#01 Views from the Corcovado, Rio

Ascend the Corcovado mountain – where the image of Christ the Redeemer stands – for breathtaking views taking in the whole of Rio and Guanabara Bay.

Things not to miss: View of Rio de Janeiro and Sugarloaf Mountain from Corcovado view point, Brazil.© galaro/Shutterstock

#02 Capoeira

Step into a capoeira school, where you can watch the dance-like sparring of this distinctive martial art for free.

Things not to miss: Men train capoeira on the beach, Brazil.© Vladimir Gappov/Shutterstock 

#03 Markets

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.

Things not to miss: Municipal Market, Sao Paulo, Brazil.© Thiago Leite/Shutterstock

#04 The Pantanal

You’ll be hard-pressed to not spot wildlife in the world’s biggest inland swamp.

Things not to miss: Victoria Amazonica, water lilies, Pantanal, Brazil.© Uwe Bergwitz/Shutterstock

#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.

Things not to miss: Theatro Municipal, Municipal Theatre, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.© Catarina Belova/Shutterstock 

#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.

#06 Trekking in the Chapada Diamantina

#07 Churrascarias

Sample grilled meats – numerous cuts of beef, plus pork, lamb, chicken, duck and more – at these typical gaúcho barbecue houses.

#07 Churrascarias

#08 Pedra Azul

This massive stone mountain is renowned for the shade of blue it seems to turn at dawn and at sunset.

Things not to miss: Pedra Azul, Brazil.© Eduardo Menezes/Shutterstock

#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.

Things not to miss: Candomble, Brazil.© Alf Ribeiro/Shutterstock 

#10 Parque Nacional Chapada dos Veadeiros

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.

Things not to miss: Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, Brazil.© vitormarigo/Shutterstock 

#11 Paraty

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.

Things not to miss: Paraty, Brazil.© LucVi/Shutterstock 

#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.

#12 Florianópolis beaches

#13 Ouro Preto

Some truly remarkable Baroque churches are tucked away in the steep, narrow streets of this charming town.

Things not to miss in Brazil: Ouro Preto, Brazil.© 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.

Things not to miss: jangada, fishing boat, beach, Natal, Brazil.© marchello74/Shutterstock 

#15 Parque Nacional da Tijuca

This impressive expanse of Mata Atlântica is criss-crossed by shaded trails and features refreshing waterfalls and spectacular views across Rio.

Things not to miss: Rio, Tijuca, Brazil.© Dmitry V. Petrenko/Shutterstock 

#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.

Things not to miss: Oscar Niemeyer, Niteroi, Brazil.© Juliano Galvao Gomes/Shutterstock 

#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.

National Congress, Brazil.© 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.

#18 Rio nightlife

#19 River journeys

Take a slow boat along the Amazon for close-up views of the mighty river and its wildlife.

Things not to miss: Yacare Caiman, crocodile, Brazil.© Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock 

#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.

#20 Colonial Rio

#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.

#21 The Aquário Natural

#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.

Things not to miss: Palms and Two Brothers Mountain on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.© Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock 

#23 Iguaçu Falls

The power and beauty of the falls is quite simply astonishing, only rivalled by the tranquillity of the Mata Atlântica behind

Things not to miss: Iguacu Falls, Brazil.© Attila JANDI/Shutterstock 

#24 Carnaval

For a memorable experience, take in the most important of Brazil’s festivals, celebrated in notably grand style in Rio, Salvador and Olinda.


Things not to miss: Carnival Rio, Brazil.© Gustavo Ardila/Shutterstock 

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