Tourist Attractions in Brazil
Brazil covers half of South America, making it the largest and most diverse country in all of Latin America. The country offers many attractions and places to visit in Brazil.
The country has a extensive coastline that stretches 7,500 km (4,650 mi) and features beautiful white-sandy beaches, tropical islands, mountainous rock formations, a variety of beach resorts and spectacular vistas with amazing views over the sea.
Inland, Brazil tourist attractions consist of quaint colonial towns, spetacular waterfalls & green canyons, the Pantanal wetlands filled with wildlife, and the untouched wilderness of the Amazon rainforest that is full of teaming wildlife and plants. See below for some of the top tourist attractions in Brazil.
Brazil can be divided into five different geographical regions: North, Northeast, Central-West, South and Southeast. Each region consists of several states with a distinct landscape and topography.
This region is known as “O Norte” and also known as Amazonia. Seven states make up this sparsely populated region: Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Para, Rondonia, Roraima and Tocantins. The regions largest cities are Manaus and Belem.
The North region of Brazil covers 45% of the national territory of Brazil and consists of mostly the Amazon rainforest, which features the Amazon river with its thousands of tributaries.
Attractions to Visit
Amazon Rainforest & Amazon River
The Amazon Rainforest with the Amazon River running through it, is the world’s largest tropical rainforest & covers more than half of Brazil. The Amazon has the planet’s greatest biodiversity of plant species and wildlife. It is home to monkeys, pink dolphins, birds, thousands of species of fish & insects, and more. It is also home to indigenous groups that live throughout the forest. Parts of the Amazon can easily be visited and has become one of the top Brazil tourism destinations for those seeking ecotourism.
Manaus is located in the heart of the Amazon where the two rivers Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes meet to became the Amazon River. The city is the capital of the state of Amazonas and it is also the biggest city of the Amazon. The city is a popular ecotourist destination and serves as a gateway into the Amazon rainforest.
Belem is the state capital of the Brazilian state of Para, in northern Brazil. The city is also considered the gateway for visitors wanting to visit the Amazon. The city sits 100 km upriver from the Atlantic Ocean, on the banks of the Para River, which is part of the greater Amazon River system. The city dates back to nearly 400 years and features a variety of colonial buildings throughout the city.
Alter do Chao – Para, Brazil
Alter do Chao is a small town with a river beach located in the heart of the Amazon, about 30 km west of the city of Santarem. The area has been called the “Amazon Caribbean,” and during June-December, when the rivers are at their lowest, the area features large sandbars with white sand beaches and blue waters of the Rio Tapajos to the west and the green waters of Lago Verde to the east. It makes a great place to relax & cool off for a bit while exploring the humid Amazon rainforests.
The Northeast Region of Brazil consists of nine states: Maranhao, Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia. The regions largest cities are Salvador, Joao Pessoa, Fortaleza and Recife.
Another one of the coastal cities in Brazil that is known for its beautiful beaches and sun. Natal, which means Christmas in Portuguese, lies on Brazil’s northeast coast. The city is the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Norte and it is considered the safest capital city in the country. Brazil tourism
Genipabu – Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Known as Genipabu or Jenipabu, this Brazilian beach has a variety of large sand dunes and lagoons. It is located just outside the city of Natal. Here you can go on dune buggy rides, ride a camel, do some sand surfing down the dunes, or just relax and swim on its beaches. The beach has hotels, inns, restaurants, and beach tents.
Praia de Pipa – Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Located about 80 km south of the city of Natal is the small town of Praia de Pipa. This town is considered to have some of the most beautiful beaches of Brazil with sand dunes, cliffs with beautiful views and a preserved area of Atlantic Rainforest. The town is also a great place to spot dolphins swimming in the nearby bay. Besides the beaches the area has an active nightlife with bars, live music and restaurants.
Recife is another one of the major northeastern coastal cities in Brazil. Recife is the capital of the state of Pernambuco and is named after the coral reefs on the city’s shores. The city is nicknamed the “Brazilian Venice” because it has number of islands, rivers, waterways and bridges throughout the city. Recife is known for its beaches, Carnaval, arts and cuisine. Also the neighboring towns of Olinda and Porto de Galinhas should not be missed.
Olinda is located about 5 km north of Recife and is one of Brazil’s best-preserved colonial cities. Olinda is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and features a number of attractions, such as its historic city center that features a variety of colonial buildings. The city also has a popular street carnival and unlike in Rio and Salvador, the carnival in Olinda has free admission. Its beaches, bars, and restaurants should also not be missed.
Porto de Galinhas – Pernambuco, Brazil
Porto de Galinhas is located about 60 km (37 mi) south of the city of Recife. Voted as one of the best Brazilian beaches by a readers of a popular Brazilian magazine, the beach extends 18 km long, with white, fine grained sand. There is a chain of reefs lining along its coast and during low tide, the water trapped by the reefs form several natural pools where tourists can swim and snorkel and see colorful fish.
Fortaleza is another one of the major cities in Brazil. It sits on Brazil’s northeast coast, and is the capital of the state of Ceara. Fortaleza has some of the nicest urban beaches in Brazil and serves as a great hub for exploring nearby beaches with rolling sand dunes and fishing villages. Besides enjoying the beaches, visitors can enjoy the very active nightlife of the city or eat at one of the many restaurants.
Jijoca de Jericoacoara – Ceara, Brazil
Known simply as Jeri, this isolated village is considered to be among the most beautiful of Brazil beaches.
The town is located about 300 km from the city of Fortaleza in the Brazilian state of Ceara. Jericoacoara is located in an environmental protected area that features huge sand dunes, blue lagoons, coconut palm trees, and beautiful white sandy beaches. The area has become a great place to do windsurfing, kitesurfing or sandboarding.
Joao Pessoa is the capital city of the state of Paraiba and is one of the oldest cities in Brazil. It lies on Brazil’s northeast coast and is the easternmost city of Brazil and in the Americas. The city has a variety of colonial buildings scattered throughout the city and is also known for its beautiful beaches and sun.
Salvador is the third largest city in Brazil and sits on the coast in northeastern Brazil. The city is the capital of the state of Bahia and has a variety of things to do and see. It has beautiful beaches and a city center full of colonial buildings. The city has strong African influences and was the birthplace of Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.
Praia do Forte – Bahia, Brazil
Praia do Forte is located about 85 km (1.5 hrs) up the coast from Salvador. This beach town is excellent and during low tide there are natural pools that form and are full of sea life. It is also common to spot whales in the area. Praia do Forte is also a preservation site for sea turtles, you can visit the turtle sanctuary where you can see several varieties of turtle.
Marau Peninsula – Bahia, Brazil
Marau Peninsula is located on the south coast of the Brazilian state of Bahia. This long peninsula features stretches of deserted beaches, mangroves, lagoons, coral reefs, and Atlantic rainforest. One of the most beautiful beaches on the peninsula are Taipus de Fora and Barra Grande with its white sands and calm waters.
Caraiva – Bahia, Brazil
Caraiva is a secluded fishing village on the coast of the state of Bahia. It is a simple village with not much there, just basic accommodations, a river, and stretches of undeveloped white sandy beaches in both directions. The area is a environmental protected area with Atlantic forest and coconut palms, cliffs, clear water and untouched beaches. There are no paved roads and the streets are of sand and the most common way of getting around is by foot. It is definitely one of the top Brazil beaches to head to if you want to get away from it all!
The central-west region of Brazil geography covers 19% of the national territory of Brazil and consists of the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goias, and the Distrito Federal (Federal District), where Brazil’s national capital, Brasilia is located.
The two states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul to the south, are located in Brazil’s central-west region. The main tourist attractiona in these two states are the Pantanal wetlands and Chapada dos Guimaraes, a unique and beautiful terrain that consists of sandstone cliffs, canyons, valleys and beautiful waterfalls.
The Pantanal is the largest tropical wetland in the world that features swamps, rivers, forests and savannas. Much of the Pantanal lies within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it also extends into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia & Paraguay. The Pantanal is home to a variety of bird species as well as jaguars, monkeys, anacondas, caiman crocodile, piranhas and a variety of other animals. You can go on boat tour excursions through the Pantanals to spot wildlife.
Corumba, with a population of around 100,000 people is located in western Brazil on the Bolivian border in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. This city is often called the capital of the Pantanal and is considered the gateway city into the Pantanal. From the city you can go on adventurous boat tour excursions through the Pantanals to spot countless wildlife.
Cuiaba is the state capital of Mato Grosso, the city sits in a transition zone between three Brazilian ecosystems: Amazon, Pantanal, and Cerrado, which is a vast tropical savanna that consists of an extensive savanna, forests and stream valleys. The city serves as a great hub for exploring the nearby ecosystems and is considered a gateway to the northern Pantanal and a gatway to the southern part of the Amazon, and also to visit the nearby Chapada dos Guimaraes mountain range. The city has a very rich local culture based on Portuguese, African and Indian influences. Cuiaba is home to an interesting Indian influenced cuisine, native dances, craftwork and music.
Brasilia is the capital of Brazil and sits on a flat plateau region in the Central Highlands of Brazil. It is a very unique city in that it was planned and developed in 5 years by the Brazilian government and inaugurated in 1960. The city is known for its spectacular modern architecture that was designed by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
This small city with a population of around 20,000 people is located about 130 kilometers west of Brasilia. It is well known by Brazilians for its spectacular landscape in the area that features a waterfalls with pristine water, hot springs, forests, preserved colonial architecture and a popular festival involving mounted horses called Festa do Divino Espirito Santo.
The southeast region of Brazil covers 11% of the national territory of Brazil and consists of the states of Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
Interesting Attractions in the State of Rio de Janeiro
The state of Rio de Janeiro is in Brazil’s southeastern region of the country and is the most visited Brazil tourism destination. Click on Rio de Janeiro for more travel information on the state. tourist attractions in brazil
City of Rio de Janeiro
A trip to Brazil isn’t complete unless you visit the most famous city in Brazil. Rio is known for its beaches, carnival, nightlife and its breathtaking landscape. It has many iconic sights which include Sugar Loaf Mountain, the Christ the Redeemer statue on top of Corcovado mountain and the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches
Located about 150 km northeast of Rio is the town of Armacao de Buzios, which sits on peninsula protruding out into the Atlantic. Once a sleepy fishing village, the town has become a tourist destination with a variety of beaches, restaurants & an active nightlife. The west coast side of the peninsula has beaches with calm waters and the east beaches of the peninsula, facing the open sea, offers stronger waves and draws surfers.
Paraty is an old colonial town that is located on the Costa Verde (Green Coast), a lush, green corridor that runs along the coastline of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Paraty has become a popular tourist area that features colonial churches, cobbled streets, mountains, waterfalls, islands and surrounded by nearby parks and nature preserves. Brazil tourism
Ilha Grande is an island off the coast of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janiero. The island is mostly undeveloped with no roads or cars and only a few small villages that can only be reached by boat or ferry. Ilha Grande has beautiful landscapes with unspoiled beaches & vegetation of Atlantic rainforest. Ilha Grande can be visited where you can hike its trails, camp, and see its spectacular beaches, mountain peaks, waterfalls, and pristine forests.
Interesting Attractions in the State of Sao Paulo
The state of Sao Paulo is in Brazil’s southeastern region of the country. Click on Sao Paulo for more travel information on the state. tourist attractions in brazil
City of Sao Paulo
The city of Sao Paulo is the capital of the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and in all of South America with a population of around 20 million people. Although the city is not known as a tourist destination the city does offer a wide variety of attractions and entertainment options.
This town is located 28 km (17 miles) from the city of Sao Paulo. Known as Embu Das Artes because the town is know for its handicrafts market and stores. You can find ceramics, leather, woolen goods, knitted items and a variety of other handcrafted items. Brazil tourism
Campos do Jordao
This is Sao Paulo’s main mountain resort town that is 167 km (103 miles) from the city of Sao Paulo. It is located in the Serra da Mantiqueira range at an elevation of 1,628 meters (5,600 ft).
This city is Sao Paulo’s peach and strawberry capital. In the winter it hosts a stawberry festival, selling everything from stawbery jam to stawberry liquors. The city is also a popular place to go hang-gliding or paragliding from the platforms of the Pedra Grande.
This small village was built in the 1860s by British railroaders and sits at an elevation of 800 meters (2,500 ft).
Paranapiacaba, which means “Sea View” in the Tupi-Guarani language, was the last station on the Jundiai-Santos line before the breathtaking plunge down the Great Escarpment into the coastal city of Santos.
Santos is a costal city located on the island of Sao Vicente in the state of Sao Paulo. It is considered the most important and biggest seaports in Brazil. Santos handles a large portion of the world’s coffee exports and also many other Brazilian exports such as oranges, bananas and cotton. Santos is where football (soccer) legend Pele had his beginnings and there are exhibits dedicated to him and other great players of the city.
Sitting on the the neighboring island across from Santos, is one of the the main beach towns for residents of Sao Paulo. Guaruja has many excellent beaches and a very active nightlife full of bars, clubs and restaurants. Brazil tourism
This beach town has a wide stretch of beach of grayish-brown sand that fills up with people from all over Sao Paulo during Brazil’s summer months.
Peruibe is beach town that has a good nature reserve called Parque da Jureia, featuring pristine beaches, and where you can hike and see waterfalls. The town also the ruins of what has been identified as the first church to be built anywhere in Brazil, constructed of clay and stone by the Jesuits in the 16th century.
Campinas is located 100 km (60 miles) from the city of Sao Paulo and is the third largest city in the state of Sao Paulo, with a population of around 3.5 million people. Like any other big city, it has restaurants, hotels, parks, malls, and an active nightlife.
this town was settled by Confederates fleeing the southern states of the United States after the Civil War (1861-1865). Many came here for cheap land and the fact that slave labor was still legal in Brazil during that time. Brazil tourism
Ilhabela is an island off the coast of the state of Sao Paulo. The island can only be reached by boat or by a car ferry, as there is no bridge connecting the mainland to the island. The island is covered with tropical Atlantic rainforest and it is a popular place for watersports, such as snorkeling, scuba and free diving. The waters around the island are dotted with a variety of shipwrecks, with some open for divers to explore. The island has many hiking trails, waterfalls & remote beaches.
The South region of Brazil is the smallest of Brazil’s regions, accounting for only 7 percent of the national territory. Brazil’s south consists of the states of Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. Southern Brazil is the only region in Brazil that has subtropical or temperate climate and it can snow in the mountain ranges.
Sitting on a plateau at 932 meters (3,058 ft) above sea level, Curitiba is the capital of Parana and it is the largest city in southern Brazil with a population of about 1.8 million people. Its population is largely descended from German, Ukrainian, Russian, Italian and Polish immigrants. The city is known for its green areas with clean and tree-lined streets and was named by the US magazine Reader’s Digest as the best place to live in Brazil.
Ilha do Mel – Parana, Brazil
Ilha do Mel is a beautiful island just off the coast of Parana. The island has natural lagoons, caves, waterfalls, and deserted beaches. There are a couple of small villages on the southern part of the island and it is also home to a 18th century fort and a 19th century lighthouse. The island can only be reached by ferry boat and there are no cars on the island, and transportation is either by foot along the many paths or by boats. It is a great place to go if you enjoy camping or nature.
Foz do Iguacu
Foz do Iguacu is located on the border of Paraguay and Argentina in the southern Brazilian state of Parana. The city’s big attraction here is the massive waterfalls known as Iguacu Falls, one of the great natural wonders of the world. It is also the location of the Itaipu Dam, the second-largest generator of hydro-electric power in the world.
Built on several hills and surrounded by mountains, Belo Horizonte is the capital of the state of Minas Gerais. The city has been relatively unknown to the outside world and has quietly become one of the mega cities in Brazil with a population of around 5 million in the city and metropolitan area. The city has a very active nightlife and is considered the bar capital of Brazil with more bars per capita than any other city in Brazil. Brazil tourism
This city is one of the most historical cities in Brazil and is designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its historical and colonial architecture. This former colonial mining town is located about 100 km south of Belo Horizonte in the Serra do Espinhaco mountains. The city has a variety of old gold mines that can be toured, many colonial buildings and plenty of hiking opportunities at the nearby Itacolomi State Park which contain a variety of animals and plants.
Florianopolis is located on an island off the coast of Brazil in the southern state of Santa Catarina. The city has some of Brazil’s most beautiful beaches and also has beautiful parks, lakes, lagoons, which make it one of the best cities in Brazil to visit. Florianopolis is also known for its nightlife with a variety of beach bars and clubs scattered throughout the island.