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Hear from a Local

E aí, beleza?

My name is Alfredo Viana. I was born in a small (and beautiful) town called Teresópolis, in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro – the state. I’ve been living in Rio de Janeiro – the city – for almost 20 years. The city of Rio (yes, we just call it “Rio”) is widely known for its natural beauties like the beaches, urban forests, and sure, the Carnival, “the greatest show on earth”.

Why should people visit your country?

We usually say that there are a lot of brazils inside Brazil. As the 5th largest country in the world, we have almost 7,400 kilometers (4,577 miles) of coast, wonderful landscapes and very friendly and warm people (hugs are free in Brazil). The food is also a trademark in this country, where each of the 27 states have a typical cuisine. Also, the moderate temperature and sunny days can attract tourists to Brazil.

What is your favorite thing about Brazil?

The creativity of Brazilian people is amazing. We can find a way to solve everything, except for our own problems (like prejudice, racism, corruption and poverty, for example). The joy of the people is another thing I really like. Even with those problems, we are always smiling and full of hope for better days.

What are 3 common expressions you might hear when visiting?

We speak Brazilian Portuguese (which is very similar to European Portuguese) but, in a country as huge as ours, some idioms are more common and can vary according to the region.

  1. Eita!” is a way to express amazement, happiness, surprise and awe.

  2. E ai, beleza?!”, which means “Hi, there! Is everything good?”. “Beleza”, literally, means “beauty”, but Brazilians use it widely, mainly to express an agreement - like an “ok” or “yes”.

  3. Caô!” - it’s a Rio de Janeiro slang to say when someone is lying or telling a story that is hard to believe.

What do you recommend to do in your country?

Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are (almost) mandatory destinations for tourists when visiting Brazil; the first is famous for its beaches and samba; the second for its culture, architecture and cuisine. But if you want to try something different, you can check the vineyards in the south, the canyons and lowlands of the mid-west, the beaches in the north-east or the Amazon rainforest in the north.


Brazil Off the Beaten Path

Pottery and Hiking in Cunha, São Paulo

This charming town is known for its pottery and lavender fields, and is surrounded by lush Atlantic Forest, making it a great spot for nature lovers. Walk through the lavender fields and inhale their sedative perfume and visit local pottery studios. You can watch artisans at work, take pottery classes, hike through the Atlantic Forest to see waterfalls and wildlife, and explore the charming town center.


Explore Lençóis, Bahia and its surroundings

A colorful town on the edge of Chapada Diamantina National Park, offering access to incredible hiking paths, a vast network of caves, and waterfalls galore. Explore the ecologically diverse National Park through guided hikes to attractions like Gruta da Lapa Doce, take a dip in the enchanting Poço do Diabo waterfall, and soak in the local art scene and laid-back vibe of Lencóis.

Relax in Guarda do Embaú, Santa Catarina

This is a cool fishing village with a bohemian and laid-back atmosphere. The town's pristine natural surroundings, relaxed lifestyle, and artistic community contribute to its bohemian charm. Feel a sense of freedom and creativity in this coastal village, and mingle with the other artists, surfers, and travelers enjoying a peaceful and alternative way of life.

Underwater adventure in Fernando de Noronha

This incredible archipelago is formed by magmatic rocks brimming with colorful exotic fish, reef sharks, rays, turtles, and more, making it a scuba diver’s paradise. A mesmerizing rock formation called Morro Dois Irmãos, is one of the most iconic images of Fernando de Noronha, which stands between the bay and Cacimba do Padre beach. Baía dos porcos is another amazing beach on the main island that turns into natural pools at low tide, turning it into a mesmeric spot for snorkeling.

Disconnect and chill out in Caraíva, Bahia

A remote fishing village with no paved roads, Caraíva has a unique atmosphere with no cars or street lighting, creating a tranquil escape. Unplug and relax on pristine beaches, take a boat tour on the Caraíva River, visit the charming coastal town, and enjoy the delicious fresh seafood in rustic beachfront restaurants. This is an ideal spot for those looking for nature and simplicity.

Go surfing in Jericoacoara, Ceará

Jericoacoara, or "Jeri", is famous for its relaxed vibe and incredible sand dunes. You will find a variety of surf spots suitable for all levels. The most famous beach is Praia da Malhada, known for its consistent waves. For beginners, the waves at Praia de Jericoacoara (arguably the most beautiful beach in Ceará) are more manageable. Also enjoy windsurfing and kitesurfing at the nearby Prea Beach which is known for its strong winds.

Unwind in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro

A picturesque colonial town on the coast with cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and nearby islands to explore. Paraty's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its well-preserved buildings. Wander through the historic streets, explore museums, take boat trips to nearby islands, chill out on gorgeous beaches, and attend cultural events like the FLIP literary festival in July or August.

Venture into Mount Roraima in the North 

This majestic flat-topped mountain is at the junction of Brazil, Venezuela, and Guayana. It stands at 14 kilometers long and 2810 meters tall with cliffs on all sides and is said to be one of the oldest geological formations on Earth. If you are an adventurous traveler who loves a challenge, you can join a 6-7 day guided trek to the summit of this sandstone formation also known as "The lost World". 

Explore old diamond mines in Diamantina, Minas Gerais

Known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and significant role in Brazil's diamond mining history in the 18th century. Remnants of this heritage can be explored in the town and through guided mine tours. Also visit the town's iconic building, Casa da Glória, explore the surrounding nature, and stroll through the historic center of Diamantina.

Pottery over a fire and white bricks

Brazil Articles

Language Basics for Brazil to Know before You Go

Language Basics for Brazil to Know before You Go

When in any country, it's always good to know some very basic vocabulary to facilitate your time there. Here are some essential Brazilian words and sentences for you to know.

The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide to Brazil for 2023

The Ultimate Traveler’s Guide to Brazil for 2023

If you are planning a trip to Brazil or are already in this immense and diverse country, this travel guide is a compact but useful tool to help you along your journey.

Brazilian Travelogues

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Of all the Beaches in all of Brazil I Stumbled onto This One

When I first arrived, I must admit that I was not immediately impressed. My wooden rental loft was homely and welcoming but the surrounding area seemed pretty dull and uneventful.

Our Favorite Travel Resources

Project Visa

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Aside from the immense variety of accommodations available, they also have great customer service and clear pricing with no extra fees. In most cases, all charges are payable directly at the accommodation upon arrival and their cancellation policy is the best for last minute changes.

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