Brazil’s Northeast has everything to make it one of the most sought after vacation centres in the world, especially among travellers looking for perfect weather and even more perfect beaches. This is probably why for the residents of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the Northeast is their number one vacation destination.
From São Luís, in the North, to the Bahia Basin, in the South, the Northeast has over 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) of virtually uninterrupted soft white beaches, while for the historically minded there is Salvador, the former Capital of Brazil with its 154 churches, most of which are treasured architectural masterpieces. Along the coast sit the towns of São Luís, Fortaleza, Natal, João Pessoa, Recife, Maceió, Salvador, and Porto Seguro. All of which have their own charm and a diverse selection of attractions which range from camel rides over the dunes to state of the art water parks.
The Northeast is Brazil’s most folkloric region. Part of that folklore is the cuisine that has elevated the cooking of Brazil alongside that of France, Italy, China and Japan.
The Northeast covers 18% of Brazil and contains 29% of the population who live in the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte and Sergipe.
The Amazon is a natural wonder that supplies over half the planet’s oxygen and pours enough water into the Atlantic each day to supply a city of 10 million inhabitants for a period of nine years. 6,700 kilometres (4,200 miles) of river that support 1,500 types of fish; is over flown by 1,800 species of birds; shadowed from its bank by 250 different mammals and a similar diversity of animals and insects.
Manaus, the major gateway to the Amazon Jungle, can be reached daily by flights from most of the main Brazilian cities or - at a more relaxed and leisurely pace - by flying to Belém, at the mouth of the Amazon, and taking a cruise up to Manaus, passing through the heart of the Amazon. It is also popular for the larger luxury liners to call on Manaus and treat the passengers to some of the wondrous sites of the Amazon.
From Manaus, visitors can strike out to stay at a comfortable selection of lodges that nestle in the very heart of the jungle. An experience nobody will ever forget.
The North covers 39.07% of Brazil and contains 6% of the population who live in the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará,Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins.
Brazil’s Central West is an area of striking contrasts that vary from the futuristic designs of the nation’s capital, Brasília, through to the untouched and unexplored backwaters of the Pantanal Matogrossense, the savannah of Mato Grosso.
Brasília is the “dream city” of the future, a city born to be a nation’s capital, a city designed to open up the untouched interior of Brazil to the 20th century.
The Pantanal Matogrossense, on the other hand, is an area only relatively recently discovered and explored by man. Once a vast inland sea, it is today one of the largest and richest reserves of wildlife known to man and the Araguaia River is considered to hold the planet’s most abundant source of fish as well as the Bananal Island, the largest river-island in the world.
The Central-West covers 24.93% of Brazil and contains 7% of the population who live in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and the Federal District - Brasília.
The Southeast is home to nearly half of the Brazilian population which is mainly housed in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.
As a major city, Rio de Janeiro has all any visitor could expect and more. Excellent restaurants, sophisticated nightclubs, charming bars, musical extravaganzas, theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries, fashionable stores and shopping centres, and world-class sport.
As a tropical resort, Rio de Janeiro offers a wide expanse of golden beaches, near perfect weather the year round, hotels to appeal to every taste and budget, folklore, typical foods and music, sightseeing, and the feeling that the visitor has really been abroad and to somewhere very special. None of this takes into account the overall beauty of Rio de Janeiro that has made the city famous and revered throughout the world.
São Paulo is the business capital of Brazil, the train that pulls the rest of the Brazilian economy. Latin America’s largest industrial and commercial centre, São Paulo covers an area five times greater than Paris, and is a city which offers international cuisine and a night-life of the variety and quality of New York and Paris, but at a fraction of the price.
Belo Horizonte acts as the gateway to the historical state of Minas Gerais where the towns of Ouro Preto, Tiradentes, Congonhas, Mariana and São João del Rey are to be found, each a living historical monument.
The Southeast covers 11% of Brazil and contains 43% of the population who live in the states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiroand São Paulo.
The Brazilian story comes to a close in the South, an area that is home to countless European immigrants who have flourished in their small communities copying life as their forefathers knew back home. Germans, Italians, Swiss and Poles have all made their mark on the South, a region that is responsible for Brazil’s fine wines and much of its outstanding meat which is reared by the Brazilian cowboy, the “gaúcho”.
The South’s main attraction is physical and is found at a point close to where the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet, a place called Foz do Iguaçu.
At Foz, visitors are treated to a spectacle of over 275 waterfalls, some more than 100 meters (300 feet) high, a natural formation five times larger than its more famous American cousin, Niagara. And, as if to prove that man can take on the challenge set by nature, visitors can also call on the site of the nearby Itaipu Dam, the largest hydroelectric plant in the world.
The South covers 7% of Brazil and contains 15% of the population who live in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.