Brazil, located in South America is a country which is larger than the continental United States and composed of vastly diverse regions. North of Brazil is the Amazonian rain forest region with its dense jungles and its extensive river system which covers nearly half of Brazil. The distinct influence here is of the native Indian tribes who reside in its river towns. In the North East is the delectable area of Bahia with its silver sand beaches and its inhabitants who can trace their origins to the African slaves imported into Brazil to work in sugar and coffee plantations. The Central West has the Pantanal wetlands and the vast central plateau around Brasilia, the capital of Brazil and in the Southeast are the pulsating cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
Rio is a hedonistic and energetic city with a scenic beauty which encompasses the mountains and the beaches. The city is renowned the world over for its sites which include the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, Sugar loaf mountain and the Corcovado Christ statue. Rio also features on the tourist radar for its annual carnival known simply as Carnival during which its residents take to the street for the world’s largest Samba parade on the Sambodromo. Visitors come to Rio enjoy its restaurants, opulent hotels, shopping malls but also find it hard to ignore its shanty towns called ‘favelas’ which are a hot bed of crime and poverty.
Sao Paulo was founded by Jesuits and it is the commercial and industrial capital of Brazil. The city’s wealth was founded on coffee which was cultivated in plantations here in the mid 19th century. The plantation owners diversified and set up industries which were fueled by immigrant labor and today Sao Paulo is a teeming metropolis which is home to nearly 16 million inhabitants.
Manaus is a city located near the Rio Solimones River in the Amazon Basin. Close to this city the Rio Solimones meets the darker waters of the Rio Negro for a natural phenomenon which is the tourist attraction called ‘the meeting of the waters’or ‘Encontro des Aguas’. Manuas is the access point to the dense jungle of the Amazon which surrounds the world’s largest river the Amazon, which is 6257 km (3890 miles) long. This forest canopy which is still largely unexplored is home to numerous species of rare birds and animals as well as insects and plants.
Brazil is a country which could have been immensely wealthy due to its vast natural resources however corruption and mismanagement of these resources has resulted in glaring income disparities. In spite of this the Brazilians are a sunny people for whom music and football are great passions. Musical styles such as the choro, samba and bossa nova are uniquely Brazilian and can be heard all through out this exuberant country.