Tropical Brazil is the largest country in South America. After nearly three centuries of Portuguese rule, Brazil gained independence in 1822. Because of this Portuguese is the most widely spoken language of Brazil and is the country’s official language. There are roughly 210 million Brazilians in a country slightly smaller than the U.S. The capital of Brazil is Brasilia and the majority of the population practices Roman Catholicism as well as Protestantism.
Here there are three time zones. In the West the time is the same as EST, in the north west the time is one hour ahead, to the East it is two hours ahead and the south it is three hours ahead of EST.
Travelers must visit the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue situated atop a mountain in Rio de Janeiro. I chose to (stupidly) free climb the back of Sugarloaf. Why was this stupid? Because we had no ropes, wore running shoes which were too slick for climbing, had zero food or water, and my guide was inexperienced. Treacherous! Not recommended!
Top thing to do in Rio is to see the city on a bicycle tour! This was a blast!
Other must-sees include Iguazu Falls (which are spectacular) and the Amazon, the world’s second longest river. Brazil is also known for Rio de Janeiro Carnival, a world famous festival held before the Lent season celebrated with parades, masquerade, music and dancing.