Perhaps best-known for its sport and breathtaking scenery, Brazil is home to more than 2,500 universities, with elite institutions including the University of São Paulo, the biggest public university in the country and one of the best in Latin America. Also home to São Paulo State University, Brazil’s largest city and financial capital is also considered the nation’s cultural centre, home to a plethora of museums, art galleries and concert halls - and it has a vibrant nightlife.
Brazil’s 8,000km of coastline include thousands of spectacular beaches. Also unmissable is carnival season, which starts in February. Rio de Janeiro’s carnival is the biggest in the world, with more than two million people lining the streets each day to witness more than 300 bands and samba schools.
Brazil produces a third of the world’s coffee and is renowned for a wide variety of street food. The country's football team has won the World Cup more than any other nation, and football, by far the most popular sport, has been likened to a religion in the country. But many also like volleyball and, to a slightly lesser extent, mixed martial arts and basketball. Famous Brazilians include footballer Pelé and the late Formula 1 racing driver Ayrton Senna.
Public universities have free tuition for home and international students, but places are limited and most students attend private institutions.
Find the best universities in South America using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data
Brazil leads Times Higher Education’s debut ranking of the top universities in Latin America