Brazil is the largest country in South America covering almost half of the continent, its dominant features being the Amazon rain forest expanse, breathtaking beaches, tropical islands and charming colonial towns.
The capital, Brazilia, Rio de Janiero as well as Sao Paolo are modern bustling cities with a flourishing economy, inhabited by a melting pot of ethnic groups and cultures, the dominant traditions being the rich and melodious Brazilian music and football. Portuguese is the official language, although Spanish, English, Italian, French and German are widespread.
The coastline is the most visited area, with its dramatic views and beautiful ocean surf, though the world’s biggest forest of the Amazon is by far the jewel of this country. Few tourists venture into the wilderness areas of Pantanal, or the canyons and caves of the Chapada Diamantina or the gold mining towns of Minas Gerais.
The sites one must not miss are the Corcovado, in Rio de Janeiro with the Cristo Redentor at its summit, as well as Rio’s famous beaches, Ipanema and Copa Cabana.
The Falls of Iguaçu are also a must, situated in a protected national park populated by abundant wildlife, these high waterfalls boast 275 cataracts which include the spectacular Garganta del Diableo (Devil’s throat).
The colorful city of Salvador da Bahia, part of UNESCO World Heritage is also a must with its characteristic cobblestone streets and colonial houses. While the ultra modern city of Brasilia will strike you with its futuristic architecture or its majestic cathedral, which is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
The climate in Brazil varies greatly as do the time zones due to its vast surface area. There are very hot regions in the interior part of the country and other tropical ones with heavy rainfalls. The mountain areas can also get quite cold during the winter season.