I would love to go to Brazil and this beginners guide is a great place to start. The kids are dying to see Rio... the bird not the city haha.
If you're looking for a truly breathtaking holiday, Brazil is one destination that I really recommend you visit. Famous the world over for its beautiful beaches, carnivals, rich culture, great weather and love of football, the country really does offer something for everyone. Although the nation has plenty to enthral you, it's important to do your homework in advance of booking a trip there, particularly if you've never been there before. To give you a helping hand, I've put together a beginner's guide to Brazil.
While you are likely to find organising a trip to any place that you have not been to before to be a little overwhelming, this could prove to be especially the case when visiting Brazil. As the largest country in South America, it offers so many fantastic things to see and do that you might not know where to start! Here are some of the essential facts that you should be aware of.
Language - Portuguese is the country's official language, something which dates back to the period when it was a colony of Portugal. In fact, it is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in all of South America!
Time zone - Brazil straddles several time zones, so the amount of time you have to set your clock back will vary depending on where you go. Sao Paolo is three hours behind the UK, while certain western regions - including Amazonas - are four hours behind.
Currency - The country's official currency is the real, with one unit the equivalent of around 33p.
Climate - Brazil is famous for its glorious beaches and exotic weather. However as is located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to that of the UK, with the summer running between October and April. Head to somewhere like Rio de Janeiro when the weather is at its warmest and you can expect the temperature to be 30 degrees C or even higher!
Wherever you go in Brazil, I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time but to have a really memorable experience of the country I recommend you visit several of its top cities. This can be done by going on a Brazil cruise with Royal Caribbean or some other cruise company and, by doing so, you may have the chance to explore Salvador (or Sao Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos, to give it its full name).
Located on the country's north-east coast, this historic location is the perfect place for culture lovers to explore. In fact, it's one of the oldest cities in the entire continent so you won't be short of fascinating landmarks to see. Many of these are located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site-accredited Pelourinho district, and include the Saldanha Palace and Municipal Plaza public square. Elsewhere, you can see the Farol da Barra lighthouse and Praca das Flores reserve, with the latter home to a wide variety of plants.
Rio de Janerio is another must-see place on a Brazil cruise. Come here and you'll find lots of golden beaches - the most famous being Copacabana - where you can relax in the sun or watch the locals play beach volleyball and football.
Another of the city's most famous landmarks is the Christ the Redeemer statue, which stands on top of the 710 m Corcovado mountain, and is widely regarded as being a symbol of Brazil. You can get here by train or taxi and while I, of course, recommend that you take some pictures of the spectacular monument, I think the views of Rio below are just as enthralling.
As a copywriter, Ashley King has been writing on a vast range of subjects, including travel, business and finance, for a number of years. Currently he is travelling around New Zealand as part of his next adventure.