The granite mountain Pedra Azul, Portugese for "blue mountain," is named for the shade of blue it appears to turn at dawn and sunset.
VIEW GALLERY | 17 PHOTOS
The granite mountain Pedra Azul, Portugese for "blue mountain," is named for the shade of blue it appears to turn at dawn and sunset.David Evans—National Geographic
The granite mountain Pedra Azul, Portugese for "blue mountain," is named for the shade of blue it appears to turn at dawn and sunset.
The Third Street of the Alvorada neighborhood, part of Brazil's southernmost state Rio Grande do Sul, is vibrantly decorated for the 2014 World Cup in Manaus, one of the tournament's 12 host cities.
The Iguazu Falls, surrounded by lush forest and exotic wildlife, are a set of nearly 300 waterfalls in the Iguazu River located on the Brazil-Argentina border.
The Cucumbo beaches line the state of Ceara's coast, popular amongst kite- and wind- surfers, and known for its fines and and palm tree-lined shores.
A brightly painted alley in São Paulo's Vila Madalena neighborhood, a hotspot in Brazil for artists, writers, filmmakers and other creative minds.
Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago of 21 islands about 200 miles off the Brazilian coast, is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and offers travelers stunning views of marine life.
The Botanical Gardens in the city of Curitiba was created in the style of French gardens, with fountains, lakes and an art nouveau style greenhouse, which lights up at night.
Joaquina Beach, located in the south of Brazil, is one of the most popular beaches for surfers.
Bahia was once Brazil’s capital but is now known more for its vibrant African-influenced music scene, 31 miles of beaches, and local street carnival that garners some 2 million visitors.
The largest inland swamp in the world can be found partially in Brazil, but the Pantanal is so immense that it stretches to Bolivia and Paraguay as well.
The famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer constructed the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, known for both its amazing contemporary art exhibits and UFO-like appearance.
Parati popular tourist destination and former Portuguese colony stuns visitors with its incredible waterfalls and mountain views.
Meaning “Easter Mount” in Portugese, Monte Pascoal’s beautiful vegetation represents one of the last growths of the Atlantic Forest still in existence.
The largest national park of its region, Jalapao, has become an increasingly popular destination for adventure tourists and was even featured on a season of Survivor.
The Lencois Maranhenses National Park received its Portuguese name, meaning “the bedsheets of Maranhao,” from its famous white sand dunes, but the region keeps a bit of color thanks to the blue waters in between the dunes and the beautiful tropical fish that swim there.
Visitors can take a trip through history in Olinda, a colonial town where centuries-old churches and traditional, colorful homes still stand on a beautiful Atlantic coast.
On a summer evening at Rio de Janeiro's Arpoador Beach, one of the most popular surf destinations in the city, it's possible to see the sun setting over the waves, an anomaly on Brazil's east-facing beaches.
The granite mountain Pedra Azul, Portugese for "blue mountain," is named for the shade of blue it appears to turn at dawn and sunset.
David Evans—National Geographic
1 of 17

The 17 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Brazil

Jun 06, 2014

As the host country of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil will be one of this summer’s most popular destinations. From June 12 to July 13—the tournament dates—Brazil expects to host about 600,000 foreign tourists, according to its Ministry of Tourism.

Within the 12 host cities are some of the world’s most stunning beaches and creative neighborhoods, including Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro and the exquisitely decorated streets of Manaus. Elsewhere in Brazil are more gems from the South American country’s seemingly endless must-sees, to the remarkably designed Niterói Contemporary Art Museum to towering or the blue mountain of Pedra Azul.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.