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Travel Spotlight on Brazil

Jun 16, 2014 by Courtney Keller

With its colorful mix of lively cities, sandy beaches and lush landscapes, it’s no surprise that Brazil has is a destination worth visiting. Read on to learn more about South America’s largest country.

See the sights in seaside cities

The vibrant cities of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador burst with energy and history.

Rio de Janeiro

Population: 6.3 million

City highlights: You can’t miss the massive Christ the Redeemer statue standing high atop Corcovado Mountain or a visit to the lively Copacabana neighborhood known for its breathtaking crescent-shaped beach.

Know before you go: Tourists and cariocas (residents of Rio) take to the streets each year for the wild, colorful carnival celebration, which brings the Catholic tradition together with African-influenced samba dance and music.

Salvador, Brazil

Population: 2.7 million

City highlights: Be sure to visit Pelourinho, the UNESCO-protected historic and cultural center of this Bahian capital city, along with the Sao Francis Church, which features an interior that’s lavishly decorated in gold leaf.

Know before you go: Afro-Brazilian culture runs deep in Salvador and can be seen in capoeira street performances, continued observance of candomblé religious traditions and celebrated local cuisine.

Iguassu Falls, Brazil

Set out for adventure

With its diverse ecosystem and natural beauty, Brazil’s vast landscape is ripe for exploration.

The Pantanal: As the world’s largest continuous wetland, the Pantanal is home to thousands of different animal species.

Iguassu Falls: Over 275 cascades rush and churn in this subtropical paradise, spread over just one mile of land.

The Amazon: This vast rainforest spans over half of Brazil and is a prime location for spotting wildlife from the land or water.


Savor the lively, local flavors

Brazilian cuisine is influenced by both European and African cultures and varies from region to region. Try out these simple recipes for two tasty treats: a Caipirinha, the national cocktail, and pão de queijo, bite-sized cheesy rolls that are a popular snack food.


Ingredients: (makes 1 drink)

  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 ounces cachaça (a Brazilian brandy distilled from sugar cane)
  • Crushed or cubed ice


1. Place your sliced limes in a glass with sugar.

2. Use a muddler or spoon to crush the lime and sugar mixture.

3. Add cachaça.4. Top with ice cubes, stir and take a sip!

Recipe modified from

Pão de Queijo

Pão de queijo

Ingredients: (makes 6 buns)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil or butter
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten


1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2. Pour olive oil, water, milk and salt into a large saucepan and place over high heat. Remove from heat once it boils.

3. Stir in tapioca flour and garlic until smooth, then set aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Add cheese and egg into the tapioca mixture and stir until crumbly.

5. Drop rounded, 1/4 cup-sized balls of the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet.

6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Enjoy!

Recipe modified from

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About the author | Courtney Keller
A lover of travel since studying in France, Courtney strives to inspire others to get out and see the world. When she’s not writing, she’s trying new restaurants, reading, doing yoga, baking, walking her rescue pup, or planning her next trip.

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