Rio de Janeiro's annual carnival is the perfect symbol for a country with a passion for partying, and Brazil holidays are ideal for anyone who enjoys the good things in life. Fun lovers from around the world flock to this celebration of the last day before Lent, drawn by the glamour, the dancers' sensational costumes and the loud, infectious rhythms pulsating from the parade of floats.
Another reminder of the country's catholic roots is Rio's 125-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer, stretching out his arms high on Corcovado. It's one of the icons of world travel, but did you know it features a chapel big enough to house 150?
Many people taking holidays to Brazil dream of taking a stroll along the Copacabana beach. This two-and-a-half mile stretch of white sand is perhaps the best known beach in the world, and certainly the liveliest. Many of the locals love relaxing here. Another beach with a famous name is Ipanema, a little further along the coast.
And while the Nile is now generally agreed to be the world's longest river, the Amazon is undoubtedly the largest, both in terms of area and the colossal volume of water it drains. A cruise along some of its 4,000 mile length will show you many wildlife wonders, including monkeys, macaws, jaguars and even piranha fish. The city of Manaus, deep in the jungle, is the unlikely home of a beautiful opera house, built in the European style using the finest imported materials.
Another highlight of Brazil tours is Iguacu Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. Situated on the border with Argentina and viewable from both sides, it consists of nearly 300 astonishing falls over a two-and-a-half mile stretch.
The favourite pastime here is football and it's no accident that Brazil has had such a successful team. You'll see children playing the game everywhere – on the beach, in parks, anywhere they can. Serious fans should make sure holidays in Brazil include a visit to Rio's Maracana Stadium, where a record 200,000 people saw the hosts lose 2-1 to bitter rivals Uruguay in the final match of the 1950 World Cup.