Your comprehensive travel guide to Brazil - All in one place!
Sprawling across half of South America, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. White-sand beaches, tropical islands, music-filled metropolises and charming colonial towns are dotting its 7,500 km long coastline. Inland, Brazil tourist attractions consist of imposing waterfalls, wetlands filled with wildlife, and the untouched wilderness of the Amazon rainforest where several isolated tribes still live without any contact with the rest of the world.
Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth largest nation in the world. It forms an enormous triangle on the eastern side of the continent with a 7,400km coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It has borders with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador.
The Brazilian landscape is very varied. It is most well known for its dense forests, including the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, in the north. But there are also dry grasslands, rugged hills, pine forests, sprawling wetlands, immense plateaus (areas of level high ground) and a long coastal plain.
Northern Brazil is dominated by the Amazon River and the jungles that surround it. The Amazon is not one river but a network of many hundreds of waterways. Its total length stretches 6,840km, making it the longest river on Earth. Thousands of species live in the river, including the infamous piranha and the boto, or pink river dolphin.
Brazilian culture is one of the world’s most varied and diverse. This is due to its being a melting pot of nationalities, as a result of centuries of European domination as well as slavery, which brought hordes of African migrants across Brazil’s borders to live in and influence the local cultures with their ancient customs and ideas. The European settlers also brought ideas, innovations and belief systems with them, shaping the local societies significantly. All of these different influences have meant that the modern-day Brazilian culture is unique and very complex.
At present, Brazil has a population of about 190 million people. More than half of these are white which includes Portuguese, Italian, Polish, just fewer than 40% are mixed black and white and less than 10% are black.
Approximately 80% of the population ascribes to the Roman Catholic faith. This is due to the intense Portuguese occupation of centuries ago. These European settlers taught the indigenous tribes Catholicism, built churches and established traditions and customs that originated in this church.
Also due to the mass Portuguese settlements during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, this language is the official language of Brazil. There are small numbers of indigenous people and immigrants who still speak their own tongues, but these are certainly among the vast minority.