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As good as a continent in its own right, Brazil is the giant of Latin America. In terms of area, Brazil is 24 times bigger than Germany and at least 94 times bigger than Portugal, which discovered and colonized it in 1500.
The distance from Brazil's northernmost point to its southern end is roughly equal to that from Norway's North Cape to the coast of Libya.
All climate zones are represented, from tropical Amazonia to the sub-tropical mid-western and coastal regions and the cooler south. As in Europe, there are four seasons.
Best time for travel is the Brazilian winter. As Brazil lies in the southern hemisphere, temperatures are mild in the months from October to April.
The heat is bearable, though downpours are always a possibility. While there are only two main seasons in the tropical latitudes, summer and the rainy season, the south has four seasons, like Europe.
São Paulo is the place to learn the basics for business. The country's economic capital has long been a boomtown, topping all the economic league tables: the largest industrial concentration; the most branches of foreign companies; the highest productivity; and the highest traffic density in the country.
Around 10 million people live in the city itself, and 20 million in Greater São Paulo. Nearly all nationalities are present, from Portuguese to Japanese, Germans to Italians and Lebanese.