You might be here if you’re asking yourself “is Brazil a good place to visit?” Brazil tourist attractions are truly a sight to behold. Along with the vibrant and colorful culture that the world admires, Brazil, at 8.5 million square kilometers is one of the biggest countries in the world, and is also home to many natural wonders that any traveler would consider themselves lucky to visit. One of the key highlights of traveling there is Brazil's tourist attractions. Brazil tourism is an extensive industry.
With so much to see, one could easily visit one of Brazil’s many cathedrals, or go see the Carnivale in Rio De Janeiro, but there’s something different about spending time appreciating the wonders of nature and basking in the freedom of the outdoors. Seeing a national park, or a visit to the moon valley will set your trip apart. With its diverse and vivid landscapes, here are 7 of the top places to see while in Brazil.
Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco
Off the coast of Pernambuco State, Fernando de Noronha is a breathtaking volcanic archipelago that is also a UNESCO Heritage Site. Of all the Brazil tourist attractions, if you’re lucky enough to be able to go here, you’ll get to see the volcanic formation’s 21 islands, with some of the most beautiful beaches and interesting wildlife in the world. However, the Brazilian government controls tourists’ influx by charging a daily environment tax that increases the longer people stay on the main island.
Although this means it’s harder getting there, it also means that the beaches are never too crowded, and one can bask in the wonder with fewer people to worry about.
Fun fact: This archipelago was also once visited by Charles Darwin, inspiring developments in biology and ecology.
Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park
Littered with some of the world’s most fascinating flora and fauna, the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is up to 1.8 billion years old, discovered and established as a national park in 1961. How about that for a Brazil tourist attraction? Here, one can see everything from armadillos and rare species of birds, to trees that are millions of years old. For explorers with a strong sense of adventure, this park proves to be a worthy destination, due to the various activities available like hiking, trekking, canyoning and bird watching. But even if your proclivities are of a calmer nature, the sights alone are enough for one to enjoy a trip to this destination. Even NASA has claimed that Chapada is earth’s brightest point as seen by space because it lies on a bed of crystal quartz which has greatly reflective properties.
Vale da Lua
Located on the outskirts of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, Vale de Lua, which translates to ‘the moon valley’, named because of its likeness to the surface of the moon, is an astonishing rock formation. The rock formation itself looks like something akin to a brilliantly assembled modern sculpture exhibition, with the kind of scenic beauty one usually only thinks of when imagining art. The location itself is positioned on private property. So visitors do have to buy tickets to enter, but this comes with access to added facilities like bathrooms and a restaurant. The craters and gorges created by pooling water over the years, the very same that give this site its character, make for added fun since they act like natural water slides, mankind Vale de Lua nature’s water park.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site and also heralded as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Iguazu Falls are found on the Iguazu River, on the Border between Brazil and Argentina. Standing taller than Niagara Falls in North America and wider than Victoria Falls in southern Africa, Iguazu Falls offer a truly breathtaking panoramic view which can be seen from multiple angles accessed through different pathways. The term Iguazú means ‘great waters’ in Tupi and Guarani language, and great they are indeed, as one can feel when in the presence of the thunderous sounds of the cascading water. There is folklore associated with the largest waterfall in the world of a deity that planned on marrying a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. The deity sliced the river in a rage, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. If you’re in Brazil looking for a tourist attraction as well as deep lore, this is the place for you.
Encompassing over 42 million acres, the wetlands of Pantanal are what some call Brazil’s best kept secret. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the highest concentration of wildlife on the entire continent of South America. The annual torrential rainfall fills the Pantanal’s giant basin, creating a vast flooded landscape that drains out into the Paraguay river, leaving behind a mass of underwater creatures which then attract other creatures to the area, everything from piranhas to jaguars. Visiting this warm and humid area might be a bit challenging, but the lack of tall trees and the access to all kinds of wildlife makes this destination worth the trouble, laying out everything for the naked eye to see.
Setting itself apart from all the other Brazil tourist attractions, this one is known as the eco-tourism capital of Brazil and located in the southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the town of Bonito is the perfect destination for those looking for a rich experience in nature. The town was formed over millions of years with a limestone foundation, giving it a unique texture and landscape. There are a plethora of activities to do around town, including snorkeling in the sparkling waters, cave exploration and diving, as well as land activities such as horseback riding. As the Mimoso River courses through this natural woodland, tumbling cliffs in its path, nine waterfalls, each seemingly more scenic than the next, await explorers who want to bathe in its waters.
The Amazon River
Last but certainly not least, the Amazon river, spanning Brazil, Peru, and Colombia, is the largest and longest river in the world. Unparalleled to any other river on Earth, its massive volumes of water feed the adjacent Amazon Rainforest and the many creatures living within it. Needless to say, the river and its surrounding rainforest are crucial to maintaining balance in the ecosystem of not only Brazil but the world. There are several boat tours that take visitors on a journey with the flow of the river, and the sights are otherworldly as one glides along the largest rainforest in the world. Other than the wildlife in the rainforest, the river itself is home to many water creatures including dolphins. This is one of the places most people put on their bucket list, and is worth the visit just so you can say you’ve been there.
It often seems that the world is oversaturated with bright things for tourists to marvel at. However, the Brazil tourist attractions we’ve mentioned above truly explore the more subtle, less gaudy side of things in Brazil. Remember that nature photographs beautifully, and go on ahead to the next adventure!