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Things to do in Brazil

Things to do in  Brazil

Welcome to Brazil

Wherever you are in Brazil, the infectious sound of samba drifts from bars; platters of perfectly roasted meats and obsidian-black beans line tables; and cheerful ois (hi, in Portuguese) erupt from the mouths of lively locals. In Rio de Janeiro, the legendary Copacabana and Ipanema beaches are set against the dramatic backdrop of Corcovado, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and the outstretched arms of Christ the Redeemer. Full-day sightseeing tours tick off all of the city's highlights, while the Selaron Steps, Rochina favela, and a samba show are typically form part of the itinerary, too. But Rio is just the beginning. The sprawling metropolis of São Paulo—Brazil's most-populous city—reveals its cultural heft on a panoramic tour, while nature buffs will be charmed by the Amazon rain forests of Manaus, home to numerous biodiverse species. In the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguassu National Park, the Iguazu Falls (Foz de Iguacu) create a thundering roar, and in Salvador, historic African influence dictates the vibrant energy of the city. Myriad private and group tours help visitors experience it all with skip-the-line entry to top sights, simple transportation options, and local perspectives. And Brazil borders almost every country in South America—only Chile and Ecuador are excluded—making it the ideal starting point for any South American trip. Begin with New Year's Eve or Carnaval, two of Rio's most spectacular celebrations, before journeying across the continent.

Top 10 attractions in Brazil

#1
Iguaçu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu)

Iguaçu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu)

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Iguaçu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu), the largest waterfalls system in the world, are truly awe-inspiring to behold. Though Argentina boasts better trails around the falls, Brazil is blessed with the best views of this natural marvel’s 275 separate cascades, which span the border between the two countries. Take in full-frontal views of Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo), San Martin Island, and more from the short-but-sweet catwalks that wind their way around the Brazilian side of Iguaçu Falls.More
#2
Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

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The largest rain forest on Earth, the Amazon spans more than 2 million square miles (5.5 million square kilometers). Home to around 40,000 species of plants, several thousand species of birds, more than 400 mammals, and millions of different insects, it’s one of the planet’s vital organs—and an adventurer’s playground.More
#3
Santa's Village (Aldeia do Papai Noel)

Santa's Village (Aldeia do Papai Noel)

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Santa Claus might be far from his traditional home in the North Pole, but there’s no shortage of Christmas spirit in the Brazilian mountain resort of Gramado. Fashioned like a Bavarian village with half-timbered chalets and (artificial) snow-covered streets, Santa's Village (Aldeia do Papai Noel) is the only one of its kind in South America.More
#4
Genipabu

Genipabu

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Genipabu is a beach village known for its large sand dunes and freshwater lagoons. There are a few different ways to explore the mounds of shifting sand, with varying degrees of adrenaline — from camel rides to sand buggies to sand-boarding (esquibunda or skibunda) down the hot dunes and into the cool water.The winds shifting across the sand means that the landscape of Genipabu is always changing. The sands pile up into dunes that rise and fall, creating ridges and mounds across the shores and eventually plunging into the sea. Certain areas of the dunes are accessible only by certified dune buggy drivers, who will ask if you want your ride “with emotion” or without, to determine the level of desired thrills. Sand boarding into the lagoons’ fresh water is a great way to beat the heat.No matter the method of adventure you choose, the unique landscape and natural beauty of both the sand and water at Genipabu is worth seeing. Afternoon is a particularly popular time to visit, with the sunset being a highlight for many.More
#5
Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redentor)

Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redentor)

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Keeping a watchful eye over the people of Rio de Janeiro, the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redentor) sits atop Corcovado Mountain at 2,300 feet (700 meters) above the city. Unveiled in 1931 and voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, this impressive monument is often credited as the most iconic site in Brazil.More
#6
Santos Coffee Museum (Museu do Café)

Santos Coffee Museum (Museu do Café)

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At the Santos Coffee Museum (Museu do Café) visitors experience the world’s favorite caffeinated-beverage through history and of course, taste. The Coffee Museum is housed in what used to be the Coffee Stock Exchange, where Brazilian coffee was weighed and traded before being sent through the Santos Port and overseas.The Coffee Stock Exchange closed in the 1960s and fell into disrepair, but after decades of restoration efforts, in 2005 the beautiful colonial building re-opened as the Coffee Museum. The building’s architecture is a highlight of a visit to the museum. High ceilings with stained-glass skylights lie above ornately designed marble floors on the Exchange’s main trading room. The museum’s exhibition rooms explain the historical and cultural significance of coffee in Brazil, and worldwide, through photos, paintings, antique coffee-farming tools and more.Brazil has a strong coffee culture – not only is Brazil the largest coffee producer in the world, but it is also is the second largest consumer of coffee. This is easy to see in every day life throughout the country, where a cafezinho (a little coffee), is customary in the mornings, after meals, and practically any time you want a pick-me-up. After touring the museum, be sure to try a cup of delicious Brazilian-grown coffee in the museum café for yourself!More
#7
Meeting of Waters (Encontro das Aguas)

Meeting of Waters (Encontro das Aguas)

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The city of Manaus lies at the confluence of two great rivers, the Solimões and the Rio Negro. Due to the different colors of the two rivers, it's possible to see precisely where they meet, which is what makes the Meeting of Waters, or Encontro das Aguas, a checklist must-do for visitors to Manaus.More
#8
Salvador Mercado Modelo

Salvador Mercado Modelo

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Salvador's Mercado Modelo is a lively place stocked full of arts, crafts and touristy trinkets.Located across the street from the restored art deco elevador lacerda (elevator) in a replica of the city’s old customs house, the market is a fun way to spend an hour or two and maybe pick up a bit of tourist tack for the folks back home.Take a deep breath as you enter to prepare for the onslaught of vendors that’ll attempt to coax you towards their stall. It’s all pretty light-hearted so with a smile and a bit of friendly bartering, you’ll enjoy your visit here.More
#9
Maracajaú Reef (Parrachos de Maracajaú)

Maracajaú Reef (Parrachos de Maracajaú)

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If the string of shallow coral reefs that grace Natal’s gorgeous, sandy coastline could be called a necklace, then Maracajaú Reef (Parrachos de Maracajaú) is its biggest, most beautiful jewel.Known as Parrachos de Maracajaú, (coral reef of Maracajaú) this complex reef formation full of coral, iridescent fish and other marine life, covers over 3.5 acres (15 sq km) and is about 7km (4mi) offshore from Maracajaú beach.It is possible to dive in the area but, if you time your visit with the low tide, its natural pools are shallow enough for some fabulous snorkelling – possibly Brazil’s best. Floating in the warm, clear water above a coral garden as dozens of fish dart around you is a memorable way to spend the afternoon.Most people visit Maracajaú on a tour. A boat will take you from the beach out to the floating platforms - a jumping off point to the reef but also a handy rest stop should you wish to come up for the occasional breather.More
#10
Futuro Beach (Praia do Futuro)

Futuro Beach (Praia do Futuro)

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Palm-fringed sand and surf-worthy waves await sunseekers at Futuro Beach (Praia do Futuro), one of Fortaleza’s most popular family beaches. Stretching 5 miles (8 kilometers) along Fortaleza’s east coast, Futuro Beach offers ideal conditions for swimming and surfing, and is lined with lively beach bars (barracas).More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Brazil

Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

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Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

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267
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US$27,01
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Helicopter tour in Rio de Janeiro

Helicopter tour in Rio de Janeiro

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US$238,06
Rio de Janeiro Helicopter Tour

Rio de Janeiro Helicopter Tour

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US$196,05

Recent reviews from experiences in Brazil

star-5
Beautiful views.
Mia, Apr 2021
3 Hour Sailing Experience in Rio
They both spoke English very well which was great.
star-5
Great Tour
JacobN, Nov 2020
Rocinha Favela Walking Tour
Carlos had very good English and a deep knowledge of the favela and their history in Brazil.
star-5
A must do in Rio
marlenerhughes, Feb 2020
Full Day in Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, Maracana and Selaron with Lunch
THE best way to get a wonderful overview of Rio for your first day, we saw all of the must sees, plus driving thru the streets to see the street art, houses etc and at the end a wonderful buffet with authentic Brazilian food included, our guide was very knowledgeable speaking 5 languages....
star-5
Positive Rio De Janeiro experience
annelipiira, Feb 2020
Full Day in Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, Maracana and Selaron with Lunch
We had only one day in Rio and were able to see all important sightseeing spots.
star-5
An Excellent Tour
dyenomoto, Jan 2020
Brazilian Falls, Bird Park and Itaipu Dam from Foz do Iguaçu
This tour is very good for seeing Iguassu Falls on the Brazilian side, the Bird Park, and the Itaipu Dam all in one day.
star-5
A nice day in a favela
Dave M, Dec 2019
Rocinha Favela Walking Tour
There was so much to see and do.
star-5
Incredible!
shryckowian, Dec 2019
Argentinian and Brazilian falls Full day trip
It is a must to do both Argentina and Brazil side to fully appreciate the falls.
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Iguassu Falls
surekhapendyal, Nov 2019
Full Day Iguassu Falls Both Sides - Brazil and Argentina
Simply amazing tour of both sides of the falls.
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Rio full day tour
amandachan2019, Oct 2019
Full Day Complete Tour of Rio de Janeiro
Gabby’s English skills were excellent (not always the case with Brazilian guides).
star-5
Fantastic Favelas
Kazza0071, Aug 2019
Private Walking and Cultural Tour Rocinha-Rio de Janeiro
This was a fab trip, great to see the real Brazil, eating and drinking in the favela.
star-5
Favela tour
715manleyc, Sep 2018
Favela Walking Tour in Rio de Janeiro
A great way to see the other side of beautiful Rio!.
star-5
We had a very good tour of the...
Ralf R, Jul 2017
Guided Small-Group Tour to Argentine Side of Iguassu Falls
We had a very good tour of the Argentinian side of the falls with Eduardo, who was knowledgeable, courteous, and generous with his time and expertise he even took us on an unscheduled side trip to the triple border Argentina-Brazil-Uruguay.
star-5
Amazing! Since the falls are almost...
alexbog8, Jun 2017
Brazilian Falls, Bird Park and Itaipu Dam from Foz do Iguaçu
Since the falls are almost all in the argentinean side, with this tour you have a panoramic view of the falls, which was great!
star-5
This was a culturally fulfilling...
Robert H, Oct 2017
Salvador African Heritage Private City Tour Including Afro-Brazilian Museum
The tour guide was very knowledgeable and spoke good English.
star-5
An absolutely amazing and...
David E, Oct 2017
Day Trip to the Argentinian Side of Iguassu Falls from Foz do Iguaçu
The views of the falls from the Brazilian side are great but they are far far better from the Argentinian side.
star-5
The guide is very helpful who knows...
Yining W, Sep 2017
Day Trip to the Argentinian Side of Iguassu Falls from Foz do Iguaçu
It just give you enough time to visit the Argentinaian side in the morning, so you can do the Brazilian side in the afternoon.
star-5
Our guide was excellent, very good...
Christina H, Aug 2017
Biking and Hiking Tour from Copacabana to Two Brothers Hill
The motorcycle taxi was great fun, and walking back through the favela was my one chance to see how many Brazilians really live.
star-4
Good tour as it was nice to see a...
Jabari W, Jun 2016
Petrópolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace
Good tour as it was nice to see a different part of Brazil and learn its history of the Portuguese royal family.
star-4
Great day! I enjoyed seeing more to...
Rachel P, Aug 2016
Day Trip to Petrópolis from Rio de Janeiro
I wish the guide, while lovely and helpful, spoke more English.
star-4
We didn't have the best weather on...
John W, Apr 2017
Iguassu Falls Combo Tour: Off-Road Jungle Drive, Hike and Waterfall Boat Ride
The view of the Devil's Throat from the Brazilian side of the falls is stunning.

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