Off-the-beaten-path: Hidden Gems in Brazil

South America’s largest country is well-known for its capital city, Rio de Janeiro, and its annual carnival parade.  Perhaps best viewed from Sugar Loaf Mountain, seeing the Atlantic coastal forests descend to the city’s fabulous world-class beaches and Guanabara Bay – it is truly something special.  And views aren’t bad from the White Christ at Corcovado either, where you will pass through these same forests during your ascent to one of the seven modern man made wonders of the world.  

Then there’s the Amazon – river and jungle – much of which is in Brazil. And of course incredible Iguazu Falls – the largest gathering of waterfalls in the world.  But there is so much more to see in this amazing country.  Join us as we introduce just a couple of these lesser-known national treasures.  

Visit Brazil’s Pantanal for some of the best wildlife viewing in the world

Some people think of the Amazon Jungle as the best place to see wildlife, but the Pantanal regions of Brazil promise even better opportunities to catch glimpses of capybaras, caimans, jaguars and more.  One of the world’s largest forested wetland areas, Brazil’s Pantanal is 10 times the size of Florida’s Everglades.  And it is out there, with several hour land transfers from airports such as Cuiaba and Campo Grande, where flights connect from Rio or Sao Paolo.  It’s all about the lodge, they say, in that the guides and services at each property have much to do with your experience int this unique ecosystem.  Go even deeper into the Pantanal and consider more offbeat lodges that offer something different, such as more distant fly-in options and lodge to lodge experiences, some on horseback! 

Off-the-beaten-path: Hidden Gems in Brazil Ideal South America

Witness the majestic sand dunes of Lencois along Brazil’s culturally and naturally rich northeast coast 

On the northeastern Brazilian coast you can find a wealth of Afro-Brazilian cultural tradition, which comes all the more alive during the carnival celebrations in February.  The music, dance and costumes you witness in cities such as Salvador and Recife at that time are unlike any in the world.  But if landscapes and nature are more your thing, the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park contains the largest collection of sand dunes in South America – some reaching heights of over 60 feet.  With impermeable rock between the dunes and valleys helping to create natural pools from the confluence of four rivers heading to the Atlantic Ocean, it is truly a sight to behold.  Two separate oases (restingas) contain unique coastal forests with mangroves, sheltering endangered species such as the scarlet ibis, neotropical otter, the oncilla and the West Indian manatee.  And you can find over 100 species of nesting and migrating birds, alongside over 40 different types of reptiles.  

Off-the-beaten-path: Hidden Gems in Brazil Ideal South America

Stay tuned for our next installment of Brazil’s hidden gems, where we will tell you more about the Serra da Capivara National Park, in Brazil’s northeastern inland savanna, along with another surprise destination.