Rio de Janeiro
Golden beaches and lush mountains, samba-fueled nightlife and spectacular football matches: welcome to the Cidade Maravilhosa. Captivating Beaches Rio's beaches have long seduced visitors. Copacabana Beach became a symbol of Rio during the 1940s, when international starlets would jet in for the weekend.
Africa meets South America in the staggeringly beautiful northeastern state of Bahia. The heady blend of two seemingly disparate cultures – classic Portuguese architecture and African drum beats, Catholic churches and Candomblé (Afro-Brazilian religion) – is unique, and for most travelers, truly intoxicating.
Minas Gerais & Espírito Santo
For those seeking a tangible sense of Brazilian history, no state compares with Minas Gerais. The tortuous cobblestone streets and splendid baroque monuments of Minas’ colonial mining towns have seen it all, from the horrors of slavery to the fervor of Brazil's 18th-century independence movement. Minas’ natural wonders are equally alluring.
Ceará, Piauí & Maranhão
These three Northeastern states stretch along Brazil’s only north-facing coast and back deep into the arid interior. The main draw for visitors are the beaches of Ceará, arrayed for hundreds of glorious kilometers either side of Fortaleza, the state's fun-loving biggest city.
Amazonas is Brazil’s largest state, spanning almost 1.6 million sq km. You could fit four Germanys within its borders with room left over for, say, Greece. It is here that the massive Solimões, Negro and Madeira rivers converge to form the Rio Amazonas, the granddaddy of them all.
Mato Grosso & Mato Grosso do Sul
Mato Grosso was once Brazil’s wild west, a land known only to explorers, indigenous hunters, poachers, gold seekers and naturalists. Today, some of Brazil’s most photogenic wildlife and incredible scenery make it a prime destination for ecotourists and anglers.
Salvador da Bahia has an energy and unadorned beauty that few cities can match. Once the magnificent capital of Portugal’s great New World colony, Salvador is the country’s Afro-Brazilian jewel. Its brilliantly hued center is a living museum of 17th- and 18th-century architecture and gold-laden churches. More importantly, Salvador is the nexus of an incredible arts movement.