Here’s a geography fact for you: Brazil is the largest country in South America. It’s not only that continent’s biggest country, it may just be the most interesting. From its fascination with football to its awesome architecture, it’s a fascinating part of the world. Read on for 5 quick facts about Brazil, the largest country in South America.
5 interesting facts about Brazil
Adventurous travellers will know all about Brazil and what it has to offer, but what about the rest of us? If you’ve not yet had the opportunity to visit Brazil, don’t worry. There’s always time to get there. Here are five of the most exciting things to know about Brazil – and five good reasons for you to visit!
1. It’s the largest country in South America
It may be obvious, but it’s an important one. Covering some 8,515,767 square metres, you won’t find a larger country in South America. Not only is it the largest country in South America, it’s the fifth largest country in the whole world. Only China, the USA, Canada and Russia boast bigger surface areas. Brazil has a huge population, too: A whopping 208 million people call the country home.
2. Brazilians are football crazy
Football (or soccer) fans will be all too familiar with the Brazilian national team, five-time World Cup winners and the only team to have qualified for every single World Cup. As Brazil’s national sport, football plays a large role in the lives of many of its citizens. Some of the most famous footballers of all time come from Brazil, including Pelé, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos and Kaká.
3. Brazil was a Portuguese colony – and it shows
The influence of Portuguese colonisation of the largest country in South America runs through to the modern day. Perhaps the two biggest influences on Brazilian culture today are its language and its architecture. The country’s official language is Portuguese, unique in South America. Unsurprisingly, Brazil is the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world. Portuguese-style colonial architecture formed the basis for all subsequent architectural movements in the country and is encapsulated by such buildings as the Museum of the Inconfidência in Minas Gerais.
4. Brazil is home to about 60% of the Amazon rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is the biggest jungle in the world, so it makes sense that a large part of it lies in the largest country in South America. Around 60% of the jungle’s surface area belongs to Brazil, a far greater percentage than the next greatest, Peru (13%) and Colombia (10%). The Brazilian part of the Amazon is estimated to contain between 96,660 and 128,843 individual species of invertebrates.
5. They make wine in Brazil
Chile and Argentina may lead the way in South American wine production, but don’t write off the Brazilians. There’s quite a lot going on here, with obvious influences from Portugal, as well as from Italy and Bordeaux. Merlot is a particularly popular grape variety, particularly in the Vale dos Vinhedos region. Surprisingly enough, they make some seriously good sparkling wine, too – Pinto Bandeira is the go-to area for Brazilian bubbly!