Lonely Planet votes Brazil world's best country to visit

29th Oct 2013

Brazil has been recommended by Lonely Planet as the number one country to visit next year.

Lonely Planet should know, being the world's biggest travel guide publisher.

Brazil is packed with cultural sites and as many as 18 historic towns and natural wonders on the UNESCO list of World Heritage locations.

Visitors on luxury tours can explore gilded colonial churches in frozen-in-time cities such as Ouro Preto, while Iguazu National Park, which Brazil shares with Argentina, includes one of the world's most impressive waterfalls.

Atlantic Forest South-east Reserves in Parana and Sao Paulo feature some of the best examples of Atlantic forest, containing rich biodiversity as well as great scenic beauty.

Brasilia sees a major epoch in town planning. Everything, from the municipal buildings to the residential layout, seems planned and symmetrical.

The Brazilian Atlantic Islands are a paradisal escape which host sharks, turtles and the Western Atlantic's biggest collection of tropical seabirds. But, probably best of all for many tourists, is the large resident dolphin population.

The vast Central Amazon Conservation Complex, spanning more than 6 million hectares, is the Amazon Basin's biggest protected region and home to strange species such as giant arapaima fish and the Amazonian manatee, as well as two types of river dolphins.

Brazil is a hub of natural and cultural delights - and that's before mentioning it will host next summer's football World Cup.

Mexico finished sixth in Lonely Planet's rankings.

This slumbering giant is certainly waking and has become a playground for celebrities who appreciate sun-baking on a Caribbean beach after partying the night away in Cancún.

Tourists also enjoy brightly coloured handicrafts, gorging on seven types of mole (chilli sauce) in Oaxaca, and going back in time in a Mayan temple.

Things are set to get even better.

Major new Maya museums in Cancún and Mérida and the installation of Latin America's longest ziplines on the cusp of the jaw-dropping Copper Canyon are among Mexico's latest exciting developments.

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