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Practical information about Brazil

Practical information about Brazil

Practical information about Brazil

1. Climate

Brazil lies on the equator, so most of the country is tropical, though the climate in the south of the country is subtropical. The tropical climate belts mean that most of Brazil is hot and humid. The rainy season and dry season also depend on which part of the country you’re in.

Rio de Janeiro:
The coastal city of Rio de Janeiro has a tropical climate and diverse weather in the dry and rainy seasons. The city’s climate is influenced by its location on the Atlantic coast, which helps lower the temperature.

Dry season Rio: around May – October
The average daytime temperature is around 25–26 degrees. The dry season also offers overcast days, with occasional rain, but the sky is often blue and sunny.

Rainy season Rio: around November – April
The average daytime temperature is 27–30 degrees, though the temperature can reach as much as 40 degrees. Some rainfall, but often in the form of brief showers.

Weather statistics for Rio de Janeiro: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 29 30 29 28 26 25 25 26 25 26 27 29
Average minimum temperature 23 24 23 22 20 19 18 19 19 20 21 22
Rainfall mm 114 105 103 137 86 80 56 51 87 88 96 169

Iguazú Falls:
The weather at Iguazú Falls is slightly cooler than in other places in Brazil as the Falls lie in the subtropical climate belt.

Dry season Iguazú: around May – August
During this period, the water level is lower, and there is a greater likelihood of all the paths at the Falls being open. The waterfall can be experienced with blue skies and cooler weather during these months, when the daytime temperature is around 24–27 degrees.

Rainy season Iguazú: around September – April
These are both the year’s hottest and rainiest months, when between 80 and 110 mm of rain falls per month, replenishing the waterfalls – and they are probably at their most beautiful. The downside of the rainy season is, however, that the sky is grey and the weather is sticky.

Weather statistics for Foz do Iguaçu: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 33 32 32 29 25 24 24 27 28 30 31 33
Average minimum temperature 21 21 20 17 14 12 12 13 14 18 19 20
Rainfall mm 110 100 80 90 70 110 50 60 100 110 110 100

Salvador, a coastal city in northern Brazil, also has a tropical climate. The weather is pleasant all year round with average daytime temperatures of around 26–30 degrees. Quite a lot of rain falls all year round, but the area can be divided into a dry season and a rainy season.

Dry season Salvador: around August – March
During the dry season, the rainfall drops to around 110–150 mm a month.

Rainy season Salvador: around April – July
When the rain comes, it falls in heavy showers, which fortunately are often quickly replaced by sunshine. About 200–325 mm of rain falls every month during this period.

Weather statistics for Salvador: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 30 30 30 29 28 27 26 26 27 28 29 29
Average minimum temperature 24 24 24 23 23 22 21 21 22 23 23 23
Rainfall mm 111 121 145 322 325 251 204 136 112 122 119 132

The Amazon:
In the Amazon’s tropical climate, you can expect average daytime temperatures of 29–33 degrees all year round. Humidity and temperatures are higher than in the rest of northern Brazil. Although it rains all year round in the Amazon, the rainforest can be divided into a dry season and a rainy season.

Dry season the Amazon: around June – November
Sunshine and heat characterise this period. In the dry season, around 50–200 mm rain falls per month.

Rainy season the Amazon: around December – May
In the rainy season, you can expect longer rain showers than in the rest of the year. More than 200 mm rain falls per month.

Weather statistics for Manaus (the Amazon): JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 30 29 30 30 30 30 31 32 33 33 32 31
Average minimum temperature 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 25 25 25 25 24
Rainfall mm 264 290 335 331 279 115 85 47 74 113 174 220

In south-western Brazil lies the world’s largest wetland, Pantanal. Pantanal is located in the tropical climate belt.

Dry season Pantanal: around April – October
The plains slowly dry out and the animals have more space to move about in. The birds gather at the few remaining waterholes to fish. The daytime temperature averages around 28–32 degrees.

Rainy season Pantanal: around November – March
During this period, it rains every day, but often only for a few hours. Large parts of the area are flooded and it may be easiest to get around by boat. The animals gather in the few remaining drained areas and it is far easier to find them.

Weather statistics for Campo Grande (Pantanal): JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 31 31 32 31 28 28 28 30 31 32 31 32
Average minimum temperature 22 22 22 20 17 17 16 17 19 21 21 22
Rainfall mm 243 187 145 101 111 45 46 40 81 110 130 229

NB: The guide below is a guideline only, and the changeable climate may cause other weather to occur.

2. Form of travel

Excursions and arrivals take place in small international groups with English-speaking guides.

3. When is it best to travel to Brazil?

Brazil is termed a year-round destination, as it never gets really cold. Only in the southern-most part of the country is there a significant difference in the seasons. Tropical rainfall can occur anywhere in the country, but it doesn’t normally last for long.

The country receives most visitors from December – March, when there are many holidays, and the hot temperatures attract travellers wishing to escape the cold temperatures in Europe.

Check under our “Climate” section what the weather is like in the areas you plan to visit on your tour of Brazil.

4. Terms & Conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from llamatours.co.uk. Click here to read our terms and conditions.

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

5. Travel insurance

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.

6. Language

Portuguese is spoken in Brazil, but they are very helpful and love having the chance to use what English they know. In rural areas, English is not widely spoken, so we use bilingual (English/Portuguese) guides. You can end many sentences with “por favor”, which means “please”. “Thank you” also paves the way for many friendly smiles – if you’re a man, you should say “obrigado”, and if you’re a woman, you should say “obrigada”.

7. Vaccinations

We always advise that you contact a specialist, your GP or an authorized vaccination clinic. You can also read more about the rules for travel & vaccinations at the central NHS Fit for Travel website: here

Please be aware of the rules about yellow fever – especially if you are entering via another South or Central American country where yellow fever is present.

Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. So be sure to bring your vaccination certificate with you in these cases.

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.

8. Visa

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.

Brazil – when travelling with minors under the age of 16:

If a child under the age of 16 is travelling on a domestic flight in Brazil with only one or neither of his/her parents, the child must bring his/her birth certificate and a declaration of consent signed by both parents or the child’s guardian. The declaration of consent must be signed in the presence of a notary and legalised. The child must also be accompanied by a companion over 18 years of age.

If the child is travelling with both parents, we recommend that you bring the child’s birth certificate showing the parents’ names just to be on the safe side.

When entering and leaving Brazil, the same rules apply, but for children under 18 years of age.

You are responsible for meeting the requirements for travelling with children in Brazil, and we recommend that you contact the Brazilian Embassy for more information before departure.

If you are travelling via the US, the following applies to British citizens:

To travel via the United States, you must apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Without ESTA, you will not be allowed to travel through the United States. Apply for the travel authorization in good time at least 72 hours before your departure to the US. ESTA costs 14 USD per person and all travellers must apply, regardless of their age. You can apply via the following link: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. You should have your passport, itinerary, credit card and e-mail address to hand when making your application. The travel authorization is electronically connected to your passport and is valid for 2 years or until your passport expires (whichever is earliest). We recommend that you bring a physical copy of your ESTA with you if, for example, the system is down on your arrival, however this is not a requirement.

If you get a new passport, you must apply for a new ESTA.

If you have you travelled in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on 1 March 2011 or later, you must apply for a visa at the American Embassy. You cannot apply for ESTA. The same applies if you have dual nationality in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.

If you are travelling via Canada, the following applies to British citizens:

To travel via Canada, you must apply for an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). Without eTA, you will not be allowed to travel through Canada. Apply for the travel authorization in good time. eTA costs 7 CAD per person and all travellers must apply, regardless of their age. You can apply via the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.aspYou should have your passport, itinerary, credit card and e-mail address to hand when making your application. The travel authorization is electronically connected to your passport and is valid for 5 years or until your passport expires (whichever is earliest). We recommend that you bring a physical copy of your eTA with you if, for example, the system is down on your arrival, however this is not a requirement.

If you get a new passport, you must apply for a new eTA.

The rules on visas can be checked on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Of course, you are also welcome to ask us.

9. Currency

The Brazilian currency is called Real (reais in plural). At www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ you can check the exact exchange rate at any time. We recommend that you bring US dollars with you in cash, which you can exchange at an official bureau de change upon arrival. There are cash machines (ATMs) almost everywhere. The usual credit cards can be used in hotels, many restaurants and shops. However, the further you get out into the countryside, the harder it can be to pay by credit card.

10. Price level

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.

11. Tipping

Tips are usually included in the bill at restaurants and bars. But if not, they should not exceed 10% of the bill. You don’t need to tip taxi drivers. On tours, it is customary for each guest to give the guide around 5 USD and the driver around USD 3 per day.

Tips in the Amazon & Pantanal:
If your holiday includes a stay in the Amazon or Pantanal, we recommend that each guest gives around USD 10 per day. You can divide it up so you give the guide half and hand the rest over at the reception when you check out. The receptionist will then share it out between all the staff at the lodge (maids, chefs and drivers). For example, if you are there for 4 days/3 nights, you give the guide 20 USD and the reception USD 20.

Our tipping guideline is in USD, but tips should be calculated in the local currency at the destination.

12. Time difference

Brazil has several time zones.

When it’s winter in the UK:
When it’s 12.00 in the UK, it’s 07.00 in the east, north-east, south and south-east (Rio and Salvador)
When it’s 12.00 in the UK, it’s 06.00 in western Brazil (Manaus – the Amazon)
When it’s 12.00 in the UK, it’s 05.00 in the most western areas.

When it’s summer in the UK:
When it’s 12.00 in the UK, it’s 06.00 in the east, north-east, south and south-east.
When it’s 12.00 in the UK, it’s 05.00 in western Brazil.
When it’s 12.00 in the UK, it’s 04.00 in the most western areas.

13. Electricity

The electricity is not standardised in Brazil, so you may come across sockets with different voltages. There are also different sockets around the country. We recommend that you bring a multi-travel adapter with you.

14. Telephone and Internet

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. Wi-Fi is available at most hotels.

15. Safety

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 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 guide’s instructions you should always be able to stay out of trouble.

Our partner in Brazil can be contacted 24 hours a day if urgent issues arise.

16. Food and drink

The food culture is influenced by the African culture brought over by slaves and varies from region to region. Be sure to try “Moqueca de peixe”, which is a kind of fish stew (very popular in the Salvador area) or “Feijoada”, which is another delicious stew with beans. You will be able to enjoy cool, exotic fruit juices made from fruit you haven’t even heard of and it goes without saying that you should taste Brazil’s national drink, “caipirinha”, which is made from sugar, lime and sugar cane liqueur.

17. Public holidays

It is always special to experience the traditions and celebrations of other countries. Below is a list of public holidays, important festivals and other special occasions.

Please note that some museums and attractions may be closed on these days.

18. Flight reservations and airline tickets

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 find any 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.

19. Service letter

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.

20. Seat reservation, upgrades and extra legroom

The airline will assign you a seat on board the aircraft upon check-in. If you have specific wishes, you can make a seat reservation via the airline’s website. Most airlines have an area on their website named “manage my booking” or similar. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation, so it’s a good idea to have your payment card ready when starting a seat reservation. Airline seat reservations vary from company to company, but as a general rule, you can book seats from around 48 hours before departure.

Many airlines also offer upgrades with extra legroom or comfort seating, such as Economy Comfort with KLM and Premium Voyageur with Air France. You can check these details through the airline’s own website, along with payment information.

Please kindly note that airlines have full access to all seats on the aircraft and therefore always reserve the right to alter a reservation.

If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will issues your seating upon check-in at the airport.

21. Your luggage

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 should also make sure you carry all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines. 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.

If you will be travelling on domestic flights in Brazil, please be aware that Lamatours cannot prepay your checked luggage. Naturally, this does not mean that you cannot bring your luggage. You will simply have to pay for it yourself at the check-in desk at the airport. It is very easy and you pay for the luggage when you check in and get your boarding pass. Payment is by credit card, and the amount is around BRL 50–100 per stretch.

22. Transfers to and from airports

Upon your arrival at the different airports in Brazil, you will be picked up by our local representative, who will be holding up a sign with your name on it in the Arrivals Hall. On departure, you will be driven back to the airport. You will be given pick-up times either before you leave home or on your arrival in Brazil.

23. Recommended packing list for Pantanal and the Amazon
  • A day backpack
  • Long-sleeved tops
  • Shorts and loose-fitting long trousers
  • Swimwear
  • Good walking shoes and socks as well as sandals
  • A cap or hat with a sun visor, sunglasses and sunscreen with high SPF
  • Light rain jacket or poncho
  • A travel adapter so you can charge your electronic equipment
  • Water bottle
  • Camera (a waterproof case is a good idea) and extra batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Head lamp
  • Toiletries, including mosquito repellent (ideally containing “DEET”) and antihistamines
  • A waterproof bag (dry bag)
24. Travellers with reduced mobillity

Please note, our tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.

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