Café, capivaras and chimarrão: A trip around Brazil

November 10, 2023

Want a reason to learn Portuguese? Well, I can give you one! Many people think of Brazil as a great holiday destination… And they are absolutely right! I’m going to take you on a (virtual) trip around this captivating country. From its tropical beaches and vast rainforests to its heaving cities and colourful colonial towns, we’ll explore Brazil’s diverse array of cultures, flavours and traditions. Brazil is made up of five regions, each split up into different states. We’ll look at each region, starting from the South and making our way up to the North. So, pack your bags, switch on your imagination and let’s go!

The South

We’ll start our trip in the South. People might think that Brazil is always hot, but it can actually get quite cold in winter. So, if you want to look good in your new winter coat, the South is the place to be – it can even snow in some parts!

The region, with its many influences from Germany, Italy and other countries, is also a great place to enjoy a fondue, as well as the local chocolate. Wash that all down with a regional wine or a sip of chimarrão, an infused drink that will take you back in time to the indigenous people who were once predominant in the area. And if you have time, head right down south where you’ll find the spectacular Iguaçu Falls that lie between the border with Argentina – definitely NOT a site you’ll want to miss!

The Southeast

Travelling further north we reach the Southeast. Here you’ll find the most well-known Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Rio is famous for its carnival (probably the biggest party in the world, undoubtedly worth it!) which falls in February or March. Its golden beaches have also long captivated visitors. I’m sure you’ve heard of Ipanema and Copacabana beaches… Go there or try out the beaches in Espírito Santo for an afternoon of surfing, relaxing or just sipping on caipirinhas!

São Paulo is well known for its towering skyscrapers and if you like history, head to Minas Gerais where you can learn all about the gold trade and try some traditional treats like pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese puffs). Although very different, all the states in the Southeast have one very good thing in common: people will always meet up for a nice cup of coffee!

The West Central

Moving inland, we arrive in the West Central area, where our capital city is – yes, our capital is Brasília, in Distrito Federal. Brasília is designed in the shape of an aeroplane and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its awesome modern architecture and artistic city planning. You can also find some amazing wildlife in this region. Head to the state of Mato Grosso do Sul to see capybaras, jaguars and green anacondas! These fascinating animals are native to the area of Pantanal, the largest tropical wetland on earth and the place with the highest concentration of wildlife in South America. And if that isn’t enough for you, cities like Bonito are not only beautiful but they are also great places to go for adventure sports!

The Northeast

In the Northeast, you’ll always be welcomed with a smile. Whether talking, dancing or serving you one of the local acarajés (fried bean fritters) or cocadas (sweet coconut treats), the locals are always happy! Here you’re also never far from a hammock where you can laze around all day enjoying the sun, sea and sand. Or why not get your share of Brazilian colonial history? This is the place where the first Portuguese people arrived in the country. Ah, and of course, coconut water is a must! Here it comes fresh from the tree, served ice-cold straight from the coconut with a straw – what could be better?!

The North

Finally, we reach the North of Brazil, where the mighty Amazon rainforest is. I’m sure you know at least something about this vast expanse of land, but just in case you don’t, here are some interesting facts: The Amazon occupies more than 61% of Brazilian territory; it is the biggest freshwater reserve in the world; and, of course, the largest rainforest on earth, with trees as high as 40m! Pretty amazing, huh?

So, that brings us to the end of our journey around Brazil. Hopefully this has given you a little taste of the wonders of this rich and diverse country. Now it’s time for you to go there for yourself! And whilst you prepare for your magical adventure, why not brush up on your Portuguese with busuu to get you by?

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