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Travel Guide to Brazil with Local Expertise

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Brazil at a glance

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. Brazil is without a doubt one of the most captivating places you can visit not only in South America but in the world.

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The beauty and wonders of Brazil amaze all those who visit this vast South American country. It will quickly become evident while exploring the wildlife-rich Pantanal and Amazon, the incredible caves of Chapada Diamantina, the stunning beaches of Brazil and the thunderous falls of Iguaçu why Brazilians say ‘Deus e Brasileiro’ (God is Brazilian). Brazil’s history and culture are just as mind-blowing as the scenery on offer, making it one of the most exciting destinations to explore in Latin America. Featuring African, Japanese, European, Middle Eastern and native indigenous cultures, the flavors, traditions, and history of this melting-pot shine through in a unique blend of cuisines. A haven for all types of travelers, it comes as no surprise that Brazil is featured heavily on traveler bucket lists around the world.


Important info when visiting Brazil

Useful Traveler Information

This is the section with a road map to help you in planning your trip to Brazil, give an idea of 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.


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 as 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. There are beaches, snorkeling, zip lining and caves to explore; plus dance schools, live music, cable cars and interactive museums.


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 Portuguese there are approximately 190 million Portuguese speakers just in Brazil. There are also a number of indigenous languages within Brazil with the highest concentration found in northern Brazil. Many of the immigrant communities spread throughout Brazil 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.


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 therefore 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.


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 reais to cover your refreshing caipirinhas, food and, coconuts. If you’re traveling around at night, we suggest using Uber to and from your hotel.


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, Roraiama and Tocantins and is 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, they have Standard & Explorer Plans available. As mentioned.


Brazil’s official currency is the Real, and the approximate exchange rate as of 2018 is ~ BRL $3.85 to USD $1.00. We recommended 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.


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.

Related Blog Articles

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:

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