Must See

The Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest is the world's largest biological reserve, and home to one-third of all living species on the earth. Some areas are yet to be explored. It is crossed by 10 of the world's 20 largest rivers, including the River Amazon. The usual base for trips is Manaus.


The town of Blumenau, 140 km (87 mi) north-west of Florianopolis, was the first German settlement in the Itajai valley. German architecture, culture and language abounds in this area and the annual Oktoberfest is not to be missed. Its chamber orchestra, established in 1981, is one of the best in the country.


Located directly on the watershed between the Amazon and the Rio Parana, the city of Brasília succeeded Rio de Janeiro as capital of the Federal Republic of Brazil in 1960. The city was designed by the renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer, and was built in less than 3 years, becoming a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1985.

Spread over a wide area, Brasilia is not a city that can be easily explored on foot. The best way for visitors to see the city's sites (including the city's cathedral and the national congress, also designed by Niemeyer) is to take a conducted sightseeing tour.


The northern coastal city of Fortaleza is a popular holiday resort and the starting point for a trip to Jericocoara. This pretty town is nestled between a dazzling white sand-dune desert and a balmy turquoise sea, and has become famed throughout Brazil for its leather goods and textiles.

Iguaçu Falls

The Iguaçu (or Iguazú) Falls are a series of up to 350 separate falls that plunge over 200-foot cliffs over 2 miles. The falls are formed by the River Parana, split into 275 cataracts. The most impressive is Granta del Diablo, Devil's Throat, which can be approached via a system of catwalks over the thundering water. The area surrounding the falls is protected national park containing hundreds of species of plants, animals and birds.


Olinda is one of the most popular tourist centres in Brazil. It is a colourful, colonial town that was once the centre of Brazil's slave trade and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the carnival in February/March.

The Pantanal

Although many people trek to the Amazonian rainforest in an attempt to spot elusive wildlife, it may be better to visit the Pantanal to appreciate the most dense concentration of fauna in the world: 270 bird species, jaguars, ocelots, capybaras, monkeys - to name just a few. Located in the southwest of Brazil, this vast wilderness supports a number of different ecosystems, including the largest wetlands area in the Americas. The best time to visit is during the period of low water (November to March), when there is much more wild life to be seen. However, it is not advisable to visit the Pantanal on your own, and visitors should head to Cuiaba or Corumba to join an organised excursions.


Paraty (or Parati) is located 240 km (150 mi) west of Rio de Janeiro and 300 km (185 mi) east of Sao Paulo. This charming town was once a major port for the export of gold and coffee, and its wealth is reflected in the beautiful colonial buildings, such as Santa Rita Church, built by freed slaves.

Rio De Janeiro

The spectacular harbour, dominated by Sugar Loaf Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of the Corcovado peak, leaves visitors in no doubt that Rio deserves its name of 'cidade maravilhosa' (the marvellous city). Magnificent views of the city are gained from under the arms of the iconic Cristo Redentor statue on top of the Corcovado peak, reachable by cog train. The beaches of Copacabana (home to 24-hour entertainment) and Ipanema (especially popular with young people) are its other famous landmarks, reflecting various lifestyles and fashions. A rich collection of museums give a strong insight to the country, its people and culture.

Salvador da Bahia

Situated 839 km (521 mi) south-west of Recife and 1,649 km (1,025 mi) north-east of Rio de Janeiro, the colourful city of Salvador da Bahia is home to museums, palaces and a staggering number of churches. The town is split into upper and lower sections. Cidade Alta is perched atop a 50 metre high cliff, linked to Cidade Baxia by steep streets, a funicular railway and the grand Art-Deco Elevador Lacerdo. The Museu Afro-Brasileiro gives a fascinating insight into Afro-Brazilian culture.