National travel: Brazil is considered one of the best destinations in the world for nature trips, but that’s not all…

I know, traveling through Brazil can be expensive, sometimes it's cheaper to travel to a destination abroad. Accommodation is very expensive here and the price of tickets can be a little discouraging. We are a big country! The United Kingdom is practically the size of the State of São Paulo (only one of the 26 we have, in addition to the Federal District). But whenever you can, you should value domestic tourism, not just to help communities and the national economy – tourism is one of the most income-distributing industries in the country, an industry without a chimney and almost always sustainable. 

Most Brazilian travelers reside in large capitals, where the economy revolves more consistently than in the rest of the country. However, it is these same travelers who distribute the income when they are on vacation and this ranges from taxi drivers, handicraft fairs to small restaurants. When we travel, we have the chance to improve the economy of small towns through this passion we have in common: travel. 

Read too " Os 100 lugares mais lindos para viajar no Brasil

Boat trip in the Amazon

Rio Arapiuns, during the year-end trip organized by the company AMZ Projects. Photo: Gustavo Albano

But it's not just for your nation's economy that you should include national destinations on your route. It's for you! what is not missing are beautiful places in Brazil. When the song says that we have a country “blessed by God and beautiful by nature”, it is no exaggeration. Jorge Ben would probably understand what I'm saying. This country, located in the heart of South America, the only one that speaks Portuguese and the only one with dimensions that correspond to practically half of the continent, has much more to offer, in addition to Carnival (I miss you!) and the different accents and dialects, here who rules (for now) is nature, diversity and the joy of the people who insist on never giving up (thankfully!). 

Travel in Brazil: you will fall in love with your country

You probably know about these aspects in theory, but have you traveled enough in your own country? Before I embarked across borders, I had an old passion: getting to know the country where I was born. It wasn't easy and I still have a few places to go, but I can say that I've been to more than half of the Brazilian states and I can say: this was the best thing I ever did.

After all, it would be difficult to dare to visit another country without at least understanding a little more about my backyard. Anyway, I can tell you, he's big and amazing in the same dimension. 

Travel in Brazil - Ilha Grande

During the crossing on Ilha Grande, between the sea and the mountains of the Atlantic Forest. Photo: Gustavo Albano

It's hard to find anywhere in the world as diverse and surprising as Brazil. Pará was one of the biggest surprises when I chose to travel through Brazil for almost two years, by land and water. Who would have thought that there is a place in Brazil that has more buffaloes than inhabitants?

Marajó Island could be our India, not for the spiritual part, but for the exotic and striking side. On the other side of the Island, we have Afuá, a small town known as the “Venice of the Island of Marajó”, around there, you can only ride a bicycle over the suspension bridges on stilts or in small boats. 

The Anavilhanas Archipelago, in the amazon, leaves any gringo safari in the sand! I find it difficult to find a clearer sky than in the Amazon. When I crossed from Belém to Manaus by boat, sleeping in the hammock for a few days, it felt like the boat was sailing among the stars.

Anavilhanas Archipelago - National travel

Lunch break, admiring part of the Anavilhanas Archipelago. Photo: Gustavo Albano

There are trips that cannot be explained. To paraphrase Mario Benedetti, the Uruguayan poet, “you won't believe what they tell you about the world (not even what I'm telling you), I've already told you that the world is countless”. 

Our icon of independent expeditions has already said something about this too, during the crossing he made in a boat, traveling from Africa to Bahia, alone. “A man needs to travel. On your own, not through stories, pictures, books or TV. You need to travel by yourself, with your eyes and feet, to understand what is yours.” This excerpt is from the book One Hundred Days Between Sky and Sea, by writer and navigator Amyr Klink. My hero!

Landscapes of the Amazon, traveling by boat between Belém and Manaus

Landscapes of the Amazon, admiring a riverside house among the açaí trees. Photo: Gustavo Albano

You should travel here more

I followed these recommendations to the letter when I left my comfortable (and boring) life in the working-class city located on ABC Paulista. It was my best decision. I can say that I learned more traveling than at any college. There are certain experiences that the academic world can even suggest through books, but only by traveling through the cities of Minas Gerais that I could understand life and Aleijadinho's work, in addition to seeing up close what slavery was in this country (56,10% of the population of Brazil declares itself black, according to published in Revista Piauí). I think there are more! Salvador, known as the Black Rome, is an example of this, the blackest city in Brazil. 

National travel - Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais

Ouro Preto, perhaps the most famous of the historic cities of Minas Gerais. Photo: Gustavo Albano

You realize about the historical and unequal weight of this country when you visit Cavalcante, in Veadeiros Plateau. Few tourists know, but there is one of the last quilombola communities discovered in Brazil, in 1989, 101 years after the Lei Áurea. The Kalunga villages of Engenho II, Vai do Moleque and Vai das Almas, were practically a piece of Africa lost more than 30 years ago, in the heart of the Brazilian cerrado.

No history teacher knew how to teach me that, I met them halfway on a trip to see the magnificent Santa Bárbara waterfall. After that, that waterfall of blue waters kept its charm, but nothing compares to what I learned that day, having lunch in the quilombola community and listening to those stories as a witness to how complex this country is.

quilombola community in Chapada dos Veadeiros

Lunch at the quilombola community in Cavalcante, Goiás. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Discover your next destination

Well, the same country that has the largest Japanese community outside of Japan (Bairro da Liberdade, in São Paulo), has a piece of Africa pulsing in terreiros, beating drums and making the energy of these lands vibrate. Even so, there are a few groups of descendants of Italians, Germans and Poles in the extreme south of Brazil.

Whoever knows how to explain to me how this country managed to shelter so much diversity, wins a sweet of species, straight from Alcântara, in the maranhão. The same one that was created especially for Dom Pedro II, on that visit that did not take place. Unlucky for him, I proved it!

Salto Waterfall, Chapada dos Veadeiros - Travel in Brazil

Salto Waterfall, in São Jorge, Goiás. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Yes, Aldir Blanc, “Brazil does not know Brazil”, but it should. I also agree when you say that “Brazil does not deserve Brazil” and that, unfortunately, “Brazil is killing Brazil”. I think it's due to lack of information, education, culture. We have no idea how much we lose with this.

Meanwhile, Catholics, residents, tourists and Candomblé supporters wash the steps of the Bonfim Church, in Salvador, which takes place every year after the Three Kings Day (in January). I confess that I have never been to this historic celebration, which has been taking place since 1773, just as I never followed “Olodum swinging the Pelô”. Sorry about that, Caetano, but this trip is also on my list.

Aerial view of Paraty - Travel in Brazil

Aerial view of the historic center of Paraty. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Perhaps a lifetime is not enough to know and understand the greatness of this Brazil. I know, I would probably have to dedicate my whole life to traveling. But, in the meantime, my list of national destinations is growing and I'll cross this list as I can.

Every year I reduce it a little, I still need a Carnival on the slopes of Olinda, I still need to dance with Caprichoso and Garantido at the Parintins Festival. I also want, one day, to hitchhike Rio x Bahia. Get to know the albino community of Ilha dos Lençóis, in Maranhão, stay a few days down the Xingu River by canoe, visit a Kayapó community in Pará and learn a little more with them.

Children from the Anã Community in Pará

Children posing for a photo in the Anã Community, in Pará. Photo: Gustavo Albano

Anyone who has never heard the accordion play in Ceará, who has never danced carimbó in Pará, who has never danced to the sound of Lia de Itamaracá, will probably not understand about the history of Lampião, will not know where Mangue Seco is, perhaps they would even lose the right to bathe in the waters of the São Francisco River and in the Cerrado waterfalls.

Brazilians should, at least once, look at this country with the eyes of a foreigner, to appreciate our tapioca, our acarajé, our moqueca, our carioca beans and drink the real açaí at Ver-o-Peso. 

Dessana Community - Amazon

Colors and ancestry in the Dessana community, in Amazonas. Photo: Gustavo Albano

The list is certainly long, just like the size of this country. It's much bigger than I could name in these lines, but as soon as the quarantine is over I'm going to travel this country again.

So if you have the same desire as me, it's a good idea to travel here. Seeing a traditional festival up close, eating fruit from the tree, taking a dip in the sea, taking a bath in a river or waterfall, because, despite the regrets, there is no better place in the world than our place. Yes, Brazilians should know Brazil.

Smiling sloths in the Amazon

Smiling sloths found along the Mamori River in the Amazon. Photo: Gustavo Albano

» 17 cheap and quiet beaches to visit in the Northeast
» Tourism in Brazil: 100 tours to do in Brazil
» Tour through the historic cities of Minas Gerais
» Community-based tourism in the Amazon

Dica extra para a sua viagem

Para encontrar inúmeras opções de acomodação e book hotels e pousadas durante a viagem, utilizamos o - disponível em milhares de destinos. Para economizar com voos, consultamos primeiro as passagens aéreas na MaxMilhas, - quase sempre encontramos os melhores preços tanto no Brasil quanto no exterior. As passagens podem ser emitidas mesmo para quem não tem milhas aéreas.

Outras dicas úteis

Encontre informações úteis sobre os best destinations do mundo, com guias de viagens especializados sobre diferentes places to visit in Brazil e no exterior. São milhares de travel tips com sugestões de onde ir na sua viagem, recomendação de hotels, notícias atualizadas e muito mais.

Precisa de um carro na sua viagem? Encontre aluguel de carro na Rentcars e cote modelos diferentes podendo ser parcelado em até 10x. Já para passeios e ingressos antecipados, fechamos tudo sempre pela Get Your Guide.

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