Brazil boasts an extraordinary variety of beaches, which are dotted along its 8,500-kilometre Atlantic coastline. One of the reasons why the country’s beaches are so popular with tourists all year round is the combination of sand and lush vegetation, not to mention the water, which varies in temperature from the north to the south. Aside from Rio de Janeiro’s well-known stretches of sand, the most-frequented beaches include Pipa (Rio Grande do Norte state), Baia do Sancho (Fernando de Noronha), Jericoacoara (Ceara state) and Arraial do Cabo (Rio de Janeiro state).
Samba and bossa nova are Brazil's most famous musical genres but far from its only ones. Thanks to the country’s broad range of influences – indigenous, African and European – delving into its musical landscape is a true journey of discovery. Each genre has its own characteristics and is usually joyous and celebratory in nature. Frevo, tropicalismo, maracatú, forró, choro and sertanejo are among the most popular.
The architecture of Oscar Niemeyer
Recognised around the world as one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, Oscar Niemeyer undertook most of his projects in his native Brazil, mostly in the capital, Brasilia, which he designed in conjunction with the town planner Lucio Costa in the late 1950s and which is home to some of his most iconic buildings. Other famous examples of his work can be found elsewhere in the country, however, including the Conjunto da Pampulha, which is a major attraction in Belo Horizonte, the Parque Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, and the Niteroi Museum of Contemporary Art, not far from Rio de Janeiro.
The state of Amazonas
The world’s largest rainforest is truly awe-inspiring and a visit to the state of Amazonas a delight for the senses. Situated close to the city of Tefé, the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve is a must-visit destination for admiring and experiencing the rainforest. Manaus, the state capital, is the gateway to the Amazon region and the perfect place for sampling the area’s diverse and exotic cuisine.
With its indigenous, African and European roots, Brazilian cuisine is full of variety, a reflection of its abundant natural resources. Each region has its own typical dishes, which include fish, seafood, tropical fruit and meat, though the national passion is feijoada. A stew made with black beans and pork, it is served with rice, cassava or manioc flour and oranges.