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February 24, 2018, 1:24 pm

From frozen-in-time colonial towns to otherworldly landscapes of red-rock canyons, thundering waterfalls and coral-fringed tropical islands, Brazil offers it all.

Famous for being home to one of the world’s top national football teams, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival and the remarkable Iguazu Falls, Brazil is more than just an exciting world travel destination. As South America’s largest country, Brazil covers a majority of the continent’s northeastern region and borders all of its countries except for Chile and Ecuador. From the Amazon rainforest in the North to the tropical beaches along the Atlantic, to the Pantanal wetlands and the vibrant metropolises of the Southeast there are plenty of interesting places to visit in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro: There is no destination more animated and exciting than Rio de Janeiro. Located in southeastern Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city of South America due to its famous mountains, landmarks, beaches and Carnival festivals. It is situated on one of the world’s largest harbors surrounded by natural attractions that include the Sugarloaf and Corcovado mountains and famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema. The city’s iconic landmark is the enormous Christ the Redeemer statue sitting atop Corcovado Mountain. Carnival celebrations here are among the largest in the world, with vibrant parades, costumes, dancing, music, fireworks and street parties.

São Paulo:  Not only is Sao Paulo the largest city in Brazil, but it is also one of the largest in the world according to population. Located in southeastern Brazil, Sao Paulo is known for its skyscrapers, gastronomy and robust culture scene. It is home to many ethnic groups from all over the globe including the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. Although Sao Paulo is known for its concrete jungle, it also contains a large number of public parks and even portions of the Atlantic rainforest.

Brasilia: Located in the Brazilian Highlands, Brasilia was installed in 1960 as Brazil’s capital. Its modern day infrastructure is designed in the shape of an airplane in which each of its sections serve as different districts such as government, commercial, residential and cultural. The city’s new and creatively designed buildings attract many architecture aficionados. Most significant is the Three Powers Square, which houses the Presidential Palace, the Congress and the Supreme Court. Other important buildings include the Brasilia Cathedral with its glass roof that resembles hands reaching up to heaven.
Curitiba: This thoroughly urban capital of Paraná state is a well-known performance center.  Visit the Wire Opera, a steel tube building with a see-through roof, as well as the Guaíra Theatre for some great programs. Curitiba is also well known to urban planners across the globe as one of the most efficient cities ever built.  You will find a six-block stretch designated as a pedestrian zone, tons of parks and trees, innovative solutions to urban problems like pollution and poverty. It is a unique place to recharge before ending your Brazilian adventure.
Fortaleza: Nice beaches, dynamic shopping and lively culture all make Fortaleza one of Brazil’s popular places to visit. The capital of the Ceará state on the country’s northeastern coast, Fortaleza is Brazil’s fifth largest city. The most popular beach is Praia do Futuro, but other favorites are Iracema, Mucuripe and Meireles. Not only are the beaches great for swimming, sunbathing and surfing, but they also offer hotels and restaurants. Fortaleza also serves as the jumping-off point for many visitors to truly spectacular beaches, rolling dunes and idyllic fishing villages up and down the Ceará coast.
Bonito: This city is a one-street town full of charisma.  It serves as an ecotourism model for Brazil and as a hub for the surrounding areas.  If you are an outdoor adventurer and water enthusiast, then this is your spot.  Discover Abismo Anhumas, a gigantic cavern covered in stalactite where you can dive and swim in an underground lake as well as do some abseiling. 
Recife: Nicknamed the ‘Venice of Brazil’ because of its numerous waterways and bridges, Recife is the capital of the Pernambuco state and one of the largest and most important cities on Brazil’s northeastern coast. Situated amid tropical forests with many islands and rivers, Recife is a popular tourist destination because of its historic old town, beaches and vibrant culture.
Parati: A paradise of tropical forests, waterfalls, emerald sea and coastal mountains, Parati is a popular tourist attraction located along Brazil’s Green Coast in the Rio de Janeiro state. Also spelled Paraty, this beautiful city is a former Portuguese colony established on the shores of the Bay of Ilha Grande. The heart of Parati is its historic center with cobbled streets and multicolored colonial houses, many of which now serve as bed-and-breakfast accommodations called pousadas. One of the most popular attractions are the colonial defense forts that still boast original walls and cannons.
Manaus: The capital of the Amazonas state in northwestern Brazil, Manaus is an important tourist destination because it serves as a gateway to the Amazon rainforest. As a result of the region’s flourishing rubber industry during the early 20th century, Manaus today is one of Brazil’s largest cities, featuring distinguished landmarks like the Amazonas Opera House, and the Rio Negro Palace. Another significant sight is the Meeting of the Waters, which is a natural phenomenon where the two rivers of Negro and Solimões run side by side for more than three miles without fully mixing.
Jijoca de Jericoacoara: This hidden gem is one of the spectacular beaches in Ceara, Brazil. Considered by many as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, you will find calm seas, white sand dunes, and gorgeous blue lagoons. It is a nesting spot for large turtles and therefore was declared an Environmental Protection Area; it is also a national park since 2002.
Iguazu Falls: One of the world’s most stunning natural wonders, Iguazu Falls is a series of magnificent waterfalls located on the Iguazu River, straddling the border between Brazil and Argentina. The Falls in and of themselves are a breathtaking spectacle, but their beauty is all the more enhanced by the surrounding lush forest teeming in exotic wildlife. The gateway to the Falls on the Brazilian side is Foz do Iguaçu, a big and reasonably safe city by Brazilian standards.


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