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My-oh, me-oh: Downtown Rio

For hundreds of years, Brazil has symbolized the great escape into a primordial, tropical paradise, igniting the Western imagination like no other South American country. From the mad passion of Carnaval to the immensity of the dark Amazon, it is a country of mythic proportions.

Perhaps it's not quite the Eden of popular imagination, but it's still a land of staggering beauty. There are stretches of unexplored rainforest, islands with pristine tropical beaches, and endless rivers. And there are the people themselves, who delight the visitor with their energy and joy.

Roughly the size of the USA (excluding Alaska), Brazil is a vast country encompassing nearly half of South America, and bordering most of the continent's other nations - Ecuador and Chile are the exceptions. After 40 years of internal migration and population growth, Brazil is also an urban country; more than two out of every three Brazilians live in a city. São Paulo is the world's second most populous city.

Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track
Getting Around
Further reading

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