Eco-Tourism in Brazil

STORY BY Patrick 6th December 2018

Whilst Brazil is known for its amazing cities, food, culture and unforgettable nightlife; it is also home to some of the world’s most breath-taking National Parks. 

The country’s natural environments are spectacular and not to be missed – especially for those who both want to explore eco-tourism destinations and have an adventurous streak.

Some of the most spectacular national parks include:

Iguaçu National Park – Paraná

Iguaçu (which means “strong water” in Tupi-Guarani language) National Park is renowned for its 275 waterfalls which have existed for 150 million years. These natural waterfalls are breath-taking and travellers can spend hours exploring, whether they want to hike, walk or climb. It is not surprising that the waterfalls are considered one of The New Seven Wonders of Nature.

The Park, listed as Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, is home to over 2,000 plant species. There are numerous hiking trails and lookouts that you will have direct contact with the flora and fauna of the place.

But if you want to be even closer to the local nature, you can practice radical sports such as rafting and rappelling, facing turbulent waters and descending through unforgettable landscapes.

Tijuca National Park – Rio de Janeiro

Located in the centre of Rio de janeiro, Tijuca National Park covers 3,200 hectares of forest. What started as just a huge area of forestland has been slowly transformed into an area of public leisure.

Designated as a National Park in 1961, the Tijuca National Park features works of art, restaurants and other services. This all works in favour of eco-tourism, whilst preserving one of the country’s natural beauties. One interestingly aspect of the park is its historical side, as areas of the park date back to the age of the coffee empire. These include the Mayrink Chapel, the Solidão Weir and Cascatinha.

Divided in to sectors, a good starting point is the Visitor Center located in Sector A (Forest), where new trail groups are organized. The main lookout points are located in Sector B (Serra da Carioca), including the Chinese View. Sector C (Pedra da Gávea/Pedra Bonita) is the best choice for the more adventurous types.

Serra dos Orgãos National Park – Rio de Janeiro

For those who want to explore and go on grand adventures, Serra dos Orgãos National Park provides exactly that. Located in the Mountain Region of Rio de Janeiro, it expands through the towns of Guapimirim, Mage, Petropolis and Teresopolis and gets its name from the resemblance of its peaks with the tubes of a church organ.

Its mountains are simply magnificent. With its rocky cliff tops and waterfalls, such as Véu da Noiva, the park is perfect for mountain sports such as climbing and rappelling. It also has some of the best hiking trails in the country, with over 200 km of paths for all levels of hiking ability.  The Park is also home to 15 rock climbs rated amongst the best in the world, such as Dedo de Deus.

Fernando de Noronha – Pernambuco

Brazil’s natural wonders are not restricted to land; Brazil’s eco-tourism expands to water. The waters of Fernando de Noronha are magical and there are many ways to explore and experience them.

People can dive, snorkel, participate in autonomous and wreck diving in Fernando de Noronha. Diving regions are home to a wide variety of fish, including fish schools, barracudas, sea turtles, corals, octopuses, squids, lobsters and several species of sharks.

When wreck diving in archipelago, travellers can find one of the best-preserved wrecks in the country, the Corveta Ipiranga. It is so well preserved, divers can still see multiple intact objects such as cupboards and kitchen appliances. Another ship that can be seen whilst driving in this natural wonder is the Greek Eleane Stathatos.

When out the water, the Fernando de Noronha islands are simply beautiful. The area’s clear blue waters and golden sands are the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring.

Other activities the islands offers include boat rides and observing dolphins, again, promoting Brazil’s commendable conservation of wildlife.

These truly unique parks show off both Brazil’s adventurous side and the country’s impressive ecosystems. For those that want to explore and visit parts of the world that are eco-friendly and full of pure natural beauty – these are the places to go!

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