When we think of the concepts that involve luxury tourism, soon we come to imagine hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other attractions in international destinations like Monaco, Paris, New York or even some Pacific islands and their paradisiacal beaches, but the good news is that we do not have to go that far to enjoy the luxury that cities like these can provide. In Brazil, we already have options to attract this niche of travelers with high purchasing power, more demanding and that has as priority comfort, exclusivity and privacy. Below we select some destinations that are already known to serve this type of audience.
Imbassaí Beach – BA
The main beach of the municipality of Imbassaí, a small village with about 5.000 inhabitants that is on the north coast of Bahia, in the so-called Route of Coconut Trees, with 6 kilometers long, is surrounded by several white sand dunes that separate the coast of the river, which has the same name of the beach, and comes in a preserved mangrove estuary. In this place it is possible to have a different experience: take a freshwater bath and then jump into the sea. To ensure tranquility on site, access to cars is quite restricted. A must-see tour is to get carried away by the relaxed atmosphere and walk along the beach where there are several stalls and bars, famous for the seafood snacks and the trademark of Bahian cuisine acarajé.
The Grand Palladium Imbassaí Resort & Spa is an excellent accommodation request. A few minutes from Salvador airport, located on the reverse of Imbassaí, near Praia do Forte, the resort offers intense contact with nature. Its beach is a spawn point for sea turtles and preserved in conjunction with the Tamar Project. There, the guest finds eleven bars and seven restaurants, four of them à la carte.
The resort works on the all-inclusive infinite indulgence system. For those who want more tranquility and will travel without children, there is an adultsonly pool. But if the trip is with the family, there is a special structure for them with baby club, kids club and daily activities with the recreation team. If the search is for convenience, the Palladium has the Zentropia Palladium Wellness & Spa, with various services such as massages, saunas, and exclusive treatments.
Xingó Canyon – SE
The largest navigable canyon in the world lies on the border between the states of Sergipe and Alagoas. The place has as frame orange walls that are cut by a lake of intense light green tone that form an almost unbelievable scenery, worthy of an adventure film. The most interesting thing about this story is that until a few years ago the landscape was quite different. With the construction of the Xingó Hydroelectric Power Plant in 1994, the waters of the São Francisco River that passed rapidly through the rocks, gave way to a gigantic lake with 65 kilometers long and began to attract many people (national and foreign tourists) to see up close this incredible set of canals. Located in the Serra do Chapéu de Couro, Xingó Parque Hotel & Resort is close to the canyon, museums and sights of the region and offers an unparalleled panoramic view. It is also easy access to transport to all Canindé do São Francisco and adjacencies. As infrastructure, the hotel offers half board system (breakfast and dinner), piano bar, restaurant, games room, virtual reality (3D), multi-sport court, gym, recreation, waterfall bar, adult and children’s pool with wet bar, water slide, crazy bucket, playground, minigolf, kids club, gazebo, panoramic elevator, heliport, and sale of tours in the region.
Barra da Tijuca – RJ
Barra da Tijuca has one of the highest rates of human development in the city of Rio de Janeiro (0.972) and was one of the few neighborhoods to be born from an urban planning, although much of Lúcio Costa’s original project has already been abandoned. Even so, it is possible to observe its wide streets, in the style of Brasilia, a city also planned by the same renowned architect. In addition to knowing its beach of generally transparent waters, with calmer stretches and others rough, good for surfing, a must-see program in the neighborhood is to take a walk through its malls, which house international brand stores and high-profile restaurants. To enjoy the beautiful beach of Barra with convenience, one option is the Wyndham Rio de Janeiro Barra. Highlighted by lush tropical vegetation, the contemporary hotel facing the Atlantic Ocean, just minutes from Barra Shopping and the Village Mall and 37 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro International Airport. The hotel has a state-of-the-art gym, and its restaurant offers delicious all-day dining, starting with a free breakfast buffet for guests.
Ilhabela – SP
Ilhabela is one of the only municipalitiesarchipelagos in Brazil and is located on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, in the region of São Sebastião. It has one of the most rugged landscapes of the Brazilian coastal region and is known for its 36 kilometers of beaches, 360 waterfalls (waterfalls that can be used for bathing add up to about 30) and hundreds of trails with stunning landscapes of the Atlantic Forest bordering the sea. About 84.3% of the territory of the municipality is considered an area of the Ilhabela State Park, created in 1977 and which has a total area of 27.000 hectares. The importance of the park earned it inclusion in the region known as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO and in the areas covered by the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) and designation as an Important Area for bird preservation (IBA). With many lodging and leisure options, this small town highlights the DPNY Beach Hotel & Spa, unique five-star beachfront and a perfect combination of luxurious accommodations, haute cuisine, spa, beach structure and private park. For the record, among the many celebrities who have experienced all this comfort is the übermodel Gisele Bündchen. Just steps from the golden sand and clear waters of Veloso Beach is the elegant Wyndham Ilhabela, the contemporary non-smoking hotel offering an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and international cuisine with continental breakfast in the Tonhão’s Restaurant. There are 50 spacious suites or apartments with spectacular sea views, each equipped with free WIFI and a full kitchen, among other conveniences. The hotel is pet friendly, but only for pets of five pounds or less.
Foz do Iguaçu – PR
Foz do Iguaçu, in Paraná, is one of the most famous Brazilian destinations abroad. The city is the main base for visiting the well-known Iguaçu Falls. With an extension of 2.7 km and crossing the border with Argentina, they are formed by hundreds of waterfalls, among them the Devil’s Throat, with 80 meters high that can be accessed on boat trips. Foz do Iguaçu is more than a postcard. Exotic birds, ice bars, water parks, a Buddhist temple, Argentine steakhouses, fast cars to drive, shopping in Paraguay and Argentina, casinos, Jesuit ruins and the Itaipu power plant: the more days you stay, the more you have to do.
The Rafain Palace Hotel & Convention, is one of the most prestigious hotels in Foz do Iguaçu, with a privileged location, right at the entrance of the city and close to the main sights. The resort concept allows the development to be molded to the needs of guests at different times of the year. With an expert recreation team responsible for the leisure of adults and children, the hotel transforms stays into unforgettable experiences. For those who want to have fun, it has swimming pools, sauna, sports courts, soccer fields and the “Enchanted World”, recreation space for children with forest theme. The quality of gastronomy, DNA of the family business, is one of the great differentials of the hotel. Despite its large size, Rafain Palace stands out in the region for maintaining the welcoming characteristics of a family business, as if every guest who arrives was coming in and being welcomed into the founders’ house.
Garopaba – SC
Garopaba is located on the southern coast of the state of Santa Catarina. The name of the city has indigenous origin and means “boat cove” or “place of boats”. It is a typical destination for those looking for peace and contact with nature. The city is full of calm beaches, some of which are not very busy, with a lot of vegetation in the surroundings. The local architecture resembles that of cities like Paraty and Tiradentes, which gives it a historical air. The local gastronomy is varied and there are restaurants with typical dishes of various cuisines: Brazilian, Arabic, Italian, among others, but seafood is always a good choice in the restaurants of the city. The most famous beach in the city is Praia do Rosa. In 2015, The Guardian published an article about the 10 best beaches in the world you have never heard of and among them was Praia do Rosa. Its fame is due to natural beauty, with its crystal-clear waters, fine and clear sand, and an unforgettable calmness.
The sighting of right whales also attracts many tourists to Garopaba in the winter months. They usually arrive between June and September to search for the calm waters of the region to give birth away from probable predators. Gamboa Beach is the right place to spot them. During this period, registered boats take tourists to see them closely. Praia da Silveira is considered one of the best in the world for surfing. At the same time, it offers the hot water of the zinho river that, with the proximity of the hill, form a protection of the south wind for families with children to enjoy calm waters.
There, is also the best place in town to enjoy the rise of the full moon. To the south, an immense hill, with the green of the Atlantic Forest almost 100% preserved. To the north, the coast that provides an hour and a half of walking, many natural pools and ends at Praia da Preguiça (Lazy Beach). In Garopaba the best comfortable and sophisticated lodging option is Pousada Morada da Prainha, which offers excellent leisure structure and personalized service. The proposal of the hostel is that you enjoy a private space of a complete beach house with services and amenities of a large hotel.
Bonito – MS
Bonito is one of the main ecotourism destinations in Brazil. Located in Mato Grosso do Sul, and internationally known for the transparency of the waters of its rivers, the city stands out as the best place for river diving in the country. At the crystal line of the Baía Bonita River, which forms the Natural Aquarium, or on the Sucuri River, with light current, you swim side by side with various species of colorful fish. Concern for the environment is taken seriously. It seems that many of the city’s attractions have been discovered recently, so untouched. For those who enjoy a lot of adventure, the Abyss Anhumas is one of the largest submerged caves in the country. Covered with stalactites, it allows the practice of rappelling and diving in an underground lake. There are also options for boat rides in rapids, cross buoy and scuba diving.
Among the caves, the highlights are the Blue Lake Grotto, with a lake of a magical blue tone, almost unreal and the Caves of São Miguel, whose tour begins on a suspended trail and follows inside the cave, full of stalactites, stalatopmites and other geological formations. Boca da Onça (moth of jaguar) is the highest waterfall in the state, with 156 meters high, but its ecological trail, with 4 km, goes through another ten falls. Other options are the Parque das Cachoeiras, with six waterfalls and the Mimosa Resort, with nine stops for bathing. Who chooses Bonito as a travel destination wants contact with nature, and this the city has for all tastes. At Pousada Arte da Natureza it is possible to enjoy with modernity, comfort, and ecologically correct practices, always with remarkable experiences of pure leisure and tranquility of all the beauty and natural resources of the region. There are three outdoor pools and an indoor pool, five outdoor spas and three artificial waterfalls, totaling more than 720 m² of waters. The 15 Superior apartments have a private pool on the balcony.
Chapada do Guimarães – MT
Located in the state of Mato Grosso, 65 km from the capital Cuiabá, the Chapada dos Guimarães is identified by the walls that mark the edges of the Brazilian Central Plateau. The huge wall with one hundred and fifty kilometers of rocks, which three hundred million years ago was at the bottom of the ocean, is considered one of the most mystical points in the country, because it is believed that the magnetic flux of the region (“Bivac corridor”), allows people to initiate greater contact with elementals and beings of other dimensions, due to a “hole” in the surface of chapada that allows the passage of cosmic waves that do not normally reach the surface. In addition to the beauty of this rock massif, with caves, several trails that lead to numerous waterfalls, all in preservation area, with huge diversity of birds. The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park brings together all these attractions and has a good infrastructure with kiosks, restaurant, bathrooms, and guides to welcome the tourist. The state is also one of the entrances to the Pantanal and contains in its territory part of the Amazon Forest, in the Cristalino State Park. Its capital is Cuiabá, which today is focused on business tourism and is the destination of several congresses and fairs due to its great hotel structure and event centers. Further south of the state, stand out the natural hot water resorts located in the cities of Juscimeira and Jaciara, where is also located the Cachoeira da Fumaça, complex of rivers and waterfalls much sought after for rafting. A great lodging option is the Malai Manso Resort All Inclusive, on the shores of Lake Manso and only an hour from the capital, and one hour from Chapada dos Guimarães. The hotel, opened three years ago, has more than 3,000m² of swimming pools, several environments that connect, including an exclusive area for children. It also offers leisure options of the most varied, for all ages, ranging from extreme sports such as zip line, tree climbing and archery, to the games room, tennis courts, soccer, and other sports. In the casino guests can win several “malais” that are worth the fun. Boat trips through the lake with a stop on a beach that is a real postcard, floating in Bom Jardim or getting to know the waterfalls of the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park are other must-see programs offered at Malai Manso.
Mount Roraima – RR
Mount Roraima lies on the triple border between Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana. It constitutes a “tepui”, a type of table-shaped hill quite characteristic of the Guyana plateau. Known by the westerners only in the 19th century, it was first climbed in 1884 by a British expedition led by Everard Ferdinand im Thurn. However, the various later expeditions, their fauna, flora, and geology remain virtually unknown. The story of one of these incursions inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write the book The Lost World in 1912. With tourism development in the region, especially from the 1980s, Mount Roraima became one of the most popular destinations for trekking practitioners. The most used route is made by the south side of the mountain, through a natural passage on the edge of a cliff. To make this trip it is necessary to be prepared physically and spiritually. It is on average seven days of walking, three by prairies until reaching the base of the huge mountain that rises like a wall dividing borders and heaven and earth. In this first part, although smooth, one walks for about eight hours a day, with camping and feeding bases. Seeing every minute that the sacred mountain is closer gives strength to the next step. When the sun sets and covers the rock walls red, there is a stunning spectacle. The climb is tiring, but without great difficulties, and can be done by anyone with good physical preparation. Along the way there is the impression that there are several worlds within the same place. First it comes to a flora of its own, with carnivorous plants that spring from the ground and stones, and animals that only exist in this place, such as the tiny black thrush. On the fourth day is the arrival at top, with 2.772 meters high. Below only clouds and the feeling of being in the sky. It is at this moment that the energy of the Tepuy (sacred name of Mount Roraima) connects to that of the spirit of the traveler, forming one, where it is also possible to see with the eyes of the soul, this place that seems to be a portal between worlds.
The experience of walking through the rocks carved by the wind, formed in the Proterozoic period (about 1.7 to 2 billion years ago), on slabs with water mirror that steal the spectrum of light, forming multicolored wells with natural bathtubs ideal for simply relaxing, is unforgettable. Passing through the “Valley of the Crystals”, formed by a carpet of several centimeters of white and pink crystals, is breathtaking of anyone, such beauty. At the top are the entrances to numerous caves that form a true network, with 10.820 meters long and an unevenness of 72 meters, where is the largest quartz cave in the world, in addition to sinks, underground rivers and waterfalls. After the experience of sleeping above the clouds and feel the embrace of the Tepuy, where history, geography, geology, mystery, energy, overcoming and magic, are lived, no one returns the same from this trip.
Alter do Chão – PA
Alter do Chão is the type of destination in which it makes a lot of difference the time of year of the trip, since the region completely changes landscape depending on the volume of rains. The best time to see the famous river beaches (main attractions of the region, which also includes Santarém and Belterra) is the so called Amazonian summer, dry season that runs from August to December. Already who seeks boat trips in the middle of the forest and want to see a lot of animal life, the most recommended is to travel in the Amazon winter, rainy season that mainly goes from January to July. It may seem strange, but the beaches of Alter do Chão are not the same as each other. Therefore, boat trips are a very common attraction in the region. The routes vary widely and there are options for all types of tourists. The tours are carried out by tourism agencies, the association of boatmen (Association of River Tourism of Alter do Chão – ATUFA) or by private professionals. To have more freedom of script, the ideal is to hire a private boatman and choose the stops of the tour along with him. At the time of a speedboat or boat ride along the beaches of Alter do Chão it is almost certain that there will be a strategic stop for sunset in Ponta do Cururu or Ponta do Muretá. A few minutes from the village, these sandy tips that enter the Tapajós are the ideal places to close the circuit of the day with an incredible look. The sun sets on the water and you can watch the spectacle floating quietly in the warm waters of the Tapajós River. If you prefer you can also rent a boat just to enjoy the sunset in the boatmen’s association of Alter do Chão or, in the case of Ponta do Cururu, walk from The Island of Love (with a trip that can take 2h by the riverside). One thing is certain: any option offers the tourist a stunning scenery. For lodging, Pousada Boutique Vila de Alter is a great choice. The first boutique inn in Pará, Vila Alter is part of the Circuito Elegante and Remote Latin America – type of “seal of informal quality” in the luxury and comfort tourism market – it was born inspired by the way of life of the villages on the banks of the river Tapajós. Integrated with the forest, its accommodations and spaces are named after species of the Amazonian flora. In addition to revering nature, it is a friendly way of introducing guests to environments. There are six bungalows built with reforested wood, a hammock on the balcony and a different touch in the decoration that mixes contemporary elements and references of riverside architecture.