To be sure, Brazil is huge and you want to know the main places, like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo first, but I could not write a travel blog about Brazil without mentioning the amazing places that often are not disclosed in the international media and you probably never heard about. So, I invite you to do a tour around some of the most amazing cities in Brazil, but they are totally unknown to foreign visitors.
1 – Goiás Velho, Goiás
Goias Velho City (Old Goias)
Although worth a visit any time of year, it is worth spending Easter in the town. The celebrations begin on Wednesday, with the Procession of the blaze, which happens more than 200 years. At midnight, the city lights are off, the drums and hooded men walk the streets carrying torches and looking for Christ.
Goiás Velho is located about 135 km from Goiânia. Access is by road GO-070 and the journey takes on average two hours. You can also go by bus. Moreira Company offers tickets for R$ 21.50, in three different times. The lodging options are varied: from hotels to camping. The inns are good alternatives, with cozy rooms and a friendly service.
2 – Santo André, Bahia
Near Porto Seguro – Santo André at Bahia
The simplicity is enough to make the place one of the most beautiful in Brazil. The palm trees framing the beach, the native vegetation of the Atlantic surprises with rare species and reefs create pools where anyone can spend hours without noticing the time passing. In the tiny, single street, there are good restaurants, cozy inns and one or another agency that offers tours to dive in the coral Araripe or trails that lead visitors to the indigenous villages.
Who is in Porto Seguro, needs first arrived in Santa Cruz de Cabrália. Then the means of transportation is the ferry, which leaves all day, with intervals between 30 minutes and an hour and the journey takes about 10 minutes.
3 – Cunha, São Paulo
Sao Paulo State – Cunha
Stuck in the hills between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, invites anyone who is there to experience a little of his simple. Therefore, the former warehouse of the Royal Road is so evocative: a weekend is enough to explore the trails of Serra do Mar, bathing in waterfalls and visit the studios of local artists producing pottery. And not just any piece painted with traditional colors, creative designers work the clay into items that fill eyes.
So who leaves Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro’s need to grab the Presidente Dutra highway and Paulo Virgílio to get Cunha. From Rio, runs to about 300 km, while the distance of São Paulo is no more than 230 km.
There are also buses leaving the two cities. But they stop at the nearby Guaratinguetá. From there, you should take another bus, but now, bound for Cunha.
4 – Farol de Santa Marta, Santa Catarina
Farol de Santa Marta, Santa Catarina
Currently, the village has not lost the charm, remains simple and the sands are still undisclosed – the impression is that time has stopped. On the beach of Cardoso, the waves are perfect – and often great – that attract and make the joy of the surfers. If during the day the sea is the preferred place, when the tail end of the afternoon arrives, it is time to admire it from the top of the hill that houses the lighthouse, dividing the landscape with the sunset.
You can only arrive at the Farol de Santa Marta by car: from Florianópolis, the destination is the BR-101 toward Laguna. Before entering the city, there is the junction Jaguaruna, with directions to the Lighthouse.
If you prefer, you can get in Laguna and embark on the ferry. Florianópolis receives numerous flights from various cities in Brazil, including Sao Paulo, Campinas, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Porto Alegre.
5 – Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais
Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais
Ouro Preto is located 100 kilometers from Belo Horizonte, 480 from Rio de Janeiro and 635 kilometers fromSao Paulo . As the distances are not so great, you can make the trip by car: traveled the farthest, between the Sao Paulo capital and this mining town should be of 8 hours on average. To shorten this interval, it pays to get in Belo Horizonte by plane – there are passages from R$ 85, out of Rio and Sao Paulo – and rent a car to explore the historic region (about R$ 100 a day).
Just walk around the streets to encounter the temples ornated with the exhaust gold metal, filled with works by local artists, such as Aleijadinho and Athayde. You should enjoy this place in slow motion, like the locals, enjoy some chat with the kind of people that you will find in this place, whose prose recalls the good times when the conspiracy, outraged by the high taxes levied by the Crown, armed revolution.
6 – São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo
São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo
Near to Campos do Jordao is São Francisco Xavier, a charming town that unites the rest of the interior regions with good outdoor walking.It is easy to find waterfalls and well-groomed trails to restore power. And as the proposal is to engage with nature, on Estrada do Machado there is the named “Witch of the Forest”, wich offers a therapeutic aromatic baths overlooking the mountains. At night when the temperature drops and cold welcomes tourists, the tour is in the square. Beside the church, there are craft shops and restaurants serving simple and tasty food.
The President Dutra is the highway to get to São Francisco. However, at the time of São José dos Campos, you must follow the SP-50, bound for Monteiro Lobato. There are signs indicating the direction of São Francisco Xavier. Visit the Tourist Information Centre, the guides can help, monitor the trails and give tips on mountain climbing and paragliding.
7 – Ilha do Mel, Paraná
Honey Island (Ilha do Mel in portuguese) – Paraná State
When you arrive at Pontal do Sul, a resort town of Pontal do Paraná, or at the terminal boarding of Paranaguá is necessary to strip any reference technology, including the car, to visit the Island of Honey (Ilha do Mel in portuguese). Yes, they do not go there, nor the planters – the main means of transport is the bicycle. Just because this is already possible to imagine what the island have to offer: one that unites all natural rocky shores, mangroves, sea and coastal marshes and gained the status of UNESCO’s Ecological Station. Spend the day among the islanders have a routine that never tires: walking trails into the forest, boat trips between the towns of Brasilia and Encantadas and conversations with the locals to discover legends of mermaids and sea as the waters are dividing the island into two.
Ilha do Mel is administered by the Environmental Institute of Paraná (IAP), which controls the number of tourists to the region, which is restricted to 5000 per day. Therefore, it is best to visit it on dates bit crowded when there is the risk of stocking. You must reach Paranaguá or Pontal do Paraná to have access to the island. From these places, you take a boat and the trip takes between 30 minutes and one hour.