Brazil is well known for its sunny beaches, exotic islands, and charming colonial cities. What you may not know is that Brazil is also a paradise for waterfall pursuers. Considering that Brazil is the fifth largest country and home to the world’s largest and most biodiverse rainforest, it is not surprising that it is also home to some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. Due to the abundance of falls and the wide variety of ecosystems and terrain, assessing the best waterfalls in Brazil is almost an impossible task. But we figured out our favorites to help plan the perfect Brazilian waterfall adventure.
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1. Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls are one of the undisputed grandmasters and arguably the most famous waterfall in Brazil. The extensive falls consist of nearly 300 individual drops and follow the Iguazu River, alongside both Argentina and the Brazilian state of Paraná. The Iguazu Falls are said to be the most extensive of the falls in any of the world’s falls and are marked as UNESCO sites, in recognition of both their greatness and ecological significance. The spreading semicircular falls on the Brazilian side can be admired from the 350-degree observation deck of the Iguazu National Park.
2. Caracol Falls
With several beautiful cascades and excellent lookout points, Caracol Falls is perhaps the most beautiful waterfall in Brazil after Iguazu Falls. The 400-foot waterfall is located in front of the resort town of Canela, in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. The highest part of the waterfalls flows over the edge of a cliff for an incredibly dramatic display, especially when viewed from the nearby 100-meter lookout tower at sunset. The tower is comfortably equipped with a lift and even a lift for stunning aerial views. If you’re looking for a more adventurous path, try descending the 927-step trail that leads to the foot of the waterfalls!
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3. Salto do Rio Preto Falls
Adventurers of the Brazilian Falls will appreciate the nearly 4-mile hike through the beautiful Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park to reach the Salto do Rio Preto Falls. Between the untouched forests at an altitude of 400 meters towers the sight of this dizzying drop is worth the hike. Make a set before setting off in the wilderness and enjoy the river’s scenic and secluded locations for lunch and swimming.
4. Couros Falls
Located in Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park – and one of the most beautiful in the region – another Brazilian waterfall is Couros Falls. The trails needed to find the hidden gem are not well marked, so a local tour guide and 4 × 4 vehicles is recommended. Bring a packed lunch to take an 18-mile rough dirt road, then take a short 1.5-mile hike to the waterfall. The multi-layered drops, pool, and sandy beach offer an exciting day for scenic exploration.
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5. Buracão Falls
According to many, the highlight of the Chapada Diamantina National Park, Buracão Falls is a must for the adventurer who is ready to go hiking, with at least 1 full (if not 2!) Day of driving, hiking and swimming, which is an exciting Brazilian waterfall experience. Navigate the dirt road, take an hour, and finally swim through the steep canyon walls to reach the breathtaking 320-meter fall.
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6. Serra do Cipo
Serra do Cipo National Park is home to dozens of spectacular waterfalls. Some are within easy reach, including the Veu da Noiva, a 224-meter waterfall, and one of the park’s gentlest hiking trails. If you venture out into more distant waterfalls, hire a local tour guide who knows the terrain and trails that may not be clearly marked. Bring water and snacks and soak your swimsuit in one of the many sparkling waterfall pools.
7. Smoke Falls
The “Cachoeira da Fumaca” or Smoke Falls rocky cliff is the highest point on our list where the waters fall into the pool below, from more than 1,000 feet of air. Although it is one of the best waterfalls in Brazil, the flow of water can sometimes be easy, causing the spray to disperse in the wind and create the mystical “smoky” effect of its eponymous waterfall.
8. Almécegas Waterfalls
South of Chapada dos Medeiros National Park, near the town of Alto Paraíso de Goiás, is a waterfall refuge with easy access to three separate, immersive cascades. With an entrance fee, you can get on more than 20 miles of study trails and explore all three waterfalls. Almécegas is generally considered the culmination of feathers falling on a massive stepped quartzite wall covered with natural vegetation.
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9. Santa Barbara Falls
The beloved Santa Barbara Falls is 15 miles from the small town of Cavalcante. Once a place where researchers settled for gold, Cavalcante is now known for its beautiful natural rivers and waterfalls. The 100-meter Santa Barbara Falls is certainly not the tallest waterfall in Brazil, but it never disappoints with its lush green vegetation and sparkling emerald pool that come together as a vision of paradise.
10. Pedra Branca Falls
Just a 20-minute drive from the popular colonial town of Paraty, Pedra Branca Falls is one of Brazil’s favorite waterfalls, where nearby townspeople gather to enjoy the hot summer days. The huge cliffs and sparkling natural pool are perfect for fun swimming, and the friendly locals are happy to help visitors find their way around the terrain or even go on a slider on the gentle falls.
One of the main attractions of visiting Brazil is indeed the calm waterfall. The divine beauty of these calm bodies of water really makes the journey eternal. Never forget to soak up the amazing sights of Brazil. Pamper yourself with an enthusiastic trip to visit these Brazilian waterfalls. The experience is sure to be mind-boggling.