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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Location Feature, brazil, fernando de noronha, praia do sancho,

Diving into Baía do Sancho

To view more photos and videos from Noronha, explore the Baía do Sancho location page.

Nature lovers from all over the world hike up the cliffs at Baia de Sancho beach, 354 km (220 mi) off the Northern Brazilian coast, for a view of two enormous volcanic rock formations emerging from the water. Known as Dois Irmãos (“two brothers”) because of their almost identical shape and close proximity, the rock formations are one of Brazil’s natural wonders.

Considered by many as Brazil’s most beautiful beach, Baía do Sancho is one step on the island chain of Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site of 21 islands. The island is only accessible by plane or boat from the northern cities of Recife or Natal, and once there visitors must brave a steep, rickety ladder to access the beach. These difficulties don’t faze a steady stream of adventurers, however, who make the trek to snorkel in the crystal waters among turtles, baby sharks and exotic fish.

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carnaval, carnival, brazil, recife, salvador, rio de janeiro,

Carnaval in Brazil

For more photos and videos from Carnaval 2014 in Brazil, explore the Sambódromo and Sambodromo do Anhembi location pages and browse the #Carnaval, #Salvador, #Olinda and #Recife hashtags.

In Brazil, it’s jokingly said that the year only really begins after Carnaval, the annual five-day festival before Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of Lent. Brazilians take Carnaval seriously: most of the country shuts down to take part in the festivities and some participants begin planning their costumes and events up to a year in advance. The cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Vitória are known for giant parades led by samba schools, which bring in millions of viewers in person and through televised broadcasts. Smaller parades, or blocinhos, are also very popular as anyone can join in the parade as it progresses.

In the northeast, Carnaval is heavily influenced by Afro-Brazilian culture—and especially by its music. Huge crowds follow trucks blasting live music performances from famous Brazilian stars. This year’s singers include Claudia Leitte (@claudialeitte), Ivete Sangalo (@veveta), Gilberto Gil (@gilbertogil), Preta Gil (@pretagil) and Daniela Mercury (@danielamercury).

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Location Feature, rio de janeiro, brazil, hang gliding,

A Bird’s-Eye View: Hang Gliding over Rio de Janeiro

For more photos and videos of hang gliding in São Conrado, explore the Pedra Bonita location page.

Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is known for its breathtaking views and natural beauty, a combination that makes nearby Praia São Conrado one of the world’s premiere hang gliding spots for tourists and locals alike. Hang gliders experience a bird’s-eye view of iconic landmarks such as Pão de Açúcar and the Cristo Redentor statue on Corcovado mountain. The setting allows hang gliders to savor an adrenaline rush while feasting on Rio’s jaw-dropping skyline. A few daredevils have shared their experience through photos and videos on Instagram.

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Location Feature, brazil, street art, graffiti, speto, beco do batman,

Beco do Batman: Where Street Becomes Art

For more photos and videos from the graffiti murals in Vila Madalena, explore the Beco do Batman location page.

Tucked away in one of São Paulo’s most bohemian neighborhoods, Vila Madalena, you’ll find a discrete alleyway known to locals as “Beco do Batman.” The passage is home to some of the city’s most respected graffiti artists’ work and murals cover the walls in explosions of color, capturing the city’s vibrant graffiti scene and overall creative energy. Artist Speto (@speto) considers Beco do Batman “a peaceful and playful manifestation of street art in the city.” He painted his first mural at Beco do Batman in 2006 when he was given a wall by Boleta, a fellow artist he deeply admired. Speto’s mural, a beautiful large bird, is still there today and has deep significance for him as an artist.

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Brasília, brazil, photo feature,

Architecture in Brasília

Spotlight See more photos of Brasília’s famous architecture by visiting the Praça dos Três Poderes, Museu Nacional Honestino Guimarães, Palácio do Planalto, and Memorial JK location pages.

In the heart of Brazil lies Brasília, the country’s Federal Capital and fourth largest city. Brasília has another interesting claim to fame: it’s the largest city in the world that did not exist at the beginning of the 20th century.

Brasília’s construction began in 1956, led by urban planner Lúcio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer. Four years later, the city formally became Brazil’s national capital.

Niemeyer’s distinctive, grand modernist architecture defines the capital city, as does what some call a utopian city plan (its nickname is the “ilha da fantasia” or “fantasy island,” indicating the sharp contrast between the city and surrounding regions). When viewed from above, the main portion of Brasília resembles an airplane or a butterfly.