Brazil is divided into 27 states distributed over five huge areas. The North is made up of 7 states, which are completely covered by the Amazonian forest. The North-East holds 9 states, where most of the large private domains and farming are centred. The centre West and its 4 states hold the majority of the population and the capital, Brasilia. The South-East is divided into 4 states, but has 40% of the population and the main towns. Finally, the south and its 4 states is the land of the gauchos, but also the land that has the highest concentration of ethnic mixtures.
Brazil is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and bays in the world, notably Rio de Janeiro. The coasts of Salvador da Bahia, with their dozens of small immaculate islands, or those of the Costa Verde with mountains that plunge dramatically into the sea, should not be missed. Just under 200 miles away from Rio, the shores of Trindade have areas that are free of tourists, and ideal for Robinson Crusoe wannabes.
Amazonia is THE tropical, luxuriant and mysterious forest, one of the most amazing places in Brazil. Discover it on foot, in a pirogue (wooden boat), or on horseback. In Rio, the more reassuring forest of Tijuca and the astonishing Botanical Gardens are a lovely initiation into this rich and untamed nature.
Brazilians are, needless to say, mad about football, and love to party into the early hours. Brazil, the largest territory in South America, has been inhabited for over 500 years now and today's locals go out of their way to keep ancient traditions very much alive. One of these traditions include Capoeira, the candomblé ritual, which is a national sport in Brazil.
Baroque or modern, Rio's monuments have been built with various architectural styles in mind. The result can be stunning in its eclecticism.
One of the most deeply rooted traditions in Brazil lies in its gastronomy. With such varied ingredients, such as cassava (locally known as 'mandioca', 'aipim', or 'macaxeira'), yams, peanuts, rice, beans, okra, and fruits like açaí, cupuaçu, mango, papaya, guava, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, and hog plum, the cuisine is as rich as the culture.
You can bring unexpected souvenirs back from Brazil: precious stones (unpolished or mounted), paintings, or original items of clothing created by young talented and emerging designers.