Introduction to Brazil
The vast country of Brazil provides a stunning mix of natural spectacles, cities moving to the samba beats and some of the best beaches in the world! Surpassing all expectations the South American giant is a colorful and unforgettable travel experience. The golden sandy beaches, the sounds of its verdant Amazon rainforest and its iconic landmarks and atmosphere offer a rhythmical soundtrack that can only be found in Brazil. There is no doubt that this mighty nation is one of the most captivating places to explore with its highlights ranging from colonial towns to dramatic landscapes, waterfalls and idyllic views. From horseback riding in the Pantanal and boating through the quintessential Amazon Rainforest river system to snorkeling in azure waters and simply relaxing with a caipirinha; there is never a dull moment in Brazil.
Brazil amazes all those who travel there just by its sheer beauty and natural blessings. It’s no wonder that Brazilians say ‘Deus e Brasileiro’ (God is Brazilian) when the vibrant Pantanal, the steamy Amazon Jungle, the glistening Chapada Diamantina, the golden coast of Brazil, the roaring Iguaçu Falls and so much more are waiting to be explored! As mind-blowing as the landscapes and vistas of Brazil are, its history and culture create one of the most interesting vibes in the whole of South America. With influences from Africa, Japan, Europe, the Middle East and the native Indians; Brazil’s flavors, colors and history shine for all to enjoy and explore especially through its unique blend of cuisines. Brazil is a traveler’s haven and without a doubt one of the most dreamed about travel destinations in the world!
Explore the Highlights
Rio de Janeiro
Nestled between the deep blues of the Atlantic Ocean and Guanabara Bay and, the dark greens of the forested mountains and the stunning beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana; Rio is truly one of the world’s great cities! Find out more…
The romantic charm of Búzios is not just in the quaint old fishing village with its winding cobblestone streets and picturesque harbor. It occupies part of a small peninsula ringed by 25 beautiful tropical beaches. Read on…
A picturesque colonial town south of Rio de Janeiro along the Costa Verde. The town itself, colorful old buildings and fishing boats, is dwarfed by the forest-covered mountains, sloping down to meet blue waters of the Atlantic. Find out more…
Forget Niagara and Victoria Falls, when you see the unstoppable flow of the Iguaçu Falls you’ll be stopped in your tracks – it’s not for nothing that Iguaçu Falls was recently named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World! Continue reading…
Manaus & The Amazon
With over half of the world’s largest jungle found in Brazil, it is little wonder that the area’s main city, Manaus, serves as the point for most people to begin their adventures into the diverse and wildlife-filled Amazon Jungle. Read on…
Pantanal & Bonito
Wildlife in abundance and large flooded plains make it possible to spot jaguars, pumas, wolves, deer, anteaters, armadillos, monkeys, around 650 species of bird, and 250 species of fish among many others! Find out more…
Salvador de Bahia
Salvador is the heartbeat of Brazil’s African culture, rhythms, dances, clothes, foods and beliefs. Samba, Candomblé rituals, and capoeira all imported from Africa can be found in the joyous city of Salvador de Bahia. Find out more…
The chapadas and valleys in this area of Bahia are covered with lush green forests, waterfalls dropping from the top and rivers of the coldest, purest water rushing into the bottom of valleys. Discover more…
When to travel in Brazil
Best times to go
Brazil generally has a temperate climate all year round meaning there is no bad time to visit Brazil! The summer runs from December to February with Rio’s beaches and the beautiful northeast becoming busy due to the high temperatures (above 80°F/27˚C). Throughout the rest of the year temperatures are generally in the mid-70s ˚F (low 20s ˚C) to low 80s ˚F (mid-20s ˚C). If traveling through the south of Brazil, the temperature variations are more obvious with lows of approximately 60°F (16˚C) in the winter month of June to August up to about 95°F (35˚C) in the summer months. It is rare for the Brazilian Amazon to have temperatures above 80°F (27˚C) however it is extremely humid and there can often been heavy rainfall over the Amazon Basin throughout the year. The dry season of Brazil makes the treks into the Amazon and Pantanal especially from June to August a delight! Make sure not to get confused about the seasons with people from the north of Brazil, calling December to March the winter due to the amount of rainfall in spite of it actually being during the height of Brazil’s summer!
Health & Safety
Despite Brazil’s having a reputation for high levels of crime, and while this reputation is not entirely undeserved, it is often overblown with most travelers enjoying a trouble free time. Credit card fraud and ATM scams are commonplace in Brazil so visitors should work closely with their financial institutions to monitor their accounts regularly for undocumented withdrawals or charges. Be sensible, as you would anywhere in the world especially on public beaches where thefts and pickpockets take advantage of travelers being a little more relaxed with their valuables. Remember you are foreign and so will stick out already. Don’t wear lots of eye catching jewelry or flash expensive cameras, laptops or iPhones around. Don’t venture into unsafe areas. If traveling by bus, don’t leave belongings unattended. Health wise, make sure you get the necessary vaccinations before traveling.
No mandatory vaccinations are required to visit Brazil. We do recommend visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to make sure everything is up to date.
Nationals of the EU do not require a visa to enter Brazil and are granted a 90 day travel visa upon arrival. Citizens of the USA and other countries may require a visa to enter Brazil and it is generally advised that they contact the Brazilian embassy in their home country for information. The Wikipedia Visa Policy of Brazil is a great starting point to begin exploring whether or not any particular nationality might need to obtain a tourist visa to visit Peru.
Money / Currency – ATM, Credit Cards
The official currency of Brazil is the Real and the exchange rate is approximately ~ BRL$ 3.25 to USD$1.00. It is recommended that one brings cash in Dollars and/or Euros as these are easy to exchange anywhere in the country. Only Visa cards can be used to withdraw cash advances at the ATMs of Banco do Brasil and Banco Bradesco; only MasterCard at HSBC, Itaú and Banco Mercantil. More Brazilian banks are linking their cash dispensers to the Cirrus and Maestro networks; the most reliable and widespread is the Banco 24 Horas network and HSBC. For security reasons most bank ATMs stop dispensing cash after 8pm, although Banco 24 Horas in large supermarkets will dispense until 10pm. Airport ATMs are the only ones that dispense cash all hours. We recommend visiting the website XE Currency Converter to get current exchange rates.
The official language of Brazil is Brazilian Portuguese and it is the largest lusophone country in the world, and the only one in the Americas. English is the language that dominates the tourist sector and most tour guides, tour operators, and hotels are proficient in English. One can generally get by with English alone although life is made much easier if one learns a few simple Brazilian Portuguese sentences before arriving.
Voltage is not standard throughout the country but most cities, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Manaus, Salvador, use 110/127 Volts. If you’d like to learn more about the types of plugs in Argentina, check out the website What Plug Info – Brazil.
Family Travel in Brazil
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 and assaltantes 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, and taking in such incredible sights as Iguaçu Falls, Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro or spotting incredible wildlife in the Brazilian 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.
Getting Around Brazil
Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and the fifth largest in the world! Stretching over 2,731 miles (4,395 km) from north to south, the distances that you’ll need to travel if you want to see all of its highlights are pretty hefty. Brazil therefore relies on air travel with most towns in Brazil having at least an airstrip, and all cities have an airport although they are usually some distance from the actual city center. People therefore prefer to take an internal flight or two in order to save time, avoid lengthy journeys by road and to enjoy seeing Brazil’s impressive landscapes from above. As air travel is the main form of cross-country transport, the lines in the airports can be quite long. If traveling with children, go straight to the front of the lines as families, pregnant women and seniors are usually given priority. The bus system in Brazil is excellent and makes traveling around the country easy, comfortable and economical, despite the huge distances involved. Inter-city buses leave from a station called a rodoviária, usually built on city outskirts and keep an eye out for the luxury buses called leitos, which do overnight runs between the major cities. Ferries and boats are also an important way of traveling around Brazil especially if you’re visiting the islands along the Green Coast, navigating your way through the flooded forests of the Amazon or through the wetlands of the Pantanal.
Sample Itinerary of Brazil
Days 1-4 Rio de Janeiro
Your visit to all of Rio’s highlights will take you sky high to experience picture perfect views of its magical cityscape. You can add on extra days or enjoy a special nightlife tour of Rio, surrounded by the rhythms and beats of samba in the Lapa district.
Days 4-5 Iguazu Falls
Enjoy an up-close and personal tour of the Natural World Wonder of Iguazu Falls, followed by an incredible boat ride adventure through, up to and around the waterfalls of “Garganta del Diablo” (or Devil’s Throat). Don’t let the name fool you; it’s paradise!
Days 5-7 Salvador de Bahia
Explore the authentic highlights from the heart of the city at Pelourinho, the Barra lighthouse, and the Nossa Senhora do Rosario dos Pretos Church. Taking just 30 seconds, travel 236ft. up the beautifully restored, art deco Elevador Lacerda for spectacular sunset and city views.
Days 7-10 Morro de Sao Paulo
Miles upon miles of stunning beaches which become progressively longer and quieter the further away you go from the center. With no cars allowed on the island, you can enjoy watching the sunset in peace and quiet with a fresh and fruity cocktail.