Things not to miss
Step into a capoeira school, where you can watch the dance-like sparring of this distinctive martial art for free.
Walk through any market in Brazil to get a sense of the country’s natural abundance. São Paulo’s Mercado Municipal, crammed with produce from all over Brazil, is particularly impressive.
#04 The Pantanal
You’ll be hard-pressed to not spot wildlife in the world’s biggest inland swamp.
#05 Theatro Municipal, Rio
If you can’t catch a show inside Rio’s sumptuous belle époque theatre, be sure to stop for lunch or a drink in its lavish, Assyrian-inspired café.
#06 Trekking in the Chapada Diamantina
Explore the dramatic terrain of this enormous national park, which includes mesas, forest, river beaches, waterfalls and a kilometre-long grotto.
Sample grilled meats – numerous cuts of beef, plus pork, lamb, chicken, duck and more – at these typical gaúcho barbecue houses.
#08 Pedra Azul
This massive stone mountain is renowned for the shade of blue it seems to turn at dawn and at sunset.
#09 Candomblé celebrations
Usually identifiable by their white dress, followers of this popular Afro-Brazilian religious cult worship together in exuberant dance ceremonies as well as at fiestas.
Head just a few hours north of Brasília to take in this spectacular wilderness area, dotted with striking geological formations, caves, waterfalls and hiking trails.
This picturesque spot remains one of Brazil’s best-preserved colonial towns, and it’s a great base from which to explore the surrounding Costa Verde.
#12 Florianópolis beaches
Head to the island capital of Santa Catarina state, where kilometres of beaches include treacherous surfing spots and calm waters for safe swimming.
#13 Ouro Preto
Some truly remarkable Baroque churches are tucked away in the steep, narrow streets of this charming town.
© Daniel Indiana/Shutterstock
#14 Northeast beaches
North of Salvador the coastline is stunning, with waters good for surfing or sailing in a traditional jangada, as well as fine white sand dunes, seen here near Fortaleza.
This impressive expanse of Mata Atlântica is criss-crossed by shaded trails and features refreshing waterfalls and spectacular views across Rio.
#16 Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Niterói
Take a short ferry ride from Rio and spend some time at this spaceship-like museum, one of Oscar Niemeyer’s architectural masterpieces.
#17 Brazilian architecture
Whether it looks like a futuristic dream or a modern-day nightmare, Brazil’s contemporary architecture is often otherworldly. For more information, see East: Niterói and the Costa do Sol & Oscar Niemeyer.
© Thiago Fernandes BHZ/Shutterstock
#18 Rio nightlife
A rather seedy inner-city bairro by day, Lapa at night pounds to infectious Brazilian rhythms, its nightclubs and bars teeming with locals and tourists alike.
#19 River journeys
Take a slow boat along the Amazon for close-up views of the mighty river and its wildlife.
#20 Colonial Rio
There are more colonial churches in Rio than anywhere else in Brazil – the pretty Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro is perhaps the city’s finest.
#21 The Aquário Natural
Snorkel among some thirty-odd species of fish in the crystalline waters of this marine sanctuary, or spy on them from above in a glass-bottomed boat.
#22 Visiting Rio’s beaches
On weekends you can hang with locals who escape to Rio’s sands to play sports, catch up on gossip or simply people-watch.
#23 Iguaçu Falls
The power and beauty of the falls is quite simply astonishing, only rivalled by the tranquillity of the Mata Atlântica behind
Planning your trip to Brazil
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners
Book Your Trip To Brazil
Get your dream travel planned & booked by local travel experts
At Rough Guides, we understand that experienced travellers want to get truly off-the-beaten-track. That’s why we’ve partnered with local experts to help you plan and book tailor-made trips that are packed with personality and stimulating adventure - at all levels of comfort. If you love planning, but find arranging the logistics exhausting, you’re in the right place.Learn Morechevron_right
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
A guide to visiting Brazil's Pantanal
Stretching across the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul (also spilling into Bolivia and Paraguay) the Pantanal is the world's largest in…
The best aerial views in the world
Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…
Amazing new aerial images show uncontacted tribe in Brazil
Incredible aerial images of one of the Amazon rainforest's uncontacted tribes have been released by Survival International. The pictures, taken by photographer …