The most beautiful places to visit in Brazil

Top 20 Breathtaking Places To Explore In Brazil

18 mins read

Famous for its love of dancing, fun, festivals, and football, Brazil is one of those bucket list countries most want to visit in their lifetime.

It’s a unique land known for its firsts and originality. Home to the world-famous Rio Carnival, Samba, Capoeira, and, of course, Caipirinha, I spent many months traveling around this extraordinary country. Here are my choices for the best spots…

1. Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana beach Brazil

The city offers something for everyone. Do you want to go hang-gliding? Then do it – the birds-eye view of Rio is hard to beat! Trekking? That is also a possibility.

Fancy visiting one of the seven wonders of the world? Go ahead, but set a couple of hours aside since the ride up to Christ the Redeemer takes a while.

Bored of hectic city life? Then I would suggest taking a tour of the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and then finishing the day enjoying the nightlife in Lapa, a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro with bars and clubs catering to all tastes.

2. Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco

Porto de Galinhas Brazil

Situated 70 kilometers south of Recife, the town was until the 1990s an isolated fisherman village. Now, it is accessible to anyone who wants to relax and enjoy the amazing beaches the town has to offer.

Snorkeling is a must here. Only a couple of hundred meters out in the sea is a reef, and when the tide is low, natural pools are created on the beaches behind the reef.

These natural aquariums feature a stunning selection of colorful fish. Other activities include water sports, trekking, Capoeira, and much more.

3. Lençóis National Park, Maranhão

Lencois National Park

Lençóis – located in the North of Brazil – provides a view that will leave you gasping for air. The national park is a “desert” unlike any other.

Rain collects in the alleys between the dunes, resulting in what could have been a desert: an area where the dunes are varied and turquoise lagoons are as far as the eye can see.

The lagoons are home to many different species of fish, and one species stays dormant in the moist areas of the sand during the dry season, only to surface when the lagoons once again emerge.

The stark contrast between white dunes and crystal clear lagoons makes Lençóis a must-see experience!

4. Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul

Pantanal - places to visit in Brazil

Pantanal is located in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, except for small parts of the wetland that belongs to Bolivia and Paraguay.

It’s the world’s largest wetland and the place to go if you are interested in wildlife. The open marshes make it easy to spot the animals, and the unspoiled region of Pantanal doesn’t have a large human population, which means the wildlife flourishes.

The wetland offers beautiful landscapes and the chance to see a great variety of birds and other animals. You’ll also see reptiles and jaguars in their natural habitat.

5. Salvador, Bahia

Salvador, Bahia Brazil

Salvador is the first colonial capital of Brazil and one of the oldest cities in North and South America. Known as the country’s capital of happiness, it offers numerous outdoor parties, and the city´s street carnival is the largest in the world.

 The beauty of the city is partly due to its location by the sea but it is much more than that – it has a rich music and architectural culture and a historic area filled with colorful colonial houses and cobblestoned streets.

6. Chapada Diamantina, Bahia

Chapada Diamantina, Bahia

Chapada Diamantina, Bahia

The gorgeous National Park Chapada Diamantina takes its name from the cliffs in the region and from the diamonds that were once found there.

When visiting the national park, you will be provided with a smorgasbord of beautiful views of the landscapes from different cliffs. You will see canyons, waterfalls, natural swimming pools, caves, and wonderful untouched landscapes!

7. Jericoacoara, Ceara

Jericoacoara - best places to visit in Brazil

This is a remote little beach town in the Ceara state. You can get here by bus from Fortaleza to Jijoca. It’s not an easy journey, but it is worth it!

This paradise-like town has not yet been destroyed by tourism.

The streets of sand, the beautiful beach, the kite-surfing, the breathtaking sunset views from the sand dunes, the Capoeira at the beach, the amazingly huge and starry night sky, and the hammocks in the lagoon, which are just a beach buggy ride away, are just some of the reasons why Jericoacoara is one of the country’s hidden treasures.

8. Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco 

Fernando de Noronha

Would you want to visit a beautiful beach that just the sight of it will make you gasp for air? Do you want to swim with stingrays, sharks, and colorful fishes?

Do you want to see dolphins, sea turtles, and albatrosses? Well, here you can!  Fernando de Noronha is a group of islands that belongs to Brazil.

The archipelago consists of 21 islands, islets, and rocks of volcanic origin. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed island is a paradise on earth for anyone interested in diving and animal life.

9. Iguazú Falls, Paraná

Iguazu falls Brazil

This is a world-famous beauty spot! The Iguazú Falls, consisting of more than 270 waterfalls of different sizes that border Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, are a truly amazing spectacle.

If you are in Brazil (or any of the other bordering countries), do not miss the opportunity to see one of Mother Nature´s greatest expressions of beauty in our world.

10. Paraty, Rio de Janeiro

Paraty - best places to visit in Brazil

This gorgeous coastal town was first settled in 1667, so it has a lot of history. It truly offers something for everyone, including cobblestone streets, magnificent forests, amazing waterfalls, and an emerald-green sea.

There is a lot to do and even more to look at when you visit Paraty, and even though it is compact enough to be enjoyed on foot, you’ll still find a lot of enjoyment and fun activities every step of the way.

There’s even a city center that provides information on how the town became what it is today.

11. Búzios, Rio de Janeiro

Búzios, Rio de Janeiro

A resort town with roughly 34,000 residents, Búzios is the place to go when you want calmness, serenity, and a break from the hustle and bustle of a tourist’s life.

Many of the people who live there are fishermen, and it offers all sorts of water activities, including swimming and surfing.

In fact, this town offers a little bit of everything, including shopping, restaurants, bars and lounges, art museums, and just about anything else you need to make your vacation unforgettable.

12. Florianópolis, Santa Catarina 

Florianopolis, Santa Catarina

Located in the southern part of Brazil, Florianópolis has 60 beaches and is noted for its surfing opportunities. Its economy is based mainly on tourism and information technology, so tourists can find a lot to do there.

Radical sports and nature offer some of the best opportunities for tourists, as do activities such as mountain climbing, hang-gliding, rowing, and paragliding.

It is connected to the continent by three bridges, one of which is the famous but now-closed Hercilio Luz Bridge.

13. IlhaBela, São Paulo

IlhaBela, Sao Paulo

Also known as Beautiful Island, translated to in Portuguese, IlhaBela has a population of roughly 32,000 and offers attractions such as 360 waterfalls, numerous forests, hiking trails of all difficulty levels, and course, beaches.

There are 41 beaches on the main island, so whether you want to swim, sunbathe, or watch dolphins and whales, you’ll never run out of things to do.

With beautiful waters and even more beautiful skies, this is the place to be if you like sand and surf.

14. Maragogi, Alagoas 

Maragogi, Alagoas Brazil

Maragogi sits in the northwestern section of Brazil and offers many beaches and living tropical reefs. You can go snorkeling or scuba diving, or enjoy the many sights that give the place some ambiance.

Maragogi is filled with natural beauty and offers plenty of activities, too. You can enjoy sea cliffs that seem to reach the sky and take a boat ride to get up close and personal with the coral reefs. Whatever you do there, it’s a very hard place to forget! 

15. Trancoso, Bahia

Trancoso, Bahia, Brazil

Trancoso has two things going for it: lots of beaches, and an advanced way of thinking about reducing their carbon footprint.

It has many festivals to enjoy throughout the year, but its main attractions are all of the beaches surrounding the area, each seemingly more gorgeous than the previous one.

With white sand, reefs, and water that always seems to be at the perfect temperature, this is the perfect place to be when lots of time in the water and sun is what you’re looking for.

16. Campos do Jordão, São Paulo

Campos do Jordao Brazil

A municipality in southeastern Brazil, Campos do Jordão is the highest city in Brazil, reaching 5,341 feet above sea level. Among the many tourist activities are hiking, mountain climbing, treetop cable swings, motorbike, and ATV riding.

There is also a festival that takes place every winter that celebrates classical music. In addition to a cool cable car, the town offers bars, restaurants, discos, and other activities that make for great nightlife.

In other words, this town truly offers something for everyone.

17. Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro

Ilha Grande beach Brazil

One thing you will never be short of in this country is stunning paradise-esque beaches. Ilha Grande is an island located in the sea outside the state of Rio de Janeiro where you will find tropical beaches that will tempt you to purchase your pousada and enjoy the tranquil island lifestyle for the rest of your days.

Previously a prison island, it offers good snorkeling conditions and opportunities to see coral, tropical fish, whales, and even penguins.

The island, which has no roads or motorized vehicles, provides hiking trails to different beaches and villages. On the island, you are likely to spot both monkeys and hummingbirds.

18. Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro

Teresopolis, Rio de Janeiro

Mostly known as the town that is home to Brazil’s national football team, this city sits between mountains and hills, has lush green grass, and has some of the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever experienced.

There is a national park found on the part of the city near the city limits, and mountain structures such as Devil’s Needle and God’s Finger are worth visiting.

There are also lakes, statues, and lake houses that are nothing short of extraordinary, and the farms in the area provide a little bit of nostalgia to this now-modern city, which I think is always a win-win situation! 

19. Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro 

Petropolis, Rio de Janeiro

Also known as The Imperial City, it is home to nearly 300,000 residents and offers activities to pique anyone’s interests.

These include theaters, museums, and lots of festivals and carnivals. You can also enjoy some very unique architecture. If you love palaces, national parks, or old monasteries, this is, I think, the place to be! You can visit these places individually or join a tour guide.

This large city offers all the advanced benefits of any other large city, so you’ll never run out of things to do. Regardless of which month you visit the city, you’ll always have something interesting to do, I loved this place!

20. Amazon Rainforest 

The Amazon Rainforest - Brazil

Amazonian Pink Dolphin - Boto

Although Brazil is known for its beautiful beaches and outstanding landmarks, the Amazon rainforest is another famous place to visit. The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world.

The forest is split into 60% of the Brazilian territory, 13% of Peruvian land, and 10% of Colombian soil. The remaining 17% is distributed between French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.

There are so many things to explore in this giant jungle, and one of them is to spot pink dolphins or go bird watching, as the forest is home to over 800 bird species. The best time to visit is during the low-water season, which is from July until December.

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