Brazil Beyond Rio: 5 Great Alternative Destinations
Brazil is not only the biggest country in Latin America, but a completely different world of its own. With such a massive territory, plus a very rich historical and cultural heritage, every corner of Brazil a precious jewel waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. To further praise Brazil, the most precious treasure of the marvelous country is its people. From the moment you land in Brazil, be ready to meet the nicest, most welcoming and heartwarming people you´ve ever encountered. To only associate the word “Brazil” with it´s most iconic city -- Rio de Janeiro -- is to see Brazil through a narrow lens, doing a disservice to the diversity of the country. Luckily for you, AllTheRooms, the world's first vacation rental search engine, has put together a fun list of places in Brazil beyond Rio de Janeiro that are equally worth visiting.
1) Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
Brazil surprises visitors, both local and foreign, with landscapes to take your breath away. One such place is Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. Located in the northern region of Brazil, in the state of Maranhão, the area is an endless myriad of stunning sand dunes with surrounding pools and lakes of pristine turquoise waters. The best place to stay while exploring the dunes is Barreirinhas, where you can book 4x4 tours, horseback rides, and get lost swimming in the magical lagoons.
Rio is truly amazing, but can be a little overwhelming at times. If you're looking for beautiful beaches, cosmopolitan living, and fun nightlife, all with some serenity, look no further than Brazil's most gorgeous island-city. Floranópolis is located in the southern tip of the country and is suited to all types of travelers. Filled with activities like paragliding and surfing, the city has a great energy, especially in areas like Praia Mole and Lagoinha do Leste.
3) Salvador de Bahia
Brazil's Atlantic Coast is packed with incredible cities and adventures. One of the most iconic cities in this region is Salvador in the state of Bahia. Salvador is known for being diverse and rich in culture. The perfect mix of Amerindian, European and African traditions are reflected in the city´s gastronomy, folklore, and art. The old part of town, known as Pelourinho, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is the best way to begin exploring Salvador.
4) Iguazu Falls
Paradise on Earth is a pretty good way to describe Iguazu Falls and the surrounding area. The region is shared with neighboring country Argentina and it rivals fellow waterfalls such as Niagara Falls. The sheer magnificence of the view and its magnificent nature cannot be captured in a mere photograph. Not only are the waterfalls a place to fall in love, the nearby area is a dense forest filled with exotic and unique flora and fauna. With abundant trails, excursions, and activities available to book in advance or once in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, there is a high chance that after visiting Iguazu Falls, you'll feel like the rest of the world is missing something.
The world knows Brazil is home to the Amazon rainforest and its enormous river, the Amazon river. This region holds the world´s largest rainforest along with so many species of wildlife that scientists believe only a percentage of it has been discovered. Many people also don´t know that in the middle of this vast natural wonder lies the modern and cosmopolitan city of Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas. The city is not only a great access point to explore the depths of the Amazon rainforest, but it is itself an adventure. The architecture of the city is contemporary with hints of historical European influences -- such as with the Teatro Amazonas and the Mercado Municipal, both showing resemblances to buildings in Paris. The city is known for its raw material products such as rubber, as well as being home to amazing gastronomy, a vast cultural agenda, and some of the friendliest people you´ll ever meet (as is the case in the entire country).
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