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Brazil Travel Guide

flights to Brazil

The fifth largest country in the world and the largest in South America, Brazil is synonymous with steamy Amazon forests, beautiful people, beaches, partying, coffee, gold and soccer. It is one of the most exciting holiday destinations on the planet such is the diversity and sheer scale of what there is on offer. Recent economic problems have, unfortunately, led to an increase in violent crime but the government has been quick to tackle the problem by appointing special police units to exclusively patrol tourist areas; the project has proved effective. On the whole though, Brazilians, or Cariocas as they call themselves, are a friendly, happy and enthusiastic race of soccer mad party animals.

The most affluent region is the South East and it is here that the majority of visitors head for, in particular to the legendary party capital of the world, Rio de Janeiro. Head for Copacabana, one of the worldís most densely populated urban areas with it's famous beach life or Ipanema, Brazil's richest and most chic beach resort. For spectacular views of the City, Corcovado (2460ft) with its celebrated statue of Christ the Redeemer is unrivalled, although the iconic sugar loaf mountain with its 1300ft cable car rides is arguably more fun. Brazilís biggest city is Sao Paulo and with 20 million inhabitants is a bona fide megalopolis. A truly cosmopolitan city it has several ethnic neighbourhoods and strong influences from the Italian and Japanese communities. There are numerous historic buildings, museums and landmarks but the majority of visitors come for the excitement, in particular the vibrant nightlife. Those looking for more cultural pursuits should try Salvador with its strong African influences and wealth of wonderful architecture. Take a ride on the Elevador Lacerda, a series Art Deco style electric lift shafts that take you up the 279ft to the hilly historic district in less than 15 seconds.

The place that really captures peopleís imagination is the Amazon, the vast system of rivers and forests that covers half of the country and extends over borders into Brazilís neighbours. With an estimated 15,000 species of wildlife including thousands that have never been classified it is one of modern manís final frontiers. Arguably far better for wildlife spotting is The Pantanal an area somewhat more accessible despite there being very few inhabitants and no actual towns. Those wanting to combine a good time with a taste of traditional Brazil could do worse than visiting Jericoacoara a remote and essentially primitive fishing village which has recently become a hip beach destination where livestock roam the streets and the locals party every night.

Brazil is truly at the pinnacle of sunshine holiday destinations; it's beaches are superb, it's scenery breathtaking, it's countryside a virtual paradise, it's cities wild and exuberant. Itís also quite affordable, the Brazilian dollar was recently devalued and as long as you avoid Carnaval you can really go to town without hurting the wallet too much. At the heart of the country are it's people, they just love to have a good time and by the welcome they give tourists you can take it as read that everyone is invited to the party.

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