With 8,516,000 km², Brazil is the largest country in South America and one of the ten largest in the world. Apart from the world-famous cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the country has a number of places that invite you to experience isolation and connection with nature – whether in the heart of the forest or by the sea – without sacrificing comfort and personalized services.
1. A rainforest experience
Located in the Amazon, one of the largest biomes on the planet, the Anavilhanas Archipelago is a conservation area on the banks of the Rio Negro, in the state of Amazonas, with about 400 islands. Its unique ecosystem offers visitors a wide range of experiences during their immersion in the heart of its lush forest. Embark on an adventure aboard a traditional canoe rowing up or down the river, like residents of riverine communities do. In the evening, how about exploring the igapós (blackwater-flooded forests) under the stars to spot sloths, birds, snakes, and alligators hidden in the sounds of darkness? You can enjoy this unmatched experience at Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge.
Also in the Amazon basin, the wildlife diversity attracts attention and welcomes tourists to Alta Floresta, state of Mato Grosso, on the banks of the Cristalino River. Just hike some of the local trails (with experienced guides) to discover the many charms of the forest, its scents, and many different species of birds, plants, and monkeys. For those who prefer to experience the forest through the waters of the Cristalino River, canoe trips offer visitors fascinating, untouched landscapes, where nature reigns supreme and luxury is revealed in what is truly essential. Your host in this paradise is Cristalino Lodge.
2. Barefoot on the northeast beaches
The northeast Atlantic coast of Brazil is filled with isolated sand beaches. Aquiraz and Cruz, in the state of Ceará, are two great examples. About 40 km away from Fortaleza, Aquiraz is home to Barro Preto Beach. This authentic fishing village is a haven of tranquility blessed with year-round sunshine, soft white sand, and a calm sea of warm greenish waters. Its atmosphere of stillness and calm is one of its main attractions, making it an ideal destination for those seeking privacy. During your stay at Carmel Charme Resort, a tip to break the silence in this little piece of heaven on earth is to take a buggy ride through shifting dunes and then watch the sunset coloring the sky with orange tones to the sound of the ocean waves.
Also in the northeast, Trancoso is a cool and quiet village in southern Bahia that harmoniously combines rusticity and elegance. Founded at the beginning of Portuguese colonization by the Jesuits, the place was rediscovered by hippies in the 1970s and has since become one of the most coveted destinations in the region. Located on the so-called Discovery Coast, the village is perched high on a cliff and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic. With good accommodation options, Trancoso offers luxuries such as the privilege of sleeping to the sound of the waves or waking up with your feet in the sand, surrounded by the lush local vegetation. In addition to Praia dos Nativos, which is the most central beach, there are also: surfers’ favorite Itaquena; Rio da Barra, which enchants the eyes with the junction of river and sea; and the more deserted beaches of Itapororoca and Ipatimirim, perfect for those who want to unplug and take a relaxing walk. Tips on staying in Trancoso are Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa, Pousada Estrela D’Água (beachside) and Etnia Pousada Boutique, with its small tropical forest.
To top it off, the quiet Espelho Beach, about 20 kilometers from the center of Trancoso, is famous for its gorgeous landscape. Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Bahia, it has crystal clear waters – hence its name meaning ‘mirror’ in Portuguese – featuring various shades of blue and green. All framed by cliffs, corals, and coconut palms.
3. The sea breeze and winds blowing from the Atlantic
Still in the northeast, Cruz is home to Preá Beach, adjacent to the world-famous Jericoacoara and about 285 km away from Fortaleza. The prevailing winds at this latitude allow periods of dolce far niente and favor the practice of water sports with the comprehensive facilities and classes at Rancho do Peixe. If you want to rest and relax, Azul and Paraíso lagoons are two natural pools formed by rainwater trapped between shifting dunes, where you can spend the day lying in hammocks with your feet in or over the water. For those looking to navigate the local winds, a tip is to go kite-surfing or take a kayak ride.
4. A garden near São Paulo
Few could imagine that just 50 minutes from one of the world’s largest cities, São Paulo, is an oasis of wellness and relaxation in the midst of nature. In this paradise located near Cantareira State Park, the last preserved area of Atlantic Forest in the state of São Paulo, you can breathe fresh air, smell flowers, drink water flowing from its own spring, in addition to admiring the flutter of birds in the trees in the Unique Garden.
5. In the south, an island to call your own
More to the south of Brazil, how about enjoying the pleasures of having a private peninsula at your disposal? This is what happens in hosting Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort – Celso Ramos, 50 km away from Florianópolis, Santa Catarina. Home to an old fishing village on the Emerald Coast, the peninsula invites you to immerse yourself in the lush nature that surrounds it. Its jagged coastline presents visitors with green water coves, inspiring them to life and just enjoy the view.
Simone Scorsato is Executive Director of Brazilian Luxury Travel Association. BLTA’s main objective is to promote and strengthen Brazil as a travel destination to the global luxury market.