Brazil encompasses around half of South America’s landmass, making it the largest country of the continent. Because it’s so large, it’s not surprising that it is made up of a wide variety of landscapes and experiences. Wildlife lovers can explore the wetlands and the rainforest while city lovers can wander the streets of Rio. Along with beautiful beaches, one of the world’s best soccer teams, and the world-famous Carnival, Brazil is truly a melting pot, perfect for every kind of traveler.
With arms outstretched 28 meters, as if to encompass all of humanity, the colossal Art Deco statue of Christ, called Cristo Redentor, gazes out over Rio de Janeiro and the bay from the summit of Corcovado. The 709-meter height on which it stands is part of the Tijuca National Park, and a rack railway climbs 3.5 kilometers to its top, where a broad plaza surrounds the statue. Completed in 1931, the 30-meter statue was the work of Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, and is constructed of reinforced concrete and soapstone.
At the point where Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina meet, the Iguaçu river drops spectacularly in a semicircle of 247 waterfalls that thunder down into the gorge below. Just above the falls, the river is constricted to one-fourth of its usual width, making the force of the water even stronger. Some of the falls are more than 100 meters high and they cover such a broad area that you'll never see all of them at once, but you do get the broadest panorama from the Brazilian side. Catwalks and a tower give you different perspectives, and one bridge reaches all the way to one of the largest, known as the Garganta do Diabo (Devil's Throat).
Beyond the beaches of Copacabana, the glorious white sands merge into the just-as-famous beaches of Ipanema. The same wave design of Copacabana's wide promenade continues here, separating the sand from the line of hotels, restaurants, cafés, art galleries, and cinemas that make this a popular social zone year-round.
About 20 kilometers southeast of Manaus, the dark Rio Negro waters meet the light muddy water of the Rio Solimões, flowing side by side for about six kilometers before mixing as the Amazon. Boat trips from Manaus take you to this point, called Encontro das Aguas, meeting the waters. Other boat trips take you into the heart of the rain forests and the network of rivers, channels, and lakes formed by the three rivers. In the Rio Negro, the Anavilhanas Islands form an archipelago with lakes, streams, and flooded forests that offer a full cross-section of the Amazonian ecosystem.
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Such a diverse opportunity to experience Lake Titicaca, both from Peru and Bolivia, to hike on a cactus island in a salt field, and to experience the Uros Reed Islands ending back in La Paz with its Cable Cars.
We loved our trip, and the itinerary was perfect. Our accommodations were wonderful, as was our tour guide. Fly bagna is a great company to work with! Our travel specialist worked with us for several months to plan this trip, and he was always available to answer our questions before and during the trip. We look forward to working with him on our next South American adventure.