RSSCategory: Top 10

10 must-see places in Brazil (2012-2013 edition)

10 must-see places in Brazil (2012-2013 edition)

As the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics approach it is time to refresh our list of must-see places in Brazil. Choose any of the listed destinations – a handful of them if you can afford too!, and the success of your Brazilian trip is guaranteed.

Click on the names of the places to go to their full destination cards here at the BRAZIL TRAVEL BLOG, and find out more about them. Some of the destinations are really well-known. Others fall within the hidden jewel description. I have only included places I have been to (places I’ve read/heard about but I haven’t visited didn’t make it into the ranking).

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1. Fernando de Noronha (Pernambuco)

Praia do Sancho, Fernando de NoronhaFernando de Noronha, BrasilFernando de Noronha, BrasilFernando de Noronha

Visiting paradise comes at a price. The most outrageously expensive Brazilian destination is also home to the most wonderful beaches in the entire country.

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2. Paraty (Rio de Janeiro)

Paraty, BrasilParaty, BrasilParaty, BrasilParaty, Brasil

Colonial architecture, tropical rainforest and secluded beaches. And just a few hours away from Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. Paraty should feature prominently on any trip around Brazil.

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3. Lençóis Maranhenses (Maranhão)

Lençóis MaranhensesLençóis MaranhensesLençóis Maranhenses, BrasilLençóis Maranhenses

One of the few Brazilian destinations that can rightly claim its uniqueness: a vast expanse of sand dunes and lagoons that make for a mesmerizing landscape. To be enjoyed between June and September.

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4. the Pantanal (Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul)

yacare caiman, Pantanal, BrazilPantanal, BrazilPantanal, BrazilPantanal, Brazil

Heaven for wildlife lovers doesn’t get closer than this. Head to the Pantanal for a wildlife experience that can rival many African destinations.

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5. Alter do Chão and the river Tapajós (Pará)

Floresta Nacional do Tapajós, Amazon, Brazilvitória-regia, Amazonia, Brazil"igapó", Alter do Chão, Amazon, BrazilFloresta Nacional do Tapajós, Amazon, Brazil

You can’t contemplate a trip to Brazil without a true Amazon adventure? Then head to Alter do Chão, where you will discover the Amazon at its best.

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6. Iguaçu falls (Paraná and Argentina)

Iguazu falls / cataratas de IguazúIguazu falls / cataratas de IguazúIguazu falls / cataratas de IguazúTucán toco / Toco toucan

Another Brazilian must. No amount of touristification (and the falls are nowhere near Niagara Falls on that regard) can detract from the sheer beauty of the falls and the surrounding jungle.

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7. Ilha Grande (Rio de Janeiro)

Ilha GrandeLagoa Azul, Ilha GrandeIlha Grande, BrasilIlha Grande

Beautiful beaches and extraordinary natural landscapes. To be consumed along with nearby Paraty if possible. Best avoided during the high season.

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8. Brasilia (Distrito Federal)

Congresso Nacional, BrasiliaProcuradoria Geral da RepúblicaSantuário Dom Bosco, BrasiliaJuscelino Kubitschek, Brasilia

Disneyworld for art and architecture lovers. Come and see what a 50-year-old planned city looks like.

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9. Curitiba (Paraná)

Parque Tanguá, CuritibaÓpera de Arame, Curitibamezquita, Curitiba, BrasilMuseu Niemeyer, Curitiba

Wildly regarded as a model for all Brazilian cities. Curitiba contains quite a number of pleasant surprises for the visitor.

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10. Boipeba (Bahia)

Boipeba, BrasilBoipeba, BrasilSão Francisco/Cova da Onça, BrasilCanavieira, Ilha de Tinharé, Brasil

Should be placed, by right, at a higher ranking on our list. But the stupidity of some humans (a shopping mall in a secluded off-the-beaten track island???) brings it down to number 10.

September 26, 2012 | By More
10 must-see places in Brazil (2011 edition)

10 must-see places in Brazil (2011 edition)

Here’s our annual rewrite of our list of our list of favourite places in Brazil (previous editions include Top 10: favourite places in Brazil and 10 must-see places in Brazil).

Here is the 2011 ranking of my 10 must-see places in Brazil. Click on the names of the places to go to their full destination cards here at the blog, and find out more about them. Some of the destinations are really well-known. Others fall within the hidden jewel description. I have only included places I have been to (places I’ve read/heard about but I haven’t visited didn’t make it into the ranking).

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1. Fernando de Noronha (Pernambuco)

Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha

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2. Paraty (Rio de Janeiro)

Paraty, Brasil

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3. Lençóis Maranhenses (Maranhão)

Lençóis Maranhenses

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4. the Pantanal (Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul)

yacare caiman, Pantanal, Brazil

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5. Alter do Chão and the river Tapajós (Pará)

Floresta Nacional do Tapajós, Amazon, Brazil

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6. Iguaçu falls (Paraná and Argentina)

Iguazu falls / cataratas de Iguazú

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7. Ilha Grande (Rio de Janeiro)

Ilha Grande

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8. Brasilia (Distrito Federal)

Congresso Nacional, Brasilia

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9. Boipeba (Bahia)

Boipeba, Brasil

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10. Curitiba (Paraná)

Parque Tanguá, Curitiba

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RELATED POSTS:
10 must-see places in Brazil (2010 edition)
10 must-see places in Brazil (2009 edition)
Brazil 12 months 12 destinations
top 10 Brazilian beaches – 2009 edition
São Paulo’s top ten

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follow the Brazil Travel Blog on Twitter

February 21, 2011 | By More
10 must-see places in Brazil (2010 edition)

10 must-see places in Brazil (2010 edition)

Here’s our anual rewrite of our list of our list of favourite places in Brazil (previous editions include Top 10: favourite places in Brazil and 10 must-see places in Brazil). Here is the 2010 ranking of my 10 must-see places in Brazil. Click on the names of the places to go to their full destination cards here at the blog, and find out more about them. Some of the destinations are really well-known. Others fall within the hidden jewel description. I have only included places I have been to (places I’ve read/heard about but I haven’t visited didn’t make it into the ranking).

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1. Fernando de Noronha (Pernambuco)

Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha

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2. Paraty (Rio de Janeiro)

Paraty, Brasil

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3. Lençóis Maranhenses (Maranhão)

Lençóis Maranhenses

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4. Ilha Grande (Rio de Janeiro)

Ilha Grande

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5. Iguaçu falls (Paraná and Argentina)

Iguazu falls / cataratas de Iguazú

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6. Brasilia (Distrito Federal)

Congresso Nacional, Brasilia

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7. Boipeba (Bahia)

Boipeba, Brasil

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8. Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul)

caimán / cayman

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9. Inhotim (Minas Gerais)

Inhotim, Brasil

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10. Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

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RELATED POSTS:
Brazil 12 months 12 destinations
top 10 Brazilian beaches – 2009 edition
São Paulo’s top ten

subscribe to the Brazil Travel Blog by Email
follow the Brazil Travel Blog on Twitter

March 8, 2010 | By More
top 10 Brazilian beaches – 2009 edition

top 10 Brazilian beaches – 2009 edition

Having just revisited our favourite destinations in Brazil (10 must-see places in Brazil) it is time now to turn to the beaches. This is the 2009 version of our now two years old top 10: beaches. As drawing up an ordered list of 10 beaches is no mean task, I’ve decided to give three medals in order of preference and then present the remaining 7 beaches in pure alphabetical order.

If you click on location on the map you will be taken to a Google Maps page showing the exact location of the beach.

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1. THE MEDAL WINNERS

GOLD MEDAL: SANCHO beach (Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco – location on the map)

Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha

Arriving in Fernando de Noronha is neither easy nor cheap. Once in the island, getting to Sancho beach is not that simple either. You can either descend through a metal stair placed on crack on the cliff, get there by boat, or walk from Porcos beach (access through this path has been closed for quite a while now). But the reward is worth the effort. Sancho is a crescent-shaped beach, with a massive cliff as a background and crystal-clear waters where you will want to dive as soon as you reach the beach. Half of what Sancho has to offer is found under the sea level. Sancho on its own would make a trip to Noronha worthwhile. More information at: destination: Fernando de Noronha.

SILVER MEDAL: ILHA DO CAMPECHE beach (Florianópolis, Santa Catarina – location on the map)

Ilha do Campeche

Access to the second beach on our ranking is not easy either. To reach the island of Campeche you need to board a boat and face the waves for an hour or jump into a rubber dinghy for a swift five-minute sail to the island. To ensure the survival for future generations of the idyllic island the time visitors are allowed to stay in the island is limited – and strictly enforced. The beach at Campeche island is dazzling. Both literally, as its whiter than white sands will blind your vision, and figuratively, as the combination of the white sands and turquoise waters is breathtaking. No other Brazilian beach gets as close to the Caribbean as Campeche Island. More information at Ilha do Campeche.

BRONZE MEDAL: CONCEIÇÃO beach (Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco – location on the map)

Praia da Conceição, Fernando de Noronha

One never tires of contemplating the imposing presence of the Morro do Pico, the serene keeper of Conceição beach. Another Noronha jewel, with one of the most beautiful beach landscapes of the entire Brazil. More information at: destination: Fernando de Noronha.

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2. FROM FIFTH TO TENTH (in strict alphabetical order)

praia de Bainema, Boipeba, Brasil
Bainema (Boipeba, Bahía – location on the map)
Barra do Sahy
Barra do Sahy (Barra do Sahy, São Paulo – location on the map)
Trindade
Cachadaço (Trindade, Río de Janeiro – location on the map)
Domingas Dias, Ubatuba
Domingas Dias (Ubatuba, São Paulo – location on the map)
praia do Forno, Arraial do Cabo
Forno (Arraial do Cabo, Río de Janeiro – location on the map)
tropical beach / playa tropical
Mangues (Ilha Grandelocation on the map)
Fernando de Noronha
Porcos (Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco – location on the map)

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3. HONOURABLE MENTIONS

There is only room for ten beaches on our ranking, but there are plenty more beaches we really like. In alphabetical order:

Amor (Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte)
Bahia dos Golfinhos (Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte)
Caçimba do Padre (Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco)
Coqueiros (Trancoso, Bahía)
Félix (Ubatuba, São Paulo)
Ipanema (Rio de Janeiro)
Lopes Mendes (Ilha Grande, Río de Janeiro)
Moreré (destinos: Boipeba, Bahía)
Paraty-Mirim (Paraty, Río de Janeiro)
Pitinga (Arraial d’Ajuda, Bahía)
Quarta Praia (Morro de São Paulo, Bahía)

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May 26, 2009 | By More
São Paulo’s top ten

São Paulo’s top ten

Admittedly, São Paulo is not the easiest of places for the occasional tourist. Gigantic in size, chaotic in nature. However, the city gets a totally undeserved bad rap. To me São Paulo is – more than any other place in the country – the perfect encapsulation of some key Brazilian themes (both positive and negative).

The Top Ten I’m publishing today is a list originally made for our blog de São Paulo (the Spanish-language blog where we make an effort to unravel the city). I’ve made a few adaptations to the list. As this is a list of recommendations for the foreign visitor, I had three basic considerations when I drew up the ranking:

  • easy of access using the public transportation system
  • relevance in the context of what São Paulo is and represents
  • affordable cost

SÃO PAULO’s TOP 10

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1. VISIT THE LIBERDADE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Liberdade, São Paulo
Why? The Japanese/Chinese/Korean quarter of São Paulo is a place like no other that will challenge your preconceived ideas about what is “typically Brazilian”.
How do I get there? There is a subway station (line 3, blue) right in the middle of the Liberdade.
How much? No entrance fees.
How long do I need? Spend a morning or an afternoon.
Other tips Have lunch at a tradicional Japanese restaurant. There are dozens and dozens of them. Among our favourites, Gombe , Isao or Yamaga.

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2. GET TO THE TOP OF THE TORRE DO BANESPA BUILDING
Sao Paulo
Why? Because from the top of the skyscrapper you have a unique and mesmerizing 360-degree view of São Paulo – you’ll begin to understand the true meaning of megalopolis.
How do I get there? Take the subway (line 3, blue) to the São Bento station. It’s a five-minute walk from there.
How much? Access to the top of the tower is free. Bring ID with you.
How long do I need? One hour. The time you are allowed to stay at the top of the building has been drastically reduced in recent months.
Other tips The tower only opens from Monday to Friday – if it’s raining access to the top will be closed.

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3. VISIT THE MERCADO MUNICIPAL (CENTRAL MARKET)
Mercado Municipal, São Paulo
Why? Because the market offers a unique and fascinating feast of colours and flavours. Wander around the stalls and marvel at the exotic fruits on display. And don’t forget to visit the bars for some classic São Paulo appetizers.
How do I get there? Take the subway (line 1, blue) to the São Bento station. It’s a ten-minute walk from there.
How much? Entrance is free. You will pay whatever you eat at the bars.
How long do I need? A couple of hours.
Other tips You can combine the visit to the market with the visit to the Torre do Banespa (number 2 on your list).

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4. WALK ALONG THE AVENIDA PAULISTA
avenida Paulista
Why? Because along its 3 km you will get a taste of São Paulo’s melting pot.
How do I get there? Take the subway (line 2, green) to either the Brigadeiro station or the Consolação station (eastern and western ends of the avenue respectively).
How much? Free.
How long do I need? A couple of hours. Longer if you plan on visiting museums or shops.
Other tips At lunch time and at the end of the day (at around 6 pm) is when the avenue teems with people.

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5. HAVE FUN AT THE MUSEU DO FUTEBOL (SOCCER MUSEUM)

Why? If football (soccer) doesn’t immediately conjure up the idea “Brazil” no other words will do. The soccer museum it’s a state-of-the art interactive museum where terrific fun is guaranteed (even for those not that keen on football).
How do I get there? Take the subway (line 2, green) to Clínicas station and then walk 15 minutes to the museum.
How much? Adults pay R$6.
How long do I need? Between two and four hours.
Tips You can make the visit to the museum an extension of your walk along Avenida Paulista (number 4 on the list). Have a look at this blog’s entry Museu do Futebol (football/soccer museum).

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6. HAVE BREAKFAST IN SYTLE AT AT BAKERY
panadería / bakery
Why? Do you want to feel like a true paulista (São Paulo native)? Then have a mammoth buffet breakfast at a bakery.
How do I get there? They are all over town. Ask where your are staying if there is a bakery serving buffet breakfast nearby. Chances are there will be one. If not, take a taxi and head of to a popular bakery like the 24/7 “Casa dos Pães”.
How much? Between R$15 and R$30 for the breakfast buffet. It usually includes an inimaginable amount of food, both savoury and sweet, as well as juices and coffee.
How long do I need? You can have breakfast in one hour or make it last for much longer.
Tips People on a diet, abstain.

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7. PIZZA FOR DINNER
pizzería Bendita Hora
Why? Because the pizza is the most traditional of all São Paulo servings. Paulistas simply love pizzas.
How do I get there? There are excellent pizzerias just everywhere.
How much? From R$20 to R$50 a large pizza for two.
How long do I need? A couple of hours at the end of the day (most pizzerias only open for dinner).
Tips You can order different ingredients for each half of the pizza. Try the pizza with sundried tomatoes and rocket salad. Finger-licking good!

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8. A STROLL AT THE PARQUE DO IBIRAPUERA
Auditorio do Ibirapuera, São Paulo
Why? When in Rome… when a paulista needs some fresh air, they take a stroll at the Park, right in the middle of the city.
How do I get there? Take a taxi or walk down from the avenida Paulista (1/2 hour).
How much? Entrance is free.
How long do I need? Half a day.
Tips The park is quiet during the week, crowded during the weekends. There is a restaurant in the park where you can have lunch.

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9. GO SHOPPING – AT POPULAR PRICES!
ladeira do Porto Geral, São Paulo
Why? See with your very own eyes the 25 de Março street or the Bom Retiro quarter, the mecca for shoppers from all over Brazil.
How do I get there? For the 25 de Março, take the subway (line 1, blue) to the São Bento station. It’s two minutes from there. For the Bom Retiro quarter, take the same subway line but leave at the Luz station. It’s 5 minutes from there.
How much? Whatever you want to spend.
How long do I need? Difficult to stand longer than half a day.
Tips Saturday is the busiest day. Avoid it if you are intent on doing some serious shopping. Go on a Saturday if the anthropological experience is what you are after. Pay extraordinary attention to your personal belongings when walking around the center of town. If you are carrying a rucksack or bag, do as the locals, hold it in front of you with your arms around it.

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10. GO WINDOW-SHOPPING – AT OUTRAGEOUS PRICES!
shopping Cidade Jardim
Why? You will understand better basic Brazilian concepts like unequal income distribution and filthy rich. If you can’t visit a favela, you can do the opposite, do your own ‘the rich and the powerful’ tour.
How do I get there? You can walk to the Oscar Freire street from the avenida Paulista. To go to the Shopping Cidade Jardim, take a taxi.
How much? Window-shopping is free.
How long do I need? A couple of hours of ostentatius display of wealth is just about enough.
Tips Saturday is the best day if you want to see the rich driving around and showing off their imported cars.
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You can find the location of all the places mentioned on the list at the following Google Maps mash-up:


See São Paulo’s top ten on a full page

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RELATED POSTS:
five reasons to love São Paulo
five reasons to hate São Paulo
youth hostels in São Paulo
Museu do Futebol (football/soccer museum)
Morumbi stadium (São Paulo FC)
Octavio Café, São Paulo
terminal Tietê bus station in São Paulo
the São Paulo subway system
Tanabata Matsuri 2008 in São Paulo
Praça Benedito Calixto, São Paulo
Toyo Matsuri in São Paulo
São Paulo traffic images live on the Internet

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April 27, 2009 | By More