28 Jan 2011
If you're looking at South America tours to find the perfect holiday, why not consider visiting Brazil? The country is the largest in South America and boasts some spectacular natural scenery.
This interesting and diverse country is bordered by Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana in the north, and Bolivia and Peru on the west. Also close to Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay, you can imagine how varied the culture is in Brazil.
Initially, the country was a colony of Portugal, and still retains Portuguese as its main language despite its position within the Americas. The former capital of Rio de Janeiro was the seat of power in the country, chosen by the Portuguese royal family when they were fleeing the invading French in the early 1800s, but was later replaced with Brasilia.
There is much history to discover in Brazil, which is sure to be a big draw for those with an interest in the nation's past. If you book small group travel to the country, you can enjoy learning more about Brazil with your nearest and dearest.
In addition to the rich history of the country, another major attraction for those visiting the nation is likely to be the climate. Tropical in most places, there are also arid patches throughout Brazil, so you can be sure of a break in the sun. You'll find tropical savannahs in the centre of the country, equatorial rainforests in the north and arid deserts in the north-east.
The nation is as rich in biodiversity as it is in culture, so if you have a passion for nature Brazil packages could be the perfect break for you. Home to the Amazon rainforest, the country also boasts all kinds of forests full of wildlife. Animals that call Brazil home include deer in the south and New World monkeys in the north, as well as pumas, sloths, armadillos and jaguars.
And there are plenty of beautiful natural sights to witness across Brazil, too. If you enjoy taking in stunning views, a must-see during your Brazilian adventure has to be the breathtaking Iguazu Falls. The giant waterfalls can be found on the border of Parana and the Argentine province of Missiones and divide the Iguazu River into upper and lower sections.
Discovered in 1541, the beautiful falls have since become a major attraction for those visiting the country. Legend has it that the waterfall was created by an enraged god, whose soon-to-be-wife had fled with a mortal lover in a canoe. The god had sliced the river in two, creating an eternal fall for the woman who spurned him and her lover.
The cascade of water consists of 275 falls stretching across 1.7 miles of the river. The majority of the falls measure around 64 metres in height, although some are as tall as 82 metres. Findings have shown the waterfalls to be about three times as wide as Niagara Falls, which apparently prompted former president's wife Eleanor Roosevelt to remark "poor Niagara" upon visiting the Brazilian site. Arguably the most impressive of the falls is the Devil's Throat - a u-shaped fall that is 82 metres high and 150 metres wide.
Because of the river's position on the border of Brazil and Argentina, much of the cascading water is actually in Argentine territory. If you visit the falls from the Brazilian side, you can gain access by journeying through the town of Foz do Iguacu. The falls are located within the Parque Nacional do Iguacu - a Unesco World Heritage site.
As you move through the location you're sure to be left speechless by the surrounding beauty. One of South America's largest forest preservation areas, the park spans 185,263 hectares of land. Its main aim to preserve the natural ecosystems of the region and ensure the land is untouched. There are numerous touring agencies in the area that offer guided walks around the park if you'd like to find out more. Alternatively, you might like to take a boat ride out to the falls to witness them from a closer vantage point.
Hop over to the Argentine side of the falls for some fantastic views of the waterfalls such as Bossetti, San Martin and Bernabe Mendez, which all make up the Iguazu Falls. On this side of the water you'll also discover jungle trails and bird hikes, so you can really make a day of it.
A visit to the Iguazu Falls in Brazil is sure to leave you with memories you'll treasure forever.