Brazil is the largest country in South America.  It is the world’s fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people.  It is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas and the largest Lusophone country in the world.  A Lusophone is someone who speaks the Portuguese language, either as a native, as an additional language, or as a learner.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 km long.  It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Bolivia and Peru; on the southwest by Argentina and Paraguay and on the south by Uruguay.

Brazil is largely responsible for making this ride as large as it is.  Most cyclists when they ride from the Arctic to Argentina stick to the Pan American Highway (straight down the west coast).  For me personally, I cannot ride into South America and not ride east to the Amazon.  Most cyclists don’t ride east to the Amazon.  The Amazon is a prerequisite to entering South America for me.  The problem is what do you do when you hit the mouth of the Amazon River?  The logical response for me is to take a series of boats trips all the way up the Amazon into Ecuador.  The other possibility will have bike the Trans-Amazonia Highway; a largely unpaved road that snakes its way along the Amazon River.

Brazil will be a country that will see me enter the country on 3 separate accounts.  The first time I will enter the country is from Venezuela to be able to enter Guyana, the second time is when I leave French Guiana towards the Amazon and the third time will be when I leave Paraguay and head towards Uruguay.  I am unsure if I will have time to head to Rio de Janeiro from Paraguay; but it would be nice stop.

The Amazon River – The Amazon River in South America is the second longest river in the world and by far the largest by water flow with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined (not including Madeira and Rio Negro, which are tributaries of the Amazon).  The Amazon River has the largest drainage basin in the world, about 7,050,000 km2, accounts for approximately one-fifth of the world’s total river flow.

I will take numerous boats up the Amazon to reach Ecuador or many many rough kilometres of riding along the Trans-Amazonian Highway.  At this time I have no specific information on this route so please stay tuned. 

Iguazu Falls – Iguazu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian State of Parana and the Argentine Province of Misiones.  The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu.  The biggest drop is 82 m and there are 275 separate waterfalls extending for 2.7 km along the Iguazu Falls.  The river flows through Brazil for most of its course.  The Iguazu River forms the boundary between Brazil and Argentina.

I will reach these falls later in my ride when I leave Paraguay.


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