amazing places to visit in brazil

I went to Brazil more times than I can count and lived there 9+ months. I discovered various regions of the country but still have so much more to explore. This list of places is in no particular order but I highlighted my favorite places and added star rankings (3 = this is la crème de la crème!, 2 = wow, check this out!, and 1 = go if you have time). At the bottom of the list, I included places I have yet to go to but was recommended by local Brazilian friends.

If you don’t have a lot of time and would like custom recommendations on which places to visit and how long you should stay in each city, email with with Subject Line: “Custom Itinerary Request: Brazil & Your Travel Time”. 

PS: Basic Portuguese words that will help you understand the names: praia = beach, ilha = island

  • São Paulo
  • São Paulo Region
    • Costa verde ***: Ubatuba (“Uba Chuva”), praia Sununga
    • Ilha Bela: praia de Castelhanos
    • Campos do Jordão
      • Great for winter in July with mountains, restaurants, trails, parties
  • Rio de Janeiro ***
  • Rio de Janeiro Region
    • Ilha Grande ***, Angra Dos Reis
      • Beautiful if the island isn’t crowded with turquoise water, white sand and untouched beaches. You can spot dolphins and turtles on boat trips!
    • Paraty ***
      • Colonial village, super charming with boats to go island hopping. Stay at Pousada Literária de Paraty if you can
      • Day trips: Amambuca, Trinidade (30km south of Paraty with natural pools “Tobagão”), Praia do Sono
    • Petropolis **, Teresopolis, Itaipava
      • Mountains, about 5-10 degrees colder than Rio, lots of hikes and waterfalls, great to stay in a fazenda with a pool.
      • Itaipava has a large brewery and hosts beer festivals as it’s where the famous Brazilian beer is made
      • Teresopolis: Dedo Do Deus and Pico Maior
    • Búzios*, Cabo Frio, Arraial do Cabo, Macae
      • Cariocas love it, its their version of Saint-Tropez (but in not as nice and it’s very expensive). I don’t think it even comes close to Ilha Grande or Paraty. There are some beautiful hikes that tourists don’t know about so go with a local!
      • Buzios: Praia Brava, Praia de Azeda e Azedinha. Praia da Ferradurinha e Praia João Fernandes.
  • Florianópolis *** (aka “Floripa” for short)
    • Foz de Iguaçu ** (15 hours bus ride or 1+ hour flight)
  • Bonito
    • Flutuação is the main activity, meaning you float downstream in crystal clear rivers
  • Manaus, Amazon
  • São Luis, Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses ***
    • Colorful colonial village and desert with white sand dunes and natural pools
  • Salvador
    • Praia do Forte ***, Rio vermelho

Places I haven’t been to yet but can’t wait to explore!

  • Santa Catarina Canyons
  • Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Veadeiros
    • camping, hiking, waterfalls, swimming
  • Fortaleza, Jericoacoara
  • Ilha Fernando de Noronha
    • Exclusive island with a limit on the number of people. You have to fly to Recife or Natal and hop on a small plane
    • Stay in pousada (fishermens home) eg. Pousada Maria Bonita – Rua das Amendoeiras, 06 – Floresta Nova, Fernando de Noronha
  • Chapada Diamantina Parque Nacional
    • Stay in a city called Lençóis and hire a guide for trails.
    • Vale do Pati
  • Península de Marau
  • Ilha de boipeba, Morro de São Paulo
  • Porto Alegre

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