All In One Guide to Brazil

Know it all before you arrive in Brazil with our elite travel guide. From customs information, to emergency contacts, popular landmarks to interesting facts. You will find this all-in-one guide an essential travel resource for your vacation to Brazil.

About Brazil: Brazil is officially named Federative Republic of Brazil and is the largest country in South America, and is the fifth largest by both population and geography. Brazil was originally claimed by Portugal in 1500, but in 1815 Brazil was declared a sovereign state and no longer a colony. Brazil has over 7,000 km of coastline along the ocean, making it a beach lover's dream.

Travel Information about Brazil

Entry/Exit & Customs
Taxes & Fees
Medical
Crime
Getting Around
Culture
Landmarks
Safety

Brazil has an average temperature of 25 C (77 F), with more significant differences between night and day then by season. Brazil's yearly precipitation averages 800 mm (31.5 in). According to NASA, Brazil's northeast region has the second cleanest air in the world, only Antarctica has better!

Brazil has an incredible ecosystem. New species are continuously found. The lush tropical rainforests host an impressive array of mammals; from jaguars, pumas, ocelots, monkeys, and armadillos. Scientists estimate that Brazil could reach 4 million types of plants and animals.

Brazilians are talkative and friendly people. Brazilians take pleasure in dance, soccer, and socializing. Two thirds of are under the age of 29, which is one reason for the positive, chatty atmosphere Brazil offers.

National Anthem: Hino Nacional Brasileiro
Capital: Brasilia
Time Zone: GMT -2, GMT -3, GMT -4 (Year Round)
Languages: Portuguese
Power Outlets: North American Non-Grounded , North American Grounded, European 2-pin Electrical Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
Currency: Brazil Real BRL
Credit Cards: All major credit cards accepted
Travelers Checks: Traveler checks accepted
Side of Road to Drive on: Right
Legal Drinking Age: 18 to consume alcohol.

: : ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS

General Information:
-Valid passport that does not expire for a minimum of 6 months and has 2 empty pages on it.
-Visas are required for most visitors who are travelling to Brazil. See the list below for more details. To obtain a Brazilian Visa you should contact your closest Brazilian Embassy. If unsure contact the embassy to clarify, this information is subject to change, so we do suggest you contact the embassy regardless to re-verify.
-If you do not have proper paperwork you will be denied entry. You cannot obtain a visa in Brazil.
-Be sure to clarify what documentation you must provide to obtain a visa, especially if traveling with a minor or solely with a child.
-There is a fee associated with obtaining a visa for Brazil. This varies according to country. For the US it is $131 USD.
-Visit brazil.visahq.com to find out your countries Visa requirements.

Lone Children and/or Minors: Bring a notarized letter indicating the parent(s) have authorized the trip. Also provide the child's valid passport (and visa if applicable) that does not expire for a minimum of 6 months from the date of your departure.

: : CUSTOMS INFORMATION

General Information: Be sure to declare and bring receipts for all valuable personal belongings (ie. laptop, watch, etc.) or you could have to pay taxes on it when you leave.

Entry:

Imports Required to Declare at customs: Animals, plants, food, weapons, ammunition and some types of medicines (controlled substances), Verify with the Brazilian Embassy for any required permits

Before Departure:
Goods which exceed the amount of $500,00.
Money in excess of US$10,000.00 (in cash, checks or travelers checks) or the equivalent in any other foreign denomination.
Travelers who are bringing into the country goods which will be taken out with them of the country, must also present to Customs authorities the DBA- duly filled out (article 23 of Normative Instruction 117/98).

Entry of Pets: According to the Brazilian legislation that regulates the entrance of animals in Brazil, the International Health Certificate (IHC) must be legalized by the Brazilian Consulate 7(seven) days from its issuance and the Pets must enter Brazil within 30(thirty) days from the date the IHC has been issued.

This certificate of health examination must also receive a stamp from your governments department of health (inquire about this when contacting the Brazilian Embassy). The veterinarian certificate must state:

1. The good health of the animal.
2. The record of vaccines.
3. That on the 40 days prior to the day of the trip, there was no contagious diseases occurring in the area.

Departure:

You should verify allowable items to return to your own country with customs regulations (available at the information desk at your port of departure).

Prohibited items include:
Non-canned food and derivatives;
Earth, plants, flowers, etc.

: : SALES TAX AND FEES

Sales Tax: Automatically included in prices. No taxes should be added on.

Airport Taxes:
-Airport taxes are almost always included in your airfare. Verify with your airline before booking
-Departure Tax is approximately $38 USD

This tax is exempt for:
-Children under the age of 2;
-Diplomats (except Ecuador);
-Transit passengers complying with TWOV conditions;
-Airline crew travelers;

: : MEDICAL INFORMATION

Bringing in Prescription Drugs: Prescription drugs are allowed in Brazil. You must have a doctor's prescription or note indicating that the medicine is needed, the patient's name, and the medication(s) name.

Vaccinations: Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for all persons entering over 9 months of age.

IMPORTANT: The following areas are regarded as infected: Angola, Bolivia, Cameroon, Colombia, Congo (Dem Rep), Ecuador, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone and Sudan. Vaccination is strongly recommended for those intending to visit rural areas in the states of Acre, Amap, Amazonas, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Para, Rondonia, Roraima, Tocantins, and certain areas of Minas Gerais, Parana and Sao Paulo. If in any doubt, please contact the Brazilian Consulate General

Hospitals:

Rua 2 Maio 106, Olho D'agua Das Cunhas, Brazil
Tel: (55-98) 8371232

Am. Ssa. Cah. Unidade Mista De Larea
Av. Cel. L. Gomes s/n, Labrea, Brazil
Tel: (55-92) 7311108

Amaral ,Paulo S.
Shis. Ql 26, 8, Brasilia, Brazil
Tel: (55-61) 3674682

Amparo Hospital E Maternidade
Av. t-12 280, Brasilia, Brazil
Tel: (55-61) 2816006

Amo Material Medico Hospitalar
Sao Francisco Xavier 369, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Tel: (55-21) 4957394

Assoc De Caridade Hospital De Iguacu
Dr. Getulio De Moura S/N, Nova Iguacu, Brazil
Tel: (55-21) 6672484 Fax: (55-21) 6673204

Assoc. Assis. Social - Hospital. Geral Dr Luiz Pinto
Rua Pref. Marcelino Do Valle, 13, Ingleses, Brazil
Tel: +55 (24) 2458-1185

Assoc. Beneficente De Padua - Hospital Manoel Ferreira
Rua Arthur Silva, Santo Antonio de Padua, Brazil
Tel: +55 (22) 3851-0400

Assoc. Congregaçao Santa Catarina - Hospital. Clinica N. S Conceicao
Rua Maestro Costa Barros, 642 - Centro, Tres Rios, Brazil
Tel: +55 (24) 2255-0600

Assoc. Congregacao Sta. Catarina - Hospital. Santa Teresa
Rua Paulino Afonso, 477 - Centro, Brazil
Tel: +55 (24) 2233-4600

Assoc. De Caridade Hospital Sao Joao De Meriti
Av. Getulio De Moura, S/N - Centro, Sao Joao De Meriti, Brazil
Tel: +55 (21) 2756-0114

Assoc. Hospital de Porciúncula
Rua Schuwartz Vieira, 128 - Centro, Porciuncula, Brazil
Tel: +55 (22) 3842-1213

Assoc. Hospitalar Armando Vidal
Rua Faria Serra, 79, Sao Fidelis, Brazil
Tel: +55 (22) 2758-1060 Assoc.

Hospitalar São Sebastião de Varre Sai Rua Otávio Monerat,
10 - Centro, Varre e Sai, Brazil Tel: +55 (22) 3843-3122

Assoc. Hospitalar Sao Sebastiao do Alto
Rua Ministro Francisco Dorneles, 69 - Centro, Sao Sebastiao do Alto, Brazil
Tel: +55 (22) 2559-1252

Assoc. Hospitilar Armando Vidal
Rua Faria Serra, 79 - Centro, Sao Fidelis, Brazil
Tel: +55 (22) 2758-1060

Assoc. Santo Antonio dos Pobres de Itaperuna
Rua Expedicionario Cabo Gama, 484 - Cidade Nova, Itaperuna, Brazil
Tel: +55 (22) 3824-3215

Associacao Beneficente Ruralista Assist. Med. Hospital Ar Ms
Rodv a Cera , 4, Aquidauana, Brazil
Tel: (55-67) 2411684

Associacao Hospitalar de Cambuci
Rua 7 de Setembro, 6 - Centro, Cambuci, Brazil
Tel: +55 (22) 2767-2061

Asvp Casa Providencia - Hospital. Alzira Vargas A. Peixoto
Dr. Paulo Lobo Moraes, 312 - Valparaiso, Petropolis, Brazil
Tel: +55 (24) 2237-6812

Assoc. De Protecao e Assist A Mat. e Infancia De Quatis
Rua Avelino Batista Soares, 297 - Centro, Quatis, Brazil
Tel: +55 (24) 3353-2823

Assoc. De Protecao a Maternidade e a Infancia De Resende
Av. Gustavo Jardim, 314 - Centro, Resende, Brazil
Tel: +55 (24) 3355-4013

Assoc. Hosp. Sao Joao - Hosp Basileu Estrela (Hbe)
Rua Barao de Macabu, 25 - Centro, Santa Maria Madalena, Brazil
Tel: +55 (22) 2561-1277

: : CRIME

The crime rate in Brazil is high; it is rated in the top twenty countries for violent crimes. This is mainly attributed to drug trafficking and alcoholism problems within the country. The good news is that over the past decade these crime rates have been steadily dropping. The other good thing is that these heinous acts of violence are not directed at tourists. Tourists must be more wary of carjacking and robbery. Kidnapping has happened to tourists. Mainly when someone thinks that a tourist has a lot of money they kidnap them and force them to remove funds from a local ATM. It is extremely important to be very cautious in Brazil. Review the Travel & Safety Tips for more information on how to avoid these types of situations.

Victims of Crime: Contact the local authorities AND your consulate/embassy (Embassies are listed in this itinerary). Do not rely on third parties such as the hotel to report crimes on your behalf. Always retain a copy of the police report.

Emergency Numbers:
Federal highway police 191;
federal police 194;
civil police 197;
state highway police 198;
civil defense 199;
human rights 100;
emergency number for Mercosul area 128;
112 will be redirected to 190 when dialed from mobile phones
911 will also be redirected to the police number (190)

Criminal Offences: If arrested you must immediately notify them of the country you are from and request they contact your embassy. Brazil is obliged to contact your embassy or consulate by international law. While in Brazil you are subject to their legislation, penalties, and judiciary methods.

If you have a criminal offense from your own country and would like to visit Brazil it is at their discretion to allow you in. It is unlikely to cause a problem as long as you are not wanted for a crime and have all ready served your sentence. If you have been accused of something, but have not gone to trial, and do not have a travel ban you should also be fine for travel. If travelling through or over the United States of America and you have any type of criminal record it is up to the US if they will allow you through or over their country. If worried, you should contact the local immigration offices of the countries that affect your travel and verify before booking a ticket.

: : TRANSPORTATION

Driver's License:
-Be cautious when driving in Brazil as it can be hazardous due to aggressive driving tactics by its citizens.
-It is recommended to take taxis or buses in Brazil as opposed to driving.
-A valid international driver’s license is required in order to be eligible to drive. It must be translated to Portuguese. Always get your international drivers license before departure, in your home country for any trip.

Insurance: It is highly recommended to have rental car insurance that is recognized by Brazil. Thus if your current insurance recognizes Brazil under the policy, the government of Brazil may not.

Car Rental:
-In order to rent a car in Brazil you must have a valid driver’s license from your own country, a working credit card, and be a minimum of 21 years old (higher fees may apply for younger drivers). Some car rental agencies will only rent to drivers over the age of 25.
-Cars, SUVs, Vans, Motorcycles and Scooters are generally available.
-Always verify someone will be available at your time of arrival in Brazil so you may get your vehicle immediately.
-As with all car rentals inspect the car before driving away. Make notes (take pictures if possible) of any scratches, dings, etc while in the presence of the car rental worker. It is preferable to have the car rental worker sign something attesting to the condition of the car.

Taxi:
-Never accept rides or taxi rides from anyone except those who work for recognized taxi companies. Thus, call the taxi service, do not flag them down or accept random rides at the airport.
-If you want to bargain on price, be prepared to speak Portuguese. Otherwise they will tell you how much when you get there.
-"Executive" taxis do have fixed rates from the airport to the destination.
-You can prepay a trip from the airport here.

Public Transit: Public transport is by far the cheapest way to travel, however it is not available everywhere. Verify with your hotel/tour guide before booking an excursion on how you are to get there.

: : CULTURAL INFORMATION

Motto: Order and Progress

Smokers: Smoking is not permitted in public places such as malls. There are designated smoking areas.

Wardrobe: Brazilians pride themselves on their fashion, and judge others for theirs. It is best not to show too much skin, however it is okay to show your figure for women.

Etiquette:
-It is very important to greet and leave people with a good morning or good evening salutation.
-Never give someone the middle finger, it is considered extremely rude.
-Handshakes are appropriate when first meeting someone between men. Men will shake hands while maintaining strict eye contact.
-For men and women it is up to the woman to extend her hand first.
-Women greet each other with kisses on the cheek, left and then right.
-Hugging and backslapping are common greetings between friends in Brazil.
-If invited to someone's home in Brazil you should bring the hostess some flowers or a small gift. It is acceptable to bring them the next day (especially for last minute invites).
-Avoid giving people purple orchids and/or handkerchiefs. Orchids are okay otherwise however.
-Avoid giving anything that is purple or black as these are mourning colors.
-Gifts are opened when received.
-If asked for dinner you should arrive 30 minutes late, and for a party, you should arrive an hour late.
-It is best to dress elegantly when invited for outings, however its best to over dress then under dress.
-Business etiquette in Brazil is like most cultures. They prefer meeting face to face.
-It is important to never do anything that can embarrass a Brazilian. Criticizing in a meeting means that the person has lost huge face.
-It is considered acceptable to interrupt someone while they are speaking. Communication is informal, thus if someone has something to say they are allowed/expected to say it.
-Let the Brazilian begin business discussion. Often there is social talking before business meetings.
-Use local accountants/lawyers for negotiations.
-Often the people you negotiate with do not have the final say.
-Brazilians negotiate with people, not companies, thus it is important to keep the same team dealing with the same Brazilians, or you may have to start all over.
-Upkeep of one's clothes and self is very important. For example women always have manicures.
-Men with three piece suits are considered executives. Men tend to wear dark colors.
-Business cards should be in Portuguese on one side, and handed over with that side facing up.

Tipping: Often a 10% gratuity fee is added to hotel bills. You should verify before leaving you own. -Brazilians do not normally tip taxi drivers, although they may round the total up.

: : POPULAR LANDMARKS

The Statue of Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer)

Amazing Landmark in Brazil: The Statue of Corcovado
This statue of Jesus Christ is one of the tallest in the world. It is located on Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

Bom Jesus do Congonhas Basilica

Popular in Brazil, Bom Jesus do Congonhas Basilica
This basilica is in the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, Congonhas. It is best known for its architecture and impressive statues.

Amazon Rainforest

Tour the Amazon Rainforest on your Vacation
60% of this moist broadleaf forest can be found in Brazil. It comprises half of the world's remaining rainforests. It also has the largest and most species rich tropical rainforest in the world.

Iguazu Falls

Travel Tip: Visit Iguazu Falls
The Iguazu falls lie on the border of the Brazilian state of Parana and the Argentine province of Misiones. After Niagara, the Iguaza falls have the second greatest annual flow of any waterfall in the work.

: : TRAVEL AND SAFETY TIPS

Always walk like you know where you are going, even if you don't. This means keep your back upright and eyes straight ahead. When asking for directions keep your voice low so others don't know you are lost.-Take precautions. Do not wear a lot of jewelry or conspicuous clothing while travelling to avoid being a target of crime.-Be cautious when taking a taxi and always look for the appropriate documentation which should be posted in eyes view. Never take a cab from the airport that is off by itself.

If your hotel or resort recommends staying on their property you should follow these precautions.

Never leave valuables in a soft material. The seam can easily be cut. Often the crime takes place long before it is noticed. This applies to purses, bags and luggage.

Do not invite strangers to your hotel room.

Do not agree to meet strangers by yourself. Even those you consider new friends and fellow tourist's.

Plan for the unexpected, this includes extra money and medication that is required should your stay be extended.

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