The 10 Best Places to Visit in Brazil in 2023
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Warm weather is just around the corner, but why not skip the wait and head to a place with vibrant culture and tranquil beaches that’s warm year-round?
Brazil is a country filled with natural beauty, vibrant cities, and incredible tourist attractions that will quickly fill your vacation with incredible memories.
Whether you want to visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site or gaze at charming Portuguese colonial architecture and cobbled streets, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied. Check out our list of best places to visit in Brazil below and start planning your trip now!
City of Rio de Janeiro
One of the most popular cities in all of southeastern Brazil is Rio de Janeiro! This marvelous city is an epicenter for Brazilian culture, including the famed Carnaval. You’ll certainly want to check out the most visited attractions like the Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain’s cable cars, and Feira Hippie de Ipanema, an eclectic marketplace that’s a great spot for authentic souvenirs.
For a special treat, head to the prettiest neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Santa Teresa. This gorgeous area features colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and a plethora of fascinating art galleries. Finally, the Jardim Botânico, a gorgeous botanical garden located right inside Rio de Janeiro, is a must to visit in Brazil. The gardens have more than 8000 species of plants, including 600 kinds of orchids. Plus, its iconic row of palm trees is the perfect spot for your latest Instagram photo.
Chapada Diamantina National Park
Chapada Diamantina National Park is an amazing national park to visit Brazil! It’s an incredible place to hit the hiking trails through mountains and valleys and even explore caves. It’s wise to hire a guide before you wander into this land of natural wonders because it’s actually larger than some European countries!
You can start your adventure from a nearby town like Lençóis or Caete-Açu, both of which have unique vibes. For fun side trips, explore these small towns, many of which have colorful colonial houses. Then head back into the wild for more gorgeous sightseeing. Just be prepared to not be able to fit everything into one trip, even if you spend several days discovering the area’s natural beauty both above and below ground.
Sao Paulo City
Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and a fascinating eco-tourism hub. Popular tours include guided treks through the Atlantic forest and Cassarova Eco Park, where you’ll learn more about the history and nature surrounding Sao Paulo city.
However, the city of Sao Paulo is also called a concrete jungle due to the number of large buildings and streets. While many cities feature traditional colonial buildings, Sao Paulo only features a small historic center.
Instead, within Brazil’s largest city, you’ll find tons of captivating architecture, including the Martinelli Skyscraper and the Edifício Copan by Oscar Niemeyer. And if you enjoy history and culture, you’ll have your pick of over 100 museums and 50 cultural centers to fill your days in this historic town.
Tijuca National Park
Nature lovers will want to explore not only the city center but also the rainforest around Rio de Janeiro. The state is also well-known for Tijuca National Park, one of the largest urban rainforests in the world and definitely one of the best places to visit in Brazil. It’s part of a larger Atlantic Rainforest and contains an incredible amount of diversity in both terrain and animals. This national park is truly an incredible natural paradise and the perfect place to hit the hiking trails.
Rio Negro Palace
While you’re in Brazil, don’t miss a chance to visit the Palácio Rio Negro Cultural Center. Approximately 19,000 people come to this palace each year to gaze at the opulent rooms and architecture. Although it was built as a wealthy residence, it served as the government center for many years and is listed as a Historic and Heritage Site. Visitors love the stunning Beaux-arts furnishings, its art galleries, and even theatre productions hosted inside.
If you like beautiful beaches, you’ll love the iconic Copacabana beach! This white sand beach on the Atlantic Ocean is one of the most famous beaches in Rio de Janeiro and all of South America. It’s certainly one of the main attractions for beach lovers in the Rio de Janeiro area. Spend your days relaxing on the beautiful beach with a drink in hand, play volleyball with new friends, wander along the sand dunes, or dance the night away at one of the local nightclubs. Just be sure you’re on the beach at dusk for breathtaking sunset views.
Porto de Galinhas
For small town with fantastic beaches, try Porto de Galinhas. This beach town is well known as a local getaway spot, with plenty of activities for every kind of visitor. For a couple of hours each day, the area’s magnificent reefs are accessible, and you can see all kinds of colorful fish in the crystal clear waters. Spend some time lounging on the white sand dunes and exploring the natural pools. We also recommend a boat ride over to Praia de Maracaipe for less crowds and to watch people surf. Then be sure to try the local churrascarias and seafood!
See a different side of Brazil on the beautiful island of Ilha Grande. Located between Rio de Janeiro and Paraty, this historic old town has some great history, spectacular beaches, and enough outdoor activities for every nature lover.
Thanks to the lack of commercial development, Ilha Grande also has some of the most gorgeous beaches in all of Brazil! And Lopes Mendes is at the top of the list with its beautiful sand and crystal waters. Other fascinating activities include a visit to the abandoned Candido Mendes prison, diving in blue waters with amazing marine life, and a hike to the top of Pico de Papagaio.
Brazil’s capital city is another of the top places to visit in South America. The entire city is a Unesco world heritage site and is filled with amazing architecture, history, and culture.
For a closer look at the Brazilian side of government, be sure to stop by the National Congress. The Centro Cultural Banco de Brasil is another of the best places to visit, with films, theater performances, and concerts. Both buildings were designed by Oscar Niemeyer.
However, the city’s main attraction is Parque Municipal do Itiquira, which has a beautiful waterfall that is the highest in all of Brazil! Nature lovers will also enjoy The National Park of Brasilia, which has many different animals and natural pools for swimming.
Located in the Mato Grosso do Sul state of Brazil, Bonito is a municipality that’s become quite popular in recent years for its stunning underwater caves and crystal clear waters. It’s a great place to go snorkeling or scuba diving, as there are many different species of fish to see.
But Bonito is also a great place for nature lovers, as there are many different hiking trails through the area’s lush vegetation. You can even go on safari to see some of the local wildlife!
Be sure to visit Bonito during the dry season, which runs from April to September. The wet season can bring heavy rains and flooding, which can make it difficult to get around.
Is Brazil safe for visitors?
Yes, Brazil is safe for visitors. However, there are some areas that are safer than others. We recommend avoiding the favelas (slums) in Rio de Janeiro and other large cities, as these can be dangerous. It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and not flash any valuables in public. Overall, Brazil is a safe country to visit, and you’ll have an amazing time! Make sure to check out our article traveling alone safely.
When is the best time to visit Brazil?
The best time to visit Brazil depends on where you’re going. For example, the Amazon rainforest is best visited during the dry season (July-December), as this is when there is less chance of rain and flooding. However, if you’re going to the beaches in the north of Brazil, the best time to visit is during the wet season (January-June), as this is when the water is warmest.
What are some things to do in Brazil?
There are many different things to do in Brazil, depending on where you’re going. However, some of the most popular activities include visiting the beaches, hiking in the Amazon rainforest, and exploring the historic city of Salvador.
What are some things to eat in Brazil?
Some of the most popular things to eat in Brazil include churrasco (barbecue), seafood, and feijoada (a black bean stew). However, there are many different regional dishes to try, so be sure to ask locals for recommendations!
What is the currency in Brazil?
The currency in Brazil is the Brazilian Real (BRL). However, US dollars are also widely accepted. ATM machines can be found in most cities, and credit cards are accepted in many restaurants and shops.
What is the climate like in Brazil?
The climate in Brazil varies depending on the region. However, overall, the country has a tropical climate with high temperatures and high humidity. The Amazon rainforest also experiences a lot of rainfall, so be sure to pack appropriate clothing if you’re visiting this area.
Brazil is an absolutely massive country with a diverse array of things to see and do. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation, an adventure in the Amazon rainforest, or a cultural experience in one of Brazil’s historic cities, you won’t be disappointed. We hope this list of the best places to visit in Brazil has given you some ideas for your own trip! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Brazil today and don’t forget to use our Vacation Countdown App!
Do you have any tips for visiting Brazil? Let us know in our Facebook Group Vacation Countdown App – The Travel Community.