Lively and colorful, Rio de Janeiro is home to a host of famous attractions, ranging from the much-photographed Christ the Redeemer statue perched atop Corcovado Mountain to well-known beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema and artsy neighborhoods like Santa Teresa.
With so much to do in Rio, it’s easy to fill your itinerary just in the city, but there’s so much more to experience in Brazil. Spoil your taste buds by eating your way through the world-renowned culinary scene of Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America, and spend your time between meals wandering the city’s impressive luxury boutiques, urban parks and notable art museums. Visit some of Brazil’s coastal colonial towns like Salvador and Paraty to understand more about the country’s complex Portuguese and African history. Or relax on one of the country’s countless award-winning beaches, like Fernando de Noronha or Paraty.
Brazil occupies just under half of the South American continent, so it’s no surprise that natural wonders abound within its broad borders, from the Amazon rainforest in the north to the astounding Iguacu Falls in the south. The Pantanal, a massive depression in the southwest that fills with water during the rainy season, makes for incredible wildlife viewing more concentrated than the Amazon.
For a unique nature destination off the beaten path, consider Chapada Diamantina’s spectacular cliffs, mountains, valleys, monoliths and caves. Kayak through the region’s lakes and rivers and take advantage of great hiking opportunities to experience the area’s impressive geology up close.