HomeLatin America ToursSouth America ToursBrazil ToursBrazil Guide

9 Must-See Destinations in Brazil

Ratings of Zicasso's Service
Baianas in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

The nine must-see destinations in Brazil can unveil exotic plants and captivating wildlife, tremendous culture and remarkable architecture.

Revel in the wonders of a tropical paradise along southern Atlantic waters, experience the tastes of cultural distinction, explore the world of art museums and celebrated dining, or wander through the remote regions of brimming wilderness.

Whether you wish for a family adventure in search of wildlife, a couple’s escape with the promise of perfect beaches, or an introduction to the highlights across the country, Brazil’s must-see destinations will unveil delight and wonder.

  1. 1. Rio de Janeiro
  2. 2. Foz do Iguaçu
  3. 3. Pantanal
  4. 4. Amazon Rainforest
  5. 5. Lençóis Maranhenses
  6. 6. Salvador da Bahia
  7. 7. Fernando de Noronha
  8. 8. São Paulo
  9. 9. Brasília
  10. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Brazil

1. Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Rio de Janeiro immediately enchants visitors with greenery, azure waters, and golden beaches that accentuate the cultural urban landscape. From Sugarloaf Mountain to Christ the Redeemer, the shores of Copacabana to the flowering orchids of the Botanical Gardens, the city can charm you with a welcoming ambiance. Embrace the city’s rhythm and connection to the joys of life as you wander the historic streets, indulge in the vibrant soccer culture, or simply sink into life on the beach.

Highlights: Christ the Redeemer • Sugarloaf • Copacabana • Ipanema • Tijuca National Park

2. Foz do Iguaçu

Iguazu Falls in Brazil

Iguazu Falls in Brazil

Lush jungle landscape, showering cascades, captivating birdlife, and the point at which three of South America’s borders meet, Foz de Iguaçu offers an impressive combination of dramatic nature and cultural landmarks to explore. Experience the magnitude of the renowned Iguaçu Falls from a panoramic view along catwalks and a tower, or wander through the subtropical rainforest of Parque das Aves to find over 12 acres home to more than 800 species of birds, including the radiant scarlet ibis and flamboyant flamingos.

Highlights: Iguaçu Falls • Paróquia São João Batista • Marco das tres Fronteiras • Praça da Paz

3. Pantanal

Horseback riding in Pantanal, Brazil.

Pantanal, Brazil.

Famous for wildlife and the wonder that the world’s largest wetlands instill in visitors, the Pantanal practically guarantees successful wildlife sightings, from capybara to caiman, due to the low-lying grass, abundant waterholes, and sheer density of wildlife. What once felt like a secret is becoming more popular with visitors from around the world eager to explore the impressive biodiversity. Home to one of the largest populations of jaguars, you can travel along trails or by boat to witness the secluded marshlands and the animals enjoying life within the natural habitat.

Highlights: Birdwatching • Wildlife boat tour • Night safari • Horseback riding • Hiking

4. Amazon Rainforest

Aerial View of Amazon Rainforest in Brazil

Rainforest in Brazil

As a cross-section of ecosystems, the Amazon offers unforgettable opportunities to travel into dense forests and find luxury eco-lodges, winding channels, river networks, and lakes hidden by trees. The impressive variety of wildlife can take you on a dream safari as you cruise along the waterways or trek down the trails in search of sloths, parrots, toucans, caiman, turtles, and monkeys. From bodies of water filled with giant lilies to an archipelago of flooded forests, you never know what to expect when visiting the Amazon.

Highlights: Jungle walk • Piranha fishing • Community visit • Pink river dolphin spotting • Kayaking

5. Lençóis Maranhenses

Sand Dunes in Lencois Maranhenses, Brazil.

Lencois Maranhenses, Brazil.

Windswept sand dunes lead to lakes formed by rainwater in the pristine desert landscape of Lençóis Maranhenses. Trek across the sandy landscape, witness the reflection in the glassy pools, and enjoy the vibrant starlight in the night sky as you explore the wild and remote corner of the Maranhão coast. The dramatic natural environment reveals the harsh seasonal conditions that accentuate the region’s undeniable beauty to create a perfect multi-day trek or a single-day visit for an impressive view of the burning sunset.

Highlights: Freshwater swimming lagoons • Sand dunes • Riverboat ride

6. Salvador da Bahia

Pelourinho area in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

Pelourinho, Brazil.

Colonial architecture that dates back to the 17th century, a history as the former capital of the country, a majestic beat that speaks to the Afro-Brazilian heritage, and mesmerizing beaches that capture the spirit of Brazil’s famous coastline, Salvador da Bahia stands at the center of the national spirit. Festivals, pounding rhythms, a preserved Old Town, and mouthwatering cuisine shape the daily culture and emphasize the tropical ambiance found along the gorgeous coastline to create one of the most unforgettable destinations in Brazil.

Highlights: Pelourinho • São Francisco • Praça da Sé • Mercado Modelo • Carmelite Church

7. Fernando de Noronha

Island of  Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.

The marine conservation area of Fernando de Noronha represents a gem of the northeast coast that encompasses 21 islands that create a tropical archipelago. The alluring coastal escape shimmers with sand dunes and rocky peaks, crystalline waters and remarkable marine life. Follow the trails in search of endemic reptiles and birds, or plunge into the sea to find reef sharks, dolphins, and rays. Enjoy a remarkable vista, lounge on powdery sands, or take a boat ride along the turquoise water before witnessing the exceptional sunset overtake the sky.

Highlights: Praia do Sancho • Vila dos Remédios • Palácio São Miguel • Atalaia Beach • Ponta de Sapat lighthouse

8. São Paulo

Sunset at Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo, Brazil.

São Paulo, Brazil.

As the gateway to the backcountry and the largest city in South America, São Paulo’s reputation has grown to near-mythical proportions as a destination influenced by Portuguese heritage and immigrant culture, creating a captivating atmosphere that emerges from daily life. Artistic, experimental, gourmet, and vivacious emerge from the traditions and connection to the little pleasures each day that can result in viewing modernist architecture, finding contemporary artwork, or sampling unforgettable cuisine in an immersive urban environment.

Highlights: Museu de Arte • City Theater • Ibirapuera Park • Contemporary Art Museum • Museu Paulista

9. Brasília

Aerial view of Brasilia in Brazil.

Brasilia, Brazil.

Brasília is a city of ambition, where the avant-garde meets daily life. Built as the capital of Brazil in the 1960s, the city remains an impressive monument to growth, change, and design, with futuristic architectural wonders that hide the lively culture of locals. Committed to inventiveness in all things, Brasília glorifies a connection to unique and traditional cuisine, art and architecture, organization and controlled chaos for a distinctive travel experience unlike anywhere else in Brazil or the world.

Highlights: Praça dos Três Poderes • Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida • Palacio dos Arcos • Parque Nacional de Brasília

Explore the Best Places to Visit in Brazil

Colonial Streets in Paraty in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Paraty in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

From the Amazon Rainforest to the districts of Rio de Janeiro, each must-see destination in Brazil represents a larger piece of the national culture. Whether looking for an adventure in the wetlands or a discovery of colonial architecture, sensational beaches or delectable cuisine, the highlights you visit can also depend on your travel preferences and the goals of your personalized trip.

Speak with a Brazil travel specialist to learn more about planning a trip customizable to your needs after exploring our Brazil travel guide or finding new inspiration with our Brazil tours and vacations.

Life-Enriching Travel Designed Just for You

  1. 1

    Trips curated by the world’s top destination experts

  2. 2

    Concierge-level service leading up to and during your trip

  3. 3

    Unique, exclusive experiences and insider access

Get Top Travel Specialists to Help Plan Your Trip