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SOUTH AMERICA - DESTINATIONS

Brasil

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Brazil spreads across almost half of South America. It is the fifth largest country in the world, and the biggest in South America. Numerous archipelagos are part of the Brazilian territory, such as Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz. The equator cuts through the states of Amapá, Pará, Roraima and Amazonas in the northern region, and the Tropic of Capricorn, through the states of São Paulo, northern Paraná and southern Mato Grosso do Sul, in the south of the country. Brazil’s east to west extension is almost as big as its north to souths. The Atlantic Ocean borders the country’s entire eastern shore, providing 7,367 km of coastline.
The factors of size, relief, climate, and natural resources make Brazil geographically diverse. In its large territory you can find different ecosystems, such as the Amazon Rainforest, recognized as having the greatest biological diversity in the world.
The mixing of colours, races, beats and flavours is waiting for new explorers willing to know the true essence of a strong, happy and hospitable people.
Brazil is a sunny land where sun shines all through the year. Warm waters and fresh sea breezes make Brazilian beaches some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

RIO

Everyone has heard about carnival in Rio, the most amazing popular party in the world. Or about Sugar Loaf Mountain and the statue of Christ Redeemer. Also about the beautiful beaches of Ipanema and Capacabana, and the Tijuca National Park – the largest urban area natural preservation area in the Country. Rio is all that. Known as the “Wonderful City”, Rio de Janeiro was the Brazilian capital until 1960 – when Brasilia, the current capital, was inaugurated. Because of being the capital, the city’s architectonic traces include luxurious and imposing constructions.
Since its weather is warm and pleasant all through the year, Rio does not depend on seasons to attract visitors. Its can be appreciated any time of the year. There is always something to be done in the city, from exhibitions and theatre plays to activities such as free flying, much appreciated by all those who enjoy strong sensations on board, or hang glider, floating above the most famous landscapes of Rio. However the Wonderful City has yet a wide range of other attractions to offer: cultural centres, museums, churches, famous confectioners’, old streetcars and beaches.
Besides the millions of people that visit Rio for the landscapes and natural beauties, a different type of tourist has been increasingly attracted to the city in the last few years: the business tourist. Rio de Janeiro is also one of the greatest business centres in the Country, being constantly chosen to host important national and international conferences, congresses and meetings.

SAO PAULO

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, chosen for nearly 75% of all fairs and congresses held in the country. It is known throughout the country as the “business capital”. But that is just a small part of what the city has to offer. Its restaurants, its intense nightlife and the busy artistic calendar are responsible for prolonging the stays of those visitors who arrive in the city just to work.
From a snack bar to the most refined restaurant in the Jardins districts, from the hot dog to the most varied international menus – gastronomy in São Paulo is varied and cosmopolitan. As a starting point for your visit to São Paulo, there’s no better place than Paulista Avenue, one of the city’s landmarks. Immigrants from every corner of Brazil and the world can be found in the city. Jews, Italians, Japanese, Arabs, in short, people for everywhere on the planet, live in communities that preserve the traditions of the countries of origin and they live in perfect harmony with each other.
São Paulo has nearly 300 cinemas, more than 100 theatres, a dozen cultural centres and 70 museums, among diverse historical buildings. There are also theme parks, two large stadiums and countless leisure areas. It is also interesting to underscore the Interlagos Speedway, home of the city’s Formula 1 Grand Prix. In the city shopping is not only part of the itinerary, but also one of the main attractions. With its countless shopping malls, streets with specialized commerce and arts and crafts fairs, the city guarantees options for every taste.

SALVADOR

Salvador the popular abbreviation of the full name of the city: Sao Salvador da Baía de Todos os Santos. It was founded in 1549, but the area has been known since the first years of the XVI century, after the Portuguese discovered new lands. Salvador became the first capital of Brazil until 1763, when the colonial administration was moved to Rio de Janeiro. During that period, the city played an important strategic role in the defence and colonization of the territory, which is why the Portuguese tried to erect a fortified city on top a hill.
The Salvadorian population is formed by the same mixture of ethnic groups that mark the base of the Brazilian people -Blacks, Indians and Europeans. In Salvador the African cultural influence has always prevailed because the biggest part of slaves was brought from Africa since the middle of the XVI century. It is noticeable in religion, arts, food, and in many other aspects of the life of Salvadorian people.
Religious syncretism is mainly expressed in candomblé (Brazilian voodoo), which mixes rites from the African culture with Catholicism. In candomblé grounds with ceremonies open to the public, it is possible to help babalorixás, ialorixás and iaôsto (fathers, mothers and daughters of the saints) invoking, by means of dances and singing, orixás, entities that personify the forces of nature. Capoeira is another symbol of the African culture. Nowadays a very popular combination of fight and dance, it has its origins in Angola, where it was used by slaves as defence and attack. While Capoeira members swing from side to side and hit acrobatic blows using mainly their legs, the other members surround them in a circle and sing accompanied by percussion instruments like berimbau, agogôs and atabaques.
Walking along the Historical Center you can observe constructions of the XVIII and XIX centuries: beautiful baroque churches, old big houses formerly belonging to sugar barons, and majestic public buildings.
Salvador lives every year a busy calendar of popular events. Mostly between New Year's Eve and Carnival, the city becomes venue of great celebrations, which reveal the deep religious feeling and happiness of its inhabitants.

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