Practical information about Brazil
As Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America, it stretches over a variety of climate zones. Brazil is located on the equator, so its climate is overwhelmingly tropical with few seasonal variations. However, climate in the subtropical, southern part of the country is more temperate with occasional frost and snow. North of Rio de Janeiro, the weather is always warm – and from December to March it is extremely hot. July can be quite cool. The rainy season is from January to March. This does not mean that it rains more often, but that the rain is heavier when it does fall. In São Paulo and the southern part of the country, the climate closely resembles that of Southern Europe. It is summer in Brazil when it is winter in Europe. This means it can be quite cool from June to August (with a little more rain) and fairly hot and humid in the summer (January to March). In the north-eastern part of the country – where the city of Salvador is located – it is warm along the coast all year round. Farther inland, the temperature can vary more sharply between day and night: hot during the day and cold at night. The Amazon region is a tropical area with temperatures of around 35 °C and high humidity all year round. The rainfalls are heavy, but they rarely last for more than an hour at a time.
Weather statistics for Rio de Janeiro:
Weather statistics for (north-eastern part of Brazil):
- Meals except those specifically mentioned
- Cancellation and travel insurance
Excursions and transfers are conducted in small, international groups led by an English-speaking guide.
It is only in the southern part of Brazil that there are appreciable differences between the seasons. Here, it is ‘winter’ when it is summer in Europe, and summer from October to April. However, ‘winter’ in Brazil is the equivalent of a cool summer day in Northern Europe, with a temperature of below 20 °C. You can experience tropical rain showers in all parts of Brazil, but the rain rarely lasts for very long. As such, Brazil can be designated and ‘all-year destination’.
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All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate
We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.
In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.
Portuguese is the language spoken in Brazil, but the people are very helpful and love the chance to use the English words they know. In more rural regions, English speakers may be few and far between, which is why we use bilingual (English/Portuguese) guides. It is a good idea to end questions and queries with the words ‘por favor’, which mean ‘please’. It is also useful to be able to say ‘Thank you’ in the local language. In Brazil, this means saying ‘obrigado’ if you are a man and ‘obrigada’ if you are a woman.
We recommend that you contact a medical specialist, your GP or an authorised vaccination clinic.
Visit the CDC website at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list for more information about vaccinations and Brazil. The number of vaccinations you have to have, and whether you need to take malaria pills depends entirely on whether or not you will be spending time in the jungle.
UK citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days. However, in the same way as for other international travel, you must be in possession of a valid passport. The requirements on the validity of the passport may vary, but as a rule of thumb your passport must be valid for at least six months after you return home. However, as these regulations may change from time to time, we recommend that you visit the World Travel Guide website at www.worldtravelguide.net and study the visa information presented there. Of course, you are also welcome to ask us.
The unit of currency in Brazil is the real. Go to www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ to view the currently applicable exchange rate. We recommend that you bring some US dollars with you in cash, and then exchange these for local currency at an official bureau de change. Also bring a credit card and make sure to memorise your PIN code. NEVER write your PIN code down! There are cashpoint machines (ATMs) almost everywhere. You can use most common credit cards at hotels and in many shops and restaurants. Once again, however, the farther out into the country you travel, the harder it may be to use your credit card.
Prices are generally lower in Brazil than in the UK. It is usually cheaper to eat out, although you can naturally find drinks and meals in all price classes. Prices are generally also lower outside the large towns and cities.
In restaurants, you should usually not tip more than 10%. You do not need to tip taxi drivers. However, it is customary for each guest to give the travel guide USD 5 and the bus driver USD 3 per day.
Brazil covers several time zones. Learn more here.
The voltage of the electricity supply in Brazil is not standardised.
Salvador and Manaus:
127 V AC, 60 Hz
Brasília and Recife:
220 V AC, 60 Hz
Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo:
110/220 V AC, 60 Hz
The international dialling code for Brazil is +55. It can be expensive to call home to Europe from Brazil. Ask your own mobile service provider about coverage and call charges. There are Internet cafés in most large towns and cities. WiFi access is free at some hotels, but you will have to pay for it at others.
Brazil is a country of contrasts. On the one hand, it is the ninth-most industrialised country in the world, but on the other, many of its people have to live on less than USD 100 a month. Whenever you travel to a poor country anywhere in the world, it is important to be discreet. It is not a good idea to flaunt your valuables or to leave them unattended. We work exclusively with properly trained, experienced and certified travel guides, who can always provide you with good advice about safety, and know precisely where it is safe for you to walk/visit. If you follow your travel guide’s instructions you should always be able to stay out of trouble.
Culinary traditions in Brazil are heavily influenced by the African culture that travelled to the country with the slaves, and they vary greatly from region to region. For example, you can taste incredible fruit juice from fruits you have probably never heard of before, and a meal of grilled fish in a beach restaurant is an absolute ‘must’. Make sure to try the bean dish called feijoada and to sample a caipirinha – a drink made from lime and cane sugar rum.
We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport. If you have any comments on the itinerary or find mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.
Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.
Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.
So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.
We recommend that you make a seat reservation on the plane. Many airlines also offer to upgrade reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort, e.g. Economy Comfort at KLM and Premium Voyageur at Air France. You can do this through the airline’s website. Most airlines have a point in the menu called “manage my booking”. Please note that many airlines require payment for seat reservation, so you should have your credit/debit card to hand when you get started.
Unfortunately, rules differ as to when seat reservation is opened. We recommend that you try to make a seat reservation as early as possible and you will then know when you can make a seat reservation if it cannot be done right away. It is very common for seat reservation to be opened between 72 and 24 hours before departure.
We work with many different airlines to Brazil, so there may be variations in the amount of luggage you are allowed to bring with you as both checked luggage and hand luggage. Check the information about this on your airline ticket, and contact us if you have any questions.
You and your travel companion should pack your luggage so that you can both make so without one item of luggage if the other is lost or delayed. While it is unlikely to happen, the problem may arise. If it does, it may take a few days before your luggage is delivered to the hotel where you are staying.
So make sure to carry all your important, indispensable items in your hand luggage: passport, visa, plane tickets, insurance papers, credit card(s), cash, prescriptions, information about any special medical conditions you may have along with essential medicine, allergy medicine, treatments for sudden stomach problems (such as Imodium) and pain killers (Panodil and/or Ipren, for example). You should also carry your camera, binoculars and other valuables in your hand luggage.
You may find yourself sitting in a draught from the air conditioning in the plane, so make sure to pack a warm jumper or jacket in your hand luggage.
On arrival at the different airports in Brazil, you will be met by our local representative who will be waiting for you in the arrival hall with a sign bearing your name. You will be driven to the airport again on departure. You will be informed of your pick-up time when you arrive in Brazil.