The Amazon... the Northeast... Two essential names of the immense Brazil, two major myths offering an almost perfect contrast. To the west, the Amazon, a vast, impenetrable vegetation, perforated by the world's longest river, and the planet's main biodiversity reserve. To venture there is to give in to the call of the legends that have nourished our dreams, populated by fierce Indians, giant trees, and a fantastic bestiary (ferocious jaguars, voracious piranhas and man-eating anacondas). Once bathed in tropical humidity, one can understand how this extraordinary territory, with the fascination it provokes and the trouble it causes, could have given birth to them. And we will see that myth, as often happens, exceeds reality by caricaturing it. To experience the Amazon today is to confront the real and the imaginary and to go in search of primitive sensations. Discover the culture of the Caboclos, a mixed race of Indians and Europeans who live along the rivers. To experience the unheard-of power of a prodigious nature. And trusting his senses to receive the generosity.

To the east, the Nordeste, the great horn of Brazil, arid in its heart, barely more fertile as you approach the coast, offers a real compendium of emotions. It was here that Brazil was born and took its first steps, as the abundant remains of Salvador, Olinda, São Luis and Alcântara bear admirable witness. Here again that one marvels at the exceptional natural sites that alone would justify the journey: the Lençóis Maranhenses, Fernando de Noronha, the Chapada Diamantina, not to mention an infinite number of dream beaches. It is finally here that Brazilian culture, marked by the strength of its African heritage, stands out for its diversity and vitality: forró for music, Bumba meu boi for folklore, acarajé and seafood for gastronomy. Here are gathered in the same guide the Amazon and the Northeast, two regions that everything seems to oppose. With the exception of the use of superlatives, which are essential to present them and report on the tremendous energy that emanates from them. With the exception, too, of the admirable hospitality shown by their people to foreigners. This is the most beautiful invitation.

The editorial team

THANK YOU. We would like to thank all those, Brazilians or residents, who contributed to the writing of this guide.

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