The towns and cities of Brazil are large and densely populated. They have excellent infrastructure, and are not rural or ill-equipped. Therefore, it is only when visiting the areas further afield (such as the rainforests, mountains, and so on), that one needs to exercise caution in terms of health matters. Even then, it is seldom that anybody contracts a harmful disease. Travellers are far more likely to suffer the effects of rich or spicy foods to which they are not accustomed. Malaria is a fairly common threat, though, and all travellers are advised to take anti-malarial prophylaxes before and during their trip, and can take further protective measures (such as using insect repellent, sleeping under mosquito nets, burning citronella candles, and so on) for added safety.
What vaccinations are required when planning a trip to Brazil?
Vaccination against Yellow Fever is recommended by the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) for most areas of Brazil. However, travellers that will not be leaving busy cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo should not require this vaccine. Other recommended vaccinations (many of which are administered during infancy anyway) are:
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
- Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
You should see a travel clinic or doctor about six weeks before your departure date, as some vaccines may take some time to be effective.
Is the water safe to drink in Brazil?
In the greatest part of the territory, it is – according to Human Development Report data issued by the United Nations Development Programme, about 90% of Brazil’s population has “sustainable access to an improved water source”.
However, that doesn’t mean most Brazilians drink water straight from the tap. Despite reassuring reports issued regularly by water providers, the consumption of filtered and/or bottled mineral water is widespread in Brazil.
What Electrical current is used in Brazil?
The standard voltage in Brazil is 110/220 volts and the frequency is 60 HZ.
There are three types of plugs:
- Flat blade attachment plug
- Flat blades with round grounding pin
- European 2-pin
ATM and Credit Cards facilities in in Brazil?
There are ATM machines in the main cities such as Rio and Manaus. We recommend using the ones located inside some hotels, stores, restaurants or banks. Be cautious as some thieves may watch these machines and target tourists and others who take out large amounts of cash. Consult with your guide for safety recommendations on ATM’s or exchanging money.
Major credit cards are accepted at most restaurants, clubs, bars, and stores in Rio. Visa and MasterCard are most commonly accepted and the American Express card less so. We have found that the exchange rates given by card companies are usually as good, if not better, than the daily Rio de Janeiro bank rates.
How much money should I bring?
Depending on the length of your trip, plan to bring $300-600 per person for spending money, tips, airport taxes and those meals not included in the itinerary.
What language is spoken in Brazil?
Brazil’s native language is Portuguese, besides a minority of original indians. In major cities you may find a small percentage of English speakers and immigrant descendants from recent immigration that speak their ancestors´ languages (Arabic, Chinese, Korean etc.. In some regions you may find immigrant descendants from old immigration concentration that still speak their ancestors´ languages, like Armenian, German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish etc..
Spanish is spoken by many as a second language and natives in the rain forest
speak native language. Brazil natively speaks Portuguese, besides a minority of original indians. In major cities you may find a small percentage of English speakers and immigrant descendants from recent immigration that speak their ancestors´ languages (Arabic, Chinese, Korean etc.. In some regions you may find immigrant descendants from old immigration concentration that still speak their ancestors´ languages, like Armenian, German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish etc..
Although it is best to consult and confirm with your local Brazilian embassy, the following requirements are usually stipulated:
- For residents of the United States of America, Australia and Canada – a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry into Brazil, a stamped VISA that is valid for 90 days from the date of issue, a return ticket (or an onward ticket), and enough money to last for your entire stay.
- For European citizens (with the exception of those in Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta, who all require a VISA) – a passport valid for at least six months from the date of your entry into Brazil, an onward or return ticket, and enough money to cover your stay in the country.
- 400 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 250 grammes of tobacco
- 24 units of alcoholic beverages – units classified as either 75cl or 1 litre bottles
- 10 units of makeup items
- Clothes and other articles for personal use
- Books and periodicals
- Local and foreign currency greater than BRL 10,000 will need to be declared when entering or leaving the country
- Illegal drugs
- Guns, explosives and ammunition
- Knives and deadly weapons
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Plant and plant products
- All species of birds Pets and animals – unless authorised
- Dairy products including milk, egg and cheese
- Fish and fish products
- Cigarettes or alcoholic beverages of Brazilian origin
- Counterfeit money and goods
- Hazardous materials
- Pornographic material
- Flower, plants and plants products will require permission from the Ministry of Agriculture before being granted admission into the country
- Meat, egg or fish products will all also require permission from the Ministry of Agriculture before entering the country.
- Cats, dogs and other animals being imported will need an international health certificate from the country of origin which was issued less than 10 days prior to their arrival. Pets 90 days or older will also require a Rabies vaccination certificate issued 30 days prior to the intended date of arrival.
What is the currency of Brazil?
Brazil’s national currency is the “Real.” It consists of Bills ranging from- R$1, R$2, R$5, R$10, R$20, R$50 and R$100. Coins are also available in varied colors and sizes with value ranging from 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents and also 1 Real.
What are the working hours in Brazil?
There are no formally defined business hours in Brazil, thus working hours vary between establishments. Having said that, most of the cities adopt opening hours from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. However, do not get upset — and definitely not surprised — if you fail to get through to an office before 10:00 AM.
What to wear in Brazil?
If you are planning to stay mostly in Rio or the coastal areas during Brazilian Spring, Summer, or Fall, you will need only casual warm weather clothes. It is pretty warm and humid in Brazil – think southern Florida or Houston in the summer and you have the right idea. Shorts, jeans, t-shirts, and sports shirts are all common. In Winter, it can get down to perhaps 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night, so you might want to throw in a light sweater or jacket if you get cold easily. Also, side trips to the mountains in Petropolis can be cooler at any time of year.
What are the customs regulations?
How safe is Brazil?
Across Brazil, increased efforts have been and are being made to ensure that tourists and locals are safer, especially as it is the host country for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. Like any destination in the world, there are areas in which it is safer, and those in which it is less safe. Visitors are advised to exercise caution and act responsibly during their time in Brazil, but not to avoid this magical destination out of fear.
What are the Entry and Exit Formalities for Brazil?
Upon arrival in Brazil, visitors will receive a 90-day entry stamp in their passport and a stamped entry card. Hang on to the card for dear life, as losing it will result in a possible fine and a certain major hassle when you leave. If necessary, the visa can be renewed once for another 90 days. Visa renewals are obtained through the local Policia Federal. This is best done in large cities where the staff has experience with tourists. It’s a good idea to print and fill in a copy of the requisite form, available at the following website: www.dpf.gov.br/web/formulario/form_cgpi/requerimento_de_prorrogacao_de_prazo.htm.