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For generations Brazil has been a magnet for imaginative travellers. It is enormous in size and personality. From vibrant, noisy carnivals to tranquil beach idylls, wildlife in the Amazon Rainforest to densely populated urban sprawls; it's all there, just across the Atlantic. And to cap it off, on your arrival youêll be welcomed by the vivacious Brazilian people.

Brazil is the largest country in South America. In the north it is bordered by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. To the north-west is the border with Colombia. Bolivia and Peru neighbour on the west. In the south-west is Argentina and Paraguay. Uruguay is due south. And the Atlantic Ocean washes against Brazil's eastern shores.

Brazil has 4,655 miles of gorgeous coastline, 3.4 million square miles of verdant rainforest and archipelagos of tropical beach islands to explore. Diverse is the key word to use when describing Brazil.

In the northern Guiana Highlands sits Brazilês highest peak: Pico de Neblina, which summits at 3,014 metres. The north, north-west and the majority of Brazilês interior are dominated by the •Lungs of the Earthê: the awesome Amazon Rainforest. This natural phenomena is a multi-faceted world of bio-diversity and covers 2,123,562 square miles! Mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and secretive indigenous tribes all shelter from the modern world in this fertile sanctuary.

Southern Brazil is where you can find tropical island archipelagos, super surf spots and the awesome, powerful beauty of Iguassu Falls.

In western Brazil, the Pantanal is a massive wetland area that spreads over three countries. The largest wetland habitat in the world, it covers 54,000 square miles; the ecosystem here is as precious and precarious as in the Amazon Rainforest.

And then there's eastern Brazil. Imagine Brazil and you probably picture a long stretch of sandy beach with athletic people having a kick-about with a football. Or maybe you picture sitting with your toes in the sand, cool drink in your hand, watching the sun set into the Atlantic horizon; well, welcome to eastern Brazil!

The majority of Brazilês population live on the east coast. The metropolises of Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo are situated here, as well as six other major cities each with populations of more than one million.

The climate in Brazil is mainly tropical. Summer is from December to March and this is the best time to travel to the southern states. Parts of this region get frost and occasional snow during the winter months (June to August.). The coastal cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador are consistently warm all year and humidity soars during the summer. The north-east dry season is May to November, but the heat is tempered by coastal breezes.

Travel in the Amazon is best done when much of the region floods, from January to June. Most travellers visit the Pantanal Wetlands toward the end of the wet season in April.

Classic Itineraries

As mentioned before Brazil is massive! Thereês a lot of ground to cover. If you fly in to Rio, spend a few days checking out the delights of this vibrant, exotic city. Highlights include the beaches at Ipanema and Copacabana, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. Then travel south and have a go at sailing or surfing around Santa Catarina and Florianopolis.

From here head inland to the Iguassu Falls and the Pantanal Wetlands; kayak, horse-ride and trek while taking in the awesome variety of flora and fauna.

Up north lies the Amazon Rainforest, where you can explore, investigate and appreciate the mighty •Lungs of the Earthê. And finish your trip with some kite-surfing fun in the north of the country.

Other Activities

If you prefer keeping your feet dry, then why not opt for an Eco-tour combined with a walking holiday. Alternatively, horse-riding and mountain biking allow you to cover more ground and hopefully get closer to nature. Brazil offers amazing cultural holidays, so why not gain an insight into its deep and intricate cultural history. Generally, overland travel is the best way to see the country. That said, if youêre a water-lover then windsurfing along the windy coastline will get the adrenalin pumping. Scuba diving invites you to explore the underwater magic of Brazilês aquatic hinterland. And kayaking gives you the chance to paddle leisurely around the islands, investigating the small caves, coves and shoreline grottos.

Activities in Brazil

Kitesurfing Along the eastern and northern coast of Brazil there are literally scores of awesome wave
Surfing The best thing about surfing in Brazil is there are decent breaks all along the

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