Five Places to Visit in Brazil After Rio de Janeiro

Five Places to Visit in Brazil After Rio de Janeiro


Rio de Janeiro is on many a traveller’s bucket list.  Spectacular beaches, the iconic statue of Christ, magnificent views from Sugarloaf Mountain, and who could forget the biggest party on Earth, Carnival!  If you are lucky enough to visit Rio, you are in for a treat!  And while you are in Brazil, why not extend your trip so you can visit other destinations in Brazil?  Here are five ideas for places to visit in Brazil before or after your visit to Rio – no matter what you like, there is an option for everyone:

Places to visit in Brazil after Rio:

If you like hip and happening cities, go to Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is South America’s largest city; a huge, sprawling metropolis that many people choose to avoid for its crime and pollution.  However, get beneath the surface to discover a buzzing nightlife, excellent local and international cuisine and some of the best street art in the world.  Bear all this in mind and Sao Paulo is well worth a visit.  The metro system is easy to use, clean, and safe, so is a great way to get around.  Stay in the bohemian Vila Madalena area for boutique hostels, hotels and plenty of bars and restaurants.  The nearby Beco de Batman is a whole street filled with graffiti that showcases the work of the city’s best street artists, and hop on the metro to explore other parts of the city such as old town and its municipal market or Liberdade (home to Sao Paulo’s Japanese & Asian communities).  If you’re on a budget then you could take a free walking tour to explore the city on foot (a little long at around 3.5 hours, so take water with you, & wear comfortable shoes), or head up to the skies with a tour of Edificio Martinelli, Sao Paulo’s first skyscraper.

Learn more about Sao Paulo.  Find accommodation in Sao Paulo

Places to Visit in Brazil - Graffiti Beco de Batman in Sao Paulo
Places to visit in Brazil after Rio – Graffiti in the Beco de Batman street in Sao Paulo

If you like colonial splendour, go to Paraty

Cobbled streets and pretty white buildings with colourful doors & flower filled balconies make Paraty perfect for gorgeous holiday snaps.  It is a wonderful example of Portugues colonial architecture, and has been well preserved.  It also on the beach!  The beach in Paraty itself isn’t particularly impressive, but you can hire a boat to visit secluded coves and turquoise waters just a short distance away.  If you like to party, then the Caipirinha Boat Tour combines great swimming spots and the picture-perfect photo opportunities with all you can drink caipirinhas and party tunes.  It does attract a younger crowd, who tend to take full advantage of the drinks on offer – don’t say I didn’t warn you!  If that sounds like too much, then stroll around the town, and admire the architecture, pop into the churches and enjoy a sweet treat from one of the many dessert carts dotted around town.

Check out other activities in Paraty.  Find accommodation in Paraty

Places to Visit in Brazil - Sunset in Paraty
Places to visit in Brazil after Rio – Sunset in Paraty

If you like the Beach Life, go to Ihla do Mel

Ihla Grande is a popular destination for beach bums after visiting Rio.  That does mean though that it can get very busy around holidays and Carnival.  To escape the crowds, head further south to Ihla do Mel (Honey Island) near Curitiba.  Here you will find a tiny island only reachable by boat, with simple accommodations, miles of beaches and a variety of trails to follow through the jungle.  There are no cash machines on the island, so bring plenty with you so you can enjoy the local cuisine, including freshly caught seafood, and moqueca, a kind of fish stew in coconut milk.  Explore the forest trails, or take a walk to the lighthouse and the 18th century fort for a touch of history, or simply lounge on the beaches.

Learn more about Ihla do Mel.  Find accommodation in Ihla do Mel.

Places to Visit in Brazil - Get on the Beach in Ihla do Mel
Places to Visit in Brazil after Rio – Get on the Beach in Ihla do Mel

If you like jaw dropping waterfalls, go to Iguaçu Falls

Iguaçu or Iguazú Falls (in Portuguese & Spanish, respectively) are not to be missed.  The largest waterfall system in the world, made up of some 275 individual waterfalls and cascades, Iguazu is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  I recommend visiting both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the falls to get a true picture of their size and power, but bear in mind that if you cross over to Argentina for just 1 day you still need to comply with their immigration and visa requirements.  Both sides of the falls have footpaths and walkways to give you unique views of the – some close enough to get drenched from the spray!  You also have the chance to see wildlife here in the form of coatis (who can be aggressive, so don’t feed them!), monkeys and various species of birds and butterflies.  Stay overnight in the town of Foz, and combine your trip with a visit to the huge Itaipu Dam on the border of Brazil and Paraguay, a wonder of modern engineering, at the cost of 700 square km of forest.

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Places to Visit in Brazil - The Incredible Iguazu Falls
Places to Visit in Brazil – The Incredible Iguazu Falls

If you like nature, go to el Pantanal or the Amazon

El Pantanal, Brazil’s huge natural paradise is the best place for wildlife spotting, from jaguars, anteaters & armadillos to the lovable capybara (a giant rodent rather like an overgrown guinea pig) and is second to none in South America.  Tours can be arranged by boat along the system of rivers and flooded plains, or by horseback to get closer to the action.  Alternatively, take a flight north to the Amazon, to embark on a jungle trek from Manaus, then take a slow boat down the river, sleeping in a hammock and chatting with locals.  There are thousands of amazing animals in the Amazon that you might spot – monkeys, snakes and birds are common, although difficult to see from the river.  Rare pink dolphins are easier to spot though as they play in the river & hunt for fish.  Stop off at Santarém and the nearby Alter do Chao to get a taste of the beach on the banks of the Tapajós river, which feeds into the Amazon.  Here you can also spend time with the local people, and stay overnight in the jungle where you can explore the river by canoe and spot monkeys, sloths and various jungle creatures.

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Learn more about Alter do Chao.  Find accommodation in Alter do Chao

Places to Visit in Brazil - Get Close to Nature in the Amazon
Places to Visit in Brazil – Get Close to Nature in the Amazon


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Collage 5 Places to Visit in Brazil After Rio

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16 thoughts on “Five Places to Visit in Brazil After Rio de Janeiro

  1. This is a great list of other places to go. During my visit to Brazil, I only went to Rio and Sao Paulo. I forwent Iguazu Falls because flight prices were astronomical for some reason but I probably should’ve gone since I don’t know when’s the next time I’ll go. Paraty would look interesting; I’d love to see some of the colonial architecture and it sounds like fun place to be anyways. Maybe one day the Amazon…if I can get over my fear of being torn up by mosquitos!

  2. Great suggestions! Lived in Brazil for a few years and those are places to go. There are more of course, but we are talking about a country of continental dimension.

  3. I never realized how beautiful and culturally diverse Brazil was. Most people want to head to Rio but I’m interested in the out of the box locations, filled with natural beauty. Thanks for posting this awesome list on places to visit.

  4. Wow, Iguazu Falls looks AMAZING! Brazil is definitely on my bucket list, and Rio in particular is a city I can’t wait to explore. This post has inspired me – thanks!!!

  5. I’ve been dying to go to the Brazilian Amazon. I’ve been to the Peruvian side – it is simply magical! Brazil is high on my list – there’s so much culture, nature, and vibrancy. It seems like a place one can truly get lost in!

  6. I’d love to visit Brazil some day. I didn’t make it there during my trip to South America. Would you believe Rio is at the top of my 5 yo daughters travel bucket list – she’s always asking me when we can go to Rio – she loves the colour and dancing. This is a great list for when we get there some day.

  7. This is timely as I’ll be in Brazil next month and I’m visiting all these places! I have to say I am so looking forward to the falls.

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