Brazil is a stunning and diverse country which looms large over South America. With a population of some 217 million people, Brazil is the sixth most populous country in the world. In fact, Brazil accounts for a third of South America's population! Brazil is also the fifth largest country on Earth by area, featuring incredibly varied terrain and containing most of the Amazon rainforest within its borders.
Needless to say, this giant of a country also boasts a number of attractions, so planning a trip can feel daunting. Here are the top 5 destinations anyone heading to Brazil should visit at least once. If you are planning a trip to Brazil, reach out to our Brazil private tour guides for help setting up a safe and unforgettable experience.
Rio de Janeiro
Hugged by the Atlantic Ocean, Rio de Janeiro is home to nearly 7 million people and many of Brazil's most iconic landmarks. Arguably the most famous of them all is Christ the Redeemer, the impressive 30 meter statue which watches over the city. Besides this iconic statue, the city is also home to the most famous beaches in Brazil: Ipanema and Copacabana, which are as well suited for people watching as they are for leisurely sun bathing.
Rio de Janeiro is also home to numerous museums focusing on the country's history, vibrant art scene, and cutting-edge science. Nature lovers will have a blast exploring the city's botanical gardens which are framed by lush jungle. Then there are the city's most popular pastimes: football and samba! Visiting the city during an important soccer match or at the height of Carnival is an experience that'll stay with you for years to come.
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest on the planet. It is massive in size, covering over 6 million square kilometers of untamed tropical land. To put things into perspective: this makes the Amazon more than half the size of the United States and twice the size of India. The rainforest is spread over nine countries, with 60% of it being in Brazil.
The Amazon is estimated to be the home of some 400 billion trees and around 10% of all the world's wildlife. It is said that on average, a new species is discovered here every 3 days. It is little wonder then that the rainforest has also become one of the most popular destinations in the whole country. This amazing region is best visited with a knowledgeable local guide who will introduce you to the area's stunning beauty and unique highlights, while also respecting the area's incredible biodiversity and local customs.
Fernando de Noronha
Brazil boasts a stunning, 7,500-kilometer-long coastline which hugs the Atlantic Ocean. It is hardly surprising then that the country has become so well known for its picture-perfect beaches. One of the best places for taking in the country's coastal landscape is Fernando de Noronha. This archipelago is located about 350 kilometers from Brazil's northeastern coastline. It has become a popular destination thanks to its pristine beaches and beautiful natural landscape. Fernando de Noronha is a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site and tourism on the islands is carefully regulated to protect the local environment.
The archipelago consists of 21 islands of varying sizes, but only the main island is inhabited. The area is the perfect destination for nature lovers as it offer countless opportunities for outdoor pursuits; from swimming to snorkeling and from diving to hiking. Boat tours are also popular, with a high probability of dolphin sightings during your excursion. Expect to cap off each day with an epic sunset over the Atlantic Ocean!
São Paulo is a city of superlatives. With a population of more than 12 million people, this is the most populous city in Brazil as well as the Americas. It is also the biggest Portuguese speaking city on the planet and over all, the fourth most populous in the world. Its enormous size alone makes this vibrant and bustling city well worth visiting.
In addition to providing epic opportunities for people watching, São Paulo is also a fabulous destination for shopping, dining and appreciating the arts. You can escape to nature right in the heart of the city by visiting the beautiful Ibirapuera Park, admire cutting-edge architecture along Paulista Avenue, catch a soccer match at Neo Quimica Arena… and the list goes on. Some people love the city's vibrant energy, while others find it exhausting. Either way, one thing's for sure: you will never get bored exploring this huge metropolis!
Florianópolis, or Floripa for short, has long been a go-to destination for beach lovers and avid surfers alike. Florianópolis consists mainly of Santa Catarina island which juts out from Brazil's southeastern coastline. Florianópolis is said to have around 60 beaches boasting soft white sand and a relaxed ambiance that's hard to resist. There are plenty of adrenaline inducing activities available here, from world-class surfing to paragliding. Alternatively, you could also simply spend your days relaxing on the beach and working on your tan.
Though Florianópolis is first and foremost a beach destination, the area also offers cultural landmarks for travelers to visit. Florianopolis's historic center is well worth exploring, as are the city's forts which date back to the 1700s. Florianopolis is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with wild parties spilling from nightclubs out to the beaches. For the most festive ambiance, head to Florianópolis during Carnival when the streets are literally filled with partygoers.
Due to its sheer size, incredibly diverse landscape, and vibrant culture, Brazil can seem like a tough country to tackle. If you need any help planning your itinerary, don't hesitate to contact our Brazil tour guides who are on the ground. With years of experience in introducing visitors to the best sightseeing Brazil has to offer, our guides will be happy to give you their expert recommendations. They can also help you select and customize the best Brazil private tours to help you make the most of your time in Brazil, regardless of your allotted timeframe.