Pernambuco is one of the 26 states in Brazil and is located in the northeast of the country. The state of Pernambuco also includes the archipelago Fernando de Noronha. With an estimated population of 9.2 million people in 2013, it is the seventh most populous state of Brazil, and is the sixth most densely populated.
Pernambuco comprises a comparatively narrow coastal zone, a high inland plateau, and an intermediate zone formed by the terraces and slopes between the two. Its surface is much broken by the remains of the ancient plateau which has been worn down by erosion, leaving escarpments and ranges of flat-topped mountains, called chapadas, capped in places by horizontal layers of sandstone. Ranges of these chapadas form the boundary lines with three states–the Serra dos Irmãos and Serra Vermelha with Piauí, the Serra do Araripe with Ceará, and the Serra dos Cariris Velhos with Paraíba.
The coastal area is fertile, and was formerly covered by the humid Pernambuco coastal forests, the northern extension of the Atlantic Forests (Mata Atlântica) of eastern Brazil. It is now place to extensive sugar cane plantations.
The middle zone, called the agreste region, has a drier climate and lighter vegetation, including the semi-deciduous Pernambuco interior forests, where many trees lose their leaves in the dry season. The inland region, called the sertão is high, stony, and dry, and frequently devastated by prolonged droughts (secas).
The rivers of the state include a number of small plateau streams flowing southward to the São Francisco River, and several large streams in the eastern part flowing eastward to the Atlantic. The former are the Moxotó, Ema, Pajeú, Terra Nova, Brigida, Boa Vista and Pontai, and are dry channels the greater part of the year.
The largest of the coastal rivers are the Goiana River, which is formed by the confluence of the Tracunhaem and Capibaribe-mirim, and drains a rich agricultural region in the north-east part of the state; the Capibaribe, which has its source in the Serra de Jacarara and flows eastward to the Atlantic at Recife with a course of nearly 480 kilometres; the Ipojuca, which rises in the Serra de Aldeia Velha and reaches the coast south of Recife; the Serinhaen; and the Uná. A large tributary of the Uná, the Rio Jacuhipe, forms part of the boundary line with Alagoas.
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Fernando de Noronha is an UNESCO World Heritage site with fine beaches, marine wildlife and great landscapes to admire. It is located around 350 kilometres off the northeast coast of the country and can only be excessed by plane from places like Salvador, Recife or Rio de Janeiro.
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The FIFA World Cup 2014 will be held in Brazil. It takes place from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. The national teams of 32 countries will join the second biggest sports event in the world (after the Olympic Games). A total of 64 matches are to be played in twelve cities across Brazil, with the tournament beginning with a group stage. For the first time at a World Cup Finals, the matches will use goal-line technology. Twelve locations will be World Cup host cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo. They cover all the main regions of Brazil and create more evenly distributed hosting than the 1950 finals in Brazil provided, when matches were concentrated in the south-east and south. As a result the tournament will require significant long-distance travel for teams. Brazil opens the tournament against Croatia, played in Sao Paulo on the 12th of June, and the final will be played on the 13th of July in Rio de Janeiro.
Pernambuco enjoys a tropical climate with hot and humid conditions throughout the year. Temperatures during the day average between 28 °C from June to August to 31 °C from December to March. Nights are between 22 °C and 25 °C respectively. Precipitation is possible in every month, though March to August is by far wetter compared to the September to March period. Especially May and June are wet with around 300mm of rain a month in some places! October and November are perfect and almost completely dry.
Guararapes International Airport (REC) near Recife is the main airport and located just the city and handles over four million passengers a year. This airport has service to almost every major city in Brazil and South America. It also has service to Miami, Frankfurt, Munich, Atlanta, London and Lisbon.
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