Brazil facts & history in
List of photo pages in my 2002 Brazil
Devil's Throat or Garganta
Foz do Iguaçu (City) photos
Foz do Iguaçu (Falls) photos
Rio de Janeiro photos
Sao Paulo photos
Brazil occupies almost half of South America and
has a population larger than all the other countries
of the continent combined (Over 50%).
The world's fifth largest in area (8,511,999 square
kilometre) and population, with a very varied landscape,
from the tropical rainforest of the sprawling, mighty
Amazon to towering mountains.
The central and southern plains are fertile farmlands,
but the country's vast interior remains little developed.
The world's largest rain forest the Amazon is largely
in Brazil, with a very large and unique animal and over
40,000 varieties of plants.
The Amazon river, the world's second longest, only after
Ocean going ships can travel on the Amazon's entire
length within Brazil.
Brazil is the only Portuguese speaking country in South
It was a Portuguese colony from 1500 to 1822 and is
the only Portuguese-speaking country in Latin America.
The early Portuguese colonists also brought Roman Catholicism
Today, Brazil has more Catholics than any other nation.
Brazil has been a republic since 1889, with a strong
national government, but had periods of dictatorial
rule as well.
Almost all of Brazil's people speak Portuguese, the
nation's official language.
Amerindian groups in the Amazon area still use their
Soccer is Brazil's favourite sport. Some games attract
over 200,000 supporters.
A number of colourful festivals also brighten life in
One of the best known is the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro,
just before Christmas in year with thousands of richly
costumed people dance to the rhythms of the samba and
ride magnificent floats to compete for prizes while
huge crowds lining the streets.
Brazil's economy is based on private enterprise with
many basic industries, including the oil, petrochemical,
and steel industries under government control.
Brasilia, the capital since 1960 with a population of
about 2 million people.
Designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer,
about 1,000 kilometres from the coast to help draw Brazilians
inland, built in the shape of an aeroplane, with the
many impressive buildings, in an unpopulated region,
on a site at the geographical centre of the country.
For more information
Brazil facts & history in brief
Soon after our arrival at the Airport we were
accosted by one of the agents (Bayardo Hornos) of Four
Tourist travel and a very attractive picture of our
sightseeing trip was presented to us.
We were promised everything until we paid up.
In reality we ended up very unhappy and feeling fiddled,
cheated and short-changed.
These sales people have wide knowledge of various countries
visitors are likely to come from.
They endear themselves to you by praising your country
and call you by the nickname of your country, (Kiwis
in our case) also rattling off numbers of people they
dealt with from your country etc.
Now the promises and the unkept promises.
We were very interested to take the trip, after all
that's what we came for, and the sales talk and promises
sound very good, but very soon we got our first disappointment,
he would not accept our Visa (Cost too much commission
and rampant inflation, he claimed).
As New Zealanders we have to buy U.S. dollars of which
we only had a limited supply, to last another 6 weeks.
We were to go on a jungle safari, a boat ride up to
the falls, (We did get these two and thoroughly enjoyed
it too) then we were to be transferred to a regular
free boat to go to the island where another boat would
have taken us to the Devil's Throat.
Arriving at the landing we were promised a video of
our boat trip, to be delivered to our hotel but we never
received that and we were told the free boat to the
island was not running, neither did the boat to the
From the landing site now we had to walk to catch a
little train to take us near the walkway over the falls.
We got lost because the people promised to meet us at
arranged places just weren't there.
Our walk over the falls was terrific, thoroughly enjoyable.
Next day the continuation of our tour was just as troublesome.
I desperately wanted to explore Foz do Iguacu, the Brazilian
Iguazu town, but our driver only give us a glimpse of
it, claiming we had no time, but we had to spend 5 hours
at the Airport waiting for our plane.
Iguazu town, our Hotel the Los Helechos (Telefax(03757)4-20338,
was reasonably priced and quiet adequate) and the spectacle
of the falls were terrific.
Please be careful with the choice of Tour companies,
the many unkept promises can be expensive and disappointing.
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