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Things to do in Brazil

Things to do in  Brazil

Welcome to Brazil

Wherever you are in Brazil, the infectious sound of samba drifts from bars; platters of perfectly roasted meats and obsidian-black beans line tables; and cheerful ois (hi, in Portuguese) erupt from the mouths of lively locals. In Rio de Janeiro, the legendary Copacabana and Ipanema beaches are set against the dramatic backdrop of Corcovado, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and the outstretched arms of Christ the Redeemer. Full-day sightseeing tours tick off all of the city's highlights, while the Selaron Steps, Rochina favela, and a samba show are typically form part of the itinerary, too. But Rio is just the beginning. The sprawling metropolis of São Paulo—Brazil's most-populous city—reveals its cultural heft on a panoramic tour, while nature buffs will be charmed by the Amazon rain forests of Manaus, home to numerous biodiverse species. In the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguassu National Park, the Iguazu Falls (Foz de Iguacu) create a thundering roar, and in Salvador, historic African influence dictates the vibrant energy of the city. Myriad private and group tours help visitors experience it all with skip-the-line entry to top sights, simple transportation options, and local perspectives. And Brazil borders almost every country in South America—only Chile and Ecuador are excluded—making it the ideal starting point for any South American trip. Begin with New Year's Eve or Carnaval, two of Rio's most spectacular celebrations, before journeying across the continent.

Top 10 attractions in Brazil

#1
Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redentor)

Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redentor)

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Keeping a watchful eye over the people of Rio de Janeiro, the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redentor) sits atop Corcovado Mountain at 2,300 feet (700 meters) above the city. Unveiled in 1931 and voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, this impressive monument is often credited as the most iconic site in Brazil.More
#2
Amazon River

Amazon River

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The mighty Amazon River and its enormous, thickly forested basin are the heart of South America and the guardian of 20 percent of the Earth’s fresh water. Visitors from around the globe come to Iquitos to cruise the river’s storied waters and catch a glimpse of diverse fauna both above and below the surface.More
#3
Rio de Janeiro Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de Sao Sebastiao)

Rio de Janeiro Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de Sao Sebastiao)

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Tall and cone-shaped, the modernist Rio de Janeiro Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de Sao Sebastiao) doesn’t look like a typical church. The unusual design was constructed between 1964 and 1979 by architect Edgar Fonseca. One of Rio’s most important religious structures, it is dedicated to St. Sebastian, the city’s patron saint.More
#4
Sugarloaf Mountain (Pao de Açúcar)

Sugarloaf Mountain (Pao de Açúcar)

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It’s easy to see why Rio de Janeiro was nicknamed the “Marvelous City” when you’re gazing down at it from the heights of Sugarloaf Mountain (Pao de Açúcar). From its soaring 1,300-foot (396-meter) summit, the city unfolds around you, with views of the iconic Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, the Tijuca Forest, and the Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue standing tall atop Corcovado Mountain to the west.More
#5
Selarón Steps (Escadaria Selarón)

Selarón Steps (Escadaria Selarón)

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Decorated with more than 2,000 brightly colored tiles in the colors of the Brazilian flag, the Selarón Steps (Escadaria Selarón) is one of Rio de Janeiro's most vibrant and striking landmarks, marking the boundary between the Lapa and Santa Teresa neighborhoods.More
#6
Copacabana Beach (Praia de Copacabana)

Copacabana Beach (Praia de Copacabana)

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Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Copacabana Beach evokes images of white-sand shores, sun-kissed volleyball players, tourists sipping agua de coco out of bright green coconuts, and bikini-clad revelers partying long into the night. And for the most part, that’s pretty accurate. Add in a touch of local carioca (Rio residents) flavor and a splash of the obscure, and it becomes obvious how thousands of people easily spend entire days (and nights) wholly entertained on the world’s most famous beach.More
#7
Ipanema Beach (Praia de Ipanema)

Ipanema Beach (Praia de Ipanema)

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Although less famous than its neighbor Copacabana Beach, Ipanema holds its own with quiet charm and considerably cleaner surroundings—and it does so without skimping on any of the white sands, blue waters, or local character that give Rio de Janeiro’s beaches their claim to fame.More
#8
Tijuca National Park (Parque Nacional da Tijuca)

Tijuca National Park (Parque Nacional da Tijuca)

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Prior to the 19th century, Rio de Janeiro was surrounded by Atlantic rain forest. Today, all that remains is the 13-square-mile (33-square-kilometer) jungle known as Tijuca National Park (Parque Nacional da Tijuca). Studded with tropical trees knotted together by jungle vines, the world’s largest urban forest is home to ocelots, howler monkeys, more than 300 bird species, waterfalls, and one of Rio’s iconic landmarks, the Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue standing atop Corcovado Mountain.More
#9
Paulista Avenue (Avenida Paulista)

Paulista Avenue (Avenida Paulista)

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As one of the most expensive strips of real estate in Latin America, Avenida Paulista is Sao Paulo’s most famous thoroughfare. What started out as a residential street lined with neoclassical mansions is today a modern hub of business, culture, and entertainment.More
#10
Sao Conrado Beach (Praia de Sao Conrado)

Sao Conrado Beach (Praia de Sao Conrado)

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Whether you’re looking for the surf, the golden sands or to soar in the skies above, visiting Sao Conrado Beach (Praia de São Conrado) is a highlight of Rio de Janeiro. Here in this affluent, oceanfront neighborhood that’s sometimes called Praia Pepino, visitors will find an eclectic combo of people, many of whom are surfers or paragliders. The juxtaposition of social classes is evident out on the streets—yet everyone seems to equally enjoy the combo of sunshine and surf.When strolling the sands of Sao Conrado, be sure to look up and scan the skies for hangliders circling above. The beach is a popular landing spot for groups of paragliders and hangliders, most of whom have launched from the slopes of neighboring Pedra Bonita. To get a birds-eye view for yourself—but keep your feet back on land—a strenuous trail climbs 2,500 feet up towering Pedra da Gávea. This stoic sentinel and oceanfront rock is a classic Rio landmark, though the round-trip climb can take a whole day—even for seasoned hikers.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Manaus

How to Spend 3 Days in Manaus

Top activities in Brazil

Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

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$25.71

Recent reviews from experiences in Brazil

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Beautiful views.
Mia, Apr 2021
3 Hour Sailing Experience in Rio
They both spoke English very well which was great.
star-5
Great Tour
JacobN, Nov 2020
Rocinha Favela Walking Tour
Carlos had very good English and a deep knowledge of the favela and their history in Brazil.
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A must do in Rio
Robert_W, Feb 2020
Full Day in Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, Maracana and Selaron with Lunch
THE best way to get a wonderful overview of Rio for your first day, we saw all of the must sees, plus driving thru the streets to see the street art, houses etc and at the end a wonderful buffet with authentic Brazilian food included, our guide was very knowledgeable speaking 5 languages....
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Positive Rio De Janeiro experience
Anneli_P, Feb 2020
Full Day in Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, Maracana and Selaron with Lunch
We had only one day in Rio and were able to see all important sightseeing spots.
star-5
An Excellent Tour
dyenomoto, Jan 2020
Brazilian Falls, Bird Park and Itaipu Dam from Foz do Iguaçu
This tour is very good for seeing Iguassu Falls on the Brazilian side, the Bird Park, and the Itaipu Dam all in one day.
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A nice day in a favela
Dave M, Dec 2019
Rocinha Favela Walking Tour
There was so much to see and do.
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Incredible!
Sheldon_H, Dec 2019
Argentinian and Brazilian falls Full day trip
It is a must to do both Argentina and Brazil side to fully appreciate the falls.
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Iguassu Falls
dilip_p, Nov 2019
Full Day Iguassu Falls Both Sides - Brazil and Argentina
Simply amazing tour of both sides of the falls.
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Rio full day tour
RONALDANTHONY_L, Oct 2019
Full Day Complete Tour of Rio de Janeiro
Gabby’s English skills were excellent (not always the case with Brazilian guides).
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Fantastic Favelas
Karen_B, Aug 2019
Private Walking and Cultural Tour Rocinha-Rio de Janeiro
This was a fab trip, great to see the real Brazil, eating and drinking in the favela.
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Favela tour
715manleyc, Sep 2018
Favela Walking Tour in Rio de Janeiro
A great way to see the other side of beautiful Rio!.
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Amazing! Since the falls are almost...
alexbog8, Jun 2017
Brazilian Falls, Bird Park and Itaipu Dam from Foz do Iguaçu
Since the falls are almost all in the argentinean side, with this tour you have a panoramic view of the falls, which was great!
star-5
We had a very good tour of the...
Ralf R, Jul 2017
Guided Small-Group Tour to Argentine Side of Iguassu Falls
We had a very good tour of the Argentinian side of the falls with Eduardo, who was knowledgeable, courteous, and generous with his time and expertise he even took us on an unscheduled side trip to the triple border Argentina-Brazil-Uruguay.
star-5
This was a culturally fulfilling...
Robert H, Oct 2017
Salvador African Heritage Private City Tour Including Afro-Brazilian Museum
The tour guide was very knowledgeable and spoke good English.
star-5
The guide is very helpful who knows...
Yining W, Sep 2017
Day Trip to the Argentinian Side of Iguassu Falls from Foz do Iguaçu
It just give you enough time to visit the Argentinaian side in the morning, so you can do the Brazilian side in the afternoon.
star-5
An absolutely amazing and...
David E, Oct 2017
Day Trip to the Argentinian Side of Iguassu Falls from Foz do Iguaçu
The views of the falls from the Brazilian side are great but they are far far better from the Argentinian side.
star-5
Our guide was excellent, very good...
Christina H, Aug 2017
Biking and Hiking Tour from Copacabana to Two Brothers Hill
The motorcycle taxi was great fun, and walking back through the favela was my one chance to see how many Brazilians really live.
star-4
Great day! I enjoyed seeing more to...
Rachel P, Aug 2016
Day Trip to Petrópolis from Rio de Janeiro
I wish the guide, while lovely and helpful, spoke more English.
star-4
Good tour as it was nice to see a...
Jabari W, Jun 2016
Petrópolis Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro including Imperial Museum and Crystal Palace
Good tour as it was nice to see a different part of Brazil and learn its history of the Portuguese royal family.
star-5
Anna was the best! Her English was...
Thomas_M, Mar 2017
Full Day Complete Tour of Rio de Janeiro
Her English was excellent, she is very knowledgeable about Brazil.
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