Brazil is located in South America and is one of the largest countries on earth. The country borders French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. Among other things, Brazil is known for its rainforests and of course for the carnival in Rio. See ANDYEDUCATION.COM for education in Brazil.
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Fast facts to know
- In Brazil, people mainly speak Portuguese or Spanish. English is not very widely spoken.
- Most of the approximately 200 million Brazilians live on the coast.
- Cattle breeding and mining are the greatest threat to the preservation of the rainforest.
- In Brazil there are still numerous (~70) tribes that have not had any contact with other people.
- The statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro is one of the seven new wonders of the world.
- On the island of Queimada Grande (“Island of Death”), there is at least one poisonous snake per square meter.
- 92 percent of all new cars sold in Brazil use ethanol, which is made from sugar cane, as a fuel.
- Brazil is the 6th largest economy in the world.
- 60% of the world’s rainforest is in Brazil.
- Brazilians are crazy about football.
- The longest river on earth, the Amazon, flows through Brazil.
- Malaria vaccination is recommended when visiting the Amazon region.
Exciting cities in Brazil
- Capital Brasilia.
- Rio de Janeiro.
- Hilly town of Olinda.
- Angra dos Reis.
History of Brazil
- Oldest traces of civilization from around 11,700 BC. Chr.
- In 1494 Portugal and Spain decided to partition South America in the Treaty of Tordesillas.
- In 1500 the Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral took possession of the land for the Portuguese crown.
- The exploitation of the native Indians was followed by the enslavement and shipment of people from Africa.
- Until 1580 entire country under Portuguese control.
- In the 17th century, the Netherlands tried to gain a foothold, but were defeated and expelled after some successes.
- In 1807 Napoleon Bonaparte’s French troops invaded Portugal.
- On September 7, 1822, the country declares independence from Portugal and proclaims the first Brazilian emperor.
- Wars followed between Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.
- 1888 Abolition of slavery.
- First republic after a military coup in 1889.
- During the military dictatorship, the country was democratized from 1985.
- In 2011, Dilma Rousseff became the first woman to become Brazil’s head of state.
Climate & travel weather in Brazil
- Climate mostly tropical and subtropical.
- North and East: tropical.
- Southbound: subtropical temperate.
- Coast in the north-east: year-round maximum temperatures of over thirty degrees.
- In the Amazon basin, rain falls all year round (1-2 hours a day in the dry season).
- Pantanal receives large amounts of rainfall during the rainy season from October to April.
- Recommended travel time:
- year-round destination.
- Northern Coastal Areas: July – December.
- Amazon Region: June – October.
- Pantanal: April – September.
- South Coast: December – June.
Ideas for trips in Brazil
- Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro.
- Fernando de Noronha archipelago.
- Relaxing on the Porto de Galinhas beach.
- Snorkeling and Diving in Buzios Peninsula.
- Old town of Recife.
- Brasilia Cathedral.
- Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.
- Botanical Garden in Curitiba.
- Water buffalo on Marajo island.
- Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
Food & Drink in Brazil
- Regional very different culinary specialties.
- Influenced by immigrants (African, Portuguese, Italian, German, …).
- Cuisine: deliciously seasoned and usually not very hot.
- Brazilians like a lot of meat, but also fish and vegetables as well as rice and beans.
- Garlic important part of Brazilian cuisine.
- Lunch: the largest meal of the day.
- For breakfast: coffee with milk (cafe com leite) or strong espresso (Cafezhíno).
- Dinner: often very late.
- World number one in production and export of coffee.
- Typical drinks: Guaraná, fruit juices, coffee, caipirinha, liquor (cachaca), maté tea.
- In “kilo restaurants” you serve yourself at the buffet and pay by weight.
- In the Northeast, many dishes are prepared with dried salted meat and beans.
- Typical dishes:
- Feijoada (cooked beans, pig ears, pig feet, pig tail, bacon, sausages, vegetables, cassava flour, rice, cabbage, orange slices).
- Buchada de Carneiro (stuffed sheep’s stomach, tripe and offal in a spicy ragout or in their own stock).
- Sarapatel (liver, heart, tomatoes, peppers, onions and sauce).
- Churrasco (pickled meat skewer seasoned with salt, pepper, onion and marjoram).
- Maniçoba (hearty stew with cassava leaves and meat).
- Moqueca (fish or seafood stew cooked with tomatoes, peppers and cilantro in coconut milk and palm oil).
- Coxinha de Frango (chicken thighs).
- Acarajé (pastry balls made from mashed beans, nuts and shrimp, baked in dendê oil).
- Aipim (cassava roots, boiled or fried).
- Leitão Pururuca (grilled suckling pig).
- Tapioca pancakes (served with shredded coconut and melted cheese or bananas).
- Peixada (hearty fish stew with tomatoes, onions, white cabbage, potatoes, carrots, eggs and coconut milk).
- Pato no Tucupi (duck in aromatic wild herb sauce).
- Tacacá (thick yellow soup with shrimp and garlic). Picanha (the most popular cut of beef with fat crust (Tafelspitz), usually from the grill).
- Bolhinos de Bacalhau (fried cod balls).
- Pudim de Leite (milk pudding).
- Caruru (crab, okra, onions and peppers).
- Iguazu Falls.
- Amazon area.
- Lencois Maranhenses, the most water-rich desert in the world.