Brief description of the country
Picturesque natural landscapes, waterfalls, clear ocean water, magnificent beaches, enchanting carnivals, dynamic samba, bright football stars and their numerous fans, the mysterious Amazon with the richest flora and fauna, original culture, unique national cuisine, friendly residents - these are the shortest description of one wonderful country - Brazil.
Almost 200 million people live in a huge state that occupies almost two-thirds of South America, and is the 5th largest in the world in terms of area. The country is the 7th most populous in the world. The official language is Portuguese, unlike most countries on the continent where Spanish is spoken.
The capital of the Federative Republic of Brazil since 1960 is the city of Brasilia with a population of 3 million people. The first capital was Salvador, then Rio de Janeiro. The plan of the city immediately provided that an exemplary technopolis-capital would be built. The project was completed in 1957 by the architect L. Costa, who won the competition.
From a height, according to Costa's plan, the city should look like a butterfly, but in reality it turned out to be like the outlines of an airplane. The construction of the new capital allowed to relieve the overpopulated Rio and helped accelerate the development of the sparsely populated lands of the highlands and the geographical center of the country. There are 17 cities in the country with a population of over a million.
Sao Paulo with a population of 12 million. The settlement was founded by missionaries in 1554. The modern financial and industrial center of the country, home to 30 thousand millionaires. The architecture of the city harmoniously combines old buildings with skyscrapers, and Oscar Freire Street is one of the 10 most luxurious streets in the world. The city has three airports and one of the safest subways in the world. Football fans are well aware of the Pakaembu stadium, where the famous Pele played more than once, and Morumbi - until 2000 the largest in the world.
Since 1951, São Paulo has been hosting international art biennials, design and architecture biennials since 1973, and since 1996 Fashion Week, a macro-event of the Latin American fashion industry, has been regularly held here. Sao Paulo often hosts forums, electronic festivals and other international events. The city has a thriving tourism business. Travelers are attracted by:
- museums - the most famous Museum of Art with a luxurious collection of paintings;
- An analogue of the Empire State Building - the 150-meter skyscraper Banespa and the highest skyscraper in the country Miranto do Vale (170 m);
- Vibrant Japanese quarter in Liberdade, which honors the traditions of Japan and holds colorful national festivals: flowers in February, stars in April;
- Neo-Gothic cathedral with Renaissance dome, built in 1954;
- unusual architecture.
Rio de Janeiro - a population of almost 7 million. The first settlers settled on the shores of Guanabara Bay in 1565. In 1808, due to the war unleashed by Napoleon, the Portuguese royal court moved to Rio, and the city received a powerful push of intense development. Now it is a densely populated city.
The visiting card of the metropolis is Mount Sugarloaf. In the central part, on the narrow streets, colonial buildings and ancient churches, the former residence of the emperor, have been preserved. The huge world-class Maracanã stadium regularly hosts international football matches, hosted the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, and created the Museum of Glory, which displays exhibits related to Brazil's greatest football players - Pelé, Didi and others. The stadium is so prestigious that many stars such as F. Sinatra, Sting, P. McCartney have performed at its arena.
The southern part overlooks the Atlantic coast with the famous beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Baixa Bebe, Prainha, Barra. The city has many gardens and parks. The world's largest real forest is located within the city limits.
The first settlements in Brazil in Santa Elina were already 20 thousand years ago. Scientists have determined the date by found jewelry. The region was inhabited for the second time about 12 thousand years ago. Near the city of Belo Horizonte, the remains of a woman who lived 9 thousand years ago were found in a cave. In 800 years. semi-nomads lived on the island of Marazho and were engaged in agriculture, hunting and fishing. Scientists believe that the area was inhabited by 7 million people before the start of colonization.
The first border of Brazil, which has not yet been opened, was the Papal Meridian, delimiting the lands of Spain and Portugal. The conditional border was determined by the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494
Brazil was discovered in 1500 by the Portuguese Pedro Cabral. He mistook it for an island and named it Santa Cruz. Cabral sent a message about the discovery of the island to the king in Lisbon. Only in 1530 did the first settlers arrive. The colonists brought cattle and seeds. The first fortifications were built in the northeastern part. The very first fort - Sao Vicente was built in 1532 on the coast of today's state of Sao Paulo. In 1549, Salvador was formed, which became the capital. Brazil was divided into 14 captaincies - the lands of the feudal lords. The Jesuits, who arrived in Brazil, began to massively convert the Indians to the Christian religion.
The coastal areas of the state of Pernambuco were perfect for the growth of sugarcane. Agricultural machines and the first plants for planting were delivered from Madeira. Negro slaves brought from Africa worked on the plantations. Sugar produced in Brazil was in increasing demand in Europe. Business flourished.
Spain and Portugal united under the Spanish crown. The unification lasted from 1580 to 1640. The entire continent belonged to Spain. In the 20s. 17th century Brazil was repeatedly attacked by the Dutch. They captured Pernambuco and El Salvador, and owned them for over 20 years. The large Brazilian landowner J. F. Vieira organized a rebellion, and in 1654 the Brazilians expelled the Dutch without turning to Portugal. From 1555 to 1612, the French tried unsuccessfully to capture Brazil.
The Portuguese went deeper and deeper into the mainland, settling in new lands. They turned the local Indians into slaves. Slaves often escaped from overwork and hid in the jungle, uniting with Africans. By the 30s of the XVII century. almost 20 thousand people formed the primitive state of Palmaris. Only in 1694 did the colonial authorities manage to capture it.
In 1807, the Portuguese royal court of Don Juan VI, after Napoleon's attack on Portugal, settled in Rio. Government services were also transferred to the city. In 1821 the king had to come to Lisbon. Instead of himself in Brazil, he appointed an heir, Pedro, and assigned him the status of king-regent. After the return of the king, the Portuguese parliament decided to liquidate all the Brazilian royal structures in Rio, transferring them, along with the army, to direct subordination to Lisbon. But the regent Pedro refused to comply with the decision and declared the independence of Brazil in September 1822, and in October after the coronation he became Emperor of Brazil Pedro I. Slavery in Brazil was officially abolished only in 1888
During the period of military dictatorship (1964-1985), Brazil's economic situation rose sharply, but repression intensified. Death squads were formed to quell the protests. The government reduced wages, limited the rights of citizens, and banned strikes. Popular discontent grew, and in 1984 protests were held across the country demanding elections. In 1985 a civilian president, T. Nevis, was elected.
Today, the country's confidently and rapidly developing economy is the largest on the continent. The industrial-agrarian country, 7th in the world in terms of GDP, is the leader in the production of traditional sugar cane and coffee, cotton, soybeans and cocoa beans. The bowels of the country are rich in minerals. Bauxites, uranium, nickel, cobalt, copper, iron ore, gold, silver and much more are mined. Brazil is one of the main suppliers of raw materials for the military industry in the world. The main areas of industry are manufacturing, mining, energy. 1.5 million cars and buses, such as Mercedes, Scania, Fiat, are made in the country annually. Embraer manufactures aircraft. The textile and footwear industry is well developed. There are more than 4,000 shoe factories in the country
December to March is the best time to visit Brazil. Through Brazil pass 6 climatic zones - from equatorial to semi-arid. The largest part of the country lies in the tropical zone. The hottest is the northeastern part of Brazil. The south coast has the coolest weather, especially in June-August. In the north of the country, the average temperature is +28, and in the south +20, but sometimes it is minus when the snow does not melt. The maximum amount of precipitation falls in the Amazon.
Spring comes in September. During the day up to +35, at night up to +15. The water temperature on the coast is up to +27. It rains for a month no longer than 6 days.
- It gets hotter in October, up to +40 in the northeastern part. Rainy days - up to 5 per month. Water on the south coast +22, and on the southeast +27. In the capital and Rio during the day +27.
- In November, the air is not as dry as in September and October. The temperature during the day averages +30, and at night +23. There are twice as many rainy days, maybe up to 10 per month. The water temperature rises to +26.
- In December, summer comes, but the heat is not felt too much due to high humidity. Daytime temperature up to +29, at night up to +24. The water has already warmed up to +27.
- It gets even hotter in January. During the day, the air warms up to +32, at night an average of +24, and water +28. The rainy season arrives in Manaus, lasting until May.
- February is the middle of summer. The daytime temperature reaches +33, the night temperature can drop to +18. The water in Fortaleza and Salvador is warm, like fresh milk, warming up to +28.
- The heat continues in March, but there are fewer rainy days - up to 7.
- In April, in the northeastern part, there is still a rainy season - in Rio up to 4 days, in Manaus - up to 16. During the day it is warm up to +30, and at night +23. Water +25.
- In May, the rainy season ends - up to 3 days. During the day +28, water +25.
- In June and July, the heat subsides, during the day it averages +23, the water is from 22 to 27. In the southern part, it can rain every other day. And in Manaus there may be two days - the rainy season in the Amazon is over.
- August is the dry season. Water +26. Daytime temperatures average +26, in Manaus up to +33.
Brazilian cuisine combines African, Portuguese, Spanish, South American Indians. Meat of beef, pork, poultry is used for food. The most commonly used cereals are corn and rice. In the course are soybeans, beans. From vegetables - the pumpkin family, cabbage, tomatoes. The most common fruits are oranges, bananas, guava, mangoes, papaya, pineapples. A huge number of species of river and sea fish, shrimps, crabs, shellfish are one of the main components of the national cuisine.
The most common and famous dish is feijoada. Prepared from meat and beans, cassava flour is added, seasoned with pepper sauce. Serve separately, with orange or cabbage. The dish has been prepared for more than three centuries, adding its own ingredients in each locality. Lombo de porco - fried pork. Carne de sol - dried meat. Shurasko - beef fried on skewers, served with tomato sauce. Pato no tupuki - duck fried in a special sauce. Sarapaten - sausages or sausages, pork liver or heart, boiled with tomatoes, peppers and onions. Exotic - tortoise stew and crocodile jacare.
Seafood and river fish are used to prepare moqueca - seafood soup, itapoa - crab meat pudding, frigideira - fish and shellfish fried in a pot with dough, lobster in coconut milk, karuru - salted shrimp with caviar, hot peppers, onions and kiaboo (grass). Meatballs with cheese or cod are fried as snacks, boiled corn, pies with various fillings, salads, canapes are eaten.
As desserts, Brazilians prefer various sweets. The most common drink is coffee. Usually it is a sweet coffeecino - it is prepared like an espresso.
Of the alcoholic beverages, the most popular is the caipirinha. This is cane sugar vodka with sugar and lemon. Brazilians drink beer, rum, quichasa vodka, wine. Of the wines, the most common are Shandon, Castel-Chatelet.
The best restaurants are:
- in Sao Paulo - KAA Restaurant, it offers dishes of Mediterranean, French, Brazilian cuisine; D.O.M. with Brazilian cuisine; Figueira Rubaiyat - Argentinean and Brazilian cuisine, steakhouse, grill
- Rio de Janeiro - CT Boucherie with French cuisine and steakhouse; ORO with national cuisine; L Etoile Restaurante with international cuisine
In every Brazilian city, even a small one, there are sure to be several establishments known for their excellent cuisine.
You should pay attention to security. The police keep order, but the lack of work and low salaries make some locals not shun criminal acts in pursuit of money. Video cameras are installed in hotels and on beaches. Policemen patrol on foot, on bicycles, special vehicles or on horseback. The military police also keep order and have great rights. But statistics show that in some areas crime is at a high level. You should not use public transport in the evening and at night, it is better not to wear expensive jewelry, do not go with strangers, you do not need to keep documents, money, video cameras and other valuables in the room when you are not there.
The authorities are fighting against prostitution, but not quite successfully. «Priestesses of Love» are usually controlled by gangs who are just looking for an excuse to save tourists from a heavy wallet. Drugs are almost openly sold in some neighborhoods. Transvestites are just chasing wealthy clients. Particular caution should be exercised when visiting the bath - «termash». Along with traditional bath treatments, a wide range of sexual services are often offered here. As in any country, in Brazil, tourists should be vigilant and careful, not sticking out wealth, and not show unjustified trust in unfamiliar people.
In general, Brazilians are cheerful and emotional, open-minded about other nationalities and races. Of course, in working-class areas you can encounter rudeness, and in the favelas, seeing poverty spoils the mood - so you can not visit them on your own without the need.
- It should be noted that the voltage in the mains is different - from 110V to 220V.
- When paying in a restaurant, tipping is traditionally 10%, in eateries and cafes on the beaches, tips are not paid, for hairdresser services, at a gas station, for shoe shine - up to 20%. Taxi drivers round the payment up, the newer and more prestigious the car is, the greater the "rounding". You need to pay separately for the operation of the air conditioner. When carrying luggage, the driver is paid 25 centavos per seat.
- The exchange rate is stable, but usually higher in Rio and the capital. It is better to exchange for small bills, there may be “no change”; at the seller. For the exchange, a passport is required, upon presentation of the TIN (CPF), the exchange rate may be more profitable. At the height of the season - from December to February - prices jump, it is better to book a room in advance. Out of season prices in hotels are lower. When paying bills in cash in foreign currency, they give discounts of up to 15%, but at an unfavorable rate.
- In Brazil, it is customary to arrive late for a visit, but it is better to arrive early for football.
- Topless sunbathing is better on special beaches, otherwise you can even get a fine, and Brazilians can be offended.
- You have to bargain in the markets. It is not customary to use a toothpick or cover your mouth with a napkin in cafes and restaurants - Brazilians like to smile broadly, revealing snow-white teeth, such actions will plunge them into a state of shock.
- While swimming in the ocean, beware of strong currents. At night, it is dangerous to be on the beach - at this time the police do not patrol.
- Alcohol, cigarettes, plants, birds, fish, fish products, vegetables, fruits, any replicas (imitations or fakes) cannot be exported from the country.
Rent a Car
To rent a car, you will need a passport, an international driver's license and a bank card for payment. There are rental points at airports and hotels. But for reliability, it is better to book a car before the trip. In addition to the rental fee, you will need to pay a deposit and pay insurance. The size of the deposit depends on the model of the car, its condition and the period of operation. Renting is carried out by both international network companies and private ones. The «private traders» usually the cost is lower up to 10%, but "networkers" more reliable.
In Brazil, most of the roads are unpaved, not paved. It is more practical to rent an SUV if the trips are not limited to city roads. The average fee in 2022 is $10 per day. You should not break the rules and the speed limit - the fines are quite decent even for minor violations.
Visa and customs
Beverages are not allowed in hand luggage, but they can be checked in as checked baggage. Food products cannot be imported. You can bring 1 piece with you without duty:
- radio receiver;
- video camera;
- laptop or "tablet";
It is forbidden to export drugs, weapons, medicines, radioactive substances, wild animals (only with permission), jewelry made by Indians from materials of animal origin (feathers of birds, claws of animals, etc.) from the country>
Foreign currency can be imported without restrictions, but must be declared, exported - no more than the amount imported minus expenses. Local currency can only be exported under the license of the Central Bank of Brazil.
Shopping and souvenirs
The main souvenir from Brazil is coffee. There are dozens of its types with pleasant prices. Another popular "souvenir" - Brazilian vodka from sugar cane "cachaca". The fortress is from 38 to 50 degrees. Only 1 liter per person is allowed through customs. Another of the main souvenirs from Brazil that tourists bring home is football paraphernalia. The most popular among tourists are colorful paintings sold everywhere, as well as leather goods and shoes. Although high quality shoes are not cheap. Bright umbrellas, Brazilian cosmetics, pareos, copper dishes, carnival costumes and accessories - all this is liked by tourists and they are happy to buy.
Bright unusual ceramics and beach hawayans are bought in Pernambuco. Lace dresses and tablecloths, magical amulets are more profitable to buy in Bahia. Minas Jeiras is famous for inexpensive real gems and products made from them. Beads made from plant seeds and colorful fabrics, figurines of animals and birds carved from mahogany, gizmos from bright bird feathers, hand-woven hammocks - all this is more profitable to buy in the state of Amazonas. On weekdays, shops are open from 9:00 to 18:30, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 to 13:00. Supermarkets are open 24 hours.
It is more profitable to buy souvenirs at markets and Sunday fairs. Price is always negotiable. In Rio, there is a network of large shopping centers «Rio Sul» and Barra Shopping. Angra dos Reis is famous for its fairs and original souvenirs.
During carnivals, sales start in the shops of the country starting from February. They last less than a month. At first, the prices are too high, and by the end of the sale, you can see a 100% discount on the price tag. The next stage of sales takes place in August and September - at the end of winter and at the beginning of spring. Here you can really get a real discount - there are few tourists-buyers in the off-season.
- About 200 km separate Buzios and Rio. A magnificent resort known for its beautiful beaches, water activities and vibrant nightlife. The best time to visit is from November to March and in June-July.
- Tourist trains are common in Brazil. Routes last from 13 to 100 km. In a short trip, you can see the beautiful nature of Brazil and see the sights.
- In Pelourinho (Salvador), a museum dedicated to the life and work of the world-famous writer Jorge Amado has been opened in a beautiful house.
- Rio has the largest water park on the mainland, Rio Water Planet. Water slides, beaches, attractions and shows delight both children and adults.
- For lovers of rock and alternative music, the Bukowski Club is open in Rio. Here you can not only listen to live concerts, but also play billiards.
- In the Bailly Museum of Gastronomy in Salvador, exhibitions and exhibits are devoted to Brazilian cuisine. The museum has an excellent restaurant, the menu of which includes dishes of national and exotic cuisine.
- In Salvador, it is worth visiting the famous Rodin Palace of Arts, whose priceless exhibits are Rodin's sculptures. The tropical garden around the Palace features bronze works by the great sculptor. The palace has a luxurious appearance and rich interior decoration. Masonic symbols are present in the interior design.
- Getúlio Vargas Zoo (Salvador) is a real piece of the tropics with exclusively Brazilian fauna. A museum is open on the territory, where the remains of fossil animals are presented.
The tourism business is one of the main sources of income for the Brazilian economy. Almost every city has its sights, historical and modern, and almost all the beaches of the country are equipped for a comfortable stay of tourists.
In Brazil, in every region there are hotels and hotels - in large cities, and in the provinces, and in resorts with gorgeous beaches, designed for every taste and with different levels of comfort. The cost of living varies depending on the season. On holidays and carnival days, for example, in Rio and Salvador, the cost per day averages $ 150 per person, in Copacabana during the peak season - an average of $ 70.
Hotels on the coast during the New Year holidays and carnivals reduce the stay to 3-4 days, and rooms must be booked in advance. In the capital and Sao Paulo, located further from the ocean, during this period, hotels are in less demand and accept guests for any period. In large cities, hotels are located in high-rise buildings. Apart-hotels are becoming more common, the rooms of which have a bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen. But the minus of apart-hotels is that they do not have their own swimming pools, restaurants. When assessing the comfort of a hotel, stars are not assigned, as usual, but the services offered to guests are taken into account. Before checking in, you should find out what services you can expect at the selected hotel.
In the French hotel chain Accor Group, guests are offered hotels with different levels of comfort and service. For example, the Sofitel brand of this chain offers luxury hotels only at the highest level with corresponding prices. The Parthenon brand is apart-hotels, the Mercure brand is with more affordable prices for quite comfortable rooms. The Ibis brand offers budget hotels with a small range of services, but neat and comfortable.
Almost all hotels in Brazil include breakfast in the room rate. Breakfast is a chic buffet with fruits, meats, cheeses and the obligatory excellent coffee.
Pousada chain - hotels-boarding houses belonging to the category of family budget hotels offering breakfast to guests. There are many more such hotels than classic hotels. In the off-season, discounts in them reach up to 30%.
Motels work with a minimum set of services. You can rent a room for a few hours. There are many different hostels in the country. Prices from $10 for a place on a 4-storey bed, and from $36 for a private room.
In Brazil, there is an accommodation tax. Its size is influenced by the class of the hotel and the area, it can reach up to 15%. Usually it is included in the price of the room, but it is better to clarify when you check in. "Floating hotels" are popular. The room is a cabin with air conditioning and amenities. The routes of the hotels pass through lakes and rivers. During the trip, you can fish or just admire the unique nature. On board the hotel guests often have motor boats in stock, on which, with a guide, you can visit interesting or more "fish" places. places.
In sparsely populated areas, such as the Pantanal, tourists relax in guest houses on the ranch. In small towns, the hot & eacute; is-fazenda system is common. The hotels of the system are more comfortable than at the ranch, and there is a fairly wide range of entertainment - swimming, horseback riding, sports games and, of course, football. Such farm hotels are located, for example, in the state of Minas Geras.