Nobres Mato Grosso - Blue Lagoon.

Travel Guide: The Best Places to See for an “Off the Beaten Track” Experience in Brazil

Would you like to travel this year? If you say yes, I will show you some places around Brazil that you have probably never heard of.

Why did you choose Brazil? In 2016, the country hosted the Olympic Games, showcasing the carnival and the country’s distinctive culture. It’s also where music videos and TV series like Sense 8, CSI Miami, The Simpsons, and Tarzan were filmed.

Check out these five places if you want to get away from the crowd when in Brazil.

Domingos Martins-Espírito Santo

If you want to hike in the mountains

Domingos Martins is part of the Capixabas Mountain region, surrounded by beautiful upland scenery with a mild climate.

Italians, including Germans, colonized the area, offering excellent cuisine but a local twist.

The place is perfect for those looking for fresh air, clear waterfalls, hiking, and getting to know small local producers who sell cheeses, coffees, and liquors produced there.

You need to reserve a day to visit the Pedra Azul State Park, a unique rock that stands out among other mountains around the world.

Domingo Martins Mountain.
Domingo Martins Mountain. Image Credit: Swiss Move

Domingos Martins is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo (southeastern Brazil). The city’s main office, also known as Campinho, is located approximately 42 kilometers from Vitória (the capital), with direct access via the BR 262 highway.

It is situated in the Espirito Santo mountain range and is known as the “Green City” due to the Atlantic Forest Biodiversity.

The town is divided into 7 districts: Sede, Melgaço, Ponto Alto, Parajú, Aracê, Santa Isabel and Biriricas.

Domingo Martins Mountain.
Domingo Martins Mountain. Image Credit: Marolacomcarambola

What to see on Sunday in Domingo Martins?

City Gate

At the entrance to the city, you can already see the European architecture with this portico that opened in 1992.

Domingo Martins city gate.
Domingo Martins city gate. Image Credit:

Culture House and Historic Museum

The architecture is from 1915 and originally served as a residence. In 1983 The building was transformed into the Domingos Martins Culture House, the first Culture House in Espírito Santo. In the museum there are photographs, furniture, telephones, typewriters and other objects that belonged to the first immigrants.
Culture House and Historical Museum. Credit Image:

The Culture House, in the southwest region of Espírito Santo, shows the history of immigration with a collection of pieces brought by the first German families over 160 years ago.

The architecture is from 1915 and was originally used as a residence.

In 1983, the building was transformed into the Domingos Martins Culture House, the first Culture House in Espírito Santo.

There are photographs, furniture, telephones, typewriters, and other objects that belonged to the first immigrants in the museum.

A 75-year-old radio brought news of the II World War to German families.
A 75-year-old radio brought news of the II World War to German families. Image credit: Archive PMDM

Nobres, Mato Grosso

If you want to swim in the lagoon

Have you ever heard of Nobres? The small district of Mato Grosso, about 150 km from Cuiabá, keeps one of the best-preserved secrets in the Midwest region of Brazil. An untouchable paradise with rivers of clear water.

If you are looking for a destination still little known, with well-preserved nature and stunning beauty, I am sure that Nobres is what you are looking for.

Nobres Mato Grosso - Blue Lagoon.
Nobres Mato Grosso – Blue Lagoon. Image Credit: Murilo Fonseca
Nobres Mato Grosso - Blue Lagoon.
Nobres Mato Grosso – Blue Lagoon. Image Credit: Rota das aguas

What to see in Nobres?

Enchanted Aquarium

If you ever thought about diving close to the fish in crystal clear waters with shades of color that remember the blue lagoon, Enchanted Aquarium will give you the chance to do that and much more.

This natural aquarium is hidden among trees, with blue waters and a great diversity of fish. You can observe the beauty hidden underwater.

In the huge natural aquarium, you can participate in many activities and have a nice day to treat yourself.

If you like adventure, it is possible to float in the waters and let the river current take you across the other side of the Salobra River.

Enchanted Aquarium.
Enchanted Aquarium. Image credit: photobank

Rio Triste

The Floating on this river is one of Nobres’ most unmissable tours, which takes place on a one-kilometer stretch on the Rio Triste, located in the neighboring municipality, Rosário Oeste. To take the tour, it is necessary to hire a guide and a tour package that already includes a life jacket, mask with snorkel, and appropriate sandals.

Rio Triste (sad river) has a bluish hue and extremely transparent water, so it is forbidden to step on the bottom, use repellent and sunscreen. Everything to keep the waters crystal clear and preserve the nature of the place.

Sad River in Nobres.
Sad River in Nobres. Image credit: photobank

Chapada das Mesas, Maranhão

If you want to explore the National Park

The Chapada das Mesas National Park is located in southern Brazil (Maranhão) and is a real adventure for those seeking contact with nature.

The region has waterfalls, trails, beautiful rock formations, and crystal clear water pools.

Carolina is a city that you can use as a base to make your tours around the region, either by yourself or with a guide.

The enchanted pool in chapada das mesas.
The enchanted pool in chapada das mesas. Image Credit: Otávio Nogueira/Flickr
Otávio Nogueira
Image Credit: Otávio Nogueira

What to see in Maranhão

House of Maranhão, Situated in São Luís

House of Maranhão is a Folklore Museum located in the city of São Luís.

Opened in 2002, the cultural center was launched to be a showcase of Maranhão’s culture. Located in the city’s historic center, it is possible to see exhibitions about legends, tiles, boats, traditional dances, gastronomy, and religious festivals. In addition, it shows historical facts, such as the attempt to set up Equinocial France.

Maranhão house.
Maranhão house. Image credit:

Maranhão House is a perfect introduction to the richness of folklore and popular culture in Maranhão.

Taking advantage of the ample space, Maranhão House exhibits large-scale works and installations with a powerful visual effect. Among them, a magnificent giant ox.

Theater Arthur Azevedo

Theater Arthur Azevedo.
Theater Arthur Azevedo. Image credit:

Opened in 1817, the Arthur Azevedo Theater is one of the oldest theaters in Brazil

The Arthur Azevedo Theater was built with the richness of the Maranhão cotton cycle. The theater founders were Portuguese traders, who first gave the name Teatro União to celebrate the relationship between Portugal and the Portuguese colony. The theater would only be named after the writer from Maranhão, Arthur Azevedo, in 1921.


The theater was not always called Arthur Azevedo.

The building was inaugurated in 1817, first being called Teatro União, a tribute to the elevation of Brazil to the United Kingdom to Portugal and the Algarve, which occurred two years earlier.

In 1841, after a bad administration, the theater closed its doors, being reopened 11 years later, in 1852, with the name Teatro São Luís.

Arthur Azevedo from Maranhão. Who was Arthur Azevedo? Arthur Azevedo was a journalist and playwright from Maranhão and was part of the founding group of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

The journalist was responsible for literary publications such as A Gazetinha, Vida Moderna, and O Álbum. In addition to collaborating on A Estação, alongside Machado de Assis (a famous Brazilian author).

The Theater has 756 seats, which is a lot of people, right? These people are divided into four groups: gallery, box, audience, and frieze.‘Catirina’ was the longest-running show at the theater produced by the philanthropic group Ópera Brasil. The production of Catirina was transformed into a popular opera that took to the stage different rhythms of Bumba-meu-boi. There were about 250 presentations.

Aparados da Serra National Park, Rio Grande do Sul

If you want to hit the trail

Aparados da Serra is a region between Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina that comprises different cities with a European field and has canyons with incredible views, surrounded by Atlantic forest.

The area includes the Aparados da Serra National Park, a good destination for enjoying natural breathtaking landscapes, hiking, picnicking, and adventure sports.

Cambará do Sul (Rio Grande do Sul) is at the top of the mountain and is one of the cities to use as a base to explore the National Park, but there are several other smaller alternatives nearby, with the same cold and foggy climate of the region.

It is also possible to stay at the foot of the mountain in Praia Grande (Santa Catarina), where several trails depart through the interior of the canyons.

The Aparados da Serra National Park
The Aparados da Serra National Park. Image Credit: Wikipedia
Image credit: 

Places to visit in Rio Grande do Sul

Bento Gonçalves

Colonized by Italians, Bento Gonçalves preserves all the European country’s charm, tradition, cuisine, and architecture. The city is full of landscapes reminiscent of the Tuscan region. Without a doubt, you must include it in your itinerary of cities in Rio Grande do Sul to travel.

Known for its wineries, artisanal production, and charming stone houses are present in the “Caminhos de Pedra” itinerary. This Bento Gonçalves route is 12 km long and has been qualified as a living museum to preserve material and immaterial historical heritage.

cidades no rs para viajar

Três coroas

Três Coroas is a city that is located on the border with the Serra Gaúcha region. The municipality of Rio Grande do Sul, with around 25 thousand inhabitants, stands out for its historical constructions. Over the mountains of the Paranhama Valley, there is a Tibetan Buddhist temple in South America, including Tibetans living in its surroundings.

The main building is a replica of the temple of Guru Rinpoche, the great enlightened master who brought Vajraian Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century. Visitation is free and open from Wednesday to Sunday. The public can walk through the beautiful gardens, participate in retreats, and, of course, learn about Buddhist teachings while on this tour. Três Coroas is one of the remarkable cities to visit in Rio Grande do Sul.

Três coroas
Três coroas. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Alter do Chão, Located in Pará

If you want to hit the beach

Surrounded by the Amazon Rainforest and freshwater beaches, Alter do Chão is a destination already known in the north of the country but not well known to people from other parts of Brazil.

It is a small, quiet place, excellent to rest and recharge your batteries on its many peaceful beaches. You can rely on the weather to provide sunny days to explore the region.

Alter do chão beach
Alter do chão beach. Image Credit:
Alter do chão
Alter do chão. Image credit:

Places to visit while you are in Pará

Basílica Santuário Nossa Senhora de Nazaré

Erected in 1909 on the site where the Saint’s image was found, the Basilica Santuário de Nossa Senhora de Nazaré today is one of the most important and sacred places for the people of Pará.

The temple opened in 1923 and the only sanctuary in the Amazon, which today houses the original image found in the early 18th century. During the Círio festivities, the Saint receives a new mantle and descends from the main altar (called Gloria) so that the faithful can appreciate it more closely.

Basílica Santuário Nossa Senhora de Nazaré

Utinga Camillo Vianna State Park

The Utinga State Park is a state conservation unit established to preserve natural ecosystems of great ecological significance and scenic beauty, stimulating scientific research and encouraging the development of environmental education activities, including ecological tourism.

Located in the Metropolitan Region of Belém, State of Pará, Brazil, the Utinga State Park is the symbolic unit of biological diversity present in the Amazon Region.

The environmental park draws attention for its vast and peculiar biodiversity.

It represents one of the most threatened regions of the Legal Amazon due to the dynamics of advancement and consolidation of the second-largest urban area in the country’s Northern Region.

The historic function of providing, treating, and supplying 70% of the population of the Metropolitan Region of Belém, the Utinga State Park, was chosen by the population as the primary option for a program of recreation and healthy outdoor activities, combining well-being and contact practices with nature.

Utinga Camillo Vianna State Park.Utinga Camillo Vianna State Park. Image credit: Rodrigo Freitas

Important information due to Covid-19 

Who can Travel?

Practically everybody. Brazil’s authorities have been notably relaxed about the pandemic-which includes border control. After a brief closure in 2020, the borders are open now, for almost all tourists, for stays of up to 90 days.

What are the restrictions?

 All arrivals must show a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours.

Don’t forget to check your embassy website before your trip to ensure you can return home with incovenience.

For more information, please click here.

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