The 3 Major Rainforests in Brazil (Starting Points and Activities)

credit: Yay

If you’re a nature lover and enjoy outdoor adventure, there’s nothing quite like exploring the rainforests of Brazil. Brazil is home to some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and visiting these natural wonders is an experience you’ll never forget. Brazil’s rainforests have a unique combination of flora and fauna, making it one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Visiting the Brazilian rainforests offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in nature’s splendor. The rainforests of Brazil house an astonishing variety of wildlife, including numerous species that are not found anywhere else on Earth. This gives you the unique opportunity to witness wildlife in its natural habitat.

Moreover, Brazil’s rainforests are not just about fauna; they are teeming with exotic plant life too. You can find thousands of plant species, many with medicinal properties, adding another layer to the appeal of these rainforests.

In addition, the indigenous tribes residing in these forests offer a glimpse into unique cultures and traditions, making your visit a rich cultural experience as well. Don’t miss out on the unique tropical fruits in the Brazilian rainforest, such as açaí, jackfruit and cupuaçu – they are so delicious!

Make sure to be aware of mosquitos in Brazil!

The Amazon

Toucan tropical bird in Brazil
Yay Toucan tropical bird in Brazil

Brazil is home to the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon. The Amazon rainforest covers an area of over 5 million square kilometers of land and is home to over 40,000 plant species, 1,300 bird species, 430 amphibian species, and 3,000 fish species. The Amazon’s biodiversity is what makes it unique and a must-visit destination. When visiting the Amazon, make sure to take a guided tour to explore various wildlife species, waterfalls, and Amazonian rivers.

The Amazon is one of Brazil’s most important natural resources, and is a major player in the global economy. The Amazon produces over 20% of the world’s oxygen and is home to many endangered species. It also provides food for millions of people living in the region, including indigenous tribes.

Starting Point

A good place to start your Amazon adventure is Manaus in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. From here you can take boat cruises up the Rio Negro to see the wildlife, visit traditional villages, and explore local customs.

Manaus, often termed the “Heart of the Amazon,” is an intriguing fusion of native culture and modern urban life. The city serves as a gateway to the Amazon rainforest, offering a spectrum of experiences from vibrant street markets and historical architecture to unique wildlife encounters. Its renowned Opera House, rich indigenous heritage, and proximity to the ‘Meeting of the Waters’ where two major Amazon tributaries converge, make Manaus an indispensable part of any Amazonian adventure.


Exploring the Amazon Rainforest is a thrilling adventure packed with unique experiences. One of the most popular activities among tourists is ecotourism. Embark on a guided jungle trek to experience the rainforest’s biodiversity up close. Feel the thrill of spotting exotic wildlife such as jaguars, macaws, anacondas, and pink river dolphins in their natural habitat.

Be prepared for an immersive experience of bird-watching, insect-spotting, and tree-climbing, all under the guidance of experienced local guides who are well-versed in the region’s ecology and culture.

A visit to the Amazon would be incomplete without experiencing the might of the Amazon River. Boat tours are a great way to explore the vastness of the Amazon River and its tributaries. Navigating through the “Meeting of the Waters,” where the Rio Negro and Amazon River converge, offers an unforgettable spectacle.

Another must-do activity is fishing for piranhas, a unique and exciting experience. For a deeper cultural immersion, consider visiting an indigenous village to learn about their customs, traditions, and ways of life. Don’t miss the opportunity to try local cuisine, especially dishes like “Tacacá,” a soup made with jambu, tucupi, dried shrimps, and yellow pepper.

Atlantic Forest

Atlantic Forest Brazil
CC0 Atlantic Forest, Brazil

Aside from the Amazon, Brazil is home to other massive rainforests that are worth exploring. One of these is the Atlantic Forest, which is located along the eastern coast of Brazil. The Atlantic forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to over 8,000 plant species and 2,500 animal species. The forest is also home to some of Brazil’s rarest flora and fauna, including the golden lion tamarin and the maned three-toed sloth.

Starting Point

One of the best places to explore the Atlantic Forest in Brazil is the Serra do Mar State Park. This sprawling nature reserve offers a diverse range of flora and fauna, with well-marked trails making it ideal for trekking and bird-watching. It’s a great place to spot several endangered species that call the Atlantic Forest home. Moreover, with its stunning waterfalls, historical ruins, and panoramic viewpoints, the park provides a wholesome experience of this unique ecosystem.

Canyon Fortaleza and jungle valley at sunny day, Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil
Yay Canyon Fortaleza and jungle valley at sunny day, Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil


Exploring the Atlantic Forest in Brazil provides a wealth of activities that cater to a variety of interests. Birdwatchers will be thrilled to observe hundreds of unique species in their natural habitat. Hiking enthusiasts can traverse the forest’s well-marked trails, encountering stunning waterfalls and sweeping vistas along the way.

The sheer diversity of the flora and fauna also make it an excellent location for wildlife photography. For the more adventurous, zip-lining through the forest canopy provides a rush of adrenaline and a unique perspective on the forest’s beauty.

Historical ruins scattered throughout the park offer a glimpse into the region’s past, making it a must-visit for history buffs. Finally, a visit to the local communities surrounding the forest offers a chance to engage with the local culture and sample authentic Brazilian cuisine.

The Cerrado

CC0 Cerrado

The Cerrado is another rainforest in Brazil worth checking out. The Cerrado is located in Central Brazil and is the largest savanna in South America. Despite being a savanna, the Cerrado is home to over 12,000 plant species, including the beautiful orchids of Goiás. The Cerrado is also a great destination for adventure lovers and is perfect for hiking, trekking, and exploring.

Starting Point

The city of Brasília, Brazil’s capital, serves as a great starting point for your exploration of the Cerrado. Known for its modernist architecture and being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Brasília is nestled within the Cerrado and is surrounded by several national parks.

Just a short drive from the city, you can explore the unique biodiversity of this savanna, embark on thrilling hiking trails, and witness the vibrant bloom of the Goiás orchids. With its well-connected transport links and proximity to the Cerrado, Brasília allows for easy access to this fascinating ecosystem.


There are a plethora of activities that one can undertake in the Cerrado, making it not just a biodiversity hotspot but also an adventure seekers’ paradise. One of the most popular activities is bird watching, with the Cerrado boasting over 800 bird species, including the endangered Hyacinth Macaw.

Hyacinth macaw sitting on a branch, Pantanal, Brazil
Yay Hyacinth macaw sitting on a branch, Pantanal, Brazil

For the more adventurous, the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park offers challenging hiking trails that lead to breathtaking waterfalls and crystal-clear pools – perfect for a refreshing dip after a long hike. The park is also known for its unique rock formations that are a rock climber’s delight.

If you are inclined towards cultural experiences, the indigenous communities of the Cerrado offer a chance to immerse oneself in their rich traditions and customs. Participating in traditional ceremonies and feasts gives visitors a deeper understanding of the region’s cultural heritage.

Jaguar in Pantanal
Yay Jaguar female on Rio Cuiabá riverbank, Porto Jofre, Brazil

Finally, a trip to the Cerrado would be incomplete without exploring its diverse flora. The savanna is home to thousands of species of plants, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Guided botanical tours offer a fascinating insight into the unique vegetation of the Cerrado.

Chapada Diamantina National Park

If you’re interested in seeing some of the iconic landmarks in Brazilian rainforests, make sure to visit the Chapada Diamantina National Park, which is located in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The park has stunning waterfalls, majestic mountains, and ancient caves. The Chapada Diamantina National Park is also home to Brazil’s second-highest peak, the Pico do Barbado.

Visitors to Chapada Diamantina National Park have a lot on offer. Starting with the exploration of its diverse landscape, hiking trails provide access to breathtaking vistas, hidden waterfalls, and remote caves. One must-visit spot is the Blue Well, a cave that becomes illuminated by the sun to reveal an enchanting blue pool.

For the thrill-seekers, there are options to indulge in rock climbing, rappelling, and water sports. The park’s rivers and natural pools offer a refreshing change from the usual beach scene.

Wildlife enthusiasts should keep their binoculars ready for the many species that inhabit the park, from birds to unique insects, and mammals. If you’re lucky, you might spot the rare and magnificent Puma.

Finally, no visit to the Chapada Diamantina would be complete without witnessing a sunset from the top of Father Inacio Hill, a definitive moment that leaves an indelible impact on all who experience it.