Brazil means passion and idealism, just like the friendly, pink coloured Amazonian dolphin.
Once upon a time, Brazil was a distant Portuguese colony, populated by immigrants who fled Europe. Nowadays, the largest country of South America offers the traveller beautiful beaches, Amazon forest, modern cities and the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the dream holiday.
Carnival takes place every February, leading into the Catholic holiday of Lent. The most notorious and famous of these celebrations take place in Rio de Janeiro and in Sao Paulo, where samba schools have their yearly contests for best dancing, floats and presentation. Still, Carnival is a nationwide celebration in Brazil, with every major, and most smaller Brazilian cities having a celebration to call their own.
While Carnival proper is a four-day affair, you can normally count on more than a week of festivities. As this is the most well-known celebration in the country, you’ll need to plan and book early to secure transportation and lodging.
City of Diamonds
Diamantina is a unique city, situated in the beautiful, dry and mountainous landscape of the Serro do Espinhaço mountains. The city’s 18th century buildings are located on steep slopes and date from the time in which diamonds where mined in this region. Even today, the mining of precious stones remains important for the economy of Diamantina.
Diamantina is a well-preserved historic city, not yet touched by mass tourism.
Among Brazilians, Diamantina is a popular place to celebrate the Carnival. Although the city fills up with people, it remains much safer and more relaxed than Rio de Janeiro or Salvador during Carnival.
Crime and safety
Brazil is a country with large-scale social inequality, where a large portion of the population survives on the equivalent of less than £100 per month. If you take the same precautions as you would in any large U.S. city, your trip should be safe an enjoyable. The Brazilians are world-renowned for their friendliness.
Population: 190 million
Size: 8,511,965 sq km (slightly smaller than the United States)
The Devil’s Throat
The 275 falls of Iguaçu (South of Brazil) are spread over a distance of 2.7 kilometres and are separated by small, rocky islands that are often covered by lush vegetation. Some of these falls have an altitude of more then 80 metres. The most spectacular part is the Devil’s Throat (Garganta do Diabo in Portuguese, Garganta del Diablo in Spanish). This is a fabulous U-shaped cliff with a width of 150 metres and a length of 700 metres where water falls over an altitude of 70 meters.
The Iguaçu Falls are much larger than the Niagara Falls, the largest waterfalls of North-America. "Poor Niagara" is what the American First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, would have said when she saw the Iguaçu Falls. Recently, a number of authors described the Iguaçu Falls as "The Niagara Falls on Viagra".
The only waterfalls that rival the Iguaçu Falls are the Victoria Falls on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Sport fishing in the Pantanal
The Pantanal is a popular destination for sport fishers. The Pantanal has at least 263 species of fish and now and then a new species is discovered. Fishers often rent a barco-hotel (hotel-boat, plural is: barcos-hotéis) which is equiped with everything needed for a successful fishing trip into the Pantanal. Many fish species migrate upstream for spawning between October and March. This period is know as piracema, when fishing is not allowed.
Pink dolphins of the Amazon
A trip to the Amazonian forest mean a lot of things. But we look now at the pink dolphins in the Amazonian river. They are considered to be the most intelligent.
These friendly, sensitive, mammals with a brain capacity 40% larger than that of humans, who have lived in harmony with the people of the Amazon and its tributaries for centuries, now face extinction.
There are tons of tribes along the Amazon river, and there’s a myth about the pink dolphin for each one. The Ticuna people believe the dolphins to be magical beings that used to be human. Other tribes believe the dolphins are symbols of good or evil.
Some people believe that after sunset, the dolphins come out of the water, take human form, and have parties.
Then they are said to go back underwater to cities where they wear sting rays for hats and snakes for belts. Anyway, no one knows why the Brazilian dolphins keep to be pink.