Ghost towns in Brazil: Abandoned by time, Brazilian cities where no one lives anymore hold stories and mysteries 

Silence and emptiness. A village without a single inhabitant, buildings in ruins, where plants take over the place. Traces of life remain, memories, objects, but not people.

So are some cities and villages whose residents, little by little, were leaving – until there was no one left. Known as “ghost towns”, each one has its history of a period when there was a lot of life there.

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The vestiges of a good time, however, remain intact, like pieces of a museum without many visitors. At each step, there is much to observe, feel and imagine.

meet 7 Brazilian ghost towns that can be visited.

Igatu - BA

ghost towns in brazil

Photo: Adelano Lázaro/ Wikimedia Commons

Igatu, at Baha, formerly known as Xique-Xique, is located in the region of Chapada da Diamantina. The small town had its heyday when diamonds and precious stones were extracted and soon became an extremely wealthy place.  

At the beginning of the 20th century, with the decline of exploitation,  Xique-Xique was, little by little, losing its inhabitants. The city, which once had more than 10,000 inhabitants, currently has just over 300 and a part where only ruins remain.

Velho Airão – AM

ghost towns in brazil

Photo: Velho Ayrão

Old Airão or Airão Velho, was a village in the state of amazon. Founded in 1694, it was the first village installed on the banks of the Rio Negro.

No one knows for sure the exact reason, but legend has it that an ant invasion drove the residents out of there in the mid-1950s. Shortly after that, the little town turned into a ghost village. Currently, only ruins remain that are being taken over by the forest. Many people take advantage of the exotic atmosphere to do photo shoots.

Ararapira - PR

ghost towns in brazil

Photo: Otávio Nogueira/ Wikimedia Commons

Located right on the border between Paraná and Sao Paulo, Macaw It has a church, a jail, several houses and a cemetery. But there are no residents. It is not known for sure the reason that led to its abandonment.

Some say it was because of a dispute between the states. Another theory says that erosion began to engulf the city after the opening of a small canal. Macaw, now, remains a little more alive thanks to tourism.

Biribiri Village - MG

ghost towns in brazil

Photo: Adelano Lázaro/ Wikimedia Commons

Part of Biribiri State Park, near the city of diamond, a Biribiri Village it was built for the employees of a 19th century textile factory.

With the end of the factory's activities, the employees left and the village was abandoned. Currently very few families still live in the place, which maintains charming white and blue painted houses.

Sao Joao Marcos - RJ

ghost towns in brazil

Photo: Kika Lima/ Wikimedia Commons

Saint John Mark it became the most populous municipality in the state, reaching around 20,000 inhabitants in the 19th century. However, in 1940, due to a decision by the then president Getulio Vargas, the city was emptied to make way for the construction of a dam. Currently it is possible to visit the ruins and trails of the place in a tour that lasts about 40 minutes.

Cococi - EC

Photo: Fortress in photos

Ghost town in the heart of the hinterland Ceará, poop marked the beginning of the state's colonization with the arrival of a wealthy family to the region in the early 18th century. After being extinguished as a municipality, it still preserves some houses and memories of its heyday, but remains completely uninhabited.

Fordlândia - PA

ghost towns in brazil

Photo: Amit Evron/ Wikimedia Commons

Henry Ford tried to build in Brazil an American-style automobile empire in the late 1920s, planning a real city to house employees in Santarém, at the For. The project did not go ahead because of many problems and was abandoned, today only ruins of the imposing facilities of the past remain.

» 8 must-see places to visit in Minas Gerais
» Beaches on the west coast of Ceará
» Wanderlust: some people are born with the travel gene
» 30 colonial cities in Brazil you need to know

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