Samba, fútbol, bellos paisajes

Iyna Bort Caruso

Brazil is ready for its close-up. The world’s fifth largest country and South America’s leading economy is front and center of high profile events that have all eyes watching. In 2014 it was the FIFA World Club, and in 2016 the Olympics.

The World Cup spawned a boom in tourism, but the country’s treasures extend well beyond sports. The former Portuguese colony boasts architectural gems, from colonial-era palaces and modernist towers to skyline-dominating icons like Cristo Redentor, the Christ the Redeemer statue. Its gems are ecological as well: wetlands, badlands and, most famously, Iguazu Falls and Amazon Rainforest.

There may be no more exuberant city than Rio de Janeiro, the caipirinha-sipping metropolis. The storied beaches, Oscar Niemeyer-designed buildings and mosaic Copacabana promenade capture the spirit that’s earned Rio the moniker Cidade Maravilhosa, the Marvelous city.

Not surprisingly Rio is a popular locale for overseas investors. Buyers from the U.S. and Europe are well represented in the ex-pat community. The wealthiest part of the city is along the coast in Rio’s South Zone, which includes the exclusive neighborhoods of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana.

The capital of Sao Paulo is a massive city of some 11 million and the country’s financial engine. It’s been called “an empire of enterprises.” In this city of skyscrapers, green space is especially valued. Pricier residential properties are generally located closer to parks, particularly the massive urban park, Parque Ibirapuera. Nearby Vila Nova is one of the most expensive areas in all of Brazil.

Beautiful coastal towns such as Santos, Guarujá and Maresias are all within driving distance.

Southeast Brazil where Rio and Sao Paulo are located is the region with the highest standard of living. For wealthier Brazilians, mountain and beach towns throughout the country, however, are increasingly popular second-home locales for their fast-growing tourism infrastructure and affordability.