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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
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
Tanguá Park (Parque Tanguá)

Tanguá Park (Parque Tanguá)

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In the middle of bustling Curitiba sits the expansive, green Tanguá Park (Parque Tanguá). It is built around two rock quarries joined by a 150-foot (46-meter) tunnel as well as lakes and an artificial waterfall. Stroll around the park on foot, pedal around the quarries by bike, or simply relax and catch a beautiful sunset over the city.More
#6
Amazon River

Amazon River

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The mighty Amazon River and its enormous, thickly forested basin are the heart of South America and the guardian of 20 percent of the Earth’s fresh water. Visitors from around the globe come to Iquitos to cruise the river’s storied waters and catch a glimpse of diverse fauna both above and below the surface.More
#7
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
#8
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
#9
Paulista Avenue (Avenida Paulista)

Paulista Avenue (Avenida Paulista)

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As one of the most expensive strips of real estate in Latin America, Avenida Paulista is Sao Paulo’s most famous thoroughfare. What started out as a residential street lined with neoclassical mansions is today a modern hub of business, culture, and entertainment.More
#10
Our Lady of Mount Serrat Fort (Forte de Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat)

Our Lady of Mount Serrat Fort (Forte de Nossa Senhora de Monte Serrat)

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Built in the late 1500s, Forte de Monte Serrat was once known as Castelo de Sao Felipe and today still serves as one of the most iconic military structures in all of Brazil. Its traditional architecture, inspired by Italian traditions, originally housed three working cannons, and later was renovated to contain nine more. During times of war, soldiers were able to protect the whole of Port Salvador from Monte Serrat’s circular interior, although in the mid-1600s, Brazilian military was unable to hold off Dutch forces and ultimately had to surrender the fort.Travelers in search of history will find the halls of whitewashed Monte Serrat steeped in military tradition. And those less interested in the nation’s past will still enjoy the picturesque views and incredible sunsets found atop this iconic fort.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Manaus

How to Spend 3 Days in Manaus

Top activities in Brazil

Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

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274
From
$28.94
Big Five Rio Attractions & More Private Tour with Tickets and Lunch Included

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Paragliding in Rio de Janeiro

Paragliding in Rio de Janeiro

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$119.38

Recent reviews from experiences in Brazil

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Beautiful views.
Mia, Apr 2021
3 Hour Sailing Experience in Rio
They both spoke English very well which was great.
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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.
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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....
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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.
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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.
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A nice day in a favela
Dave M, Dec 2019
Rocinha Favela Walking Tour
There was so much to see and do.
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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).
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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.
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Favela tour
715manleyc, Sep 2018
Favela Walking Tour in Rio de Janeiro
A great way to see the other side of beautiful Rio!.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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
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
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.
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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
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-5
Anna was the best! Her English was...
Barbara M, Mar 2017
Full Day Complete Tour of Rio de Janeiro
Her English was excellent, she is very knowledgeable about Brazil.
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