The centro histórico neighborhood known more commonly as Praia Grande or Reviver. Photo © Mariana Costa, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

São Luís, the Island Capital of Maranhão

Maranhão’s island capital is bursting with cultural riches and has a flavor quite unlike any other of Brazil’s northeastern cities. São Luís is a seafood lover’s paradise with a colonial center recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read on for accommodations, nightlife, and everything else you need to plan a visit.

The twin spires of a neo-gothic church rise up into the sky amidst other less dramatic buildings.

What to See in São Paulo’s Centro District

São Paulo has undergone immense transformations since its foundation in 1554. However, hidden away in its original downtown core are a few interesting vestiges of the city’s colonial past, which are all the more striking for being hemmed in by a forest of skyscrapers.

Elaborate gold designs accent bright white walls inside a light-filled church.

What to See in Rio de Janeiro’s Centro District

Narrow cobblestoned alleys, grand baroque churches, turn-of-the-20th-century Parisian-inspired avenues and architecture, and the ubiquitous high-rises and urban chaos of a 21st-century megalopolis make up Rio’s Centro district. Here’s what to see when you’re visiting Centro.

Beachgoers near a tent with a rainbow flag and beach chairs on the white sand of Ipanema beach.

Rio de Janeiro City’s Gay Scene

With a reputation as the “Marvelous City,” one would expect Rio to have more of a gay scene. However, as in many other cities in Brazil, instead of a gay neighborhood, gays, lesbians, and heteros mix socially all over the city. Here are some hot spots to check out.