Covering almost half of the South American content, Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world by area and also by population. It covers approximately 8.5 million square km (bigger than Australia) and is home to over 200 million people. It has the world’s 7th largest economy based on GDP.
Brazil has diverse geography of natural environments, the most famous being the rainforests of the Amazon Basin with its plethora of endemic flora (over 3,500 species) and fauna covering the north and west. Other landscapes are influenced by the Atlantic Coast, The Andes Mountain range, grassy plains and wetlands.
However, it is Brazil’s people and culture that primarily make this country a must-visit destination. Cave paintings found in the protected Serra da Capivara National Park date inhabitants back 25,000 years! Fast forward to around 1500 AD and the Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares claimed the region for his country. Over many years, the Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish all fought over the country and it was not until 1889 that Brazil was declared a republic. In the late 19th century, immigrants from all over the world settled in various regions around the country and today there is a wonderful mix of intermingled nationalities hard to find anywhere else in the world! Today, Brazilians speak Portuguese but it is greatly influenced by indigenous peoples and the slaves from Africa who worked the early sugar plantations.
When we think of Brazil, we conjure images of happy, smiling faces, dancing and singing in the street, vibrant colours and a soccer ball on just about every street. Well, we can confirm, this is Brazil. Much like Australians, many Brazilians are “mad keen” on sport. Football (or soccer as we call it) is their national game and they have been World Cup champions a record 5 times. Volleyball & Beach Volleyball, Martial arts, Basketball and Formula 1 racing are also highly popular. Footballer Pele is regarded as their greatest living sporting legend. Ayrton Senna who tragically died in an F1 race in 1994, is also regarded as one of their best. In 2016, Rio was the first South American city to host the Olympic games.
Brazil’s best-known destination is Rio and Copacabana Beach with its beautiful bodies in skimpy swimming costumes. However, it is so much more than this and to get a real feel for the country, you’ll need to travel for weeks, outside of the main cities meaning internal flights are essential. Travel to Brazil on our small group tour and you will see for yourself how wonderful and diverse the country is, with its multicultural society and vibrant culture.
- Rio De Janeiro
- A jeep excursion through a favela
- Brazil’s oldest city and first capital – Salvador
- The colonial architecture of Recife
- The Barreirinhas sand dunes
- Manaus lodging and river trips