The long-lasting impression most visitors leave Brazil with is
of carefree, colourful people dancing and celebrating in the street
parades at Carnival, and of a passion for life and exuberance of
spirit that charms visitors from around the world.
The country has much to offer visitors at all times of year,
however. Tourists descending on the country's exciting cities, such
as hedonistic Rio de Janeiro, can enjoy the five-star hotels,
shopping malls, pristine beaches, sunny skies and bustling
nightlife without really having to confront the hundreds of
shantytowns (favelas) where the poorest of the poor eke out a
living in the shadows of the skyscrapers.
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 this
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
offers a variety of cultures and topographies. The range is evident
in the contrast of the Amazon and Pantanal rain forests to the
mountain towns of Minas Gerais, the urban jungle of Sao Paulo and
the vast central plateau around Brasilia, and the world-famous
beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. It all adds up to an exotic and
exciting Latin American mix where the common denominators are
samba, sunshine, sultry smiles and soccer.