10 Best Places To Go In Brazil
Brazil is a place of contrasts, from one end big cities while on the other side relaxing beaches, and that is what makes this country special. The biggest country in South
America offers a variety of things to surprise its visitors and in this list of 10 best places to go in Brazil, we have selected some of this Brazilian diversity in order to for you to decide your next destination. When visiting Brazil, it is highly recommended to visit at least two destinations in a trip, the reason is the country is big and visiting just one place may be unfair.
It is true Brazil is not considered the safest country in the world, but here are some tips you can follow: keep a low profile, carrying the strictly necessary and avoid unknown areas at night. On the other hand, Brazilians are welcoming people willing to help with a smile, despite the fact that English is not widely spread, mimic works good in the country. So, give a chance to discover this place and its attractions, you will be surprised by experiences Brazil will provide. When in the country don’t forget to tag your pictures with #flyustobrazil as we want to see you having fun in at least one of the 10 best places to go in Brazil, and here are your candidates.
1 – Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná
Foz do Iguaçu is a city located in the state of Paraná, south region of Brazil. More than an ordinary place to visit, Foz is home of the complex of Iguaçu Falls, international known for its majestic it has an average of 275 waterfalls.
Due to its location in a triple border area – Brazil, Argentina and Paraguai – falls are spread between Brazil and Argentina, giving opportunity to visitors to see them from both sides. In order to visit the falls in Brazil, tourists have access to Iguaçu National Park which holds trails that go close to the falls and activities for all ages.
The park offers a bus for all visitors to move around with five stops and is mandatory to use this transport inside the area. The most important stop is the Head Trail for Waterfalls which gives access to go really near to the big falls. If you are more nature oriented, the park offers some additional tours like the case of Macuco Safari, which basically is a boat ride that goes as near as can get to the falls.
It could be simple, but actually is impressive. Reserve at least a full day to visit the park, open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Additionally, write down in your list to visit not only the Argentinian side of the falls called Iguassu National Park, but also the Bird Park, Itaipu Dam and a restaurant in Argentina for the classic barbecue.
2 – Rio de Janeiro
Talking about Brazil and not listing Rio de Janeiro is almost a sin. The city is a landmark and it’s easy to understand the reason, combination of mountains and beaches in a city environment is a place worth visiting.
Copacabana and Ipanema are the most famous neighborhoods among visitors, because of beaches but also by its atmosphere. Copacabana is a long shore going from Leme to Ipanema areas, walking around the sidewalk with the state’s shape design overlooking the sea is a pleasure every tourist should do.
It is also possible to stop in any restaurant or kiosk on the waterfront to have something to drink. Of course, you will be able to spend a day in the beach, but if you want to do so you will see Ipanema as more popular among Brazilians. Despite the fact of being a small beach, Ipanema is surrounded by a hill which shapes a breathtaking landscape.
Rio goes beyond nature, being home of the widely known Christ the Redeemer and, if you want to visit it is recommended to go early and to book in advance.
It is a very popular destination and gets crowded easily. Another place to see Rio from above is by visiting Sugar Loaf and doing it at night will provide a new experience. The historic center of Rio is an area where you will get a glimpse to what Portuguese colonization was, stopping to try something at Confeitaria Colombo is step in the past, per example.
Rio has so much to offer that if staying a month, you would still would left with the sensation of missing something, but here is a tip for you: if you want to go to Rio, go. You will not regret it.
3 – Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul
A place yet to be discovered by international travelers, Bonito is a place for ecotourism lovers. Bonito takes the activity seriously and certified travel agencies offer the tours to its attractions. Those companies also offer trips to Pantanal and if you have time to do it, it is advised.
As soon as you start your planning to Bonito, you will see recommendations for Blue Lagoon Cave as a main destination and you will not regret visiting this clear water place located in cave. The natural aquarium is a where you can do snorkeling into a river while swimming in Beautiful Bay River, in this tour you will see the fishes by you.
Actually, rivers are abundant in the region and it is possible to dive in most of them, like Silver River and Sucuri River.
For more experienced travelers, scuba diving is available at Mystery Lagoon. Don’t skip the Abismo Anhumas, a cavern located 23 kilometers from Bonito and, in order to get deep into the cavern visitors have to do a rappel. Bonito is a small town with few local restaurants, but that is not a problem as you will do the tours all day long just wanting a nice dinner before getting ready to bed. Definitely one of the 10 best places to go in Brazil.
4 – Salvador, Bahia
Salvador was the first capital of Brazil and was an important role in country’s history. It was in the state of Bahia, where Brazil was officially founded. Then, Salvador became important port city and later on was part of the sadly slavery era.
Nowadays, visitors will notice it by walking around the city, especially in the historic center. Food was also shaped based on history and the flavors experienced in this area of Brazil are unique. Start your visit discovering Pelourinho by visiting Our Lady of Black Rosary Church and House of Brazilian author Jorge Amado.
There will be plenty of restaurants available in the area and, when seated go for seafood, more specific: moqueca, a sizzling fish stew with local ingredients.
Not far from there is St Francis of Assisi Church and Monastery, and it is worth to check inside its gold details. Continue your tour by taking Elevator Lacerda and going to Model Market to check some artisanal products.
Approximately 6 kilometers from Pelourinho is a very traditional church among Brazilians, the Basilica of Lord Bonfim. You cannot forget Salvador is on the shore, so beaches are among its places to go. Farol da Barra Beach is a popular choice and, if going there it is worth to stop at Farol da Barra to snap a picture of its landscape. If you are really into beaches, go to Itaparica by taking a boat near Model Market. In this island near Salvador you will understand why Brazil is famous for its beaches and why this made it onto our list of 10 best places to go in Brazil.
5 – São Paulo
As the largest city in South America, São Paulo doesn’t show your beauty instantly. You have to discover slowly by visiting its attractions spread throughout its areas. Downtown is home for some historical places like Sé Cathedral, Benedictine Monastery and Pátio do Colégio, in the last case was where the first mass was celebrated and the city founded.
A walk from Sé Cathedral to Benedictine Monastery will give an overview about history in the city and, after the tour a visit the Municipal Market is recommended to try fruits available and the classic bologna sandwich.
If you are into food, trying feijoada in São Paulo will be a good option and Feijoada da Lana is a popular place. Far from downtown, closer to the international airport, Mocotó where a young chef is showing Brazil in a plate.
A day spent at Ibirapuera Park provide a relaxation, but also has cultural attractions like Afro Brazilian Museum, Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Conteporary Art, along with great architecture from those buildings you may include in this list the Ibirapuera Auditorium.
Another two areas are really worth visiting as the case of Paulista Avenue, one of the most important in the country, and Vila Madalena, in order to check the bars and restaurants with Brazilian soul. São Paulo have a long list of things to do and here we have named just a few to understand what this big city is about.
6 – Jericoacoara, Ceará
This village 300 kilometers away from Fortaleza, the capital city, is the definition of simplicity focusing on what the nature has to offer. Travelers who don’t mind walking and are looking for modesty but don’t want to give up seeing a beautiful place will be happy here. This is an already known destination for foreigners as they are constantly seen in the little village or having a good day in any of many attractions.
Arriving in Jeri, short for Jericoacoara, is available by renting a car and driving from Fortaleza or riding a bus. When in the village, it is highly recommended to go on tours with travel agencies as most roads are four-wheeled accessible only.
Enjoying a day at the beach, taking a bug ride and watching the sunset are common activities available in they are elevated when the beach is Jeri’s beach, the bug brings you to Paradise Lagoon and you watch the sunset in Sunset Dunes.
But Jeri goes beyond that and offers more places for you to repeat the sequence daily like the Lagoon’s tour and the most famous, Pedra Furada, which is a natural hole in a big rock, a symbol from Jericoacara.
7 – Minas Gerais
Different from the other places of this list, Minas Gerais is a state. It would be unfair to choose just one city here, mostly because between its capital, the historic cities and the Inhotim Institute it is a hard choice.
The capital city, Belo Horizonte is about the food, but also the traditional bars showing the lifestyle of mineiros, how people from Minas Gerais are called. It is true the city has culture, especially Pampulha area and its architecture, but for approximately only 65 kilometers from there you will get to Inhotim Institute, where a collection of contemporary art combines with nature in this 20 km2 complex. It is a big success for art and nature lovers and a day spent there is a day well spent.
Continuing through Minas, kindly known by Brazilians, it is possible to discover more historical cities which were important for the gold era in the country.
They are spread throughout the state, but here we will focus on five of them. Ouro Preto, which means Black Gold, was an important hub during the era and kept most the architecture preserved.
When walking around the city note the imposingness of the era, mostly in the churches but also in historical buildings. Its neighbor is Mariana, a smaller town but still with noted constructions.
Allow yourself at least two days to visit both cities and have great disposition to walk around the steep streets of Ouro Preto. From there a visit to Tiradentes and the neighbor São João Del Rey will continue to showcasing the preserved architecture.
If you want to discover more about art, stop for an afternoon to see the Santuario do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos in Congonhas and discover why this rococo style church and the statues of prophets made by Brazilian artist Aleijadinho is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
8 – Belém, Pará
Mostly known for its famous Amazon boat cruise to Manaus, the city also offers things to do that will change everything you learned from Brazil. Starting with the most famous attraction, Ver-o-Peso Market is a place to discover Brazilian’s flavors unknown for most Brazilians.
From local seafood to traditional tapioca, you will be able to explore a different way to try açai per example, which is eaten natural during a meal while in Southeast region usually is eaten similar to a smoothie.
Docas Station is another place to visit where a tourist complex offers events and restaurants while overlooking Guajará Bay. When in here try local Amazon beer with flavors like Açai Stout and Red Ale Priprioca, every style combining with a local ingredient.
But Belem also offers culture, by visiting Basilica Santuario do Nazare; Contemporary Art Museum located in a historic building called Eleven Windows and Museum of the Sacred Art.
Most visitors also decide to visit Marajó Island, a two-hour boat ride will deliver you to Soure, and Algodal Island for a relaxing option.
Back in Belem, allow yourself to walk slowly in the waterfront and experience the local cuisine, especially ice cream from local fruits and seafood dishes.
9 – Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago with 21 islands around it, giving plenty of opportunity to visit beaches which in this case are usually surrounded by hills.
Located in the state of Pernambuco, Noronha, a kindly Brazilian nickname for this paradise, is 525 kilometers from Recife, the capital city of Pernambuco and, 350 kilometers from Natal, the capital city of Rio de Grande do Norte state.
Flights are available from both capitals to the island, but Natal is the closest as noted. Noronha is considered an untouchable paradise by Brazilians as a few can make their way to here, mostly because of its price and you will notice its more expensive when compared to Brazil in general, but still affordable for British conversion exchange currency.
In order to visit it, visitors must pay a daily environmental tax which is R$ 68,74 (2017) and that is aimed to the conservation of marine life and nature in the island.
Accommodations are available in Remédios Village, where most restaurants are located, but also is possible to stay at Thirty Village or New Forest.
In any of those it is possible to move around to some beaches by walking and they are really different from anything you’ve seen: Sancho’s Bay, Pig’s Bay, Atalaia Beach, Dog’s Beach, Sueste Beach and Port’s Beach are just some examples of where you should go.
As an island, you will also be able to do some boat’s ride but as a paradise you will discover a local marine life which will promote fun for any travelers.
10 – Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro
Part of Angra dos Reis, 100 kilometers from the city of Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande is a 193 km2 island where nature meets mountains. You heard right, Ilha Grande is a quiet place to be visited slowly.
First of all, cars are not allowed and it is only possible to arrive by boat, from three places: Mangaratiba; Conceição de Jacareí and Angra dos Reis. If possible, take opt for one of the last two destinations which provide more options daily.
When in the island, the most popular place to sleep is Vila do Abrãao, but a second option is also available at Enseada de Araçatiba or more out of the way small beaches. There is only two ways of sightseeing in Ilha Grande, by foot or by boat. Local travel agencies offer tours to the beaches and islets around it, but if you like to walk it is highly recommended to hike to some places as the case of the famous Lopes Mendes beach, or by boat a must go is Aventureiro.
The truth is those are just some few details about this place, when in there attractions are widely available and are sure to surprise you.
It’s difficult to choose 10 best places to go in Brazil as there are so many but we hope this list inspires you to travel to this great & wonderful country. Don’t forget you can book all your flights here.