Brazil is a country that continues to fascinate and intrigue. This immense nation is rich in excess and contrasts. Extreme in everything, even the wildlife and plants are extraordinary. A several-day journey into the almost impregnable Amazon Forest, or down the huge Amazon River, cannot fail but leave you with unforgettable memories. The country is also home to the largest marshlands in the world, Pantanal, a genuine earthly Eden, drenched in sunshine and best explored on horseback or by boat, without forgetting the unforgettable, thunderous Iguaçu Falls! The best way to sample this natural paradise is to go trekking to the canyons, grottoes and falls of the grandiose Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina. This exuberance also depicts Brazil's cities from Baroque Salvador to hyper-modern Brasília and São Paulo without forgetting the Colonial allure of Paraty and Ouro Preto. And let's not forget Rio, whose Carnival embodies Brazil's infectious enthusiasm and love of life. Here, the carnival unites creeds and races in a shared desire to have fun in the hot Corcovado sunshine.
The Centro quarter is the financial heart of Rio de Janeiro, and has a rich cultural heritage as well. The splendid Theatro Municipal, the fabulous National Library, the posh hotels and lovely churches lining the large squares all take us on a historic tour of the country’s former capital, from its colonial past to independence.
Not many people think about striking out into Rio’s favelas. But despite the reputation of these underprivileged districts, some of them can be visited quite easily, like Pavão-Pavãozinho, which is just behind the Copacabana beach. Houses piled up on top of each other, walls painted in different colours or decorated by graffiti artists, samba dancers, aspiring footballers, good times and community spirit: this is the people’s Brazil.