Chapter 12
Country name: Federative Republic of Brazil,
Capital: Brasilia
Location: Eastern South America, bordering the
Atlantic Ocean
Border countries:Argentin, Bolivia, Colombia,
French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru,
Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela
Government type: federative republic
Administrative divisions: 26 states (estados,
singular - estado) and 1 federal district (Distrito
Population: 182,032,604 (July 2003 est.) (most
populous country in South America; the 6th in
the world)
Languages: Portuguese (official), Spanish,
English, French (Brazil is the only Portuguese
speaking nation in the Americas)
Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 80%
GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity $7,600 (95th in the world) (2002 est.)
Industries: textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement,
lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor
vehicles and parts, other machinery and
Currency: real (BRL) (CIA, World Fact Book)
Important Facts
One of the top destinations in Americas
3,8 million international tourist arrivals (4th after US,
Canada and Mexico)
 $ 3,1 billion international tourism receipts (the 4th
again) (WTO, 2003)
Coastline: 7,491 km
Terrain: mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north;
some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal
Climate: mostly tropical, but temperate in south
(CIA, World Fact Book)
Selling Points
Carnival, beaches, Rio de Janeiro, Iguacu Falls,
the Amazon, native and imported cultural
attractions, art, colonial towns and exciting
Very Brief History
Brazil was a Portuguese colony for more than three
centuries (between 16th - 19th centuries)
during the time, Africans brought to Brazil by
Portuguese as slaves
became an independent nation in 1822
from1875 until 1960, about 5 million people (mainly
from Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland, Japan and the
Middle East whose major intention was to make money
- coffee plantation - and return to home) emigrated to
Brazil. The largest Japanese community outside Japan
lives in Sao Paulo.
indigenous full-blooded Indians (speaking Tupi and
Guarani languages), located mainly in the northern and
western border regions and in the upper Amazon
Basin, are less than 1% of the population today.
built at the end of 1950s, replacing Rio as the
well planned city, shaped like an airplane
Impressive buildings;
Palacio do Congresso (the Capitol Building)
 Palacio da Justica (the Supreme Court)
 National Cathedral (having a crown shape with
angels suspended within)
 main television tower (nice view of the city)
Rio de Janeiro
the most beautiful city of Brazil, has one of the
world’s most magnificent harbors
city is divided by a mountain range into two
zones, southern zone holds the most of the city’s
Sugar Loaf Mountain and Corcovado Mountain
(where each visitor go up to, for a 360-degree view of
Rio and Guanabara Bay)
 Corcovado Mountain (where Christ the Redeemer
statue stated at; has a beautiful view of Rio)
famous beaches include Copacabana, Flamengo,
Leblon, Ipanema
 Maracana Stadium (the largest in the world holding
200.000 fans for soccer games)
 Carmen Miranda (famous actress) Museum
 Carnival (every year during four days there is Rio
Carnival where every body dances in the streets. The
shows start at 8 pm and continue until 8 am)
not only lovely but a lively city
Brazil’s longtime colonial capital, lies on Santos
has a strong African influence because of
African slaves working in the sugarcane fields
more than 400 years ago
divided into two as upper and lower section;
“Lacerda” elevator goes from one level to the
multicolored homes, red-tiled roofs, a great market,
twisting and narrow cobblestone streets, great beaches,
about 300 churches
 Igreja de Sao Francisco Church (like the other
Portuguese churches in Brazil looks plain on the outside
but quite impressive on the inside)
 Pelourinho (one of the oldest areas in town, has
colonial architecture and a pillory where slaves were
 there are also museums in this city: Museu da Cidade
(tribal displays) and Brazilian Museum (African
 Salvador also has a great Carnival but not as flashy as
Sao Paulo
largest city in South America, founded in 1554 by
Jesuit priests
a wide variety of international restaurants,
fabulous shopping and very active nightlife are
the main attractions
Praca de Se (the center of the city; praca, pronounced
PRAH-sah, means square)
 Praca da Republica (a lovely park)
 Avenida Paoliste (commercial center of the city)
Mc Donalds on Avenida Paolista (a restored
mansion of coffee barons)
Ethnic neighborhoods are interesting areas of
Sao Paula which provide the setting for
exceptional restaurants and the city’s active
Bela Vista and Bixiga (Italian)
 Vinte e Cinco de Marco (Arabic)
 Bom Tiro (Jewish)
 Liberdade (Japanese)
Iguacu Falls
located near the junction of Brazil, Argentina
and Paraguay
“Iguacu” pronounced as eeh-gwa-SUE
stretches 4 km from bank to bank and reaches a
height of 90 m.
can be visited from Rio or Sao Paulo; by train,
road or riverboat (two days from Rio by boat)
four-minute helicopter ride over the falls is
Vast Itaipu Dam is nearby, a dam jointly built by
Brazil and Paraguay, one of the largest
hydroelectric works in the world - 55 stories
high and 8 km wide
second in length only to the Nile; passes
through upper Brazil into the Atlantic Ocean
 cities on Amazon are among the most
fascinating in the country
Belem (large port city; 121 km inland from the
Atlantic; from Belem, half-day river cruises are
offered to see the jungle, birds, fishermen and
dugout canoes
Belem’s Ver-o-Peso Market offers fruit and
vegetable, crocodile teeth, dried boa constrictors
and voodoo charms
 Manaus (another interesting city on Amazon;
once called the “Paris of the Jungle”; serves as a
base for tourist excursions exploring the midAmazon region; daytrips by riverboat to see the
villages and hiking in the jungle (rain-forest
programs) on foot)
Amazonia National Park ( between Manaus and
Belem; a huge national reserve of dense rain
forest; cabins in the park (mostly preferred by
the scientists) or nearby hotels in the town of
Itaituba are the accommodations; during the
rainy season toured by boat, during the drier period
by walk)
Costa Verde
“Green Coast” offers relaxing trips from Rio
and Sao Paulo
 drive from Rio to the city of Santos is
beautiful: small beaches on one side of the
road and jungle and mountains on the other
 its Brazil’s leading commercial port
 close by, nice towns are located such as
Ubatuba (popular beach resort), Parati
(colonial town)
one of the world’s great wildlife reserves
trips should be booked through an adventure
tour operator
has more than 350 varieties of fish (some
weighing up to 80kg), and offers great
opportunity for fishing
Other Major Cities
Florianopolis (has a tropical bay; attractive colonial
buildings, baroque churches, best surfing place in
Brazil, active nightlife - bierhalles)
Olinda (has best-preserved colonial buildings in
Brazil; architecture reflects both Portuguese and
Dutch heritage)
Ouro Preto (the second best-preserved colonial
town in Brazil; has cobblestone streets, baroque
Petropolis (Swiss-style town; summer retreat for the
last emperor of Brazil; attractions include Crystal
Palace, Gothic cathedral, Museu Imperial)
Recife (called the “Venice of Brazil” for its canals
and bridges, dirtier than Italian version; has a
number of interesting museums of trains, sugar
etc.; 17th and 18th century churches, fantastic
carnival rivals with Rio and Salvador)
Things to Remember
The Amazon river and its tributaries account for
one-fifth of the world's fresh water

Chapter 4