The country of Brazil is officially known as the Federative Republic of Brazil and is located in South America. Most Brazilians speak Portuguese, are Roman Catholic and multi-ethnic. Brazil was preciously a colony of Portugal from 1500, until it won its independence in 1822. Brazil is also the home of a wide diversity of wildlife, natural resources, and protected habitats.
Brazil occupies a huge area and it borders every country on the continent except, Ecuador and Chile. This fact alone gives Brazil a very diverse climate and geography. The largest part of the country of Brazil is tropical, but it has five major climate subtypes; equatorial, arctic, tropical, semiarid and highland tropical. There are rainforests on the equatorial side, semiarid deserts to the northeast, temperate forests located in the south as well as tropical savannas in the center of Brazil.
Brazil is home to the Amazon Rainforest. Which is globally recognized for its great biological diversity. The rich wildlife found in Brazil is reflective of a variety of natural habitats, with new species being found every single day. Scientific researchers estimate that the Amazon Rainforest is home to some four million plant and animal species.
Figures released from the World Travel Organization in 2007, estimated that Brazil had 5.062 million visitors. This makes Brazil the most visited location in all of South America. Most of the international visitors who come to Brazil are from Argentina, the United States and Portugal. The most popular tourist locations in Brazil are the Amazon Rainforest, Pantanal which is a tropical wetland to the north, and the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, which are rich in history and culture.
Carnival in Brazil is a big tourist draw, it is held four days before Ash Wednesday and signifies the beginning of Lent. During this time it is customary according to the Roman Catholic Church, to abstain from bodily pleasures and consumption of meat. Brazil holds Carnival in the cities of Rio De Janeiro, Bahia, Pernambuco, and Minas Gerais.
It is believed that in 1845, the celebration found its original roots in Rio, which is why the most significant celebrations continue being held there today. There are over 100 blocas or blocks, each one having its own street to parade and they usually begin in January and do not stop until the end of Carnival. Every year this celebration has grown larger and larger, with some going through Rios Botanical Garden. Monobloco is a Brazilian street band that plays during Carnival, but have become so famous that now they perform on a daily basis.
The Copacabana Palace in Rio De Janeiro was built in 1923. The architectural style of the hotel is done in the traditional stucco style. The Copacabana Palace is the premiere hotel in Rio. It boasts the largest pool in the city. Facing the Copacabana Beach, the Rio Othon Palace is a five star hotel. The hotel is close to Sugarloaf Mountain and Ipanema Beach is near by. The Rio Othon Palace also gives its visitors one of the best views of Copacabana Beach on the coast.
Brazils climate varies greatly depending upon altitude, latitude and location. The seasons of Brazil are opposite of that in the Northern Hemisphere, with winter falling during June through September, and summer being November through March. The temperatures range in average from 75 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, warm subtropical weather prevails throughout most of the year in Rio De Janeiro making it a very popular vacation destination.