Brazil is a must dream. Thanks to its extremely diverse landscapes between legendary beaches and tropical forests, we understand why its rich and thriving culture and the joy of life of its people is one of the most popular destinations for travelers in the largest country of South America.

But for sure, how do I manage to see everything in such a big country? It will certainly make choices – sometimes difficult – based on your taste, your budget and the time you have! To help you organize your trip, here are all the sights not to be missed, and the 30 best places to see and do in Brazil!

summary

  • What to do and see in Brazil?
    • Must visit Brazil: must-see places
      • one. Rio de Janeiro
      • 2nd. the Rio Carnival
      • 3. São Paulo
      • 4. Iguazu Falls
      • 5. Salvador
      • 6. Ilha grande
      • 7. Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
      • 8. Pantanal
      • 9. Brasilia
      • 10. Jericoacoara
      • 11th. Ouro Preto
      • 12. Fernando de Noronha
      • 13. Aquario Natural
      • 14. Bonito
      • 15. Chapada Diamantina National Park
      • 16. Chapada das Mesas National Park
      • 17. Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park
      • 18. Recife and Olinda
      • 19. Tiradentes
      • 20. Paraty
      • 21. Pedra Azul Park
      • 22. Inhotim Institute
      • 23. Canyons of Serra Geral and Aparados da Serra parks
      • 24. After changing Chão
      • 25. The beaches of Santa Catarina
      • 26. Ipojuca
      • 27. Porto Seguro
      • 28. Mount Roraima
      • 29. Gramado
      • 30. Excursions in the Woods
    • Visit Brazil: practical information
      • How to get to Brazil
      • Do I need a visa?
      • When is the best time to visit Brazil?
      • Is Brazil safe?

Must visit Brazil: must-see places

one. Rio de Janeiro

There is something for everyone with the legendary beaches of Rio de Janeiro, the spectacular view of Guanabara Bay from Corcovado and Sugarloaf, and of course the famous carnival that Brazil must see. A big city where you can easily stay a few days without getting bored! To see in Rio:

  • Corcovado: The hill where the famous Redeemer Christ is located and offers spectacular panoramic views of the surroundings.
  • Sugar Loaf: Another peak with breathtaking views and accessed by 2 cable cars.
  • Vista Chinesa: offers one of the most beautiful views of the city. It is reached by a steep uphill and steep footpath, but the reward at the end of the road is worth it!
  • Tijuca Forest: Besides being declared World Biosphere Reserve, it is the largest urban forest in the world!
  • Rio Carnival: the most important celebration in the country with a 4-day celebration that brings together the best samba schools!
  • Guanabara Bay: The second largest bay in the country, home to hundreds of islands and many beaches such as Botafogo
  • Santa Teresa district: The bohemian district of the city with cafes, galleries and shops.
  • Carioca aqueduct
  • Municipal Theater: This is a magnificent building with an eclectic style offering ballet and opera.
  • Rio Cathedral: unique pyramid-shaped architecture that makes it a must-see attraction
  • Botanical Garden: This is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world! It is an ideal place to cool off in Rio while enjoying excellent biodiversity. From the botanical garden you can go to Pedra da Gavea.
  • Maracana Stadium: The famous football stadium hosting the 2014 World Cup
  • Selaron Stairs: colored stone steps of 215 steps made by artist Jorge Selaron
  • Lage Park: a beautiful park with a visual arts school and a small café
  • Leblon district: quieter than Copacabana and Ipanema, with nice shops, cafes and clubs.

What to do in Rio de Janeiro to know everything about the city and discover other key elements? 

de janeiro rio,
Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro

2nd. the Rio Carnival

If there is something to do in Brazil, it is good to go to the Rio Carnival! Known in the world, in February in Brazil is not to be missed.

It brings together some of the largest carnival in the country are under apogee which are at 500 festivals across 2000000 people – S ambodrome throughout the city – occur in hundreds of samba schools and colorful costumes belonging to regional troops.

Especially … Good night before the festival starts, because the nights for a few days become white or short!

Carnival de Rio
A colorful costume during the Rio Carnival

3. São Paulo

If you like celebrations, cocktails and music, the big city passes through S AO Paulo, Avenida Paulista is for you.

It may not have the same sea charm as Rio, but it's a big city on the move in the morning, famous for its about 30,000 restaurants, bars and clubs that keep visitors small.

In addition to the lively nightlife, you can explore wonderful green areas such as Ibirapuera Park and famous museums such as São Paulo's art museum.

As a bonus, this is one of the best places for Brazil's samba dance!

Not to miss anything, here are definitely the top 15 things to do in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo,
Sao Paulo at night

4. Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls is an array of 275 waterfalls in Brazil and between Argentina and Argentina produces a devastating roar, the fertile nature. In a rare magnificence, this natural phenomenon affects even the most weary travelers.

Also, don't miss the Bird Park (Parque das Aves), which is a real temple with 180 different bird species.

It's a place to be seen in Brazil, and personally, it's one of the countries that show me the most!

iguazu
Iguazu Falls

5. Salvador

Salvador, the capital of the Bahia region, has a unique charm in Brazil. A separate city with strong African influences. In your opinion capoeira, the famous cross between dance and martial art, Candomblé, African cuisine and colonial architecture left colorful in Portuguese.

A fun fact: there is no Lacerda Elevator, the first public elevator in the world built in 1873, still an excellent example of Art Deco, which is on duty and offers a spectacular view of All Saints Bay.

Salvador de Bahia
Colorful houses of Salvador de Bahia

6. Ilha grande

Ilha Grande, a small paradise island popular with tourists, has long been home to a prison and a leper house! Due to its stormy past, the island is very undisturbed, undeveloped and has the most natural forests and beaches in the country.

If you like hiking, snorkelling in translucent waters, forest walks and waterfalls, this is a preferred destination. For me it is a must for a trip to Brazil, in addition, vehicles are prohibited!

ilha-grande
Ilha grande

7. Lenan ói's Maranhenses National Park

This national park is very special: it consists of 70 km long and 25 km wide sand dunes, its shape resembles plates ("lençóis" in Portuguese). From March to September, water trickles come trickling between the tops of the dunes.

This phenomenon, which is possible with heavy rains, is beautiful. Best time to take photos!

Discover our article to miss the park Visit the Lençois Maranheses National Park with all the practical information!

Lencois Maranhenses,
The hills of Lençois Maranhenses Park

8. Pantanal

Pantanal is the largest swamp in the world. It is a well-known area for observing wild animals: monkeys, clotted cream, anaconda, lizards and capybara grow freely, away from human influence!

And if you're lucky, you can observe the jaguar, who still lives there freely but knows how to test his patience.

pantanal

9. Arm I lie

Bras Ilia, the capital of Brazil, which tourists often forget, still deserves to stay there for at least one day. Many atypical buildings built by Oscar Niemeyer, a modern and original city aiming to be the "new dawn" of the country, are an ideal destination for architecture and contemporary art lovers.

Don't miss the National Theater or the Metropolitan Cathedral, two big buildings that look like they came from another planet!

brasilia
Brasilia Metropolitan Cathedral

10. Jericoacoara

Jericoacoara is a small fishing village in northeastern Brazil. ranked among the top 10 beaches in the world in 1994, it is a perfect place if you want to spend a few days relaxing with beautiful beaches, rich culture and sandy streets (4 × 4 is also a must go there!).

To get the most out of it, don't miss the article we wrote about what to do in Jericoacoara.

Jericoacoara Brazil

11th. Ouro Preto

Built in the 18th century, this village is worth a visit in Brazil during th gold rush. 1 It is no coincidence that the Brazilian city designated by UNESCO is the cultural heritage of humanity!

I liked the old atmosphere with its cobbled streets, baroque buildings, luxurious gold-clad churches and original sculptures. Use the best walking shoes to get the most out of sloping streets!

How to get to Ouro Preto? You have to travel by bus from Sao Paulo (10 hours) or Rio (6 hours) or by plane to Belo Horizonte, by bus for 2 hours.

When should he go? You can go there year-round, but it is overloaded during holidays and carnival. Also know that during the Holy Week, the procession is glorious! If you plan to go there during these hours, be sure to book accommodation in advance.

Ouro Preto,
The beautiful city of Ouro Preto

12. Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is a volcanic archipelago of 21 islands lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The largest of these islands is 10 km long and has been frequented by travelers traveling on the road. It is a protected area both as a UNESCO site and as part of the national maritime park. to 460 visitors a day!

Strengths of Fernando de Noronha? beautiful beaches, snorkeling and snorkeling, surfing spots with huge waves, plenty of land preserved with fauna and flora. A real paradise to explore during our trip to Brazil.

Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha

13. Aquario Natural

Originally a river, this natural aquarium is a particularly popular attraction in the Bonito area. Among similar cenotes in Mexico you can swim in the clear water, enjoy many more landscapes with a snorkel and mask with many fish.

The lush vegetation of Aquario Natural provides a calm atmosphere, ideal for calming. My advice: Before going to visit the caves and waterfalls around you, we need to reserve a morning!

14. Bonito

As the name suggests, Bonito is a beautiful area with something to keep you busy for a few days. Guests can choose from rafting down in Rio da Prata, which can introduce frigging, caving Anhumas owned Abismo or just walking this landscape.

The mountain range of Serra da Bodoquena and the national park of the same name, is an interesting step to do in Brazil if you stay in the country for more than 10 days.

acorn-Brazil
Gruta Bonito in lago do azul

15. Chapada Diamantina National Park

National Park Chapada Diamantina is one of the best in Brazil. Indoor park is home to beaten tracks and hordes of tourists, waterfalls, pools swim in clear waters, hiking trails in all directions and even water slidesnatural.

As a limited admirer of the natural parks I have, I am among my favorites with this magnificent diversity of nature.

Don't miss the breathtaking view that rewards Morro do Pai In ácio climb.

Chapada Diamantina,
Natural fall at Chapada Diamantina Park. Rosanetur pictures

16. Chapada das Mesas National Park

Created in 2005, this Brazilian park has taken the form of the mountains it contains: Portuguese tables or mesas. Like the highlands, these high flat mountains look around and give this park a special feel.

You can also see canyons, waterfalls and all kinds of geological formations at a pleasant temperature throughout the year!

Chapada-mesas
Chapada Mesas. Photo of Otávio Nogueira

17. Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park

For geologists and biologists, this park is definitely worth going astray. It is home to some of the world's oldest rock formations and a remarkable and diverse ecosystem called Cerrado.

The second is worth the Chapada dos Veadeiros Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When should he go? It is visited during the dry season from February to November.

How to get there? To get there, you have to leave Alto Paraíso.

Chapada dos Veadeiros
Chapada dos Veadeiros. Photo of Ricardo Pipo

18.  Recife and Olinda

These two sisters are cities in the northeast of the country. Culturally close, but now architecturally dissidents, it takes two days for the visits to be complementary and serious.

Recife is a big metropolis, bottled and equipped with many skyscrapers, but has a beautiful historic center, interesting museums and good restaurants. In contrast, Olinda is a small, unspoilt city, where vegetation is still generous and still home to some beautiful colonial churches.

Olinda
Olinda Historical Center. Photo of Prefeitura de Olinda

19. Tiradentes

Tiradentes is a colonial town that seems frozen over time. It still has an authentic atmosphere, the inhabitants preserved their culture and kindness, and the buildings deserve some photos.

If you want to enjoy all the charm of Tiradentes, like me: choose a traditional hostel to spend the night, dine at one of the many restaurants to taste local specialties and stroll the cobbled streets after sunset.

Tirandentes
A typical street in Tirandentes. Alexandra Guerson Photo

20. Paraty

Paraty is a small character town located in beautiful surroundings. The old colonial city, the witnesses of this time are many and will affect the amateurs of the old stones.

Featuring beautiful beaches, in a turquoise water, mountains on the horizon and against the silhouetted winding streets, Paraty is a village that charmed me.

I suggest you spend a night or attend a Brazilian cooking course if you are interested: the city has a very good cooking school!

paraty
A beach of Paraty. Luis Costa Photo

21. Pedra Azul Park

This small national park, known in Brazil, is far from the crowds of tourists – even in high season! – sometimes takes its name from the bluish color that reflects its original charm: a 1900m high granite hill. Behind this summit, a lizard-like mountain tries to climb to entertain children and tender adults.

My advice photo: come before a bit of darkness to enjoy the best light and take beautiful pictures.

Pedra-azul
Pedra Azul. Picture of Apgaua Moreno Furtado de Sousa

22.  Inhotim Institute

Inhotim is actually the art and nature of mixing 1000 hectares (accessible to the public face). Among the largest collection of palms in the world, it lies one of the most important contemporary art collections open to the world.

Located in the city of Brumadinho, the institute is a tour that is not to be missed for reconciliation of the botanical garden and museum in an extraordinary setting. Address: Rua B, 20, Ihotim, Brumandinho, Website.

I Inhotim
One of the structures of the Inhotim Institute. Diego Maia pictures

23.  Canyons of Serra Geral and Aparados da Serra parks

If you like to trek, head to the canyons of Fortaleza and Itaimbezinho. These impressive canyons can be found in the Serra Geral and Aparados de Serra national parks in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Take your walking shoe and discover breathtaking views that are worthy of cinema.

Canyon-Fortaleza
Fortaleza Canyon. Jaime Spaniol Photos

24. After changing Chão

Located in the heart of Brazil's Amazon, the small village of Alter has everything to seduce Chão. Tourists won the nickname of the Amazon caribbean, a magnificent landscape surrounded by clear sand island, turquoise water!

A great place for stand-up rowing, canoeing or just stepping in the sun.

Alter-do-Chao
Alter coast is Chão. Photo World Tour

25.  The beaches of Santa Catarina

If you still haven't found your happiness to sunbathe in the sun, go to Santa Catarina. Depending on your taste, you can choose between 42 dream beaches: a luxurious seaside resort, a surf spot, a small romantic bay sheltered by rocks.

If you like rides, Beto Carrero World is the largest amusement park in Latin America! 

Brazil-Santa-catarina
Itapema Beach, Santa Catarina Reviews

26.  Ipojuca

Ipojuca is another idle beach town in eastern Brazil. The Porto de Galin beach is particularly popular and if you don't have enough time to sunbathe in the sun, don't hesitate to spend the afternoon! Visit the natural pools of the area, which is beautiful in the morning when the sun rises.

Ipojuca

27.  Porto Seguro

Located in the state of Bahia, Porto Seguro has an ideal climate: it is 18 ° to 30 ° C throughout the year, with a number of impressive enough sunny days.

Brazil’s popular snorkelling spot offers beautiful coral reefs in its transparent waters.

A boat tour allows you to explore the barbecues – the ecosystem of the swamps, while accessing the rainforest with tracks.

Porto-Seguro
Beach in Porto Seguro

28.  Mount Roraima

Roraima Mountain is a rare place with its three countries, Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana. By the water and wind on the eroded cliff formed, this Paradise Waterfalls is inspired by the creation of the Pixar of the Là-Haut region.

What a nice walk to fill the camera and get fresh air!

Roraima
Mount Roraima

29.  Gramado

The charming village of Gramado is a good starting point for many excursions in the area.

Located in a wooded valley, agencies offer a shovel in the Black Forest of Brazil, a visit to the Tibetan Buddhist temple corridors or walk in Mini Mundo Park, a family theme park that rebuilt in miniature large monuments of the world. Mini Mundo website.

mini mundo gramado
Mini Mundo in Gramado. Photo: Mini Mundo website

30.  Excursions in the Woods

Finally, let's end with the obvious: a trip to Brazil is impossible without diving into the heart of the Amazon rainforest!

No worries to be seen: trips are organized with guide, accommodation and food.

You'll be able to search for monkeys and parrots, meet local communities, cross the water passages and roots, and drive safely to Indiana Jones.

And believe me, it will leave a memorable souvenir!

amazonia brazil
Dance at the Boras in the Amazon

 

Now that you have an idea of what to explore in Brazil, I suggest you ask a local travel agent for a free quote: thanks to our partner Evaneos, it can be done in less than 5 minutes!

In addition, prices for Brazil start at just 1300 euros for 12 days! Why are you waiting😊

I am now requesting my free offer!

Visit Brazil: practical information

How to get to Brazil

There are several routes from Paris to Rio de Janeiro (11:15), Sao Paulo (12) and Salvador de Bahia with major companies such as Air France, KLM, Iberia, American Airlines TAM and Lufthansa.

Use our flight comparison system to work with Skyscanner to find the best flight ticket to Brazil! On the results page, don't hesitate to compare several sites, some add commission at the time of payment.

 

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Do I need a visa?

Visa is required for Canadians. It is not compulsory for French Belgians and Switzerland (for 90 days in 6 months).

However, you must provide an exit ticket for the region and a passport valid for 6 months on the date of arrival in Brazil.

When is the best time to visit Brazil?

As Brazil spans a vast region, the climate varies from region to region, just like the ideal season to visit!

  • In the Amazon, it is better to avoid the rainy season and get there in the driest seasons from June to October.
  • In the Northeast, the best season is from September to mid-December (Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Piauí, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte states and Sergipe do). Same for Salvador de Bahia.
  • Winter in Rio-June and September, ideally in the south of the country.

Is Brazil safe?

There is a downside to Brazil's press security, but it should be noted that tourism in general is not affected by this sad local reality. In other words, it is the locals who live in humble neighborhoods that are exposed to distrust every day.

Brazil is the most touristic country in South America, not a thing at all! As a traveler, there is no chance that something will happen, provided you always take these basic precautions:

  • Avoid precious or glamorous jewelry (diamonds, gold, large watches, etc.) and wear simple clothing.
  • Just walk for the money you need for the day
  • Leave important documents (such as passports) and valuables at the hotel
  • Avoid dark streets and isolated areas
  • Avoid walking alone at night
  • Always be alert and watch your bag
  • Use only internal counters, not on the streets

Writing: Delphine Leroi

Brazil Travel Guides

  • Buy the Brazilian Backpacker Guide from Amazon.com
  • Buy Lonely Planet Brazil Guide on Amazon.com

Are you going to Brazil? Also to read

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  • All our articles about Brazil are here: Find all the guides we wrote about Brazil!
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  • Rio de Janeiro – reviews, photos
  • Jericoacoara: how to organize your stay
  • Lençois Maranhenses: practical information and tips for organizing your visit