Brazil’s vast size grants it ample space to accommodate some weird and wonderful places that won’t score any points on a tourist checklist, but will open up some eyes to the astonishing and intriguing places that exist throughout the country. Here are 10 places in Brazil that definitely raised a few eyebrows.
Rua do Amendiom, Belo Horizonte
Rua do Amendiom – or ‘Street of the Peanut’, as the name translates to – has nothing to do with food, but everything to do with a bizarre phenomena that seemingly makes cars roll up hill when the brakes are off. Everything from haunting to magnetic strips have been theories behind this unusual stunt, yet the real answer is an optical illusion: while the road appears to be on an incline, there is actually a slight dip in the road surface.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Slum Dog Favela
Caixas do Sul is a poor town in the south of Brazil where residents are less well-off and live in economically and socially challenging situations. This isn’t a problem that only affects people, but also the resident dogs and cats, too. To cope with the abundance of stray animals in the street, animal rights organisation So Ama (Just Love) copied human favelas and built a mini-slum for dogs and cats that provides shelter, food and medical treatment for the four-legged residents.
Casa da Flor, Sao Pedro da Aldeia
Casa da Flor ( ‘House of the Flower‘ in English) is a small house in São Pedro da Aldeia in Rio de Janeiro. The outside is made up of everyday objects such as light bulbs, stones and unwanted items that are re-purposed as art. The house’s architecture is the result of the inspirations and visions of Gabriel Joaquim dos Santos, a former salt worker and the son of a slave. He died in 1985, but left his legacy in this gorgeous house, leaving behind his belief that even rubbish can be turned into a thing of beauty.
Boca do Acre
The hub of a host of religious controversy, Boca do Acre is the birthplace of the Santo Daime religion, which blends elements of Christianity, spiritualism, shamanism and African animism. An important part of the religious practice is drinking a tea made from Ayahuasca that causes a hallucinogenic experience that apparently brings clarity and peace. Practices exist all throughout Brazil and have even spread internationally.
Petrolandia was renamed Old Petrolandia when the remains of the Brazilian town in Pernambuco were submerged under water by the construction of an energy-saving hydroelectric dam. The area is now completely flooded, yet one hint of the ghost town remains: the top of an old church breaks through the surface, a reminder of the small town that lies beneath.
Glowing termite nests
In Emas National Park, which is home to extraordinary wildlife such as jaguars and maned wolves, an unusual natural phenomena takes place that is best seen at night. Termites build impressive towers that reach dizzying heights of 7m (7.6 yds.) tall and span across an area of up to 30m (32.8 yds.), the home to several million termites and intruders such as the pyrohorus beetle – more commonly known as the headlight beetle. The adults are bioluminescent, yet it’s the larvae that glow, creating a nocturnal light display that is bright enough to read by. The result is spell-binding, yet that’s the point – the larvae seduce insects with their glow, pulling them in close enough to eat them.
Gruta do Lago Azul
Gruta do Lago Azul, or the Blue Lake Grotto, is aptly named. It is a small part of one of the largest flooded depressions in the world, an underground cave that went unnoticed for thousands of years until its discovery in 1924. It has remarkably clear waters that become a vibrant blue when sunlight comes through the cave and reflects off the water’s surface. The most astonishing fact about this cave is that the bottom is layered with thousands of prehistoric mammal bones from the Pleistocene era, the remains of sabre-toothed tigers and giant sloths serving as a reminder of when giant animals ruled the Earth.
Victoria Amazonica, Amazon
Found on certain parts of the River Amazon, these giant lily pads grow an astonishing 6 in. (152mm) per day, up to a grand total 2.5m (2.73 yds.) in diameter. Like something straight out of a fairytale, these magnificent specimens can support the weight of a child, conjuring up images of picnics on lily pads while floating around the river. These lilies can barely survive for longer than a year outside the Amazon forest due to their sensitivity in their environment; they need exactly the right heat and humidity to grow and thrive.
Ilha da Queimada – Snake Island
Ilha da Queimada seems the stuff of nightmares. Lying 150km (93.2 mi.) off the coast of São Paulo is a small island that has an immensely dense population of snakes, between one to five per square metre. This population of snakes is made up of one species: the golden lancehead snake can grow up to one meter (1.19 yds.) in length, and is highly venomous. Its bite melts the surrounding flesh, cuasing organ failure and internal bleeding. The island is forbidden to visit, unless as part of a scientific expedition. Despite the snakes’ powerful poison, they are a critically endangered species and exist in no other place in the world outside of this small island.
Nave Especial do Varginha
On January 20, 1996, two sisters and their friend spotted a thin creature with v-shaped feet and large red eyes wandering through the streets of Varginha, Minas Gerais. This was the beginning of an avalanche of UFO and alien sightings, including the claim that a creature was retrieved by three military trucks after it was found dead in a ditch. The town has become the UFO hotspot of South America, complete with a water tower in the shape of a UFO that glows at night.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.