Brazil Travel Guide

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Maybe the first thing that comes into someone’s mind when asked about Brazil is the Rio Carnival, but that’s not all there is to it, and by a long shot .Brazil is one of the largest countries in the “new world”, actually the largest in South America and also in the Latin American area. To get the general idea about its vastness, Brazil is actually world’s 5th largest country, both in terms of land surface and population.  A country that big must be worth a visit, right? So, moving along with interesting factoids, Brazil has the largest Portuguese speaking population in the world, as it was a former Portuguese colony, estimated at 215 million and a land surface of 8.5  million square kilometers. Having a hugely vast coastline and being home to the Amazon River Basin, Brazil can be described as a mega-diverse country, boasting with wildlife thanks to its luxuriant tropical forests and diverse ecological systems. Visiting Brazil is a once in a life time experience, being an intoxicating mix of splendid beaches, lively towns and friendly people. Since this is one of the largest countries on Earth which supports a staggeringly beautiful and divers wildlife, island getaways and soft sanded beaches, it’s a safe bet from the traveler’s point of view. You will not be disappointed even if you’re an adrenaline junkie, because here you can enjoy all sorts of near death experiences, ranging from surfing to getting wild riding the beach buggies or snorkeling/diving in the blue waters of the Noronhoa National Park. One of the most underestimated assets of Brazil are the indigenes, the Brazilians themselves I mean. Maybe the best description of the Brazilian people is that they’re the most hedonistic and effervescent I’ve ever encountered during my escapades. They actually love having fun, dancing and partying all night long, in Brazil’s chic night clubs, enjoying  bossa-nova, Samba or anything else from the plethora of music/dancing genres Brazil excels at.

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What to see, what to do in Brazil

Brasilia is the country’s capital, a city often overlooked by tourists and designed by Oscar Niemeyer back in the 1950’s. What makes it so special is its futuristic architecture, with beautiful curvaceous structures which dominate authoritatively the relatively flat horizons. Niemeyer was a true visionary architect and he died recently, in 2012, being 104 years old and still working at that age. His legacy to Brazil is represented especially (among many others) by Brasilia’s cathedral and the building which harbors Brazil’s national congress. Both structures are now part of UNESCO World Heritage sites

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Brazil is a place filled with tropical islands and sunny beaches, and among the best are the Costa Verde Islands and beaches, located along the country’s coastline. You can visit a variety of chic tourist resorts between Sao Paolo and Rio, like Morro de Sao Paolo, Buzios, Ilhabela or Ilha Grande.

If you’re an adrenaline fiend, you can go river rafting or hiking in one of Brazil’s most beautiful National Parks, Chapada Diamantina, a place bursting with natural beauties: luscious forests, caves, mountains, underground lakes and splendid waterfalls.

Waterfalls_of_Saint_Vicent,_Chapada_dos_Veadeiros,_Goias,_Brazil

One of the most interesting travel experiences I’ve ever had in my lifetime was during my visit to Brazil, i.e. exploring the Amazon River on a ferry. This area is home for the world’s biggest rain forests, the Amazonian rain forest that is, a place which is fed by the largest rivers in the world (Amazon included) and filled with astoundingly beautiful natural attractions.

A visit to Brazil must include (it’s compulsory) going to see a game of football (the national obsession) in Rio’s Maracana Stadium, which used to be until recently the biggest stadium on the planet. The public is flamboyant and the atmosphere resembles a carnival, sometimes shadowing the real action (football or soccer) on the field, due to the hugely passionate and noisy supporters.

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Rio de Janeiro and the beautiful mayhem which is the Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival is the definition of the ultimate spectacle, being one of the world’s most appreciated parties. This city is among the hippest and happiest in the world, boasting with its Ipanema Copacabana beaches and the world-famous Christ statue that majestically overlooks the city from the Corcovado Mountain. And don’t forget to pay a visit to Sao Paolo and Salvador while you’re at it, you don’t know what you’re missing. Carnival baby!

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Food and Drink

Brazil is a cultural melting pot and its cuisine follows closely the same principle. Brazilian food is flavorsome, awesome and diverse, just like the country itself. Specialties include stew of black beans with bits of pork, seafood, fish, exotic fruits from the Amazonian Jungle, shrimp and chicken cooked with coconut milk and palm oil, bean fritters deep fried served with shrimp, onions and peppers and cheesy dough-balls. Regional drinks include draught beer, lots of cocktails made using sugar cane, limes and crushed ice, white wines and loads of fruit juices.

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Visa Requirements 

To enter Brazil you’ll require a valid passport and sometimes a Visa, depending on where you come from, i.e.  EU nationals can enter freely, but US, Australian and Canadian residents will need a Visa.

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