Brazil has had a lot of attention focused on it lately, with two of the world’s biggest sporting events, The FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games, heading to the planet’s 5th largest country in 2014 and 2016. While these major events are likely to see millions flocking to cities like Rio and Sao Paulo it must be said that there is plenty more to Brazil than big cities and big events.
Buzios Lesser Known Brazil
If you are looking for a beach resort that is a little more relaxed then Buzios is ideal. Buzios is a medium sized town that has catered for tourists long enough to make it a comfortable destination for travellers but small enough for it maintain a quaint charm. Buzios became famous as a quiet hideaway in the 60’s when Bridget Bardot came to the town as a means of escaping the paparazzi in Rio; Buzios became a favourite destination for the star thereafter and visitors can still see a bronze statue of Bridget in the town. Water sports are also incredibly popular in Buzios due its beaches providing excellent surfing conditions.
Olinda Lesser Known Brazil
Olinda is a city for those that appreciate history. The city’s downtown area is a world heritage site and much of the city has had its colonial era appearance preserved. There were intense struggles between French, Portuguese and Dutch settlers in the city between 1535 and 1640 and the varied and interesting architecture boldly displays this clash of cultures in bricks and mortar. There are also a number of museums, churches and civic buildings that are open to the public, allowing any traveller to soak up “old Brazil”. The hotel infrastructure is limited in Olinda but it is close to the much larger city of Recife so if you want to explore during the day but retreat to luxury and comfort in the evening then this is entirely possible.
Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha Lesser Known Brazil
Fernando de Noronha is one of the most secluded tourist destinations in Brazil. It is a group of islands off the coast that can only be reached by plane or boat and allows just 450 visitors per day. Wildlife is one of the main attractions of the islands and you can expect to see dolphins, turtles, tegu lizards and doves. The island is also home to some beautiful and exotic plants. That said, due to this wealth of natural beauty there is a conservation charge which is made payable upon entering the island; this charge allows the local population, of just over 3,000 people, to maintain the islands untainted environmental splendour. Staying on the islands is also quite expensive so Fernando de Noronha may not suit everybody’s budget; but this is as close to an ideal island paradise as one can imagine.
This article was written by Kevin Ball for Brazilian travel experts: Sunset Visitor.