Brazil is the fifth-largest nation in the world, comprising almost half of the South American continent. The country is blessed with 5,000 miles of coastline, much of it undeveloped, plus the natural wonders of the Amazon Basin. Most Brazilians are urbanites, living in huge southern cities such as São Paulo, which has a metro-area population of close to 20 million. But glamorous Rio de Janeiro is where most travelers make their first stop. An ideal sampling of Brazil’s pleasures might include a few days there followed by some time at Iguaçu Falls and a relaxing stay at a beach resort.

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