I truly recommend you to drive along the Green Coast (Costa Verde) of Brazil.
It was re-discovered and became accessible to mainstream tourism back in the 70s, when the coastal road Rio-Santos was opened, joining the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
It runs along 300km on BR-101, from Mangaratiba to São Sebastião, falling mainly within the State of Rio de Janeiro.
The name itself doesn't require much of an explanation, the stretch known as Costa Verde is a luxurious example of Mata Atlântica (Atlantic rainforest) that once covered most of coastal Brazil. In fact, it's one of the six biomes that represent the country as a whole: Amazon, Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Pampa and Pantanal.
Angra dos Reis is a place to visit, your gateway to wonderful navigation and diving for the most part of the year. Three hundred and sixty five islands to choose from. Well, as a manner of speech, some of them are already owned by the rich and famous, therefore inaccessible to mainstream tourism.
However, if I could suggest a piece of paradise for you to visit, head off to Ilha Grande and you will definitely understand what the Green Coast is all about. Spend some time walking around Abraao, get to know the place, meet the locals and you'd provably won't feel like coming back again. Not to mention if you start trekking or navigating around Ilha Grande.
In case you've never heard of, Lopes Mendes is located there. One of the most beautiful beaches of Brazil.
Another landmark you shouldn't miss is Paraty. Loved it so much that I even pushed it to Paraty Postcards, somehow I felt the need to share some more about it.
Since the days I've visited Ouro Preto and its surroundings, I've never came across to such a marvelous show of architecture going back to the days of the gold rush in the history of Brazil.
The following images were captured along the coast of Paraty and trekking around the Gold Trail (Caminho do Ouro).