“Brazil! La La La La La La La La La La La La La La La La!”, okay I’m sorry but those lyrics really are the first thing that I think of when I hear the name Brazil. A large part of my childhood involved parties wherein this song would be played. My mind is still humming the lyrics. But but Brazil is best known not just for the Venga Boys hit song but for the football stars it has produced. Also, for Amazon, not prime but THE forest and river as well as one of the 7 wonders of the world! Quite the popular vacation destination, there’s a lot more to learn about Brazil.
1. It is the largest country in South America and the 5th largest in the world. Incidentally, the title of 5th largest is held by Brazil not merely in terms of area but also in terms of population. It makes for 47% of the continent in terms of the area it covers.
2. If you’re still wondering just how big could it really be, I shall have you know that the country has 4000 airports. Yep, the second highest in the world, second to only USA.
3. And within the massive population, some 2.5 million Brazilians are actually of Japanese descent.
4. Don’t pack your international driver’s license just yet because you’ll first have to get used to their driving norms, such as driving on the right-hand side!
5. And before you mutter that “Only time will tell”, you should know that the country falls under 4 time zones, UTC−02:00, UTC−03:00, UTC−04:00 and UTC−05:00.
6. The Rio Carnival is world famous. It started in 1830s to celebrate Lent, the 46 days period leading up to Easter. Today the carnival is so popular that it sees 100s participate in the parade and performances by over 300 bands! It is the world’s largest carnival.
7. Would you want to meet Osama Bin Laden? Till now I thought the answer for almost everyone would be no but um I guess I was wrong. Brazil has a trend for a couple of Osama themed bars, “Bar Do Bin Laden”, “Bin Laden’s Cave” and others. They even have a man dressed like him waiting to greet you and serve you. I would b suspicious of what’s in my drink!
8. The country gets its name from the tree called brazilwood.
9. Brasilia is said to resemble the shape of an aeroplane when spotted from up above.
10. Within the Amazon, there remain 70 uncontacted tribes till date.
11. Salvador is referred to as the “biggest African city outside Africa”. This is because 82% of its population traces their origins to slavery.
12. Football is not merely a fan favourite sport here, it is a passion so dearly loved that locals refer to their country as “O Pais Do Futebol”, i.e., the country of football. Stars such as Ronaldo, Pele and Ronaldinho hail from this country.
13. Brazil prides itself for being home to the best beach in the world. I know, I know “best” would be subjective but Baia do Sancho has been ranked as the world number 1 on numerous occasions by multiple platforms, including Trip Advisor.
14. If you wake up and say “But first, coffee” then you’ll be delighted to know that Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of coffee. It has been so for more than 150years!
15. In the southern hemisphere, Sao Paulo has the largest economy (by GDP) for any individual city.
16. You may scrunch your nose at this but the Brazilian city Duque de Caxias had the world’s largest open-air dump. But un-scrunch because it was shut down in 2012.
17. Get ready to see some monkeys! No, silly, not some people who you call monkeys in your mind. ? Brazil has the highest number of species of monkeys across the globe!
18. Laguna fishermen bring in the aid of dolphins to catch their fish! Yes, the dolphins are believed to not only surround other fish but also nod their heads to signal the fishermen.
1. Amazon is the second longest river in the world and definitely calls for a visit as you gaze at it gushing through this magnificent forest. If you’re lucky you just might be able to spot some Victoria Amazonica – the largest water lilies in the world. These lily pads grow 6 inches in a single day and in total go up to 2.5m.
2. For those who would like to include a little trekking or hiking in their itinerary, there’s the Aparados da Serra National Park. You’ll get an up close and personal look at subtropical forests, waterfalls, the Itaimbezinho Canyon and cliffs.
3. Party it up at Paraty! Well, that’s just a play on the name but the real draw in this town lies in the chance of soaking up the history, architecture, traditional colonial touches left behind, in this 1597 established town.
4. There are 42 Florianopolis Beaches. The beaches are not just beautiful but ideal for surfing, both for beginners as well as seasoned surfers who can ride more challenging waves at some of the beaches.
5. Igucau National Park will take your breath away with its rainforests and waterfalls, so, make sure to visit it. Travellers tend to stay in a nearby town overnight to truly enjoy the falls. After all they are bigger than even Niagara Falls!
6. With 4 million species of plants and animals, Brazil is one of the most biodiverse nations globally. Plan to go to Pantanal, the largest wetland in the world for your wildlife watching.
7. Have you ever seen sand dunes? Irrespective of whether you answer in the affirmative or negative, head to Lençóis Maranhenses National Park for a chance to see dunes that go almost 130 feet high! Oh, and not just that, this may resemble a desert but isn’t quite one and experiences rainfall which fills up the lagoons. This is a must visit because seeing a lake and sand dunes together is not something you would want to miss! As rare as it gets, friends.
Click here to read about Lençóis Maranhenses in detail!
8. Overlooking the Sugarloaf Mountain and the Guanamara Bay, the statue of Christ De Redeemer is world famous. While it stands atop a mountain that is 2,300ft. high (Mount Corcovado), the structure in itself just as a height of 98 feet. And while everyone visiting Brazil may go to look him up, there’s good reason for that, after all how can you miss the chance to scratch one of the 7 wonders of the world from your bucket list! Moreover, Britannica states that it is the largest art deco sculpture in the world!
9. Baia do Sancho, go see if it makes the cut to be the best. 21 islands together form a marine park here. It is not just beautiful but also a delight for divers as you may see whales, sharks, hawksbill turtles, etc.
How to reach:
You can fly into Brazil from New Delhi, Chennai or Mumbai. For this there would be 1-2 layovers which can generally be Newark, Washington or Istanbul.
For visa requirements, kindly refer to the following page on our website: