Swedish blogger Sandra Svensson spent two and a half months travelling around the vibrant South American country. We asked her to select her favourite places…
Half a year ago Brazil was booming, everyone wanted to be there. The mood was on top and the party was never-ending (at least until that game against Germany). Yes, I am talking about the world cup but even before the famous sports event, the country is often associated with football. Having spent quite a bit of time there I know there is so much more to Brazil. Home to the samba and of course Caipirinha, the country is filled with beautiful people and gorgeous beaches. The vastness and variations of the landscapes make Brazil a particularly interesting country to travel to, it was a tough call but here is my choice for 10 of the most beautiful places to visit in Brazil….
Rio de Janeiro
A list of beautiful places in Brazil would not be complete without Rio de Janeiro. Everyone I know that has visited loves the place. The city offers something for everyone. Do you want to go hang-gliding? Then do it – the birds-eye view of Rio is hard to beat! Trekking? That is also a possibility. Fancy visiting one of the seven world wonders? Go ahead, but do set a couple of hours aside since the ride up to Christ the Redeemer takes a little while. Bored of hectic city life? Then take a tour to the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and then finish the day enjoying the nightlife in Lapa, a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro which offers a bars and clubs which cater to all tastes.
Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco
This beautiful place to visit in Brazil has been voted “Best Brazilian Beach” eight times in a row by readers of the Brazilian magazine Voyage & Tourism. Situated 70 kilometers south of Recife, the town was until the 90´s an isolated fisherman village which now it is accessible to anyone who is looking to relax and enjoy the amazing beaches the town has to offer. Snorkelling is a must here as only a couple of hundred meters out in the sea you will find a reef and when the tide is low, natural pools are created on the beaches behind the reef. In these natural aquariums, you will find a stunning selection of colourful fish. Other activities include water sports, horse-riding, trekking, Capoeira and much more.
Lençóis National Park, Maranhão
Lençóis – located in the North of Brazil – provides a view that will leave you gasping for air. The national park is a “desert” unlike any other. The rain collects in the alleys between the sand dunes which result in that what could have been a desert is an area where the sand dunes are varied with turquoise lagoons as far as the eye can see. The lagoons are home to many different species of fish and one of the species stays dormant in the moist areas of the sand during the dry season only to surface when the lagoons once again emerge. The stark contrast between white sand dunes and crystal clear lagoons make Lençóis an experience a must see place in Brazil.
Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul
Pantanal is located in the Brazilian state Mato Grosso do Sul, except for small parts of the wetland that belongs to Bolivia and Paraguay. It’s the world’s largest wetland and the place to go if you are interested in wildlife. The open marshes make it easy to spot the animals and the unspoiled region of Pantanal doesn’t have a large human population which means the wildlife flourishes. The wetland offers beautiful landscapes as well as the chance to see a great variety of birds and other animals. You’ll get a chance to see reptiles as well as jaguars in their natural habitat.
Salvador is the first colonial capital of Brazil as well as one of the oldest cities in both North- and South America. Known to be Brazil´s capital of happiness, it offers numerous outdoor parties and the city´s street carnival is the largest in the world. The beauty of the city is partly due to its location by the sea but it is much more than that – it has a rich music and architectural culture and a historic area filled with colourful colonial houses and cobblestoned streets.
Chapada Diamantina, Bahia
The gorgeous National Park Chapada Diamantina takes its name from the steep cliffs in the region as well as to the diamonds that where once found here. Visiting the national park you will be provided a smorgasbord of beautiful views of the landscapes from different cliffs. You will see canyons, waterfalls, natural swimming pools, caves and much more. It’s definitely one of those beautiful places which will stay with you even after you leave.
This is a remote little beach town located in the Ceara state of Brazil. You can get here by bus from Fortaleza to Jijoca, it’s not an easy journey but it is worth it! This paradise-like town has not yet been destroyed by tourism. The streets of sand, the beautiful beach, the kite-surfing, the breathtaking sunset views from the sand-dunes, the Capoeira at the beach, the amazingly huge and starry night-sky, the hammocks in the lagoon which are just a beach buggy ride away is just some of the reasons to why Jericoacoara is one of Brazil´s hidden treasures.
Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro
One thing you will never be short of in Brazil is stunning paradise-esque beaches. Ilha Grande is an island located in the sea outside the state of Rio de Janeiro where you will find tropical beaches that will tempt you to purchase your own pousada and simply enjoy the tranquil island lifestyle for the rest of your days. Previously a prison island, it offers good conditions for snorkelling with chances to see coral, tropical fish, whales and even penguins. The island, which has no roads or motorized vehicles, provides hiking trails to different beaches and villages. On the island you are likely to spot both monkeys and hummingbirds.
Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco
Would you want to visit a Brazilian beach so beautiful that just the sight of it will make you gasp for air? Do you want to swim with stingrays, sharks and a variety of colorful fishes? Do you want to see dolphins, sea turtles and albatrosses? Well here you can! Fernando de Noronha is a group of islands that belongs to Brazil. The archipelago consists of 21 islands, islets and rocks of volcanic origin and this UNESCO World Heritage-listed island is a paradise on earth for anyone who is interested in diving and animal life.
Iguazú falls, Paraná
I don’t think a list of beautiful places in Brazil would be worth the name unless Foz do Iguaçu was part of it. The Iguazú falls consist of more than 270 waterfalls of different sizes which border Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay are a truly amazing spectacle. If in Brazil (or any of the other bordering countries) do not miss the opportunity to see what is one of Mother Nature´s greatest expression of the beauty in our world.
Written by Sandra Svensson. Sandra has a passion is to explore new places and cultures. She recently left her life in Sweden to become a full-time traveler. You can follow her journey at sandraemma. where she writes about places she visits and people she meets.