Although this doesn't cover it all, here are some frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your trip to Brazil. Travelers are strongly encourage to learn more by researching on the internet and/or purchasing a travel guide book.
When is the best time to visit Brazil?
Keep in mind that seasons in Brazil are the reverse of the northern hemisphere (winters up north are summers in Brazil). Summers in Brazil (December- March) are the rainy season and winters (June- September) are the dry season.
Should I pack a sweater or some sunblock?
It’s always a good idea to check the weather ahead of time to see what’s in store. We recommend going to www.weather.com and typing in the cities you’ll be visiting so you can plan accordingly.
Do I need a visa, and how do I apply for one?
If you are a U.S. citizen, yes. Citizens of some countries don’t need a visa for tourism. You’ll also need to bring a passport valid for at least six months after your travel date.
You can apply for a visa through the Brazilian Consulate with jurisdiction over the state you live in. Click here to find the right Brazilian consulate.
What kind of money do I need in Brazil?
Brazilians keep it so real that that’s what they named their currency: the Brazilian Real. For the current exchange rate, click here.
Should I bring cash, traveler’s checks, or credit cards? How much money should I bring?
Major credit cards are generally accepted (although Amex and Discover are less common in smaller towns). The best exchange rates can be gotten through ATM machines. Don’t forget to notify your bank that you’ll be travelling to Brazil so they don’t assume your card was stolen and put a hold on available funds. Traveler’s checks aren’t recommended. Not all banks cash them and most shops won’t accept them.
Do I need shots or vaccinations?
Shots aren’t required, but some vaccinations are recommended. We recommend visiting the health information page on the Center for Disease Control here to learn more about what you might need.
Should I accessorize heavily, carry around an expensive camera and flash my cash?
No. Brazil is not a dangerous country to travel around but it’s never a good idea to tempt fate. When you’re walking around, don’t take unnecessary risks, use common sense, and keep a low profile. Avoid carrying big bags, wearing nice jewelry or expensive items.
I love traveling to foreign countries! I don't have to tip, right?
Wrong. In Brazil, waiters, bartenders, tour guides, and hotel bellmen are tipped, just like in the U.S. Taxi drivers are not usually tipped, but it is standard to round up to the next Real. The standard tip for waiters in restaurants is 10% and is sometimes included in the bill. Note that sales tax is included in the menu prices and is not added to the final bill.
People on Brazilian beaches are always scantily clad. Should I prepare to samba in my birthday suit?
No. Although some Brazilians take the less is more approach, nudity is a BIG no-no.