While Brazil’s big cities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia attract many visitors each year, with some of the biggest festivals in the country taking place in these cities, it’s easy to forget about the beauty Brazil’s small towns have to offer. Tap into your inner Brazilian and take it easy exploring these quaint towns with romantic scenes, blissful beaches, and relaxing villages.
Bonito is the place to venture for the adventurous nature lover. While most of the area is closed off to visitors, this small town is extremely protected thanks to the treasures that lay within. This town might have only one street, but there are many incredible natural wonders to explore in this ecotourism hub. Dive through translucent lakes and rivers, or try your hand at abseiling the famous covered cavern of Abismo Anhumas. While you’re there, see if you can spot any local macaws roaming about.
The town of Trancoso is another small town where visitors are forced to take thing slow. Locals are easygoing, shops are closed in the evening, and the rustic feel of the area screams relaxation. While the area’s long coastline is growing in popularity, access wasn’t allowed until the 1970s. Venture back in time will exploring the nostalgia inducing village or take advantage of the warm waters and enjoy a leisurely slow-paced swim.
Morro de Sao Paulo
If you’re thinking of the perfect getaway, your mind might paint a picture of the postcard worthy village of Morro de Sao Paulo. While it’s now a popular hotspot with both tourists and locals, this small island has a no car policy, but plenty of sandy trails to wander around. Tranquil, crystal waters surround this island where taking it easy is definitely recommended. You won’t feel the hustle and bustle of Rio or Sao Paulo here with a relaxed nightlife and a holiday vibe that is perfect for lazing on beaches.
Praia de Pipa
While a small area, Praia de Pipa is one Brazil’s most famous beaches with tourists flocking to the main strip year round. Visitors can spend a few days exploring the area with many hotels, hostels and resorts in the area to take advantage of when they’re not soaking up the sand and surf. Speaking of surf, Praia de Pipa is also a hotspot for watersport enthusiasts with waves that aren’t too hard to handle.
Porto de Galinhas
Though this historical town once played a role in the country’s participation in the slave trade, it is now an up and coming tourist getaway. This small town off Brazil’s coast draws snorkelers and divers to explore its astonishing reefs, while five star beachside resorts make it an oasis for those looking for relaxation. Soak in one of several natural pools, or rent a buggy to explore all the town has to offer.
Skip visiting Parati during the high-season as its sought after cobblestoned trails may make it too crowded to enjoy. Though if you visit during the spring or fall, you’re sure to be charmed by superbly conserved colonial buildings and amazed by the mountains that make up the backdrop to this quaint town. You’ll be able to see some of the country’s history with buildings dating back to the early 1700s, some of them teaching of Brazil’s Gold Rush.
Ribeirão da Ilha
For an even less trodden protected retreat, head to the tiny town of Ribeirao da Ilha with roots dating back to the 1700s. Locals are welcoming here and will likely invite you to join in on a leisurely game of chess, or chime in on local gossip. It’s easy to be more drawn to the glistening waters that grace the shores of this town, but don’t pass up a chance to have lunch or dinner at one of the various restaurants serving up traditional Azorean dishes.
This small village sits in Brazil’s deep south in Parana, showcasing the country’s history with an array of colonial buildings to feast your eyes on. Morrettes is home to the stunning Nhundiaquara River and the scenic Serra Verde Express. This train departs every morning and gives riders the chance to awe at the views below and the rainforest surrounding it. Alternatively, visitors to Morretes can choose to explore cobblestoned paths by foot in the town’s historical centre.
Sitting in Sao Paulo’s southern state is the historical city of Iguape. While the population stands at just over 30, 000 residents, this area was once a bustling rice farming industry where old Portuguese homes can still be seen today. Now a slow-paced fishing region, Iguape dates back to the 1400s before becoming a hotspot for gold hunting in the 1600s.
This small town is the former capital of the Goias state, except when history repeats itself on the town’s anniversary every year. Goias Velho is brimming with Brazilian history along its cobblestoned streets and colonial homes that line them. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts gorgeous baroque churches, popular during Holy Week.