Bordering every other South American country bar two, Brazil is big on scale and big on personality.
Home to more than half of the world’s largest rainforest, the country is a pulsating mix of samba rhythms, iconic landscapes and Carnival. Dominating the famous beaches and waters of Rio, the imposing statue of Christ the Redeemer looks down from its lofty perch high on the slopes of Corcovado Mountain, whilst the impressive Maracanã Stadium provides the spiritual home of football with one of the finest temples to the game anywhere in the world.
Farther afield you can find spectacular beaches and colonial cities and in the thundering waters of Iguacu Falls you can enjoy the largest system of falls anywhere on earth. The only country in the world that has the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn running through it, Brazil can provide excitement and adventure to cater for every taste, from fishing for piranhas on the waters of the Amazon, to sipping caipiranhas on the palm-lined beaches of Bahia. And if you want to get away from it all, head for Trancoso, a 15-mile stretch of golden sands that is home to a spectacular array of national parks and protected coastline where tourism is limited in order to reduce the cultural and environmental impact.
Leave room in your suitcase for some havaianas - they make excellent gifts and only cost a couple of pounds each.