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Brazil UNESCO Tours
Check out these UNESCO Tours in Brazil, and choose which historical sites speak the most to you. Choose from the colonial Ouro Preto, which played an important role in Brazil’s gold rush, horseback ride around the Pantanal Wetlands, perfect for spotting wildlife, or marvel at the rushing Iguazu Falls at Iguazu National Park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. There’s a Brazil UNESCO Tour for everyone.
Top 17 Brazil UNESCO Tours
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Best Brazil UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The historic town of Ouro Preto played an important role in the heyday of Brazil’s gold rush. The name “Ouro Preto” means “Black Gold,” and gold indeed flowed through this port city on its way to the Old World. During the 17th centuries and 18th centuries, gold mining was one of the major industries of colonial Brazil. The town got rich off the exports and soon boasted Baroque-style churches and other exquisite architectural features that showed off the largess of the town’s barons. In fact, the town’s first name was “Villa Rica” – “Rich Town.”
The sculptor Aleijadinho made some of his best creations during this time, including the Roccoco façade and bas-relief on the Church of the Third Order of St Francis, and the Twelve Prophets carved in soapstone in front of the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus of Matosinhos, which is also a Brazil UNESCO World Heritage Site. These magnificent sculptures can still be admired today. The town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. View our Route of Gold Tour that includes Ouro Preto.
Iguazu National Park
The Iguazu National Park was declared a Brazil UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The park boasts pristine subtropical forest, many species of endangered flora and fauna, and pleasant walking trails that allow visitors to admire the waterfalls and the forests alike. During a day tour of the park, you can view the waterfalls from many angles, and even walk out over the rushing water on raised platforms to get panoramic views. You might also see a variety of wildlife, including butterflies, anteaters, river otters, caiman, monkeys, parrots, and coatis.
The Pantanal Wetlands
Although the Pantanal wetlands in southwestern Brazil aren’t as well-known as the Amazon Rainforest, this conservation area is actually much better than the Amazon Rainforest for spotting birds and wildlife. The Pantanal Conservation Area, located in the state of Mato Grosso and covering an expanse of 464,108 acres (187,818 hectares), was named a Brazil UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. It is one of the world’s largest freshwater wetlands. Two rivers, the Cuiabá and Paraguay, flood the plains each year, bringing sustenance to a vast ecosystem. You’re almost guaranteed to see herons, egrets, jabirus, caiman, and river otters. Numbers of wildlife species amount to 80 mammals, 650 birds, 50 reptiles, and 400 fish.
Salvador da Bahia
Salvador was the first capital of Brazil, and as such, it has preserved its historic traditions and culture. The historic center of Salvador was named a Brazil UNESCO site in 1985 and features brightly-painted colonial Renaissance architecture from the 16th to 18th centuries. The Pelhourinho Plaza is the main plaza, where much of the city’s activity occurred. This was also the center for the African slave trade, where Africans were bought and sold to work in gold mines, sugar plantations, and tobacco plantations. African-Brazilian culture is evident in Salvador, where signs of the African candombe religion and samba music are everywhere.
The Amazon Rainforest
A Brazil UNESCO Site since 2000, the Amazon Rainforest is one of the world’s most important ecosystems. In fact, it is sometimes called “The World’s Lungs.” The Central Amazon Conservation Complex in Brazil covers 23,166 square miles (6 million hectares) and encompasses a variety of terrain, from igapó forests and archipelagos to oxbow lakes, tributaries, and channels. There are many endangered wildlife species here, including the arapaima fish, the Amazonian manatee, river dolphins, and black caimans.
Rio de Janeiro
The newest addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro was nominated in 2012. Regarded as “The Marvelous City,” this metropolis features world-famous beaches, rolling hills of the Tijuca National Park covered in Atlantic Rainforest vegetation, and a distinct carioca culture and lifestyle. From the peaks of Corcovado Mountain and Sugarloaf to the picturesque Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro has breathtaking views in all directions.
5 Best Brazil UNESCO Tours for 2023
|Colonial Gems & Historic Cities in Brazil Tour||from $2959||12 Days||On our Colonial Gems & Historic Cities in Brazil Tour, get a taste of some of the most beautiful and historic cities in Brazil! Travel from the sixth...|
|The Incas, Uros, Gauchos & Cariocas Tour||from $3328||18 Days||Embark on an 18-day journey through the Land of the Incas, where the remnants of their great civilization continue to capture the imagination. From...|
|Rio de Janeiro & the Route of Gold||from $2519||8 Days||The Gold Rush in Brazil transformed the country, altered its course of history, and financed the Industrial Revolution in Europe. This Brazil Route...|
|Rio, Tropical Island & the Historical Port of Paraty||from $1309||8 Days||Pack your sunscreen for this tropical Brazil tour, ideal for those who want to escape to the beach for a romantic getaway. Starting in Rio de...|
|South America Deluxe Tour||from $5247||26 Days||This deluxe tour is perfect for honeymooners or those who want to see the highlights of South America in style. On this deluxe tour, you will visit...|
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