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10 luxury destinations in Brazil you must see

Rio de Janeiro_1

With FIFA World Cup and Olympic fever gaining pace in Brazil, Adelto looks at the country’s most luxurious destinations – get there before the throngs of crowds do.

Brazil with its vivacious culture is renowned for its love of Samba and football, beach culture and Amazon rainforest. But the country also boasts some of the world’s most alluring towns and cities – and did we mention the Brazil nut?

Brazil is a sight to behold. Here are 10 luxury destinations in Brazil you won’t want to miss on your travels, says Assif Majid.

  03375 - Cliffs at Trancoso - Photo Christian Knepper & Embratur

Trancoso

This sleepy fishing village has quickly become the most chic of Brazilian holiday destinations. The beautiful beaches are just the start of the appeal of Trancoso a destination which now attracts the international jet-set and has some of the best restaurants outside of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Luxury shops and pousadas have sprung up but importantly Trancoso still maintains a quaint low-key atmosphere where locals and tourists mingle and enjoy each other’s company.

Where to stay: UXUA Casa Hotel

UXUA emphasises in every way organic design and a traditional, local approach to development. The UXUA houses are nestled around pools in a hidden tropical garden of flowers, fruits, and towering cocoa and jackfruit trees.

 

Florianópolis (4)

Florianopolis

The capital and second largest city in Santa Catarina state is linked to the mainland by a picturesque suspension bridge. ‘Florip’, as it is known locally, has an impressive 42 beaches which is a major attraction for daring surfers. Often referred to as the Ibiza of Brazil, the natural beauty of the island and bays make it a magnet for holiday makers during the summer. Most of the population live on the island’s central and northern parts which are packed with fishing boats, lacemakers, folklore, cuisine and colonial architecture.

 Where to stay: Ponta dos Ganchos

A short distance from Florianopolis, Ponta dos Ganchos Resort is located in the city of Governador Celso Ramos and immersed in Brazilian history and culture. With total privacy and a stunning backdrop of sea and rainforest, nearby attractions include the best place for diving in Northeastern Brazil, the island of the Arboretum, the island of Anhatomirim and Dolphin Bay.

 

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Sao Paulo

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and the Americas and the world’s seventh largest city by population. It is the second megacity in Brazil. Colourful, vibrant, dynamic and ever changing Sao Paulo is a urban hub for business, gastronomy, creativity and modernism within Brazil. There are 420 helicopters registered in Sao Paulo – second only to New York and this is an ever growing number as people take to the skies to avoid the traffic jams.

Where to stay: Hotel Unique

The innovatively-designed Hotel Unique is a striking boutique hotel with a rooftop bar, lounge and crimson pool.

 

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

The most famous city in Brazil, ‘The Wonderful City’ as it is known locally is truly unique, with fantastic beaches, mountains and of course Christ the Redeemer creating the world famous vista we all know. With a vibrant array of attractions on offer, Rio de Janeiro houses a wide range of luxury for visiting tourists. One of the biggest cultural events in Rio is Carnival. The biggest in the world, some 75,000 spectators will pack into the Sambódromo ready to witness a ‘spectacle’ in the truest sense of the word as the top samba schools in the city get the chance to strut their stuff.

Where to stay: Copacabana Palace

The classic and renowned ‘Copacabana Palace’ entered its 90th year in 2013.  A US$20-million renovation has taken place and although the heritage features of the Art Deco hotel have remained, they have also included contemporary updates: the rooms have been redesigned, the bathrooms restructured and the renowned Cipriani Restaurant has also undergone an aesthetic upgrade.

 

Flight over Amazon

Amazon

Covering an area that is equivalent to the sum of France, Spain, Sweden and Greece, the Amazon is the planet’s largest tropical rainforest. Home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 birds and mammals, nature tourism is one of the main attractions in Amazonas, with trips by boat, and canoe on several of the regions rivers, overnight stays in forest lodges and hikes.

Where to stay: Ariau Amazon Towers

One of the most unique holiday destinations in the world, Ariau Amazon Towers is a resort built in the treetop canopy of the Amazon Jungle – just a boat ride away from Manaus, Brazil. The towers are great eco-holidays, and offer you the opportunity to be at one with nature. It is made out of wooden towers, and connected by five miles of elevated catwalks, which wind through the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. The resort is surrounded by the verdant, tropical landscape of the rainforest and diverse native wildlife, with panoramic views of the Rio Negro and Amazon River.

 

Iguazu Falls_Embratur_Christian Knepper

Foz do Iguacu

Thanks to the monumental spectacle of 275 waterfalls that make up the Iguacu falls, Foz do Iguacu is one of Brazil’s most beautiful attractions. Declared a World National heritage by UNESCO, it is the habitat of many species of wildlife and offers tourists a mix of wonder and excitement, with activities like rappel, climbing, Tyrolese and rafting on the river. For breathtaking views, the best time to enjoy the falls is in the summer, when rainfalls are short and the water volume is greater.

Where to stay: Hotel das Cataratas

Set in the heart of the Iguacu National Park, this luxurious hotel is a short walk from the falls and offers a wide variety of activities and facilities including a spa, walking tours and helicopter rides over the falls.

 

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Fernanda de Noronha

‘Fernando de Noronha’, a small island off the northeast coast of Brazil has long been the secret hideout for celebrities including Penelope Cruz and Naomi Campbell. The island only allows 500 people at any given time to stay. The clear waters, home to dolphins and turtles, make this island the ultimate romantic retreat. Divided into a National Marine Park and an Environmental Protection Area, visitor numbers are restricted so booking in advance is essential.

Where to stay: Pousada Zé Maria

Combining comfort and elegance with simplicity, Pousada Zé Maria has strongemphasis on entertainment, gastronomic delight and natural beauty.

 

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Bahia

Bahia offers numerous beaches in a coast cut by forests and lagoons which make the landscape unforgettable. The mixture of wild and almost untouched beaches with good tourist facilities- from world-class luxurious resorts to simpler inns in a fishing village- makes the state an impressive place to visit. Interior, ecological reserves attract those who seek adventure itineraries while wine tourism has also been on the rise in this region.

 Where to stay: Hotel Fazenda da Lagoa

This eco-chic resort is all about beach-shack chic living. The hotel’s 14 spacious cabanas are surrounded by lush jungles, countless miles of beach and coconut trees.

Caldas Novas (7)

Central Brazil- Caldas Novas

Caldas Novas is a luxurious, natural hot water springs resort. The water is believed to have a naturally therapeutic effect on many illnesses, diseases and sore muscles, while the heat aids full body detoxification. With over 80 hotels and resorts in the city, guests can choose a purifying experience that is within their comfort levels from the luxurious choices on offer.

Where to stay: Thermas di Roma

Refinement and high standards are number in these spacious apartments and luxury suites, built amid greenery and the natural hot springs of Caldas Novas.

 

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Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande is one of the islands that makes up the Parnaiba Delta. The town is well-known for its festival do Caranguejo – ‘Crab Festival’ – an event that takes place annually, celebrating the main local product and featuring music and theatrical presentations. Pedra do Sal is located on Ilha Grande; a beautiful formation consisting of dunes and lagoons – unspoiled nature offering the visitor an unforgettable sunset that you won’t want to miss.

Where to stay: Aratings Inn

This boutique hotel is a haven of peace and tranquility surrounded by the Atlantic forest of Ilha Grande. The hotel’s four guestrooms and three chalets are decorated in a traditional colonial style. For those seeking privacy, Aratinga inn offers double chalets, nestled in the lush tropical garden.

About

Assif is a luxury travel and design aficionado currently working as a BBC content producer. He holds an MA in journalism from the University of Leeds. He is partial to tea and cake - Yorkshire Tea Gold Blend please. His favourite trips include island hopping in the Seychelles, a mountain escape in Kashmir and getting lost in Hong Kong.

Assif is the current editor of Adelto Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @journolista.

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February 21, 2014 | Brazil South America Travel | View comments

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