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Let Jimmy guide you around the exciting and beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro on a tailormade tour made to suit you. Jimmy knows the city like the back of his hand and after his tour so will you!
Come and explore the stunning Brazilian scenery near Rio such as Paraty or Buzios, Petropolis or a tropical island for the day. This makes a great day trip to get out of the city and with your own personal guide Jimmy to show you the way.
Explore the famous favela Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro on this half day guided walking tour. This is the way to see and experience the real Rio de Janeiro!
“Brazil is the largest country in South America. In fact, it is the fifth largest country in the world, bigger than Australia and slightly smaller than the United States of America. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Brazil is bordered to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and also has land borders with Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana to the north; Colombia to the northwest and Bolivia and Peru to the West. Argentina and Paraguay are to the southwest and Uruguay is to the south. Brazil also includes several islands and archipelagos including the Rocas Atoll, which is a wildlife sanctuary and Saint Peter and Paul Rocks.”
Brazil is the only country in South America that speaks Portuguese as its national language. It was colonized by Portugal from 1500 to 1822 and has been a Republic since 1889. The currency is the Brazilian real. Exports include coffee, automobiles, soy, steel and textiles. Brazil has a large economy and it is developing fast. And Brazil has borders with every country in South America apart from Chile and Ecuador.
In the year 1500, when the Portuguese arrived, the Amerindians were mostly semi-nomadic. There was an estimated population of 3 million even then and they were divided into no less than 2,000 tribes and nations. Even today, Brazil has many people living without any contact with the civilized world. When gold and diamond deposits were discovered in the 18th Century, the wealth was spent mostly on the Portuguese Royal Court and the Global Empire, which has left an interesting legacy. Brazil was the last country of the Americas to ban slavery. Most Brazilians today can trace their ancestry back to the indigenous Indians, the African slaves or the Portuguese colonists.
Immigrants have settled in Brazil from all over the world. It has the largest Japanese population outside Japan, and the largest Italian population outside Italy. These influences have had a great effect upon the culture and traditions of Brazil.
The capital city of Brazil is Brasilia, but the largest city is Sao Paulo. Perhaps the best known city of all is Rio de Janeiro. It was the capital of Brazil until 1960 and is still a huge draw for visitors to the world famous Rio Carnaval.
The colonial architecture is certainly a reflection of European influences. The Portuguese language and dominant Catholic religion are also influences of the Portuguese Empire. Cuisine varies greatly from region to region. The African slaves may have influenced the music and dance, which now include samba, bossanova and other styles.
Carnaval is widely celebrated throughout Brazil. The celebrations of costumed parades and street parties mark the beginning of Lent, a forty day period leading up to Easter. The best places to view these spectacular events are in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife and Olinda. Other regional festivals are held in June and are the Boi Bumba and Fest Junina.
The most popular sport in Brazil is football, or soccer. The Brazilian national football team is ranked second in the world, and Brazilian players are sought for major league football teams all over the world. Basketball, volleyball, Formula One car racing and gymnastics are all enjoyed and supported.
Brazil is home to many natural environments and wildlife, which is a huge attraction to visitors. Wonder at the tropical birds and see the endangered osprey (fish eagle). There are ibis, macaw, toucan, heron and kingfisher to be spotted. The harpy eagle is rare, but you can also see reptiles, iguana and snakes.
Mammals can be harder to spot but in the jungle you could be rewarded with sights of the Howler monkey, woolly monkey, spider monkey, dusky titi, capuchin and red-faced Ukari monkey. You could also spot sloths, tapir, wild boar and jaguar. The country also features pink and grey dolphins and the Amazon is famed for fresh-water fishing.
There are many diverse topographical zones including hills, mountains, plains and scrublands. It has a mostly tropical climate. Major rivers include the mighty Amazon River, the Parana and the Iguacu River, which has the huge natural attraction of the Iguacu Falls.
Brazil has a diverse climate ranging from the Equator to the high mountains. The majority of the country is tropical.
Northern Brazil has mostly an equatorial climate with no real dry season. Temperatures average 25C (77F) year round. Nights may be considerably cooler than the daytime temperatures. The Equatorial rainforests are hot and humid. Tropical rainstorms in the afternoon are a major characteristic of this area.
Central Brazil has a more seasonal rainfall, with a savannah type climate.
The northeast has semi-arid deserts with less than 800mm (31 inches) of rainfall each year. Most of the rain falls in three to five months, leaving the rest of the year with long periods of drought.
In the South, near Sao Paulo, it rains quite considerably all year round. It has temperate conditions with average temperatures of 18C (64F) in the summer, cool winters and frost at times. Snowfall may also be experienced in the highland areas.
Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer - Corcovado is reputedly the best view in Rio de Janeiro. Ascend the mountain and prepare yourself for the famous landmark of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city. The tram or Cog Train is the best way to travel up the mountain and is a great way to enjoy the stunning views of the city and bay below.
The Cristo Redentor (Statue of Christ the Redeemer) stands 38 meters (120 feet) tall and weighs 700 tons (635 tonnes). It is the tallest statue of its kind in the world and it is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone. The idea began in 1850, but the statue was not funded and built for many years. Paul Landowski, the sculptor began it in 1922 and it took 9 years to complete. It was finally completed in 1931.
Mulata Dancers - The traditional mulata dancers can be seen on parade at Carnaval and also at cultural shows. They wear beautiful feathered costumes and high heels as they dance traditional South American dances.
Carnaval - The biggest national event in Brazil is Carnaval. It has spectacular street parades, costumes and vibrant music. Many people visit Rio specifically to see the Carnaval parades. The Carnaval is held 40 days before Easter at the beginning of Lent. Other huge celebrations also take place in Salvador, Recife and Olinda.
Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar) - Sugar Loaf Mountain has a twin set of cable cars, which ascend the 390-foot mountain to give great views of the city and the beaches. The first cable car brings passengers to the top of Urca Mountain and the second cable car takes riders to the summit. It is a great place to visit first to give an overview of the area. There is a small nature resort there with monkeys.
Ipanema & Copacabana Beaches - These world famous beaches were made even more popular by the song ‘The girl from Ipanema’ and of course ‘Copacabana’. There is a hiking trail from Ipanema and both have chic boutiques and restaurants nearby. The beaches are exceptionally beautiful with safe bathing and lovely scenery. Ipanema Beach is adjacent to Copacabana Beach, which together must make the two best known beaches in the world and probably the two longest stretches of sand in the world.
Lapa Arches (Arcos da Lapa) - The Carioca Aqueduct is an 18th Century aqueduct used to carry water from the river into the city. It is an impressive sight and is often known as the Lapa Arches (Arcos da Lapa). It now carries the trams connecting the Santa Teresa neighborhood with the city.
Botanical Gardens - The Botanical Gardens are well worth exploring in Rio. They were created by the Royal Family and are surrounded by the coastal rain forest and a beautiful lagoon, which feeds a stream and irrigates the gardens. In the bustling and crowded city, the gardens are a pleasant respite of calm. There are a host of fruit trees, bromeliads and orchids high in the trees.
Tijuca National Park - Tijuca National Park is a huge tropical rainforest within the heart of the city of Rio de Janeiro. It covers 120km square (46 square miles) and is the largest urban park in the world. Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain is within the park and there is also Gavea Rock (Pedra de Gavea) and Beautifulo Rock (Pedra Bonita).
A Jeep Tour is the best way to see Tijuca National Park as it can negotiate the steep terrain and narrow rough roads. The tour will take you to see archaeological ruins, hidden caves and beautiful waterfalls. The park is also home to snakes, sloths, monkeys and other small mammals.
Amazon Rainforest - The Amazon River is the largest River in the world. It is estimated to be somewhere between 6259 – 6800 km (3889 - 4225 miles) long. It also has the largest drainage basin and in places appears to be more of a sea than a river. There are no bridges across the Amazon. No bridge could span it and also it flows through the remote rainforest so there are no roads either. The Amazon does have a bore, or tidal phenomenomon just north of Cabo do Norte. The walls of water flow down carrying silt at up to 16mph, which the Ocean sweeps up and carrries out to sea. This is a popular spot for River surfers to practise their sport.
Surfing and Watersports - The best beach in Brazil for perfect waves is Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro. The rocky outcrop creates stable breakers of 7 to 10 feet high. The strong riptide along the promontory gives a very small take-off point. Often only locals and professional surfers use the waves here.
River Surfing - Many people practice river surfing on the mighty Amazon River. The Amazon has a bore, or tidal phenomenomon just north of Cabo do Norte. The walls of water flow down to the ocean at speeds of 9-16 mph. his is a popular spot for River surfers.
Piranha Fishing - Piranhas are carnivorous fish which congregate in large shoals. They attack livestock and animals with their razor sharp teeth and even humans on occasions.
Jungle Walks - Organized tours arrange wildlife trips, birdwatching and jungle walks for a few days or longer.
Canoe Trips on the Amazon - Canoeists love the challenge of the Amazon River and tours are available in canoes to see much of the wildlife and fish from the water.
Amazon Village - There are tours where visitors to Amazon villages can stay in a lodge and learn what to eat and how to survive life without modern conveniences. Excellent guides lead walking tours and track wild animals.
Jungle Wildlife - More than a third of all the species in the world live in the Amazon Rainforest. There are also over 3,000 recognized species of fish and more are still being discovered. Sharks live in the Amazon, even though it is fresh water. The huge anaconda snake also dwells in the river, keeping submerged with just its nostrils showing above the surface.
The number of plant and animal species in the Amazon rainforest could be as many as 4 million. Large cats including jaguar, puma and ocelot inhabitant the dense greenery. Peccaries, tapirs, sloths, anteaters, oppossums and armadilloes are the smaller mammals. Deer and monkeys also thrive.
Pink Dolphins - Botos are freshwater dolphins found in the Amazon River. They are considered to be most intelligent and have a brain capacity which is considerably larger than a human. Due to the destruction of the rainforest, these beautiful pink-colored dolphins are now considered to be endangered. Many boat trips give visitors an Amazon experience complete with sightings of these wonderful mammals.
- The Brazil Carnaval is held between February and March.
- Flight fares don't normally increase over the Carnaval period. There is a lot airline competition, which helps with prices and availability.
- Local travel in Brazil is easy with buses and a few trains. Transport is plentiful and cheap but busy.
- Cars can be rented but the roads may prove to be a challenge.
- There are five main regional cuisines so ensure you sample the local delights.
This motorcycle journey has been created for the active rider seeking more than just a tour. Experience the cultural and incredible landscape of the south of Brazil, a region largely occupied by descendants of Swiss, German, Italian and Eastern European immigrants. More
Brazil is home to many natural environments and wildlife, which is a huge attraction to visitors.
The Amazon River is one of the most spectacular natural places on earth, and the ideal location to go on the cruise of a lifetime. There are many different places where you can go on a cruise...
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