Tourist Information

Visa Information
Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to come to Brazil (*):
Andorra, Argentina, Austria,
Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia,
Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Denmark,
Ecuador,
Finland, France,
Germany, Greece,
Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy,
Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,
Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Monaco,
Namibia, Netherlands, Norway,
Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal,
Republic of Korea,
San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland,
Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago,
United Kingdom, Uruguay,
Vatican, Venezuela.

(*) Please confirm this information with the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate in your country. If you are leaving from the USA, you can consult the following service: http://www.passportsandvisas.com/visas/brazil.asp

Brazil follows the reciprocity principle concerning visa requirement; thus a visa is required for foreigners from all the countries that require a visa for Brazilian citizens.

The type of visa necessary is for ACADEMIC, CULTURAL and SCIENTIFIC activities (Temporary One). Such visas are meant for non-Brazilian experts and authorities in particular fields of knowledge traveling to Brazil to make presentations at meetings or to engage in teaching, training, research and other specialized activities.

Details concerning the REQUIREMENTS to get a TEMPORARY VISA can be obtained with the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate in your country. If you are leaving from the USA, you can consult the following service: http://www.passportsandvisas.com/visas/brazil.asp

 
 

Currency

Brazilian currency is the REAL; 100 centavos = 1 real. Bank bills are in denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5, 2, 1; coins are 1.00 real; 50 centavos, 25 centavos, 10 centavos, 5 centavos and 1 centavo. All banks and exchange offices accept travellers checks and foreign currency. It is advisable to take US Dollar or EURO travellers checks or currency as these are more readily exchanged than other currencies.
Currency converter at Yahoo finance:

http://finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?amt=1&from=USD&to=BRL&submit=Convert

Credit Cards - Access, Mastercard, VISA, American Express and Diners Club are accepted in the majority of 4* and 5* hotels, major shops and restaurants. Banking hours are tipycally 10:00-16:00 Monday to Friday.

 
 

Time

Brazil spans several time zones, however the Brazilian Standard Time is 3 hours earlier than G.M.T. and 2 hours earlier in the summer (DST) - Nov./ March.

 
 

Electricity

The electric current in Brazil is 220 volts, except in the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco where it is 110 volts or 220 volts.

 
 

Language

The official language is Portuguese. Some English is spoken, particularly in 4 and 5* hotels and the main cities, but the nearest thing to a second language is Spanish with which you will generally be able to make yourself understood. Italian, French and other Latin languages are close enough to get by.

 
 

Climate

The climate varies from arid scrubland inland to impassable tropical rainforest of the northerly Amazon jungle and the tropical eastern coastal beaches. The south is more temperate. Rainy seasons occur from January to April in the north (average number of days when there is some rain is 22); April to July in the northeast (average number of days when there is some rain 14); December to March in the Rio/Sao Paulo area (average number of days when there is some rain is 10).
Internet address: http://beta.weather.com/weather/today/BRXX0222

 
 

Tipping

In most restaurants and bars a 10% service fee is automatically added to the bill. More sophisticated places may add on 15%. If service is not included it will be stated at the bottom of the bill: "Serviço não incluído". Cab drivers do not expect a tip, but it is normal to round up the final price. You should be aware that the amount shown on the taximeter may not always correspond to the amount you are due to pay - look out for a separate sheet taped to the window which will tell you how much the amount on the meter equates to.

 
 

Taxes

Airport fees for international flights are approximately R$ 190,00 (one way) and for domestic flights, about R$ 20,00 (one way). All hotels require a City Tax at US$1,00 per day per room. All the above charges may be paid in US Dollars or Reais and must be paid locally.

 
 

Brazilian food and drink

The most common dishes feature various meats, rice and the ubiquitous Brazilian black beans (feijão), whilst restaurants often offer all-you-can-eat barbecues and buffets. Brazil also has many regional varieties of cookery. An example is the Bahian cookery, which includes dishes such as :Vatapa (shrimps, fish oil, coconut milk, bread and rice), Sarapatel (liver, heart, tomatoes, peppers, onions and gravy). From Rio Grande do Sul a typical dish is Churrasco (a kind of barbecue). From the Amazon comes Tacaca (thick soup with shrimps and garlic). All alcoholic drinks are available, including excellent large style beers: Skol, Brahma, Antarctica and Cerpa. The most popular local alcoholic beverage is Cachaça, most commonly served as Caipirinha with slices of lime. Soft drinks include Guarana (a carbonated cola-like drink) and many varieties of excellent fruit-juices (sucos) including several vitamin-rich fruits you will never have heard of. Coffee tends to be served as a very strong. If you want to avoid sugar in sucos or coffee you should specifically ask for this.

 
 

Clothing

Brazil's climate ranges from tropical in the north to temperate in the south. Throughout the country, however, dress is informal. Generally, light cotton shirts, shorts, dresses and trousers are ideal for day wear, whilst in the evenings long-sleeved shirts and leather shoes are normal. You will not normally need a jacket and tie in Brazil. In winter (June/September) it is worth bringing something warm.

 

 

Shopping

As with the food, in a country the size of Brazil there are many local specialities for the shopper. In most major cities shops and markets stay open until late (up to 8.00 pm). Rio and the south specialise in antiques and jewellery - special purchases include gems (particularly emeralds) and jewellery (particularly silver). In the north eastspecialities include laces, linen and ceramics.