Brazil, a land of diverse cultures and landscapes is a must for many travellers. So here is our travel guide for this impressive country.
More than 7,000 of coastline, golden-sand beaches, gold mines, all kinds of mineral resources, plantations, rainforests and you’ll see why Brazil was colonised by the Portuguese.
Colonial architecture, churches, tourists and fun spirited people are a common sight. The lifestyle of the average person is simple, yet they are a happy lot who also pass on happiness.
The country offers almost all that you can imagine, natural forests and national parks, adventure, history, culture and days on the beaches.
You do everything leisurely. It would be unmindful not to mention holiday romance.
This is a country specialising in sensuality and holiday liaisons are a natural everyday reality.
After the US, Tinder is most used in Brazil. Sexuality and casual hook-ups are considered normal and there is no stigma attached to it.
A Brief History of Brazil
The ‘discovery’ of Brazil is similar to a couple of other stories. The Portuguese diplomat Pedro Alvares Cabral was trying to find his way to India when the ships he commanded managed to reach what is known as Brazil today.
This was in 1500. Well! The same as Native Americans came to be called Indians, so did the Native Brazilians.
Colonisation soon followed and not to be left behind the Jesuits arrived quickly after, wanting to save the souls of the ‘Indians’.
Attempts were made to enslave the natives who were hunters and gatherers accustomed to their own rhythm of life.
They preferred to flee inland and many chose death over enslavement or even ‘employment’.
So slaves were brought from Africa for the plantations and the mines. To this day there are many tribes in the country who catch or fish only what they need for the day, offer their thanks to nature and live life again the next day.
News of resources such as gold, visible veins of emeralds and other precious stones soon reached Europe which made the ‘adventurers’, merchants and other kinds of fortune hunters reach the promised land.
Of course, England, France, Spain and the Netherlands wanted a piece of the pie but Portugal won out.
The rest is history. Today, Brazil is the place that makes many travellers say, “Thus far and no further”. Of the 191 million inhabitants, 91 million have declared themselves as white, 82 million as mixed ethnicity and 15 million as blacks. They all get together and make this country merry and boisterous.
Facts of Brazil
Rio de Janeiro was at one time the capital of Portugal – the only capital of a country outside the country.
It is the 13th largest economy in the world and 60% of the Amazon rainforests are in Brazil.
Their football team has won the world cup more times than any other nation and the Pico de Neblina – 2,994 meters – the highest mountain was always there but was discovered only in the 1950s.
65% of the world’s population named Silva are Brazilians, sex change surgeries are paid for by the government.
57% of the people haven’t passed high school, they are the largest exporters of coffee, about 1.5 million of them are of Japanese descent – the Japanese originally came here as immigrants starting 1908, the Walkman was invented here – not in Japan and Brazil has about four million plant and animal species and Copacabana is rated as the world’s best beach.
Things to do and not to do in Brazil
Learn to dance the Samba. The locals will be happy to teach you in the streets, bars just anywhere.
Eat Feijoada, the national dish made from black beans and smoked meat. The dish was originally created by the slaves who made it from the leftovers their owners would throw away. It’s delicious and sold almost everywhere on Wednesdays.
Enjoy Churrasco, the Brazilian barbeque and eat avacado the Brazilian way with honey.
Drink the delicious national drink Caipirinha. It’s a cocktail made from Cachaca which some call the Brazilian rum.
The Brazilians will hug and kiss you on your cheeks. Do the same.
Invited out for dinner? Expect to return only in the wee hours of the morning.
Visit as many sights as you can. Leisurely, which is the national pace.
Take a boat trip in the jungles. Why not visit the Iguazu falls, it’s impressive.
Visit a national park. This country has more than any other.
If you’re able to plan, go during the carnival. It’s the best in the world and begins on the Friday before Ash Wednesday and ends on Ash Wednesday.
Don’t visit Ilha da Queimada Grande. It’s full of deadly snakes and is known as the snake island.
Don’t talk about slavery and never ever talk anything resembling racism. This was the last country to abolish slavery.
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