A remarkable testament to modern architecture and city planning, BrasÃlia is a visually astounding and culturally intriguing place to visit. In addition to being the federal capital of Brazil, succeeding Rio de Janeiro on April 21, 1960, BrasÃlia is also a natural crossroads for treks into Brazil's northern and interior terrain. Travelers on their way to other destinations are well advised to make a stop in Brasilia, at least long enough to take a city tour and catch a glimpse of the unique and ultra-modern urban designs.
Designed by Professor LÃºcio Costa, ostensibly to resemble a bent bow and arrow, the city is an eclectic collection of Congressional buildings, shopping centers, and cathedrals, all interspersed among the stunning greenery of city parks. In recognition of its spectacular city scenery, UNESCO declared Brasilia a World Heritage Site. A few of the sites to visit include the PalÃ¡cio de Alvorada, PalÃ¡cio do Jaburu, Congress (visitors can attend debates when Congress is in session), Museu HistÃ³rico de BrasÃlia, Panteao Tancredo Neves, Catedral Metropolitana, Dom Bosco, and Templo da Boa Vontade. Just 15 minutes by car from the city is Parque nacional de BrasÃlia, founded in 1961 in an effort to preserve local flora and fauna. Those keen for a bit more of nature can also head 250 kilometers outside BrasÃlia, to Chapadados Veadeiros National Park, which boasts stunning waterfalls, rock canyons and hot water springs.
The city is served by Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport which boasts the third highest airtraffic in the country. Most international flights, however, require connections to SÃ£o Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.