Coffee beans, football, tropical views, the world’s largest rainforest and a mountain that will make you hungry, you can find them all in Brazil.
Keep reading to learn more about Brazil facts and secrets.
Wave the FlagThe Brazilian flag has a green rectangle for the wide green lands, a yellow diamond that represents the mines of gold. The dark blue circle with 27 white stars is for the starry night sky of Brazil over the 27 federal states. The flag features the phrase “Ordem e Progresso” which means order and progress.
Don Pedro I was Brazil’s first emperor, His wife suggested the design of the flag. The emperor revealed the flag on the 7th of September, 1822 marking Brazil’s Independence Day.
The colors of the flag are inspired by a bird called the golden parakeet. It’s also known as the conure.
The national anthem of Brazil was written unofficially in 1831.
Many people made lyrical changes to the anthem over the years until President Epitácio Pessoa declared the final official version in 1922.
The anthem is written into two verses;
The first shows how heroically the Brazilian people regained freedom.
The second is about the beauty of Brazil with the sound of sea waves and the breathtaking sun, sky & flowers.
Listen to the Anthem
Pin on the Map
Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth widest land in the world covering 8.516 million km².
Brazil lies on the Atlantic Ocean, bordered by all the South American countries except for Chile and Ecuador.
The second-longest river in the world after The Nile is The Amazon River which is feeding the whole northwest of Brazil. The long river created The Amazon Rainforest – the widest rainforest in the world.
There are other rivers crawling through Brazil like São Francisco River, Paraná River.
Flora and Fauna
Brazil has a unique biodiversity with over 55.000 different botanical species and over 103.870 classes of the animal kingdom.
The Malagueta chilli pepper is way spicier than the traditional cayenne pepper.
The Cassava Root -eaten as it is, cooked, or used as a spice- is a must-have item in the Brazilian cuisine.
Take a look at some of the Brazilian exotic fruits you can’t easily find in the market across the street like Jabuticaba, açaí berries, Guaraná, Guava, and Maracujá.
The wide green lands of The Great Amazon Rainforest and the pure water of the Amazon River provide a home for one-tenth of the entire world’s animal species. Those animals are endemic to Brazil.
The 20th-Century Fox 2014 “Rio 2” movie mainly focused on the wildlife of Brazil.
Meet “Gabi” our not so friendly dart frog, Poor thing! Gabi was in a poisonous relationship with Nigel The Sulphur-crested cockatoo.
Don’t sympathize just yet, Dart frogs are poisonous to us.
Along with Charlie the anteater and Raphael the Toco Toucan,
Those animals can only be found in a Brazilian-themed movie.
You can rarely spot a jaguar, a rhea, a tamarin, or the Amazon’s pink dolphin outside Brazil. The goliath bird-eater might scare you, but it might be your next pet tarantula if you’re not afraid of spiders.
Look in the History Book
Have you ever heard of the Carioca exercise!
It’s mainly a physical exercise for warming up & stretches. That soon became a famous Brazilian dance for its rhythmic and coordinated body movements.
“Carioca” originally means to be born in Rio de Janeiro in the Tupi Language.
The Cariocas spoke The Tupi Language before Pedro Alvares Cabral -a Portuguese sailor and explorer- took over Brazil as a Portuguese colony from 1500 to 1815.
Changes in Power
After decades of forcing the Cariocas to harvest plants, cut wood, build fleets, and digging out gold and diamonds for Portugal, it all came to an end in 1815 by a military coup led by Don Pedro I. In 1822, Brazil was declared an empire under military commandment.
Another military coup was followed in 1889 that toppled Don Pedro II and his daughter Princess Isabel; the rightful heir to the empire.
In 1930, the Brazilian revolution took place fighting the military regime.
“Getúlio Vargas” became the first civil president for the federative republic of Brazil after the revolution.
The people loved and called him “father of the poor”.
Brazil is rich in Coffee beans, Brazilwood, sugar, gold, diamonds, and Amazonian rubber. That drew attention to its land and treasures.
The government sparked an architectural revolution in the main cities; with huge water bridges like the Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge connecting people of east Lake Paranoá to the center of Brasilia.
In 1960, Brasilia was declared the capital of Brazil instead of Rio de Janeiro.
In 2014, Brazil remarkably hosted the 20th FIFA World Cup with outstanding ceremonies featuring Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, Jennifer Lopez, and Pitbull.
Brazil has won the world cup 5 times; we guess it ran out of luck on its own ground in 2014.
Brazil is the home country for legendary football players.
Both Pelé the greatest and Neymarstarted their early dreams playing in Santos FC in São Paulo.
While the two times best FIFA Men’s player Ronaldinho has started his career in Cruzeiro FC.
Take a walk
Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer
Let’s climb to the summit of Mount Corcovado to the jaw-dropping sculpture of Christ the Redeemer which is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Turn around and spot the peninsula of Sugarloaf mountain, the Maracana stadium, and the splendid Atlantic coasts.
Are we in the “Take a bite” so soon?
The Sugarloaf Mountain was named after …WELL, you guessed it. Sugar cane is a popular plant in Brazil. Back in the 16th century, women in Brazil used the sugar cane juice to make sugar loaves which looked a lot like the mountain.
Hoping you are not afraid of heights; Enjoy the fresh breeze within the cable car ride to the Sugarloaf, or experience the hang gliding and set your inner bird free.
Spend at least a day at the outstanding Copacabana Beach, Go for a swim, a stand-up paddle, or hire a kayak. Take a photo on the most famous promenade in the world with curves that follows the ocean’s waves.
Don’t miss the -once in a lifetime- sunset helicopter ride over Rio.
Itatiaia National Park
Itatiaia National Park is the first national park in Brazil. It was opened by the very first president; Getúlio Vargas.
Visitors can enjoy boat rides, hiking, biking, listening to nature’s greatest symphonies composed by the wildlife orchestra, meeting new friendly animals and camping outdoors in the middle of the jungle glancing at the sky.
Just don’t forget to bring your camera!
Iguaza falls and the Iguaza National Park are shared between Argentina and Brazil. It’s a breathtaking landscape that caught UNESCO’s attention declaring it a world heritage site.
The name Iguaza comes from the Spanish “aqua grande” which means big water, DUH!
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
Too much green for your eyes? Here’s a landscape of no vegetation at all. Enjoy sand sports and horse riding in the desert-like park with lakes available for swimming and fascinating nature in northern Brazil.
Goiás Velho or Old Goias
Take a trip back in time to another UNESCO world heritage site.
It was the center of colonization by Portugal because of its golden lands.
The Goyaz Indians lived in Goiás, only The Goyaz knew the location of gold mines.
The once prison for the Goyaz, is now The Bandeiras Museum showing the cruelty of colonization.
The 18th-century churches of “Nossa Senhora d’Abadia”, “Rosary church”, and their remarkable paintings and architecture are worth the visit.
Mark your Calendar
Annually, on the Friday before Ash Wednesday, It’s the final festival before Christians start fasting for 40 days before Easter.
It’s a joyful colorful main tourist attraction in Brazil. You just need a Samba themed outfit, feathered hats and wigs, necklaces, and floral tiaras. Then, lose yourself to the beats of Samba.
Samba is the main music genre to Brazil that later was developed into a dance, and folklore clothes.
Peasants and slaves were trying to ease the coffee farming process through rhyming joyful melodies inherited by generations until Samba became a national culture.
Meet the People
Brazil population is about 210 million people mainly working in agriculture and mining as the nature of Brazil has affected the main occupations.
The Brazilians mainly speak Portuguese. Due to the geographic neighboring to Spanish-speaking countries and language similarities, Many Brazilians can understand Spanish.
English is being taught in schools within sites or cities of tourist interest.
A “real” is the Brazilian currency, A real is 100 centavos,
One Brazilian real equals 0.20 US dollars.
Effigy of the Republic is the woman wearing bay leaves tiara on the Brazilian real symbolizing the republic (current political status in Brazil).
Take a Bite
The Brazilian cuisine is as diverse as the ecosystem.
Depending on the region; your main dish might be fish stew from the river ahead or plants from the nearby forest.
Caruru de Camarao
It’s a mouthwatering shrimp and okra soup, you might replace okra with spinach.
This dish goes back to 1644 in the state of Bahia. With 1.000Km of coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, the dish of the day is always seafood.
Moqueca de Peixe
If you are a fan of spices and mixed flavors, Moqueca dish is for you. It’s a sweet and sour fish coconut stew. This meal is always served with spiced rice and toasted cassava roots.
The dish goes back to Bahia as well.
Feijoada (Brazil’s National Dish)
Portuguese masters gave leftovers of black beans and pork to the Brazilian slaves. The Brazilians cooked the leftovers all in one pot hoping for a nice hot meal. It turned out pretty good! Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil.
Traditionally, it’s eaten once a week in memory of the ancestors and slavery.
Your sweet tooth will instantly crave the Brazilian desserts made of exotic delicious fruits like Crème de Papaya or the Passion fruit mousse cake.
In 1959, citizens of São Paulo elected Cacareco, A female rhinoceros at the São Paulo zoo, for the city council.
People protested the costly life by writing the rhino’s name on the elections cards.
What possibly do you think the politicians in São Paulo had done, that citizens would rather choose a rhino!