While Brazil is a major metropolitan country, its infrastructure is not necessarily user friendly. However, this does not mean your trip needs to be stressful. With a little preplanning, these tips for your Brazil trip will never leave you straying far from that vacation feeling.
Our friends at Bromelia Rio Travel, a Bear and LGBT friendly Travel Agency in Rio de Janeiro, help make Brazil travel planning simple!
Obtain a Brazilian Tourist Visa
To enter Brazil, many countries require a Brazilian tourist visa in addition to your passport. Brazil now offers an online E-Visa (electronic and downloadable tourist visa). While, the site says that there is a turn around of 5 business days, issues do occur and it is still recommended to apply as soon as possible. Click here to visit the Brazil E-Tourist Visa Site directly. The cost is $40usd + a $4.24 Service Fee. You will need to upload your passport photo and fill out the online form. Then submit and wait to receive your downloadable visa! Easy.
Mark your Credit Cards / ATM Cards
It is best to contact your credit and debit card companies prior to departure, to alert them of your dates of international travel. Many banks now allow you to prepare for your trip directly online. Brazil has mainly domestic banks, with ATMs that give even the locals difficulty. If your cards are marked, this will help eliminate issues receiving local currency.
Check the Weather
Brazil is the same size as the continental U.S., which means the weather varies greatly! This does not mean that winter brings snow, but it does mean that temperatures can be cool. In some states you will need a jacket, scarf and warm socks, so properly prepare for where you are traveling to. Additionally, remember that Brazil is a tropical country, so it is likely it will rain at least once during your trip. Last but not least, remember that Brazil is in the Southern hemisphere, so the seasons are the opposite of Europe/the States (ie: January is summertime and July is winter).
Most people either overpack for Brazil or have no idea how to prepare for Brazil. For example: Rio de Janeiro’s beach scene is very different from that of L.A.’s Santa Monica or Sydney’s Bondi. I have seen many guests bring heavy towels unnecessary for beach use instead of a beach sarong such as locals use. Or they arrive with a suitcase full of jeans and electronic equipment, and end up lugging around extra weight for nothing. Remember: The weather is tropical, the atmosphere is casual, and closed-toe shoes are only used in the cities and for going out to dinner.
Find Good Accommodation
While I am a big proponent of embracing spontaneity while traveling, it is best to pre-book accommodation. In Brazil, there are not “good neighborhoods” and “bad neighborhoods”. There are better and worse neighborhoods, but there are “good” and “bad” streets. To be more exact, this means that each street has a different culture and safety. Within the same neighborhood, from one block to the next, the streets can vary greatly. If you need a little local expertise, Bromelia Rio Travel offer a FREE 30 minute Brazil Travel Consultation by phone to answer any of your questions or concerns about your trip.
Know your Airport of Arrival / Arrange Pick-up
Many cities in Brazil have multiple airports and are often large distances apart. São Paulo, for example, has 4 airports. Rio de Janeiro has 2. Public Transport to/from the airport is often meager and can add a couple hours onto your already long journey. Private drivers are much more affordable in Brazil then other countries. Contact your accommodation to make arrangements with a secure transfer on your behalf.
Brazil can be a very easy and extremely rewarding trip. When prepared for correctly, following these tips for your Brazil trip, your experience will leave you feeling alive. Welcome to Brazil!
By Lauren Quinn, Bromelia Rio Travel & Tours