World Heritage Sites in Brazil

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Historic Town of Ouro Preto

(20.38 S 43.50 W) --
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Ouro Preto is Portuguese for "Black Gold". The city grew out of a gold mining town which developed in the early 18th century. In 1711 the city was named Vila Rica, and many houses used the old entrances to mine shafts as their cellars. The prosperity of the city based on gold led to splendid architecture and some of the buildings are among the most beautiful examples of baroque art in the world.

Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda

(8.01 S 34.845 W) --
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Olinda was founded in 1535 as a local administrative capital. It prospered due to the local sugar industry, but developed slowly such that the original layout of the town is almost entirely preserved.

Iguaçu National Park

(25.50 S 54.00 W) --
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Located on the border between Argentina and Brazil, this is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. It is 80 metres high and 2,700 metres in diameter and surrounded by sub-tropical rainforest with over 2,000 species of plants and numerous wildlife including: tapirs, giant anteaters, howling monkeys, ocelots, and jaguars.

Historic Centre of Salvador da Bahia

(12.97 S 38.50 W) --
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The city was founded in 1549 as the first capital city of the Portuguese colony.

Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas

(20.48 S 43.85 W) --
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This is a religious complex with small chapels and the much larger Church of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos, built in 1757. The church is renowned for its rococo interior with 89 offerings covering the walls of "The House of Miracles".

City of Brasilia

(15.50-16.05 S 47.42-48.20 W) --
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The federal capital of Brazil is a new city of approximately 1 million people. It is notable as a planned city and considered to be a masterpiece of modern architecture and art. It was designed in 1956 by urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer.

Serra da Capivara National Park

(8.42-8.92 S 42.33-42.75 W) --
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Serra da Capivara National Park contains numerous rock shelters decorated with cave paintings, some more than 25,000 years old.

Ruins of Sao Miguel das Missoes

(28.543 S 54.266 W) --
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These ruins are included as part of the Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis site found in Argentina and Brazil. Other missions include: San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestro Senora de Loreto and Santa Maria Mayor.

Historic Centre of Sao Luis

(2.57 S 44.27 W) --
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Sao Luis is an example of an Iberian colonial town.

Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves

(15.03 S 39.15 W) --
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The Brazilian Discovery Coast includes a number of areas containing the best and largest remaining examples of Atlantic forest in the northeast region of Brazil. Located in the states of Bahia and Espirito Santo.

Southeast Atlantic Forest Reserves

(24.17 S 46.83 W) --
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These Atlantic Forest Reserves are in the states of Pirana and Sao Paulo.

Historic Centre of the Town of Diamantina

(18.23 S 43.60 W) --
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The colonial village of Diamantina developed with the rise of diamond prospecting during the 18th century.

Pantanal Conservation Area

(17.45 S 57.01 W) --
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This is one of the world's largest freshwater wetland ecosystems. The area preserves habitats representative of the Pantanal that contain a number of globally threatened species.

Central Amazon Conservation Complex

( 2.33 S 62.50 W) --
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Expanded from Jau National Park site.

The Negro River watershed located in the Amazonian central plain is the largest national park in the Amazon Basin. It is an example of a "blackwater ecosystem". The name is taken from the color given to the water by the decomposition of organic matter and the lack of terrestrial sediments.

Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves

(3.75 S 32.0 W) --
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The Fernando de Noronha volcanic group, located in the South Atlantic Ocean, 225 miles NE of Cabo de Sao Roque; has been strategically important for defense due to its position off bulge of Brazil.

Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks

(14.0 S 47.5 W) --
satellite image and (18.0 S 52.75 W) -- satellite image

This is one of the world's oldest and most diverse tropical ecosystems.

Historic Centre of the Town of Goias

(15.93 S 50.12 W) --
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Sao Francisco Square in Sao Cristovao

(11.016 S 37.210 W)

Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea

(22.952 S 43.211 W) -- satellite image

Pampulha Modern Ensemble

(-19.852 S -43.974 W) -- satellite image

This visionary garden city was created in 1940 at Belo Horizonte. It was designed around an artificial lake and included a casino, a ballroom, the Golf Yacht Club and the Sao Francisco de Assis church. The buildings were designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, in collaboration with innovative artists. The Ensemble comprises bold forms that exploit the plastic potential of concrete, while fusing architecture, landscape design, sculpture and painting into a harmonious whole.

Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site

(-22.897 S, -43.187 W)

The former harbour area of Rio de Janeiro in which the old stone wharf was built for the landing of enslaved Africans reaching the South American continent from 1811 onwards.

Paraty and Ilha Grande - Culture and Biodiversity

(23.0186 S 44.685 W) -- map link

Paraty is one of Brazil's best preserved coastal towns. In the 17th century it was the end-point of the Caminho do Ouro (Gold Route) along which gold was shipped to Europe. The site also includes four protected natural areas of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

Sitio Roberto Burle Marx

(23.0224 S 43.546 W) -- map link

Former property of renowned landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.

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Lynn Salmon <>{

Last Updated: August 13, 2021