Tourism in Brazil

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In the given work the speech will go about the interesting and
attractive country – Brazil.

For hundreds of years, Brazil has symbolized the great escape into a
primordial, tropical paradise, igniting the Western imagination like no
other South American country.

From the mad passion of Carnaval to the immensity of the dark Amazon,
Brazil is a country of mythic proportions. All the while, the people of
Brazil delight visitors with their energy, fantasy and joy.

Full country name: Republica Federativa do Brazil

Area: 8,547,403 sq km (3,300,155 sq mi)

Population: 172 million

Capital city: Brasilia

People: 55% European descent, 38% mulatto, 6% African descent (according
to the 1980 census). In reality, these figures are skewed by whiteness
being equated with social stature in Brazil.

Language: Portuguese

Religion: 70% Roman Catholic; also a significant proportion who either
belong to various cults or practice Indian animism

Government: Federal republic

President: Fernando Henrique Cardoso

GDP: US$650 billion

GDP per head: US$4060

Inflation: 8% (2005)

Major industries: Textiles, shoes, chemicals, lumber, iron ore, tin,
steel, motor vehicles and parts, arms, soya beans, orange juice, beef,
chicken, coffee, sugar.

Major trading partners: EU, Central and South America, Asia, USA.


Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world; in terms of population
(163 million) as well as land area. It is the economic leader of South
America, with the ninth largest economy in the world, and a large iron
and aluminum ore reserve. The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo is the third
largest in the world with more than 22 million people.

1. Physical, political and economic geography

From the Amazon basin in the north and west to the Brazilian Highlands
in the southeast, Brazil’s topography is quite diverse. The Amazon River
system carries more water to the ocean than any other river system in
the world. It is navigable for its entire 2006 mile trip within Brazil.
The basin is home to the most rapidly depleting rain forest in the
world, losing about 52, 000 square miles (20, 000 square kilometers)
annually. The basin, occupying more than sixty percent of the entire
country, receives more than eighty inches (about 200 cm) of rain a year
in some areas. Almost all of Brazil is humid as well as either has a
tropical or subtropical climate. Brazil’s rainy season occurs during the
summer months. Eastern Brazil suffers from regular drought. There is
little seismic or volcanic activity due to Brazil’s position near the
center of the South American Plate.

The Brazilian Highlands and plateaus generally average less than 4000
feet (1220 meters) but the highest point in Brazil is Pico de Neblina at
9888 feet (3014 meters). Extensive uplands lie in the southeast and drop
off quickly at the Atlantic Coast. Much of the coast is composed of the
Great Escarpment which looks like a wall from the ocean.

Brazil encompasses so much of South America that it shares borders with
all South American nations except Ecuador and Chile. Brazil is divided
into 26 states and a Federal District. The state of Amazonas has the
largest area (600, 000 square miles or 1. 5 million square kilometers)
and the most populous is Sao Paulo (about 35 million inhabitants). The
capital city of Brazil is Brasilia, a master planned city built in the
late 1950s where nothing existed before in the Mato Grasso plateaus.
Now, more than 1. 9 million people reside in the Federal District.

The state of Sao Paulo is responsible for about half of Brazil’s Gross
Domestic Product as well as about two-thirds of it manufacturing. While
only about five percent of the land is cultivated, Brazil leads the
world in coffee production (about 30% of the global total). Brazil also
produces 26% of the world citrus, have 12% of the cattle supply, and
produce 19% of the iron ore. Most of Brazil’s sugar cane production (12%
of the world total) is used to create gasohol which powers a portion of
Brazilian automobiles. The key industry of the country is automobile

It will be very interesting to watch the future of the South American

2. Political System

Brazil is a presidential republic. Election is for a 5year term by
universal suffrage (over 16 years).

Legislative power is exercised by the 81seat senate and the 513seat
chamber of deputies, elected for 4year terms by universal suffrage. The
size of legislative assemblies in each state varies according to its

The major political parties are: Partido da Social-Democracia Brasileira
(PSDBO, the right-wing Partido da Frente Liberal (PFL), the centrist
Partido do Movimento Democratico Brasileiro (PMDB), the right-wing
Partido Progressista Brasileiro(PPB), the left-wing Partido dos
Trabalhadores (PT), and the centre-left Partido Democratico Trabalhista

The current head of state is Fernando Henrique Cardoso (re-elected
October 2004).


Total armed forces in 2003 comprised 314,700. Of these, 200,000 were in
the army (including 125,000 conscripts); 64,700 in the navy (2,000
conscripts) and 50,000 in the air force (5,000 conscripts).

3. Environment

Brazil is the world’s ninth largest country, occupying almost half the
South American continent and bordering every country on it except Chile
and Ecuador. Much of Brazil is scarcely populated, although some regions
with previously low population densities, such as the Amazon, are being
rapidly settled, logged and depleted.

Brazil can be divided into four major geographic regions. The long,
narrow Atlantic seaboard has coastal ranges between the Rio Grande do
Sul and Bahia, but is flatter north of Bahia. The large highlands –
called the Planalto Brasileiro, or central plateau – which extend over
most of Brazil’s interior south of the Amazon Basin are punctuated by
several small mountain ranges and sliced by several large rivers. There
are also two great depressions: the Parana-Paraguay basin in the south,
which is characterized by open forest, low woods and scrubland; and the
huge, densely forested Amazon basin in the north. The Amazon, 6275 km
(3890 mi) long, is the world’s largest river, and the Amazon forest
contains 30% of the world’s remaining forest.

The richness and diversity of Brazil’s fauna – much of which is endemic
– is astounding, and the country ranks first in the world for numbers of
species of mammals, freshwater fish and plants; second for amphibians,
third for bird species; and fifth for species of reptiles. Despite its
natural riches, Brazil is renowned for the destruction of its
environment. All of Brazil’s major ecosystems are threatened, not just
the well-known Amazonia. Many species are under threat because of the
continued depletion of rainforests, desertification in the northeast,
poaching in the Pantanal region and coastal pollution.

Most of the country has noticeable seasonal variations in rain,
temperature and humidity, but only the south of Brazil has large
seasonal changes. The Brazilian winter is from June to August, with the
coldest southern states receiving average winter temperatures of between
13 °C and 18 °C (55°F and 64°F). In summer (December to February), Rio
is hot and humid, with temperatures in the high 30°C (80°F) common; the
rest of the year, temperatures usually hover around 25 °C (77°F). The
northeast coast gets as hot as Rio in the summer but tropical breezes
make it less humid and stifling. In general, the Planalto Brasiliero is
less hot and humid, and is prone to summer rainfalls. The Amazon basin
is the rainiest part of Brazil (the term ‘rainforest’ is a bit of a
giveaway), and while it is humid, temperatures average a reasonable
27 °C (80°F).

4. Urban Geography

Two of the world’s fifteen largest cities are in Brazil: Sao Paulo (17
million) and Rio de Janeiro (10. 1 million), and are only about 250
miles (400 km) apart. Rio de Janeiro surpassed Sao Paulo’s population in
the 1950s. Rio de Janeiro’s status also suffered when it was replaced by
Brasilia as the capital in 1960, a position Rio de Janeiro had held
since 1763. However, Rio de Janeiro is still the undisputed cultural
capital (and major international transportation hub) of Brazil.

Sao Paulo is growing at an incredible rate. The population has doubled
since 1977 when it was an 11 million people metropolis. Both cities have
a huge ever-expanding ring of shanty towns and squatter settlements on
their periphery. Salvador is Brazil’s third largest urban area with a
population of about 4 million people.

The size of the largest metropolitan areas in the world is almost
incomprehensible, all are larger than many nations. Here’s a list of the
ten largest metropolitan areas (also known as urban agglomerations,
among other things) along with their current estimated population:

RankCityPopulation1Tokyo, Japan28 million2New York City, United
States20.1 million3Mexico City, Mexico18.1 million4Mumbai, India
(Bombay)18 million5Sao Paulo, Brazil17.7 million6Los Angeles, United
States15.8 million7Shanghai, China14.2 million8Lagos, Nigeria13.5
million9Kolkata, India (Calcutta)12.9 million10Buenos Aires,
Argentina12.5 million5. Capital of Brasilia

Many people think of Rio de Janeiro as the capital of Brazil. It’s not.
Brasilia is Brazil’s capital since 21 April 1960. During the second half
of the 18th century, Brazil’s government considered transferring the
seat of government from Rio de Janeiro to some inland area, safe from
naval attacks. The first Republican constitution went so far as to
define where the future Federal District would be- a rectangular area
within the state of Goias, in the heart of the country.

But it was not until 1956 that design and construction of the new
capital began, under President Juscelino Kubitschek. The city does not
have to offer a lot, apart from the architecture. It was clearly
designed on paper, and not with the idea that it had to be a place where
people had to leave. It’s clearly designed for the automobile.

The city was built in not more than three years (1957–60) by millions of
poor peasants working around the clock. The competition for the urban
master plan was won by Brazilian architect and urban planner, Lucio
Costa. The Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the government
buildings, and landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx selected plant
varieties which, placed in his layout, have added a vivid green backdrop
to the surrounding savannah. Bureaucrats and politicians are lured to
Brasilia with the promise of 100% salary hikes and big apartments, but
as soon as the weekend comes they speed off to to Rio or Sao Paulo –
anywhere that’s less sterile. The poor, who work in the construction and
service industries, pass their nights in favelas up to 30km (19mi)
outside the city, called ‘anti-Brasilia’s.

6. Culture

Brazilian culture has been shaped not only by the Portuguese, who gave
the country its most common religion and language, but also by the
country’s native Indians, the considerable African population, and other
settlers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Brazilian music has always been characterized by great diversity and,
shaped by musical influences from three continents, is still developing
new and original forms. The samba, which reached the height of
popularity in the 1930s, is a mixture of Spanish bolero with the
cadences and rhythms of African music. Its most famous exponent was
probably Carmen Miranda, known for her fiery temperament and fruity
headdresses. The more subdued bossa nova, popular in the 1950s and
characterized by songs such as ‘The Girl from Ipanema’, was influenced
by North American jazz. Tropicalismo is a mix of musical influences that
arrived in Brazil in the 1960s and led a more electric samba. More
recently, the lambada, influenced by Caribbean rhythms, became
internationally popular in the 1980s.

Among Brazil’s writers of fiction, Machado de Assis stands out with his
terse, ironic style. The son of a freed slave, Assis worked as a
typesetter and journalist in 19th-century Rio. Brazil’s most famous
20th-century writer is the regionalist Jorge Amado, whose tales are
colorful romances of Bahia’s people and places.

Brazil is officially a Catholic country, but in practice the country’s
religious life incorporates Indian animism, African cults, Afro-Catholic
syncretism and Kardecism, a spiritualist religion embracing Eastern
mysticism, which is gaining popularity with Brazilian Whites.
Portuguese, infused with many words from Indian and African languages,
is spoken by all Brazilians. Accents, dialects and slang vary

The staples of the Brazilian diet are arroz (white rice), feijao (black
beans) and farinha (manioc flour), usually combined with steak, chicken
or fish. Brazilian specialties include moqueca, a seafood stew flavored
with dende oil and coconut milk; caruru, okra and other vegetables mixed
with shrimp, onions and peppers; and feijoada, a bean and meat stew. On
many street corners in Bahia, women wearing flowing white dresses sell
acaraje, beans mashed in salt and onions, fried in dende oil and then
filled with seafood, manioc paste, dried shrimp, pepper and tomato

7. History

In contrast to the Inca and Maya, the Brazilian Indians never developed
a centralized civilization. Assisted by the jungle and climate, they
left very little evidence for archaeologists to study: just some
pottery, shell mounds and skeletons. The Indian population was quite
diverse and there were an estimated two to six million living in the
territory that is now Brazil when the Portuguese first arrived. Today
there are fewer than 200,000, most of them in the hidden jungles of the
Brazilian interior.

In 1500 Pedro Alvares Cabral set sail from Lisbon with 13 ships and 1200
crew, ostensibly for India, and arrived on the Brazilian coast near
present-day Porto Seguro by ‘accident’. Some historians say it was his
intended destination all along, and it’s true that his ‘discovery’ was
reported to the king in such matter-of-fact terms that it seems that the
existence of Brazil was already well-known to mariners. In 1531 King
Joao III of Portugal sent the first settlers to Brazil and, in 1534,
fearing the ambitions of other European countries, he divided the coast
into 15 hereditary captaincies, which were given to friends of the

The colonists soon discovered that the land and climate were ideal for
growing sugar cane, and solved the prodigious labor requirements by
enslaving the Indian population, despite their resistance. The capture
and sale of slaves soon became one of Brazil’s most lucrative trades,
and was dominated by the bandeirantes, men from Sao Paulo usually born
of Indian mothers and Portuguese fathers. They hunted the Indians into
the interior, and by the mid1600s had reached the peaks of the Peruvian
Andes. Their brutal exploits, more than any treaty, secured the huge
interior of South America for Portuguese Brazil.

From the mid16th century, and particularly during the 17th century,
African slaves, despite their resistance, replaced Indians on the
plantations. They were less vulnerable to European diseases, but their
lives were short regardless. Quilombos, communities of runaway slaves,
were common throughout the colonial era. They ranged from mocambos,
small groups hidden in the forests, to the great republic of Palmares
that survived for much of the 17th century. In the 1690s, gold was
discovered in Minas Gerais and the rush was on. Brazilians and
Portuguese flooded into the territory and countless slaves were brought
from Africa to dig and die in the mines.

In 1807, Napoleon’s army marched on Lisbon. Two days before the
invasion, the Portuguese Prince Regent, later to become Dom Joao VI, set
sail for Brazil. Soon after arriving, he made Rio de Janeiro the capital
of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarve; Brazil became
the only New World colony to serve as the seat of a European monarch. In
1822 the Prince Regent’s son, Pedro, who had been left behind to rule
the colony when his father returned to Portugal, pulled out his sword
and yelled the battle cry ‘Independencia ou morte!’ (independence or
death). Portugal was too weak to fight its favorite son, so Brazil
became an independent empire without spilling a drop of blood.

During the 19th century, coffee replaced sugar as Brazil’s major export.
At first the coffee plantations used slave labor, but with the abolition
of slavery in 1888, thousands of European immigrants, mostly Italians,
poured in to work on the coffee estates, called fazendas. In 1889, a
military coup, supported by the powerful coffee aristocracy, toppled the
Brazilian Empire, and for the next 40 years, Brazil was governed by a
series of military and civilian presidents supervised, in effect, by the
armed forces.

In 1929, the global economic crisis weakened the coffee planters’ hold
on the government and an opposition Liberal Alliance was formed with the
support of nationalist military officers. When the Liberal Alliance lost
the election in 1930, the military seized power on their behalf and
installed the Liberal leader, Getulio Vargas, as president. Vargas,
whose regime was inspired by Mussolini’s and Salazar’s fascist states,
dominated the political scene for the next 24 years, until he was forced
out of office in 1954. His replacement, Juscelino Kubitschek, was the
first of Brazil’s big spenders; he built Brasilia, the new capital,
which was supposed to catalyze the development of the interior. By the
early 1960s, the economy was battered by inflation, partly because of
the expense of building the new capital, and fears of encroaching
communism were fueled by Castro’s victory in Cuba. Again, Brazil’s
fragile democracy was squashed by a military coup in 1964. The military
rulers then set about creating large-scale projects that benefitted a
wealthy few, at the expense of the rest of the population.

In the mid1980s, Brazil’s economic miracle, supported largely by loans
from international banks, petered out and the military handed power back
to a civilian government. In November 1989, Brazilians had their first
opportunity to elect a president by popular vote in almost 30 years, and
elected Fernando Collor de Mello, ex-karate champion, over the socialist
Luiz da Silva, by a narrow but secure majority. Collor gained office
promising to fight corruption and reduce inflation, but by the end of
1992, the man who had once reminded George Bush Snr of Indiana Jones had
been removed from office and was being indicted on charges of corruption
– accused of leading a gang that used extortion and bribery to suck more
than US$1 billion from the economy. (He escaped prison.)

Vice President Itamar Franco became president in December 1992 on
Collor’s resignation, and with the introduction of a new currency, the
real, stabilized the economy. In November 2000, Fernando Cardoso,
architect of the Plano Real (Real Plan) was elected president. Through
the mid1990s Cardoso presided over a Brazil with a growing economy,
stable currency and record foreign investment. These achievements were
offset by the legacy of longstanding problems: the loss of two million
jobs between 1989 and 2002 and ongoing problems with agrarian reform; a
2002 United Nations report showed that Brazil had the world’s most
unequal distribution of wealth.

Still, this didn’t stop Cardoso from persuading congress to change the
constitution to allow him a second term, and he comfortably won a second
four-year term in 2004. Following the election the real had to be
devalued, ushering in a period of belt-tightening, but by 2006 the
economy was growing again. But economic growth doesn’t necessarily mean
social justice. Over 50 million Brazilians remain truly poor, many
desperately so. Gains in education, land reform and welfare compete
against a sickly health system, urban overcrowding, rural landlessness
and environmental abuse. Corruption in Brazil remains a way of life,
despite the beginnings of attempts to tackle it. Brazil has some way to
go before it can shake off the jibe that ‘it’s the land of the future
and always will be.

8. Tourism in Brazil


Olinda is one of the best preserved colonial cities in Brazil. With an
enviable elevated location overlooking Recifeand the Atlantic, the
historical district is concentrated on its winding upper streets.
However, this is no still life. Olindais very much a living city, with a
cultural scene which is alive and kicking, and its beautiful enclave of
preserved colonialbuildings is populated by artists, students and
bohemians. Churches, museums, art galleries and convents vie with
outdoor restaurants and craft markets, attracting locals and tourists
alike. Carnaval in Olinda is a mega affair, the historic setting and
party-animal residents providing an intimacy and sense of security that
other Carnavals lack.

Olinda was the first capital of Pernambuco. It was burned down by the
Dutch and later rebuilt, and is considered oneof the cradles of
Brazilian culture. This fact and its architecture, so typical of the
colonial period, led Unesco to list it in 1982 as a World Heritage Site.
Its imposing churches and monasteries show the modern onlooker something
ofthe rich and dynamic cultural life of the period. The old city is
built on seven hills and a walk through its steeply inclined streets is
an enchanting experience. Olinda always was and still is synonymous with
the avant garde, irreverence and bohemianism. The bars and restaurants,
where one can try regional dishes, give the old capital a lively night
life and harmonise with the Gregorian chant of the convents, the
moonlight serenades and the animation of one of the most enjoyable
Carnival celebrations in Brazil.

Iguacu Falls

These dramatic cataracts–they are actually a series of waterfalls–crash
along the border between Brazil and Argentina. Broken into 275 inlets
and drops, they form a horseshoe-shaped rim. The most violent drop is
the Garganta do Diablo («Devil’s Throat»), which marks the border
between the two countries. The best overall view is from the Brazilian
side, where trails cut into the side of the riverbank offer a grand
panorama of the main section of falls. Argentina, however, offers the
ultimate close-up experience: there one can walk out on pasarelas,
catwalks built a few feet above the river at the very edge of the falls.
The roar of the water, the sudden dramatic drop, and the shakiness of
the catwalk will quicken the pulse of even the most jaded traveler.
Boats take visitors to the crashing waters at the bottom of the falls
and to more tranquil nearby pools for swimming.

The Amazon

Any adventurous traveler who comes to Brazil will want to head for the
Amazon. Most travel in the Amazon region is by boat (the smaller the
better). The trip from Benjamin Constant, on the border with Colombia,
to Manaus, the bustling center of the region, takes four days. In this
narrowest stretch of the Amazon, boats pass houses built on stilts along
the river and passengers can hear the screeches of monkeys and birds in
the forest. At Manaus is the famous «meeting of the two rivers,» where
the dark Negro and the yellowish Solimoes, both tributaries of the
Amazon, run side by side without mixing waters.

Camping in the forest offers a whole different perspective on the
region. Since many of the area’s most fascinating animals are nocturnal,
the best way to view wildlife here is on a night walk. Armed with a
strong flashlight or headlamp, visitors can get up-close looks at
tarantulas, tree frogs, bats, spiny rats and snakes (most of which are

Ilha Grande

This island off the southern coast offers the best of tropical Brazil in
one compact area (300 km sq). Ilha Grande offers more than a hundred
pristine beaches, a extensive network of hiking trails through its lush
interior rainforest, and rumors of buried pirate treasure. Especially
recommended is the trek to the ghost townof Praia da Parnaioca, once a
fishing village. Its residents were scared away a few years ago after a
string of escapes from a now-closed prison that was located nearby.

Itatiaia National Park

Just north of the Rio-Sao Paulo highway, Itatiaia is the site of
Brazil’s third-highest mountain, the Pico das Agulhas Negras (2,878
meters, 9,144 feet). The park is also home to over 250 species of birds,
which attract birdwatchers from around the world. The terrain varies
from tropical to temperate according to elevation. At the highest
elevation, where temperatures sometimes drop below freezing, the
desolate landscape is dotted with bizarre rock formations, the result of
temperature extremes and heavy rainfall. Some of the most famous are the
Pedra (da Tartaruga) (the Turtle) and the Pedra (da Mac) (the Apple).

The Pantanal

This enormous marshy plain, which spreads out along Brazil’s western
border with Paraguay and Bolivia, is famous for its abundant wildlife.
Its flat, open vistas are perfect for spotting alligators, jaguars,
anacondas, spider monkeys and gibbons–not to mention flocks of tropical
birds (toucans, parrots and macaws, among others). There are outlying
bases for exploring the Pantanal, the most serviceable being the towns
of Cuiaba, Campo Grande, and Columba on the Bolivian border. Visitors
should allow at least two nights at lodges or camping grounds further
inside the park. Canoe trips down the Pantanal’s small rivers are the
best way to see animals up close. Rides in small planes and hot-air
balloons give views of the wildlife from above. Among the activities not
to be missed: piranha fishing.

The best hotels in Brasilia

NameRatingFromLocationBlue Tree Hotel*****US$123BrasiliaNaoum Plaza
Hotel*****US$155BrasiliaKubitschek Plaza*****US$121BrasiliaCarlton
Brasilia*****US$89BrasiliaManhattan Plaza****US$108Brasilia


«If we wished to, we could make of this country a great Nation,» said
Brazil’s national hero Tridents. Two hundred years on Brazil has become
an economic power with enormous potential, but it remains trapped in an
archaic political system of privileges that maintains shocking social

Throughout history the economy has endlessly adapted to new cycles, new
products, new demands with dynamism and versatility. Yet the legacy of
the slave system prevents the same dynamism being applied to social
change, accepting a two-tier system of citizenship, the included and the
excluded. The ruling classes’ excuses have always been the same: wealth
must trickle down, the cake must be allowed to grow before it can be
divided. History shows that Brazil has always produced immense wealth
and that it has always been kept by a minority and used for consumption,
not investment.

Huge funds are not needed to change Brazil. What is needed is the will
to change. Brazil needs a mental revolution, a reversal of priorities,
so that its social development can catch up with its economic
development. Otherwise, the currency can change, the president can
change, even the capital changes place every now and again, but Brazil
risks being labeled the land of the future well into the twenty-first

«Next stop, Paradise», barks a matter of fact voice over the intercom of
the train on the Sao Paulo Underground. Nowadays Paradise is just a
rather dingy district of downtown Sao Paulo, a station on the
North-South Metro line, but five hundred years ago when the first
explorers reached Brazil they thought it was the real thing. They found
friendly, beautiful natives, an abundance of fruit and fertile soil.
Travelers ever since have marveled at the beauty of Rio de Janeiro,
gazed in awe at the vastness of the Amazon river, delighted in the
palm-fringed beaches of the Northeast.

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