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Rio de Janeiro

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Brazil has symbolized the great escape into a primordial, tropical paradise, igniting the Western imagination like no other South American country. From the mad passion of Carnaval to the immensity of the dark Amazon, Brazil is a country of mythic proportions. All the while, the people of Brazil delight visitors with their energy, fantasy and joy . . . a great place to create amazing honeymoon memories.

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Brazilian culture has been shaped not only by the Portuguese, who gave the country its most common religion and language, but also by the country's native Indians, the considerable African population, and other settlers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Brazilian music has always been characterized by great diversity and, shaped by musical influences from three continents, is still developing new and original forms. The samba, which reached the height of popularity in the 1930s, is a mixture of Spanish bolero with the cadences and rhythms of African music. Its most famous exponent was probably Carmen Miranda, known for her fiery temperament and fruity headdresses. The more subdued bossa nova, popular in the 1950s and characterized by songs such as 'The Girl from Ipanema', was influenced by North American jazz. Tropicalismo is a mix of musical influences that arrived in Brazil in the 1960s and led a more electric samba. More recently, the lambada, influenced by Caribbean rhythms, became internationally popular in the 1980s.
Brazil is the world's ninth largest country, occupying almost half the South American continent and bordering every country on it except Chile and Ecuador. Much of Brazil is scarcely populated, although some regions with previously low population densities, such as the Amazon, are being rapidly settled, logged and depleted.
There are great spots for hang-gliding in Rio, especially around Pedra Bonita, near Pepino beach. Surfing is popular all along the coast and waves are especially good in the southern state of Santa Caterina, although there is also plenty of good surf close to Rio. Wind-surfing has caught on in Brazil - while Buzios is a good place to go, the hardcore mecca is north-west of Fortaleza in places such as Jericoacoara. Sailing is big in Buzios and off the larger resorts along the coast. Inland, the Rio Araguaia in Goias and Tocantins is known as a fishing paradise. There are excellent opportunities for rock climbing in and near Rio and in the national and state parks, and hiking is great along the coast and in some of the national and state parks. Futebol (soccer) is the national obsession, and if you can play the game or talk about it meaningfully you'll become an instant hit with the locals.
Climate and Weather
Most of the country has noticeable seasonal variations in rain, temperature and humidity, but only the south of Brazil has large seasonal changes. The Brazilian winter is from June to August, with the coldest southern states receiving average winter temperatures of between 13 and 18ºC (55ºF and 64ºF). In summer (December to February), Rio is hot and humid, with temperatures in the high 30sºC (80sºF) common; the rest of the year, temperatures usually hover around 25ºC (77ºF). The northeast coast gets as hot as Rio in the summer but tropical breezes make it less humid and stifling. In general, the Planalto Brasiliero is less hot and humid, and is prone to summer rainfalls. The Amazon basin is the rainiest part of Brazil (the term 'rainforest' is a bit of a giveaway), and while it is humid, temperatures average a reasonable 27ºC (80ºF).
Other Important Information
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Destination Wedding Information
To wed in Brazil you'll need to supply the following documents:
  • Valid passport
  • Certified copy of birth certificate
  • Evidence of current residence, provided by your local electoral office
  • If under 21, written consent from parents or guardians
  • If previously married, either a certified copy of the decree nisi or certified copy of the death certificate of former spouse
  • Evidence of non impediment
  • Published public notice or bans of the intended marriage
  • The Brazilian consulate must legalize documents.
  • All documents to be in Portuguese or must be translated in Brazil by an accredited translator.