This is the final part of exploring the beautiful Brazil. Last, but not least, today you will discover what the North can offer – and it’s all about nature: hiking in national parks, swimming in natural pools, exploring the waterfalls, dunes and rainforests. If you want to get rid of the big cities, this area is the right for you!
The North region has seven states. Here are them with their capitals and important sightseeing places:
- Amazonas (AM) – Manaus: Did you know that the capital Manaus was awarded as the best green destination in Latin America? This is due to its hotels in the Amazon jungle. The city has a large hotel chain, as well as many bars and restaurants amidst the architecture created by the Portuguese. The city’s biggest attraction is the Amazonas Theater, the main artistic and cultural heritage of the state. The place is visited annually by European tourists who travel by cruise and arrive on the Amazon River.
- Roraima (RR) – Boa Vista: the capital layout was created inspired by the streets of Paris and is located on the right bank of the Rio Branco. The city is typically administrative. Its avenues lead to the center, where the legislative, executive and judicial powers are concentrated, as well as theaters, bars, restaurants, hotels and other services. For a nature experience, there are two good options: the first is the Pedra Pintada Archaeological Site, which is located in an indigenous reserve – on the site, rock inscriptions and artifacts from ancient civilizations were found. The second is the Mount Roraima National Park, considered one of the oldest mountains in the world.
- Amapá (AP) – Macapá: The capital Macapá is the only city in the country crossed by the Equator line. That is where Marco Zero is located, an obelisk that represents this fact. There you find bars, cafeterias, shops, a terrace for shows and a space for exhibitions. It is also worth taking the time to check out the São José de Macapá Fortress, which is considered one of the seven Brazilian wonders.
- Pará (PA) – Belém: Belém is known as the Gateway to the Amazon. It is a city of great cultural, economic and political importance. You can explore the beaches, the Ver-o-Peso Market, the Mangal das Garças Zoobotanical Park and much more. Be sure to visit the largest island in the country: Marajó Island, a great natural beauty that has a collection of ceramics produced by the locals.
- Tocantins (TO) – Palmas: the capital was created by the mold of Brasília city and it contemplates bold architecture with very well distributed nature. Its great attractions are the river beaches with the entire necessary infrastructure to attract and serve with quality the tourists who visit them. There is fun, sport attractions and leisure for all ages.
- Rondônia (RO) – Porto Velho: the capital is located on the right bank of the Madeira River. It is the most populous city in the state, with the largest territorial extension and the only one bordering another country: Bolivia. One of its main tourist attractions is the waterfall, the city’s initial landmark. Its cuisine is one of the main attractions, as it reflects the cultural diversity of the place, influenced by several states in the country. In Rondônia, we can also find the following tourist spots:
- Madeira-Mamoré Railway Museum;
- Clock building;
- Lago do Cuniã Extractive Reserve;
- Rondônia State Museum;
- Porto Velho Municipal Natural Park.
- Acre (AC) – Rio Branco: visit the Rio Branco Palace – the government’s headquarters, and the Borracha Museum – an indigenous museum with replicas of the rubber tappers’ houses and panels on culture, religion and the Acrean Revolution.
Many people when travelling to Brazil choose Rio de Janeiro or Northeast due the beautiful beaches and sunny weather 24/7, but as you already saw on my previous posts, this country has so much more to offer. If you want think outside the box for your next vacations, I have nice tips to explore the North and it’s not only about Amazon – there is way more! In this region, which gets 42% of Brazilian territory, you can see the best of diversity: music, dance, food, celebrations and a unique culture!
Here are some reasons to visit the North:
- The mouth-watering food: the Northern cuisine comes with influence from different places but it’s predominantly indigenous. The juices you try in there you won’t find anywhere else, and the typical dishes are made with local ingredients. I can quote the pato no tucupi (tucupi’s duck), duck cooked for a long period with cassava gravy and tacacá, a soup from Pará made with dried shrimps, herbs and cassava.
- Typical parties everywhere: Northern people love parties and they are always celebrating their culture and roots. Parintins Festival is a great example – it’s one of the most famous and biggest folk festivals in Brazil, presented as a showcase of Amazonian culture. The party always take place in the city of Parintins, in the last weekend of June.
- They have an Amazonian-Caribbean beach: the beaches are stunning postal cards and if you check on Alter do Chão, you’ll be impressed how beautiful it is, if not one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, with crystal clear fresh water on the banks of the river Tapajós. The best season for visiting is between July and February.
- There is an enormous cultural wealth: the indigenous culture is predominant in the North and people are proud and celebrate it having a big influence from their ancestors and nature.
Where to go in the North?
Alter do Chão – Pará
Let’s start with this Caribbean-Amazonian beach with crystal clear fresh water. Located in Santarém city, in the state of Pará, this beach was already elected as the most beautiful Brazilian beach, with white sand and crystal water from Tapajós River. The best month for exploring this beach is September, this because the volume of water in the river decreases, forming sandbanks and beaches. During the flood periods, you can go on boat trips forest trails. Ilha do Amor beach is the city postal card.
Marajó Island – Pará
This is the biggest island which stands between Amazonas River and Atlantic Ocean and has a rich fauna and flora. You can access the island from Belém city, in Pará state. In the island it is possible to get a buffalo riding, cycling and trails. The best month for visiting is July, which is drier and you can enjoy the most the sightseeing tours.
Parintins – Amazonas
This Amazonian city has the most famous folk celebration in Brazil: Parintins Folk Festival, at the end of every June. In this festival, two associations – Garantido and Caprichoso – contest through indigenous dancing the audience attention.
Because of its fame, it’s important to schedule your trip in advance – the flights from Manaus to Parintins get sold out really fast! The other option is getting a 18 hour boat trip to Parintins… so flying is the best option!
Anavilhanas Archipelago – Amazonas
Around a 100km from Manaus you can see one of the biggest sets of river islands in the world: Anavilhanas Archipelago. There you can take many boat tours to explore the islands and if it’s a drought season, you can explore many river beaches as well. Don’t miss Jaú National Park, where you can go on many interesting trails. The hotel with best infrastructure is Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge, so for booking this destination, do it with some months in advance.
Jalapão Dunes – Tocantins
This one of the most wanted sites in the North. It’s a deserted area with a river where you can refresh yourself during your tour. In that area, visit Fumaça and Formiga waterfalls, a place with a stunning view and refreshing crystal waters. There are beautiful natural pools like Fervedouro Bela Vista, Encontro das Águas and Fervedouro do Ceiça, and canyons, waterfalls and dunes. It’s a worthy trip!
Meeting of Waters – Amazonas
If you visit Manaus and not check on the waters encounter, it’s the same of never been there. It’s one of the most beautiful natural shows in Brazil.
What calls attention on this encounter is that both rivers – the dark Rio Negro and the pale sandy-colored Amazon River, known as Solimões – are running side by side for so many kilometers but they simply don’t blend. These rivers have different chemical compositions and colors, making the encounter such a beautiful thing. You can go on a tour boat to see it closely.
Mount Roraima – Roraima
This stunning mount is located in the triple border of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela, and its formation looks like a giant table with over 1000 meters. You climb up to the highest point of the summit – the Maverick’s Rock, at 2810 m.
Here comes to the end the series of posts about Brazil and its beauties. I hope you could have a pleasant glimpse of culture, places to visit, food, celebrations and nature this country has to offer. Brazil goes way further than just soccer, Carnival, samba and beer. It’s a country of hardworking, resilient and joyful people who tries to have their best in this blessed country. And no wonder why people fall in love with Brazil as soon as they get in there. So, did I convince you to put this beauty in your travel wish list?