Sustainable Travel Destinations in Brazil

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Amazon Rainforest ©Getty Images

Embark on a journey where your travel choices safeguard cultural riches and natural wonders. Sustainable tourism isn’t just a trend; it’s a transformative approach that fortifies local communities, preserves cultural legacies, and protects biodiversity. This mindful way of traveling doesn’t mean skimping on comfort. Here’s how you can indulge in luxurious travels while also nurturing the planet with these five simple yet impactful strategies:

  1. Opt for locally-owned sustainable boutique accommodations over mainstream resorts. (Find our curated list below)
  2. Deepen your understanding of the local culture to appreciate its uniqueness.
  3. Support the economy by purchasing from local artisans and vendors rather than large commercial retailers.
  4. Commit to a leave-no-trace ethic; minimize plastic use and manage waste responsibly.
  5. Be energy-wise; use air conditioning judiciously and avoid food wastage.

These simple practices are applicable across all travel destinations in Brazil, celebrated for its rich ecological tapestry.

Brazil stands as a beacon for ecotourism, with its breathtaking array of six ecosystems: Amazon, Atlantic Rainforest, Atlantic Coast, cerrado, caatinga, and Pantanal.

For those planning a Brazilian getaway with a sustainable twist, consider destinations that are stewards of this ethos:


Mato Grosso do Sul Bonito sets the gold standard in mindful ecotourism. Initiatives here are laser-focused on minimizing environmental footprints. Embrace digital ticketing, respect the daily visitor caps, and partake in shared transportation. Progressive collaboration between governance and business has catalyzed advanced waste management, embracing the circular economy principles for diverse waste categories.

Fernando de Noronha – Pernambuco

Stringent regulations maintain the delicate balance on this island. Visitor numbers are controlled, with mandatory environmental levies and access restrictions to protected zones (covering 70% of the area). Plastic Zero and Noronha Carbono Zero initiatives underscore the commitment to sustainability, with a future-forward vision banning non-electric vehicles by 2030.

Boipeba Island

Bahia Boipeba, a serene paradise, champions sustainable tourism in Brazil. Vigilant management protects its cultural and natural splendor, with the island designated as a conservation area. Motorized transport is eschewed for more eco-friendly alternatives, and single-use plastics are banned. Engaging with local fisherfolk and quilombola communities offers genuine cultural insights.

Amazon Rainforest – Amazonas & Para

The majestic Amazon basin invites travelers to eco-sensitive lodges and a spectrum of nature-immersive activities. Guided treks, canoeing, responsible fishing, and birding are but a few offerings. Indigenous guides often lead, sharing profound rainforest insights, underscoring the indigenous community’s pivotal role in Brazilian forest conservation.

Pantanal – Mato Grosso & Mato Grosso do Sul

Discover the Pantanal’s biodiversity through homestays and guided excursions. Education, a cornerstone of ecotourism, highlights conservation imperatives and human impacts. Area lodges actively participate in environmental preservation, undertaking initiatives like water conservation, reforestation, and the notable Oncafari jaguar project. The focus is also on combating ecological threats through legislative advocacy, combating illicit wildlife activities, and invasive species control. Popular activities include eco-friendly horseback riding, wildlife treks, fishing, and canoeing.

Lencois Maranhenses (Maranhao) & Jericoacoara (Ceara)

Both northeastern parks operate under legal protections, with monitored access and restricted vehicle use to designated areas. Building restrictions preserve park integrity. Visitors can deeply connect with these havens, trekking to local oases and overnighting in hammocks within local homes. In Jericoacoara, a tourism levy supports sustainable progress.

Chapada dos Veadeiros – Goias

This sanctuary limits daily entry to preserve its environment. Visitors gain ecological insights and a haven for personal rejuvenation. Known for its holistic health community, Alto Paraiso de Goias serves as a gateway, doubling as a naturalistic spa retreat.

Chapada Diamantina – Bahia

An eco-tourism gem, Chapada Diamantina, invites physical activity amidst pristine nature, promoting well-being and relaxation.

Chapada das Mesas – Maranhao

Chapada das Mesas, an emerging destination, boasts waterfalls, clear lakes, plateaus, and rivers. Minimal hotel presence ensures an unspoiled experience. Careful management maintains the site’s allure.

Serra do Cipo – Minas Gerais

This locale champions sustainable tourism, promoting cycling, trekking, and horseback riding as eco-friendly mobility. Strict environmental guidelines ensure preservation. Over 100 waterfalls grace the park, accompanied by unique flora and fauna. Bed and breakfasts, inns, and small eco-lodges afford intimate encounters with nature.

Embracing these responsible travel practices contributes directly to the sustainability of Brazil’s diverse ecosystems and communities. This conscious approach ensures these natural treasures endure for future generations to appreciate.

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