Brazil, the largest country in South America and Latin America, is also the fifth largest country in the world. The country, which spans such a vast area, has plenty of geographical diversity and variations in the landscape. It is no wonder, then, that it’s filled with some breathtaking sights. From the natural beauty of the Amazon rainforest to stunning manmade landmarks like Christ the Redeemer, there is no dearth of the most beautiful places in Brazil. So, there’s much to marvel at. Of course, you’ll also find other places to see, such as the Pantanal, the Iguazu Falls, beautiful beaches, and museums like the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum. If you’re visiting this gorgeous country, check out the 12 most beautiful places in Brazil.
Escadaria Selaron, Rio de Janeiro
Escadaria Selaron (Lapa Steps), also known as the Selaron Steps, is located between Rua Joaquim Silva in Lapa and Rua Pinto Martins in Santa Teresa. Chilean painter Jorge Selaron created these beautiful steps as a tribute to the city and the Brazilian people. Initially, he only used blue, green, and yellow tiles honoring the Brazilian flag, but he added more colors later on. While working on the steps, Selaron often ran out of money, so he would commission paintings to fund the renovations of the staircase. The stairs feature at least 60 different countries and are signed “Jorge Selaron: Brasil Eu Te Amo Selaron,” meaning “Brazil, I love you – Selaron.” Clearly, this accidental art project is the world’s most beautiful staircase and the most beautiful place in Brazil.
Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco
The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is named after a 16th-century Portuguese nobleman and comprises a single main island and 20 smaller islands. It lies off the northern coast of Brazil. Moreover, it’s an ecological wonderland fiercely protected and favored by naturalists and marine biologists. Only 480 visitors are allowed at a time on this island, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The breathtaking rugged landscape is also home to many beautiful sandy beaches. Furthermore, the crystal-clear waters are home to some of the richest marine life on earth.
Chapada Diamantina, Bahia
The 152,000 hectares of the Chapada Diamantina National Park, also called Brazil’s “Lost World,” lies in the northeast state of Bahia. The government declared this stunning region with mountains, monoliths, caves, rivers, and waterfalls as a National Park in 1985 to attract eco-tourists. Before this, it was off-limits because of the lure of diamonds that prospectors found in the region at the beginning of the 19th century. Chapada Diamantina literally translates to “Diamond Plateau” as two German prospectors discovered a huge cache of diamonds here. When the word spread, the diamond rush brought a rush of prospectors who formed the town of Lencois for explorations. Today, the park is famous for its fabulous underground caves and diving spots. However, diving is only open to highly qualified divers and spelunkers. For these many reasons, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Brazil.
Beco do Batman, Sao Paulo
It’s said that “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” So, what may appear spectacular to some may not be as appealing to others. Beco do Batman, the area near Vila Madalena in Sao Paulo with graffiti-strewn walls is a sight worth beholding. But, it might not be as appealing to those who don’t appreciate art in this form. In fact, it’s one of the lesser-known things to do in Sao Paulo and doesn’t even feature on many to-see lists.
However, this graffiti sanctuary attracts the best street artists from all over the world, who’re only too happy to contribute towards making this art strip all the better. The area’s name is derived from the first drawing on the wall in the 80s, which was that of the DC Comics superhero Batman. Local art students soon made their contributions to the walls by painting them with psychedelic and cubist-influenced designs. Furthermore, the area is an ever-evolving canvas as new paintings adorn the walls to replace old ones.
Cathedral of Brasilia, Brasilia
The Cathedral Brasilia crown-like hyperboloid structure was designed by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Although the cornerstone for the cathedral was laid in 1958, the mainframe was completed 2 years later. The cathedral is impressive with its 16 curved concrete columns, each weighing 90 tons. This representation of a crown of thorns rises to a height of 131 feet (40 meters). The inside of the cathedral is as impressive, with stained glasswork and a fiberglass ceiling. Moreover, this Roman Catholic cathedral is also the seat of the Archdiocese of Brasilia. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the most extraordinary churches in the world and one of the most beautiful places in Brazil.
Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro
This icon of Rio de Janeiro rises straight from the water’s edge of Guanabara Bay. Sugar Loaf Mountain derives its name from the shape that strongly resembles the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. In fact, it’s one of the world’s most breathtaking monoliths. You can access its peak, which rises 396m (1,300 ft) above the harbor, via glass-walled cable car rides. Moreover, they go along a 1,400m (4,593 ft) route between the peaks of Sugarloaf and Morro da Urca every 20 minutes. Moreover, this aerial tram is one of the world’s most stunning aerial lifts. The 360-degree view of the surroundings from the top is quite spectacular. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the top things to do in Rio De Janeiro.
The capital city of the state of Bahia, Salvador, is a heady mix of traditional and modern. In fact, it’s considered one of the birthplaces of Brazilian culture and is one of the most beautiful places in Brazil. The city is famous for its tropical coastline, Afro-Brazilian culture, and stunning Portuguese colonial architecture. There are many top things to do in Salvador, which stands out for its natural beauty that blends in with spectacular manmade structures. These include the Elevador Lacerda and the gilded Sao Francisco Church. One of the most iconic parts of the city that’s definitely worth visiting is the UNESCO World Heritage Historic Center, or Pelourinho, as it’s more commonly known.
Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul
The natural region of Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland. It covers an extensive 140,000-195,000 sq. km (54,000-75,000 sq. mi), which is as big as Washington State. It is also South America’s largest biodiverse area and boasts the highest concentration of wildlife on the continent. While it lies in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the Pantanal also extends into the state of Mato Grosso and even parts of Paraguay and Bolivia. The wetlands are the best place to see wildlife in their natural habitats, as the open marshes make it easy to spot animals.
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
One of the most popular sights and iconic landmarks of Rio de Janeiro is the statue of Christ the Redeemer, a.k.a. Cristo Redentor. The colossal statue overlooks the city from the summit of the 710m-tall (2,329 ft) Mount Corcovado and is one of the most beautiful places in Brazil. it’s the world’s largest Art Deco-style sculpture and is one of the world’s most famous statues. In fact, it’s brightly lit up at night, and you can see it from nearly every part of the city. Vincentian priest Pedro Maria Boss first mooted the idea of a statue was first mooted to honor Brazil’s princess regent. But, the government never approved the project. The government finally granted permission for the statue, with the foundation stone being laid on April 4th, 1922. The statue took almost a decade to complete, finishing its look on October 2nd, 1931.
Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Maranhao
The beautiful expanse of the Lencois Maranhes National Park sand dunes could very well be mistaken for an arid desert. But this stunning park, which lies on the northeastern coast of Brazil, is a kind of paradox. The 155,000-hectare-huge park comprises mainly coastal dune fields. Hence, it looks like a desert, except that it receives an annual rainfall of 1,200mm (47 inches) a year. This is unlike most deserts, which usually receive less than 250 mm (9.8 inches). During the rainy season between the months of January and June, the desert land is transformed into a magical place, with beautiful lagoons interspersed among the white sands. The stark contrast between the crystal clear lagoons and the sand is a sight that you must experience to appreciate.
Iguazu Falls, Parana
Visiting the Iguazu Falls, one of the most beautiful places in Brazil, is a jaw-dropping experience. These falls lie on the border of Parana and the Argentine province of Misiones. Thus, the waters of both countries combine to make up the world’s largest waterfall system. In fact, the Iguazu Falls are one of the world’s most amazing waterfalls. The deafening roar of the cascades portrays the sheer power of the water, as hundreds of waterfalls end in an almost 3km (1.8 mi) flow due to the force. The falls are an astounding sight and one of the most picturesque places on our planet. The best bit? You can admire the view of the falls from the Iguazu Falls gangway, one of the best skywalks in the world.
Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro
The 4km expanse of yellow-gold sand that is Copacabana Beach might just be one of the world’s most recognizable and iconic places. This beach, which lies on the shoreline of Rio de Janeiro, is one of the most beautiful places in Brazil. Copacabana Beach is a visual treat and one of the most lively places to be, with designated spots for different activities. Another defining feature of the beach is the promenade with its weaving black and white wave motif created by designer Roberto Burl Marx. Although visitors throng the beach the whole year round, New Year’s eve is when the biggest crowds descend on this stretch to ring in the new year.
Just So You Know…
- Jericoacoara, located in the state of Ceara, is another hidden treasure worth visiting. The streets of sand and the beautiful Capoeira are worth a visit.
- Guanabara Bay in Rio, where the Sugar Loaf Mountain stands, has more than one hundred islands.
- According to a 2021 estimate by the governmental FUNAI (National Indian Foundation) and National Geographic, there are between 77 and 84 uncontacted tribes living in Brazil alone.
- Brazilians are crazy about soccer, so almost every city has a soccer stadium.
Get Some Culture
- Museum of Tomorrow – The science museum showcasing five different areas of the universe, like the cosmos, earth, and Anthropocene, is housed in one of the most remarkable buildings in the world. This building is an important landmark of Rio de Janeiro and is designed by Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish neo-futuristic architect.
- The Carnival of Rio – The Rio Carnival is touted as the biggest outdoor party in the world. It’s one of the world’s best carnivals and attracts more than two million visitors.
- Rio de Janeiro Sunset Sailing Tour: See the sights of the “Marvellous City” of Rio de Janeiro on this sunset sailing tour of Guanabara Bay. Hop onboard this amazing tour as you soak in the beautiful sunset while savoring all-inclusive snacks and drinks. You even get to see the most famous landmarks in the city, such as Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Grab A Bite
- Rio Culture and History through the Art of Traditional Foods – This Brazilian food tour is highly rated and allows you to dig into the amazing cuisine in Rio. From açaí and cachaça to coxinha to pão de queijo, sample the great diversity of Brazil’s flavors, aromas, and ingredients.
- São Paulo 2-Hour Liberdade “Street Food” Tour: Did you know that Sao Paulo is home to the largest Japanese community outside Japan? Yes! This guided food tour takes you through the streets of São Paulo’s Liberdade neighborhood as you enjoy snack after snack.