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While Brazil may not be home to South America’s largest waterfall — that honor is held by Venezuela, which is home to the 3,212-foot Kerepakupai-Meru waterfalls — it certainly has some of the continent’s most beautiful natural water formations.
When you Tour Brazil, there are plenty of scenic waterfalls you can see in every corner of the country. Here are some of the most spectacular:
Cascata do Caracol
Located in Brazil’s Parque Estadual do Caracol, the Cascata do Caracol is more than 400 feet tall and plunges over a sheer face of basalt rock.
Visitors can climb the park’s 100-foot observation tower to go get a bird’s eye view of the falls. Or you can travel directly over the falls in cable cars.
There’s also a gazebo that sits just 150 feet from the waterfall’s basin.
Iguaca River Falls
Iguaca National Park has a 1.5 mile stretch that runs along the Iguaca River, which features many different rapids and waterfalls. Just on the other side of the river is Argentina.
The river’s course takes it over a series of falls, including the Floriano and Deodoro falls on the Brazilian side. The rapids end in Devil’s Gorge after making a final 278-feet descent down a horseshoe-shaped waterfall.
The park also is a protected nature preserve which is home to many wild jaguars, ocelots, and giant anteaters, so make sure to bring your camera for a photo safari.
Serra do Cipo’s Waterfalls
Parque Nacional Serra do Cipo has more than a dozen waterfalls located throughout its 210 square miles. The most easily accessible one is Veu di Noiva, a 224-foot waterfall that sits alongside one of the park’s most popular hiking trails.
Another popular site is the Sobrado Waterfall, which is a five-mile hike into the park, but worth the trip.
Visitors are allowed to swim in the waterfalls’ pools, but camping within the park is not allowed.
Before you tour Brazil, it’s helpful to understand a little bit about what inspires and motivates the proud people who live there. One cultural clue comes from the flag of Brazil.
The current Brazilian flag features the same yellow and green colors that were part of the original Tour Brazil flag of the Empire of Brazil.
In the center of the flag is a blue orb that contains 27 five-pointed stars and the phrae, “Ordem e Progresso”, which is Portuguese for “Order and Progress”. The orb replaced the Empire of Brazil’s coat of arms that appeared on the original flag.
Today’s Brazilian flag was designed by Raimundo Teixeira Mendes, with the help of Miguel Lemos, Manuel Pereira Reis, and Decio Villares.
Significance of the Stars’ Positions
The day and location that the flag was first unveiled are very important to Brazilian history: November 19, 1889, in Rio de Janeiro.
That’s because the location of the 27 stars on the flag are the exact position of the stars in the sky over Rio at 8:37 a.m. on November 15, 1889, the day the constellation of the Southern Cross was on the Meridian of Rio de Janeiro and the longer arm of the cross was perfectly vertical.
What Each Star Represents
Each of the 27 stars represents one of Brazil’s 26 states, with an additional star for the Federal District. The first version of the flag had only 21 stars, but six additional stars were added tothe flag in 1992 to represent newly created states. Also, the star’s position was slightly changed to match the exact astronomical coordinates.
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