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Best Things To Do And See In Brazil

5 min read

Best Things To Do And See In Brazil

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, is filled with stunning landscapes and cultural wonders such as samba and carnival. As diverse and vast as it is, it might feel like a challenge to explore all the perks this nation has to offer. 

From the pristine beaches on its extensive coastline to the Amazon rainforest, Brazil is the most biodiverse country in the world. This beautiful nature is paired with a vibrant culture with influences from indigenous communities, Portuguese colonizers, other European peoples and African heritage. 

Brazil is the perfect place to have unforgettable experiences of all sorts: gastronomy, nature, outdoors, sun and beach. When visiting Brazil, it’s hard not to miss out on something. In this article, you’ll learn about the best things to do and see in Brazil. Numerous Brazilian friends of mine have also revised this list, so rest assured that you’re getting the best of the best. Let’s begin. 

 

Dunes of Lençois Maranhenses, Maranhão, Brazil - This park is located in the state of Maranhão, in northeastern Brazil, where dunes lead into the sea and crystal-clear lagoons are everywhere

Dunes of Lençóis Maranhenses, Maranhão, Brazil

UNCONVENTIONAL WONDERS

First, let’s explore unexpected unconventional wonders that might not be on the masses' radar. These are not the traditional tourist attractions. You’re about to discover places you probably never heard about before. Here are five options for intrepid explorers.

 

LENÇÓIS MARANHENSES NATIONAL PARK

You might have seen an oasis sometime in your life, but this is where you can find multiple, one after the other. This park is located in the State of Maranhão, in northeast Brazil, where dunes end in the sea, and crystal-clear lagoons are all over the place.

How are these lagoons formed? During the rainy season, which typically spans from January to June, the park becomes a temporary aquatic wonderland. The porous sand, which absorbs and retains water, allows water to accumulate, forming these permanent lagoons. 

 

CHAPADA DOS VEADEIROS NATIONAL PARK

This national park is located in the State of Goiás, north of the capital, Brasilia. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site perfect for hiking and sightseeing. You can see canyons, waterfalls and rock formations. One could argue that this is a sample of Brazil’s extensive biodiversity and landscapes, ideal for those who want to immerse themselves in unspoiled nature.

The park is massive, so it will take you several hours or even days to explore it all. Here, you will see toucans and monkeys. With more than 100 cataloged waterfalls, you can enjoy spectacular views and rivers. Regardless of the time of the year, this is a place you will enjoy visiting. 

 

JERICOACOARA

Located in the northeastern State of Ceará, Jericoacoara is a laid-back, tiny beach town perfect for those more interested in taking a break from the hustle and bustle of other touristy towns in Brazil. Here, you can relax in a hammock, sip caipirinha and enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. 

The charm of Jericoacoara lies in its simplicity and proximity to nature. In the Jericoacoara National Park, explorers can hike, sunbathe and practice water sports like sandboarding and surfing. This is a great spot for enjoying tranquillity, fresh air and outdoor activities. You will come across excellent hiking trails and dunes, and the town itself has better nightlife with something to do all over the place. Make sure you hop on a buggy to move around. The experience is cheap (around $20 USD per person) and totally worth it.

 

German Village Park in Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil - Blumenau, which is located in the south of the state of Santa Catarina, has a rich German heritage and a lively celebration of Oktoberfest, a large beer festival held in Munich, Germany

German Village Park in Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil

OKTOBERFEST IN BLUMENAU

Brazil is a culturally diverse country that doesn’t limit itself to indigenous and Portuguese influences. Blumenau, located in the southern state of Santa Catarina, presents a rich German heritage and a lively Oktoberfest celebration, a massive beer festival typically held in Munich, Germany

Walk around the streets of this city, and you’ll notice the German influence all around you. Blumenau’s architecture, beer gardens and the spirit of Oktoberfest will transport you to the heart of Bavaria. 

 

CHRISTMAS IN GRAMADO

Because of its Portuguese heritage, Brazil’s main religion is Christianity, but this is more than a mere stat. Located in Rio Grande Do Sul, the town of Gramado, also known as the Switzerland of Brazil, turns into a Christmas wonderland that lasts for months. One of the most notable features is the Chocolate Museum, which fits the Christmas theme and will allow you to try various chocolates.  

Note that Brazilian Christmas takes place in summer, but the whole town has a unique festive spirit that defies expectations. Rest assured that the entire Christmas experience will not be what you’ll find in other parts of the world, where it’s usually cold outside. You can hop on a bus to see the beautiful Christmas lights along with the mountainous architecture of European style. 

 

Related content: The Top 6 Destinations To Visit in Brazil

 

Jericoacoara beach in Brazil - Jericoacoara is a small, laid-back coastal town ideal for those interested in taking a break from the hustle and bustle of other tourist cities in Brazil, as well as having a strong local pro-Bitcoin movement

Jericoacoara beach in Ceará, Brazil

CULINARY ADVENTURES

As a vast country with the most biodiversity in the world, Brazil boasts multiple climates to grow different kinds of food. Plus, you can enjoy coastal delights, street food and Amazonian cuisine, enjoying the menu that Brazilian gastronomy offers. 

 

MOQUECA DE CAMARÃO

Moqueca de Camarão is a shrimp stew made of multiple ingredients like bell pepper, onion, tomato and coconut milk. Moqueca de Camarão is proof of Brazil’s diverse culinary traditions, and whether you eat this flavourful dish seaside or miles away, you’ll always feel like you’re in Brazil’s coastal regions. 

 

ACARAJÉ ADVENTURE IN BAHIA

In the vibrant streets of Bahia, you can enjoy a popular street food that represents the Afro-Brazilian heritage of the region. Acarajé is a specialty in Brazilian cuisine made with a mixture of black-eyed beans or cowpeas, onions, and dried shrimp, resembling delicious fritters. 

It’s common to walk down the streets of Brazil and smell the aroma of Acarajé. This snack proves how vibrant Bahia’s food culture is, telling a story of tradition, flavour and community.

 

PIRARUCU AND AÇAÍ BOWLS

This section wouldn’t be complete without some Amazonian food. First, Pirarucu is one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, reaching a weight of 200 kg (441 pounds) and a length of over 3 metres (around 10 feet). Up until recently, it was an endangered species, but now there are lots of them in the Amazon River. 

Another food that represents the Amazonian side of Brazilian food is the Açaí Bowl, a blend of frozen Açaí berries, granola and other fresh fruits. Way before it became popular in Western countries, Brazilians knew about this fruit’s properties, such as its large amounts of fibre and antioxidants. 

 

Salvador in Bahia, Brazil - In the vibrant streets of Bahia you can taste very popular food that represents the regions Afro-Brazilian heritage. Acarajé is one of the specialties of Brazilian cuisine

Salvador in Bahia, Brazil

MAINSTREAM MUST-SEES

If you prefer the most popular touristy activities, you can never go wrong with Brazil’s iconic attractions. Here are three mainstream must-sees that, more often than not, make it into postcards.

 

CHRIST THE REDEEMER

This is rightfully one of the major tourist attractions in Brazil. A 20-metre-tall concrete statue, Christ the Redeemer, is on top of Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro. You might argue that there’s nothing special about it as it’s just a statue, but seeing it in person is an experience. Plus, the views are worth every step you need to take to get there. 

Aside from the panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro, it’s a symbol of both the city and the entire country, as well as a reminder of Brazil’s spiritual core. 

 

IGUAÇU FALLS

The Iguazu Falls receive over 1 million visitors annually and are globally recognized for their beauty. Located within the Iguazu National Park on the border of Brazil and Argentina (in the cities of Foz do Iguaçu and Puerto Iguazú, respectively), it has facilities to accommodate tourists, including a visitor center, parking, hotel, restaurant, internal buses, additional tours, souvenir shop, and food court. You can explore this UNESCO World Heritage site by boat, immersing yourself in the spectacle it entails. You can check the prices here

 

PANTANAL

Pantanal is a testament to Brazil’s biodiversity and the world’s largest tropical wetland. Here, you can enjoy unspoiled flora and fauna. Among other animals, you can find giant anteaters, anacondas and the biggest star, the jaguar, in their natural habitat. This natural wonder belongs to two neighbouring countries as well: Bolivia and Paraguay, and Brazil owns around 60% of it. 

 

Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Whether you prefer unconventional destinations, a gastronomic tour or just the main unmissable tourist spots, Brazil is an unmissable destination in Latin America

Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

CONCLUSION

Brazil is a vast and diverse country where the journey is as rich as all the experiences you can enjoy and the places you can visit. Whether you prefer unconventional destinations, a culinary tour or just the mainstream must-sees, Brazil is a must-visit destination in Latin America. So feel free to pack your bags, explore the country and discover the beauty of this South American nation. 

 


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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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