As the largest country in South America, a visit to Brazil means you’ll have a lot of ground to cover. Our travel experts know these regions well, so taking any one of our Brazil tours will leave you with a plethora of new adventures under your belt.
Before you head to this wonderful country, keep reading our Brazil travel guide to find out everything you need to know.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TOURING IN BRAZIL
Brazil puts on a stunning display of natural wonders, samba beats and, what we believe are the world’s most idyllic beaches. South America’s giant, Brazil is a vibrant and unique travel experience that will surpass all of your expectations.
From Rio’s glistening sandy beaches and iconic landmarks to the weird and wonderful sights and sounds of the Brazilian Amazon. Wherever you travel to in Brazil, you’re never too far from being immersed in its unique atmosphere. This country is, without a doubt, one of the most captivating places you can visit not only in South America but in the world.
Keep reading to find out about the very best Brazil tour.
From Rio’s glistening sandy beaches and iconic landmarks to the weird and wonderful sights and sounds of the Brazilian Amazon, wherever you travel to in Brazil, you’re never too far from being immersed in its unique atmosphere. Brazil is without a doubt one of the most captivating places you can visit not only in South America but in the world.
Best times to travel and other useful information you’ll need about tours to Brazil
WHERE & WHEN TO TRAVEL
The country generally has a temperate climate all year round so there is no bad time to take adventure tours in Brazil! The summer takes place between December and February with Rio’s beaches and the beautiful northeast becoming relatively busy because of the high temperatures (above 80°F/27˚C).
During the rest of the year, temperatures are generally in the mid-70s ˚F (low 20s ˚C) to low 80s ˚F (mid-20s ˚C). If you’re traveling through the south of Brazil, the temperature variations are a little more noticeable. With lows of approximately 60°F (16˚C) in the winter months of June and August, all the way up to about 95°F (35˚C) in the summer months.
It’s rare for the Brazilian Amazon to have temperatures above 80°F (27˚C) but it is extremely humid and there can often be heavy rainfall over the Amazon Basin throughout the year. Brazil’s dry season makes the treks into the Amazon and Pantanal a delight, especially from June to August!
REGIONAL WEATHER IN brazil
Best times of the year to travel to different regions in Brazil
Once you’ve decided on the best Brazil tour packages for you, there’s still a lot of things you need to know before heading over to this South American country. Because we’ve been a tour operator in Brazil for a long time, we’ve got all the tips you need right here.
USEFUL BRAZIL TRAVEL INFORMATION
This section will help you with planning a trip to Brazil. It will give you a general idea of the region, what areas may be of interest, visas, and other great information worth considering when preparing for your journey to the region.
PASSPORT & VISA
Brazil announced in 2018 that travelers from a number of countries will now be able to apply for an e-visa. Australian, Canadian, Japanese, and US nationals can use the new e-visa service to apply for a Brazilian tourist visa.
There’s more good news for those who have to apply for a Brazilian visa. The cost of obtaining the visa has dropped dramatically from $160 to just $44.24 which includes the online service fee ($4.24).
Visit the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to apply and you should receive a final decision email from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs within 4 to 5 business days. While it depends on your nationality, most visitor visas are valid for 2 years from the date of issue.
Traveling to Brazil with children is relatively easy and is a great place for family travel. Brazilians are, in general, very open-minded and welcoming when it comes to kids. In fact, it is also more secure: even thieves seem to respect families with children and leave them alone.
Brazil’s beaches, jungles, and wetlands will also provide plenty of fresh air and exercise for kids and teens. Taking in Brazil’s incredible sights as Iguaçu Falls, Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, or spotting incredible wildlife in the Amazon or the Pantanal are bound to make a lasting impression.
The diversity and vibrancy of Brazilian culture will add a captivating dimension to your children’s experience in Brazil. Much of the country offers excellent hotel facilities and good accessibility for pushchair-toting parents.
In the Pantanal, the wildlife is abundant and can be viewed on foot, boat or horseback, keeping kids amused and engaged. There are beaches, snorkeling, zip-lining, and caves to explore; plus dance schools, live music, cable cars, and interactive museums.
Our Brazil vacation packages make it easy to combine all the wonderful activities in one holiday.
CULTURE & LANGUAGE
The official language of Brazil is Brazilian Portuguese which differs ever so slightly from the Portuguese that is spoken in Portugal. As almost the entire population speaks the language, there are approximately 190 million Portuguese speakers just in Brazil.
There are also a number of indigenous languages within the country, with the highest concentration found in northern Brazil. Many of the immigrant communities still use their native tongue to a certain degree.
You will usually come across Italian and German languages being spoken by these communities as there was a huge wave of migration from Europe to Brazil at the end of the 19th century.
FOOD SCENE & DINING
As a result of Brazil’s extensive slavery and immigration history, Brazilian food, flavors, and traditions is just as eclectic as its vast and diverse population. You can quickly draw a line from the influences of Portugues, African, Japanese, and Italian cuisines. Meaning the food you’ll be served depends mostly on the concentration of the particular culture or background present in that region of Brazil.
The food you eat in the northeast of Brazil is completely different from the dishes you’ll try in southern Brazil. Generally speaking, restaurants offer excellent value for money, and you’ll be blown away by the number of juices on offer.
Brazil’s national drink is Cachaça which has on average 40% and is made from sugar-cane. From Japanese cuisine to Portuguese colonial influences, food in Brazil is overflowing with a wide variety of culinary pleasures.
VACCINATIONS & HEALTH
No vaccinations are required to visit Brazil, but please review recommendations with the US Center for Disease Control & Prevention. Yellow fever is also a concern in some parts of Brazil. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, yellow fever is present in most states, save for a few areas along the eastern coastline.
A yellow fever vaccination is recommended if you are traveling anywhere outside of major coastal cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Recife, and Fortaleza. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that malaria is present in the states of Acre, Amapa, Rondonia, Amazonas, Roraima, and Tocantins. As well as in some parts of Mato Grosso and Para, and in several cities.
Using insect repellant, wearing clothing with long sleeves and pants, and taking anti-malarial drugs can help reduce the chance of contracting this mosquito-borne virus. Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip (such as MMR vaccine, DTP vaccine, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and your yearly flu shot).
World Nomads have Standard & Explorer Plans available, as mentioned.
MONEY & CURRENCY
Brazil’s official currency is the Real, and the approximate exchange rate as of 2020 is BRL $5.16 to USD $1.00. We recommend that you bring some US Dollars with you as you will be able to exchange them easily throughout Brazil. It’s important to note that you can only use Visa cards to withdraw cash advances at Banco do Brasil and Banco Bradesco ATMs.
If you have a MasterCard, most likely you can only use it at the ATMs of HSBC, Itaú, and Banco Mercantil. Most of the ATMs in banks around Brazil do not dispense cash after 8 PM due to security reasons.
The exception to this rule is the Banco 24 Horas ATMs which dispense money until 10 PM in some large supermarkets. If you’re arriving late at an airport in Brazil, you will be able to withdraw cash there as they are the only which dispense money at all hours.
Although the locals flaunt their jewelry, keep yours out of sight or at the hotel especially if you’re walking around at night as unfortunately there are regular chain snatchings. You should use this rule for your cell phone which, like your cash or bank cards, should be kept in your front pocket or even better underneath your clothing in a money belt.
If you use your common sense during the day, you should have no issues while exploring the tourist areas of Brazil. While relaxing on the idyllic beaches of Brazil, especially in Rio, tie your belongings to your beach chair or umbrella.
Bag-snatching on the beach is common so we recommend that you don’t take anything of real value to the beach aside from enough Brazilian reals to cover your refreshing caipirinhas, food, and coconuts. If you’re traveling around at night, we suggest using Uber to and from your hotel.
Voltage is not standard throughout the country but most cities, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Manaus, and Salvador, use 110/127 Volts. You will have to exercise extreme caution about this.
Before plugging any electronic device, you should check your device voltage, and you should ask when checking into your accommodation what voltage is used. If you need a plug adapter (changes the shape of your plug to fit the outlet) or voltage converter, you should first check your appliance compatibility with the voltage.
Travelers from North America are usually able to use just a plug adapter with devices such as a laptop as they generally use between 120-220V. You should check your other devices/appliances such as hair dryers which may not be compatible with 220V.
READ THE STORIES OF OUR TRAVEL EXPERTS
To find out more about the culture, lifestyle, and places to travel in Brazil. We’ll be looking at a range of destinations, traditions, and travel tips for this incredible country in our Travel Blog.
What’s better is you’ll be hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth – people living and working right here in Brazil. Learn about our favorite restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, research the best parts of this massive country, or stay informed about upcoming festivals taking place across the country.
Visit our Travel Blog for travel tips, inspiration, and all the latest! Some of our favorite articles on Brazil:
Jeremy, I wanted to say thank you to all of the Class Adventure Travel crew. I booked a trip to Peru to see Machu Picchu and to do some hiking. It was the most exciting and active vacation that I have ever taken. The hike was outstanding. The views were spectacular and the food was great. The ruins at Machu Picchu are indescribable, you have to see it to enjoy the beauty; I'm glad I did! I toured the city of Cusco and also the Sacred Valley. All of the guides that I had spoke English very well and were very well informed about the history of the area. I stayed at the Hotel Casa San Blass in Cusco and The Sanctuary Lodge at Machu Picchu and both hotels were very nice. I look forward to visiting Peru again someday! Jim Smith, East Peoria, IL
from the United States to Peru
Dear CAT Travel. I got back last night from my trip and was intending to write to let you know that I was very happy with the arrangements made for me. Let me say first of all that the agency personnel whom I had contact with were very helpful and ensured that I was where I needed to be and got there safely. In most instances they remained until the plane had departed before leaving the airport and I appreciated this. In particular, in Cuzco Rossie was very organized, gave me some good advice - like buying a rain poncho- and resting enough. She herself went to buy me some bottled water and crackers while I rested so I could have something to snack lightly on while I adjusted to the altitude. The guides who gave us the tours in Ollantay Tambo and in Machu Picchu were very knowledgeable and professional in their attitudes to us while keeping us interested in their comments. The guide who showed us around Cuzco had a keen sense of humour too. I was very happy with the hotel selection, the Libertad in Trujillo was wonderful and so was the Casa Andina Private Collection at Aguas Calientes. I was glad to learn that a dinner had been included in my rate there as there was nowhere nearby to go for dinner. It seemed to me that the hotel personnel in all the hotels are well trained and while friendly are not intrusive. Regarding tour specialist Marcos Wolff I can only say that he helped me to get the elements of the trip that I wanted. I had to suspend my arrangements during July as surgery was being planned for early August and I did not know if the doctor would say I could travel. I made some new acquaintances on the way and that added to my pleasure at the trip. All in all, I had truly the trip that I was wishing for. Joan Seymour
from the United States to Brazil
Dear Adam, This is to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip to Manaus and the Iberostar cruise last week. Everything worked out perfectly. The hotel and shipboard accommodations, plus the tour and excursions, were wonderful. I was met and transferred exactly as promised. I especially want to commend you for being so responsive to my questions and concerns. Even to your checking to be sure I had my Brazil visa. You certainly have made Class Adventure Travel a “class act” in my opinion. John Taylor, Illinois