Brazil

The Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in South America. Following is an overview of fun loving Brazil for travelers.

Overview of Brazil for Travelers

Indigenous peoples have populated for a long, but undetermined, period. European influence began with Pedro Alvares Cabral when he claimed Brazil as a Portuguese colony in 1500. In a little known development, Brazil actually became the location of the Portuguese government in 1808 when Napoleon chased the royal family out of Portugal. While in Brazil, the family ruled from Rio de Janeiro until 1821 when it returned to Europe. This move was motivated by a declaration of independence by Brazil, led by Dom Pedro.

As with many South American countries, Brazil has seen its ups and downs from a political perspective. In 1989, it finally completed a transition to a popularly elected government when Collor de Mello won the popular vote. Less than three years later, he was forced to resign under the cloud of corruption charges.

In 2002, Luiz Inacio da Silva rose to the position of president. Lula, as he is known, represents a major change in Brazilian politics. He is the first leader from the working class.

Brazil covers just under 3.3 million square miles of South America. The climate in Brazil is mostly tropical, particularly in light of the Amazon River basin.

With a population exceeding 186 million, Brazil is the fifth most populous country in the world and largest in South America. Despite covering a vast area, most of the population lives in urban cities such as Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. If you think traffic is bad in your location, keep in mind over 18 million people live in greater Sao Paulo!

The people of Brazil are called “Brazilians.” The population is 186 million people and growing at a rate of .1 percent a year. 74 percent of Brazilians consider themselves Roman Catholics. The official language is Portuguese and the literacy rate is 86 percent. Average life expectancy is 71.3 years.

Brazil is one of the world’s leading producers of hydroelectric power. Over 75 percent of its electrical power is generated via dam projects.

If you are considering visiting Brazil, you should keep in mind that crime can be a problem in certain areas. Use common sense and you will have no problem. Brazil is a blast, very cheap and gets a big thumbs up as a travel destination.

Amazonas

Amazonas covers 1.5 million kilometers of land area in Brazil, and 98% of this land has remained as it was when it was discovered. Amazonas is so large that it is bigger than most countries in the world! It is home to the highest mountain in Brazil, Pico da Neblina, which stands 2,994 meters above sea level.

The land area in Amazonas can be divided into three separate categories; igapos, varzeas, and low plateaus. Igapos is where the land is permanently flooded and the root systems of vegetation are always submerged. Varzeas consist of land that is only submerged during the rainy season when the rivers are at their highest and low plateau areas are the highest land areas that are never submerged.

The capital city of Amazonas is Manaus.. Since it is located in the Amazon jungle, the climate is quite hot and humid, and it is always wet. There are many architectural wonders to be seen here, including the Amazonas Opera House, which was built in 1896 and can seat 640 patrons.

Another notable place in Amazonas is the National Research Institute of Amazonia. It is comprised of a botanical garden as well as a zoological garden. This important complex houses many species of plant and animal life that are native to Amazonas, and researchers here are working every day in an effort to save many of the species facing extinction.

Amazonas is also home to many famous museums including The Indian Museum, the Amazonia Natural Science Museum, the Museum of Northern Man, and the Port Museum. These museums afford the visitor a look at collections that include tools of the areas indigenous peoples, extraordinary animals and insects which have been embalmed for the reason of study, as well as important historical documents and items that illustrate the way of life of Amazonas’ early settlers.

Any visitor to Amazonas will be presented with a multitude of things to do and see; jungle river cruises, rainforest hikes and the chance to see many plants and animals that live nowhere else in the world. Any plant lover would be amazed to see the giant water lilies that can be up to six feet in diameter! Animal enthusiasts will delight in hand feeding the dolphins that swim in the Rio Negro River, and marvel in amazement at the tree sloths, monkeys and colorful large birds that seem to roam everywhere. Some other wildlife that can be witnessed in and around the rainforest in Amazonas include the morpho butterfly, tree snails, poison arrow dart frogs, boa constrictors, macaws, spider monkeys, and the giant rhinoceros beetle. Some of the plant and animal life residing in Amazonas has yet to even be discovered!

Amazonas is also home to the great Amazon River, which empties eight trillion gallons of water into the ocean each and every day. The Amazon River is the second longest river in the world, and has an average depth of about fifty feet. Many unique species of animal call the Amazon River home including crocodiles and the famous pink dolphin.

Amazonas is a region in Brazil that is a place of wonder, filled with amazing animals and ecosystems; land covered by the rainforests, and is a place that will leave visitors with a lifetime of wonderful memories.

Best Of Brazil

Even though Brazil covers almost half of South America a majority of its residents live on the coast. The residents of Brazil vary in ethnic orientation as well as economic status. Because of the people and the lush landscape, Brazil is a fabulous place to visit.

One of the most popular places to visit when in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro. This city is known as the marvelous city and has one of the most beautiful settings in the world. It boasts beautiful beaches and breathtaking views.

While in Rio you can view the Christ the Redeemer statue which sits on top of Corcovado.

There are also a multitude of beaches that you can visit depending on your lifestyle. Rios main beaches include Arpoador, Barra da Tijuca, Botafogo, Flamengo, Leblon, Leme, Pepino and Vidigal.

Rio is also home to some wonderful museums, including the Museu Historico Nacional. However, the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio De Janeiro houses Brazil’s most important collection of modern art. If you are interested in learning more about Brazillian history, be sure to visit the Museu da Republica.

Another great city is Sao Paulo. It is South America’s largest city with over 17 million residents and is Brazils financial, commercial and industrial heartland. As a tourist, you will not want to miss it’s famed nightlife or grand shopping opportunities.

Salvador da Bahia is the state capital and is split into upper and lower sections. This city is perfect for a long walking excursion because most of Salvador’s museum, palaces and churches are concentrated within Cidade Alta. This is also the place to find local craftsmanship finds. Head for the Mercado Modelo to find the best in Brazil, with a focus on rich African flavors. Salvador is known for being the center of Brazilian music and other great clubs and bars featuring live music of Brazil.

If you are interested in exploring underground lakes like Lago Azul and viewing spectacular waterfalls, be sure to visit the Diamantina National Park.

Travel to Northern Brazil and you can visit the Amazon River. You can also visit one of the world’s biggest and most spectacular falls located where Paraguay, Argentia and Brazil meet. If you are more interested in seeing some exotic wildlife be sure to visit the Pantanal Wetlands. The huge area extends into Bolivia and Paraguay.

A heavenly village nestled on the coast is Jericocoara. While there you can take in awesome views of a sparkling white sand-dune desert and a gorgeous turquoise sea.

Brazil ’s capital, Brasilia, and does not have a lot to offer the tourist as the cities of Rio and Sao Paulo or the Northeast section of the country. However, there is some interesting architecture to see. A guided tour is recommended if you want to venture into the capital.

If you are lucky enough to visit Brazil anywhere from December to March you can participate in Bahia’s Carnival which is a lavish festival with memorable parties, music and great Latin American food. Carnival in Rio takes place in February/March. Local residents dress in lavish, colorful costumes and it is known as one of the biggest parties in the world to celebrate Lent.

Brazil has many other cultural things to offer than just beautiful beaches. Take a trip to Brazil to explore and learn about this rich country in South America.