Brazil is the fifth largest country on earth. It is divided into five regions, mainly drawn around state lines, but they also more or less follow natural, economic and cultural borderlines. Explore Brazil regions.
North (Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins)
- The Amazon, the rain forest and frontier life, with remarkable Amerindian influence. Note the states of Mato Grosso and Goiás in the Center West region are mostly within the Amazon Basin as well.
Northeast (Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe)
- Strong black culture (especially in Bahia) mingles with early Iberic folklore and Indigenous traditions. This is often considered the country’s most beautiful coastline, and has the sunniest and hottest climate; but it is also the country’s driest and poorest region. Capital of the “Forró” musical style.
Central West (Distrito Federal (Federal District), Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul)
- The Pantanal wetlands, great farms, young cities, the cerrado and the Federal District, with its otherworldly modernist architecture. Birth place of the “sertanejo” music style.
- The cosmopolitan heart of the country. São Paulo and Rio are the largest cities of the country and its economic and industrial hub; there are also some century-old colonial towns, especially in Minas Gerais.
South (Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Santa Catarina)
- Is a land of valleys and pampas where a strong gaucho culture (shared with Uruguay and Argentina) meets European influences. It has the best standard of living in Brazil with only two large cities (Curitiba and Porto Alegre) and several mid-size cities and rural settlements. Great German, Italian, Polish and Ukrainian immigration took place in the region during the 19th century.
Brazil has many exciting cities, ranging from pretty colonial towns and coastal hideouts to hectic, lively metropolises; these are a few of the more prominent travel destinations:
- Brasília – The capital of Brazil, and an architectural spectacle. Noteworthy buildings include a basket-shaped cathedral, the beautiful Arches Palace (seat of the Ministry of Justice) and others.
- Florianópolis – The city is located in an island in the Atlantic Ocean in the southern state of Santa Catarina, with lakes, lagoons, amazing nature and more than 40 clean, beautiful, natural beaches. Major destination for Argentines during the summer months.
- Fortaleza — The fifth biggest city in Brazil, blessed with beautiful beaches. Home of the Iracema Beach street market. A good base for exploring the beaches of the northeastern coast, including Jericoacoara. Famed for forró music and comedians.
- Manaus – Located in the heart of the Amazon, is the capital of Amazonas State and it is also the biggest city of the Amazon. At Manaus the rivers Negro and Solimões meet to become the Amazonas River. The best place to go to visit the Amazon rainforest. It is a gateway to the Anavilhanas and to Jaú National Park.
- Porto Alegre– a major city between Argentina and São Paulo and gateway to Brazil’s fabulous Green Canyons.
- Recife – A city in the Northeast region, originally settled by Dutch colonizers. Nicknamed “The Brazilian Venice”, it is built on several islands linked by many bridges. Rich in history, art and folklore. Do not miss neighboring Olinda and Porto de Galinhas. The city is also a gateway to the amazing archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.
- Rio de Janeiro– World famous, beautiful city that welcomes visitors with a big statue of an open-armed Jesus atop Corcovado Hill.
- Salvador– The first capital of Brazil is home to a unique blend of indigenous, African and European cultures. Its Carnival fun is famous, and the influence of African culture and religion is remarkable.
- São Paulo– Brazil’s largest, richest and most cosmopolitan city, where you can find strong influences of several ethnicities, including Italian, Korean, Japanese, German, Russian, Caribbean, Greek, Arab. Recently, many Chinese, Indian, Peruvian, Bolivian, Nigerian and other Africans came to live downtown and have been changing the landscape with new shops, churches and eateries. .
- Amazonia – jungle tours, wildlife, floated wood, the mysteries of the Amazon
- Chapada Diamantina National Park
- Chapada dos Veadeiros — cerrado (tropical savanna) wildlife and stunning waterfalls
- Fernando de Noronha — tropical island paradise in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, is protected as a Marine National Park since 1997 and a World Heritage Site
- Ilha Grande- a beautiful Brazilian island, about 150 km from Rio de Janeiro
- Iguaçu Falls — world-famous waterfalls
- Ilha do Marajó- an island at the mouth of the Amazon river
- Ilha do Mel (Honey Island) – protected ecological area in the coast of Paraná, features the most beautiful beaches of this state. From there, two other islands can be reached: Superagüi and Ilha das Peças, both part of the Parque Nacional do Superagüi (a UNESCO natural heritage site).
- Pantanal — the world’s largest wetland hosts lots of eco-tourism and vast biodiversity, including caiman, jaguar, anaconda, giant anteater, primates, giant otter, and piranha
- Itacare An incredibly beautiful fishing and surfing town on the coast of Southern Bahia; where the Rio Contas and the rain forest meets the Atlantic Ocean. Famous for having some of the best surf beaches in Brazil and for its cacao plantations, the raw ingredient for making chocolate.