By Jessica Russo
Brazil has become synonymous with Rio and the Amazon because - well - they're downright amazing. Visitors, however, shouldn't stop there. Brazil is a huge country filled with unbeatable beauty that goes far beyond those two hot-spots. Explore these hidden gems before they take over Instagram even more than they do now. And hey - now you really can say I was there before it was cool.
Walking through Bonito is like walking through h-e-a-v-e-n. True to its name, this beautiful area boasts crystal-clear waters, lush greenery, colorful fish, and jaw-dropping caves. You might even spot a macaw flying around! Nestled in Mato Grosso do Sul, near the Paraguay border, Bonito is an ecotourism and adventure tourism hub - the perfect place to sail and snorkel.
Taking the cake for the world's largest tropical wetland area, Panatal extends from Mato Grosso do Sul to parts of Bolivia and Paraguay! This UNESCO-recognized national park boasts some of the richest biodiversity in the world; in fact, is quietly passes the Amazon rain forest with the highest concentration of wildlife on the continent. Aside from a wide array of various birds, the local inhabitants include jaguars, anteaters, piranha, capuchin monkeys, green anacondas, and more.
Known to some as the "Rainbow City," colorful Salvador is bursting with culture, colonial architecture, and coastal beauty. Salvador, the capital of Brazil's northeastern state of Bahia, boasts a unique blend of tropical beach vibes and Afro-Brazilian culture. Take a stroll through the Pelourinho neighborhood, the historic heart of the city, lined with cobblestone alleys, pastel-painted buildings, baroque churches, and large squares.
Fernando de Noronha
Looking to go off the grid? This volcanic archipelago is a stunning ecological sanctuary ripe with jagged coastlines, diverse ecosystems, and unspoiled beaches. Lounge on soft sand beside colossal rock formations, or jump in the teal waters and go snorkeling or diving! Be prepared to spot sea turtles, rays, dolphins, and reef sharks swimming in the warm, clear water beside you.
This unique national park will make you feel like you've arrived on another planet. With a landscape of vast, stark white sand dunes and bright blue rainwater lagoons, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park boasts an eye-widening contrast. Um, hello Instagram!