12 Best Things to Do in Brazil in 2024 (Top Highlights)

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Brazil
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Ready for an adventure in Brazil? Picture yourself dancing at Rio’s Carnival, exploring the Amazon, or relaxing on sun-kissed beaches. Brazil is a playground of fun, culture, and natural wonders. Let’s dive into the most exciting things to do in Brazil!

Welcome to Brazil! This country isn’t just about beautiful beaches and Carnival. It’s a world of diverse experiences waiting to be explored. From the lush Amazon Rainforest to the lively streets of São Paulo, every corner of Brazil tells a unique story.

As someone who’s wandered through Brazil’s varied landscapes, I can assure you, it’s an adventure you won’t forget. Ready to snorkel in Fernando de Noronha’s clear waters or marvel at the grandeur of Iguazu Falls? We’re diving into the coolest things to do in Brazil, where each destination offers something new and exciting.

Get ready to pack your bags and let’s start this journey together!

The top places to visit in Brazil right now

Best Places to Visit in Brazil

Ready to discover Brazil’s best things to do? From the vibrant streets of Rio’s Carnival to the breathtaking expanse of the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil is a land of unparalleled diversity and excitement.

Whether you’re snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of Fernando de Noronha or soaking up the sun on Florianópolis’ beaches, Brazil offers something incredible for every kind of traveler. Here’s your ultimate guide to the top activities in this vibrant country. Let’s dive in!

1. Snorkel in Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is a slice of paradise for snorkelers. This archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is famous for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life. Trust me, snorkeling here is like diving into a living aquarium!

The best spot? Baía do Sancho, often hailed as one of the world’s top beaches. The clarity of the water here is unreal, offering a perfect window to the underwater world. You’ll swim alongside sea turtles, rays, and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish. For an even more unique experience, head to Praia do Atalaia. This natural pool, accessible only with a guide, is a haven for rare marine species.

One of the unique things to do in Brazil is to book a guided snorkelling tour in Fernando de Noronha. The guides know the best spots and times for an unforgettable experience. And remember, Fernando de Noronha is part of a National Marine Park, so respect the rules to preserve its beauty.

Fernando de Noronha is one of the best things to do in Brazil.
Fernando de Noronha: a UNESCO World Heritage site boasts crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life

2. Witness the Majesty of Iguazu Falls

For anyone wondering what to see in Brazil, Iguazu Falls is a spectacle you can’t miss. Straddling the border between Brazil and Argentina, these falls are a marvel of nature. Picture this: over 200 cascades creating a symphony of thundering water and mist.

The Brazilian side offers panoramic views that are simply breathtaking. I recommend the Parque das Aves, a bird park nearby, where you can see colorful toucans and parrots. For the adventurous, a helicopter ride over the falls provides a once-in-a-lifetime perspective.

Don’t forget to take the walkway to the Devil’s Throat, the largest and most impressive of the falls. The sheer power and size of it are awe-inspiring. If you’re visiting during the full moon, the lunar rainbow over the falls is a magical sight.

In Brazil, don't miss Iguazu Falls—an awe-inspiring spectacle straddling Brazil and Argentina.
In Brazil, don’t miss Iguazu Falls—an awe-inspiring spectacle straddling Brazil and Argentina.

3. Enjoy Rio de Janeiro’s Beaches and Carnival

For a true taste of Brazilian nightlife, Rio de Janeiro is the place to be. The city’s beaches and Carnival are legendary. Copacabana and Ipanema are not just beaches – they’re lifestyles. Picture golden sands, lively volleyball games, and beachside cafes serving cold açai. Rio is easily one of the most fun places to visit in Brazil!

But the real magic happens during Carnival. In 2024, the Rio Carnival will be held from the 9th of February to the 17th of February. During this time, the city transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors and rhythms. Samba schools parade through the Sambadrome, each more dazzling than the last. Trust me, the energy here is infectious!

My advice? Join a Carnival ball or simply soak up the street party atmosphere. And don’t forget to hit the beach to unwind after a night of dancing. Rio’s beaches and Carnival are experiences that embody the spirit of Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro: a hub of Brazilian nightlife with legendary beaches and Carnival vibes.
Rio de Janeiro: a hub of Brazilian nightlife with legendary beaches and Carnival vibes.

4. Explore the Amazon Rainforest

When listing beautiful places to go in Brazil, the Amazon Rainforest is a must. It’s a vast, vibrant world of biodiversity. Here, every step reveals a new wonder, from exotic wildlife to towering trees.

A river cruise is a fantastic way to see the Amazon. You’ll glide past remote villages and maybe even spot a sloth or pink dolphin! For a deeper dive, I recommend a guided jungle trek. You’ll learn about medicinal plants and might even encounter a toucan or macaw.

Staying in an eco-lodge is another great option. You’ll wake up to the sounds of the jungle and can join night safaris for a glimpse of nocturnal creatures. Take it from me, exploring the Amazon is not just a trip. It’s an immersion into one of the most extraordinary ecosystems on Earth.

In Brazil, the Amazon Rainforest is a must-visit—a vast, vibrant world of biodiversity.
In Brazil, the Amazon Rainforest is a must-visit—a vast, vibrant world of biodiversity.

5. Safari in the Pantanal

Exploring the Pantanal is one of the best Brazil attractions for wildlife lovers. This vast wetland is less crowded than the Amazon, offering a more intimate encounter with nature. Here, wildlife roams freely, and every moment is a new discovery.

The Pantanal is a hotspot for jaguars. Seeing these majestic cats in their natural habitat is unforgettable. You’ll also encounter capybaras, the world’s largest rodents, lounging by the water. And for bird enthusiasts, the Pantanal is a dream. It’s teeming with colorful species, from hyacinth macaws to jabiru storks.

Boat trips are a great way to explore. You glide through the waterways, getting up close with the diverse wildlife. On land, horseback riding offers a unique perspective of this vast ecosystem.

I recommend staying at a local lodge. You’ll experience the rustic charm of the Pantanal while contributing to sustainable tourism. Don’t miss it when visiting Brazil!

The Pantanal, a haven for wildlife lovers, offers an intimate encounter with nature.
The Pantanal, a haven for wildlife lovers in Brazil, offers an intimate encounter with nature.

6. Hike in Chapada Diamantina National Park

For those asking what to do in Brazil for an epic adventure, hiking in Chapada Diamantina National Park is my top pick. This park is a hidden gem in Brazil, with landscapes that look like they’re from another planet!

The park’s trails lead you through vast valleys, towering waterfalls, and mystical caves. One of the highlights is the Fumaça Waterfall. It’s a challenging hike, but the view from the top is worth every step. You’ll see water cascading down into a misty abyss.

I also recommend visiting the Poço Azul, a stunning underground pool. The sunlight filtering through the cave creates a magical blue glow. It’s perfect for a refreshing swim after a day of hiking.

Staying in Lençóis, a charming nearby town, is a great idea. It’s full of cozy guesthouses and has a laid-back vibe. One of the most fun things to do in Brazil, hiking in Chapada Diamantina is an exploration of Brazil’s breathtaking natural beauty.

Hiking in Chapada Diamantina National Park is a hidden gem offering landscapes that seem otherworldly.
Hiking in Chapada Diamantina National Park is a hidden gem offering landscapes that seem otherworldly.

7. Discover Salvador’s Afro-Brazilian Culture

Salvador is a cultural jewel, making it one of the best cities to visit in Brazil. This place pulsates with Afro-Brazilian heritage, offering a unique blend of history, music, and cuisine.

Pelourinho, the historic heart of Salvador, is a feast for the senses. Its brightly painted buildings and lively streets echo with the rhythms of samba and reggae. Here, trying acarajé, a spicy street snack, is a must. It’s a burst of local flavor you won’t forget.

The Olodum drumming performances in Salvador celebrate history and resilience. These powerful beats tell the story of Afro-Brazilian culture. And for a deeper dive, the Afro-Brazilian Museum is a treasure trove of art and history.

I suggest joining a cultural tour for an authentic experience. The stories and insights from local guides bring Salvador’s rich heritage to life. Exploring this city is more than sightseeing – it’s an immersion into a vibrant and enduring culture.

Salvador, a cultural gem in Brazil, pulsates with Afro-Brazilian heritage.
Salvador, a cultural gem in Brazil, pulsates with Afro-Brazilian heritage.

8. Sail Down the Amazon River

Embarking on a river cruise down the mighty Amazon is definitely one of the most amazing things to do in Brazil. It’s an adventure that brings you face-to-face with the heart of nature.

Imagine gliding through the lush rainforest, surrounded by the vibrant sounds of wildlife. The Amazon is teeming with life. You’ll spot colorful birds, playful monkeys, and maybe even a sloth lounging in the trees. The river itself is a bustling highway of local life, with small boats navigating the waters.

Stopping at riverside communities is a highlight. Here, you can interact with the locals and get a glimpse of their unique river lifestyle. I recommend trying some local fish dishes – they’re fresh and delicious.

Choosing an eco-friendly cruise is key. It’s our way of giving back to this incredible ecosystem. Sailing the Amazon is an immersive experience that captures the essence of Brazil’s natural beauty.

Cruising down the mighty Amazon is among Brazil's most amazing adventures.
Cruising down the mighty Amazon is among Brazil’s most amazing adventures.

9. Visit the Historic Town of Ouro Preto

If you’re a history lover wondering where to go in Brazil, head to Ouro Preto. This town is like a living museum, brimming with colonial charm.

Walking through Ouro Preto is like stepping back in time. The cobblestone streets and baroque architecture are incredibly well-preserved. Each corner tells a story of Brazil’s colonial past. I recommend visiting the churches, especially Igreja de São Francisco de Assis, known for its stunning artwork.

Don’t miss the chance to try local cuisine in the quaint cafes. The feijoada (a traditional Brazilian stew) here is mouth-watering. And for a bit of adventure, there are old mines you can explore to get a feel for the town’s gold rush history.

I suggest taking a leisurely stroll to really soak in the atmosphere. Ouro Preto’s charm lies in its unhurried pace and hidden alleys.

History lovers should head to Ouro Preto in Brazil—a town resembling a living museum, steeped in colonial charm.
History lovers should head to Ouro Preto in Brazil—a town resembling a living museum, steeped in colonial charm.

10. Experience São Paulo’s Gastronomy and Nightlife

Next up on our list of the most amazing places in Brazil to visit is São Paulo. A must-visit for foodies, this city is a melting pot of cultures, and it shows in its incredible food scene.

Start with the city’s gastronomy. São Paulo’s restaurants serve everything from traditional Brazilian dishes to international cuisine. The Japanese food here is a must-try, thanks to the city’s large Japanese community. For a local treat, pastel de feira and coxinha are delicious street food options.

As for nightlife, São Paulo is unbeatable. The city buzzes with energy after dark. From chic rooftop bars to pulsating dance clubs, there’s something for every taste. I recommend exploring Vila Madalena for its lively bars and street art.

My advice? Dive into the local food markets during the day. They’re a feast for the senses. And at night, let loose and enjoy São Paulo’s vibrant energy. Trust me, exploring São Paulo’s gastronomy and nightlife is an adventure that will leave you craving for more!

São Paulo: a foodie paradise showcasing diverse culinary excellence among Brazil's top destinations.
São Paulo: a foodie paradise showcasing diverse culinary excellence among Brazil’s top destinations.

11. Relax on Florianópolis’ Beaches

Looking for the best beaches in Brazil? Florianópolis is your go-to destination! Known as the “Island of Magic,” this place is a blend of breathtaking beaches and vibrant local culture.

Florianópolis boasts over 40 beaches, each with its own charm. Praia Mole is a hotspot for surfers and a great place to catch some waves or just chill on the sand. For a more tranquil vibe, head to Praia da Lagoinha do Leste. It’s a bit of a hike, but the secluded beach and crystal-clear waters are totally worth it.

The island’s nightlife is as exciting as its beaches. Beach clubs in Jurerê Internacional are famous for their parties. Imagine dancing the night away under the stars, with the ocean as your backdrop.

I recommend trying the local seafood. It’s fresh and delicious, a true taste of the island’s culinary delights. And don’t forget to explore the charming fishing villages. They offer a glimpse into the laid-back island life.

Florianópolis, the "Island of Magic," is Brazil's prime destination for stunning beaches and vibrant local culture.
Florianópolis, the “Island of Magic,” is Brazil’s prime destination for stunning beaches and vibrant local culture.

12. See the Unique Landscape of Lençóis Maranhenses

Last up on our Brazilian adventure is the breathtaking Lençóis Maranhenses. This place is not your typical destination. It’s a mesmerizing blend of desert and lagoons.

Imagine vast, white sand dunes as far as the eye can see. But here’s the twist: during the rainy season, these dunes are transformed into a surreal landscape of crystal-clear lagoons. It’s like nature’s own infinity pools!

The best time to visit is between May and September when the lagoons are at their fullest. You can swim in the warm waters or just relax and soak up the unique scenery. And the sunsets here? Absolutely magical.

For an unforgettable experience, take a guided tour. You’ll learn about this unique ecosystem and the best spots for that perfect photo. Without a doubt, seeing the Lençóis Maranhenses is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that perfectly caps off any Brazil vacation.

Lençóis Maranhenses offers an extraordinary blend of desert landscapes and mesmerizing lagoons.
Lençóis Maranhenses offers an extraordinary blend of desert landscapes and mesmerizing lagoons.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Brazil:

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Brazil? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Brazil.

What is Brazil known for?

Brazil is famous for its vibrant culture, stunning natural landscapes, and lively festivals. Think of the colorful Carnival in Rio, the majestic Amazon Rainforest, and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. Brazil’s diverse cuisine and passionate football culture are also big parts of its identity.

Is there much to do in Brazil?

Absolutely! Brazil, part of the vibrant tapestry of Latin America, is a playground of activities. You’ve got gorgeous beaches, lush rainforests, and bustling cities. Whether you’re into hiking, wildlife watching, or just soaking up local culture and cuisine, Brazil offers a rich and varied experience.

Tourists enjoying at a beach in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tourists enjoying at a beach in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

What are the best things to do in Brazil for families?

If you’re traveling to Brazil with kids, you’ll love the mix of nature and culture, offering a taste of South American charm. Visit interactive museums like the Museu do Amanhã in Rio. Beaches like Praia do Forte are great for kids. For a unique experience, try a wildlife tour in the Pantanal. And don’t miss the fun theme parks near São Paulo!

Is Brazil a cheap country to visit?

Brazil can be budget-friendly, depending on your travel style. Local food and public transport are quite affordable. Accommodation varies, but there are budget options. Some attractions, like national parks, have entrance fees, but they’re worth it for the experience.

What language is spoken in Brazil?

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. It’s a bit different from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. Knowing some basic phrases can be really helpful, as not everyone speaks English, especially in smaller towns and rural areas.

The top things to do in Brazil for all types of travelers
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