Brazil is one of the most exciting countries on the planet. Some specifics of its natural beauty are unsurpassed, its cities are incredible cauldrons of culture and the people, food, music, art, and architecture … well, there’s way too much for a single adjective to sum them up. Here are just a few of the most amazing places to visit in Brazil.
Looking for a town that depicts Brazil’s colonial history? Just head to Ouro Preto, a city that saw its boom during the gold rush. You will be able to see some well preserved colonial architecture in the city. In addition to that, even the modern buildings have to follow the historical standards. Centuries old gold-decorated churches and Aleijadinho’s sculptured works make this town one of the best places to visit in Brazil outside its mesmerizing cities.
This is a beautiful archipelago home to picturesque landscapes, a wide variety of wildlife and pristine beaches. The land has been occupied by the Dutch, French and the Portuguese so you will see traces of their presence across the islands. With warm water available all year round and good visibility in the water, this is heaven for divers and snorkelers.
Olinda is located on Brazil’s northeastern coast. Its major tourist attractions include a historic downtown area, beautiful churches and the very famous Carnival of Olinda – a festival that is a must visit when you are in the area. The charm of the town is enhanced by the many bars and restaurants, while the artists and craftspeople give it a unique flavor.
Yes we’re all familiar with the legendary beaches of Rio but there are plenty of alternatives. Salvador is an attractive colonial town with exceptional beaches and a vibrant musical scene. The variety of beaches in Salvador is perhaps the best it can get, making it one of the most popular places to visit in Brazil. The beaches range from the calmer ones for swimmers and divers to the ones with open sea inlets, ideal for surfing.
The world’s largest wetland, Pantanal lies in Western Brazil and extends into Bolivia and Paraguay. It is one of the popular places to go in Brazil with a near guarantee of actually witnessing some wildlife. In addition to Capybara and Yacare Caiman, which are present in the region in millions, there is also one of the world’s biggest populations of jaguars residing in the area.
You really can’t talk about the places to visit in Brazil without mentioning Rio. The famous Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is home to about two million visitors each day of the festival. The carnival takes place all over the city, including in squares, streets, pubs, and bars. The event is four days of festivities when the whole city is in a mood of celebration and the people are fully immersed in the excitement of the occasion. The spectacular Rio Samba parade that concludes the festival is a must see for all! Beyond the festival, the city’s sights are a litany of glorious, iconic masterpieces both natural and man-made, with the stunning harbor, Sugar Loaf Mountain, the statue of Christ the Redeemer and of course those beaches.
The Amazon River is the second largest river in the world. It houses over 3,000 species of fish, while an estimated 10 million species live in the Amazon Rainforest, making it such a rich place to experience. You can easily find tours that will take you along the river and the amazing scenery that the Amazon Basin has to offer. I often wonder how many travel bucket lists The Amazon appears in.
As if not sufficiently blessed with stunning scenery and landscapes, it also is home to one of the world’s most magnificent waterfalls. Straddling the border of Brazil and Argentina lies this natural wonder of the world, the Iguazu Falls. There is a long walkway on the Brazilian side of the falls, which is perfect if you want to walk around the area and take in the scenery. When you are there, don’t forget to see the Devil’s Throat – a U-shaped waterfall with a height of 82 meters.
While on the subject of the natural wonders of Brazil, another that shouldn’t be missed is the Blue Lake Grotto. Discovered in 1924, the Blue Lake Grotto is one of the largest flooded cavities on Earth. Thought to be over 200 feet deep, the sun shines through a hole in the cave’s ceiling making the water the most incredible shimmering and astonishingly clear blue. The source of the lake hasn’t yet been found but it is believed to be an underground river. As recently as 1992, a cave diving expedition found a massive collection of bones, including remains of saber-tooth tigers and giant sloths. You might not get up close to Pleistocene fossils but the stalactites are an incredible sight.
I could never do justice to the attractions of Brazil in just nine places but I hope it’s given you a taste of what awaits visitors to this incredible country. Hands up, who would love to go?
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