What to know for a trip to Brazil

Who I am
Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Brazil is the largest country in all of South America and the fifth largest in the world. A immense territory characterized by extraordinary cities e uncontaminated nature breathtaking. The contrasts are many and make Brazil a fascinating destination full of surprises. A country full of joy thanks to the presence of its famous Carnival and long beaches where to have fun and play sports. Her Amazon rainforest then, it makes it truly unique in the world. Here's what to know to better organize a trip to Brazil.


  1. Best time
  2. Required documents
  3. How many days
  4. How to dress and what to bring
  5. To see
  6. Getting around
  7. What to book in advance
  8. Accomodation
  9. Where to eat
  10. How much
  11. How to pay
  12. Safety
  13. Useful advice and rules of conduct
  14. User questions and comments

Best time

Brazil can be visited throughout the year, although it is important to remember that the seasons with respect to Italy are reversed. For climate / price ratio, the recommended period is between June and August, less rainy and sunnier and with more affordable prices (low season).

Summer runs from January to March, and is the period in which temperatures rise throughout the country (as well as the one preferred by tourists who intend to participate in the Carnival). The winter season, on the other hand, runs from June to September with temperatures around 20 °; in the southernmost areas it is the ideal time to visit the most unspoiled nature and the wonderful Amazon area and to admire the beautiful seabed.

The period with the highest number of tourists in Rio de Janeiro runs from November to March, the high season, with higher prices then, but also characterized by important events such as the Rio Carnival, New Year's Eve and Semana Santa. In all this period it is much better to book well in advance.

Required documents

It is necessary to have a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months; the travel visa it is not essential if you are staying for less than 3 months (the fee is € 25,00 and the release times are approximately 7 days). If you have to carry out a professional activity, you need a visa. When you enter Brazil, you are asked to fill in a small questionnaire on the reasons for the trip, which must be delivered to customs together with the passport control; one copy is left and the other must be delivered upon return.
With the driver's license valid foreign currency and a identity card you can drive for a maximum of 180 days from the date of entry.

No mandatory vaccinations are required, even if it is vaccination against yellow fever recommended. The risk of contracting malaria is widespread in the Amazon area, so it is advisable to undergo prophylaxis.

How many days

  • Minimum travel time: at least 10 days
  • Recommended duration of the trip: at least 20 days

How to dress and what to bring

In general, best to bring practical and comfortable clothes with footwear suitable for long walks or excursions in nature.
If you decide for the winter period, between June and August, it is better to bring sweatshirts, sweaters and long pants with you. Better to dress in layers depending on the temperatures that oscillate between 15 ° and 20 ° therefore not too rigid, which lend themselves to coats that are not too heavy and bulky. A foulard or a light scarf is recommended. Also bring cases and protections suitable for camcorders, cameras and cell phones, given the dust and humidity of certain inner areas. Better not to bring valuables with you and to keep money and documents in a separate handbag.

To see

For a first trip to the land of Rio de Janeiro, a few cannot be missing city ​​symbol like Rio de Janeiro with the Sugar Loaf, the statue of Christ the Redeemer that dominates the city from the top of Corcovado, and the world famous Copacabana beach. To discover the wettest area in the world, in swamps of the Pantanal where you can admire jaguars, caimans, giant anteaters and the red piranha. Not to be missed Salvador De Bahia, the Brazilian city of joy, where capoeira was born.

For a second time in this country you could opt for Brasilia, the capital, with its urban and modernist layout, continuing to Manaus, the main city on the Rio Negro, gateway to the Amazon forest, the green lung of the earth. A visit at Iguazu Falls, between Argentina and Brazil, and the Garganta del Diablo, a 150 meters deep gorge, which marks the border between the two states. Two unmissable naturalistic symbols are: the wonderful bay of the island of Fernando de Noronha, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and the dunes of the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, in the federated state of Maranhão, in northeastern Brazil.

  • If you are visiting the destination for the first time: Rio de Janeiro with Sugar Loaf, Christ the Redeemer and Copacabana, Pantanal marshes, Salvator de Bahia;
  • If you are returning to the destination: Brasilia, Manaus and the Amazon rainforest. Iguazu Falls and Garaganta del Diablo, Fernando de Noronha Island, dunes of the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park.

Getting around

The best solutions are the taxi and subway. Taxi is the safest and most efficient, economical and preferable way for non-Portuguese speakers (R $ 3,00 per km traveled - € 0,88 - departure cost of R $ 4,70, € 1,02). In thebus it is much more risky to make mistakes and find yourself in unpleasant situations. The metro stations, on the other hand, are quite safe, very busy and easy to use (single ride R $ 4,60 (€ 1,02).
To reach the Pan di Zucchero you need to take the cable car (from R $ 104,00 - € 22,50).

To move between one region and another of the country are recommended i air connections interior (quite cheap) and the bus (with the exception of journeys in the Amazon basin), the most used means of transport for long journeys with an economical and excellent service (from R $ 4,62 - € 0,80). THE river transport they are few now, but it is still possible to travel by boat from one city to another along the Rio São Francisco and the Amazon. Car rental is strongly discouraged, in any case you will need valid documents and adequate insurance (from R $ 81,00 - € 14,00).

What to book in advance

Definitely the flight, the booking time is essential to save up to 40% on the cost of the trip - Compare flights to Rio de Janeiro from € 210,00 -.
You have to take out good travel insurance, it is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended as it allows you to live the journey in peace.
To facilitate travel and skip the line, it is best to book some of them in advance the best excursions in the Brazilian country: the Sugar Loaf Tour, the Iguazu Falls, the guided visit to the Fernando de Noronha Island, the tour to explore the Lençois Maranhenses desert.


The best neighborhood where to stay in Rio is the Centro District, the oldest part of the city, characterized by numerous restaurants, shops and important museums. Then there are the neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa, renowned for their nightlife and antique shops, and Copacabana, south of the center, famous for its promenade, events and the many bars and restaurants on the beach - Hotels and b & b a starting from € 73,00 per room -.

for swamps of the Pantanal better to stop in the city of Cuiabà - Hotel and b & b starting from € 29,00 per room -.

In Salvador de Bahia better the central area in the heart of Pelourinho, or in the quieter area between Carmo and Santo Antônio - Hotels and b & b from € 9,00 per room -.

For Brasilia choose the historical center - Hotels and b & b from 20,00 per room -.

Where to eat

One tradition is to eat in the characteristic walking vans who prepare tasty local dishes. There are also many restaurants, from the cheapest to the luxury ones. The important thing is to savor the Carioca cuisine, characterized by different influences, such as Portuguese, African and Indios. Don't miss the churrascherie, restaurants specializing in grilled meat cooked exclusively on a charcoal grill (the churrasco in fact).

Among the most typical and famous dishes are the Feijoada (black bean and meat soup), coxinha de galinha, a sort of Sicilian arancina with a filling of peppers, onions, tomato sauce, parsley and chicken meat, and the Bolinho de bacalhau, codfish croquettes.

How much

  • Cost of flights and travel: from € 1.500,00 / € 2.000,00 A / R
  • Cost accomodation: from € 20,00 / € 30,00 per day
  • Minimum daily budget for meals and attractions: from € 30,00 / € 40,00

How to pay

The local currency is the Brazilian real (BRL). 1 Brazilian Real is equivalent to € 0,17.
You can change money in banks, open from Monday to Friday, from 10:00 to 16:00. You can also go to an exchange office in a travel agency, or to the counters at airports and in the centers of major cities. Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit card payments. ATMs for the money they are very popular and easily accessible.
Credit cards and most popular international debt such as VISA, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro they are accepted everywhere.


Don't take too much money, jewelry or valuables out of your accommodation. However, the Foreign Ministry advises a lot of caution to travelers going to Rio de Janeiro and the major Brazilian cities, and to avoid isolated places, especially from sunset onwards. In case of aggression, do not resist, as the attackers can use weapons. Do not walk in the favelas on your own without an experienced tour guide. Also beware of pickpockets, especially in buses. Always keep up to date on the official website of the Farnesina.

Useful advice and rules of conduct

  1. It is customary to leave a tip of 10%: generally it is inserted in the receipt and therefore compulsory to be paid. Wages are quite low and tips are always welcome;
  2. The use of the camera and / or video camera inside museums, sites of interest and religious buildings is often only allowed with the payment of a fee at the entrance;
  3. It is strictly forbidden to photograph airports, military installations and vehicles, government buildings, bridges, soldiers in uniform;
  4. Daily life, homes, places of worship or sacred places of the local population must be respected. It is a good idea to ask for permission first before photographing people as well, respecting any negative decision.
  5. Travel / health insurance: recommended.

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