Beauty and the beats. Picture this: beautiful beaches, untouched islands, spectacular waterfalls, the mystical Amazon, fishing villages, bustling cities, and gorgeous natives. Now, listen to this: the fast and quick choro, rhythmic samba, jazzy bossa nova, folksy forro, and the spirited axe. These are the beauties and beats of Brazil – a land so vast, varied, and vivacious you can hardly believe it’s one country.
Grab your camera and go on a country-wide photo safari – through the Pantanal, the world’s largest and most diverse freshwater wetlands, past the Iguacu falls, a collection of 275 individual waterfalls shared between Brazil and Argentina, on the warm sands of Ilha do Mel, a beautifully untouched beach island accessible only by boat, and on river tours along the great Amazon and Negro rivers through the heart of the densely mystical rainforest.
The cities are equally stunning, enhanced by a steady rhythm coursing through their centers – a medley of music, dance, and sports. Join a capoeira circle on the open plazas of Salvador and feel the strong African beat reverberate in your limbs, catch a game of footvolley at Boa Viagem beach in the city of Recife, shake your hips with the samba schools during Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro (if you’re there before the festival, make sure to skip the touristy daytime samba shows for the late-night practice sessions), and hit the nightclubs in the hip and energetic Armacao dos Buzios (also known as simply Buzios)! Catch your breath in the cosmopolitan and international Sao Paulo, where you can find pretty much anything you’re looking for, and take in the architectural wonders of modernist Brasilia.
Brazil’s diversity extends to its residents as well. Brazilians are some of the most racially mixed in the world –native Indian, African, Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Ukranian, Italian, Polish, Jewish, Arab, and Japanese represent only a fraction of their ethnic backgrounds. In fact, according to Brazil’s constitution, racism is a crime, punishable with jail time, without bail. Very rarely is this a problem, though, as Brazilians are known for their openness and hospitality. The warmth of its residents, wonders of its land, and relaxed pace of life have lured newcomers from all over the world for centuries; Brazilian charm is, as some might say, a tale as old as time.
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