People head to Brazil for lots of reasons: it’s got about 60 percent of the Amazon within its borders, the world’s largest population of monkeys, the world’s largest stretch of beach (over 24,000 feet), and Christ the Redeemer – one of the world’s seven wonders – overlooks one of its major cities. With so much to see and do, how will you know which destinations to choose for your first trip over? Here are some of the most popular places to visit and things to do when traveling abroad to Brazil. This list should help you get started when learning all about Brazil.
Christ the Redeemer
This statue is one of the seven wonders of the world, thanks to its massive size. It’s an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro. It was constructed between 1922 and 1931, and it’s 98 feet tall atop a 26-foot pedestal…on top of a mountain. The arms stretch 92 feet wide, and it’s probably safe to say that you can see the statue from most parts of the city.
The Maracanã is a world famous soccer stadium located in Brazil. It was built to host the 1950 World Cup and was meant to be the biggest soccer stadium in the world. It has since hosted several World Cup matches and other high profile matches. You should make it a point to check out this stadium while you’re in Rio de Janeiro.
Also in Rio de Janeiro is the Copacabana neighborhood, famed for its beach. This beach is often referred to as the world’s most famous beach, and it’s easily recognizable thanks to its crescent shape. It runs for three miles in front of the high rises of Rio de Janeiro and this is where you’ll find the restaurants, theaters, shops, and nightclubs.
Another tourist attraction in the Rio de Janeiro area is Sugarloaf Mountain. The peak rises 396 meters high and travelers come from all over to enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree view of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, and the city of Niteroi. The view is so great that more than one million tourists make the trip each year.
Ilha Grande (Big Island)
As always, it’s important to make trips over to islands when at all possible. Ilha Grande is a hiker’s destination, covered in forestry and hiking trails. It’s also well-known as a coveted surfing spot, thanks to the Atlantic’s strong tide. The Blue Lagoon sits on one end of the island, while the 19th-century São Sebastião Church sits on the other.
Fernando de Noronha
Far off Brazil’s northeast coast is a volcanic archipelago called Fernando de Noronha that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The largest island is a protected national marine park and ecological sanctuary. You can go scuba diving and snorkeling there to see all kinds of aquatic life, like sea turtles, stingrays, dolphins, and reef sharks.
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
Another protected area, this national park is known for its desert landscape and large sand dunes. It also features seasonal rainwater lagoons, if you visit during the right time of year. Tour this park to see Lagoa Azul, Lagoa Bonita, and plenty of mangrove swamps.
Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park
Located in central Brazil, the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is known for its canyons and quartz crystal rock formations. The Preto River that runs through it features rock pools and waterfalls large and small. Some of them even span up to 100 meters high! You can find a variety of orchid species and wildlife here. Be on the lookout for toucans!
Parque das Aves
The Parque das Aves is a privately-owned zoo consisting mostly of bird populations and butterflies. It’s located near Brazil’s border with Argentina, and is therefore also near the Iguazu Falls. The waterfalls of the Iguazu River are the largest waterfall system in the world – and definitely worth a side trip. The zoo is located on 40 acres of forest and makes for a fascinating tour.
Inhotim serves as both a contemporary art museum and a botanical garden in Brazil. It’s an open air museum, so the botanical garden sits on 5,000 acres with more than 500 works of art and two dozen art pavilions located about the property. There is sculpted foliage and labyrinths that offer a full day of adventure for the everyday explorer.
Brazil has a little something for everyone, from beaches to hiking and mountains, shopping, and historical sightseeing. Each of these locations hits one of these common travel points – and some of the cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, can be vacations all by themselves. Brazil is truly a place for explorers!
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APraia_de_Copacabana_-_Rio_de_Janeiro%2C_Brasil.jpg