Travel to the Central Highlands of Brazil to see the architectural marvels of the country's capital and to hike through the wilderness of a national park.
The Federal District is a vast region in Brazil’s central highland plains, home to an architectural masterpiece, the capital city Brasília. Explore a fascinating cityscape of modernist architecture, unwind in beautiful parks and sail across a huge artificial lake.
Brasília is the Federal District’s main attraction. The city was founded in 1960 when the government decided to move the capital from Rio de Janeiro. Brasília was built in under 4 years by architects Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa and for architecture fans, there is a lot to see.
A good place to start is the Square of the Three Powers, the location of key government buildings. Admire the futuristic designs of the Federal Supreme Court, the National Congress and the Palácio do Planalto. Here, you will find the national flag of Brazil, said to be the largest flag in the world in continuous use.
The Square of the Three Powers is at the start of the Monumental Axis, the huge central avenue that is lined with many of the city’s most intriguing structures. Browse art exhibitions at the National Museum of the Republic, a white dome-shaped edifice that some say resembles a UFO. Climb the TV Tower for the views and visit the Cathedral of Brasília, a remarkable building formed by curved columns of concrete.
For some relaxation, enjoy the picturesque grounds of the Parque da Cidade (City Park) in the center of Brasília. Stroll, jog or cycle along its paths and picnic by the lake. There are more recreational opportunities over at Paranoá Lake, a large artificial body of water on the eastern edge of the city. Take part in many aquatic pursuits, including sailing and Jet Skiing.
Drive for about 6 miles (10 kilometers) outside of the city for the Brasília National Park. Hike through woodlands, across grassland and by streams and look for wildlife, such as deer, anteaters and armadillos.
Reach the Federal District by flying into Brasília International Airport. A rental car is the most convenient way to get around, but some places including those areas of greatest architectural interest, are served by public transport.