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.
Number 10. Ouro Preto
Tucked away among the mountains of Minas Gerais, Ouro Preto is the most picturesque 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. Wandering around the cobbled streets in the old town is like stepping back in time, and the 18th-century churches dotted about the hilltops only add to the beauty of the scene.
Number 9. Sao Paulo
The largest city in Brazil, Sao Paulo, offers an intense cultural experience.
Tropical plants, charismatic people, and lively, bright colors, sounds and scents surround every traveler here, from the moment they step from the plane. It is a melting pot city, and has large, integrated populations of Italian and Japanese cultures among others. This fusion of culture has created a beautiful combination of art, culinary scene, and music that are well worth exploring.
Number 8. Paraty
A paradise of tropical forests, waterfalls, emerald sea and coastal mountains, Paraty is a popular tourist destination located along Brazil’s Green Coast. The heart of Paraty is its historic center with cobbled streets and multicolored colonial houses, many of which now serve as bed-and-breakfast accommodations.
Some of the most visited attractions here are the two colonial defense forts that still boast original walls and cannons.
The area surrounding Paraty is a nature-lover’s paradise, offering some of southeastern Brazil’s prettiest coastal and mountain scenery.
Number 7. Chapada Diamantina National Park
Created in 1985 to protect and preserve its spectacular scenery and rich ecosystems, Chapada Diamantina National Park lies in the northeast of Brazil in the centre 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.
Top attractions in the park include the incredible blue waters of the Enchanted Pool and Brazil’s highest fall, where the water does not have sufficient volume to overcome the drop of 380 meters.
Number 6. Pantanal
The Pantanal is the world’s largest wetland, lying mostly in Western Brazil but extending into Bolivia and Paraguay as well. Famous for its wildlife, it is one of Brazil’s major tourist attractions.
Unlike the Amazon rainforest, in the Pantanal you are virtually guaranteed to actually see the wildlife. Capybara and Caiman are present in the millions.
The Pantanal is also home to one of the largest Jaguar populations in the Americas.
Number 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.
Florianopolis is a modern city with lots of large shopping malls and chic restaurants, as well as lively bars and nightclubs. Its laidback vibe, beautiful beaches and diverse array of activities mean that there is something for everyone here.
Number 4. Manaus
Located right in the heart of the rainforest, Manaus’ location makes it the prime destination for adventurers looking to explore the Amazon.
While the city itself isn’t very pretty, the natural wonders of the rainforest lie tantalizingly nearby, and you are much better off heading into the jungle as soon as possible to explore its wilderness.
Manaus is a large city, however, so there are a couple of places worth visiting, such as the amazing Opera House and the Meeting of the Waters – where two different colored parts of the Amazon River meet.
Number 3. Salvador
With its beautiful Old Town that showcases a delightful array of colonial architecture, Salvador is certainly a charming city to behold.
Its rich, Afro-Brazilian culture and vibrant arts scene shine through, and it´s an intoxicating place to be, particularly during carnival. Located on the huge All Saints Bay, the city´s setting only adds to its attractiveness.
While the Old Town with its cobbled streets and historic sites, is the highlight of Salvador, the feel about the place is infectious and its unique culture has greatly impacted Brazilian society around the country.
Number 2. Iguazu Falls
Made up of some 275 different cascades, falls, and drops, Iguazu Falls on the Argentine-Brazilian border is the world’s largest waterfall system. As such, it is the only waterfall that can rival or possibly even surpass Victoria Falls.
For almost three kilo metres in total, gorgeous falls course over the Parana Plateau, with the undoubted highlight being Devil’s Throat Canyon.
This is best witnessed from the Brazilian side’s viewing platform, where you are greeted with teeming sheets of water, a deafening roar, and a fine spray. With lush rainforest lying around it, the falls are a treat to visit.
Visitors can take boat trips along the Iguazu River or explore the nearby paths and trails.
Number 1. Rio de Janeiro
One of the most beautiful cities on Earth, Rio de Janeiro is simply incredible to behold. With the famous Copacabana beach curving gently along the shores of Guanabara Bay, and Christ the Redeemer stretching towards the heavens, it really is a picture-perfect place.
Complementing this majestic scenery is the sun-soaked beach of Ipanema, as well as the tropical forest-covered mountains and brightly-colored favelas that dot Brazil´s second largest city.
A happening city, the best time of the year to visit is during its famous carnival, when Rio is transformed into the party capital of the world.