Brazil’s attractions span cultural and natural wonders – and both are sure to leave you with a lasting impression. The urban, urbane delights of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo compete for your attention with the equally stunning natural draws of the Amazon and Pantanal rainforests. One thing that Brazil is certainly not short of is spectacle – there is always something to see and do in Brazil for everyone.
If you’re lucky enough to visit during Carnival in February you’ll be left with indelible memories of exuberant, carefree people dancing and celebrating in the colourful street parades. For many it is a life-affirming experience that instils a reinvigorated spirit. Colour, energy, excitement and ecstasy are the hallmarks of the hedonistic Carnival crowds.
Yet the country also has much to offer visitors at other times of year. Rio de Janeiro is certainly not short of energy whenever you visit, and there are countless lively venues to enjoy a dance, whatever the weather. The facilities in Brazil’s major cities are excellent, and its five-star hotels are your gateway to enjoy the luxury shops, fine dining, pristine beaches, sunny skies and bustling nightlife.
It’s not all hedonistic fun though: as business travellers will know, with its booming mining, agricultural and manufacturing sectors, Brazil is expected to be one of the world's dominant economies by the middle of this century.
Brazil is a vast country and offers a wide variety of landscapes to explore.
Most famous is the Amazon rain forest that covers half of Brazil. The world's largest tropical rainforest consists of seven million square kilometres of wildlife paradise, home to the pink dolphin, jaguars, howler monkeys, sloths, toucans, anacondas and many other rare animals and plant life.
From the fecund, timeless rain forests you can ascend to Brazil’s amazing 18th-century gold rush towns, known as Minas Gerais, which appear to be trapped in time. They sit perched in the mountains, adorned with cobblestone streets, ornate mansions and wonderful baroque churches.
If you throw into the mix the urban pleasures of Sao Paulo, the vast central plateau around Brasilia and the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, there’s an abundance of attractions for any single visit. Head south to find Praia Do Rosa, whose famous waves attract surfers from all over the world. Or explore beneath that inviting azure water in Brazil’s unparalleled scuba diving spots, which offer beautiful coral reefs, volcanic islands, caves and shipwrecks.
The exotic, exciting yet disparate experiences of Brazil are united by the ubiquitous background presence of samba, delightful sunshine, friendly smiles and spectacular soccer skills.
Never mind the samba, Brazil's weather will keep you on your feet too! There are five different climatic regions: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical and subtropical.
Cities such as Sao Paulo and Brasilia, on the central plateau, have a mild climate with temperatures averaging 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit).
Coastal Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Natal and Salvador enjoy warmer climates averaging around 26 degrees Celsius (26 degrees Fahrenheit), soaring to steamy highs during the summer months.
In the south, cities such as Porto Alegre and Curitiba have a subtropical climate with frosts occurring in the winter months (July to August) when temperatures can fall below freezing.
The Amazon region is generally warm, wet and humid. The rainy season lasts from November to May.
Portuguese is spoken in Brazil, but Spanish and English are also widely used.
To enter Brazil, you will need a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry. All travellers must be in possession of onward or return tickets and sufficient funds to cover their stay. A visa may also be required: nationals of EU member countries do not need one, but visitors from Australia, the USA or Canada require a visa if travelling outside a specific holiday period during June and September.
Please check rules around visa requirements before you travel, as they may change regularly.
In cities, petty crime is a fact of life so you should take the usual precautions. Dress down and conceal cameras, leaving valuables in your hotel safe.
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