Most Popular Places to Visit in Brazil, 2023, Top Attractions

Best Places to Visit in Brazil, Top Attractions

The largest country in South America, Brazil occupies almost half the continent. Nearly all of it is in the Southern Hemisphere, and much of it is tropical, with vast stretches of rainforest filled with exotic plants and wildlife. Brazil's 7,400-kilometer Atlantic coast is lined with golden-sand beaches, and its interior is filled with mineral resources. Gold from Brazil's mines still lines the churches of Portugal, the colonial power that ruled Brazil until 1822. This strong Portuguese influence is evident in Brazil's colonial architecture, in decorative arts such as the glazed tiles in its churches and convents, and in the language. For tourists, Brazil is both a tropical paradise and an exciting cultural destination with attractions for all tastes, from idyllic beach holidays and jungle explorations to world-class art museums and the pulsing rhythms of Rio's Carnival. To discover the best places to visit and things to do, use this handy list of the top tourist attractions in Brazil. One of the world’s most fascinating countries, there are so many things to do in Brazil that adventure-hungry travelers are spoilt for choice. Whether you want to hike in the jungles, lie on the beach or dance in the streets, you can do that here. There is no dearth of places to visit in Brazil owing to the presence of rainforests, magnificent beaches, and some of the beautiful Portuguese architecture. The place has a vibe of its own which gives you an energy the moment you step your feet on the land. There are many popular places to visit in Brazil and activities for a traveler to get involved in the place. The best part is it has activities for different sets of people, whether they are adventure lover or have much interest in the nightlife. 

#1- Chapada Diamantina National Park
The Chapada Diamantina National Park is a plateau that expands over a large, large region of 41,751 square kilometers. Being diverse, it acts as the perfect watershed for several rivers of Brazil including the Sāo Francisco river, the De Contas river as well as the Paraguacu river. As a result of multiple storms over the past years, there have been naturally-formed caves that are worthy of being checked out by you. The beauty is sure to win your heart.

#2- Mount Roraima
Mount Roraima - besides being the highest one - also is home to 10,000 different species of plants. While you are able to find a lot of different types of species on Mount Roraima, some unique ones that are exclusive to this region include the local endemic plants like the Heliamphora and the Campanula. Another interesting fact about Mount Roraima is that it rains all throughout the year. Since the majority of the region is naturally-constructed using sandstones, there is very little to no vegetation that takes place.

#3- Florianōpolis
Being top among the tourist destinations in Brazil, Florianōpolis  alone houses over 42 beaches, lagoons and numerous cascading waterfalls. Famous in the list of beaches from Florianōpolis  is the Lagoa da Conceição.  Besides being a wonderful beach in itself, it happens to be the largest lagoon that exists in the island city. Being a top-notch tourist destination, the place is filled with restaurants, bars, markets and local shops that will keep you entertained all day long. The quality of life offered in Florianōpolis is so rich that most tourists would even want to move here permanently, if given a chance!

#4- Arraial Do Cabo
Situated approximately 45 kilometers east of Saquarema, Arraial do Cabo is home to white sand dunes. It is these white sand dunes that make up most of the beach that can be found in Arraial do Cabo. The breathtaking sights that Arraial do Cabo has to offer are unfathomable. The place itself is known for its fishing port, the Porto do Forno. Due to just how beautiful the location is, Arraial do Cabo has also quickly become one of the most preferred destinations for divers. The aquatic life herein is thriving and it’d be good to check it out while you’re at it!

#5- Lencois National Park
Lençois National Park is another one of the national parks that can be found in the Northeastern region of Brazil - in a state called Maranhāo. The park - like most other parks in Brazil - is quite expansive and sprawls a staggering 70 kilometers in coastline around. A unique feature about this part is that the interiors of the region can be found filled with nothing other than sand dunes and rollers. While it may appear to be a normal sight during summers, it springs up and looks incredible during monsoons as the dunes are filled with freshwater lagoons.

#6- Chapada Dos Veadeiros National Park
National park of Brazil, the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is reportedly over 1.8 billion years old. It was very quickly enlisted as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO, a few years after the construction of the park itself took place. It consists of an array of palm trees and among them are comfortable benches, and it is just the best thing to do if you’re able to go bird-watch or even people-watch from this spectacular location. Thanks to the efforts put in by the government of Brazil, the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is well maintained and is open for public use at all times.

#7- Bonito
You might wonder why check out a small aquatic playground when there are large lakes and seas waiting for you to be explored? Well, there’s much more to Bonito than meets the eye. Situated in the southernmost region of Mato Grosso do Sul, there are numerous attractions around Bonito that makes visiting it, worth all the time and effort. Some of the natural resources surrounding the region include caves, lakes, waterfalls and a lush forest. There are hundreds of fishes all round, making it a perfect spot for anyone who enjoys fishing. The locals are nice and friendly and will help you understand their culture better and nothing’s better than the local delicacies served them.

#8- Sao Paulo Museum Of Art
There’s just way too much for the tourists to discover in Brazil’s largest city, Sāo Paulo. Since it’s so big in size, it will definitely take you more than a day to check out at least the main attractions of the city. There are a lot of activities that one can take part in while in Sāo Paulo and chief among them is visiting the Sao Paulo Museum of Art. Located in Paulista Avenue, it was originally designed back in 1968 by Lina Bo Bardi. It is a non-profit institute and thus, the visitor’s entry is free of cost. There’s so much of the museology and art history thriving in Brazil and most of it seems to be preserved in the Sao Paulo Museum of Art.

#9- Paraty
Brazil is filled with spectacular sights all over and in the list of spectacular sights comes Paraty. With a jaw-dropping background of jungled mountains accompanied with an island surrounding, Paraty is actually considered to be an extremely well-preserved, yet-to-be-fully-explored colonial center of Brazil. Historically speaking, Paraty was among the first regions to be qualified as the National Historic Site by UNESCO with the establishing date being as years back in 1966. With sophisticated white building structures that adorns this quaint little town, you will see art even in the architecture that exists in this city. It’s an incredible feeling to be a part of the best of both worlds, i.e. the best of what nature has to offer and the best of what the man could create.

#10- The Amazon Rainforest
You must have heard tales of how massive the Amazon Rainforest is but we’re about to explain to you just how the region expands. Geographically speaking, the Amazon Rainforest itself occupies over 40% of South America. This never-ending abode of ecosystem can cover the size of eight regular-sized countries like New Zealand and Australia. With over 6.7 million square kilometres of space, there are still regions of the Amazon Rainforest that are unexplored. When it comes to anything Earthy, the Amazon Rainforest is the king. It stretches all the way from the Peruvian Andes to the Amazon River in the South and is home to over 10,000 different types of species of plants and animals. People only wish to witness such spectacular sights and it often ends up staying in their bucket lists but this is your time to ensure that you check out the world’s largest rainforest.

#11- The Pantanal
There’s not much to say about the Pantanal, except for the fact that it is the world’s single largest piece of tropical wetland. Given its nature, it is also home to some of the largest flooded grasslands in the whole planet. Quite an expansive land by heart, it stretches over 140,000 to 195,000 square kilometres - yes it’s quite expansive! You can only imagine the rich flora and fauna that can be found residing at the heart of the Pantanal. In fact, the name itself is derived from the Portuguese word, ‘Pāntano’ which literally translates to meaning either a swamp or a wetland.

#12- Sao Paulo
S?o Paulo is the most populated city of Brazil. The city is recognised as the capital of the surrounding state of S?o Paulo. Some of the wealthiest people are inhabitants of this city. There are numerous photo-worthy spots around the city as well, which makes it worth it in the places to visit in Brazil. For example there is the narrow alleyway of Vila Madalena. While you’re at it, do check out the luscious greenery of Ibirapuera Park. Another location that is straight out of a postcard is the Municipal Theatre - which is primarily based on the structural design of the Paris Opera House. This theatre is known to host musical and dance performances by world-famous artists. Be sure to check out one of the shows, if you’re passing through. There are a lot of activities that one can take part in while in S?o Paulo. Chief among them would perhaps be visiting the Avenida Paulista, the main financial and cultural centre of the city. The best of these restaurants and contemporary centers can be found in S?o Paulo’s Avenida Paulista region. The most popular museum of Brazil known as MASP is also located in this region. The temperatures here are relatively consistent with most months being hot.

#13- Belo Horizonte
The words Belo Horizonte literally translates to “A Beautiful Horizon” in English. It should be on the top of your places to visit in Brazil list. History suggests that Belo Horizonte is among the first cities in Brazil that undertook the modern-style of planning. Greenery all over, there are plenty of parks all throughout the city that you can check out as well, including the Baleia State Park as well as the Serra do Rola-Moca State park. The city is a paradise for architecture lovers as it is home to some of the best works till date. Chief among the best works of architecture is the Pampulha Complex. The good-natured city is extremely serious about conserving its flora and fauna and thus, you will find multiple environmental education projects all throughout. Some of the most common activities that you can indulge in while you’re here is visit the Bela Horizonte Zoo. The Zoo, which comes under the protection of the Ministry of Conservation Brazil, is constructed over a massive 1.4 million square meters. Belo Horizonte has mild weather all throughout the year, there are no extremes on this one. The city is pleasant all throughout the year but we recommend visiting during summers as the greenery just pops up the whole atmosphere.

#14- Rio De Janeiro
Nestled between the mountains and the sea, the very location of Rio de Janeiro makes it spectacular so much so that it has been acclaimed as the world heritage site for being the “the staggeringly beautiful location for one of the world's biggest cities" by UNESCO. However, the accolades of UNESCO weren’t solely for the natural setting of the city but also for the planned green space, urban cultural landscape and the right blend of architecture, all of which have contributed very well in the growth of the city. Rio de Janeiro is also the second major city of Brazil has also served as the capital of Brazil from 1763 to 1960. Founded by the colonists from Portugal in the mid 1500s, the city used to be the port for the shipment of gold from its inland mining areas. All through the history, Rio always seemed very aware of its physical assets -  long crescent beaches, soaring mountains behind it and the towering Sugar Loaf above the harbor. All these are today the prime tourist attractions of the city which have amplified the landscape with distinguished buildings from the different era of the history as well as the green parks and spaces that add to the city’s landscape.

#15- Manaus
Capital city of Amazonas, Manaus is home to Negro and Solim?es rivers and is qualified as the second oldest city in Brazil, as it was discovered in 1669. Initially, owing to its size, Manaus was actually considered to be a fort. It had a different name too. Back in those days, it was called Fort of S?o Jos? do Rio Negro. Among the tourist places in Brazil, many fondly refer to Manaus as ‘The City of the Margins of the Black River.’ Manaus acts as the perfect destination to lay low for a bit before you go exploring the incredible flora and fauna. It’d be interesting to take a boat ride through the black waters of the Negro River. If you’re around the region, you will surely be informed of the ‘Meeting of the Waters’ point wherein the black waters of Negro meet the brown waters of Solimoes River. Manaus is known for the happening nightlife it offers to its visitors. Imagine partying hard at the beachfront with some of the most interesting travelers from around the world - that’s just the kind of vibe that Manaus holds. Compared to most other cities in Brazil, Manaus has a humid climate. The best times to visit Manaus would be between December and March because that’s when most celebrations take place, as is the case with most Brazil places to visit.

#16- Fortaleza
Even though the city is not too large in size, it is considered to be one of the most important industrial and commercial centers of the country. On the basis of what the Ministry of Tourism, Brazil had to say, Fortaleza is found to be the “second-most desired tourist destination in Brazil.” Some of the famous beaches of the city include the bech of Futuro and the Iracema. Since beaches are commonly used here, the majority of the tourists also indulge in watersports. Fortaleza consists of Brazil’s largest oceanariums known as Acquario Cear?. Found to be nestled away on the Praia de Iracema coastline in Fortaleza, the oceanarium has been recorded to have attracted over 12 million visitors annually. You can check out the Beach Park - a theme park to satisfy all your adventure fantasies. There are many other exciting experiences that you can indulge in including checking out the marvellous night-life and the beach-front restaurants are worthy of your time. Another one of Brazil’s gems that has a typical tropical climate. Some of the best times to visit this city are during summers, which would be between February and April.

#17- Recife
Located in the northeast corner of South America, Recife was founded in 1537 thereby qualifying as one of the oldest cities in the world. It is the capital city of Pernambuco and is primarily known for housing the largest scale of production for sugar canes. The city is home to many beautiful rivers, beaches and tiny islands. The name Recife itself can be accredited to the fact that the city’s shoreline is filled with magnificent-looking stone reefs. Due to the nature of the city, the place is also fondly referred to as the “Brazillian Venice.” Among the places to visit in Brazil, Recife should top your list. Why? The spirit of Recife is always about being up and about and the folks herein indulge in many different celebrations all throughout the year. You should surely check out the New Year celebrations starting at the Praia de Boa Viagem beach located in Old Recife. Recife consists of numerous local markets including the Mercado de S?o Jos? are worth a visit or two. Featuring an old, iron construction - these markets give you a vintage feeling. You can also visit the Fort Cinco Pontes, also known as the ‘Fore of Five Points.’ The weather is quite friendly all year round. Most days are tropical but the winter can go down to 1 degree. We recommend visiting Recife between March and June to enjoy the tropical weather.

#18- Brasilia
Brasilia - named inspired by Brazil itself serves as the main seat of the government. Since it is home to the federal government, it is understood to be a federal capital of Brazil. This well-planned city is also home to some of the most important buildings in Brazil including the Banking sector and the Embassy sector. The city is filled with parks and beaches all around. Although modern by heart, they haven’t commercialised all aspects of the city but have made sure everything is kept intact. The city is filled with modern structures all over and thus, was declared to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. The city’s planning was considered to be quite advanced and urban. Another one of the architect’s paradise, many even refer to Brasilia as the “City of Design.” Being the federal capital doesn’t stop Brasilia from being just as happening as any other party location. There are festivals taking place all throughout the year. The festivals are often accompanied with different parades and unique types of celebrations. Brasilia itself features a young, vibrant art’s scene. Some of the world-famous artists have hailed from Brasilia including Bruno Giorgi, Alfredo Volpi, Burle Marx and Marianne Peretti to name a few. Brasilia is home to tropical, savanna-type climate. There are a few months during the year, wherein it does get mild however it is best to experience this city during its winter months. The best time to visit Brasilia is between December and March.

#19- Salvador
The name ‘Salvador,’ is an abbreviation of a longer version, “S?o Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos.” This literally stands for ‘Holy Savior of the Bay of All Saints.’ Being the capital city of Bahia, the city is home to one of the oldest colonial settlements in the world, let alone Brazil places to visit. Salvador’s Porto da Barra Beach awaits you. Named as one of the best beaches in the world, the region is a party hub for anyone looking for adventure. The beaches are ideal for watersports including swimming, sailing and several other underwater activities. Stellar examples of rich Portuguese colonial architecture can be found in Salvador - a sight that you cannot absolutely miss. In fact, the whole Pelourinho area located in the upper town region of Salvador is classified as a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO. You will find yourself indulging in the tasteful cuisines that the city has to offer.

#20- Alter do Chao
Alter do Cha? stands out as one of the most important administrative districts. Many even refer to Alter do Cha? as the ‘Brazilian Caribbean,’ given its location, which is why it is an important place to include in your list of places to visit in Brazil. Alter do Cha?, considered as the main tourist spot in the state of Santar?m, is home to some of the most incredible-looking freshwater beaches. Known as the ‘Island of Love,’ this small slice of paradise is located a few kilometers away from the Alter do Cha? city centre. Bustling at the heart of the city is a vibrant arts community. The region, Arariba Cultura Indigena is what comes to mind when we talk about art. If you’re at the Island of Love, you might want to go rowing in the boat and check out the crystal clear water. When it comes to Alter do Cha?, art doesn’t just limit itself to canvases.