Introduction

 Introduction

One of the most colourful and vibrant countries on earth, Brazil could certainly never be accused of being boring. It contains not only some of the most diverse flora and fauna, the largest rainforest and the longest river on Earth, but also the world’s biggest, most exuberant carnival.

Topping most people’s lists of places to see is likely to be the Amazon region, a vast swathe of tropical rainforest, which can be explored by boat along the Amazon River. Although famously diminishing in size due to deforestation, the jungle is still a remarkable area, home to a seemingly infinite array of creatures and plants. One of the most impressive sights is the Foz do Igiazu, or Iguazu Falls, whose waters gush at a staggering rate over a precipice into the Iguazu River.

Although the official capital is the modern city of Brasilia, far more people visit the lively city of Rio de Janeiro, where the beaches and general revelry are a major draw for party-loving travellers. Most famous for its wild carvival, held usually in February, the city is fun at any time of year and shouldn’t be missed.

Brazil also has some charming colonial towns that are well worth visiting. Olinda and Salvador are two of the most attractive, their cobbled streets drenched in olde-worlde atmosphere, both home to their own riotous carnivals and some delicious local cuisine. And if you tire of sightseeing, there are plenty of idyllic beaches along the 7,000km of coastline.

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