WELCOME TO BRAZIL
The largest of all the Latin American countries, Brazil covers nearly half the entire continent of South America. The Amazon River, running across the entire width of Brazil, is the world's largest river in terms of volume. As it thunders towards the Atlantic Ocean, the Amazon passes through the largest rainforest in the world, many tracts of which are still unexplored and home to the greatest number of biological organisms on earth. Further south are the Iguazu falls, the most voluminous waterfalls in the world. Lying on the borders of Brazil and Argentina, the colossal cascades are perhaps the most amazing site on the continent.
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Brasília

The world's most ambitiously planned city, is also Brazil's capital. Unfortunately, its design favours cars and air-conditioning to people. This World Heritage site was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, urban planner Lucio Costa and landscape architect Burle Marx, the city was built in an incredible three years (1957-60) by millions very poor peasants.

Foz do Iguaçu (Iguazu Falls)

The Rio Iguaçu arises in the coastal mountains of Parana and Santa Catarina and snakes west for 600km (372mi) before it widens majestically and sweeps around a magnificent jungle stage, plunging and crashing in tiered falls at the border with Argentina and Paraguay. The falls are over 3km (2mi) wide and 80m (262ft) high and their beauty is unsurpassed. The best time of year to visit is August-November, when there is least risk of flood waters hindering the approach to the catwalks. Salvador da Bahia

Founded in 1549, Salvador da Bahia was Brazil's most important city for 300 years, and the Portuguese Empire's second city, after Lisbon. Bahia (often abbreviated to Salvador) is Brazil's most Africanized state and as its capital, it is a fascinating city and one of Brazil's cultural highlights. As the centre of the sugar trade, it was famous for gold-filled churches, beautiful mansions and the slave trade. Now it is known for its many wild festivals and general sensuality and decadence; Carnaval in Salvador is justly famous and attracts many tourists.

São Paulo

South America's biggest city in one of ethnic neighbourhoods, with around 17 million people, many of Italian and Japanese descent, living in a giant megalopolis. Sáo Paulo's industrial development and cultural diversity has created Brazil's largest, most cultured and educated middle class. These paulistas are lively and well-informed and, though they complain about the traffic, street violence and pollution, wouldn't dream of living anywhere else. Sáo Paulo can be an intimidating place but it offers the excitement and nightlife of one of the world's most dynamic places. Attractions include the baroque Teatro Municipal, Niemeyer's Edifício Copan, the Museu de Arte de Sáo Paulo (MASP) and the 16th-century Patío do Colégio. The city is southwest of Rio and you can fly from there in less than an hour or take a six-hour bus ride.

The Amazon

The Amazon basin contains 6 million sq km of river and jungle and spans eight countries. Just over half is in Brazil. There are 80,000 kilometres of navigable rivers, and ocean-going vessels can sail 3500km inland up the mainstream to Iquitos, Peru. Travellers enter the Amazon by bus, boat and air. Within the Amazon, boats are definitely the transport of choice, but flying can save a lot of time, is sometimes quite affordable, and most large Amazon cities have airports.

The Pantanal

The Amazon may have all the fame and glory, but the Pantanal is a far better place to see wildlife. This vast area of wetlands, about half the size of France, lies in the far west of Brazil and extends into the border regions of Bolivia and Paraguay. Birds are the most frequently seen wildlife, but the Pantanal is also a sanctuary for giant river otters, anacondas, iguanas, jaguars, cougars, crocodiles, deer and anteaters. The area has few people and no towns, and access is often by plane into Cuaibá, Campo Grande or Corumbá, then overland to the gateway towns of Cãceres, Barão de Malgaça, Poconé or Aquidauana; or by road via the Transpantaneira, which ends at the one-hotel hamlet of Porto Jofre. Boat trips are available along the Rio Paraguai from the Bolivian border.

Hotels

All the hotels we recommend are clean, well located and comfortable hotels varying in services as according to their category. We rarely use hostels as the price difference is negligible between a good hostel and a hotel. In places like the Pantanal, we work with some superb pousadas. We do endeavour to choose the best hotels in line with your budget. There are five star deluxe hotels we offer that are among the best hotels in the world. We will always quote you with good hotels on all our programmes but upgrades or downgrades will be available as per your request. However, as the price will decrease with downgrades, this will ultimately reflect in the services and standards of the hotel.

Flights

Unless otherwise stated, we do not provide the internal flights in your programme, as more competitive rates can be purchased with special Air Passes when purchased in conjunction with your international flight to Brazil. We can provide international and national flight quotes upon request. We work directly with the best airlines in South America but are not responsible for any changes in flight schedules or cancellations made by the airlines. This is the responsibility of the airline in question. We will always endeavour to minimise any delays or changes but cannot guarantee a successful outcome.

Insurance

It is a mandatory requirement that all our customers take out adequate travel insurance cover. Once you have obtained your insurance, it is company practice to check the validity and cover of your insurance policy and we hold the right to refuse travel to anyone whose insurance does not satisfy Amazing Peru's stringent criteria. These include cancellation and curtailment, death or injury, medical insurance, emergency repatriation, delayed baggage, loss and theft etc.

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