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Brazil

Travel Information

Ecotravel & Tours / Brazil – With 8,5 million square kilometers and 190 million people, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world in both area and population. It occupies almost 50% of the South American Continent. Brazil's capital is Brasília but São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are its mayor metropolis. São Paulo is the largest city in the southern hemisphere.

Regions

Politically, Brazil is divided into 26 states and one federal district (containing Brasília), distributed over 5 regions (North, Northeast, Central - West, Southeast and South). Economically most important is the Southeast composed by the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Espírio Santo.

History

Brazil's history began in the late 15th century. Based upon the Treaty of Tordesillas and the letter of Pero Vaz de Caminha, Brazil was officially discovered at Mount Pascoal by Pedro Álvares Cabral, on April 22, 1500. After the extinction of the Indians during the 16th century and in order to feed the labour demand, about 4 million African slaves were "imported" to Brazil until the end of the 19th century and, after the abolishment of slavery, about 5 million European, Asian and Arab immigrants, until the end of the 20th century.

Geology

Geologically, Brazil occupies 75% of the South American Platform which is composed of Phanerozoic sedimentary basins and Precambrian shields. The Atlantic Shield in eastern Brazil is formed by the São Francisco Craton and three geotectonic provinces. One of them, the Mantiqueira Province, is composed of three orogenic fold belts (Ribeira, Araçuaí and Dom Feliciano).

Geomorphology / Topography

Geomporphologically and topographically, the country is predominatly flat, with the exception of a mountainous coast in South and Southeast Brazil. With summits, between 1.500 and 3.000 m, the subparallel mountain chains Mar / Mantiqueira, which are connected by the Southeast Rift, represent the highest elevations in East America.

Ecology

Ecologically, Brazil is divided into 6 biomes, containing 6 Biosphere Reserves, 17 World Heritage Sites and more than 900 Conservation Units. It is the first among the megadiverse countries. The biome of the Atlantic Rainforest / (Mata Atlântica) contains the second largest biosphere reserve in the world, 4 of the 7 Brazilian Natural World Heritage Sites and approximately 600 of the 900 conservation units. It is listed among the top 5 hotspots regarding flora and fauna diversity.

Climate

Climatically, Brazil is divided into a northern tropical and southern subtropical climate zone, separated by the Tropic of Capricorn at 23,5° south latitude (São Paulo). The climate of the Atlantic Rainforest is defined by a warm wet and a cool dry season from November to March (summer) and from May to August (winter). For further information, see climate diagrams.

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