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Brazil index page

Brazil facts & history in brief

List of photo pages in my 2002 Brazil series.

Amazon Jungle        Amazon River        Devil's Throat or Garganta do Diablo

Foz do Iguaçu (City) photos        Foz do Iguaçu (Falls) photos       Iguana photos

Manaus 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 the Nile.
Ocean going ships can travel on the Amazon's entire length within Brazil.
Brazil is the only Portuguese speaking country in South America.
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 to Brazil.
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 own languages.
Soccer is Brazil's favourite sport. Some games attract over 200,000 supporters.

A number of colourful festivals also brighten life in Brazil.
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 Devil's Throat.
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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