World's greatest biodiversity and cultural melting pot
Photo © Tim Mossholder
Why visit Brazil
Home to the Amazon Forest and many other important ecosystems, such as the Atlantic Forest and the Pantanal, Brazil is a perfect destination for your green holidays. More than that, Brazil is also ethnically and culturally diverse, which is seen in its architecture, festivals, music and food. Being the 5th largest country in the world, Brazil differs a lot from north to south, and east to west, so one visit will probably not be enough. Brazil is a place that captures you and makes you feel that there is still so much more to explore!
Brazil has significant initiatives and programs for promoting green practices and is engaged in developing more sustainable tourism destinations.
The Ministry of Tourism and Braztoa (Brazilian Association of Tour Operators) are responsible for creating the Braztoa Sustainability Award, the country’s largest award on sustainable tourism and recognised by the UNWTO.
These organisations also developed the Map for Sustainable Tourism in Brazil. , in which the awarded initiatives are presented and promoted.
The map aims to give visibility to businesses and destinations committed to increasing sustainability in the country’s tourism industry.
Photo © Thiago Japyassu
Brazil borders all countries in South America (except for Chile and Ecuador), so arriving in Brazil by land is an option, but not the most convenient one. Air travel is the most common way of getting to Brazil, and the main international airports are in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. These two cities are directly connected to most countries in the continent as well as many cities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East (for Asia and Oceania, a stopover is needed!). Another option would be arriving in Brazil by cruise, from North America or even from Europe.
Depending on the location of the places you wish to visit, it is often more convenient to fly, after all Brazil is huge! All capital cities and major destinations are served with national (and sometimes international) airports. Renting a car or travelling by bus, nevertheless, are also very good options for a more slow-paced travel. Buses are affordable and comfortable, but renting your own vehicle is more suitable for reaching more secluded places and for having more freedom to enjoy the landscapes and cities. Travelling by train is not an option, as railways are used only for the transportation of goods. There are, however, a few exceptions of scenic train routes for tourists, such as the one in Rio Negrinho, one of our featured sustainable destinations.
Tourism & People
Tourism in Brazil is mostly domestic and regional (56% of international tourists are South Americans), but nevertheless of great importance for the country’s GDP.
Popular destinations – especially beach ones – may experience overtourism during summer holidays, New Year’s Eve and Carnival; however, given the size of the country, there are countless alternative destinations to choose from when trying to avoid these very touristic areas.
Brazilians are very open and friendly to foreign visitors, and if you know a few words in Portuguese, this will be very helpful, as English is not commonly spoken here.
Photo © Vinicius Pontes
Travel tips from our editors
Responsible Tourism Seal
In June 2020, the Ministry of Tourism launched the Responsible Tourism Seal – Clean and Safe for tourism businesses and destinations which are following the necessary safety and hygienic measures in the fight against Covid-19.
So far, over 23,000 tourism service providers have been granted the seal and thousands of others are in the process of getting it. This initiative was created to prepare the tourism sector for gradually resuming activities as well as to make tourists feel safer to travel again.
Try Local Food and Products
Brazilian cuisine is highly underrated! While Mexican food conquered the world (for good reasons!), most people are not familiar with Brazilian dishes and never had the chance to try.
So, if you are in Brazil, take this opportunity to explore the immense variety of local fruits, legumes and vegetables, many only found in South America! The cuisine changes drastically from region to region in Brazil, but some ingredients are loved and used daily by all Brazilians, such as rice, beans and mandioca (cassava).
Also, if you have a sweet tooth, our desserts will definitely not disappoint!
Enjoy the Rich Culture
Festivals, celebrations, crafts, music and dances in Brazil are diverse, authentic and just fascinating – and you are more than welcome to take part! We love sharing our culture, making new friends and having fun.
Supporting local artisans and artists, going to restaurants and bars with live music, visiting museums and galleries, taking walking tours, eating at local markets and participating in community-based tourism (such as in Araribá) are all very good ways to help us preserve our traditions and a key aspect of being a responsible traveler.
Brazil has 9 destinations featured in the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations 2020.
Sustainability Certifications and Ecolables
The following certifications and ecolables are used in Brazil to promote, assess and improve sustainability.
18 beaches and 6 Brazilian marinas have received this certification. The Blue Flag certifies beaches and marinas (and their related tourism businesses) that meet the established criteria on safety, accessibility and environmental protection.
Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT)
The ecolable from ABNT assesses the environmental performance of products and services in the country.
"Brazil is a worldwide known hotspot for biodiversity as well as home to a multitude of cultural expressions. The natural and cultural heritage and immense variety of tourism experiences in the country are valuable assets for its competitiveness.
Yet, as we envision a post Covid-19 era, sustainability in tourism becomes crucial to build resilience and guarantee the long-lasting health of Brazil’s ecosystems and well-being of the hosting communities. This would also ensure an active contribution of the country’s tourism sector to the Sustainable Development Goals."