Brazil is known for its stunning diversity. The vast South American country stretches from the northern Amazon Basin to the vineyards and Iguaçu Falls in the south. Rio de Janeiro, with its Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado, the raucous and flamboyant Carnaval, and the busy Copacabana and Ipanema beaches are famous around the world. But there are many other hidden gems that show just how diverse Brazil can be.

  1. Fernando de Noronha
The coastline of Fernando de Noronha beach in Brazil

Many Brazilian beaches are said to be a strip of paradise, but Fernando de Noronha is one that truly deserves the title. With pristine beaches and numerous activities available, it’s the perfect getaway, and with the scant wi-fi connection on this island, you can actually disconnect.

  1. Petrópolis
The Imperial Palace built as a summer retreat for emperor Dom Pedro II is now a museum

Petrópolis has long been a refuge for the residents of Rio de Janeiro due to its refreshing mountain views and cascading waterfalls. Emperor Dom Pedro II, the last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, even built a palace here. Petrópolis’ bridges, canals, parks, and cool temperatures give it a distinctly European feel.

  1. Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
A blue lagoon amidst the white dunes of Lençóis Maranhenses

Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses in the state of Maranhão looks like a desert with its miles of sand dunes. The striking silky white sands gave rise to the name which literally means “bedsheets of Maranhão,” in Portuguese. Seasonal rains create otherworldly blue-green lagoons that look like oases, merely enhance the protected area’s desert-like nature.

  1. Rio Bonito
The lush forest retreat of Rio Bonito

Just outside of Rio de Janeiro is Rio Bonito. This lush forest retreat is the exact opposite of the perennially busy capital. With its numerous hiking trails, scenic wildlife, and even a hang gliding ramp, there is much to do in this little town.

  1. Pantanal
A wild jaguar in the wetlands of Pantanal

While the Amazon rainforest might be the more famous of Brazil’s natural wonders, the immense tropical wetlands found in the Pantanal in western Brazil certainly gives it a run for its money. The largest wetland area in the world, it hosts an impressive range of biodiversity. Hundreds of species of birds, along with fauna like jaguars, caimans and capybaras can be found here. While it is often flooded during the summer, the winter reveals many lagoons, as well as access to canoeing, horseback riding, and hiking trails.

  1. Presidente Figueiredo
The stunning Cachoeira das Araras

This county in the Brazilian state of Amazonas is one of the few places in the Amazonian jungle that is accessible in a car. Many hidden gems can be found here, such as the Cachoeira Iracema and Cachoeira das Araras waterfalls, the Gruta da Judeia cave, and the Uatumã Biological Reserve. You can even spend the night in the treetops here, as you while away your days hiking, kayaking, rafting, tree climbing and rappelling.

  1. Vale dos Vinhedos
A vineyard in the Vale dos Vinhedos

This gorgeous valley is the hub of winemaking in Brazil. The appropriately named Vale dos Vinhedos, or Valley of the Vineyards, was once colonized by the Italians. Today it grows excellent sparkling wines.

  1. Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park
Magnificient canyons at Chapada dos Veadeiros

This national park is in the state of Goiás in Central Brazil and is home to some of the oldest rock formations on the planet. Its open pastures are rich in rock crystals, while the dramatic canyons hide many rock pools and waterfalls. It sits on an ancient plateau which is said to be about 1.8 billion years old. The biodiverse park is also home to many orchid species, armadillos, jaguars, and toucans.

  1. Ilha de Marajó
Mangroves on Marajó island

Located in northern Brazil, this island is actually formed within the vast Amazon river. While it features great natural diversity, Ilha de Marajó is nonetheless known for its water buffalo. They are so much a part of the local culture, that the locals even use them much like horses. Located in the estuary where the Amazon empties into the Atlantic Ocean, it is also home to colorful wading birds, caimans, piranhas, and mangrove forests.

  1. Trinidade 
The beach at Trindade

This coastal village in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, 30km south of Paraty is a popular surfing getaway. However, its picturesque beaches, such as Cepilho, Ranchos, Meio, and Cachadaço, have much fewer crowds than you would expect. Dotted around these beaches are numerous swimming holes hidden in the rainforest.

  1. Monte Roraima
Waterfalls and clouds at Mount Roraima

Up in the north of Brazil, bordering Venezuela and Guyana is the imposing Mount Roraima. Said to be one of the oldest remaining geological formations on Earth, it is one of the most stunning natural sights in the country. While it rains here almost constantly, the water creates some of the world’s largest waterfalls.



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