The Pantanal is a vast expanse of wetlands which straddles the borders of Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia and is without question the best place to spot wild animals in the whole of South America and therefore the best place to spot wildlife and animals on a Brazil holiday. It is the world’s largest freshwater wetland and one of the best places in the world for birdspotting.
The mighty Iguassu Falls are without doubt the most spectacular waterfalls in the world and an essential part of a Brazil holiday. The falls lie between Brazil and Argentina and flow from the Iguassu River. The falls consist of 275 separate waterfalls and are accessed from the town of Foz do Iguacu with regular flights. 80% of the falls sit within Argentinean territory are this has arguably the best views however a visit to both sides are a must.
Think of Brazil and you think of the Amazon, the vast river which dissects the north of the country. The Amazon though is far more than just a river. It is a huge area of rainforest and waterways covering six of Brazil’s states stretching from its mouth at the Atlantic at Belem all the way to the Peruvian, Colombian and Bolivian borders. A journey along the length of the Amazon is the stuff of adventurers, boat-hopping and spending a couple of weeks in a hammock.
Say to most people you are going on holiday to Brazil and visiting Lencois Maranhenses National Park and 99.9% of people will say “where?” Located in eastern Maranhao, close to Sao Luis, it is a vast expanse of sand dunes separating land and sea. The dunes which rise up to 50 metres high stretch out in long flowing patterns and from the air look like giant bed sheets (lencois in Portuguese). This spectacular coastal park is relatively unknown outside of Brazil but is an incredible destination.
Prior to the 1980’s Bonito was an unheard of destination, a small town in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, which has slowly become the eco-tourism capital of Brazil. Its main attractions are natural, such as river springs with crystalline waters, beautiful waterfalls, caves, forests and a great diversity of fauna and flora.
The Chapada Diamantina National Park lies to the west of Salvador near to the small town of Lencois, a hours flight from Salvador. It is the highlight of inland Bahia and one of Brazil’s best national parks. It is certainly a great place to go trekking in Brazil. The Chapada Diamantina National Park is made up of a number of escarpments dotted throughout the park, surrounded by forest, studded by caves and with an abundance of waterfalls.
Brazil is home to over 1700 species of birds; over 200 of these are endemic to Brazil which is the highest number of any country in the world. There are some incredible destinations throughout the country to observe birdlife. For those without a specific interest in birding then the Pantanal and Iguassu Falls both offers great opportunities to see toucans and colourful parrots in close proximity.
The rarely known national park that is Chapada dos Veadeiros is a stunning destination and perfect for those trying to escape the tourist trail in an unspoilt area of nature.
It is also the brightest point on earth when seen from space due to the large deposits of quartz which are found in the ground here.
You don’t immediately think of whale watching when you think of Brazil but the country makes for an excellent holiday destination to see these beautiful creatures in the world. The season runs from July to November and there are two primary locations to enjoy whale watching as part of your holiday to Brazil, which are Bahia and Santa Catarina. Within the Bahia lies the aptly named Whale Coast and the Abrolhos Archipelago, an area of extreme biological importance and the home, in the second half of the year, to shoals of Humpback whales.
Jalapao, lying in the state of Tocantins, is far off the tourist track but a destination of great beauty. A rarely visited area most easily accessed through the airport at Palmas, Jalapao is a vast area of wilderness mixing cerrado forest, waterfalls, table-top mountains, white-water rivers, small cabloco villages, sand dunes and freshwater springs.