As well as being the largest country in South America and the fifth largest in the world, Brazil is the most influential country on the continent, and a rising economic power. A cosmopolitan country with a captivating, happy, hospitable people, Brazil welcomes everyone with arms wide open. Since the time of colonisation, with the arrival of the Portuguese 500 years ago, the country has been greatly influenced by various cultures, including those of its indigenous peoples, the people from Africa whose forbearers first arrived as slaves, and immigrants from Europe.

Portuguese is the official language in Brazil, although there are several other languages spoken in different regions, reflecting the fact that the country is a melting pot of cultures. Travel through Brazil and you’ll be welcomed by a variety of unique accents – and phrases – that reflect the rich diversity of the nation.

Brazil is a federal republic divided into five regions: North, South, Southeast, Northeast and Center-West. It could be said that each of these regions is a country of its own. In all, there are 26 states and one Federal District, where the national capital, Brasilia, is located.

With well-connected airports - and a city that has a reputation of being one of the world’s best business hubs in Sao Paulo - Brazil is a great place for your business.

Besides its economic potential and natural beauty, cultural diversity makes Brazil a unique, lively, cosmopolitan country. It is not by chance that the country attracts tourists from different places all year round. Natural and cultural sites, delightful sights and sounds, and savory regional cuisine make it a place full of potential.

Sao Paulo

There are 12 million people living in São Paulo, the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere and the third biggest city in the Americas. The city boasts more than 100 museums, 120 theaters, and around 300 cinemas, besides having several parks and green areas. It is the Latin American capital of conventions and events, with a super structure in the Anhembi Convention Centre to host congresses and conventions.

Sampa, an affectionate nickname given to the city, is famous for offering nightlife among the best on the planet. Known as the Latin American capital of good restaurants, it offers fine regional dishes created by renowned Brazilian chefs.

The São Paulo Art Museum (Masp), listed on the heritage list by the Brazilian Institute of History and Art Heritage (Iphan) in 2003, has a collection of 10,000 pieces, including African, American, Asian, Brazilian and European art, from ancient times to the 21st Century; including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography and garments. The State Pinacoteca, a rich visual arts museum, houses relevant international exhibitions and displays valuable pieces from the last 200 years of Brazilian art.

On weekends, the traditional paulistanos (as those born in Sampa are called) go to street markets around the city. The Bixiga, Liberdade, and Praça Benedito Calixto street markets are some of the most visited ones.

Going to the Ibirapuera Park is a pleasant way to spend time. Besides areas for exercises, bike paths and playgrounds, it features museums, auditoriums and a planetarium.

Rio de Janeiro

Incredible natural attractions, spontaneity, hospitality, and world-famous iconic monuments - all that makes the city of Rio de Janeiro an unforgettable and unique destination.

With 450 year of history, Rio boasts fascinating treasures in its museums with enviable collections. It is the city of carnival and samba, as well as being home to several theatres, music venues, and a vast array of shopping and dining options.

But it is the combination of geography – the sea, mountains, and forests – and humanity which makes Rio de Janeiro a unique city. Extraordinary scenery surrounds and it was the first city in the world to be on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list.

Besides the most famous attractions - such as Christ the Redeemer, the art deco statue of Jesus Christ, and the Sugarloaf - the city also boasts many nature, adventure, religious, historic, and cultural tours. These include walks in the Botanical Garden, rides on the Santa Teresa Tram, visits to the Metropolitan Cathedral and to the Museum of Modern Art, and the lure of being able to take off from Pedra Bonita’s ramp and hang-gliding over the city.

Sports are also an important feature of the culture of the cariocas (those who are born in the city). Its 90 km of beaches are perfect for playing volleyball, soccer, and foot volley. Rio is the largest urban climbing centre, presenting mountain climbing with all levels of difficulty, from the Pedra da Gavea to the Bico do Papagaio.

One of the best ways to enjoy Rio is on foot. There are many options besides strolling along the famed Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon sidewalks. Rodrigo de Freitas Lake is one of the city’s main leisure areas, with beach stands, playgrounds, skateboarding tracks, restaurants, and views out over the hills and forests.

Bonito

Bonito, in Mato Grosso do Sul, is one of the main ecotourism and adventure tourism destinations in Brazil. The place is true to its name, which means “beautiful.” It is heavenly, with clear-water rivers and colorful fish contrasting against the deep greens of the local vegetation. Located on the Bodoquena Mountain Range, the city is 300km away from the state capital, Campo Grande.

You can visit the city at any time of the year, but it is best to go between December and March, the summer and rainy season. During this period, the flora and fauna thrive, the river levels go up, and the waterfalls are stronger and more abundant.

The local fauna is rich and expressive, composed of many bird species such as harpies, king vultures, macaws, toucans, mutuns, and other animals such as anteaters, armadillos, pumas, maned wolves, stags, foxes, and a number of invertebrate animals. Fish is, obviously, a significant part of the local cuisine. The pacu, the spotted sorubim, and the dourado are the most popular, served in a stew, fried or grilled, with a side of banana farofa.

Only 8 km away from Bonito is the Rio Formoso Ecological Park, astonishingly beautiful with its lush flora. A second option is the Mysterious Lagoon, 52km away from Bonito, a charming attraction with hypnotic blue waters.

You can also visit the Pantanal, one of the largest biodiversity reserves in the world, only 160km away from Bonito.

Pantanal

Pantanal is a biome that covers the States of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. The area is on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage and Biosphere Reserve list.

Pantanal is home to a wide diversity of species, such as the alligator (symbol of the biome), piranha, and jaguar, as well as a multitude of fish. These characteristics have transformed the Pantanal into an excellent ecotourism and sport fishing pole.

The grass-covered plains attracted cattle breeders from other parts of Brazil, who, together with indigenous peoples, the old inhabitants of the place, formed the ethnic and cultural miscegenation of Pantanal. As a result, the tourism experience is strongly influenced by this mix of cultures and of peoples.

You will be able to meet indigenous communities, visit farms, and taste, for example, alligator dishes, local barbecue, and tererê (mate ice tea cream in a bowl made of ox horn).

Foz do Iguaçu

Situated in the heart of the South American continent, Foz do Iguazu is unlike any other tourist attraction. Ripe with lush jungle and wildlife, the region is home to the world's largest waterfall system. Spanning a 2.7km area, it has 275 waterfalls - the exact number depends on whether it is the wet or dry season – which will take your breath away. In 2011, the falls were selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

But abundant nature is by no means of Foz do Iguazu’s only asset. The city is also an extremely cosmopolitan place, being located on the so-called "triple frontier," a tri-border area shared by Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Locals are used (and open) to learning about new cultures, beliefs, and habits.

According to local authorities, there are more than 80 ethnic groups living in the region, and the locals are known for their hospitality and openness.

Even if you are not a fan of the outdoors, Foz do Iguazu has options for you, too. While your friends and family enjoy the parks and falls, you can either visit one of the many museums in town, or if you are an architecture lover, go check out the Itaipu Dam, one of South America's most impressive constructions.

If adventure is more your caper you can experience Brazil’s very own Jurassic Park. The Valley of Dinosaurs offers long, winding trails with fossilized dinosaur tracks, archeological sites and dinosaur statues.

Rich in natural beauty, there are more than 2,000 plant species in the surrounds of the Iguazu Falls. Another option is to visit the Parque das Aves, Latin America's biggest bird-watching park, and get up close and personal with over 150 different species of birds, along with snakes and lizards. It is a perfect park for the whole family to enjoy.

The main attraction is, of course, the Iguazu Falls. Some can get as high as 80m. The park's main attraction is a system of 14 waterfalls known as the "Devil's Throat." You can get to the falls using a speedboat, but be prepared to get wet, as the tour takes you right under the waterfalls. It’s common to spot toucans, jaguars and monkeys on your way to the falls.

The mix of nature and cosmopolitan culture can also be a great backdrop for business. Foz do Iguazu is the third most sought-after city for conventions and business events, according to the International Congress and Convention Association. Only Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the country's two largest cities, are rated higher.

Amazonas

Full of natural charm and boasting exotic and diverse cuisine, Amazonas is the heart of the Amazon rainforest, the largest tropical forest in the world.

The largest Brazilian State has 98% of its forest area intact, and hosts beautiful hotels inside the jungle located near its capital, Manaus, which provide a great way to observe the local fauna and flora.

Known as the Paris of the tropics, Manaus is the main metropolis of the State and has attractions like the Amazonas Theatre, with its colorful dome made of glazed ceramics, and seaside resorts such as Ponta Negra and Praia da Lua.

The famous meeting of waters, a phenomenon resulting from the confluence of the Rio Negro (with black waters) and Rio Solimões (with muddy waters), is also one of the main attractions of the city.

Located 100km from Manaus, near the city of Novo Airão, is one of the largest island clusters in the world. Anavilhanas, where 400 islands form one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the Amazon.

Parintins, located 325km from the capital, hosts the traditional Boi-Bumbá festival, which happens every year in the month of June, and stirs the State.

The Pico da Neblina, Brazil's highest peak, is also located in the Amazonian territory.