Brazil is the largest country in South America; it occupies nearly one half of the entire area of the continent. Brazil is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and the Atlantic Ocean.
With the largest population In Latin America, Brazil ranks fifth in the World. With the majority of people living in the south-central area, which includes the industrial cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas. About three-quarters of all Brazilians belong to the Roman Catholic Church; most others are Protestant, members of a growing evangelical movement, or follow practices derived from African religions.
Brazil is huge so the best way to get around the country is by taking domestic Brazil flights. If you wish to see several cities it is wise to purchase a Brazil Air Pass when you book your flights to Brazil. In major cities the most convenient and safest, way to get around is by taxi. You will find all major cities linked by bus. They are reliable and a good option for long distance travel. Driving is known to be very frustrating and Brazil and sometimes quite dangerous, but there is an option for a Rental Car that is available at the airport.
Do yourself a favour and learn about the Brazilian bus system before you get on one. Get a map of the area that you are going to be travelling in. The bus system is actually one of the most professionally operated public systems in Brazil, definitely better managed than the airport
When to Travel
The best time to visit Brazil is during the summer, from December until Carnival season; usually in February. Although this is also when accommodation and flights are most expensive. If you're looking for a bargain, then winter is probably the best time to visit - prices are lower and temperatures are in the high 20s.
Although the average annual temperature of Brazil increases from South to North, even on the equator (in the Amazon Basin), the average is not more than 27 C. The rainy season in the south is from December to March, which is the holiday season when Brazilians flock to the coastal resorts.
The capital of Brazil is Brasilia. It's built on a massive scale, with large, innovative buildings, a freedom of spirit and imagination. Brasilia and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It is also the fourth largest city in Brazil.
Language of Brazil
Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, and is spoken by virtually all the population, being virtually the only language used in schools, newspapers, radio and TV, and used for all business and administrative purposes. Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas, giving it a national culture distinct from its Spanish-speaking neighbors.
However, many Brazilians speak English fluently and almost everyone can speak a little English. Once you get used to the accent, you'll feel right at home.
The currency in Brazil is called the Real (plural: Reais). However, the name of the money was only adopted in 1994. This was because in the past Brazil had lots of different currency due to fluxes and changes in the economy.
In the Brazilian currency there are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 bills. Most bills have pictures of animals on one side and then the feminine character that is a representation of Brazil on the other. Coins are available in values of 1 cent , 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents and 1 Real. Coins vary in size and colour.
Food in Brazil
Food in Brazil revolved around three key things, 1) arroz which is white rice, 2) feijao which are black beans and 3) farinha which is like flour. It is very hard to try and avoid eating these although they do come in different shapes and sizes. These are usually eaten with red meat, chicken or fish.
The food in Brazil is second to none, If you've been to other tropical countries and have had bad experiences with the locals, give Brazil a try, you'll be surprised how warm and friendly the people of Brazil are
Things to see and do
Regardless of whether this is your first visit to Brazil, or your one hundredth, the fact is that Brazil offers so many different things for the tourist to do and see there is neither a best time nor a best place
Escape the hurly burly of Rio and take a hike through the tropical paradise of Parque Nacional da Tijuca, a tranquil sea of green and waterfalls, right in the city.
Ride the cable car 396 meters up to Pão de Açúcar, or Sugar Loaf, for the most spectacular views of the city. Take the cogwheel red train up to Corcovado Mountain to see Rio's famous landmark statue of Christ the Redeemer that towers over the city with open arms.
Football fans should not miss an opportunity to see a match at Maracanã Stadium, one of the temples of world soccer. Sitting among 100,000 fervent, boisterous fans chanting and dancing is an experience you won't forget.
Take a guided kayaking trip through the Amazon, exploring the rainforest and stopping for a meal prepared by the tour's own chef.
Thrill seekers can get the adrenaline pumping by hang gliding 780 metres above Rio.
Sometimes described as being one of the 7 natural Wonders of the World; in fact, Iguassu Falls are neither the widest waterfall in the world, nor are they the tallest. However, what it lacks in width and height it makes up for elsewhere. On the Parana River, the falls act as a natural border to the countries of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and compose of 275 cataracts in total. Best time of year to see the Iguazu Falls is between October and December and as this is such a magnificent sight, it is highly recommended that you make arrangements to stay at least one night here before moving on to your next destination!Salvador
Accommodation in Brazil
Being such a large country, Brazil has every kind of accommodation imaginable; from top class city hotels to idyllic beachside retreats. All kinds of lodging options. Finding a place to stay shouldn't be a problem. Prices are invariably higher in the major cities and during peak periods, so it's always best to book well in advance.