The Ministry of Tourism recorded 16.7 million visits to the 145 federal conservation units in 2021. The number is the highest recorded in at least five years and exceeds the pre-pandemic scenario of covid-19. In 2017, 10.7 million visits were recorded.
The most visited conservation area was the Baleia Franca Environmental Protection Area, in Santa Catarina, with more than 7 million records. The territory includes, for example, the beaches of the municipalities of Palhoça, Garopaba, Imbituba and Laguna, on the southern coast of Santa Catarina.
The second most visited place is the Tijuca National Park, in Rio de Janeiro. There were 1.7 million visits. The park is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World: Christ the Redeemer. It is the stage for the Transcarioca Trail, pioneer of the National Network of Long Distance Trails in the country, which includes in its route points such as the Sugar Loaf and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, which crosses Rio de Janeiro, leaving Barra de Guaratiba and reaching to Morro da Urca.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Nature Tourism had been registering growing interest from tourists. In 2019, federal Conservation Units registered 15.3 million visits, an increase of 24% compared to the previous year, 2018 (12.4 million). In 2020, even with the closing of the units for six months, they received a significant number of visitors: 9.3 million, with a continuous increase in visitation until December.
see the ranking of the ten most visited conservation units:
1st Right Whale Environmental Protection Area – 7,042,228
2nd Tijuca National Park – 1,739,666
3rd Jericoacoara National Park – 1,669,277
4th Serra da Bocaina National Park – 718,453
5th Iguaçu National Park – 696,380
6th Marine Extractive Reserve of Arraial do Cabo – 653,857
7th Environmental Protection Area of Fernando de Noronha – 559,638
8th National Marine Park of Fernando de Noronha – 532,988
9th Natural Monument of the São Francisco River – 471,705
10th Environmental Protection Area Costa dos Corais – 334,437