Welcome to the largest country in South America – Brazil. From exploring the world’s largest tropical rainforest to swaying your hips to the rhythm of samba, this country offers unlimited possibilities for its visitors. Modern cities coexist with colonial towns, and it houses calm beaches, as well as one of the world’s most raucous carnivals. Football is the soul of Brazil and you can see the game played with the same passion from streets to stadiums. Take a sip of Caipirinha (Brazil’s national drink) and enjoy the amazing roller-coaster ride of this exotic country.
Firstly, Rio de Janeiro is NOT the capital of Brazil. However, it did serve as the country’s capital until 1960, when the newly founded city Brasilia replaced it. Modern architecture, great eateries and a vibrant nightlife will welcome you to Brasilia. One the other hand, Rio de Janeiro with a landscape ranging from lush mountains to pristine golden-sand beaches and a lively nightlife powered by samba rhythm, is the best place to experience the essence of Brazil. Carnaval, an extravagant annual celebration is a splash of vibrant colours, costumes and parades hyped with lots of music and dance, which defines Brazil to the world.
Christ the Redeemer (also known as Cristo Redentor), is the most famous landmark in Rio. Located on a mountaintop in Tijuca Forest National Park, the statue is about 38m tall and is a great spot to get some stunning panoramic shots of Rio. Copacabana and Ipanema are among its top-rated beaches. For football lovers, watching a live match in the huge Maracana stadium will be a dream come true.
Though Rio is the main city in Brazil, São Paulo (also known as Sampa) is the most populated. The city boasts a few historic buildings, some of the best restaurants in Brazil, underground bars and a vibrant nightlife. Salvador is another city packed with colonial architecture and wild festivals. Located on the Atlantic coast, Salvador’s coastline is dotted with numerous beaches and resorts. Tiradentes, ringed by a lovely backdrop of blue mountains, has several historic attractions and hiking trails, while Ouro Preto boasts of baroque architecture. In the northwest lies Manaus – the largest town in the Amazon region and the gateway to the Amazon rainforests.
The Amazon Rainforest extends over nine countries and almost 60% of it lies inside Brazil. Known for its diverse flora and fauna, the jungle also houses the Amazon River – the longest river in South America. Brazil is also home to the world’s largest wetland area – the Pantanal, packed with a variety of wildlife. Shared with Argentina, Iguacu Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world. Extending for almost 3km, it is actually a group of hundreds of waterfalls.
The most famous among Brazil’s islands – Fernando de Noronha, Ilha Grande and Ilha de Santa Catarina have stunning beaches. Life in Ilha Grande revolves around its main town, Vila do Abraao. Founded by German immigrants, the town of Blumenau, near Ilha de Santa Catarina is known for its half-timbered buildings and annual beer-drinking festival – Oktoberfest of Blumenau.
Brazil has many national parks, given its abundant natural wealth. Two of the most popular ones, Parque Nacional dos Lencois Maranhenses has a surprising desert landscape dotted with rainwater lagoons, while Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina is known for its mountainous landscape and cascading waterfalls. Both parks offer great outdoor activities and excellent photo opportunities.
Brazil contains 60% of the world’s largest tropical rainforest – Amazon.