various paths into the future, and how each opens up based on the choices made every day as individuals and as a society.

This eye-catching science museum overlooking the waterfront was designed by Spanish architect and artist, Santiago Calatrava.

Address: Praça Mauá 1, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ibirapuera Park

The most visited park in South America, Ibirapuera Park is a vast green space designed by Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, with buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The park is a showcase for modern architecture and a center for Brazilian culture.

Amid its monuments, gardens, playgrounds, trails, and lakes are museums and performance spaces that include Oscar Niemeyer's Auditório Ibirapuera , one of São Paulo's best concert venues. A Japanese Pavilion with sculptures, clothing, and traditional crafts is set in rock gardens with a fishpond.

The Museu da Aeronáutica e do Folclore , the Aeronautics and Folk Art Museum , features thousands of examples of folk arts and exhibits on traditional cultures from across Brazil. The lower floor is devoted to aeronautical equipment and model airplanes. A separate museum, the large Museu Afro-Brasil , features the culture and history of Afro-Brazilians and their contributions.

Address: Avenida Pedro Alvares Cabral, São Paulo

Oscar Niemeyer Museum

Paving the way for the unconventional building shapes created by later futurist architects such as Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava, Oscar Niemeyer left his native Brazil with a treasury of his most iconic buildings. One of these was built as the New Museum, completed in 2002 when Niemeyer was 95 years old, and renamed in tribute to him in 2003.

Balanced on a massive 60-foot pillar, the gallery is formed by a pair of joined arcs that resemble the shape of the human eye, hence its popular name, Museu do Olho – Eye Museum. Access to this raised structure is by a series of curved ramps. Inside the eye, the 2,000-square-foot gallery focuses on architecture, design, and the visual arts, and displays many of Niemeyer's works.

Niemeyer added a later rectangular gallery on the grounds to display changing exhibitions of works by contemporary Brazilian artists. In addition to visiting during its daytime open hours, try to see the Museu Oscar Niemeyer after dark, when it is spectacularly lighted.

Address: Rua Marechal Hermes 999, Curitiba

Botanical Garden of Curitiba

Reflecting the style of 17 th - and 18 th -century French palace gardens, Curitiba's Botanical Garden was opened in 1991. Formal beds are outlined by low sculpted hedges, in a geometric design inspired by the city's flag. The landscape is enlivened by fountains, waterfalls, and ponds, and in the park surrounding the gardens are forests of native trees, with walking paths.

The focal point of the botanical gardens is the main greenhouse, an Art Nouveau-style conservatory made of glass and white metal, reminiscent of the Crystal Palace in Victorian London. Its unusual shape includes three domes that merge into the rectangular base. Inside are plants native to the region.

Even the grass in the Garden of Native Plants of Curitiba is a native variety, and its flowers are especially attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. The Garden of the Senses (Jardim das Sensações) is a 200-yard path through a wisteria tunnel, where more than 70 plant species are chosen for their fragrance or tactile appeal. Visitors are invited to try walking through it blindfolded to fully appreciate the garden by using their other senses.

Behind the main greenhouse is the Frans Krajcberg Cultural Space, displaying more than 100 large sculptures created from the remains of trees that were burned or illegally cut, calling public attention to the destruction of Brazil's native forests.

Pernambuco Beaches

The crystal waters, tall palm trees, and broad stretches of silver sand are only a few of the reasons why Porto de Galinhas is frequently cited as Brazil's best beach. For a country with more than 7,000 kilometers of Atlantic coast, much of it sandy beaches, that's saying a lot.

The town stretching along the beach is laid-back, colorful, and just the right blend of old-fashioned beach town fun and chic boutiques. Its hotels and resorts lie close to the land instead of soaring in high-rise blocks.

Jangadas, picturesque sailboats, will take you out to reef-top pools where brilliant tropical fish swim around your feet in ankle-deep water. You can also take a boat to a lagoon where tiny seahorses swim, and you can scuba dive to explore impressive coral reefs or shipwrecks, kayak in the lagoons and estuary, or buy a fanciful kite from a beach kiosk to fly in the steady breeze. Nearby Maracaipe is popular with surfers.

Porto de Galinhas is just one of the beautiful beaches on Pernambuco's 187-kilometer coast. Closer to Recife, 17th-century Olinda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site overlooking a popular beach. The main beaches in Recife itself are Praia da Boa Viagem, São José da Coroa Grande, and the Carne De Vaca.

Art Museums of Sao Paulo

São Paulo holds some of the best collections of fine arts in Latin America, and the buildings in which they are housed are architectural landmarks as well. The Museu de Arte, MASP, displays the continent's most comprehensive collection of western art, with representative works by artists from the Renaissance through modern masters.

There are 73 bronze sculptures by Degas and works by Renoir, Manet, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, and Miró. From its beginning, the museum has concentrated on works of mid- to late-20th-century artists, and the building designed by architect Lina Bo Bardi is a Modernist landmark.

Oscar Niemeyer designed the Pavilhão da Bienal de Artes in Ibirapuera Park , home to the Museu de Arte Contemporânea. More than 8,000 works of art - one of Latin America's largest collections of 20th-century Western artists - includes Picasso, Chagall, Kandinsky, Miró, and Modigliani along with major Brazilian painters.

Set above Versailles-inspired formal gardens, Museu do Ipiranga houses paintings and decorative arts.

For another kind of art, don't miss Batman's Alley , an open-air gallery of street art by local and international artists. It is in the bohemian Vila Madalena neighborhood, where you'll also find art galleries showing the works of well-known and rising Brazilian artists and craftspeople.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in São Paulo

Praca da Liberdade, Belo Horizonte

The capital of the state of Minas Gerais gave the pre-eminent Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer his first commissions, and today, these early Niemeyer buildings draw tourists and fans of Modernist architecture to the city.

His first major work, which immediately set him apart from conventional architects, was the parabolic-curved São Francisco de Assis church, beside a lake in the Pampulha neighborhood. On the hillside above it, and connected by gardens designed by landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, is Niemeyer's earlier casino building, now an art museum.

Overlooking the large Praça da Liberdade in the city center is the sinuous apartment building, Edificio Niemeyer , one of his most famous early works. The clean geometric lines of his later Palácio das Artes mark the edge of the Municipal Park, housing the Minas Gerais Craft Center featuring works of contemporary craftsmen.

The postmodern Rainha da Sucata – Queen of Scrap Iron – is another landmark building in Belo Horizonte, this one the work of Éolo Maia and Sylvio Podestá. It now houses the mineralogy museum.

Read More: Top Attractions & Things to Do in Belo Horizonte & Easy Day Trips

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

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The 25 Best Places to Visit And Things To Do In Brazil!

Posted on Last updated: December 15, 2023

Categories Brazil , South America

The 25 Best Places to Visit And Things To Do In Brazil!

Expert travel storyteller Jordan Adkins, founder of, brings a decade of adventures across 101 countries and 450+ UNESCO sites into rich, off-the-beaten-path narratives, melding ecological expertise with genuine, seasoned travel insights. His full bio can be found here.

One of the world’s most fascinating countries, there are so many things to do in Brazil that adventure-hungry travelers are spoilt for choice. Whether you want to hike in the jungles, lie on the beach or dance in the streets, you can do that here.

From tranquil beaches to vibrant cities to lush rainforests, the country spans a huge variety of landscapes — and as a result, there are so many places to visit in Brazil.

If you’re not already captivated by its scenery and biodiversity, you’ll be hooked by the culture. There are energy and a love of life that runs through every aspect of Brazilian culture.

Samba dancing, drumming in Carnival, indigenous and Portuguese influences, mouth watering food; all of these aspects and more combine to create an atmosphere that you’ll want to stay in forever.

things to do in brazil

And, to put it plainly: Brazil loves to party!

You’ll have heard of Carnaval, of course; a cacophony of music, dancing, and general joy. There are also diverse festivals going on throughout the year, great nights out in the cities and towns; not to mention just any quick drink turning into dancing at dawn!

So, what are some of the best things to do in Brazil? With so much on offer, how can you narrow it down? We’ve got some suggestions below.

things to do in brazil

The 25 Best Places to Visit And Things To Do In Brazil! 🇧🇷

Page Contents

Rio de Janeiro

Fernando de noronha, iguazu falls, recife & olinda, lençóis maranhenses national park, parque nacional da chapada diamantina, ilha grande, florianópolis, amazon from manaus, são miguel das missões, alter do chao, belo horizonte, the pantanal, salvador city, chapada dos veadeiros national park, vale dos vinhedos, armação dos búzios.

World-famous for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Christ the Redeemer statue and wild Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro is absolutely top of the list of things to do in Brazil. We can’t pretend it’s a quiet place, but it’s got a relaxed, carefree attitude that is intoxicating for travelers.

Otherwise known as the Cidade Marvalihosa (Marvelous City), here you’ll find lush forests and mountains circling the city while the beach acts as the city’s backyard.

You can hike, surf, sail or rock climb – or just chill on the sands, if you’d rather! It’s a stunning landscape for a city and you’ll never stop appreciating the beauty. In a city this, well, marvelous, it’s hard to get past the superlatives and decide exactly what to do — so to help, we have put together a list of the top things to do in Rio de Janeiro Brazil!

The rich and varied history means there’s plenty to discover among Rio’s myriad attractions. That is, if you want to leave the endless fun of the bars and the beach. Arriving at a festival time means you’ll soak up even more of the joyful celebration, whether it’s a big football match, Carnaval or weekend samba parties. New Year is also a pretty spectacular time to enjoy all that makes Rio special.

places to visit in brazil

The tropical oasis of Fernando de Noronha is in an entire league of its own. The isolated tip of a submerged ocean volcanic, the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, lies 271 miles (350 km) off Brazil’s northeast coast and consists of 21 islands.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site with a sensitive ecosystem, tourist numbers here are restricted to around 450 to 500 people per day. But the lucky few that make it here are duly rewarded …

Fernando de Noronha has everything you could want from an unforgettable island getaway. Picturesque scenery, majestic seascapes, fine white sand beaches, bountiful diving, animated snorkeling, turquoise waters, and oh-so-much-more.

Only one island in the chain is inhabited, with a population of around 5,000 people. Otherwise, most of the rest of this paradisaical retreat is left to the seabirds, reptiles, turtles, and exotic marine life. A nature lover’s paradise, Fernando de Noronha can be compared to Fiji , an arresting beach island scene straight out of a Hollywood film set.

There are a limited number of flights daily, so getting here – and accommodation once you arrive – is not particularly cheap. Still, if you can stretch your budget, Fernando de Noronha is worth every cent.

Fernando de Noronha - Top Things To Do In Brazil

As well as fascinating cities, Brazil also has some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world; the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls are among these. There are 275 separate drops along the 2.7 kilometers of the falls, which separate Argentina and Brazil. From the Brazilian side, you go to the Igauçu National Park to enjoy the spectacle.

There’s an intricate series of footpaths and walkways that enable visitors to get up close to the natural beauty and on the Brazilian side, there’s a long pathway along the canyon.

A must-see for everyone is Devil’s Throat, a narrow chasm that takes half of the river’s flow along; you can imagine the power and noise of the water there.

Get a panoramic view of the falls from the trail or splurge on a helicopter ride for the bird’s eye perspective. Stay in the nearby town of Foz de Iguacu so you can get up early to beat the heat and the crowds; then enjoy being mesmerized by the majesty of this remarkable place.

things to do in rio de janeiro

Recife and Olinda are sister cities on Brazil’s northeast coast that stand within sight of each other. Both started life as colonial cities under Portuguese rule, exploiting the vast richness of the New World, but over the centuries Recife has pulled ahead while Olinda has kept its small-town charm. The juxtaposition of both is tantalizing, and ensuring visiting them together is one of the top things to do Brazil.

Recife, the capital of Pernambuco state, has a booming population and everything from charming canals and vividly painted colonial buildings to glistening skyscrapers, palm-fringed beaches, and exuberant nightlife. An energetic and inspiring city, Recife also has plenty of entertainment and cultural attractions, more than a dash of grit and growing traffic problems. A true metropolis – warts and all.

In contrast, Olinda – just a short bus trip to the north – has very much maintained its colonial charm and clings to a slower pace of life. Position on a hillside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this UNESCO World Heritage site is an artsy counterpart to Recife with galleries, workshops, baroque churches, convents, monasteries, and wonderfully preserved houses and manors.

It is rare in the world to find two destinations that contrast and complement each other so completely. On their own, each would be worth a visit – but together, they become one of the absolute top highlights of Brazil.

Recife & Olinda - brazil places to go

A must-visit destination for anyone fascinated by the natural landscape, this 1550 square kilometer national park is a spectacular area filled with dunes, lagoons, and beaches. Its undulating dunes give the park its name – ‘Lençóis’ means ‘bedsheets’ and these expanses really do look like sheets draped across the land.

The rains between May and September get filtered by the sand to create incredibly clear blue lakes between the hills of sand. You can choose whether you navigate the area on foot, on horseback or in a car; whatever you do, you won’t regret making the effort to come here. It’s got an almost otherworldly quality, making a dramatic impact.

It’s easy to see why it is called one of the most beautiful places in Brazil – and people make the considerable effort to get here. 

The most convenient way to explore is to stay at Barreirinhas on the river although if you don’t mind heading somewhere more remote, Santo Amaro and Atins are more peaceful bases.

things to do in rio de janeiro | things to do in rio

An expansive national park in eastern Brazil, Chapada Diamantina attracts adventurous tourists looking for nature, hiking, colonial wonders, and off-the-beaten-track experiences. And boy, do they find it here.

An almost untouched wonderland of cascading waterfalls, intrepid hiking, and panoramic views – the entire park sits atop an otherworldly 41,751 square kilometers (16,120 sq. mi) plateau bounded by cliffs in central Bahia.

The most famous attraction is the Fumaça Waterfall, one of the tallest waterfalls in Brazil, which at 340 m tall evaporates in a mist before even reaching the ground. Another famous highlight is the cauldron-like Devil’s Pool, with its deep black water and sinister history, or the enormous sandstone-and-quartz Lapão Cave.

Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina offers everything from day hikes to multi-day journeys. There are plenty of trained local guides happy to help you organize your expeditions once you arrive. The old colonial mining towns of Lençois and Mucugê are popular bases for exploring the park and offer cobblestone streets, outdoor cafes and a cute range of pousadas (a boutique inn that provides a more intimate experience than your traditional hotel).

Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina - Best things to see in Brazil

If you’re tired of the mega-cities yet still want to experience town life in Brazil, Ouro Preto is the place to go. It’s one of several colonial towns in the state of Minas Gerais that date back to the 18th-century gold rush and by far the most beautiful.

It’s not just historically important for the gold mining but also for being the setting for the country’s first independence movement. That is probably why they made if a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you have traveled to places like Lisbon,  you’ll really be able to see the influence of Portugal on Ouro Preto. In fact, Ouro Preto actually has some of the best-preserved Portuguese colonial architecture, with few signs of modern urban development—unlike Macau.

Sure it might not be that easy to get to, but the best places never are and you will be justly rewarded with a fairytale town like no others. It’s pure magic!

There’s so much joy here in getting lost in the narrow, cobbled, steep streets (not to mention you’ll have thighs of steel by the time you’re done!) and the views once you get to a vantage point are incredible.

It’s also one of the more artistic things to do in Brazil with a range of art galleries and cultural centers showing off the mineiro art.

what to see and do in brazil

Do you dream of cocktails at sunset? White sand under your toes and the sound of waves crashing on the beach? A stress-free location away from chaos where no cars are allowed, prices are low, and your biggest worry will be ‘Açai or Coconut for lunch?’

Well then, do we have the island for you. Ilha Grande is a fabulous tropical island located only a few hours bus and boat trip away from Rio de Janeiro on Brazil’s stunning southeast coastline. Yes, this could be all yours: gorgeous blue skies, empty beaches, and that tempting ocean. Just imagine…

It’s a natural paradise with 99% of the island being covered in natural Atlantic Rainforest, only one small town and a series of paths crisscrossing the dense vegetation leading to deserted beaches.

Yes, it sounds like heaven— and that’s because it probably is.

Then there is the thriving (but laid-back) nightlife scene, incredible sunsets, fantastic snorkeling, funky monkeys, range of affordable accommodation islands, and abundance of caipirinhas.  Most people who travel here end up extending their stay, but it’s hard to know beforehand if you will like it, and how long you will need, so we have put together a more comprehensive guide to things to do in Ilha Grande to help you fall in love with this magnificent place.

Ilha Grande - places to visit in brazil

From secluded natural beauty to wild and wonderful festivities with a cacophony of noise and color. An annual festival held in February in the run-up to Lent, this is a time where Brazilan cities let loose with parades, music, and dancing.

A lot of dancing.

While the Rio Carnaval is the most famous, you can go to any city in Brazil at this time and experience the best party you’ve ever been to. The entire county celebrates Carnaval and unifies for almost a week of non-stop partying.

In the Southeast Region you’ll hear a lot more samba; in the Northeast, more frevo and maracutu. Whatever the music and wherever you are, shine your sequins and get ready for spectacle galore!

famous places in brazil

Freshwater snorkeling in heavenly Bonito one of the best-kept secrets in Brazil, though its popularity is growing.

Bonito is an eco-tourism hub in Mato Grosso do Sul state in Southern Brazil. The encompassing area has garnered a reputation for its crystal-clear rivers, huge, stalactite-covered cavern, and a bounty of colorful fish.

Located on the edge of the great Amazon basin, Bonito is a mirror into the underworld – similar to the great cenotes of Tulum and Cuba . While unassuming on the surface, there is a reason by Bonito is named after the Portuguese for “beautiful.”

While snorkeling in the magical waterways that end in shallow (and warm) pools as clear as glass is the main highlight, Bonito is also the jumping-off point for expeditions into the Pantanal region, filled with jaguars, boa constrictors, and colorful birds. Then there are the river-beaches on clear water lakes, zip-lining adventures, paddle boarding, scuba diving, and fantasy waterfalls.

An aquarium come to life; Bonito is a jungle-laden paradise with just enough eco-tourism operators to make life easy— yet not enough to destroy what makes this spot so enchanting.

Bonito, Grute do Lago Azul, Brazil - what to do in brazil

The capital of southern Brazil’s Santa Catarina state, Florianópolis, is the place to go for beach resorts, surfing, boating, and a heavy German influence.

Most of the city lies on the spectacular 54-kilometer-long Santa Catarina Island and connected to a mainland commercial area via the famous Pedro Ivo Campos Bridge. The frontier between Portuguese and Spanish empires, the region was filled with German-speaking immigrants in the 1820s to act as a buffer – and has had a lasting legacy.

These immigrants kept their small family-owned farming practices, similar to North America at the time, yet vastly different from the mega-plantation culture of most of Brazil. This resulted in Florianópolis having a healthier legacy of equality and egalitarian policies than the rest of the country — a trend that continues today. Not to mention a wild Oktoberfest festival, fascinating history, and a flourishing cultural scene.

For tourists, there is sun, sand, and surf aplenty, with beach hopping being the most popular attraction. The seafood and beer are both expectedly standout, as is the sophisticated city vibes. With over a hundred beaches, all encircled by picturesque hills covered with lush Atlantic Forest vegetation – it is impossible not to love this unique place in Brazil.

Florianópolis - Best Places To Visit in Brazil

What Sao Paulo lacks in Rio-style beauty and landscape, it more than makes up for in energy and pride. Ask any resident and they’ll tell you at length how they’ll never live anywhere else – so it’s definitely somewhere that travelers should check out. Traffic galore there may be but there’s plenty to experience in this bustling cosmopolitan city.

 It’s the art center of Brazil so, as might be expected, there are a wealth of museums, galleries and cultural centers. Not to mention all the street art.

Head downtown for the historic area and many of the main attractions; head to the other areas for more of an insight into the daily life of the Paulistanos. In the evenings, aside from a great nightlife, there is always something happening, whether it’s theatre, musical performance and international events.

We love heading to Avenida Paulista on a Sunday to join in the masses of people walking, cycling and rollerblading along the temporarily pedestrianized street. The city is also home to a wide range of culinary delights and it’s definitely one of the top places to go in Brazil for foodies.

places to visit in brazil

Another contender for the most beautiful town in Brazil, Tiradentes in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, is an unspoiled case of Portuguese colonial architecture. It is so well preserved and so appealing, you would at times think you have mistakenly wandered into a movie set – and will catch yourself thinking,’ how can a place be so perfect.’

Gorgeous homes set along cobblestone roads enveloped by green mountains and a truly majestic church: Tiradentes is the kind of place dreams are made of. Except it is real. When gold became scarce, this historic mining town was largely forgotten and fell into decay. Crucially, this meant it wasn’t modified or ravaged by growth and modernity. When tourism began to trickle back here in the late 1970s, intrepid guests were rewarded with exceptionally preserved Baroque structures thanks to the years of isolation.

Beyond the obvious visual appeal, there is a booming restaurant scene, lush forest hikes, and some wonderfully insightful museums. The charming São José Fountain should not be missed, along with the vintage steam train that runs between Tiradentes and the magnificent Serra São José grouping of quartzite blocks.

Tiradentes - Things to do in Brazil

If you’re looking for things to do in Brazil that give you more of a perspective on the country, then Brasilia is one of those. Established as the capital city in 1960, it was a utopian vision of organized urban design in response to the perceived chaos of Rio and Sao Paulo.

It was designed in the shape of a crucifix but is also often compared to an airplane, with Eixo Monumental forming the central body with the star attractions laid out along it and two wings making up the residential and commercial sectors.   

It’s a spread-out city with lots of spaghetti junctions so you can’t walk around it the same way you would other cities, but there’s still plenty to discover.

Head up to the viewing platform of the Television Tower to appreciate the city plan or stroll past the government buildings on the Esplanade of the Ministries. Go bar hopping, starting at old favorite Beirute, or enjoy culinary experiences in some of Brasilia’s ever-increasing contemporary restaurants.

things to do in rio de janeiro | things to do in rio

A small town popular with backpackers, Paraty is flanked by the jaw-dropping mountains on Brazil’s Costa Verde and supremely positioned between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

The perfect place to break up a trip, Paraty has a lot going for it with a rich Portuguese colonial center including cobbled streets and many excellent 17th- and 18th-century buildings due to its history as an important port during the Brazilian Gold Rush.

Today more of a popular artist refuge and tourist hotspot than an export hub, Paraty was recently recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the nearby island of Ilha Grande.

Paraty is a welcome escape from the city madness, with tropical hiking, horseback riding, boat cruising, and snorkeling. Or you can just spend hours exploring the colonial-era streets, darting into small cafes, whitewashed churches, and modern galleries. Paraty has long been a beloved getaway for residents of Rio, but now the cosmopolitan vibes have been taken a step further with the influx of international vacationers.

In August, Paraty host the annual Festival of Cachaça, and in May, there is the Paraty Bourbon Jazz Festival, which includes many of the world’s top artists. Add to this the 65 islands and 300 beaches nearby, a fun cook school, a slew of bars and luxe lodgings, and it is safe to say Paraty will firmly keep its status as one of the best places to visit in Brazil for the foreseeable future.

Paraty - things to do in brazil

The Amazon has captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the ages and for good reason. Its incomparable ecosystem and diverse flora and fauna are fascinating not just to biologists, but to travelers, which is why going on an Amazon Rainforest River Tour on the Rio Negro is so popular!

Cruising down the Amazon River taking in the quiet majesty of the area is one of the things to do in Brazil that just can’t be missed.

Manaus is the largest city nearby and definitely the most convenient location you can explore from. Here you’ll find a wide range of accommodation options and tour operators to fit every budget. And prices are a lot lower here than what you can find in the Ecuadorian Amazon or Peruvian Amazon if that helps…

You can go on organized hikes into the jungle, canoe trips or even go fishing. All of these are unforgettable experiences to help you appreciate the power of the river and the life it generates around it.

brazil places to see

São Miguel das Missões in Rio Grande do Sul state is a monumental Spanish Jesuit mission ruins from the 17th century.

It was built because the Jesuits at the time of colonization were on a mission of evangelizing the Indigenous people of Bacia do Rio Prata (a territory that today is spread across Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil), to preserve their culture and language and protect them from Portuguese slave traders. Eighteen such villages were built as places where converted Indigenous people lived, to adapt their lifestyle to Christianity.

The Jesuits were eventually expelled under the Treaty of Madrid when the area was transferred from Spain to Portugal. The Guaraní tribes who lived here refused to comply with the order to relocate from their homelands, and thus a joint Portuguese-Spanish army attacked and defeated the Guaraní. The São Miguel das Missões was left in ruins, the Guaraní were killed and enslaved, and this great social experiment ended.

The ruins today have a ‘paradise lost’ feel to them, with an incredible museum and many gorgeous viewpoints to appreciate the scale of the undertaking.

In 1984 the Mission was listed as World Heritage under the Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis listing, along with three others in Argentina including the equally impressive San Ignacio Mini.

São Miguel das Missões - Brazil Things to Do

Hidden in the murky depths of the famous Amazon jungle, Alter do Chao is a quirky and offbeat beach destination that boasts astonishing white sandy stretches that will convince you you’ve somehow traveled to Brazil’s famous north coast.

Located around 33 kilometers west of the already isolated Santarém, Alter do Chao is most well-known for its Ilha do Amor (Island of Love), an arresting island ringed by a white-sand beach. But there is much more to this place than just beaches; there is a three-fingered lagoon to investigate – either by canoe or stand-up paddleboard – and boat tours into the surrounding Amazon.

You should not miss a trip to Ponta do Cururu at sunset where large numbers of pink and grey dolphins gather for an evening meal. An ethereal experience — to say the least.

Positioned on a major tributary of the Amazon river between Belem and Manaus, the isolation of Alter do Chão’s and retreat from the modern world is the appeal here – and the main reason why there are so few visitors. A lack of roads in the region means the main way to get here is by flying to Santarém and then catching the bus. You’ll be duly rewarded for your efforts.

Alter do Chao Brazil - Places To Go

While not on most tourist itinerary for Brazil, landlocked Belo Horizonte is the capital city of Brazil’s Minas Gerais and the countries sixth-largest city.

A lively, industrial and gritty city – architectural lovers should not miss this city and the Pampulha Lake Architectural Complex, home to an assortment of incredible designs by Brazil’s modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer. There is the wavy-topped Church of St. Francis of Assisi, a casino, a ballroom, the Golf Yacht Club, and various other edifices all in collaboration with famed landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx and give a hint to what he would later build in Brasília.

The artificial lake itself is also stunning and has capybara living around its edge.

Back in the concrete jungle, Belo Horizonte is a sprawling mess – but has plenty of charm if you are willing to seek it out. The Instituto de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim is the world’s largest open-air contemporary art museum with 87 acres of beautiful gardens— then there is a vibrant central market and a revitalizing museum scene.

Ouro Preto is also a short distance away, making Belo Horizonte a convenient stopover point.

Belo Horizonte - best things to see in brazil

Another of the most incredible natural sites in Brazil, the Pantanal is virtually unpopulated. It’s an enormous wetland covering approximately 210,000 square kilometers and hosting an amazing variety of animals.

Definitely, one for the nature lovers, the wildlife here is unmissable if you like to see creatures in their natural habit. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pantanal Conservation Area actually consists of a group of four protected areas with a total area of 187,818 ha.

Positioned in western central Brazil at the south-west corner of the State of Mato Grosso, the protected site stewards 1.3% of Brazil’s Pantanal region, one of the world’s largest freshwater wetland ecosystems.

The headwaters of the region’s two primary river systems, the Cuiabá and the Paraguay rivers, are found here, and the wealth and diversity of its vegetation and animal life are magnificent.

cool places to visit in brazil

Belém, the largest city of the state of Pará in the country’s north, is the eastern gateway to the Amazon River.

2.5 million people reside in this tropical metropolis, which has benefited throughout its history from a position approximately 100 km upriver from the Atlantic Ocean.

While many might flit through this transit hub in a rush to more exotic adventures, you should spend a few days exploring the dynamic city filled with mango trees, vibrant markets, museums, and a growing restaurant scene. For a while during the rubber boom in the late 19th century Belem was known as the ‘tropical Paris; with electricity, grand monuments, streetcars, and a sophisticated European vibe – though today Belem is very much forging its own path.

The standout highlight has to be the colorful riverfront district Cidade Velha (old town) filled with Portuguese-colonial architecture similar to Lagos or Porto – with plenty of ornate churches, picturesque azulejo-tile houses, and an extensive 17th-century fort.

Another ‘must-see spot’ is the vast Ver-o-Peso open-air market located on Guajará bay’s docks and hawking exotic Amazonian fish, unknown fruit, and indigenous handicrafts. It is considered one of the largest markets in Latin America, and you can spend at least a few hours perusing the items on sale, interspersed with breaks for a gratifying bowl of pulped açai berries at one of the stands and a cold bottle of Tijuca beer to top it all off.

In the evening – try to catch an opera or performance at the Theatro da Paz, which would look right at home in Vienna or Buenos Aires .

Belem - Northern Brazil things to do

We love Salvador, Brazil’s third-largest city, for its lively mix of cultures and styles, its 17 th and 18th-century architecture, and its endless vibrancy. This is the epicenter of Brazil’s Afro-Brazilian community and where the best music and culture can be found.   

Of all the things to do in Brazil, make Salvador one of them. During the days, explore streets so picturesque that you feel like you have stepped back in time, especially in the center (Pelourinho); at night, take a ride on the 85 meters Art Deco Lacerda Elevator on your way to a delicious meal in one of the many restaurants. Architecturally blessed and culturally diverse, Salvador was the first capital city of Brazil and has it all.

In between times, chill on the beach. This is a city that likes to live, so enjoy being part of it!

Salvador City - Beach Cities in Brazil

An improbable eco-tourism destination, the remote Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in the central Brazilian state of Goiás is 650 square kilometers of big sky country. There are rolling hills, lush flora and fauna, dramatic canyons, and plenty of hiking trails to keep you occupied for at least a few days.

Rivers crisscross the park (and surrounding private land), creating a lattice of canyons, cliffs, and rivers – usually with a waterfall somewhere to allow for a refreshing dip at the end of the hike. There is an abundance of orchids, and iconic wildlife species like jaguars, armadillos, jaguars, and toucans.

Guides are no longer required to hike here, but if you want to learn about the biodiversity here, they are recommended. The Travessia das Sete Quedas hike, in particular, is simply magical, a 23-kilometer trail through a spectacular canyon and crossing the Rio Preto river twice. You can do it all in one day, or overnight in a campsite with seven small waterfalls nearby.

Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park access is from the nearby town of São Jorge, which connects to kooky Alto Paraíso de Goiás and the rest of the start.

Chapada dos Veadeiros, Alto Paraíso de Goiás - GO, Brasil - Places To Visit In brazil

Who would have expected one of the top things to do in Brazil to be to visit wine country, but yes – the Vale dos Vinhedos Wine Region proves this marvelous country does have it all.

Located in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul between the cities of Garibaldi, Bento Gonçalves, and Monte Belo do Sul, this area has a strong Italian influence. It also offers the unique properties required in terms of soil, climate, topography, and culture to create a desirable bottle of wine.

Vale dos Vinhedos covers 82 square kilometers (32 square miles) and is home to over 30 wineries and an influential national grape and wine research bureau. Miniature estates sit alongside larger wineries providing plenty of options for wine tours, with most allowing drop-in visitors.

Even for those who don’t like wine, the attractive area also houses a cornucopia of cheese factories, art workshops, craft houses, restaurants, and boutique accommodations. The work of the Italian immigrants over the last 150 years has culminated in Vale dos Vinhedos getting a reputation for outstanding vintages, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It was even recently named one of the world’s ten best wine travel destinations recently, joining the likes of Queenstown in New Zealand or Champagne in France.

While not yet swamped with international tourists, the Vale dos Vinhedos is exceptionally popular with locals and has a well-established collection of rural inns and tourist routes. You’ll be rubbing your eyes and thinking you have been transported to Italy or Northern California.

Vale dos Vinhedos - Brazil Winery

One hundred eighty kilometers from Rio de Janeiro is Armação dos Búzios – or just Búzios for the devoted, a renowned seaside town where Rio’s elite flock each weekend.

An urbane Eden of greenery, clear waters and narrow cobblestone streets create an enduring appeal that has seen Búzios transform over the past 50 years from a small fishing village to Brazil’s St. Tropez. Located on a jutting peninsula, Búzios is a collection of three settlements and 17 beaches with oceanfront dining, an arresting harbor, and all the expected tourist amenities.

There is everything from hostels to high-end hotels and more options for relation, shopping, and nightlife then we could ever cover. It is hard to know where to start. And then there are the off-shore islands, ideal for diving, world-class gastronomy, world-class galleries, and boutique shopping.

But our favorite activity has to be people watching here. Buzios attracts the most fashionable people from not just Brazil but around the world. So, as you might imagine, one of the best things to do is simply choose a seat at a pavement cafe, order a Caipirinha, and watch the gorgeous people go by…

Armação dos Búzios - Things to see in brazil

15 things to do in Brazil that will amaze you

Catherine Balston

Sep 28, 2023 • 12 min read

February 9, 2018: Women dance in elaborate gold costumes at the Parade of the Samba Schools of the Special Group during the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro.

Experiencing Rio’s Carnaval should be on everyone's list of the top things to do in Brazil © A.PAES / Shutterstock

Whether you prefer wilderness or dense cities, the call of frogs in the rainforest or the beat of samba drums,  Brazil  has an experience lined up for you.

The country’s status as a natural paradise is impossible to deny. While superlatives simply don’t do it justice, this continent-sized nation is home to the largest rainforest, the most sprawling wetlands, and more known species of plants, freshwater fish and mammals than any other country in the world.

Brazil is also home to a myriad of indigenous and immigrant cultures, each with their own unique languages, foods and music. Get a taste for Afro-Brazilian heritage by eating acarajé in Salvador, dance samba in Rio de Janeiro, or move to the sounds of frevo  in Olinda during Carnaval. The Amazon, too, hosts some of the biggest parties in Brazil.

If you think you’ll be ready for another vacation at the end of all that, look no further than Brazil’s tropical islands for some downtime. To help you write up your shortlist of must-dos, here are the top things to do when you visit Brazil.

An aerial shot of Rio de Janeiro showing Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay

1. Admire the view in Rio de Janeiro

Beaches, architecture, museums, waterfalls, nightlife...there are dozens of good reasons to visit Rio de Janeiro . But if this city has one essential thing to do, it’s getting up high to admire the view. From above, Rio’s dramatic topography is revealed in all its splendor – forest-covered mountains plunging down to the ocean with urban sprawl jammed in between. 

Visitors jostle for selfie space at two of the city’s most popular tourist spots, the 710m-high (2329ft-high)  Christ the Redeemer statue and Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), which both offer spectacular 360-degree views.

To avoid the crowds, a splurge on a helicopter tour is worth every real. A stunning vista is the reward at the end of hikes in the Tijuca National Park – one of Brazil's best national parks . The views from the Pico da Tijuca and Pedra da Gávea peaks are particularly breathtaking. 

2. Spot whales in Praia do Rosa

Once a sleepy fishing hamlet, Praia do Rosa is now a top surf destination, with charming guest houses and hotels tucked into the hillside above a bay. In the winter months (June to November), surfers are joined by another type of visitor playing in the waves: southern right whale calves. 

Whales were hunted in these waters as far back as the 1700s and were widely thought to be extinct by the 1970s. Despite making a comeback, they’re still highly endangered. The whales migrate here from Patagonia every year to breed, and a marine reserve stretching 130km (80 miles) along the coast was established to help protect them.

Only masochists will want to swim in the sea this far south in the winter, but the beach is a beautiful destination for windy walks and whale spotting year-round. Boat tours can also be booked for a closer look.

A wattled jacana bird stretches its wings in the wetlands near Cariacica, Espirito Santo, Brazil

3. Watch birds in the Atlantic Forest

Bird-watching enthusiasts will want to trek to some of the most spectacular off-the-beaten-path spots in the Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Forest). One of Brazil’s six biomes, the Atlantic Forest is a hot spot for birding – it's home to nearly 900 bird species, a quarter of which don’t live anywhere else, including three-toed jacamars and kaleidoscopic green-headed tanagers.

You can explore Atlantic Forest habitats in dozens of national and state parks as well as hundreds of private nature reserves. Itatiaia , established in 1937 as Brazil’s first national park, is a birding paradise. Further south, among the mangroves and salt marshes of Superagui National Park and the Sebui private nature reserve, other Atlantic Forest species such as scarlet ibis and the red-tailed Amazon parrot fill the skies at sunset as they come in to roost for the night. 

11 incredible places to visit in Brazil

4. Soak up the energy at a soccer game

It’s impossible not to know when there’s a big soccer game playing in Brazil, as every screen in every bar will have it on, with shouts ringing out across neighborhoods when goals are scored. Join in the action by booking tickets to see a game, where the passionate supporters can be as much of a spectacle as the game itself. 

The Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro is legendary, and it hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics. SR Flamengo is the biggest club in Rio and you can expect excited crowds when the team goes head-to-head with any of its local rivals.

In São Paulo, SE Palmeiras and Corinthians both have gleaming modern stadiums, and the latter in particular is famous for its passionate supporters. The city’s Pacaembu Stadium is an art deco jewel, although it hosts fewer games these days. The soccer museum underneath the stadium is a monument to Brazil’s greatest passion.

A speedboat with tourists travels under one of the many cataracts at Iguaçu Falls

5. Get soaked on a speed boat under Iguaçu Falls

The thunder and roar of 396,000 gallons (1.5 million liters) of water pouring over the edge of Iguaçu Falls every second is a thrilling, visceral experience. Dozens of activities in and around the falls will keep visitors occupied for days, from hiking and cycling in the surrounding national park to feeding the birds at the Parque das Aves bird and wildlife sanctuary. 

There’s a good chance you’ll get wet at some stage during your visit, so why not submit to the deluge in the most adrenaline-fueled way possible, with a speedboat ride right under the falls? Turbo-dinghies with 500 horsepower outboard motors pass right beside the falls, where it’s so loud no one will hear your shrieks. The nearby Itaipú Dam – the world’s second-largest – is well worth a visit, too, and accessible via Brazil or Paraguay . 

The best times to book a trip to Brazil

6. Dance during Carnaval 

For one hot, sweaty but utterly thrilling day of your life, you can feel like a star as you don an enormous costume and join a samba school to parade down the Sambódromo during Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. Broadcast live on national television, with many thousands of spectators cheering from the grandstands, this parade is a fierce competition that’s taken extremely seriously by the samba schools that prepare for it year-round.

But Carnaval is not all about Rio. Each corner of the country celebrates in its own way, and one of the most traditional can be found in the coastal city of Olinda. Instead of samba, the rhythms of frevo , maracatu and afoxé ring out across the hilly streets of this charming town. Local bands playing percussion and brass draw huge crowds of excitable revelers trying to keep pace.

A kitesurfer catches a gust off the coast of Brazil

7. Kitesurf on Brazil’s northeast coast

Some of the world's most respected kitesurfing champions are from Brazil – no surprise given the country’s thousands of miles of windswept Atlantic coastline. Ceará in northeastern Brazil has some of the best kitesurfing hotspots, including Cumbuco (a playground for some of the top athletes) and the coastal hubs of Icapuí and Preá.

A little farther north in Piauí state, Barra Grande is an up-and-coming spot for the sport. In Maranhão , lagoons in Atins offer up wind without the waves and the bonus of being on the doorstep of the desert-like Lençois Maranhenses National Park . 

How to get around Brazil

8. Contemplate the origins of life at Serra da Capivara 

The culmination of a lifetime’s work for Brazilian archeologist, Niède Guidon, the Museu da Natureza (Museum of Nature) opened in late 2018. A spiral-shaped building at the edge of the Serra da Capivara National Park , the museum explores the history of humans and other species from their earliest known existence.

Highlights include saber-toothed cat teeth and a 6m (20ft) life-size model of the giant sloth Eremotherium , fossils of which were found in the park. Serra da Capivara has an astounding 300 archeological sites where fossils, ceramics, bones and tens of thousands of examples of cave art – the largest collection in the world – have been found over the decades.

These discoveries suggest that humans settled here as far back as 50,000 years ago, challenging the mainstream theory about human settlement in the Americas. An airport was built near the Serra da Capivara in 2015, but the only commercial flights run from Petrolina and Recife; most visitors drive or catch a bus from Petrolina or Teresina.

Aerial view of the Barra lighthouse in Salvador, Brazil

9. Understand Afro-Brazilian culture in Salvador

Chili, coconut, coriander, dried shrimp, dendé palm oil...the ingredients of Bahian cuisine make for some of the tastiest dishes in Brazil, showing the strong African influences in the city of Salvador .

A popular street food is acarajé , a deep-fried ball of black-eyed pea paste stuffed with a dried shrimp stew and condiments. The dish is traditionally made by baianas , descendants of African women; it was even given protected cultural heritage status in 2005. Acarajé is just one of the  baiana -made foods connected to the worship of orixás , deities of Yoruban origin. 

Salvador is the best place in Brazil to immerse yourself in Afro-Brazilian culture and religion. The Caminho dos Orixás do Oxum is a tour of the city’s sights run by an agency specializing in Afro-Brazilian culture. Viare Travel also organizes tours tailored around Afro-Brazilian heritage. 

10. Float down the river in Bonito

An ecotourism boom town near the Pantanal wetlands, Bonito is a giant aquarium and a playground for lovers of nature. The clear waters here spring up through a limestone base that acts as a water purifier, allowing for astounding underwater visibility. Visitors will come face to face with all sorts of fascinating fish while floating down the Rio da Prata. Alternatively, rafting down the Rio Formoso provides a chance to look out for fish and birds while you navigate the rapids.

Costumed performers at Boi Bumba, Brazil's largest folklore festival

11. Party on at festivals in the Amazon

Trees, not people, are what dominate the Amazon in the popular imagination. But the world’s largest rainforest is home to more than 30 million people and they throw some pretty spectacular parties (they’re Brazilian too, after all). Boi Bumbá is a folk festival held in June in Parantins that recounts the death and resurrection of an ox, with music, fireworks, dancing and glittering costumes. 

The biggest Amazonian festival is Círio de Nazaré, a Catholic celebration that attracts more than a million devotees each October. Devout locals file through the streets of Belém , at the mouth of the Amazon River, in a cathartic throng. Some 966km (600 miles) upriver, the town of Maués throws a festival every December to celebrate the harvest of its energy-boosting guaraná fruit. Locals dance on the beaches of the Maués-Acú River until the early hours. 

12. Visit a cachaça distillery 

Also known as pinga  (among dozens of other nicknames), cachaça is an exclusively Brazilian distilled sugarcane spirit that can range from cheap rocket fuel to an expensive, aged artisanal delicacy. It’s also the main ingredient in the unofficial Brazilian national drink, the caipirinha . Bars can provide an easy education in the delights of cachaça – but better still is a distillery tour. 

The Mapa da Cachaça website is a great resource, mapping out distilleries across the country. Minas Gerais is the main cachaça-producing region in Brazil and home to the oldest functioning distillery, Engenho Boa Vista, which has been in business for more than 260 years.

Overlooking the sea, the Maria Izabel distillery is a must for any visitors to Paraty . Rio Encantos runs a cachaça tour in Rio, taking in the historic center of the city and finishing up a cachaça tasting. 

A jaguar in the Panatal, Brazil

13. Track jaguars in the Pantanal

The largest cat in the Americas, the jaguar is a rare and elusive creature. These famed big cats roam far and wide across Brazil, and despite game hunting being illegal since 1967, jaguars are still poached. Add in habitat loss – exacerbated by recent fires and the expansion of cattle ranching – and the result has been a decline in their population, placing these magnificent animals at risk of extinction.

One of the best habitats for spotting jaguars is the Pantanal , the world’s largest wetland, especially during the dry season (April to September). Conservation NGO Onçafari was set up in 2011 to help protect the jaguars through research and ecotourism. The group runs jaguar safaris from its base at the Caiman Lodge , a private nature reserve. A number of local tour operators also run jaguar safaris, and the deeper you get into the wetlands, the better chance you have of spotting one.

Brazil's best hikes from beaches to rainforests

14. Relax on a tropical island

Brazil has thousands of beaches along its coastline, but you can side-step the difficult task of choosing one by escaping to a tropical island instead. Ilha Grande , south of Rio de Janeiro on the Costa Verde, has warm seas and white sandy beaches fringed by the forests of the Mata Atlântica. Ilhabela combines good restaurants for the São Paulo weekenders with hiking trails and guest houses hidden away in dense, jungle-covered hills. 

Smaller Ilha do Mel in the south of Brazil near  Paranaguá feels more remote, with just a handful of accommodation options, plus a lighthouse , fort and caves to explore. The Bahian coast is a safe bet for sunshine, and Boipeba has more than 20km (12 miles) of palm-lined beaches and a castaway vibe. 

15. See street art in São Paulo 

A maze of underpasses and overpasses, sidewalks cracked by tree roots, and steep hills make walking in São Paulo something of an adventure sport. But the reward is a wealth of murals and graffiti daubed across the city’s urban sprawl, all the more striking against the city’s ubiquitous gray concrete.

The colorful Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley) is a top spot for street art and a tourist honeypot. In Centro, artist Felipe Yung’s 10,000 sq m (107,639 sq ft)  Aquarium covers the facades of 15 buildings. The 3.5km (2.2-mile) Minhoção – officially Via Elevada Presidente João Goulart – is closed to traffic at night and at weekends, making it the perfect place to stroll while taking in artwork by such artists as Speto, Zezão and Mag Magrela.

Cambuci, in the southeast of the city, was the stomping ground for the world-famous duo OsGemeos in their youth, and it’s the best place to see their art outside of museums. In northern São Paulo, the Museu Aberto de Arte Urbana (Open Museum of Urban Art) brings together street art by dozens of creators on the huge columns underneath a metro line.

This article was first published Jan 5, 2022 and updated Sep 28, 2023.

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  • South America
  • 20 Must Visit Attractions In...

20 Must-Visit Attractions in Brazil

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

As the largest country in South America , Brazil is a vast playground for the intrepid traveller with everything from dense, exotic rainforest to bustling, dynamic cities, as well as sprawling national parks and glorious, jaw-dropping beaches. If you’re feeling spoilt for choice, here are the 20 attractions that are must-sees in Brazil.

Foz do iguaçu.

Foz do Iguaçu are one of the largest waterfalls in the world. This impressive natural phenomenon straddles the border of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay and is made up of hundreds of powerful cascades that tumble down into the fast-moving body of water below. A highlight is the Devil’s Throat, an 80-metre fall where visitors can look over the edge of a wooden platform that crosses the top.

Foz do Iguaçu

Christ the Redeemer

Fernando de noronha.

Made up of a collection of 21 islands, Fernando de Noronha is a slice of paradise in Brazil. As a protected national marine park, the area is home to a diverse and rich ecosystem that includes dolphins, reef sharks, tropical fish, and rays. Famed for its undeveloped beaches and rugged, green coastline, it is a picturesque retreat and ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Fernando de Noronha

Sugarloaf Mountain

One of Brazil’s most visited natural wonder is Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, a rounded peak surrounded by the sea. Visitors take a cable car to the top to enjoy panoramic views over the city, the coastline and across the ocean – the most rewarding time to go is at sunset when the lights of the city twinkle below, while the sun casts shades of pink, orange, and red across the sky and sea.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

Located in the north of the country, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is a striking desert landscape made up of sloping white sand dunes that stretch tall and wide, and dotted with rainwater lagoons that nestle between the valleys of the sand banks. The largest lagoons there are Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Bonita.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

A huge wetland that swallows up the west of Brazil before sprawling into Bolivia and Paraguay, the Pantanal is a wildlife haven rich in a diverse ecosystem of rare and wonderful creatures. Nature lovers can spot hundreds of species of birds, in addition to large mammals such as jaguars and capybaras. Some of the most famous residents there are the thousands of caimans.

Amazon rainforest

One of the most ecologically complex regions in the world, the Amazon rainforest is an extraordinary natural wonders. The dense forest provides fertile grounds for thousands of endemic species, while the Amazon river provides a home for incredible freshwater life, including the elusive pink river dolphins.

Amazon rainforest

Chapada dos Veadeiros

Stretching across the central of Brazil is Chapada dos Veadeiros, an immense national park comprising deep canyons, hardy vegetation, and imposing quartz crystal formations. It is a fertile ground for several orchid species that grow wild throughout the park, and local residents include jaguars and armadillos.

Pelourinho, Salvador

Pelourinho is the historic city centre of Salvador in the state of Bahia. The vibrantly coloured buildings are a picturesque example of how the African, indigenous and European cultures, which were thrown together in Salvador, have converged throughout the centuries.

Pelourinho, Salvador

Located in the exotic northeast of Brazil, Fortaleza is a coastal city with strong winds that have attracted adrenaline-junkie kitesurfers for years. Watch the surfers race across the sea’s surface, their trajectory temporarily broken by impressive, daredevil leaps. The city is famed for its fresh, locally-sourced seafood with beachside restaurants in abundance serving Fortaleza’s delicious cuisine.

Jalapão State Park

Jalapão State Park is in the lesser-known state of Tocantins, yet the park has long been on the radar of curious travellers who love adventure. Known for its deep-orange dunes, raging rivers, and cascading waterfalls, it is a prime example of untouched wilderness that will keep any intrepid visitor satisfied.


Dunas de Genipabu

Just a short drive from Natal in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, the Genipabu dunes are an ever-changing collection of sand dunes that are shaped and reshaped by the daily winds that come off the coastline and whip over the sands. The region offers a host of adventurous activities such as buggy rides, camel treks and sledging down the sand dunes.

The charming colonial city of Olinda sits in the north of the country, in the state of Pernambuco. Located on a hilltop, it is a cultural wonderland of churches, museums, and buildings that have kept their colonial façade. The best time to go is during carnival when the city comes alive with vibrant, colourful street celebrations that reflect its strong African roots.

Carnival in Olinda

Porta de Galinhas

With its crystal clear waters and white, pristine beaches, Porta de Galinhas has deservedly earned the title as one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. When the tide comes in, the shoreline fills up with warm pools, locked between walls of coral and filled with a thriving ecosystem of marine life. It is possible to see marine turtles here, as well as seahorses for the observant snorkeller.

Mount Roraima

A rock formation that seems straight out of The Lost World, Mount Roraima is an imposing flat-top mountain that extends across the borders of Brazil, Venezuela, and the less-explored Guyana. To reach the top takes between seven and 10 days, but those that try will be treated to unforgettable views and waterfalls on the way.

Mount Roraima

Inhotim is located outside of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais, and has inspired art lovers across the world. The open-air art gallery is located on the grounds of a 5,000-acre botanical gardens and houses sculptures, art pavilions and interactive masterpieces from both Brazilian and international artists.

A region teeming with natural resources and wildlife, Bonita in the southwest of the country is recognised for its ecological importance and has become a well-protected haven. With freshwater pools and waterfalls alive with thriving shoals of tropical fish, it is a must-visit for any keen nature explorer. One of the highlights is Gruta do Lago Azul, an underground flooded cavity that stretched more than 200 feet deep and home to the fossiled remains of prehistoric animals, such as sabre-tooth tigers. The source of the mysterious, underground river that has yet to be discovered.

Gruta do Lago Azul, Bonita

Chapada Diamantina

This large national park is teeming with an extraordinary range of biodiversity from rare orchids to large animals such as giant anteaters and armadillos. The large flat top rock formations with long, sloping plains beneath them create breathtaking views and scenery.

Cathedral de Brasilia

This cathedral with its circular-inspired ceiling is the masterpiece of Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. The all-around stained glass walls slant up to a single point in the ceiling and allow natural light to flood in, creating an airy atmosphere. The cathedral has a capacity of 4,000 people, watched over by angels that hang suspended from the ceiling.

Cathedral of Brasilia

Bento Goncalves

The landscape of Bento Goncalves comprises sloping hills, rows of grapevines and quaint rivers, ringing a persistent bell that sounds of the Italian countryside scenery. That’s unsurprising, given the area is largely influenced by Italian immigration in the 1800s. The area is replete with wine regions, locally-produced foods such as cheese and jams, and the streets are lined with charming boutique restaurants and places to eat.

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Home » Travel Guides » 15 Best Places to Visit in Brazil

15 Best Places to Visit in Brazil

Have you been itching for lush rainforests, fantastic cities, tropical islands, and heavenly beaches?  Then you’ve been itching for a Brazilian adventure. You’ll find colonial towns that will make you feel that you’ve stepped back in time, red-rock canyons that will make you feel that you’ve stepped onto another planet, and awe-inspiring waterfalls and jungles that will make you wish you could stay forever.

Brazil is the country of Carnaval, a celebration that takes over every city and every soul. You won’t believe the human capacity for fun and joy until you experience this festas. Ask yourself what you want in your next holiday, and Brazil is guaranteed to have it on offer.

Diverse ecosystems, with rare and wild plant and animal species unique to all other places on earth, kayaking through rainforests, horseback riding, whale watching, snorkelling in coastal reefs, samba dancing, all-night DJ’s, white sand beaches, history, culture, and big, full-power cities. Let’s explore the best places to visit in Brazil !

1. Rio de Janeiro

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 a 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.

Music is everywhere in the city – with the most popular being the African influenced samba vibe. If you want to explore the nightlife, head to Lapa, the cities red-light distinct. You’ll find live music and street parties every night.

2. Salvador


Located in the state of Bahia, Salvador has a phenomenal energy that’s notable even for Brazil.  Most known for being Portugal’s New World capital, it maintains a great deal of its colonial architecture and you’ll find the historic centre of the town in the Pelourinho neighbourhood.

Here you’ll find large squares with small cobblestone alleys leading away, multi-coloured buildings, and churches like São Francisco with gilt woodwork and other baroque features. There’s an amazing arts movement here. You’ll find Olodum drummers on the streets, along with Capoeira martial artists, and crazy festivals happening everywhere you look.

The culture here is decidedly Afro-Brazilian and you’ll see that in the incredible food, religious ceremonies and rituals, and dance.

3. São Paulo State

Ilhabela, São Paulo State

Another in the long list of incredible things about Brazil is São Paulo state. It offers some of the best of the best that the country has to offer.  São Paulo city is the current Boom Town – everything here is growing:  commerce, industry, culture, finance, and, of course, tourism. But you can also leave the city for a bit and head to Serra da Mantiqueira.

Use this stunning mountain range, with its 2500m peaks, as your cosy mountain getaway. There’s also Ilhabela, to be used as your posh island escape. Or try Iporanga in the midst of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

You’ll also find great beaches with the rainforest as their backdrop – try the lovely Ubatuba for a relaxing few days.

4. São Paulo City

São Paulo City

The heartbeat of São Paulo State is Sao Paulo city.  It’s the largest city in Brazil and one of the largest in the world.  It’s a bit of a melting pot, with all kinds of ethnic groups calling it home, including the largest community of Japanese outside of Japan.

You’ll find unbelievable art galleries and experimental theatres, as well as fantastic fine-dining restaurants and upscale bars.  If you want a taste of sophisticated city life, this is your stop.

With 20 million people, Sao Paulo is a mammoth city, and does come with a lot of big city hassles, but for those willing to look a little closer; there is a vibe here that rivals New York City.

5. Brasilia


Built in the 1960’s, 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.

6. Fortaleza


Another of Brazil’s big cities is Fortaleza.  It’s best known for an energetic cultural scenes, great beaches, and even greater shopping. If you’re going for the beaches, check out Meireles, Mucuripe, Iracema, and everyone’s favourite, Praia do Futuro.

Spend your mornings strolling through Centro, the oldest part of the city, and then spending your evenings in Praira de Iracema, a neighbourhood densely packed with hotels, restaurants, and nightlife.

Once you’ve had your fill of Fortaleza beaches, use it as starting point to discover the quaint fishing villages and rolling dune beaches of the Ceará coast.


One of the most popular stops for tourists is located along Brazil’s Green Coast in the state of Rio de Janeiro.  Paraty is bursting with waterfalls, emerald green sea, giant coastal mountains and tropical forests.

Once a Portuguese colony, the heart of the town is still the historic centre. Complete with multicoloured colonial buildings and cobbled streets built in the 17th century during the height of the Brazilian gold rush.  Many of the houses have been converted to bed and breakfasts’ which the locals call pousadas.  The entire historic district is great for strolling as the lanes are closed to cars.  It really feels like you’ve stepped back in time.

Don’t forget to check out the colonial forts – many that still have their original cannons – and Capela de Santa Rita, a lovely 18th century church.


There is nothing not to love about the “Venice of Brazil.”  Inside the city is a network of waterways, bridges, islets, and peninsulas, and just outside are tropical rainforests with rivers and islands to explore.  There is a wonderful historic old town here, as well as incredible culture and fantastic beaches.

The old town is known as Recife Antigo and is located on its own island near the harbour. Most would agree that Boa Viagem is the most popular beach in town due to the white sands and coral reef.

Recife is a large city with lots to offer – including an awesome place to spend Carnaval.


Six kilometres from Recife is Olinda, is a 16th century Portuguese colonial town. The historic old town sits on a hill surrounded by trees and filled with churches, museums, and restaurants. In 1982 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The rest of the town is no less charming with tons of 18th century architecture, monasteries and convents, and fantastically painted houses.

Once a leader in the sugarcane industry, Olinda has transformed into a small artists’ colony; full of artists, workshops, studios, and other creative types.  Check out the pousadas in the old town if you’re interested in using Olinda as a base to enjoy Recife.

Carnaval is slightly different here, celebrated primarily during the day with the music and dance focused on traditional African culture.


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 centre.

11. Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

This stunning natural wonder runs for 2.7km along the border with Argentina.

Iguazu Falls is a series of waterfalls along the Iguazu. The combination of luscious green forest, exotic wildlife, and breathtaking waterfalls is intoxicating.

Use the city of Foz do Iguaçu as your base camp as you enjoy cascades like the 80 metre Devil’s Throat.  With hundreds of fall’s to discover, you might consider a tour in one of the tourist rubber boats called zodiacs.


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.  Or how about snorkelling in the crystal clear Rio da Prata? 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 Boduquena National Park.

13. São Luís

São Luís

The historic centre of São Luís has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its well-restored colonial mansions. There are so many museums, crafts, and galleries to explore while here.

São Luís maintains a largely Afro-Brazilian culture and you’ll find both reggae and Bumba Meu Boi music festivals. While you’re here be sure to catch the Centro de Cultura, a museum with exhibits on the three major Brazilian festivals.  You might also like the Archaeological Museum and the Casa das Tulhas, a 19th century market building.

When you’re ready, cross the Baía de São Marcos for a quick day trip to Alcântara to see this historic town as it slowly slips into tropical decay.

14. Jijoca de Jericoacoara

Jijoca de Jericoacoara

This hidden gem is one of the spectacular beaches in Ceara, Brazil. Named by the Washington Post as one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the world, you’ll find calm seas, white sand dunes, and gorgeous blue lagoons.

It’s a nesting spot for large turtles and therefore was declared an Environmental Protection Area; it’s also been a national park since 2002. Thanks to all that, the area has remained largely isolated and untouched.

They’ve had electricity for less than 20 years in Jeri and thanks to local ordinance; the streets can only be lit by the moon.

15. Curitiba


This thoroughly urban capital of Paraná state is a well-known performance centre.  Visit the Wire Opera, a steel tube building with a see-through roof, as well as the Guaíra Theatre for some great programs.

Curitiba is also well known to urban planners across the globe as one of the most efficient cities ever built.  You’ll find a six-block stretch designated as a pedestrian zone, tones of parks and trees, innovative solutions to urban problems like pollution and poverty.

It’s a unique place to recharge before ending your Brazilian adventure.

15 Best Places to Visit in Brazil:

  • Rio de Janeiro
  • São Paulo State
  • São Paulo City
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Jijoca de Jericoacoara

I Heart Brazil

Home » Travel guides » 37 Tourist Attractions in Brazil You Need to Visit (In All States!)

37 Tourist Attractions in Brazil You Need to Visit (In All States!)

Looking for the best tourist attractions in Brazil? You’re in luck–I’ve got a list of the all-time best Brazil tourist attractions covering all 26 states!

Tropical weather, hearty food, and music-soaked culture, Brazil is a sensory overload! This country of continental proportions is highly underrated as it has mesmerizing beaches, deserts, waterfalls, islands, animals, national parks,…I could go on!

So in today’s article, I talk about some of the best tourist attractions in Brazil–this way, you have a better idea of what to include in your itinerary.

But mind you, while I do discuss some incredible Brazil attractions–at least one in each state–I barely scratch the surface of my country–Brazil is massive and occupies almost half of the continent!

Whether you’re traveling to Brazil or daydreaming, this list of fantastic places in Brazil will spark some wanderlust in you. Let’s get to it!

Looking for accommodation in Brazil? Then you might want to check out our articles about the best hotels in Brazil .

Best tourist attractions in Brazil

These are the most famous attractions in Brazil spread across the 26 states.

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

A buzzing city in the background separated from the clear beach by a black and white promenade decorated by a wave motif: Copacabana Beach is one of those places in Brazil that you have to experience to understand.

Locals enjoying the weather, sporting, or just sunbathing all year round, but especially on the weekends, including the New Year ’s party, are some of the things you will see here.

For any international visitors, this Rio de Janeiro beach is hands-down one of the must-see tourist attractions in Brazil.

Even if you’re not in the mood to put on your swimsuits, just take a stroll on the promenade and sip some caipirinhas while soaking the Brazilian vibes–you will love it!

Aerial view of Copabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro

Pelourinho, Bahia

Of all Brazil tourist attractions, Pelourinho in the historic center of Salvador is a unique place with universal values in the country (and it also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

As Brazil’s first capital, from 1549 to 1763, Salvador witnessed the blending of African, Amerindian, and European cultures.

It was also, from 1558, the first slave market in the New World, with slaves arriving to work on the sugar plantations. Unsurprisingly, this multicultural past echoes to the present day in the historic center’s rich tangible and intangible heritage. 

That’s why a stroll around the Pelourinho is not just a touristy thing to do in Brazil , but an enriching cultural activity.

Visit the convents, churches, and museums in this square with colorful Baroque houses and learn about Brazilian history–it is quite an experience!

Pelourinho in Salvador, Bahia

Brasília Cathedral, Goiás

Brasília Cathedral is an artwork both inside and outside. Designed by the acclaimed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the cathedral is modern and quite different from most religious sites in Brazil, let alone South America.

The round church has 16 concrete columns that converge to a central elevated circle, towering 138ft (42m) in the sky. Not only that, but the building is surrounded by a shallow pool that reflects its beauty.

Inside, the paintings, tiles, sculptures, and stained glasses make you think you are in a sort of museum, not necessarily in a religious site.

Besides, the Brasília Cathedral was elected by the city’s inhabitants as the number one wonder of Brasília, making it one of the main tourist attractions in Brazil.

The Cathedral of Brasilia is dedicated to Our Lady of Aparecida, a Brazilian holiday

São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), São Paulo

Most commonly referred to as MASP, this museum is not only an art institution, but it also is a major landmark in Brazil .

It houses over 11,000 art pieces from international and Brazilian artists, making its collection one of the most important in the Southern Hemisphere.

Still, another reason why the São Paulo Museum of Art is unique is its architecture. The rectangular structure resembling a suspended container is held up by red columns that perfectly contrast with the concrete’s roughness.

From the free span underneath the museum, you can spot the São Paulo Downtown or attend an antique fair every Sunday, one of the best things to do in São Paulo !

The Museum of Art of São Paulo, MASP, is one of São Paulo points of interest

Aparados da Serra National Park, Rio Grande do Sul

Located in the south of the country, Aparados da Serra National Park is a paradise for outdoor lovers and one of the best places to visit in Brazil .

The park is home to the mind-blowing Itaimbezinho Canyon, magical waterfalls, and biking and hiking trails.

Despite being relatively small–about 39.5 sq mi (102.5 sq km), the park is characterized by rich biodiversity, resulting from its various relief and location–Aparados da Serra is located between coastal, grasslands, and Araucaria moist forests.

Some of the animals you can spot here are the neotropical otter, ocelot, brown howler monkey, red-spectacled amazon parrot, maned wolf, and the cougar–the last three mentioned are all endangered animal species at the moment.

Itaimbezinho Canyon in Brazil, beautiful scenery

Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, Mato Grosso

As one of the main attractions of the Brazilian savannah, the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park has mesmerizing spots to offer–from massive sandstone formations to lookouts with a view that reaches the Pantanal to pretty waterfalls!

Beyond that, there are a few ways to explore the park, most of which require a local guide, but the park administration has a full list of certified guides.

Thankfully, you don’t need a guide to get to the Véu de Noiva Waterfall viewpoint, which offers incredible views of the landscape.

Bridal Veil Falls in Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso

Rio Branco Palace, Acre

Inaugurated in 1930, the Rio Branco Palace – the seat of the Acre State Government – had its design inspired by neo-Greek architecture.

It is a beautiful white structure shining among the abundant nature of Rio Branco City.

The building was inaugurated still unfinished, but today, both residents and tourists can get to know the space that is one of the milestones of the Rio Branco modernity project milestones.

Brazil fact : Acre, which lies within the Amazon Rainforest, is one of the least visited states in Brazil.

Rio Branco Palace in Acre

Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro

This UFO-shaped museum overlooking the Guanabara Bay showcases artworks from international and Brazilian artists.

The quirky building is 52ft (16m) tall and has a diameter of 164ft round (50m). It’s hard to miss as this is one of the best tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro .

And in case you needed more reasons to visit this spot, know that Oscar Niemeyer designed it.

Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro

Botanical Garden of Curitiba, Paraná

The postcard-worthy botanical garden is one of Curitiba’s main attractions and rightly so because it has an impressive and colorful garden and has a fantastic greenhouse.

The park is packed with flower gardens, suited places for picnics, and several photo ops. 

Moreover, the external garden has a lovely French style with beautiful designs and walks between the areas colored by flowers and a fountain that yields good clicks.

Inside the glass-and-steel greenhouse, it is possible to see species of plants typical of tropical areas.

Botanical garden in Curitiba

Fumaça Waterfall, Bahia

As one of the most magical sceneries of the Chapada Diamantina, Fumaça Falls is Brazil’s second-highest waterfall with a drop of 1,115 feet (340m).

Fumaça translates to smoke in Portuguese. The reason for this name is that the waterfall is so high the water dissipates into a spray before striking the pool below, creating a dramatic mist almost like smoke.

While both the lower and upper part of Fumaça Falls can be visited, most tourists visit the upper part as it is a more leisurely hike than the lower one.

Fumaça Waterfall is by far one of the most adventurous tourist attractions in Brazil as the moderate 7.5 miles (12km) trek should take no more than 6 hours altogether, including time at the waterfall. That’s quite a trek!

Once at the falls, you must crawl out onto the edge of the clifftop to be able to see the water turning into smoke – it’s not for the faint-hearted!

Fumaça Falls in Chapada Diamantina, Bahia

Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco

Fernando de Noronha is a unique archipelago off the coast of Pernambuco State. This paradise is a UNESCO Heritage Site with a fragile ecosystem, so tourism is severely controlled here.

The government controls tourists’ influx by charging a daily environment tax that increases the longer people stay on the main island. (Although they haven’t been doing a great job at ensuring the place is protected. No surprises here.)

Anyway, the water surrounding the island is jam-packed with fishes, dolphins, corals, and even sea turtles, which happen to spawn on the island.

For that reason, visitors can’t even wear shoes or sunscreen in certain areas and beaches. So much care is taken so that the rare local fauna and flora can survive the modern world, and locals take these rules seriously.

Porcos Bay at Fernando de Noronha

São José de Macapá Fortress, Amapá

The land where the Amapá State is was once disputed by the English, French, and Dutch for almost three centuries.

As a way to protect the Brazilian border, locals built the São José Fortress in 1782, and to this day, it is the only standing fortress from that time.

Surrounded by 33-feet (10-meters) high walls, the construction has eight buildings open for visitation.

Something interesting about this place is that the fortress is right next to the Amazon River ( great tours in the area), giving you fantastic views of the world’s largest river.

Sao Jose de Macapa Fortress in Amapa

Campos do Jordão, São Paulo

This Swiss-inspired town in the countryside of São Paulo is the perfect tourist attraction in Brazil to experience the closest we have to the winter in the northern hemisphere.

The half-timbered houses, fondue restaurants, and overall winter vibes make Campos do Jordão, Brazil’s highest city, a must-visit place!

Here you can shop ’til you drop, chew more than you can bite, go museum hopping, and hike in the mountains. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a lovely time in this town, which is the perfect day trip from São Paulo City .

Cottages in Campos do Jordão

Museum Sergipana People, Sergipe

As the first interactive museum of the northeast of Brazil, the Museum Sergipana People showcases the collection of the material and immaterial cultural heritage of Sergipe State.

They exhibit the local slang, clothing, traditions, crafts, animals, and more!

It’s an incredible museum for children and adults to learn more about such a culturally rich Brazilian state’s history and culture.

Sergipana People Museum in Sergipe

Campeche Beach and Island, Santa Catarina

By far, Campeche Beach is one of the prettiest beaches in Florianópolis , not to be confused with the place with the same name on Santa Catarina Island.

As one of the major tourist attractions in Brazil, this teeny tiny island named Ilha do Campeche is incredible.

The place is known as the Caribbean of Southern Brazil for its white sand stretch and crystal clear water teeming with fish.

If that wasn’t enough, Campeche Island also houses an important archeological site, rock inscriptions, and hiking trails.

Campeche Island Beach in Florianópolis

Green Coast, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo

Green Coast, Portuguese Costa Verde, is a coastline that runs from southern Rio de Janeiro State to northern São Paulo State.

This region has some of the prettiest tropical places you will ever visit, and no, I’m not dramatic.

Some of the towns in this region are Angra dos Reis, Ilha Grande (natural paradise), Paraty (Portuguese colonial architecture), Trindade, Ubatuba, and Ilhabela, which also has some of the most beautiful beaches in São Paulo .

It is miles and miles of mountains clothed in velvet green on one side, perfect beaches on the other. You can see the best of the country on the Green Coast without straying unmanageably far from the city.

Paraty in Rio de Janeiro

Samba school rehearsal, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo

Carnival in Brazil is more than just an event; it is an expression of our culture as the samba parades are a sensory overload with colors, songs, sensations, and parties.

While you should absolutely go to the sambadrome and have a first-hand experience of the biggest holiday in Brazil , I know it can be considerably more expensive to travel to the country around Carnival–if you’re concerned about how much a trip to Brazil cost , anyway.

So if you’re traveling to Brazil in the other months, you could join a samba school rehearsal instead and still have a taste of this great party that Carnival is.

Playing samba on tambourine

Seixas Natural Pools, Paraíba

Only a few minutes by boat from João Pessoa, the Seixas Natural Pools are incredible and make excellent photo ops–do include a waterproof camera in your Brazil packing list !

The natural pools of Seixas are formed by huge banks of coral that imprison the seawater.

You can scuba dive or snorkel in these waters teeming with colorful wildlife, or simply swim around while enjoying the excellent weather.

Seixas Natural Pools, Paraíba

Iguazu Falls, Paraná

Iguazu Falls is an incredible natural wonder and one of the biggest tourist attractions in Brazil.

We share the honor of having such a waterfall with Argentina as the Iguazu Falls are right at both countries’ borders. You can reach it from the cities of Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil or Puerto Iguazú in Argentina.

With 275 falls, cascades, and drops, the Iguazu Falls majestically span 1.7 miles (2.7km) in width.

Devil’s Throat, its longest drop, is 269 feet (82m) high, making it taller and broader than Niagara Falls. It also is one of the most splendid waterfalls in Brazil .

The thundering of millions of liters of water cascading down and crashing into the Iguazu River is a sound you won’t ever forget.

Iguazu Falls in Brazil

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

Of all Brazil attractions, Christ the Redeemer is arguably the most famous landmark, one of the New Seven Wonders.

Besides, the Christ the Redeemer Statue, which represents Jesus Christ looking over Rio, has become a symbol for the city and Brazil. Stats-wise, it is 98ft (30m) tall, and its pedestal is 125ft (38m).

Standing atop the 2,300-ft (700-m) Corcovado Mountain and overlooking the whole city–from Niterói to Ipanema and beyond, the Christ the Redeemer Statue is one of those things to do in Rio de Janeiro that you can’t afford to miss!

The view you have from this spot is simply incredible and will make you want to stay in Rio for good. Click here to buy the train tickets to the Christ statue

Helicopter tour over Christ the Redeemer Statue is one of the top things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Mount Roraima, Roraima

Mount Roraima, the highest table-top mountain in South America, marks the three-country-point of Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela.

To reach its top, you must hike to the Venezuelan side, though, as this tepui only has massive steep walls on the Brazilian side.

Mount Roraima was made famous in 1912 when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his fictional novel entitled “The Lost World, a tale of modern dinosaurs.”

Also, if you watched Up, the Pixar movie, you might have seen this massive mountain already.

Mount Roraima seen from Brazil

Amazon Theater, Amazonas

Right in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Theater is a charming opera house in Manaus City , and it was chosen by Vogue magazine as one of the most beautiful ones in the world.

The theater is the state’s leading cultural and architectural symbol because it keeps alive much of the rubber cycle’s history, the golden age of Manaus, the Amazonian capital.

It’s impossible not to be mesmerized by the concave ceiling, which features four paintings made in Paris.

Outside, the famous dome draws attention for its exuberance–it is composed of 36,000 ceramic pieces in the Brazilian flag colors.

The pink Amazon Theater in Manaus

Alter do Chão, Pará

Hidden deep in the Amazon Forest, Alter do Chão is a laid-back town elected by The Guardian as having one of the prettiest beaches in Brazil.

While most Brazilian beaches are in the Atlantic Ocean, Praia do Amor is formed at Tapajós River every dry season, July-January.

Beyond that, Alter do Chão hosts one of the most traditional Carnival’s parades, including musicals, quite different from the ones in SP and RJ.

Alter do Chão Beach in Pará, Brazil

Historic Center of Olinda, Pernambuco

Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Olinda is a colonial town with its past linked to the sugar-cane industry.

Rebuilt after being looted by the Dutch, its basic urban fabric dates from the 18th century. Nowadays, the harmonious balance between the buildings, gardens, Baroque churches, convents, and numerous small chapels all contribute to Olinda’s particular charm.

The roadsides and hedgerows’ lush vegetation all form a landscape in which the salient feature is the town nestling in a mass of greenery, bathed in tropical light, with the sandy shore and ocean below.

All of that to say that Olinda is a unique place in Brazil!

Historic Center of Olinda, Pernambuco

Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro

The Sugarloaf Mountain is not only a postcard-worthy spot (and a must-do Rio de Janeiro tour ), but it also is arguably one of the most important tourist attractions in Brazil.

Be sure to have your health checked before your visit because the view is absolutely breathtaking!

When I got to the Sugarloaf for the first time–after waiting in line for over 2 hours–I remember looking down at Praia Vermelha and Copacabana. At that moment, I ultimately understood why we Brazilians call Rio de Janeiro the Marvelous City.

It’s such an incredible view. I have no better words to describe it.

No matter if you spend a day or a week in Rio de Janeiro, the Sugarloaf Mountain is a no-brainer. Click here to buy the cable car ticket.

Sugarloaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro

São Francisco de Assis Church, Minas Gerais  

This modern church designed by Oscar Niemeyer is far more than a religious site; it is an art gallery.

With displays made by Cândido Portinari and Paulo Werneck and a garden designed by Roberto Burle Marx, Brazilian artists, this quirky church is a postcard-worthy spot in Brazil.

The building’s appearance pays homage to Minas Gerais–it’s a curvy shape alluding to the state’s mountain.

Beyond that, São Francisco de Assis Church is in an area named Pampulha in the capital of the state, Belo Horizonte . The city is famous for having some of the best Brazilian food in the country.

Belo Horizonte is one of the most beautiful places in Brazil

Maragogi, Alagoas

This resort town is a tourist attraction on its own. With turquoise water, fine sand, and coral reefs, the beaches are incredibly inviting in this area.

Beyond that, Maragogi is a popular honeymoon destination in Brazil because of these features and rightly so as this place is the best visual representation of paradise.

Local tip: Hop on a boat and cruise between the Carneiros, one of my favorites beaches.

Needless to say that snorkeling or scuba diving are two must-dos in such beaches teeming with marine wildlife.

Beautiful chapel in Brazil, Carneiros Beach

Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais

Ouro Preto (Black Gold) is a former colonial mining town in Brazil and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was the focal point of Brazil’s golden age in the following century. Still, with the gold mines’ exhaustion in the 19th century, the city’s influence declined considerably.

Nowadays, many churches, bridges, and fountains remain as a testimony to its past prosperity and the exceptional talent of the Baroque sculptor Aleijadinho.

The white-washed buildings, pastel-colored details, and cobblestone streets complete the small-town vibe.

Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais

Lençóis Maranhenses, Maranhão

White sand dunes sprinkled with rainwater forming dark-blue lagoons in a desert going as far as the eye can see–that’s a pretty succinct description of this tourist attraction in Brazil.

I know, beautiful beaches and abundant jungles are the things associated with the country , not dunes. Yet, this national park in Brazil is one of the prettiest places you could dream of visiting.

This extensive, environmentally protected coastal area in the northeast of the country is an untouched oasis. A bucket list must!

Lencois Maranhenses National Park in Brazil

International Nativity Scene Museum, Rondônia

Imagine visiting a museum with over 3,000 art pieces of the nativity scene?

That’s absolutely possible in Porto Velho, Rondônia’s capital.

Christmas in Brazil is a very important holiday, and this museum celebrates this religious scene all year round.

Namely, it showcases works by artists from Brazil and over 50 countries, made from recyclable materials, straw, nutshells, plaster, gold straw, stones, clay, and ceramics.

However, the museum’s highlight is the Permanent Monumental Nativity Scene – A single large nativity scene measuring over 538 ft² (50 m²) that tells from the history of humanity’s creation until the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The artwork is listed as an Artistic Heritage of the State of Rondônia.

Nativity Scene Museum in Roraima

Serra da Capivara National Park, Piauí

This incredible national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it bears exceptional testimony of one of the oldest populations to inhabit South America.

Many of the numerous rock shelters in the Serra da Capivara National Park are decorated with cave paintings, some more than 25,000 years old!

This mind-blowing place is highly underrated when it is, in fact, one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Brazil. While planning your trip , be sure to include it in your itinerary!

Serra da Capivara in Piauí

Jericoacoara, Ceará

Jericoacoara, a small fishing village in Brazil’s northeast , is famous for being a mecca of windsurfing and kitesurfing Ceará.

Besides, this idyllic place with a laid-back vibe will reinvent your definition of paradise.

From streets paved with sand to dunes by the sea and pleasant hammocks in the water, Jeri is a top tourist attraction in Brazil and a place that will make you stay for longer than you had initially planned. Wanna bet?

Woman planning a trip to Brazil on hammock in Jericoacoara lagoon

Genipabu Dunes, Rio Grande do Norte

This complex of dunes appeals to tourists of all ages and styles, which is why visitors from all over the world flock to this place every year.

Usually, they come to enjoy the crystal clear waters, the tall palm trees swaying lazily in the breeze, and the changing sand dunes, of course.

The Genipabu Dunes are continually shifting due to the stiff winds in the region, shaping the landscape.

They also happen to be a major attraction where people can sandboard and go on buggy rides, making this a combo of laid-back and adventurous vacation in Brazil.

Genipabu Dunes in Rio Grande do Norte

Jalapão State Park, Tocantins

Among golden dunes, grand landscapes, clear springs, and waterfalls, Jalapão is a mecca for ecotourism-lovers.

Amid the Cerrado of Tocantins, Jalapão is slowly being discovered by tourists looking for a few days of rest away from large urban centers.

This place is considered a fantastic tourist attraction in Brazil. Here you can float in springs, watch the sunset from the dunes, climb to the top of the Serra do Espírito Santo, raft through Cachoeira da Velha, and swim in the turquoise waters of Formiga Waterfall, among other things.

Put simply, Jalapão is a superb place to unwind!

Formiga Falls near Jalapão State Park, Tocantins

Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso

The Pantanal is not only a rich region but also a natural wonder!

While it is located in Western Brazil, the Pantanal also extends into portions of Bolivia and Paraguay. Besides, this place encompasses the world’s largest tropical wetland area and the world’s most extensive flooded grasslands.

The Pantanal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with rich fauna and flora. For instance, some of the animals you can spot here are the giant armadillo, giant anteater, giant otter, marsh deer, hyacinth macaw (the largest species of parrot macaw), toucan, jaguar, and piranha.

Put simply, the Pantanal is a must-visit in Brazil!

Toucans at the Pantanal

Penha Convent, Espírito Santo

This 17th-century convent could be just another religious site, but its location makes it unique.

Penha Convent is built atop a 505-ft (154-m) high hill and is accessible by those who climb the 116 steps up. Once at the top, the view of Vila Velha, Vitória Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking!

This convent built by Afro-Brazilian slaves also houses a museum to Our Lady of Penha that showcases sacred pieces, liturgy, clothing, and objects from the Convent’s historical collection–they are over 400 years old.

Penha Convent in Vila Velha, Espírito Santo

Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul

First things first. Bonito means beautiful in Portuguese, and this place was called so for a reason–Bonito is one of the major eco-tourism hubs in Brazil.

Filled with caves, crystal clear rivers, and magical waterfalls, Bonito is everything you could dream of an adventure vacation.

Besides having mesmerizing landscapes, this region also offers the chance to spot native animals of Brazil, such as sucuri (anaconda), jaguar, jacare cayman, anteater, and maned wolf.

Snorkeling in the blue waters of Rio da Prata in Bonito

Other tourist attractions in Brazil that you won’t want to miss

  • Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco
  • Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro
  • Boipeba and Morro de São Paulo, Bahia
  • Ibirapuera, São Paulo
  • São Miguel das Missões, Rio Grande do Sul
  • Municipal Market, São Paulo
  • Canoa Quebrada Beach, Ceará
  • Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, Goiás
  • Lagoinha do Leste, Santa Catarina
  • Honey Island, Santa Catarina
  • Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Paraná
  • Municipal Market, Santa Catarina
  • Tiradentes, Minas Gerais
  • Leblon, Arporador, Copacabana Fort, and Pedra da Gávea, Rio de Janeiro

Want to deepen your understanding of Brazilian culture or simply in Brazil? Then you might want to check out these shows and movies on Netflix , as well as these books about Brazil .

Did you like this article about the best tourist attractions in Brazil? Then share it with a friend who might like it too!

Tourist attractions in Brazil Pinterest graphic

Travellers Worldwide

The 15 Best Places to Visit in Brazil in 2024 (Our Recommendations)

Written by: Author Andrew Helling  |  Reviewed by: Sandy Mitchell

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Andrew Helling is a licensed pilot, travel enthusiast, and the founder of Travellers Worldwide whose travel expertise has been quoted in countless publications across the web. Armed with a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection, he loves exploring the world with his wife and son and is always on the hunt for cheap flights and new adventures... Learn More

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The 15 Best Places to Visit in Brazil in 2024 (Our Recommendations)

Are you seeking a special, thrilling, and memorable place to visit? Brazil is the country for you! This country has so much to offer that it becomes tough to include everything in one guide.

But don’t worry — our travel experts have done the hard work for you and have rounded up their favorite 15 places in Brazil to visit, including what to do at each and more. Let us be your guide!

15 of the Best Places in Brazil in 2024

Brazil is a colorful country offering an amazing variety of experiences, from the frantic activity of its cities to the secluded tranquility of its beautiful beaches and jungles. Find all of this and more in the best places to visit below!

1. Rio de Janeiro

Palms and Two Brothers Beach pictured with the hazy mountains in the background for a piece titled the Best Places to Visit in Brazil

Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

Rio de Janeiro is a major hub with a thriving nightlife, top-notch dining options, and bustling marketplaces. You might recognize the color and splendor from photos taken during Rio Carnival , but there is much more to the city than this show-stopping annual tradition.

Despite Carnival attracting millions of visitors every year, the city hosts dozens of other celebrations and activities. Aside from the world-renowned Independence Day celebrations, Rio hosts the world’s largest Gay Pride March .

You can also visit some of the most famous Brazilian attractions in Rio, including Christ the Redeemer  and Copacabana Beach.

Read Next: Is Rio Safe to Visit? & The Best Time to Visit Rio de Janeiro

2. São Paulo

Red building along Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo, one of the best places to visit in Brazil

Thiago Leite/Shutterstock

São Paulo, commonly known as Sampa by the locals, is Brazil’s largest city. The modern mecca features wide streets and unique buildings that house a booming foodie scene, incredible art galleries, and more.

Some of the city’s must-see attractions include Ibirapuera Park  and Paulista Boulevard, in addition to several other museums, galleries, and theaters.

Due to its size, population, and transportation system, it’s hard to get around in São Paulo. We advise you to choose a hotel close to the attractions you plan on visiting.

3. Iguazu Falls

Photo of Iguazu Falls as seen from Argentina, one of our must-see places in Brazil

Ivo Antonie de Rooij/Shutterstock

The Iguazu Falls  offer a breathtaking sight that will make anybody feel insignificant. The massive natural feature includes 275 waterfalls that stretch for over 1.5 miles, making them twice as big as Niagara Falls.

You can schedule boat trips that travel up the river to see as much of the falls as possible. Outdoor adventurers will want to explore the area’s national park  and river system.

4. Salvador

Amazing view of Salvador, one of the beset places to visit while on a trip to Brazil

Salvador – Bahia – Brasil – JAN 05 2022: Architectural ensemble of the pillory in Salvador/Luis War/Shutterstock

With its gorgeous beaches and exciting festivals , Salvador has become a popular traveling destination. It is a city with colonial buildings and cobblestone streets where African and South American traditions come together uniquely.

Some of the most well-known Carnival events in Brazil take place in Salvador. These include long street parties and parades. After Rio de Janeiro, Salvador is the lesser-known Carnival hub of Brazil.

5. Amazon Rainforest

Aerial view of mist over the trees in the Amazon rainforest, one of the best places to visit in Brazil

Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock

The Amazon Rainforest should need no introduction; it’s the most famous jungle in the world, with one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth.

Tens of thousands of animal and plant species call the Amazon home, which unfortunately leaves many of them at risk for extinction. Though the Amazon Rainforest is so large that it spans several South American countries, Brazil usually offers the best access.

It provides a wide range of wildlife tours. Travelers can trek into the rainforest or take a boat ride along the region’s numerous rivers to learn more about it.

6. Brasilia

Aerial image of the cathedral and other buildings in Brasilia, one of the very best places to visit in Brazil

061 Filmes/Shutterstock

Brasilia is Brazil’s capital and is known for its modernist architecture and relaxed vibe. It has a thriving nightlife with many bars, clubs, and eateries.

The Cathedral of Brasilia  is a must-see when sightseeing; parklands surround its spotless white walls, and its outstanding modernist architecture gives it a distinctive sight. In addition, art lovers will appreciate the city’s many museums and art galleries.

7. Florianopolis

Crowded beach in one of the best places to visit in Brazil, Florianopolis

January 8, 2022. Florianopolis, Brazil. Holiday beach with people and blue ocean with waves in Brazil. Morro das Pedras beach in Florianopolis/Wonderful Nature/Shutterstock

Beautiful Florianopolis is a city in southwest Brazil with sandy beaches and breathtaking ocean views. Traveling to Florianopolis gives you a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors while surfing in pristine seas.

The city boasts a distinct culture, with a trendy nightlife and a wide variety of delectable local eateries. And we think that there’s nothing to complain about when good food is involved!

Beautiful wavy black and white sidewalk in Manaus, one of the best places to visit in Brazil

Tacio Philip Sansonovski/Shutterstock

The unique mix of cultures and traditions in Manaus, the largest city in the Amazon region, makes it a fascinating place to visit.

The Amazon Theatre  and the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Conceição are the two main attractions. Visitors can also explore the rainforest  and see unique creatures outside of the city.

9. Fernando de Noronha

Pigs bay in Fernando de Noronha Island, one of the very best places to visit on a trip to Brazil

Nido Huebl/Shutterstock

Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago composed of 21 islands. There, you’ll find stunning beaches and pristine waterways; a naturalist’s paradise.

You can practice several water sports, including swimming, snorkeling, and bottle diving. Fernando de Noronha is one of the top diving locations in the world because it is home to colonies of dolphins, turtles, and many other marine wonders .

Even better? Is has amazing, crystal-clear water with great visibility. Only so many visitors can be at each island at one time, so you must plan in advance if you want to visit.

10. Belo Horizonte

View of a blue bus and a green armored car as seen from a traffic light in downtown Belo horizonte, one of Brazil's must-visit places

Belo Horizonte/MG/Brazil – April 15th 2019: View of Vehicle Traffic on Afonso Pena Avenue, Downtown Belo Horizonte/Antonio Salaverry/Shutterstock

Belo Horizonte is the capital of Minas Gerais. The city has a lot to offer tourists, including a vibrant nightlife  and fantastic shopping areas.

While there, you’ll be able to spend time visiting a variety of cultural attractions, such as cathedrals , museums , and art galleries . Also, don’t miss out on the magnificent man-made beach and breathtaking views of Lake Pampulha.

This lake is one of the city’s most visited attractions. You can engage in practically every outdoor activity, including hiking , fishing, and even paragliding over the lake .

11. Curitiba

Glass greenhouse in a garden in Curitiba, one of the best places to visit in Brazil, with a male statue in the foreground

CURITIBA, BRAZIL – JUNE 25: The architecture of the Curitiba Botanic Garden in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil with locals and tourists enjoying themselves on June 25, 2018/Vitoriano Junior/Shutterstock

Curitiba offers a wide variety of bars, eateries, and various open-air parks and gardens to discover. Some of the main attractions include the Oscar Niemeyer Museum , which honors the creations of one of Brazil’s most celebrated architects.

And don’t forget to visit the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. You should also visit the Curitiba Botanical Garden , a place dedicated to the beauty of plants, flowers, and nature.

For a piece on the best places to visit in Brazil, aerial view of the coastline with high-rise hotels in Recife


The northern Brazilian city of Recife is heavily influenced by Dutch culture. With its charming cobblestone streets and colonial-style structures, the city’s old town makes for a wonderful exploration location.

While there, tour the surrounding Pernambuco Coast, an excellent area to see dolphins and other animals. There are also beaches like Boa Viagem, popular among swimmers and surfers .

13. Foz do Iguaçu

Pretty view of the misty Foz do Iguaçu and the amazing falls in it as seen on a clear day

The awe-inspiring Foz do Iguaçu National Park  is a natural wonder that Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay share. The magnificent Iguazu Falls are located in this region.

If you’re a bird watcher, you’ll have a chance to glimpse over 800 different species of birds  in the area. You can also take boat cruises  down the river to gain closer views of the falls and explore the neighboring woods.

14. Pantanal

Lilly pads in the water-rich area of Pantanal, one of the best places to visit in Brazil


Although the Pantanal may not be as well-known as other locations in Brazil, it shouldn’t be disregarded. This marshland is an important biome that houses a rich but endangered fauna.

Visitors come here to ride horses , travel by boat, or even fly over the area. There are many things to do, including bird viewing, fishing, and visiting local cities.

Gorgeous Brazilian people in colorful outfits walking through the streets of Olinda

Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil, in February 2017. Culture Popular. Frevo: manifestation of the popular culture of Pernambuco. Passistas de frevo presenting a performance in Quatros Cantos/Elysangela Freitas/Shutterstock

Immerse yourself in authentic Brazilian culture by visiting Olinda. Cobblestone streets, churches, and vibrant colonial structures may all be found in this lovely city.

Olinda comes alive at night with music, street shows, and delectable food. Moreover, Olinda is home to numerous fascinating historical and contemporary museums.

Things to Consider

When traveling abroad it’s always important to consider things such as the weather, visa requirements, or even what health and natural hazards you’ll be facing:

  • Weather: Brazil is a big country, thus the weather can change a lot. Typically, November to March is the best time to visit with average temperatures around 77°F (25°C).
  • Visa:  US citizens do not require a visa to enter Brazil. Remember to take your valid passport, and you’re good to go!
  • What to Bring:  Pack plenty of sunscreen, lightweight clothing, and insect repellent.
  • Health and Natural Hazards:  Keep in mind that there may be health risks in Brazil, such as those brought on by foodborne and mosquito-borne infections.
  • Natural Disasters: The region experiences some natural calamities like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, so stay on top of local alerts.

If you keep these suggestions in mind, you can be certain that your vacation to Brazil will be one to remember—and not in a bad manner!

Frequently Asked Questions

For a piece on the best places to visit in Brazil, a downtown view of Porto Alegre, with few cars driving by

Maila Facchini/Shutterstock

Do you still have questions about visiting Brazil? Let’s see if we can manage to answer some of your pressing questions:

Where in Brazil can you travel safely?

The safest cities to travel to in Brazil are Curitiba, Florianopolis, and Porto Alegre. However, you still need to be aware of your surroundings and follow typical security procedures.

What region of Brazil is the most beautiful?

Because of its diverse animals and lush rainforest, the Amazon region of Brazil is frequently regarded as the country’s most picturesque area. There are also unique indigenous tribes that still adhere to their ancient traditions deep in the jungle.

What Brazilian location is the most popular?

The most popular location in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro. Known for its famous landmarks, breathtaking beaches, and vibrant culture. It is a large, diversified metropolis with a ton to offer both domestic and foreign visitors.

Which region of Brazil should I go to?

Rio de Janeiro is a fantastic option if you’re searching for a vibrant urban experience with lots of tourism opportunities. The beaches at Florianopolis would be perfect if you’re searching for a more tranquil and laid-back setting.

Finally, Manaus is an excellent place to start your tour if you want to explore the stunning Amazon region.

Are two weeks long enough to visit Brazil?

Two weeks may not be enough time to thoroughly see Brazil if your goal is to visit every region and gain a sense of what makes each one unique.

But, two weeks may be enough time to visit some regions of the country. If you only have two weeks in Brazil, think about concentrating on and making the most of one or two particular regions.

Which Brazilian beach is the greatest to visit?

Depending on your preferences, Brazil has a variety of beaches that are worth visiting. Head to Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro for a lively and exciting beach experience.

In the state of Rio Grande, you can visit Praia da Pipa for a more tranquil beach experience. As a bonus, we also advise you to visit Barra Grande in Bahia, the ideal location if you’re seeking a beach where you may spot sea turtles.

So, What Is the Best Place to Visit in Brazil?

In general, those who are seeking sand, sun, and a colorful culture should head to Brazil. If you’re looking for adventure, head to one of the many National Parks or natural wonders, like Iguazu Falls.

For those seeking excellent food and a roaring nightlife, there’s no better option than Rio De Janeiro.

Brazil provides visitors with a multitude of attractions, so no matter what kind of vacation you’re seeking to plan, there will be enough to explore and enjoy there. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!

When to Go: Is Brazil Safe to Visit in 2024? | Safety Concerns The Best & Worst Times to Visit Brazil (Updated for 2024) What It Costs: What a Trip to Brazil Costs in 2024 | Average Prices


  • Adventure Travel

Historical heritage site in Brazil

11 Fun Things to Do in Brazil

Cathryn Fortuna

Cathryn was bitten by the travel bug in 2012 when she studied abroad for the first time in Spain....

  • Before You Go
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Brazil is one of few destinations on the planet that can satisfy every type of traveler—and luckily, the same can be said for its attractions. Whether you’ve been in Brazil for one day, one month, or one year, you’ll find enough to keep you busy for one lifetime, no matter your style. On a budget? Don’t worry, you’re set. Looking for luxury? Oh, you’ll find it, all right. History buffs, outdoorsmen, adrenaline junkies, shopaholics, beachcombers, and everyone in between will bask in the Brazil sights to see.

Fun things to do in Brazil

Welcome to Brazil!

However, the sheer land area and cornucopia of activities and things to do and see in Brazil can sometimes be its own Achilles’ Heel. Having the advantage of so many experiences at your fingertips can be a disadvantage as well—it can be overwhelming to decide exactly what you want to do. So what are the best Brazil attractions? Sit back, relax, order another caipirinha , and we’ll tell you.

Fun things to do in Brazil can be found amongst the country’s pristine, ethereal natural wonders; pumping, rhythm-driven festivals; and quiet, idyllic colonial towns. Take a solo day trip, or a week-long group excursion. One of the great things about Brazil attractions is that you’ll easily be able to find something that’s compatible with your pace and budget. Best of all, if you’ve got a lust for life, there’s no chance you’ll be disappointed by these must see places in Brazil.

What to see in Brazil

1. get soaked by iguazu falls.

Fun things to do in Brazil

These gorgeous falls are even larger than Niagra Falls!

“Poor Niagara”, indeed. No matter where you currently are in Brazil, it will be well worth your time to take a detour to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Brazil, you will be able to access the falls from the town of Foz do Iguaçu (Paraguay and Argentina also have access points). Stay overnight in a nearby town and spend two days—or more—in the park to fully bask in the splendor. We recommend against helicopter tours, as they have a negative effect on both the environment and other visitors’ experiences. 

  • Where? Paraná
  • Time needed? 2+ days
  • Tour or solo? Solo for your own pace; tour if you’re looking for guidance

2. Hang ten at Florianópolis Beaches

There’s 42 of them, after all! Whether you’re a seasoned surfer, or just looking for a really good story about how you learned, don’t hesitate to grab a board and ride the waves at Floripa. Praia Mole is a frequent location for the ASP World Tour surfing competition, and the surfing secrets of Joaquina Beach spilled around the 1970s; Barra de Lagoa is still categorized as a fishing village, so it’s the perfect place the cut your surfing teeth. With so many spots to choose from, you’ll find the ideal locale for partying, people-watching, or sunbathing. If you’re around the area roundabouts 40 days after Easter, be sure to check out the Holy Spirit Feast.

  • Where? Santa Catarina
  • Time needed? 5+ days if you want to miss anything
  • Tour or solo? Go solo and mingle with the locals—they might tell you about the super-secret spots

3. Be humbled by the Cathedral of Brasília

Fun things to do in Brazil

This cathedral is fun and different!

If you’ve gone on cathedral tours around Europe, or Central or South America, then you know that they kiiiinda start to all look the same after a while. However, such is not the case with the Cathedral of Brasília. Completed in 1970, it’s centuries younger than its other New World counterparts, and downright surprising to the eye. Modern in design and structure, this cathedral is a great stop for those who enjoy perusing architecture, but can no longer feign wonderment at bell towers.

  • Where? Brasília
  • Time needed? <1 day
  • Tour or solo? Tour, for a historical and cultural point of view

4. Recharge at Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande in a word? Astonishing. Maybe we shouldn’t tell you that this heavenly island is the former site of a pirate’s lair, leper colony, and maximum-security prison, but that piece of history is too bizarre not to share—and also makes Ilha Grande seem just that more improbable. With pristine and undeveloped jungles and beaches, and a ban on motorized vehicles, Big Island is cooking up an impeccable recipe for a solo retreat for anyone who might need one.

Fun things to do in Brazil

Jungles and beaches and surfing, oh my!

  • Where? Off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state
  • Time needed? 3+ days
  • Tour or solo? Solo

5. Dive head first into Abismo Anhumas

A trip to Abismo Anhumas will offer you the three S’s: spelunking, snorkeling, and stalagmites. Here you will find an adventurer’s paradise, as well as an incredible crystal-clear lake—but you’ll have to rappel to the bottom of the cave to see it. Once there (best of luck), you can see the natural geological formations up close, or climb into the water and snorkel (or scuba!) to get a better look at the evasive wildlife. You might be hard-pressed to find a tour bus going this way, so you’ll need to up the adventure ante and hire a car or hitch a ride.

  • Where? Bonito
  • Tour or solo? Tour, if you have any common sense

6. Trek cliff faces at Aparados da Serra National Park

Fun things to do in Brazil

This gorgeous canyon landscape is just a plane ride away!

One of Brazil’s first national parks, Aparados da Serra National Park houses (and protects) the fabled Itaimbezinho Canyon. The area can be difficult to access, but worth the effort for the incredible biodiversity—here you’ll be able to see waterfalls, subtropical forest, and endangered species. The park is currently undergoing conservation efforts, so only 1500 visitors are admitted per day. We suggest getting there bright and early, and to be careful not to get in over your head with the more advanced hiking trails.

  • Where? Rio Grande do Sul & Santa Catarina
  • Tour or solo? Tour, especially if inexperienced

7. Snorkel with sea turtles at Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is a stunning archipelago of 21 islands off the coast of northeastern Brazil, and one of the more “secret” Brazil attractions. There won’t be much civilization around, as the population is only 3500, so here you’ll find the opportunity to be one with nature. Adventurers flock to the island often for snorkeling and scuba diving due to the year-round warm waters. If you ever wanted to see sea turtles or dolphins up close—and away from tourists—now is your chance.

  • Where? Northeast Pernambuco
  • Time needed? 3+ days, if you want to island hop
  • Tour or solo? Either

8. Clip-clop through Paraty

Fun things to do in Brazil

You’ll be up to your ears in historical heritage in Paraty, Brazil!

If you’re not inclined to partake in the natural wonders of Brazil (those spiders can get pretty big), Paraty will be a great stop for those looking to soak up some history. Founded in 1597, and a former exporter of gold, the town still emulates the traditional colonial aesthetic. If you enjoy historical architecture, we suggest spending a few days here, as it can take some time to properly feast your eyes on the many churches and forts. If you can weather the outdoors for a little while (this is Brazil, after all...), many adventurers enjoy the experience of horseback riding from rainforest to sea. 

  • Where? Southeast Rio de Janeiro state
  • Tour or solo? Tour

9. Swim in sand dunes (what?) at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

Perhaps one of the most captivating, and unexpected, national parks in Brazil, Lençóis Maranhenses offers travelers massive sand dunes to explore that can reach 130 feet. During the wet season, heavy rains turn dune valleys into lagoons, leaving behind pools to swim in. Water temperatures can push 90 degrees fahrenheit, so it might be more like a bath than a refreshing dip, but fun and weird nonetheless! Keep in mind that you’ll need a jeep (or some kind of 4-wheel drive) to get here. Hands down, this will be one of the most interesting things to do in Brazil.

  • Where? Northeastern Maranhão
  • Time needed? 1+ days
  • Tour or solo? Tour, as going solo might be dangerous if you plan to swim

10. Take a journey through time in Ouro Preto

Fun things to do in Brazil

With buildings adorned with gold, Ouro Preto definitely makes the list!

If you find that Paraty isn’t holding it down for colonial history, then just wait until you get a load of Ouro Preto. Meaning “Black Gold”, Ouro Preto is another former site of the Brazilian Gold Rush, and perhaps the most well-preserved colonial town in the country. Churches here are still adorned with gold, and modern buildings must adhere to historical standards, putting this town at the top of most travelers’ lists of what to see in Brazil. Ouro Preto is also a popular destination for Carnaval.

  • Where? Minas Gerais

11. Go wildlife watching in Pantanal

Pantanal might be last on this list, but it should be close to first on yours. Nearly half the size of France, Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world, and home to copious amounts of exotic flora and fauna. The best time to go will be during the dry season when dirt roads are more easily accessible, but it’s possible to explore Pantanal year-round. No matter what time of year you go, you’re almost guaranteed to spot capybaras, jaguars, otters, hyacinth macaws, howler monkeys, giant anteaters, and more. Take a seat, Amazon Rainforest.

  • Where? Mato Grosso do Sul; Bolivia, Paraguay
  • Time needed? 5+ days

Have unforgettable adventures at top Brazil attractions!

Fun things to do in Brazil

You’re ready to go explore Brazil!

To be quite frank, we could keep going—there is no shortage of interesting things to do in Brazil. Each day spent here will surely be an adventure in and of itself, but it’s always worth having a backup list of fun things to do in Brazil for when you’re feeling extra spontaneous or just need a jolt of inspiration. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the best Brazil sights to see!

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The 8 Most Adventurous Things to Do in Brazil

fun place to visit in brazil

Astrid was the Senior Special Projects Editor at TripSavvy.

fun place to visit in brazil

Need a break from the glitz and glamour of Rio? There are astoundingly diverse activities for travelers to do in Brazil, and adventure travelers, in particular, can find plenty to love in the country's more remote regions. Destinations like the Amazon rainforest and the Pantanal wetlands may require more travel time, but for those seeking true adventure in one of the world's most beautiful places, your efforts will be rewarded.

In a country so large, travelers can have their pick of mountains, land or sea, as well as the opportunity to get up close to some of South America's most amazing flora, fauna, and wildlife. These adventurous excursions are perfect for adventurous travelers looking for authentic experiences off the beaten path. Just don't forget your bug spray.

Explore the Pantanal Wetlands

 Chris VR / TripSavvy

While the Amazon gets most of the attention for adventure destinations in Brazil, there are other areas that offer a stunning level of biodiversity as well. The Pantanal is one of the largest wetland regions in the entire world, featuring a dizzying array of flora, fauna, and wildlife. Covering more than 55,000 square miles, the region is home to more than 1000 species of birds, over 400 fish and reptiles, as well as 300 different mammals, such as the puma and the tapir. The region has seen a sudden rise in interest in Brazil thanks to the 2022 revival of the '90s telenovela "Pantanal," following the trials and tribulations of a Brazilian family living in the wetlands. If you visit, you'll have plenty of family-owned eco-lodges to choose from, like the beloved Hotel Fazenda Baía das Pedras , which allows visitors to explore the surrounding wetlands, savanna, and rainforest that all come together to create the Pantanal. 

Visit the Amazon

There are few destinations on the planet that conjure up clearer images of adventure than the Amazon rainforest—and it's a classic for a reason. Both a massive river and jungle, the Amazon is home to some of the most unique and distinct plant and animal life on the planet, making it an easy destination to recommend to travelers. Brazil provides some of the best access to the rainforest with the city of Manaus serving as a gateway to the region itself. Take a boat or canoe out onto the Amazon River to spot the legendary river dolphins that frequent the area or spend a night at a local eco-lodge to experience the forest first hand. Of course, no visit to Manus is complete without dropping by the legendary Opera House as well. 

Go Hiking in Serra da Canastra National Park

Located in the southeastern region of Brazil, the Serra da Canastra National Park is radically different from the wetlands of the Amazon or the Pantanal. Huddled in the Canastra Mountains, the park is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to an array of beautiful waterfalls. Hiking trails wander across the remote landscapes, with plenty of small streams and rivers flowing nearby. The treks can actually be quite strenuous with lots of climbing and descending, with some beautiful views to be taken in along the way. The best part is that the park is seldom visited, even by locals, so chances are you might have trail completely to yourself depending on when you visit. 

Go Diving on Fernando de Noronha

Just off the northeast coast of Brazil is an archipelago by the name of Fernando de Noronha. Made up of 21 small islands, this beautiful destination is a national marine sanctuary and one of the best places to go diving and snorkeling in Brazil. Highlights include deep canyons, several shipwrecks, and a wild dolphin colony that stays permanently rooted to the area. You'll also spot rays, turtles, reef sharks, and countless other colorful tropical fish that call the region home. The pristine waters often offer visibility to more than 50 meters in depth, which only helps to enhance the experience even further. 

Snorkel in Bonito

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Bonito is tucked away in the corner of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, a three hour drive from the largest city of Campo Grande. Yet despite being so far from the coast, some of the country's most incredible underwater activities can be found in this eco-minded community. That's because this region takes its commitment to sustainability seriously, mandating that its highly regulated excursions to natural features be limited to small numbers of travelers at a time, even before the pandemic. If you're visiting, snorkeling in the Rio da Prata ecological center is a must—but be sure to book in advance.

Surf Florianópolis

Blessed with an abundance of coastline, Brazil is an excellent place to go surfing for both experts and beginners alike. Few places can compare to the town of Florianópolis however, where you'll find excellent swells all year round. The region offers 42 different beaches, each with its own distinct culture and feel, allowing you to find the place that best suits your level of experience and vibe. Beginners will find plenty of places to rent gear and get lessons, while the more advanced surfers should head to Joaquina Beach to test their skills. Either way, the results will be the same. A wholly fulfilling surf experience paired with excellent restaurants and a thriving nightlife. This is Brazil after all. 

Explore the Caves of Chapada Diamantina

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One of the most beautiful and expansive national parks in Brazil, Chapada Diamantina offers challenging hiking and rock climbing opportunities for those chasing otherworldly vistas—there's a reason it's known as Brazil's "Lost World." If you're planning a trip, you will certainly need several days to explore all it has to offer. Dedicate at least one of those days to the national park's enchanting blue water caves, like Gruta Azul. Formed by underground rivers and erosion, the water here get its intense sapphire blue color from mineral deposits. To explore these caves you’ll need a guide, so it's best to research a few tours in advance, such as Amazon Adventures .

Kiteboard in Jericoacoara

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This tiny village's pristine coastline and steady wind have made it a must-visit for kiteboarding lovers around the world. Adventure seekers fill its shores during prime wind season, July through January. The winds here are suitable for both beginner and advanced kiteboarders, with lighter wind conditions easily found in the morning and towards the end of the day. The winds blow until the sun goes down, and the water is just as welcoming as the weather. After a day spent catching waves, kick back and enjoy a stunning sunset at the top of the 200 foot sand dune that overlooks the town. You deserve it.

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Rio de Janeiro   Travel Guide

Courtesy of Anna Gibiskys | Getty Images

fun place to visit in brazil

17 Best Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If it's your first time in Rio, you can't pass up people-watching along the white-sand shores of Copacabana  or Ipanema . But don't spend all your time at the beach; the Marvelous City has more spectacular natural beauty to offer with sites

  • All Things To Do

fun place to visit in brazil

Christ the Redeemer Christ the Redeemer

This iconic landmark is a must-see attraction in Rio. Recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this statue of Jesus Christ stands with arms outstretched to the city from above Corcovado Mountain's staggering 2,310-foot elevation.

Started in 1922 and completed in 1931, the monument – made of concrete and covered in soapstone mosaic tiles – stands 124 feet tall as a religious and cultural symbol of the Brazilian people's warm and welcoming culture. The monument rests atop Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca National Park and is the most famous attraction in Rio de Janeiro, visited by nearly 2 million people each year. Recent travelers recommend visiting on a day with clear skies since the vantage point is the best in the city. Many also advise going as early as possible to avoid the crowds.

fun place to visit in brazil

Tijuca National Park Tijuca National Park

U.S. News Insider Tip: After a day of hiking, head over to Os Esquilos ("The Squirrels"), the national park's only restaurant. Visit between May and October when Rio's temperatures drop to enjoy fondue paired with red wine next to the roaring log fire. – Sarah Brown

Outdoorsy types love exploring this expansive green rainforest. Covering more than 9,600 acres, Tijuca National Park sits within the Atlantic Forest and is one of the largest urban forests on the planet. The natural beauty of the park can't be understated: it features varied terrains, waterfalls, caves and more than 1,600 plant species and more than 300 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

fun place to visit in brazil

Jardim Botânico Jardim Botânico

Spread out across more than 350 acres, this botanical paradise awes its visitors with more than 7,000 indigenous and exotic species of flora. This serene garden hosts everything from orchids to Amazonian trees to large ferns, and is a haven for wild animals such as marmosets, frogs and tropical birds. The gardens were originally created in 1808 by Regent Prince D. João to acclimatize spices from other regions. Since its debut to the public in 1822, the verdant sanctuary has become a haven for locals and tourists; Albert Einstein even dropped in. The national park is also known as a premier botany and ecology research center. 

Travelers relish the garden's tranquility, the abundance of nature, and recommend taking guided or self-driven thematic tours of the park's various sections. The park also includes a playground, souvenir shop and the Garden Café restaurant.

fun place to visit in brazil

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Boat Tours Boat Tours

With its iconic coastline and mountainous backdrop, Rio de Janeiro is best explored from the water. Boat tours offer a unique perspective of the city, giving visitors opportunities to admire its stunning beaches, islands, and landmarks from a different angle. There's a variety of boat tours to suit different preferences, including daylong boat tours and scuba diving excursions.

A scuba diving trip takes about five hours. Trips usually go to Cagarras Island – just off the coast of Ipanema – or to Arraial do Cabo – east of Rio. Those who have never dived before will get a quick lesson from experienced divers and will be accompanied in the water by a guide during their entire swim. Qualified divers can go ahead and enjoy the underwater biodiversity. Rio Natural Ecotourism and Itaway Eco Tours are two favorite vendors among tour-takers. Prices start at $130 per person.

fun place to visit in brazil

Lapa Lapa free

If you come to Rio to revel in samba and other Brazilian music, Lapa is the place for you. This festive neighborhood ignites at night when locals swing their hips and sip on delectable cocktails. Brimming with rows of botecos (typical Brazilian bars), clubs and live music venues, Lapa's seductive night crawl certainly isn't lacking excitement or charm.

You'll definitely want to check out  Rio Scenarium , the most popular Brazilian club that features three stories, vintage decor and a long list of craft cocktails. Other popular bars and nightclubs include Leviano , known for its variety of music ranging from samba to forró , and Armazém do Senado , a lively bar with live music where visitors spill out into the street, especially on Saturday afternoons.

fun place to visit in brazil

Ipanema Beach Ipanema Beach free

U.S. News Insider Tip: At the end of the day, go to Arpoador at the far end of Ipanema near Copacabana to watch the sunset next to the Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Mountains). Locals clap as the last slither of sun dips behind the horizon. – Sarah Brown

Made famous by the well-known bossa nova song, "The Girl from Ipanema," this beach has drawn tourists for decades. The 1.5-mile stretch of sand boasts gorgeous mountain views, beautiful Brazilians and cobalt waters. While sunbathing, you'll observe wildly entertaining games of  futevolei  (the Brazilian version of volleyball without hands) and smell coalho cheese with oregano grilling nearby on skewers.

fun place to visit in brazil

Escadaria Selaron Escadaria Selaron free

One of the most iconic landmarks in Rio de Janeiro is the Escadaria Selarón, or Selarón Steps, a 250-step staircase decorated with more than 2,000 carefully placed tiles from around the world. It was created by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who began the project in 1990 of transforming a run-down outdoor staircase in Rio's downtown into one of the city's most photographed masterpieces. Dedicating hours of life to what he referred to as a tribute to Brazilian people, Selarón was found dead on his steps in 2013 (the exact cause of his death has not been disclosed). Today, the landmark has appeared in fashion magazines, music videos and films and continues to be one of the city's most visited icons. Best of all, it's free to visit.

Recent visitors said it was a must-see and a great spot for photos, even though it can get a bit crowded. Some travelers said the steps themselves are safe, however, it's recommended to keep belongings close while wandering in the surrounding area to avoid pickpocketing.

fun place to visit in brazil

Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar)

U.S. News Insider Tip: After visiting the Sugarloaf, unwind at the neighboring picturesque Praia Vermelha beach and then head over to the nearby Mureta, a bay-side wall in Urca where locals gather to watch the sunset and socialize the night away. – Sarah Brown

Standing high above Rio's bustling metropolis at 1,296 feet, Pão de Açúcar, or the Sugarloaf Mountain, cascades over the picturesque Guanabara Bay. From Praia Vermelha (Red Beach) in the residential Urca district, you can take a three-minute cable car ride up to Morro da Urca and then hop on another cable car up to the top of Sugarloaf. From the glass-enclosed bondinho (cable car), you'll get a dazzling view of the city, the sea and Rio's tree-covered mountains.

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Sunset Sailing Tour in Rio de Janeiro - DDRio

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Pedra da Gávea Pedra da Gávea free

Amid Rio's vibrant cityscape stands Pedra da Gávea, an adventure-lover's dream. This iconic granite peak stands more than 2,700 feet above sea level, providing stunning panoramic views of the city, ocean and the Atlantic Forest. It's a hike that's not for the faint-hearted, but the rewards are worth the effort – recent visitors describe it as "amazing" and "incredible" but warn it's a tough hike. It takes about five hours up and back down (although it can take longer depending on which viewpoints you visit), and involves a mix of steep ascents, rocky terrain and some rope-assisted sections. Hiring a local guide is recommended for safety and navigation, even if you're an experienced hiker. Always check the weather forecast before you go, as the trail becomes slippery during the rain.

The views from the summit are breathtaking and let you see some of Rio's famous sites including the Christ the Redeemer  statue, Sugarloaf Mountain , and the golden coastline. On the way back down, don't forget to visit the Garganta do Céu ("The Sky's Throat") for a unique perspective of Rio's coastline. Also keep an eye out for the Cabeça do Imperador ("The Emperor's Head"), a natural rock facade shaped like a face and an abundance of wildlife (think: monkeys, toucans and various plant species).

fun place to visit in brazil

Prainha Prainha free

Known as Brazil's "little" beach, this remote paradise sits about 22 miles west of  Ipanema Beach  but is well worth the jaunt. Prainha's magnificent shoreline features a backdrop of rolling hills and verdant rainforest. Surfers covet the killer waves – Prainha is a beloved spot among the surfing community – while beachgoers marvel at the gorgeous sunsets. The shore empties out during the weekdays (particularly during Brazil's winter, which is June to September), making Prainha a great alternative to other tourist-laden beaches. However, swimmers and surfers take note: currents are strong and there are no lifeguards.

Recent travelers love the quieter, more local vibe at Prainha, especially in the offseason. The beach boasts plenty of sunbathing spots during the week and is lined with kiosks selling snacks and drinks. There is also a restaurant nearby called Mirante da Prainha, ideal for oceanic views and Brazilian food. The best way to get there is by car (either taxi or Uber is recommended), as there are no direct public transport options. There is parking space for cars which is informally manned by local car attendants, meaning the cost may vary but is about 15 reais ($3) according to recent travelers, who also recommend getting there early to get a spot.

fun place to visit in brazil

Pedra do Telégrafo Pedra do Telégrafo

U.S. News Insider Tip: Make sure to visit the Wild Beaches after your trip to Pedra do Telégrafo. These stunning beaches are often completely deserted and feature white sand and lush forest backdrops. Check out Perigoso, Funda, Inferno and Meio beaches. – Sarah Brown

Located in the Atlantic Forest, Pedra do Telégrafo is a popular hiking destination for travelers seeking breathtaking views and memorable photo opportunities. This famous peak has gained worldwide fame for its gravity-defying photos that make it appear as though you're hanging off a rocky precipice over a sheer drop. Don't worry though – there's a solid rock platform beneath. The photos are all about perspective.

fun place to visit in brazil

Copacabana Beach Copacabana Beach free

One of Rio's most popular shores, Copacabana is a public beach located in the heart of the luxurious Zona Sul neighborhood. The beach is marked by postos , or lifeguard stands, that offer changing rooms and restrooms for a small fee (less than $1). Copacabana's 2.5-mile stretch of sand runs from Posto 3 to Posto 6, where you'll find a peninsula that houses the Historical Museum of the Army and Copacabana Fort.

Brimming with authentic eats, lavish accommodations and the beautiful Avenida Atlântica sideway made of mosaic tiles in a wave motif, Copacabana Beach boasts much more than powdery sands. Recent visitors said it was a must-visit beach and commented on how many people practice sports there at all times of day. Others commented on petty theft that may occur on the beach and recommended keeping belongings in sight and close by. You'll see runners and cyclists making the most of the cycle path that runs alongside the beach from the crack of dawn until well into the evening. The beach is also a hotspot for beach volleyball and football (soccer) at all times of day.

fun place to visit in brazil

Santa Teresa Santa Teresa free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Don't miss Parque das Ruínas , a restored historical building with exposed brickwork and stunning views across Guanabara Bay, Sugarloaf and Rio's downtown. Check out the gallery of contemporary, local art there too. Best of all, it's free. – Sarah Brown

This hilly bohemian district boasts an eclectic array of art and architecture. Strolling along Santa Teresa's cobblestone streets, you'll be enchanted by sidewalk mosaics, palatial mansions and artsy galleries. Conveniently situated just southwest of  Lapa , this neighborhood offers traditional Brazilian restaurants, bars and craft stores.

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Barra da Tijuca Barra da Tijuca free

Barra da Tijuca, which includes an expansive 11-mile stretch of coastline and adjacent shopping center, is a neighborhood known as "Barra" and is popular among Cariocas. Recent travelers say its beach has a more relaxed environment than the sands at Copacabana  and Ipanema  and is more local and less crowded. They also say it's an ideal spot for walking, running and cycling. You can also find places to do surfing lessons, one of the most favorite pastimes of a Carioca. Along the shore, you'll find plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as kiosks selling coconut water, alcoholic drinks and typical Brazilian cuisine

The adjacent shopping center, Barra Shopping, is Brazil's largest commerce complex, featuring retail, entertainment, dining and business centers totaling more than 700 stores. Hours for shops and other stores vary within the center, although the mall itself opens Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Check Barra Shopping's website (written in Portuguese) for more information.

fun place to visit in brazil

Grumari Beach Grumari Beach free

You won't find beachfront restaurants, luxurious hotels or plentiful kiosks here. Without them, you'll have space to stretch out on the 1.5 miles of white and red sand. Part retreat for sun-seekers, part environmental reserve, this lovely beach is a way away from the swooning tourists at  Copacabana  and  Ipanema (about 25 miles).

Travelers rave about Grumari Beach's cleanliness and natural beauty but note that the trek there may take you awhile. Recent visitors said that even though the beach is about an hour's drive from the city, it's a hidden gem worth checking out. Some travelers warn that cell phone reception isn't great, meaning calling for a ride back can be a bit tricky. They also mentioned that the sea can be quite rough, so take care if you go swimming, especially as there are no lifeguards in the area.

fun place to visit in brazil

Ilha Fiscal Ilha Fiscal

Set apart from the bustling sights and sounds of central Rio, this remote neo-Gothic castle rests on a tucked away island in Guanabara Bay. Completed in 1889 and once a prime location for the Brazilian custom service for supervising port operations, Ilha Fiscal now serves as an illuminated city gem. It was once known for being the venue of the event that was known as "The Last Ball of the Empire," which was held just days before the Proclamation of the Republic.

The castle was reopened in July 2023 following 18 months of restoration and now includes several historical exhibitions and the Galeota D. Joao VI, the oldest vessel preserved in Brazil and used by the Portuguese royal family.

fun place to visit in brazil

Metropolitan Cathedral Metropolitan Cathedral free

Located in Rio's downtown, the Metropolitan Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro, is a unique masterpiece and a must-see for those interested in architecture. Designed by architect Edgar Fonseca, it's a striking example of modernist architecture, with its cone-shaped dome standing at 246 feet and resembling the Mayan pyramids. It's decorated with colorful stained-glass windows that encircle the structure and create a wonderful play of light inside, which many recent travelers say is beautiful to see. Construction of the cathedral began in 1962 and the first mass was celebrated there ten years later.

The interior has minimal decor, but has an impressive display of religious art. The main door, known as the Door of Faith, is decorated with 48 bronze high-reliefs, and the church holds a large collection of sculptures, paintings, statues and space for a choir and an organ.

fun place to visit in brazil

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Magnificent World


Brazil Adventure Guide

10 Best Places to Visit in Brazil for Adventure Lovers

Welcome to my Brazil adventure guide – the most beautiful destinations for adventure-lovers. Brazil is an absolutely incredible place to visit! With continental dimensions – it has a rich culture, delicious gastronomy and diverse natural beauty.

There are 27 states and more than 5,500 cities that offer wonderful wealth. We have huge waterfalls, gigantic rivers, paradisiacal beaches, incredible islands, and majestic mountains, all in the same country. It’s a destination for many types of tourism, from luxury to adventure.

I was born in Brasilia (the capital of Brazil) and have always been passionate about travel and nature. After seven years working in the public sector, I decided to create a space where I could share travel and wellness tips.

So I created the Leve na Viagem blog and after three years I resigned to live as a professional traveler. My passion for the diversity of the world and for nature moves me.

Brazil Adventure Guide

My Personal Favourite Destinations in Brazil

I travel all over the world, but I have a loving preference for Brazil. It’s very difficult to say which is my favorite adventure destination here, because the diversity is so great that there would be a referral for each type of trip.

Chapada dos Veadeiros is an ecotourism destination that moves me a lot, as I grew up going camping there. Lençóis Maranhenses is a unique place in the world that I had the pleasure of crossing in three days of trekking, passing through a large part of the National Park.

Monte Roraima is a mountain offering one of the most beautiful treks in South America. It’s 85% in Venezuela, 10% in Guyana and 5% in Brazil. The entry, even, is through Brazil. The 8-day trek I did there was undoubtedly one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. I’ve even done it twice now and I definitely recommend it for this Brazil adventure guide.

Monte Roraima

1. Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

Lençóis Maranhenses is that famous place in Brazil that you’ve probably seen on Instagram where thousands of lagoons sit amongst a massive expanse of sand dunes. The National Park is located on the coast in a remote part of Maranhão state in the north of Brazil.

The best time to experience Lençóis Maranhenses is from May – September when rain filters through the sand dunes forming thousands of crystal-clear pools and lakes. I would say it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit not only in Brazil but the entire world!

For adventure-lovers, there are heaps of awesome things to do here. You can go dune bashing in a jeep or quad bike with experienced guides, fly over the National Park in a plane or helicopter and stop for a swim in one of the many pools and lakes. This has to be the number one adventure for any Brazil guide!

Brazil Adventure Guide

2. Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park

As mentioned before, Chapada dos Veadeiros is a place that has a special place in my heart as I grew up camping there. It’s located next to my hometown of Brasilia too. So if you’re planning to visit the capital of Brazil, it makes for a great addition to this region.

The drive from Brasilia to Chapada dos Veadeiros takes about three hours. A day trip here is definitely a viable option. Adventurers can explore many beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails. My advice is to wake up early, put on some decent hiking shoes and pack your bag with lunch and snacks. It will be a great day of adventure!

Brazil Adventure Guide

3. Aparados da Serra National Park

Aparados da Serra National Park sits on the border between Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. This vast landscape is blessed with a series of spectacular canyons where the pasturelands open up and drop to depths of 720 metres. The canyons are breathtaking!

I recommend visiting the Cânion do Itaimbezinho – a narrow canyon that is 5800 metres long with two majestic waterfalls that flow down into the earth. There’s fantastic hiking at Aparados da Serra with three main trails to choose from.

One trail runs for 2 kilometres to an observation point, another goes for 3 kilometres and passes the Véu de Noiva waterfall, and the final (more difficult) option is Trilha do Rio do Boi which runs along the base of the canyon for 7 kilometres. This last option is best done with an experienced guide and can’t be done during the rainy season due to flooding.

Aparados da Serra

4. Ilha do Marajó

Ilha do Marajó is a beautiful river island in the State of Pará. It’s located in the estuary where the Amazon flows into the Atlantic Ocean and is rich in wildlife, mangrove forests, fazenda farms, laid-back towns and beautiful beaches. The best beaches here are Praia do Pinheiro, Praia do Pesqueiro and Praia Grande de Salvaterra.

Some of the wildlife is absolutely incredible, especially in the Pantanal area during the rainy season when the lakes form an ecological sanctuary. Visitors can see butterflies, birds, fish, alligators, sloths and many buffaloes. Buffaloes are certainly the symbol of the island.

For the more adventurous types, you can go trekking in the jungle, horseback riding on the farms, cycle on the beaches and surf on the pororoca. There’s so many awesome things to do on Ilha do Marajó and it should definitely be included in every Brazil adventure guide!

5. Petrópolis x Teresópolis Crossing

The Petrópolis x Teresópolis Crossing is located within the Serra dos Órgãos National Park and is considered to be the most beautiful trek in Brazil. It takes you into the depths of the Atlantic Forest and between the mountain towns of Petrópolis, Guapimirim and Teresópolis.

The landscapes and views on this long-distance hike are out-of-this-world! Discover the beauty of places like Castelos do Açu, Pedra do Sino, Dedo de Deus and Nariz do Frade e Garrafão. Most tours and expeditions to the Petrópolis x Teresópolis Crossing take three days, so factor that in if you want to include this hike on your Brazil itinerary.

6. Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro (Cidade Maravilhosa) is one of the most beautiful places in Brazil. The beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, the beautiful lush mountains such as Sugar Loaf, the Christ the Redeemer statue, the bohemian Lapa neighborhood – all add to the city’s appeal.

But there’s more to Rio than its conventional attractions. You can go hang gliding over the city, rock-climbing at Morro da Urca or Pão de Açúcar, and hiking to Pedra da Gávea. There’s an adventure for every type of traveler and every level of fitness.

Brazil Adventure Guide

7. Fernando de Noronha

The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is an absolute paradise, comprised of 21 magnificent islands and islets. Both of Brazil’s Atlantic islands – Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves – were declared by UNESCO to be Natural World Heritage Sites.

The number of visitors is limited because officials want to preserve the untouched beauty of this destination. You have to pay an environmental preservation fee to visit the island. The combination of crystal clear waters, beautiful golden sand beaches and untouched marine life make it one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Places like Praia dos Porcos, Praia dos Leões and Baía do Sancho will take your breath away. Plus it’s one of the best places in Brazil for diving, home to many corals, dolphins, fish, turtles and sharks which you can see up close due to the clear and warm waters.

8. The Brazilian Amazon

The Brazilian Amazon was named in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Best Regions for the Best in Travel 2020. The best adventures here are sustainable travel options which support local communities, help to combat climate change and which help sustain one of the most important environments on earth: The Amazon Rainforest.

Manaus is one of the largest cities in the Amazon with 2 million inhabitants and is a great option for first-timers. The city is worth spending a little time in before you embark on your Amazonian adventure. Manaus offers the quickest and easiest route to the Amazon, so there are plenty of tour operators there who can take you on day trips and multi-day cruises.


9. Ilhabela

Ilhabela is an archipelago located off the southeast coast of Brazil. It’s the largest sea island in Brazil at 340km² and is blessed with around 150 km of coastline. The main island is Ilha de São Sebastião, known for its beautiful beaches such as Castelhanos, Curral and Jabaquara.

The State Park preserves around 85% of the archipelago’s territory which ensures the permanent protection of this jewel of Brazil. Ilhabela has over 400 waterfalls to discover, 70 kilometres of virgin cliffs to explore on diving adventures and many, many beautiful beaches. Sailing is a popular activity on the island archipelago too.


10. Chapada Diamantina National Park

Chapada Diamantina National Park, also known as the Brazilian Grand Canyon, is a nature reserve located in Northeast Brazil in the State of Bahia. It translates to mean the “Diamond Highlands” and you’ll see why when you visit this beautiful destination.

The National Park contains part of the Espinhaco Mountain range which starts in the state of Minas Gerais in the south. Although, the mountain range is more like a high plateau with a range of flat-top rock mountains and lush green valleys. The trekking and hikes here are world-class – whether you want to go for a long day walk or up to four days hiking.

Chapada Diamantina National Park

Brazil Adventure Guide: 30-Day Itinerary

Brazil needs many days, even months, to be able to explore the minimum of each region. I would recommend a 30-day tour through the Amazon, Chapada Diamantina in Bahia, Arraial do Cabo in Rio de Janeiro, Chapada dos Veadeiros in Goiás and Aparados da Serra in Santa Catarina.

Thus, you get to experience each of the five regions of Brazil and meet the different people across the country. The Brazilian people are very welcoming, and undoubtedly one of the nicest people in the world. We always have a smile on our face, we love hugs and we are very helpful. The Brazilian people are diverse and warm-hearted.

Brazil Adventure Guide

Brazil Adventure Guide: Tips for your Visit

There is much more to Brazil than what is shown in world newspapers. We may have political and financial crises from time to time, but we have a very happy and receptive people.

Brazil has indescribable natural beauty, an unparalleled gastronomic diversity, cosmopolitan cities with a lot of entertainment and a diverse cultural life. Visit the country with love and respect! For sure, you will be provided with a beautiful experience everywhere you go.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my Brazil adventure guide. Obrigada!


fun place to visit in brazil

Author:  Luisa Galiza

Luisa Galiza runs the wildly popular blog: Leve na Viagem (Take on Travel). In particular, she focuses on eco-tourism and adventure tourism in Brazil.

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The 12 Best Cities to Visit in Brazil for a Sensory Overload

Boasting almost one-third of the world’s remaining tropical rainforests, spectacular biodiversity, and loads of breathtaking natural beauty, Brazil is not only the biggest country in South America but also one of its most mesmerizing.

Nature aside, each of its vibrant, captivating cities has its own unique feel and mood, revealing a different slice of Brazil – head to Rio for legendary beach culture, to Brasília for Niemeyer’s modernist architecture, and to Manaus for unparalleled jungle adventures.

Here’s a guide to 12 of the best cities to visit in Brazil, from postcard-pretty Salvador to sexy, high-spirited Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Famous worldwide for its stunning natural setting, beautiful golden beaches, and exuberant atmosphere, Brazil’s Cidade Maravilhosa hardly needs any introduction. This is one of the world’s most spectacular cities and the best place to soak up the very essence of Brazil, whether you’re taking in epic panoramic views from the summit of Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), mingling with good-looking Cariocas on Ipanema, or dancing the night away at Pedra do Sal (the cradle of samba).

The ever-popular Zona del Sul boasts most of Rio de Janeiro’s highlights, including the spectacular beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, Christ the Redeemer, the postcard-perfect Guanabara Bay, and the Tijuca National Park – one of the world’s largest urban forests. Also here, you’ll find the charming bohemian quarter of Santa Teresa, as well as the upscale neighborhood of Leblon, with its stylish restaurants, designer shopping boutiques, and excellent nightlife.

For a different taste of Rio, head to the off-the-beaten-path North Zone, where infamous favelas share the land with samba schools, and the iconic Maracana Stadium fuels Brazilian’s ardent passion for football on match days.

São Paulo

Paulista Avenue, São Paulo

A vast and bustling metropolis, cosmopolitan São Paulo attracts urban explorers with its progressive cultural scene, fabulous food, and unparalleled nightlife. The city might lack the good looks of Rio, but it’s Brazil at its most modern and sophisticated.

One of the most attractive areas in this concrete jungle is Vila Madalena, a vibrant mix of trendy cafés, quirky boutiques, art studios, pulsating nightlife, and bohemian flair. Equally inspiring are the sprawling Ibirapuera Park – filled with landmark modernist buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer, or the wonderful Museu de Arte de São Paulo, which is home to the best collection of Western art in the southern hemisphere. The nation’s infectious party spirit is in full force across São Paulo’s swanky nightclubs, live music botecos (local bars), and colorful street parties, and its shopping scene rivals anywhere else in the world.


National Congress of Brazil, Brasilia

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stunning example of urban development, Brazil’s futuristic capital is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, with lots of green open spaces and wide esplanades.

The city has the shape of a giant airplane, with many buildings by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer scattered along the Eixo Monumental (Monumental Axis) – the avenue that passes through its fuselage, cutting the city into Asa Sul (South Wing) and Asa Norte (North Wing). These comprise the striking Cathedral of Brasília with its unconventional hyperboloid structure, the Cultural Complex of the Republic, Itamaraty Palace, the National Congress of Brazil, as well as Praça dos Três Poderes and Palácio do Planalto.

Sand dunes, Natal

Famous for its stunning sand dunes and forro music, this quiet northeastern Brazilian town offers beautiful beaches and lovely blue waters, decent nightlife, and exciting dune-buggy rides. It may not be the liveliest or most atmospheric place in the country, but it’s a safe, sunny city and, more importantly, the getaway to the wonderful Rio Grande do Norte, the region with the purest air in the world, after Antarctica (according to NASA).

The most animated neighborhood in Natal is Ponta Negra, home to the main beach and the spectacular Morro do Careca sand dune, as well as many bars, shops, and restaurants.


Conveniently located on the picturesque northeastern coast of Brazil, this sprawling metropolis of over 2 million people has all the ingredients for a fun-filled trip: lovely beaches, attractive colonial architecture, good shopping, and a vibrant atmosphere that evokes Brazil’s typical exuberance.

The city’s main urban beaches, Praia de Iracema and Meireles, are packed with hotels, shops, and restaurants, while the handsome 5 km-long Praia do Futuro (about 8 km outside the city) is lined up with typical, rustic barracas , where you can drink, eat fresh seafood, and soak up the beach culture.

The Centro, Fortaleza’s oldest part, is a lovely area to wander around and browse small shops, whereas the beautiful Cocó Ecological Park is a paradise for nature lovers, brimming with unique flora and wildlife.

Salvador da Bahia

Salvador da Bahia

Once the capital of the New World, Salvador is a showcase of outstanding colonial architecture, delicious Bahian food, and colorful Afro-Brazilian culture. It is one of the prettiest, liveliest, and most exciting cities in Brazil and a wonderful destination to combine music, beaches, and culture into a one-of-a-kind experience.

Spend the day roaming the charming cobbled streets of its UNESCO-listed Old Town ( Pelourinho ), lined with glimmering gold-paved churches and pretty pastel-colored buildings housing boutiques, restaurants, and live music venues. Alternatively, take a peek inside the city’s outstanding nautical museum (Museu Náutico da Bahia) or head to Porto da Barra beach for some fun in the sun, Brazilian way.

In terms of nightlife, Salvador has a serious passion for music, so you’ll have a huge variety of bars and clubs to have fun.

Manaus downtown, Brazil

For those who want to infuse their Brazilian vacation with exciting jungle adventures, then Manaus is the place to go. Although situated in the heart of the Amazon, the city is as urban as it gets, with many extravagant buildings, museums, churches, parks, and open squares. Its main sight is probably the beautiful Teatro Amazonas, a majestic opera house built in a striking neoclassical style.

Scenically located at the confluence of two rivers – Rio Negro and Solimoes, Manaus is overflowing with picturesque views. The city is also a great destination to indulge yourself in the exotic, albeit adventurous, Amazonian cuisine, with many decent restaurants to choose from. But, above all, it’s an excellent base for exploring the wonders of the world’s largest tropical rainforest, offering everything from exciting seaplane trips to river cruises to jungle tours.

Boa Viagem, Recife

Just like the other destinations situated in northeast Brazil, Recife enjoys pleasant temperatures all year round. And, with one of the longest and most attractive beaches in the country – Boa Viagem, an atmospheric Old Town (Recife Antigo), and a vibrant cultural scene, the capital of Pernambuco is sure to offer something for everyone.

Home to the main beach in town, Recife’s Boa Viagem area is an upscale enclave of bars, nightclubs, and stylish restaurants, while the characterful Recife Antigo attracts visitors with its lively cafés and eye-catching Portuguese and Dutch-influenced architecture.

Just a few kilometers away lies Olinda, a bohemian UNESCO-listed town chock full of striking Baroque churches, art galleries, and elegant colonial mansions.

Cuiaba, Brazil

A lively city steeped in tradition, Cuiaba is the getaway to some of the nation’s wildest and most spectacular landscapes. It lies in the state of Mato Grosso at the juncture of three of the country’s most amazing biospheres: Pantanal – the planet’s greatest tropical wetland, Cerrado de Chapada dos Guimarães with its spectacular scenery and river basins, and the Amazon. But Cuiaba it’s not all about wilderness spotting, riverboat cruises, and adventurous trips; it’s a place rich in unique culture, indigenous cuisine, and fantastic history.


Also known as Brazil’s Green Capital, Curitiba stands out for its high quality of life, sustainable design, and highly efficient work programs meant to reduce issues like poverty and homelessness. It is one of the world’s best examples of urban planning and has a pleasant cosmopolitan vibe. Moreover, what the city lacks in beaches and Brazilian magnetism makes up for it in fantastic parks, vivid open-air food markets, and ambitious infrastructure.

Major attractions in Curitiba include the eye-shaped Oscar Niemeyer Museum, the Wire Opera House, Tingui Park, and the Botanical Garden of Curitiba. The city abounds in dining options, so there’s certainly something to suit every foodie’s palate.

Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre

The capital of Rio Grande do Sul region is a vibrant, modern port city teeming with art, culture, nightlife, and delicious regional gastronomy. Most of the bars and microbreweries in town are clustered around the attractive neighborhoods of Cidade Baixa and Moinhos de Vento, or the beautifully restored Centro Historico.

Other places of interest in Porto Alegre are the Museo de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul, the beautiful Catedral Metropolitana, the Piratini Palace, and Farroupilha Park, the city’s largest green space.

Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

The third largest city in Brazil is a friendly, laid-back metropolis with an excellent range of museums, shops, bars, and restaurants, so whatever you’re looking for, you’ll certainly find it here.

If you are into culture and sightseeing, don’t miss the revamped Praça da Liberdade – with its cutting-edge Memorial Minas Gerais Vale, the lovely Museu de Arte da Pampulha, or the whimsical Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, designed by famous Brazilian avant-garde master Oscar Niemeyer.

Otherwise, fashionable neighborhoods like Lourdes and Sion offer great people-watching, along with a plethora of bars, cafés, and excellent restaurants.

As you can see, Brazilian cities are as wonderful and diverse as the country itself, so expect tons of adventure and memorable experiences, no matter which one you decide to visit.

Omg this is awesome I’m brazilian and you made such a good job, the photos and the list are perfect, those are really interesting cities I wish they got more recognition worldwide

Most beautiful ones missing Florianopolis, Gramado.

Europeans won’t find Gramado interesting. The only reason we Brazilians like Gramado is because it feels like Europe, but Europeans don’t come to Brazil to feel like they’re in Europe.

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Where Should I Go For the First Time in Brazil? A Beginner’s Guide for Visiting

  • Post last modified: May 7, 2024
  • Post author: Danielle Zito
  • Post published: September 26, 2023
  • Post category: South America

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If you're looking for beautiful beaches, lush jungle, and some of the best parties in the world, then Brazil is the place for you! If you're wondering "where should I go for the first time in Brazil?" then you've also come to the right place!

While working on cruise ships, we made a lot of Brazilian friends, and have visited over a dozen times to various areas around the country. There is a ton to know about visiting Brazil, and it can really be hard to find the best place to visit for your first time in Brazil. That's why we're here to tell you everything you need you know!

Our complete guide will cover the best places to visit, foods to try, how to get around, and a bunch of tips for having the perfect trip for your first time in Brazil. Let's dive right in!

*Please note that this blog post may contain some affiliate links, which we make a small profit on, at zero cost to you.  Links are only used on products & services that we've used and believe in, to give you the best buying experience.  Purchasing from these links helps us to continue providing free travel guides for you- so thank you for your support!

Where is Brazil?

Brazil is the biggest country in South America, and takes up a large part of its east coast. The country starts just above the equator line, and goes all the way down to the south of South America, next to Uruguay and Argentina . Actually, Brazil borders almost every country on the continent, with the exception of just Chile and Ecuador !

Brazil covers an area of 8.5 million square kilometers, and owns 60% of the Amazon rainforest! Due to its massive area, it gives this country a huge variety when it comes to landscapes, food, and culture.

where is Brazil

Brazil is the biggest country in South America.

How to Get to Brazil

Being that Brazil is an enormous country, there are plenty of different options for visiting! We are going to go over all of the best ways to visit Brazil for your first time, and compare the different modes of transportation, as well as options to Brazil from around the world.

What is the Easiest Way to Get to Brazil?

The easiest way to visit Brazil from North America or Europe , is to fly into one of the country's main airports. The most popular airport is Sao Paulo , as it is the business hub, and is the most well-connected with other countries and continents.

The second most popular option for flying into Brazil is by flying into Rio de Janeiro , which also has a good number of flights going into it. 

Often times people think because it's so far away, that flights to Brazil would be super expensive. However, we have found flights from the US to Brazil for as little as $130 each way! It's all about playing with dates and different airports. Some of the cheapest places to fly to Brazil from the US are Fort Lauderdale, Miami , and New York . The cheapest country to fly to Brazil from in Europe is typically Portugal .

Flight Tip:  Using Skyscanner you can put from "your city" to "Brazil". This way you can see which is the cheapest airport in the country to fly to. Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates to get there.

Search for a flight to Brazil:

Other Ways to Travel to Brazil

If you are coming from a bordering country in South America, it may be cheaper to cross the land border by bus. If you plan on traveling across the country of Brazil, then you can take a flight from the closest city near the border of where you are coming from.

Flights from one country to another may be very expensive, but domestic flights tend to be a bit cheaper. For this reason, we typically cross the border from Argentina into Brazil via Iguazu Falls, and then fly from the airport of Foz do Iguassu. It saves us money, and then we get to experience either the Argentinian Iguazu Falls first, or the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls upon arrival.

Popular International Bus Routes to Brazil 

If you are traveling from large cities in South America, oftentimes there are options for buses to the border, or buses that go straight from one big city to the next within in Brazil. Many buses are long journeys, but are overnight buses with reclining seats. These are great because you can save money on a hotel stay, and also not lose time traveling during the day. Here are some routes you can check out:

How to Get from Argentina to Brazil:

  • Buenos Aires -> Puerto Iguazu | Puerto Iguazu -> Foz do Iguaçu 

How to Get from Uruguay to Brazil:  (overnight bus)

  • Montevideo -> Porto Alegre

How to Get from Paraguay to Brazil:

  • Asuncion -> Ciudad del Este | Ciudad del Este -> Foz do Iguacu

How to Get from French Guiana to Brazil:

  • Cayenne, French Guiana -> Macapa, Brazil

*There aren't online tickets for this, but our linked guide has a step-by-step guide for the journey.

How to Get from Suriname to Brazil:

  • Paramaribo, Suriname -> Cayenne, French Guiana   | Cayenne -> Macapa, Brazil

*There aren't online tickets for this, but our linked guides have a step-by-step guide for each leg of the journey. 

How to Get from Guyana to Brazil:

  • Georgetown, Guyana -> Boa Vista, Brazil

*There aren't direct buses, but there are short flights through this company.

How to Get from Venezuela to Brazil:

  • Santa Elena de Uaren, Venezuela -> Pacaraima, Brazil -> Boa Vista Brazil

*There are no buses you can book online, but here is a blog we found that outlines the journey.

How to Get from Colombia to Brazil:

  • Leticia, Colombia -> Tabatinga, Brazil

How to Get from Peru to Brazil:

  • Cusco, Peru -> Iñapari, Peru | Iñapari, Peru -> Assiss, Brazil

How to Get from Bolivia to Brazil:

  • Santa Cruz -> Puerto Quirrajo | Puerto Quirrajo, Bolivia -> Corumba, Brazil | Corumba -> Campo Grande, Brazil

*Puerto Quirrajo and Corumba are the two border cities that are right across from each other.

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First Time in Brazil Entry Requirements

Before booking that ticket or hopping on that plane, it's important to know the requirements for entering! For your first time in Brazil, here are some of the things you'll need to know.

Do You Need a Visa to Go to Brazil?

US passport holders used to be required to obtain a visa in order to visit Brazil, but now it is no longer necessary! All you need to enter the country is your passport, and you can stay for a period of up to 90 days.

Other countries who are exempt from needing a tourist visa in Brazil  include  Andorra .  Argentina , Australia, Austria , Bahamas , Barbados, Belgium,  Bermuda ,  Bolivia , Canada,  Chile ,  Colombia ,  Costa Rica ,  Denmark ,  Ecuador , Finland, France,  Germany ,  Greece , Japan, Iceland , Ireland ,  Italy , Liechtenstein , Luxembourg , Monaco,  Morocco , Namibia, The Netherlands,  Norway ,  Paraguay ,  Peru , Philippines,  Portugal , San Marino, South Africa,  Spain ,  Suriname , Sweden,  Switzerland , Trinidad and Tobago,  United Kingdom ,  Uruguay , and Venezuela.

Those with passports from the Mercosur region do not need to bring their passport to visit Brazil , and only need to bring their ID card with them. The countries that are included in Mercosur are Argentina ,  Uruguay , and  Paraguay .

Covid Entry Requirements for Brazil

Brazil is one of the few countries within the Americas that still have Covid-related entry requirements. The east time that we visited (April 2023) they required us to either be fully vaccinated, or to bring a negative Covid-19 test result with us. (Hopefully this has changed or will change soon).

Masks are not required in most places, except while passing through security inside the airports. Make sure to carry a mask with you just in case (even if it is just for a few minutes that you'll need to wear it), because if you don't, they may make you purchase one.

fun place to visit in brazil

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Local Adjustments to Know for Your First Time in Brazil

Now that you know what you need document-wise for your first time in Brazil, let's talk about some of the things you may need to adjust to while there.

What Language Do They Speak in Brazil?

While most countries in South America speak Spanish, the official language in Brazil is Portuguese.

Does Brazil Also Speak Spanish?

They do not speak Spanish in Brazil. However, there are a lot of similarities in the language, so if you speak Spanish you will probably be able to communicate just fine in Brazil.

What is Brazil's Main Currency?

The currency used in Brazil is the Brazilian Real. Currently (September 2023) $1 USD is equal to 4.92 Brazilian Real. Credit cards are accepted in bigger hotels and restaurants, but if you want food on the streets, or to buy souvenirs on the beach, you will certainly need to have local currency on you.

We suggest taking out cash directly from the ATM, as this is how you get the best exchange rate.

Is Brazil Cheap or Expensive?

My first time in Brazil everything was dirt cheap! For reference, coconuts on the beach were 30 cents, and now they go for a few dollars. Brazil is no longer the budget-travelers paradise, but it certainly isn't absurdly expensive either.

Compared to other South American countries, the prices have gone up a ton. However, you can certainly do Brazil on a budget, and enjoy a lot of things for affordable prices.

Electrical Outlets: What Adapter Do I Need for Brazil? 

Brazil actually has the same outlets as the countries in Europe, and in some cases outlets which are suitable for both American and European plugs. Brazil operates on a 127/220 V supply voltage and 60 Hz. We suggest getting a European travel adapter for your electronics, in case you don't happen to find the international electrical outlets.

Water Potability: How Clean is Brazil's Water?

The water in most areas of Brazil is not suitable for drinking from the tap. We suggest buying large jugs of water from the supermarkets, and then refilling a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.

Tipping Culture: How is Tipping Done in Brazil?

The tipping culture in Brazil is similar to many other South American cities , which is a standard 10%. Many restaurants will automatically include gratuity though, so make sure to keep an eye out for this on your bill.

Another thing that many restaurants in Brazil tend to put into the bill is a "cover charge". This is to cover the costs of any kind of live entertainment, bread, or other things "included" in your dining experience. 

We suggest asking beforehand, or checking your menu. Technically they should be informing you if there is a cover charge, but if you are a tourist they may just add it in without saying.

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Where Should I Go For the First Time in Brazil?

Now that you know the basics for traveling to Brazil for the first time, let's get to the fun part! Where should you go for the first time in Brazil? Here are some of the top spots!

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Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #1: Rio de Janeiro

Our number one pick for the best places to visit for someone's first time in Brazil  is definitely  Rio de Janeiro .

Rio de Janeiro is one of our favorite cities, and it has so much to offer for all types of travelers. You can find beautiful beaches, do incredible hikes, see colorful street art, and even visit one of the seven wonders of the world.

In addition, Rio de Janeiro is one of the most famous spots for the biggest carnival in the world, and one of the top cities to celebrate New Years Eve.

Rio de Janeiro, best places to visit for the first time in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most popular places to visit for people's first time in Brazil.

We've been to Rio de Janeiro 3 times already, and never get sick of this outstanding city! Want to learn more about all of the great things to see and do? Make sure to take a look at our Rio de Janeiro travel guide.

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #2: Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is the center of business in Brazil, and is one of the most popular and well-connected cities in the country. Not only that, but it's actually one of the most well-connected airports in Brazil and in South America .

Sao Paulo makes the perfect spot to start or end your trip around Brazil, and is great to visit for a day or two. Head to the colorful area of Beco do Batman, get epic views at the top of the skyscrapers, or have a wild night out at the bars and clubs. This city is vibrant, fun, and a great addition for your first time in Brazil.

Sao Paulo, best places to visit for the first time in Brazil

Sao Paulo has a lot of color and character to it.

Want to learn more about Sao Paulo? Check out our Sao Paulo travel guide!

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #3: Iguazu Falls

When it comes to nature, this is definitely the top of the list for the best places to visit in Brazil.

Iguazu Falls are one of the natural wonders of the world, and are shared by both  Brazil  and  Argentina . There are two sides to enjoy the falls from, which are both gorgeous in their own way, and deserve a visit. 

In order to get here you can take a short flight to Foz do Iguassu airport, or take an  overnight bus from Curitiba  like we did.

Brazil side of Iguazu Falls, the best places to visit for the first time in Brazil

Iguazu Falls are one of the natural wonders the world.

Want to learn more about the amazing Iguazu Falls? Make sure to check out our complete guide:

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #4: Florianopolis

Florianopolis is another one our favorites places to visit in the south of Brazil . This island is so much more than we could have imagined. It is full of tropical beaches, beautiful views, and exclusive parties.

We suggest saving at least 4 days to visit Florianopolis, as there are so many things to do! This city has a small airport, and can also be reached by bus from Porto Alegre, Curitiba, and other big cities in the area.

Florianopolis, best places to visit for the first time in Brazil

Florianopolis has a ton of great things to do.

Want to learn more about Florianopolis? Make sure to read our full guide!

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #5: Paraty

Located half way between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro , Paraty is a true hidden gem of a destination. Full of lush jungle, waterfalls, and a wide collection of tropical islands, Paraty has it all for the nature lovers out there.

The Old Town is full of color and charm, and you can also visit a number of cacacharias (factories for Brazil's national beverage). Paraty is the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation, and can be easily reached by bus in just 4-5 hours from either Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

paraty, the best places to visit for the first time in Brazil

Want to learn more about Paraty? Check out our full travel guide we've written!

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #6: Salvador

Salvador may just be the most colorful and vibrant city in all of Brazil, and it is certainly one of our favorite places in the country.

Whether you're looking for beautiful beaches, incredible culture, or amazing markets, Salvador really has something for everyone. Not only that, but they are home to the best carnival in Brazil !

Salvador, best places to visit for the first time in Brazil

Salvador is a colorful coastal city.

Want to learn more about what Salvador has to offer? Don't miss out on our full Salvador travel guide:

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #7: Recife

Just up the coast from Salvador, there is another colorful seaside town called Recife. It's a great place to visit if you're looking to explore the north east of Brazil, and it also is home to one of the best carnival celebrations in Brazil.

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #8: Natal

Located all the way in the north of the country, Natal is a place I've been to three times already since my friend lives there. I feel like Natal really doesn't get the recognition it deserves, as there are so many incredible places around it!

Whether you're looking for some of the best beaches in Brazil, or for some adventurous activities, Natal is for those that want to experience a great part of Brazil that is not touristic.

tree of love, the best places to visit for the first time in Brazil

Natal has some of the best beaches in the country.

Want to learn more about Brazil? We have a full guide we've written:

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #9: Fernando de Noronha

Fernando do Noronha is a true hidden gem of the world, and has some of the most pristine beaches you'll ever see! While it's not super affordable or easy to get there, this definitely is a place on our bucket list. If you have the time and money, then you can definitely add this to your itinerary for your first time in Brazil, or save it for your next trip.

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #10: Jericoacoara

Jericoacoara is known as the Maldives of Brazil, and is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the country! Tucked between sand dunes, this adorable town is home to some stunning landscapes, and the most gorgeous waters in Brazil.

Jericoacoara, the best places to visit for the first time in Brazil

Want to learn a bit more? We've written a full guide for everything you need to know:

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #11: Fortaleza

Fortaleza was once just a big city in Brazil, and overlooked by many. However, the city is in the works of big things, and they are aiming to become the "Dubai of Brazil". In the meantime, you can enjoy the incredible carnival celebrations, and visiting the city as the gateway to Jericoacoara.

Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #12: Manaus

We had to save the most unique place in Brazil for last. Manaus is the gateway city to the Amazon, which Brazil owns 60% of!

This is the area of the country where you'll experience the deep rainforest, and some of the most incredible adventures you can possibly think so. Check  below to see some of the epic things you can do while in Manaus.

The Best Things to Do in Brazil #1: Visit the Beaches

Brazil is known to have some of the best beaches in South America, and has almost 7,500 km of beaches along its coast! From north to south you can find incredible beaches, so make sure to save some time to explore the stunning beaches of Brazil.

Tabatinga beach, things to do in Natal, Brazil

Brazil has some of the best beaches in South America.

The Best Things to Do in Brazil #2: Learn How to Surf

While the beaches aren't just stunning, they also have plenty of waves! This means that surfing is plentiful in Brazil, and classes are super affordable. Being one of the top surfing destinations around the world, we definitely recommend trying a surfing class during your trip to Brazil! Some great places you can learn to surf are Rio de Janeiro, Florianopolis, and Pipa.

The Best Things to Do in Brazil #3: Go Paragliding

One of the best ways to enjoy the incredible coast line of Brazil is by soaring above it. Unlike my flight in Tenerife, paragliding in Brazil is a bit different. They have motors, which allows them to stay in the air longer!

You can paraglide at a lot of different beach destinations, but here are a few that we found for you:

The Best Things to Do in Brazil #4: Take a Boat Tour

There is seriously nothing better than experiencing a place on the water, and with the impressive coast of Brazil, taking a boat tour is super easy! Many places have the option of joining a tour, or chartering your own boat. Depending on the size of your group will of course depend on the option best for you.

boats in Brazil

Here are some cool boat trips we suggest:

The Best Things to Do in Brazil #5: Eat at a Brazilian Steakhouse

If you are a meat eater, then you'll love Brazilian cuisine! One of the best things to do in Brazil is to eat at a typical Brazilian steakhouse. They are unlike steakhouses around the rest of the world, as they have gauchos (waiters) who walk around the restaurant offering to slice different cuts of meat onto your plate. 

This all-you-can-eat style restaurant isn't like a typical buffet with mediocre food, that's sitting out for hours. This food is super high quality, and is replenished regularly.

Before beginning your experience, you will have the opportunity to go to the buffet for your appetizers, soups, sushi, and salad options. The first course in itself is enough to fill someone up! But make sure to save some room, because the meat is the best part.

Brazilian Steakhouse

At the steakhouses in Brazil you will see men carrying around large rotisseries to your table.

All the meats are slow cooked on skewers for several hours in giant ovens, locking in all of the juice. There are usually between 10-15 different cuts of beef, sausage, chicken, lamb, and any meat you could think of. Our favorite cut of, meat is picanha , which is an absolute must-try!

Brazilian steakhouses are pricier than other restaurants (which is only normal for the amount of food you get), but they are still so much more affordable than the Brazilian Steakhouses found in other areas of the world. Give yourself a few hours, and try not to have too crazy of a night drinking after this.

The Best Things to Do in Brazil #6: Sail Through the Amazon

The Amazon is one of the most impressive places on the Earth, and 60% of it belongs to Brazil! Unlike a lot of other rainforests around the world, you can actually sign up for multiple-day tours where you can fully immerse yourself in the Amazonian experience. 

Here are a few we've found for you:

The Best Things to Do in Brazil #7: Party All Night

If it's one things Brazilians know how to do, it's to party. Brazil is a nightlife-lover's paradise, and the bars and clubs typically are open until the sun rises. Even if you're not a huge party lover, it's definitely a must to check out the nightlife in Brazil, and save yourself  enough energy to party through the entire night in true Brazilian fashion.

The Best Things to Do in Brazil #8: Experience Carnival

We already shared that Brazilians are experts at partying, so it should be no surprise that they have one of the best festivals in the world! 

Each year the country has carnival celebrations throughout the country, and there are so many great ones to choose from. I have personally been to carnival in Brazil 3 times, and it's one of my top reasons to keep visiting Brazil. 

carnival in Brazil

Carnival is chaos, but it is definitely something for the bucket list.

Want to to learn more about how it works? Check out our full guide about Carnival in Brazil:

The Best Things to Do in Brazil #9: Celebrate the New Year in Rio de Janeiro

New Years Eve is one of the biggest celebrations across the globe, and one of the best ones is right in Rio de Janeiro. Each year the coastal city puts on an incredible firework show across several beaches, and it is definitely something to add to the bucket list. It truly was like any other firework show we have seen, and is totally worth the hype it gets.

NYE in Brazil, the best places to visit in the south of Brazil

New Years is one of the best times to visit Rio de Janeiro.

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What is the Best Way to Get Around Brazil?

Being that Brazil is such a massive country, the best way to get around is the fly. Flights within Brazil can vary, so the best way to plan your travels is to play with the dates and different cities. We suggest using the "everywhere" option on Skyscanner.

If you plan on exploring Brazil more completely, you can also easily get from one city to the next with buses, and most places are very well-connected.

Here are some popular bus routes that you can look into while traveling around Brazil:

  • Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo
  • Florianopolis to Sao Paulo
  • Curitiba to Sao Paulo
  • Porto Alegre to Sao Paulo
  • Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro 
  • Florianopolis to Rio de Janeiro
  • Salvador to Rio de Janeiro
  • Rio de Janeiro to Salvador
  • Recife to Salvador
  • Natal to Salvador

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Renting a Car in Brazil

For a few of our trips to Brazil we decided to rent a car, and we absolutely recommend it! There are so many hidden gems that you can find, and it really allows you to explore some of the great nature out there.

You can easily rent a car from Sao Paulo, or get a rental car from whichever city you are flying into.

What is the Food Culture of Brazil?

The cuisine actually varies quite a bit throughout the country! We loved trying the different food around Brazil, but it definitely isn't the best for vegetarians, or those looking for a super healthy diet.

Brazil has a lot of tropical fruits and fried food as snacks, and for meals they have a lot of meats with thick sauces, stews, beans, and rice.

Traditional Foods in Brazil to Try

There are so many different foods to try in Brazil! We may just have to write a full article about it. However, here are some of the things we definitely think you need to try around the country:

  • Churrasco: a Brazilian cooking method with giant skewers of different meats that are sliced table side
  • Farofa : a staple in Brazilian cuisine, this is a dry mix of toasted manioc flour and butter, often with some added ingredients like garlic or spices, that is used as an accompaniment to almost any savory dish.
  • Pao de Quejo:  small balls of bread baked with cheese
  • Quiero de Coalho: light cows-milk cheese that is put onto a skewer and grilled.
  • Coxinha:  tear drop shaped croquettes of shredded chicken that are deep fried
  • Pastel: fried pastries with meat (similar to big empanadas)
  • Acai : a frozen treat made of berries from the Amazon
  • Coconuts : you can get them for much cheaper than anywhere else in Brazil! 
  • Moqueca : seafood stew from Bahia, normally served for multiple peopl
  • Mandioca : a root vegetable which is similar to a potato and cooked in various ways.
  • Carne do Sol:  shredded sun-dried beef
  • Beijinho : small balls of shredded coconut, butter, and condensed milk
  • Tapioca : tortilla-like flatbreads that are made from a gummy starch 
  • Caldo de Feijão:  a hearty bean soup

For drinks, the liquor of Brazil is  cachaca , which is a clear liquor made from sugar cane. It is the main ingredient of the Caipirinha , the official drink of Brazil.

food in Salvador

One of the most fun things to do in Paraty is to visit a Cachacaria.

Is Brazil a Safe Country to Visit?

Brazil has a pretty bad reputation when it comes to safety, and we'd be lying if we said it was all rainbows and butterflies. Like anywhere in the world though, there are certain pockets where there is more crime, and it's all about avoiding those areas, and being mindful during your travels.

The most dangerous neighborhoods are usually perched into hillsides, and look very colorful from a distance, but are full of extreme poverty and can have a lot of violence. These are called "favelas", and are exactly the areas you'll want to avoid.

Touristic areas tend to have more police, and as long as you keep your whits about you, you won't have to worry too much. Popular events such as carnival and New Years are also times with more petty crime (stealing in particular), so you'll want to be EXTRA careful at these times, even in more touristic areas.

Here are a few tips for keeping yourself safe for your first time in Brazil:

  • Leave your valuables at home! No fancy jewelry, and leave your wedding rings at home.
  • Hide your phone and money.  Many people use these tiny fanny packs that go under your pants to secure their belongings, especially during carnival or on nights out. If you need to take your phone out make sure to hold on to it very tight, and only do so in well lit and surveilled areas.
  • Roll the windows up.  Unfortunately this is how my brother got robbed. Many people will put their arm right in the window and steal from you if you are not paying attention while in the car.  

Is Brazil Friendly to Tourists?

Despite certain thieves you can find, overall we LOVE Brazilians. The people in Brazil are some of the friendliest and most fun people you will ever meet! They are extremely friendly to tourists, and the country has a lot of infrastructure for tourism.

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Other Things to Know for Your First Time in Brazil

You are almost ready for your trip to Brazil. But, wait! Here are a few other things to keep in mind when organizing the trip for your first time in Brazil.

What is the Weather Like in Brazil Year Round?

Being such a huge country, the weather does vary a bit from one place to another. However, the one thing that you can expect almost everywhere is a lot of sun and humidity. Most of Brazil has tropical weather, with the exception of Sao Paulo, Curitiba, and some of the mountainous areas inland.

The hottest and most humid months in Brazil are the summer months, which are from December to March. July and August are the coldest months, but most places experience more of "spring weather" during this time, rather than what you would think winter is like.

What is the Best Month to Go to Brazil?

The best time to visit Brazil for the most fun parties and the high season is from December to February, which is when most Brazilians take their vacations. This is perfect for your first time in Brazil, so that you can really experience the wildness of the country.

The two best times of the year to visit Brazil for the most epic parties and celebrations are for Carnival (typically in February), or for the new year.

If you'd like a more relaxed trip, then March, October, or November are great months to visit Brazil, as the crowds die down a bit, the weather is more mild, and the prices are lower.

What Should You Pack to Go to Brazil?

Brazilians are quite relaxed, and you'll find people in casual clothing pretty much everywhere other than in the nightclubs of Sao Paulo. You'll also find people live in their flip flops, whether it's for errands or even hiking!

When packing for Brazil, think of general beach attire, and don't be afraid to bring those super colorful and vibrant pieces of clothing you have. If you have something you'd like to wear but it's a little over the top or provocative, then Brazil is the place you can get away wearing it.

Here is our general packing list for visiting Brazil:

  • Bathing Suits (Brazilians tend to wear thongs)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago  because it holds the temperature well)
  • Flip Flops (we personally always get Havaiana flip flops , as they are comfy and long lasting)
  • Sneakers (for the great hikes)
  • Water Shoes (for visiting waterfalls)
  • Zippered Bag or Backpack (to secure your belongings) - take a look at these backpacks for travelers!
  • Colorful, vibrant, and light clothing
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks , as they are super long lasting and sturdy)
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and has incredible quality)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3  because it's small & waterproof)
  • Case Mate waterproof Phone Pouch (we use the Cafago Waterproof Phone Pouch )
  • Travel Adapter (we use Tessan travel adapters as they are affordable and reliable)
  • Hard Drive (to back up your photos and videos in case something bad happens)
  • Travel Toothpaste  (Ideally an organic one. We use Sheer Alternatives )

fun place to visit in brazil

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Is Brazil Worth Going to?

Brazil is absolutely worth going to! The country has so much to offer, and is really great for those that love tropical weather, vibrant culture, and partying.

If you are a timid, nervous, or paranoid traveler, Brazil may not be a great choice for you. It's a country that is amazing for those adventurous souls, who are very open-minded and carefree.

How Many Days Can You Spend in Brazil?

Brazil is a massive country! Collectively, we have spent a couple of months in Brazil. You can easily spend a month seeing the highlights, but can also squeeze some of the hot spots in a 2-week trip. If you want to explore the country more completely, we would suggest going for a couple of months.

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Tips for Your First Time in Brazil

Now you know pretty much all you need to know for your first time in Brazil! Here are some final tips to take away before your trip:

  • Check vaccine and visa requirements from your country.
  • Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights around Brazil.
  • Leave expensive jewelry at home.
  • Keep valuables hidden in a bag that can be securely closed.
  • Learn a bit of Portuguese.
  • Check cover charges and gratuities added to bills.
  • Take money out straight from the ATM, in a secure environment.
  • Carry cash on you for street food, souvenirs on the beach, and excursions.
  • Double check neighborhoods when booking your accommodation.

Natal in Brazil

Travel Planning Tools

Here are some useful tools that you can use for planning your upcoming trip!

So are you ready for an incredible first time in Brazil? This country is definitely one that will surprise you, and show you a damn good time. Want more details of certain places? We have a ton of Brazilian travel guides that we have for you to check out.

Looking to plan the most epic trip of your life? Well, Scratch Your Mapa now offers travel planning services to help you save both time and money. We're dedicated to helping people explore the most incredible spots, and getting them there for the best price possible. Simply take a look at the travel planning packages  that we offer, or  shoot us an email for your free consultation!

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fun place to visit in brazil

10 Best Places To Visit In Brazil, From São Paulo To Iguazu

B razil is the largest country in South America by land area, so it comes as no surprise that exploring this vast destination requires covering significant ground. Most people are familiar with Rio de Janeiro, which is famous for housing one of the Seven Wonders of the New World, Christ the Redeemer.

But beyond Rio de Janeiro is a rich combination of islands, wetlands, nature, and bustling cities waiting to be discovered. These are 10 of the best places to visit in Brazil from Iguazu falls all the way to the city of São Paulo.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls (Foz do Iguaçu) are one of the seven new natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site . Straddling the border of Brazil in the state of Paraná and Argentina in the province Misiones. Iguazu Falls is a magnificent collection of over 275 waterfalls.

80% of the falls are on the Argentina side and only 20% are on the Brazilian side, so it’s worthwhile to cross over into Argentina while visiting this destination.

Travelers can also make a quick day trip to Ciudad del Este in Paraguay to do some shopping from Iguazu Falls.

Pantanal Wetlands

The Pantanal wetlands in Brazil are a nature photographer’s dream destination. Home to the largest tropical wetland area in the world, Pantanal is primarily in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul .

Jaguars hunt caiman in the Pantanal, so taking a guided tour of the region for a couple of days of attempting to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is a popular thing to do.

São Paulo city is the capital of the Brazilian state of the same name and is one of the most populous cities in the entire world. As an industrial hub and cultural center for the country, it’s a must-visit stop on any tour of Brazil.

  • Shopping at Mercado Municipal and visiting the São Paulo Art Museum are just a couple of the things to do here.

Related: Don't Break The Bank: Here Are the Top 10 Most Affordable Hotels In Brazil

Rio De Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is a coastal city in Brazil that is famous for its stunning coastline where it's easy to spend a full week . Areas like Copacabana and Ipanema beaches attract visitors from around the world.

The top attraction in Rio de Janeiro is Christ the Redeemer, an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ that was designed by a French sculptor named Paul Landowski. The statute was built by a Brazilian engineer named Heitor da Silva Cost. Standing at the base of the statute offers an awe-inspiring view of the city and coastline below.

Plan a visit to Rio de Janeiro in February for a chance to experience Carnaval , the biggest street party of the year.

Fernando De Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago off the northeast coast of Brazil. Its largest island has a protected national marine park and ecological sanctuary which, on their own, are worth the visit. The rugged beaches and crystal blue waters are popular for swimming, scuba diving, and spotting wildlife like sea turtles and dolphins.

Related: 10 Dishes You Must Try In Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

The Amazon rainforest is an expansive biome that stretches across various countries in South America including Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana, Colombia, and Suriname.

When in Brazil, travelers can go to the city of Manaus in the state of Amazonas to begin their Amazonian adventure.

Most people might not realize that the city of Brasília is the capital of Brazil. It became the federal capital in 1960 and clean, sleek-looking city thanks to its white and modern architectural design. Strolling around Pontão do Lago Sul and visiting the Cathedral of Brasília are a couple of the top things to do here.

The largest city in the state of Paraná, and also its capital, Curitiba is a cultural hub and has many venues for performing arts events. It’s most famous for its Ópera de Arame - Vale da Música (in English, the Wire Opera) which is a performance venue capable of hosting more than 2,000 people.

Other attractions in the city include the scenic Botanical Garden of Curitiba and the Museu Oscar Niemeyer (celebrating the Brazilian architect).

Related: 10 Tips For Visiting Copacabana Beach, Brazil


Florianópolis is the capital of Santa Catarina state in southern Brazil. The majority of the state is an island off the south coast of mainland Brazil, and the island is where Florianópolis is located.

For a beach destination, this is one of the best cities in the country to visit. Joaquina Beach and Jurerê are two of the must-visit spots.

Salvador is located in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia and is recognizable for its beautiful Portuguese colonial architecture. However, within the city, there is a rich Brazilian culture and a historic city center with cobblestone walkways and colorful homes.

Top things to do include visiting the Igreja e Convento de São Francisco (a historic church), the Elevador Lacerda (a unique elevator connecting the upper and lower city), and Itaipava Fonte Nova Arena (a sports stadium).

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    3. Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer. 65,713. Points of Interest & Landmarks. Admission tickets from $39. At the top of the wonderful city is the Cristo Redentor Sanctuary, the main postcard of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. The monument to Christ the Redeemer is the largest and most famous Art Deco sculpture in the world.

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    5. Florianopolis. The capital of Santa Catarina state, Florianopolis lies in the south of Brazil, with half of the city set on the mainland and the other on a beautiful island. Due to its scenic setting, it is a very popular tourist destination and is widely considered one of the best places to live in the country.

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    7. Fernando de Noronha. An archipelago of islands some 320km (200 miles) off the northeast coast, Fernando de Noronha is high on many honeymoon wishlists. Of Noronha's 21 islands, only the largest one is accessible to tourists - and even then, its boundaries lie safely within Brazil's largest marine park.

  4. 18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Brazil

    To discover the best places to visit and things to do, use this handy list of the top tourist attractions in Brazil. 1. Cristo Redentor and Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro. 2. Sugar Loaf, Rio de Janeiro. 3. Iguaçu Falls. 4. Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro.

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    3. Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer. 65,713. Points of Interest & Landmarks. Admission tickets from ₹3,276. At the top of the wonderful city is the Cristo Redentor Sanctuary, the main postcard of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. The monument to Christ the Redeemer is the largest and most famous Art Deco sculpture in the world.

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    Best Places to Visit in Brazil. 1. Rio de Janeiro. The cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain! The world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue! The obvious first entry on this list of the best places to visit in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro! Easily one of the most famous cities in the world.

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    Rio de Janeiro. World-famous for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Christ the Redeemer statue and wild Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro is absolutely top of the list of things to do in Brazil. We can't pretend it's a quiet place, but it's got a relaxed, carefree attitude that is intoxicating for travelers.

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    11 incredible places to visit in Brazil. 4. Soak up the energy at a soccer game. It's impossible not to know when there's a big soccer game playing in Brazil, as every screen in every bar will have it on, with shouts ringing out across neighborhoods when goals are scored. Join in the action by booking tickets to see a game, where the ...

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    One of Brazil's most visited natural wonder is Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, a rounded peak surrounded by the sea. Visitors take a cable car to the top to enjoy panoramic views over the city, the coastline and across the ocean - the most rewarding time to go is at sunset when the lights of the city twinkle below, while the sun casts shades of pink, orange, and red across the sky ...

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    5. Belo Horizonte (from USD 85.0) Belo Horizonte is the capital city of the state of Minas Gerais, which is located in the southeastern region of Brazil. Spend your days in Belo Horizonte discovering some of the architecture of the famous Oscar Niemeyer or take some time to take a few photos at Pope Plaza.

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    Ilha Grande is the most famous island near Rio. The pristine beaches and fun atmosphere make it one of the best places to visit in Brazil! There's lots to know about visiting Ilha Grande. For that reason, we wrote this huge guide to Ilha Grande, Brazil. It includes the best things to do, getting there, and more! 6. Two Brothers Hike in Rio

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    2. Salvador. Located in the state of Bahia, Salvador has a phenomenal energy that's notable even for Brazil. Most known for being Portugal's New World capital, it maintains a great deal of its colonial architecture and you'll find the historic centre of the town in the Pelourinho neighbourhood.

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    Visitors gain insights into African societies' profound impact on Brazil's evolution by displaying artifacts that bridge historical, artistic, and ethnographic contexts. 4. Brazil's Coastal Treasures. Brazil's coastline invites all to bask in its charm, from sun-kissed beaches to thrilling water activities.

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    Aerial view of Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro Pelourinho, Bahia. Of all Brazil tourist attractions, Pelourinho in the historic center of Salvador is a unique place with universal values in the country (and it also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site).. As Brazil's first capital, from 1549 to 1763, Salvador witnessed the blending of African, Amerindian, and European cultures.

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    Traveling to Florianopolis gives you a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors while surfing in pristine seas. The city boasts a distinct culture, with a trendy nightlife and a wide variety of delectable local eateries. And we think that there's nothing to complain about when good food is involved! 8. Manaus.

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    Tour, especially if inexperienced. 7. Snorkel with sea turtles at Fernando de Noronha. Fernando de Noronha is a stunning archipelago of 21 islands off the coast of northeastern Brazil, and one of the more "secret" Brazil attractions.

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    7. Discover Salvador's Afro-Brazilian Culture. Salvador is a cultural jewel, making it one of the best cities to visit in Brazil. This place pulsates with Afro-Brazilian heritage, offering a unique blend of history, music, and cuisine. Pelourinho, the historic heart of Salvador, is a feast for the senses.

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    Go Diving on Fernando de Noronha. pantai via WikiMedia. Just off the northeast coast of Brazil is an archipelago by the name of Fernando de Noronha. Made up of 21 small islands, this beautiful destination is a national marine sanctuary and one of the best places to go diving and snorkeling in Brazil.

  19. 17 Best Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Christ the Redeemer. This iconic landmark is a must-see attraction in Rio. Recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this statue of Jesus Christ stands with arms outstretched to the ...

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    6. Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro (Cidade Maravilhosa) is one of the most beautiful places in Brazil. The beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, the beautiful lush mountains such as Sugar Loaf, the Christ the Redeemer statue, the bohemian Lapa neighborhood - all add to the city's appeal.

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    Manaus. For those who want to infuse their Brazilian vacation with exciting jungle adventures, then Manaus is the place to go. Although situated in the heart of the Amazon, the city is as urban as it gets, with many extravagant buildings, museums, churches, parks, and open squares. Its main sight is probably the beautiful Teatro Amazonas, a ...

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    On it, you will also get to see the well-loved Metropolitan Cathedral and Copacabana Beach and cruise around downtown past some of the city's most spectacular landmarks like The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian. 2. Visit the Selarón Steps. The Selaron Steps in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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    Top Places to Visit For Your First Time in Brazil #2: Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo is the center of business in Brazil, and is one of the most popular and well-connected cities in the country. Not only that, but it's actually one of the most well-connected airports in Brazil and in South America.

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    But beyond Rio de Janeiro is a rich combination of islands, wetlands, nature, and bustling cities waiting to be discovered. These are 10 of the best places to visit in Brazil from Iguazu falls all ...