InternationalNature

Brazil's Best Natural Assets

By , June 6th, 2014

Brazil has it all: Curves in all the right places, sun-kissed highlights and exotic enough to spoil even the most seasoned traveler. Get your mind out of the gutter and explore Brazil’s most beautiful natural attractions.

Waterfalls

[caption id="attachment_5805" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Iguazu Falls Brazil The Garganta del Diablo, Iguazu Falls Brazil. Photo by Lucio Sassi[/caption]

Garganta do Diabo, Iguazu Falls forms a natural border between Brazil and Argentina. The Iguazu River flows mainly through Brazil but most of the falls are on the Argentinian side. It is quite easy to visit from the Brazilian side however.

[caption id="attachment_5812" align="aligncenter" width="1300"]Iguazu Falls Brazil A helicopter over the Iguazu Falls. Photo courtesy of Embratur.[/caption]

More Waterfall action, because truly, would one shot be enough?  When Eleanor Roosevelt first saw Iguazu, she reportedly exclaimed “Poor Niagara!”. Stay in the nearby city of Foz de Iguaçu.

Beaches and Salt Water

[caption id="attachment_5814" align="aligncenter" width="1300"]Best beach in Brazil Porto De Galinhas beach in Brazil. Photo by Tourism Brazil[/caption]

Porto de Galinhas is famous for its sparkling azure waters, the natural pools and the fact that it has been voted the Best Brazilian beach by Brazilians EIGHT times in a row! See more beaches here that only the locals know about and plan your stay right beside the beach.

[caption id="attachment_5813" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Fernando de Noronha Baía dos Porcos Turquoise waters and a magical landscape. Photo by Pedro Paulo Capelossi for EMBRATUR[/caption]

Fernando de Noronha– This archipelago of 21 islands is accessible by plane or by boat. Expect to pay a small environmental conservation fee which will seem well worth it once you disembark from your boat or plane. This is the famous Morro Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Hill).

[caption id="attachment_5821" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]Surfing at Fernando de Noronha A surfer catches one of the huge Fernando de Noronha waves. Photo by Michel Rios.[/caption]

You won’t have to be bored just sitting on the beach here.  It’s a surfing paradise in Fernando De Noronha. See here where you should stay on the archipelago.

Wetlands

[caption id="attachment_5811" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Mato Grosso do Sul Pantanal The incredible wetlands of Brazil. Photo by Embratur.[/caption]

Pantanal Wetlands is one of the richest ecosystems in the world and plays house with 1000 bird species, 400 fish species, 300 mammalian species, 480 reptile species and over 9000 different invertebrates. These are just the ones we have so far discovered.

[caption id="attachment_5856" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Ciuaba Brazil Dusk at the Pantanal Wetlands Brazil. Photo by Paul Williams. [/caption]

Start your Pantanal journey from Cuiabá.

Mystical Caves

[caption id="attachment_5810" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Mato Grosso do Sul Bonito Gruta do Lago Azul Azure cave in Brazil will make you feel small. Photo by Embratur [/caption]

Visting the Gruta do Lago Azul  cave can be a bit treacherous and there are only natural stairs and no handrail, but what’s life without a little risk? You’ll be rewarded when you reach the bottom and you’re able to see 300 feet down into a lake of crystal clear water. The Gruta is one of world’s biggest flooded caves.

[caption id="attachment_5809" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Mato Grosso do Sul Bonito Gruta do Lago Azul Water glowing at the Gruta. Photo by Embratur.[/caption]

Another Gruta do Lago Azu because the water is truly incredible.

The Largest River in The World

[caption id="attachment_5808" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Amazon River Brazil Waterways of the Amazon River in Brazil. Photo by Embratur[/caption]

Amazon River is perfect for a river cruise. Whether you’re interested in Ayahuasca, white-water rafting or just observing animals, the Amazon is a playground where you won’t get bored.  Stay in Manaus, smack in the middle of the Amazonian Jungle and FIFA World Cup host city for 2014.

[caption id="attachment_5807" align="aligncenter" width="1215"]Amazon River and rainforest Brazil Incredibly wide Amazon River. Photo by Embratur[/caption]

The Amazon is anywhere between 1 to 6 miles long but during wet season can expand into 30 miles wide.  Over ONE-THIRD of all known species in the world live in the Amazonian rain forest so keep your eyes peeled for undiscovered creatures during your visit.

Mountains

[caption id="attachment_5815" align="aligncenter" width="1170"]São Paulo Serra da Mantiqueira Campos do Jordão The moutanins of Serra Mantiqueira. Photo by Embratur [/caption]

Serra da Mantiqueira mountains touch both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, making it the perfect escape from all the fuss of the FIFA World Cup. Hike the mountains or relax at one of the wellness resorts that dot the mountain range.

[caption id="attachment_5826" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Serra da Mantiqueira Rio de Janeiro Mountain range outside of Rio. Photo by Rodolfo Freitas[/caption]

The fresh mountain air will be a welcomed relief from the smog of the bigger cities, so stay a few nights nearby and make it a weekend trip.