Jungle retreats with views across the rainforest canopy; chic-shack beach houses set over long, empty strands; mountain chalets where toucans perch in the branches next to your balcony-with-a-view. The only difficulty you’ll have booking a rental villa in Brazil is choosing where to stay. Here’s a selection of some of the best – from the beach-fringed northeast to the rugged highlands of the south. And they’re bookable with Culture Trip.
Locations don’t get much more idyllic than this, in tropical Bahia state. Kabru’s rustic-chic, palm-thatch villas sit, nest-like, in lush Atlantic rainforest outside Itacaré village. Historic Ilheús – where Brazil’s modernist master Jorge Amado was born – is on the doorstep; dozens of beaches unravel all around, little sheltered coves embraced by rainforest, long surf-pounded strands backed by wild lagoons and balmy bays of talc-fine sand. Just note that getting here is quite a journey, via Salvador and Ilheús airports and a rental-car drive.
Villas in Brazil aren’t all on the beach – take Ninho Verde, in the forest-covered mountains of Campos do Jordão. In inland São Paulo state, it’s a rare retreat where Brazilians hole-up for winter when temperatures can drop below 20C, lighting log fires and pretending it’s cold. With its gnome-filled gardens, wood-burning stoves and wood-panel interiors, Ninho Verde feels like a Bavarian chalet. But the jungly gardens are tropically lush, and wildlife-photographer owner Alessandro Duarte organizes trips into the surrounding hills to spot rare toucans and hummingbirds.
Vila do Mel is right on the beach in the heart of the Baía de Paranaguá – one of the largest areas of preserved Atlantic coastal rainforest in southern Brazil. Dozens of beach- and mangrove-fringed islands are scattered just offshore, including idyllic, teardrop-shaped Ilha do Mel. Restaurants in Paranaguá town are a 10-minute drive away. Rooms and suites clustered around an orchid-filled swimming pool garden, come in lovingly-crafted, caramel-colored ipê hardwood and whitewash, decorated with hippy art. There’s full, attentive service and breakfast is included.
Not all villas in Brazil are family-friendly, but the Cor de Búzios (in the beach resort of Búzios, three hours’ drive from Rio airport), has room enough for two couples with children in tow. Rooms come in a modern palette of clean whites, distressed woods and polished concrete, decorated with fifties-era posters, surfboards and paddles. There’s a large swimming pool with a sundeck, a big kitchen, lounge and a dining room with a family-sized table. And when you want to cook, supermarkets are just a five-minute drive away.
Jericoacoara is remote. But you’ll forget the long bumpy drive from Fortaleza, or the myriad plane changes, when you see the village’s setting: it’s surrounded by towering dunes pooled with lagoons, on a cape fringed with long, broad beaches. Villa Alegria is on the southern edge of town, looking out towards the national park. The village’s barefoot-chic restaurants and boutiques are a ten-minute walk from here. Rustic-chic rooms come in warm woods, unmanicured stone and polished concrete. There’s a sleek pool and deck and space for six – so bring your mates.
Beach villas in Brazil don’t enjoy locations much better than the Casa do Alto. The boutiques and restaurants of Trancoso village, a favourite resort for celebrities, are a five-minute drive away. Long, sugar-white, palm-shaded Itapororoca beach is on the doorstep. The villa’s open-plan lounge-dining basks under a crafted palm-thatch roof in a lush jungle garden. Rooms in soft creams and polished concretes are decorated with arty indigenous-themed art and Brazilian crafts. There’s a small pool and breakfast is included. Settle in – you’ve arrived.
Vila Campeche sits on one of the most beautiful beaches in Florianópolis, southern Brazil’s surf capital. Rooms sit in a cluster of Portuguese-style cottages painted in warm ochres and yellows, with terracotta-tile roofs, overlooking a lawned garden busy with butterflies and hummingbirds. There’s space for up to four in the simple whitewash and tile interiors, warmed with raw woods and soft woven linens. Villas come with big ofuro jacuzzi baths. Note that check-ins are late, and check-outs are early.
Porto de Pedras beach in Alagoas state takes some persistence to reach – the nearest regional airport is more than two hours’ drive from here, but the setting is idyllic: a seemingly endless, palm-shaded beach trimmed with reef, next to a river where manatees float. Expect a string of low-key shoreside restaurants under the palms. The concrete modernist design of villas at Bahay Tatu stands out here in the heart of nature, and there’s plenty of space and light in the concrete and glass interiors.
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meet our Local Insider
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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.
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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.