World's greatest biodiversity and cultural melting pot
Photo © Tim Mossholder
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!
You should not miss
Canguçu, in the extreme south of Brazil, close to the border with Uruguay, is a municipality of 55 thousand inhabitants, full of history and traditions. Canguçu, in the original indigenous language, means big forest, referring to the native vegetation of the Serra dos Tapes, the mountain range where the city is located.
Besides, in the beginning of the 20th century, Canguçu received a great number of European immigrants from the ancient region of Pomerania (today’s Germany and Poland), whose customs and traditions still have its mark in the local culture. Today, 60% of canguenses have Pomeranian descent.
Bombinhas is a municipality in the state of Santa Catarina in the South region of Brazil. It is the smallest municipality of that state in terms of area. The municipality contains part of the 17,104 hectares Marinha do Arvoredo Biological Reserve, established in 1990.
The municipality is facing the huge challenging due to the migration process, changes of economic activities and the facilities of the modern world attracted the attention of the new community and the young inhabitants, who ended up leaving aside the knowledge and actions of their ancestors, mischaracterizing a community that possesses an invaluable cultural wealth and potential for the development of community based tourism.
In the south of Brazil, in the state of Santa Catarina, Forquilhinha lies on the intersection of the rivers Mãe Luzia and São Bento. The city was colonized by German immigrants in 1912, but many other ethnic groups contributed to its development. For this reason, the city has a very rich and diverse culture, with folkloric and choral groups, and many traditions and festivals.
Forquilhinha is the birthplace of Dr. Zilda Arns, a sanitary doctor respected worldwide for her works carried out in front of the Pastoral da Criança, which earned her 3 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The city of Itá, located in the state of Santa Catarina, surrounded by lush native forest, which is home to a diversity of wild animals and exotic plants, breathtaking views, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Its people radiate warmth and welcomes everyone to experience the local culture and typical cuisine in one of the 50 best cities to live in Brazil.
Orleans is a Brazilian municipality in the state of Santa Catarina. The town is located in the south of the state. As of 2020, the estimated population was 23,038. The municipality contains part of the 1,330 hectares Serra Furada State Park, created in 1980. Besides, Orleans was first colonized by many European nationalities such as Italians, Germans, Austrians, Poles, Norwegians, Latvians, Dutch and so on.
Tibau is located in the western region of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, the tourist destination of Tibau is considered one of the most visited in the region of white coast. With its privileged natural beauties, Tibau has a variety of 25 colored clays and sands, however the speculation provoked in recent decades has caused an accelerated process of environmental degradation of these natural spaces.
The wide variety of sands and clays present in the region aroused curiosity in the place, which contributed to the work developed by the artisans, leaving the colored sand to dry and sifted in a burlap sack or wire sieves for later the dried clay, crushed and sifted. The work is done with two reeds, one of coconut palm and the other of wire. By pressing them in regular proportions, little by little the artisan gets the most beautiful drawings by hand.
Arroio Trinta is a municipality in the state of Santa Catarina in the South region of Brazil. The population in Arroio Trinta in 2020 was only 3,549 inhabitants. Moreover, Arroio Trinta was the arrival point for the Italian descendants who immigrated to the region of Urussanga began to colonise Arroio Trinta in 1924. From that moment, the two cultures bonded inextricably to become one, and Arroio Trinta is now considered the “Catarinian capital of Italian culture”.
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
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.
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
Brazil has 9 destinations featured in the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations 2021.
Fernanda Rodak Page Editor
"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."