The world’s attention will be shifting to Brazil over the next few years because it is due to host the world’s two biggest events, the Football World Cup in 2014, followed by the Olympic Games in 2016. I am not sure that any country has ever won the rights to host the two largest events within such a short time-frame, but I am sure the Brazilians will cope, as they love the attention and they believe they live in a truly blessed country.
The story goes that when God was creating the earth, the angels were made responsible for distributing all the major resources to each country in the world. Forests, mountains and rivers and other resources were all allocated by God, and placed in each country in turn by the Angels.
The angels kept seeing an extraordinary amount of resources being allocated each time to Brazil, when so many other countries seemed to get so little. The angels commented amongst themselves about such unfairness. Finally, the angels plucked up enough courage to confront God, and ask him why he was distributing so many resources to just one country, Brazil. God, who was not used to others questioning his actions, looked the angels firmly in the eye, and replied that they should see the kind of people he was going to put in that country!
Is it any wonder the Brazilians are convinced that God is Brazilian? And despite his comment, as any tourist to the country will tell you, the people aren’t all that bad either! Indeed, Brazil is a country blessed with so many wonderful features, which makes it a fascinating destination for a holiday. When a country has so much to offer, it makes me wonder why the British have not really made Brazil a destination worthy of their attention. When people look for holiday destinations, they may look for certain features in that country.
If you are looking for beaches, Brazil is indeed blessed. Almost its entire coastline of 7,500 kilometres is bordered by wonderful, beautiful white sandy beaches. Even their cities have beaches in them. Rio de Janeiro has more than a hundred beaches in and around the city, and Recife, in the north east of the country, has 13 kilometres of beach in the city. Is it any wonder that Brazilians laugh when they see the beaches we have in Europe?
If you are looking for waterfalls, you don’t need to go anywhere else! In the south of Brazil, on the border with Argentina and Paraguay, is not so much a wonderful waterfall, as a whole new world of water. Foz de Iguacu is the most stunning waterfall in the world, with more than three times the volume of water descending the Niagara Falls. Victoria Falls is good, but this is something else.
When you go to a country you might also look for friendly people. Despite God’s comment, here you will find very friendly people. I once came upon an English tourist in the north of Brazil who had been living in the country for a couple of months. I asked him where he was staying and he told me that he had been staying at a fisherman’s house on the beach. Brazil is full of stories like that, people who do not have much, but are prepared to share everything they have with strangers.
If you go to a country you might want to its explore rivers or wildlife areas. If you go to the Amazon, it will blow you away by its awesome beauty and power. It is not for nothing that the Amazon is called the River Sea. Arguably the longest river in the world before the Nile, there are no arguments over any of the other statistics in this truly unique place.
The Amazon provides one fifth of all the freshwater in the world, and is so powerful that the freshwater pushes the seawater up to 160 kilometres into the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon basin is the largest basin in the world, covering 40% of South America. During the wet season, the river is more than 190 kilometres wide in some places. The Amazon River has over 1,100 tributaries and 17 of these are over 1,500 kilometres long. The Amazon rainforest provides approximately one third of all the creatures on the planet. If you are looking for something unique and different, it is all here.
Are you looking for a safari or to look at wildlife? Brazil has the Pantanal, a unique wetlands area, five times bigger than the Florida Everglades. Here you can see the majestic Jaguar, enough alligators for you to come to like and respect them, and most of the exotic birds God ever created.
If it is culture you want, Brazilians are natural dancers and musicians. Music rings out from every house and every shop. When Olivia Newton-John visited Brazil in the 1980s she was amazed by the quantity and quality of the music she heard. She commented that if the music had been written in English rather than Portuguese, it would rank right up there with the best produced in Britain and the United States.
Shopping is also a passion for holiday makers. Brazil is a paradise for shoppers! There are lots of markets around the country where interesting handicrafts can be purchased. Brazil is also famous for its jewels and precious stones. If you are looking for something special, you can get it here at reasonable prices. Leather goods, shoes, art and music also all make interesting purchases at reasonable prices when compared to Europe.
Food is very important for any tourist, and Brazil does not disappoint. Seafood is prevalent, with an abundance of different kinds fish. The north of Brazil has excellent lobster at very good prices, and the Amazon has its own treat of offering tasty fish that cannot be consumed anywhere else in the world. Brazil’s hotpot of peoples means that many different areas of the country have their own delicacies, which in a word are…delicious. As an example, there are more Italian restaurants in Săo Paulo than either Rome or Milan!
It may even be the football which attracts you to this country. This is the land of football. The British may have invented football, but here is where they play it. Everywhere you look, people are playing it. You can participate in the longest on-going football match in history on the beach at Copacabana, in Rio de Janeiro. It never stops, just turn up and join in. You will see them out there in the early morning when you wake up, and they will still be there after midnight when you come back from dinner or a club, playing under floodlights.
Go and take a look at the temple of football, the Maracană stadium famed for its capacity of almost 200,000 spectators in the final of the 1950 World Cup Final when Brazil lost 2-1. Presently the stadium is being renovated for the 2014 World Cup and will have a capacity for a more sedentary 82,000 seated spectators.
So if any of the above, tickles your fancy, Brazil is the place for you. It may be many things….but it will not disappoint you…
Gerard Moxon is Founder of Luxury Hedonist.