Though most people think that the term “melting pot” only applies to countries like the United States, the reality is that there is equal—if not more—diversity in Brazil.  With an amazing mix of Caribbean, Indigenous, African, and European cultural influences, Brazil shines as one of the American continents most eclectic nations.

The only Portuguese colony on mainland America during the colonial period, Brazil achieved its independence from Portugal in a bloodless process in 1822, when the son of the Portuguese king declared himself king of the independent empire of Brazil, which in 1889 switched to a federal republic.  The only official language is, of course, Portuguese.

Today, Brazil stands out from its neighbors due to its economic fortitude: it is the agricultural and industrial powerhouse of Latin America, with only the US and Canada preceding it in continental rankings of output in these two factors.  The economy is the strongest of the member nations of the Mercosur trading bloc, of which Brazil is a founding member.

With some of the most beautiful tropical beaches in the world—like those of Recife, the easternmost point of Brazil, sticking way out into the Atlantic—the country has become a major destination for ecotourists and ecologists, who, in addition to enjoying the remarkable coastline and its incredible biodiversity, also lust after the untamed hinterland of the Amazon rainforest as well as the northeastern arid highlands.

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Culturally, Brazil is an internationally renowned factory of seductive music, great authors, and amazing dances.  With bossa nova and samba being the two most famous forms of music, visitors will find a slew of cultural festivals and carnivals to experience the vivid culture of this teeming country.  Especially worth checking out is the carnival season in Rio de Janeiro in the southeast, and Olinda, in the northeast.

US citizens are required to get a visa to enter the country, which go for $300 a pop.  If you’re considering making the move, don’t let this be a hold up, as there are many rewarding personal and business activities to be had in this thriving country.  For a broader description of some of the tourism activities that make Brazil a world class destination, check out BrazilTour.

You’ll be amazed at the cultural, ethnic, religious, and political cocktail that makes this country such an attractive choice for expats.  Get to know it today.