In Brazil and in several countries around the world, community-based tourism has gained space among travellers’ preferences. More than just visiting communities, community tourism promotes the local culture and brings jobs and income to local residents. Tourists can actually connect with other people and experience a new culture.
Numerous community-based tourism initiatives have emerged in Brazil in the late years, presenting unique cultures and bringing new opportunities to communities that benefit from tourism. In addition, these experiences are so deep and singular, that usually transform travellers positively.
Check out 6 destinations in Brazil where you can live true experiences of community tourism:
Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais
In one of the poorest regions of Brazil, women artisans and entrepreneurs discovered in art their passion and way of living. For some years they have been welcoming visitors to show their history, traditions and everyday life. During the tour, visitors learn the whole process of making pottery and stay in the homes of local ceramists, experiencing the best of hospitality and regional food from Minas Gerais.
Alter do Chão, Pará
In this charming destination, known as the Brazilian Caribbean, travellers visit the traditional riverside communities of the Tapajós National Forest. Besides doing some hiking through the Amazon Rainforest and having delicious river baths, visitors get to know the handicrafts, gastronomy and traditions of these communities.
Ilhabela, São Paulo
Hiding the most beautiful and well-preserved beaches of Ilhabela, north coast of São Paulo, the Baía de Castelhanos is home to traditional communities that have been there for years and are proud of their culture. Recently, they have organised themselves into a tourism hub and have launched the project Turismo de Base Comunitária nos Castelhanos, which offers guided trails, arts craft and conversation workshops, boat and canoe rides, fishing experiences, as well as lodging and local gastronomy.
Cotijuba Island, Pará
A community of strong and independent women live in Cotijuba, one of the islands of the Belém archipelago, in Pará. They produce traditional handicrafts and local food, and serve the best of the Amazonian cuisine. Organised by the Movimento das Mulheres das Ilhas de Belém (Belém Islands Women’s Movement), they also became involved with community tourism and receive travellers to present their knowledge and exchange experiences. The itinerary includes gastronomy and handicraft workshops, lual party, carimbó dancing and trails through the forest.
Vale do Paraíba do Sul, São Paulo
The footsteps of African people in the state of Sao Paulo are the backdrop for the seven routes that are part of Rota da Liberdade (Freedom Route), a spin off of the Slave Route, which is part of the global mapping program for the African diaspora, developed in accordance with the guidelines of Unesco. In addition to visits to slave farms or that belonged to free blacks, tourists have the opportunity to visit quilombola communities that still preserve their traditions, experience flavours of the Afro-Brazilian food and learn about cultural and ecotourism initiatives. The routes of the Rota da Liberdade are spread through several cities in the Vale do Paraíba region.
Parelheiros, São Paulo
The discovery of a different São Paulo happens in this one-day visit to the districts of Grajaú and Ilha do Bororé, in the region of Parelheiros, in the extreme south of São Paulo. Social projects developed by local residents, such as Meninos da Billings and Casa Ecoativa, are the basis for a roadmap that brings a different mosaic of culture, sustainability, ecotourism and leisure initiatives.