Places To Visit In Brasil
Brazil, a vast South American country, stretches from the Amazon Basin in the north to vineyards and massive Iguaçu Falls in the south. Rio de Janeiro, symbolized by its 38m Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado, is famed for its busy Copacabana and Ipanema beaches as well as its enormous, raucous Carnaval festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba music and dance.
Popular destinations are Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguaçu, Paraty, Cuiaba & Manaus
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Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is a huge seaside city in Brazil, famed for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, 38m Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado and for Sugarloaf Mountain, a granite peak with cable cars to its summit. The city is also known for its sprawling favelas (shanty towns). Its raucous Carnaval festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba dancers, is considered the world’s largest.
Sporting pursuits include volleyball on Ipanema Beach, surfing at Arpoador and paragliding from the lofty Pedra Bonita viewpoint. Sandy beaches stretch from Guanabara Bay to Barra in the west, all of them with cycle tracks and kiosks selling coconut water. Tijuca National Park features rainforest-covered mountains filled with waterfalls, hiking trails and toucans. Samba, forró and bossa nova bands perform in the bars of the Lapa area. Modern art is exhibited at Museu de Arte Moderna and Museu de Arte do Rio. Host of the 2016 Olympics, Rio is also home to iconic Maracanã Stadium.
Foz do Iguaçu
Foz do Iguaçu, a city in the Brazilian state of Paraná, is the main base for visiting famed Iguaçu Falls, one of the world's largest waterfalls. Stretching for 2.7km, and straddling the border with Argentina, the falls comprise hundreds of cascades, including the 80m-tall Devil’s Throat. Drenching rides on rubber boats are a popular way to take in the thundering spectacle.
Surrounding the falls is Iguaçu National Park, a subtropical rainforest with diverse wildlife. Near its visitors center is the Bird Park, home to around 150 species, including toucans and macaws. North of Foz do Iguaçu, the massive Itaipu Dam, which supplies a large portion of Brazil’s energy, offers tours. Nearby is the Chinese-style Buddhist Temple, with over 100 statues, including a 7m-tall Buddha. In town are hotels, restaurants and tour operators that cater to the falls’ visitors. Across the Iguaçu River is Puerto Iguazú, the hub for Argentina's side of the falls.
Paraty is a small town backed by mountains on Brazil's Costa Verde, between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Its Portuguese colonial center has cobbled streets and 17th- and 18th-century buildings dating to its time as a port, during the Brazilian Gold Rush. Among its architectural landmarks is the waterfront Capela de Santa Rita, a whitewashed church built in 1722.
From the nearby pier, boat excursions head into Paraty’s bay for snorkeling, diving and island exploration. Lining the coast and on some of the islands are dozens of beaches popular for swimming, sunbathing and surfing. Hikes in the mountainous Serra da Bocaina National Park take in rainforest, waterfalls and the Caminho do Ouro, the historic gold trail. Back in town, neoclassical Nossa Senhora do Remédios Church overlooks a leafy square. In the adjoining Pontal neighborhood, the Forte Defensor Perpétuo, a hilltop citadel dating to the 1700s, features old cannons and panoramic views.
Cuiaba is a city on the banks of the River Cuiaba and the capital of the central Brazilian state Mato Grosso. It’s known as a gateway to the wetlands of the Northern Pantanal. Colonial architecture and the tree-lined Republic Square lie at its heart, along with the clock towers of the modern Cathedral of Bom Jesus. At the nearby Mato Grosso History Museum, paintings and models depict the region’s history and battles.
In the city center is the 18th-century, Gothic Bom Despacho Church, built as a smaller replica of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Close by, a white marble obelisk marks the center of the South American continent. In the city’s north is the vast, leafy Mae Bonifacia Park. Near the riverbank, the Mercado do Porto is a market selling spices, meats, snacks and local crafts. Northeast are the peaks, cliffs and waterfalls of Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park, home to giant anteaters, maned wolves and pumas.
Manaus, on the banks of the Negro River in northwestern Brazil, is the capital of the vast state of Amazonas. It's a major departure point for the surrounding Amazon Rainforest. Just east of the city, the dark Negro River converges with the brown, muddy Solimoes River resulting in a striking visual phenomenon called the “Meeting of the Waters.” The combined tributaries form the Amazon River.
The city’s late-19th-century rubber boom is explored in the exhibits of the Museu do Seringal Vila Paraíso. The rubber boom's legacy can also be seen in the ornate, European-style Teatro Amazonas opera house, grand Palacio Rio Negro cultural center and Mercado Adolpho Lisboa (the municipal market, inspired by Paris’ Les Halles). The large, central Parque do Mindú is home to endangered pied tamarin monkeys, viewable from treetop walkways. Elsewhere, upscale beachfront neighborhood Ponta Negra is popular for nightlife and entertainment. The Praia da Lua area offers a white-sand beach with fish and beer vendors.