Brazil Fast Facts

Brazil brazil real estate

Population: 205,823,665

Capital City: Brasilia

Climate: Mostly tropical, but temperate in south

Time Zone: GMT-3

Language: Portuguese

Country Code: 55

Coastline: 7,491km

Despite Brazil’s size and growing prominence in the world today, it remains uncharted territory for many people. The name “Brazil” likely conjures up images of Rio’s beaches, Carnival, or perhaps the Amazon rainforest. And while Brazil is all these things, it is also much more…Brazil is exotic, romantic, and incredibly diverse. Almost certainly Brazil has something to offer you, regardless of your tastes.

And while this largest of all Latin countries has seen rapid development in recent years, there are still good investment opportunities to be had in some desirable areas.

A Large, Tropical Paradise

Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country—larger, in fact, than the continental U.S. It comprises more than half of South America, bordering every country except Chile and Ecuador.

The capital of Brazil is Brasilia, with a population of 2.5 million. Its largest city is São Paulo, with over 11 million. Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second-largest city, has an official population of 6.5 million. Brazil has modern cities such as Curitiba and Porto Alegre, and is peppered with lovely colonial towns such as Paraty and Ouro Preto.Brazil Beach

Brazil is blessed with almost 5,000 miles of sandy beaches, warm Atlantic waters, a fantastic climate, and mountains with spring-fresh weather. And don’t forget the Amazon Basin, or the Pantanal, the world’s largest seasonal wetlands.

Brazil’s weather is definitely part of its appeal. The climate is mostly tropical (Brazil has the world’s longest tropical coast), but with temperate climates in the southern part of the country. Temperatures are warm and balmy all year in the tropical areas, but much of the coast enjoys a pleasant onshore breeze, which makes for comfortable weather and clean, healthy air.

What Brazil does not have are earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

Brazil’s culture is one of the richest and most fascinating on earth, having added the cultural influences of Europe, Africa, and Asia to its indigenous roots. These roots have together produced a wonderfully rich panorama which ranges from samba to capoeira, and from the festas juninas of the North to the churrascos and mate of the South.

It’s no surprise that many IL readers have taken advantage of the opportunity to retire, own a second home, or invest in Latin America’s largest nation.

Brazilians: The Best Part of Brazil

The Brazilian people are animated, receptive, and irrepressibly upbeat. And although the country has developed and modernized rapidly, it retains a relationship-centered culture. Family and friends are still the central focus for most.

And yet, Brazilians are amazingly receptive of outsiders—as was noted by virtually everyone who visited Brazil during the 2014 World Cup games. Brazilians take pride in helping others, and greet expats with warmth and curiosity.

There are certainly pronounced regional differences. The North and Northeast are known for being laidback; the Cariocas of Rio have their own distinctive flair; Paulistas hustle and have a reputation for business savvy; while the Gauchos of the South have much in common with their neighbors in Argentina and Uruguay. And yet there are traits which unite all the regions, including warmth and a positive outlook.

Expats are Coming to Brazil Like Never Before

Brazil is starting to draw North American expats like never before. And not just expats, but second-home buyers and property investors are also coming down in record numbers.

People are drawn by the thousands of miles of beautiful, white-sand beaches and the warm, tropical weather. But more than that, the Brazilian culture, music, and language are unfamiliar, exotic, and romantic to North Americans. They’re buying beachfront properties and investing in lucrative pre-construction developments—while enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle.

Although Brazil is not as cheap as it was a few years ago, in most locations the cost of living is still low by North American standards. Inexpensive properties, incredible natural beauty, and agreeable weather combine to add up to a tremendous value.

From the Archives of Brazil

A New Way to Make Money by Teaching English

A New Way to Make Money by Teaching English

My second cup of coffee is half gone as I fill in the last square of the Sudoku. The LA Times crossword has already been vanquished. Now it's time for Eduardo, my first student of the day, to join me. He's a few minutes late (as usual). But I don't mind. When you teach English online to students via Skype, everything is easier.

“How I Make a Living in a Small Town in Brazil”

“How I Make a Living in a Small Town in Brazil”

I worked in corporate America for more than 20 years. I made good money. Outwardly, I led a successful life. But I sacrificed a lot. Frequent travel made maintaining relationships difficult. My workload seemed to grow inexorably. Every phone call, voicemail, and e-mail seemed to bring yet another problem I needed to resolve. I grew to dread beginning my work day.

Brazil Real Estate

Brazil Real Estate

Brazil has the reputation for having the best beaches in the world. Ask a Brazilian and they will tell you that Ceará has the best beaches in Brazil. We cannot disagree. Kitesurfers and windsurfers have long kept this stretch of coastline a secret. Looking east and west and seeing virgin beach stretch as far as the eye can see, you have to wonder how they kept it secret for so long. In places along the coast, these wide, white-sand beaches are reminiscent of parts of Florida’s coast—without the crowds.

Postcard from the Edge (of Brazil)

Postcard from the Edge (of Brazil)

Daily Postcard
By |
April 3, 2015

At my sidewalk table, I smile to myself, and hoist my glass for another sip. Full-bodied German beer, a tidy Mayberry-esque town square across the street…and gauchos in full regalia passing by. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe I’m in Brazil And in fact, the locals proudly refer to their little slice of heaven as Outro Brazil: “Another Brazil.” Stretching east to west across Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, the Serra Gaucha (“Cowboy Highlands”) is a delightful little enclave reminiscent of the rolling hills of the Great Smoky Mountains of my native North Carolina.

Small-Town USA in Brazil’s Wine Country

Small-Town USA in Brazil’s Wine Country

Daily Postcard
By |
December 17, 2014

The Serra Gaúcha lies in the northeast part of Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, which borders Argentina and Uruguay. It’s far enough south (29 degrees) and high enough (about 2,800 feet) to have four true seasons. Each winter the thermometer drops to freezing a few days. There is light snow some years. The Serra Gaúcha has three regions: the eastern Gaúcha region, which is largely farmland and villages; the central, German-influenced region; and the Italian region in the west, which—no surprise—is home of the state’s wine industry. Vineyards and wineries cluster around the town of Bento Gonçalves.