Federative Republic of Brazil
BRT (UTC-2 to -5)
Brazil is a huge country that possesses a great variety of natural wonders, interesting culture, a bustling nightlife, a diverse wildlife, beautiful beaches, wonderful festivals, scrumptious food, samba dancing, and much, much more.
Brazil comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast. Brazil is the fifth biggest country in the world and is bordered by all countries in South America except for Ecuador and Chile. This big country covers 47% of the continents land area. Brazil contains a major portion of the Amazon river basin and contains one third of Latin America’s population.
Brazil is something of an all-year round destination with temperatures rarely below 20°C, except for in the mountains and southern regions. The climate in Brazil varies from hot and dry along the coast to humid and sticky in the tropical rainforest of Amazon jungle. The summer in Brazil runs from December to February and the winter is from June to September. Since Brazil covers almost half of the South American continent the climate varies a lot between the regions.
The north area of Brazil covers a great part of the Amazon basin. This area is very hot and humid, especially in the jungle. The median temperature here ranges from 24°C to 26°C with way higher temperatures during the summer. Rain here is not uncommon during summer and autumn.
The maximum temperature here is around 40°C, although the the average is between 20°C and 28°C. During winter months, mainly June and July, the minimum temperature is between 12°C and 16°C in the coastal regions.
This region is well provided with rain. 70% of the rain occurs during November to March. It has a typical tropical climate, with a dry season during the winter. The minimum temperature ranges from 8°C to 18°C, but the temperature can go to negative during the coldest months. The summer is of course warmer, but wet, the temperature in this region ranges from 24°C to 26°C. The hottest month is September, which usually is hotter than 30°C everyday.
In the summer the temperature varies between 30°C to 32°C. January is the hottest month here and can be very humid. But in the winter it can get as cold as -4°C to 8°C and is usually very dry with a dry season of 2 to 6 months.
The winter here is cold and the summer is warm. Here rain and maybe even storms is not uncommon during the summer. The annual median temperature is between 6°C and 12°C even though the thermometer frequently register temperatures around 0°C. The summer is warmer, with temperatures around 25°C. In the lower areas it can get even hotter than that.
The brazilian culture is one of the world’s most varied and diverse as it has been greatly influenced by Portuguese and African people, as well as other European countries like Italy, Germany and Spain. This diverse cultural background has helped boast many celebrations and festivals that have become known around the world. One of them is the colorful Carnival of Brazil which is an annual carnival held 51 days before Easter. The carnival is the most famous holiday here and has become an event of huge proportions. For almost a week festivities are intense, day and night, mainly in the bigger and coastal cities. They are wearing masks and colorful costumes and dance to the beat of drums and music. During this time shops can close down to join the parade and dance their way through the city till late evening.
Portuguese is the national “language” in Brazil, but it has it’s differences when compared with European Portuguese. This is because the Brazilian Portuguese has incorporated words and phrases from the African and Indigenous people. Brazil has over 180 Indigenous languages that are mostly spoken in rural areas.
The food scene in Brazil is a culinary melting pot merging influences from all over the world. It varies a lot between the regions, they have their own way of cooking and their own traditional dishes. The brazilian people love to cook with their fresh fruit and vegetables like okra, coconuts corn and beans. Many national dishes contains beans, rice or manioc (cassava) flour. A very popular dish here contains just rice and beans. In variation to rice and beans, Brazilians also eat pasta dishes and of course, pizza, usually made in a wood-fire oven with a thin, flexible crust.
Feijoada is often described as the national dish here, especially in Rio de Janeiro, as other parts of Brazil have their own regional dishes. The dish contains black beans, a variety of salted pork or beef product, and at least two types of sausages and jerked beef. In some regions vegetable or banana is added to the stew at the end of the cooking. It is usually served with white rice and oranges on a saturday afternoon or for sunday lunch.
In a large country like Brazil, travelling domestically by airplane is something to consider seriously as it can be just as affordable as travelling by long-distance bus. Brazil is the country with the second most airports in the world, so the network is vast. The main carriers which offer domestic flights are GOL and TAM airlines. If you plan to visit many cities, you can purchase a Brazil Airpass which offers you to go on 4 to 5 flights anywhere in its domestic network. The Airpass is only valid for 30 days and has to be purchased outside of the country.
The bus network in Brazil is extensive and the buses are quite comfortable, especially those that are used for long distance travel. The best service and vehicles will be found in the south. The buses stop for short breaks every few hours. City buses are usually pretty cheap and are strictly in town.
Rail networks are very limited and the trains are often slow and not very comfortable. Travelling by boat is a lot more common in Brazil, at least in some specific parts of the country. In the Amazon basin the river is still the most important ‘road’.
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