The ultimate combination of white sands, bikinis and turquoise blue water, to a bossa nova beat or the frenzied rhythm of the samba: welcome to Brazil, the home of tropical relaxation and inspired energy.
Boasting 7,500 kilometres of coast with the Atlantic lapping at its shore, this huge Latin American country has become the symbol of a certain kind of beach culture. Its most popular destinations include Buzios, the country’s answer to Saint-Tropez, Paraty, an Eldorado for stars looking for peace and quiet, Trancoso and Itacaré, untamed areas now popular with hipsters. The mythical Rio de Janeiro is however still the epicentre of the phenomenon, thanks to its two coveted ambassadors, Copacabana and Ipanema.The party-loving Cariocas host the most famous Carnival in the world, established 450 years ago. The country’s second largest city after São Paulo, thriving in the shadow of Christ the Redeemer, shouldn’t let you forget the extreme diversity of Brazil. From the apocalyptic waterfalls of Iguaçu to the overwhelming Amazon rainforest; from the idyllic archipelago of Fernando De Noronha to the vastness of the Pantanal, the landscape is a celebration of excess and contrast. In the big cities, colonial buildings live alongside the architectural UFOs of Oscar Niemeyer, whose visionary imagination left its mark on the country and created a capital, Brasilia, out of the earth in a matter of years. Resolutely forward thinking, Brazil is filled with an unbelievable vitality. As long ago as the 1940s, Stefan Zweig dedicated his “Brazil, land of the future” to the descendants of the Portuguese and the African slaves who came together to build the country. Today, the Michelin guide, which is publishing its first edition dedicated to the country, is proving him right. Gastronomy, music, art and fashion: drawing on the fertile ground of its many influences, Brazil is spreading the word about its magical way of life.Read more