Ipanema Beach © Mike Vondran
Brazilians exhibit a passion for life and exuberance of spirit that can only be a result of living in a country where it is always sunny, natural scenery abounds, and the party never stops. The long-lasting impression with which most visitors leave Brazil is of carefree, colourful people dancing and celebrating in the street parades at Carnival.
Tourists descending on the country's exciting cities, such as hedonistic Rio de Janeiro, can enjoy five-star hotels, shopping malls, pristine beaches, sunny skies, and bustling nightlife. Visitors to Brazil can live the high life without having to confront the hundreds of shantytowns (favelas) where the poorest of the poor eke out a living in the shadows of the skyscrapers. However, favela tours, meals, and overnight stays are becoming increasingly popular as tourists have begun to explore safer neighbourhoods for an authentic Brazilian experience.
With booming mining, agricultural, and manufacturing sectors, Brazil has the highest GDP in Latin America and is expected to be one of the world's dominant economies by the middle of the century. Brazil also caters well for business tourism and is a favoured destination for conventions, congresses and expos, particularly the city of Sao Paulo, which is the country's largest city and the business capital of Brazil.
Being so vast, larger than the continental United States, Brazil is home to a variety of cultures and topographies. From the Amazon and Pantanal rainforests, to the urban jungle of Sao Paulo. From the wide open spaces of the central plateau around Brasilia and world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, to the secluded mountain towns of Minas Gerais; every experience combined results in an exotic and exciting Latin American holiday destination where the common denominators are samba, sunshine, sultry smiles, and soccer.