Brazil is the largest country in South America. It is a richly diverse country, in terms of its people, culture, and landscapes. You'll find bustling cities, laid-back beaches, and traditional lifestyles often right next to each other. Brazilian culture, which varies substantially across the country, comes from an international mix of European colonisers, African and Asian communities, and indigenous influence throughout the country.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony became a kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. In 1822, Brazil achieved independence, with the creation of the Empire of Brazil. The country became a presidential republic in 1889. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic.
Brazil has a total of 20 heritage sites listed by UNESCO. 13 of them are cultural, and 7 are natural sites. These include ancient cities, and forest reserves, such as the Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves which is important for its biodiversity that is unique and rare. The country is home to the world’s largest protected Amazon biome which houses the most significant biodiversity of flora and fauna.