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If you’re lucky enough to visit Brazil - which covers nearly half of South America - you’re in for a visual, cultural and historical experience of a lifetime. Home of the Amazon Rainforest, upbeat Samba music and Rio de Janeiro's famous beaches and carnival, Brazil's enormous heart will win you over in no time.
Brazil is a perfect painting of white sandy beaches lined with palm trees, staggering mountains, vast canyons and powerful rivers. Tijuca forest offers wildlife aficionados a chance to spot unusual species as does a trip to the emerald Amazon Rainforest. But though Mother Nature was generous with Brazil, due to Portugal's colonization from the 1500s to 1822, the bright, crowded cities and towns will encompass the most fascinating historical moments of your stay.
Brasilia may be the capital and energetic Sao Paulo the largest, but Rio de Janeiro should be firmly at the top of your Brazil to-do list. In Rio de Janeiro, though a mixture of stunning natural wonders including the immense Iguassu Falls and Sugar Loaf Mountain, the world famous carnival celebrations and a culture of animated locals with an extraordinary talent for football, Brazil has really been put on the map.
No trip to Rio de Janeiro would be complete without a full day lolling on the infamous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, which are perfect for strutting along as you admire the nearby tropical islands. If the beaches get too hot, you can admire the coastline and the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro from above, by taking a cog-train up Corcovado Mountain, where the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer stands. On your way back down, look out for Candelaria Church, Saint Sebastian Cathedral or the Lapa Arches for a glimpse of colonial architectural history.
Of course Rio isn’t just famed for its history or landscapes - we’ve all heard about the carnival! See the Sambadrome where the ‘greatest show on earth’ takes place and watch out for the colourful folklore, jewellery, arts and crafts for sale along the beaches and back streets which echo the momentous rainbow occasion which takes place every year.
From the frantic football games on the dusty streets or the winding beaches and teeming rainforest to the immense mountains and monstrous waterfalls, this Latin American giant will ensnare your heart in its smiling, bossa nova rhythm forever.
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