Brazil: The Call of the Wild
Brazil is more popularly known for its love of soccer and Carnaval, an annual festival held 40 days before Easter. Aside from those, Brazil is a country of great diversity and untamed excitement, from the untouched lands of the Amazon to the wildly exotic music and landmarks – sights and sounds that must be experienced to be believed.
The Iguaçu Falls are one of the world’s great natural wonders, situated near the borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. They consist of 275 individual waterfalls along a distance of 2.7 kilometers. The heights of the falls range from 210 feet to 269 feet in height. Visitors can enjoy a spectacular view of the falls on both the Argentinean and Brazilian side, with differing rates for each.
The Pantanal is considered one of the world’s largest freshwater wetland ecosystems. It is situated mostly in Western Brazil, extending to Bolivia. Due to its very diverse wildlife, the Pantanal is considered one of Brazil’s major tourist draws. Exotic animals such as the giant anteater, anaconda, giant river otters, and piranhas can be seen here. If you’re particularly lucky, you might even get a glimpse of a jaguar.
What to Do
If you happen to visit Brazil during the Lenten season between February and March, you will be treated to Brazil’s most famous party, Carnaval. Held in Rio de Janeiro, Carnaval lasts for two weeks. It involves colorful parades and a display of Brazil’s diverse musical background.
What to Remember
If you wish to trek into Brazil’s exotic wildlife reserves like Pantanal, be sure that you are vaccinated for yellow fever at least 10 days before your trip. Also, as of January 2008, several cases of yellow fever have been reported from the central and west regions, including the Federal District of Brasilia. Taking anti-malaria medication is also highly recommended.
Also, it is good to remember that Portuguese, the official language of Brazil, is different from Spanish, as most tourists do not realize. Knowing this fact will go a long way to making your stay in Brazil a memorable one.
There are a lot of things to experience in Brazil: the teeming and exotic wildlife; the wonderful and awe-inspiring landmarks and natural wonders; and the diverse and truly overwhelming culture. You will be hard-pressed to find anything as unforgettable and exciting as this great land of the south.