Top things to do in Brazil
Brazil is set to dazzle in 2014 and beyond! Travellers are treated to buzzing cities, gorgeous white sand beaches, untouched rainforests, colonial-era architecture, intriguing history, dramatic waterfalls, distinct local cultures and pristine tropical islands.
Admire the bold architecture of Brasilia
The capital of Brazil is Brasilia, and not Rio de Janeiro, as many assume. It’s a modern town planning dream come true: the city was built from scratch in 1956. Together the dedicated town planner ad architect set about creating a city that would exist in harmony. The result is an architectural spectacle bursting with notable buildings, in particular the official structures – so much so that the city achieved UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1987. Don’t miss the stunning modernist Brasilia Cathedral, aka Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida, which features 16 concrete ‘arms’ reaching towards the heavens. Gawp at the iconic Palácio da Alvorada (Palace of Dawn) which is the president’s official residence and take in the awesome Congress, Presidential Palace (Palácio do Planalto) and the Supreme Court within the Three Powers Square.
Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, and is roughly divided into 5 separate regions (see map).
- The North (in green) is dominated by the mighty Amazonia region, which is the most biologically diverse area on earth.
- The Northeast (in orange) is authentic Brazil, where the impressive coastline really dominates. Expect superb watersports, excellent deep sea fishing opportunities and boat trips to idyllic tropical islands.
- The Central West (in yellow) is home to Brazil’s pulsating capital city of Brasilia.
- The Southeast (in pink) is considered the cultural hotspot of Brazil, thanks to the colourful city of Rio de Janeiro and diverse São Paulo which is actually the largest city in the country.
- The South (in blue) has a strong European influence running throughout its cities, which are small and laidback. The south is home to the world-famous tourist site of Iguaçu Falls.
Climb Corcovado and admire Rio de Janeiro beneath you
The ultimate must-see sight in Rio has to be the Cristo Redentor statue, which is the largest (and most impressive) Art Deco monument on earth. Located in the Tijuca National Park, the mighty Christ the Redeemer statue rises to 130 feet (40 meters) and is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The statue of Jesus Christ sits proudly atop the granite Corcovado Mountain at a height of 2, 329 feet (710 meet), allowing all of Rio to witness its majestic grandeur. Travel trivia: did you know that ‘Corcovado’ translates as ‘hunchback’ in Portuguese!