Two kinds of visitors travel to Brazil:
those who are already in love with it and those who are about to be.

For complete and useful background about Brazil visit the govermment site:
It's well done and full of useful information - except about gastronomy!

For a more informal, personal and irreverent take on Brazil and inland travel there visit:

And for depth you can buy guide books. Three of note are: the "Rough Guide" published in the U.K. and two guides from "Lonely Planet" one on Brazil and another specifically on Rio.