Reasons to Visit
Discovering that the indigenous peoples did not take well to forced labour, the colonial Portuguese shipped thousands of Africans to Brazil to work. Upon their emancipation at the end of the 19th Century, Afro Brazilians became integrated into society, resulting in the beautifully diverse people we see today.
From the beautiful towns of Ouro Preto and Tiradentes in Minas Gerais state, Natal and Salvador in the northeast to the cobbled backstreets of Santa Teresa in Rio, there are numerous fine examples of colonial architecture in Brazil. For a different type of architecture the retro designs of Brasilia dating back from the 1950's divides opinion!
With almost 3,000 km of coastline, it isn’t surprising that Brazil has some of the best beaches in Latin America. There’s a beach for every taste, miles of deserted sand and palm trees, havens for surfers, beaches to spot whales and beaches to watch the locals parade themselves in the latest swimwear trends.
One of the world’s most famous celebrations, Brazil’s annual carnival takes place across the country preparing for the start of Lent. Most well-known for the celebrations in Rio, thousands of sequin and feather-clad dancers samba their way through the parade ground.
Football is in the veins of Brazil and seen at every turn. Brazil has given us such footballing greats as Pelé, Ronaldo and Kaka and the love and passion shown by the children passing balls in the street leave little doubt that more stars will follow.
The Amazon rainforest is a haven for wildlife and a must for both nature lovers and those who are simply curious. It covers a vast area of Brazil and can be explored from a number of simple lodges or boats, most of which are easily accessible from the tropical city of Manaus.
For wildlife viewing, there are few better places in the world than the Pantanal between April and September. The animals and birds found here are similar to those found in the nearby Amazon, but they are much easier to spot in the Pantanal. Animals seen here include capybara, caiman, anteater, armadillo, otter, marmoset and even jaguar and puma.
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Ouro Preto is a virtually unspoilt 18th century town built around steep hills and straddling a network of creeks. It was named after the black gold ('ouro preto') that was mined in the surrounding hills and which brought great wealth to the area.
Ouro Preto is a virtually unspoilt 18th century town built around steep hills and straddling a network of creeks.
The town was at the heart of Brazil’s gold rush, and miners flocked to the region to make their fortune from the black gold (‘ouro preto’) in the hills. These miners then paid artisans to extravagantly decorate their town.
Ouro Preto was the regional capital of Minas Gerais until 1897 when the need for expansion, prevented by the local topography, led to the creation of Belo Horizonte.
The town has kept much of its original charm and is today is famed for its tranquillity, pristine colonial architecture and sacred art, churches and inclined cobblestone streets.
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Further reading:Tours in BrazilWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout BrazilCountry Guides
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