Seven Places to Visit in Brazil (if You’ve Done Rio)

Seven Places to Visit in Brazil (if You’ve Done Rio)

Welcoming travellers with secluded sand dunes, moon-shaped valleys and open-air flea markets, these are the Brazilian beauty spots we think should be next on your list



Brazil
has a sexy and invigorating vibe like nowhere else – one
we’d argue is better felt than described. Picture a tropical
landscape dotted with sun-drenched pousadas (small, family-run
inns), white-sand beaches and colourful streetscapes. South
America’s largest and most densely populated country, the
destination is best known for the city of Rio de Janeiro, but we’ve been on a mission to
track down the lesser-known Brazilian towns worth exploring. Sound
like your kind of adventure? Join us as we swap beaches brimming with carnival fangirls for go-slow
sundowners.

Brazil’s best bits: our seven favourite destinations

Jericooacoara Beach

Jericoacoara

Brazil

Located on the northern edge of the Ceará state, this once
sleepy fishing village has fast become a hotspot for keen
windsurfers and kiteboarders. The municipality is also home to
Jericoacoara National Park, which showcases the region’s sweeping
sand dunes and windswept beaches. For a stylish stay and Brazilian
feasting on tap, bed down at boutique property The Chili Beach.
Days are best spent snacking on local delights at the in-house
restaurant, while sunsets are even more glorious when viewed across
a live DJ set at the hotel’s private beach club. We’re
booking our one-way ticket for May, when the winds subside and the
area’s shimmering turquoise lagoons are surrounded by hammocks.

Where to stay: The Chili
Beach

Amazon Rainforest Brazil

Manaus

Brazil

Brazil doesn’t do things by halves, so it’s no surprise that it
is home to the largest rainforest in the world: the Brazilian
Amazon comprises the majority of the country’s
north-west, with an estimated 390 billion trees. It is also the
world’s most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest. Looking to
explore the dense jungle terrain? Make the city of Manaus your
base, and set aside a weekend to explore and taste your way through
the many flavours of the old town. The Juma Ópera Hotel gets our
vote, for its rooftop pool and Scandi-chic bedrooms. Insider tip:
the hotel also offers well-equipped lodges in the Amazon – perfect
for those who wish to spend a night in the wild.

Where to stay: Juma Ópera
Hotel

Colourful Facade Paraty, Brazil

Paraty

Brazil

Slotted between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Paraty has
long-served as a road-trip pit stop. But, having undergone
something of a renaissance of late, its palm-fringed streets now
offer a bevy of glitzy hotels and glamorous restaurants. After
unpacking and refuelling, we recommend exploring the eclectic
ceramics stores and independent art studios – CANOA and Studio Bananal are our favourites. Set aside a
day to explore four of Paraty’s most dramatic waterfalls: Tarzan,
Tobogã, Poços do Penha and Poço das Andorinhas. There are some
spectacular hiking and mountain-biking trails to the falls that
will appeal to adventure-seekers.

Where to stay: Casa Mar
Paraty

Ouro Preto Brazil

Ouro Preto

Brazil

Backed by the Serra do Espinhaço mountains, this former mining
town and one-time Minas Gerais state capital makes for a great city
break. There’s much to discover here, where, against a backdrop of
baroque Portuguese architecture, food and craft markets fill the
air with spices and creativity, and independent boutiques and edgy
hotels abound. Follow in the footsteps of locals to the open-air
artisan market of Feira de Artesanato, where stalls overflow with
colourful hand-crafted goods: it’s open from 5-10.30pm on
weekdays.

Where to stay: Hotel Solar do
Rosário

Beach at Camocim Brazil

Camocim

Brazil

The secret beach town that should be on every Brazilian
itinerary, Camocim is nestled on the western tip of the Ceará
state, boasting azure waters, powder-soft beaches to rival those
found in the popular eastern areas of the country and a lazy town
centre. While far from fashionable, this no-frills spot will appeal
to those looking for a digital detox. Reset and recharge with fresh
seafood, beach-hopping and sun-basking. Plough through your reading
list, take an off-road buggy tour through the Dunas de Camocim,
then find a café from which to watch the sun sink into the sea.

Where to stay: Villa Zen
Hotel

São Jorge Brazil

São Jorge

Brazil

There’s something incredibly satisfying about feeling like you
could be one of the first to visit somewhere. Enter, São Jorge.
Known as being the gate to the magical Chapada dos Veadeiros
National Park, this is a town best explored on foot, and we mean
that quite literally: an age-old tale encourages hikers to wander
across its trails barefoot, becoming both grounded and at one with
nature. Our favourite trek is through Moon Valley. Situated just a
20-minute walk outside of town, the lunar-like landscape makes for
a great escape, and a paddle at one of the two natural plunge pools
you’ll pass is sheer bliss on a hot day. For a traditional
Brazilian-meets-Mediterranean refuel, head to Paladar Bistrô.

Where to stay: Pousada
Caminho Das Cachoeiras

Lodges in Alter do Chão

Alter do Chão

Brazil

A tiny riverside town west of Santarém, Alter do Chão is where
you’ll find the Island of Love (Ilha do Amor) – a postcard-worthy
isle wrapped by white-sand beaches. Visit and become a master of
paddle-boarding, take a boat tour to nearby forest reserves or
simply lounge between the palm trees. Later, rest your head at one
of Vila de Alter Pousada’s six bungalows. Murure gets our vote, not
just for its king-sized bed, but also for its early-morning
symphony courtesy of the happy birds and monkeys.

Where to stay: Vila de Alter Pousada
Boutique Amazônia

This article was updated 9 March 2023.

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