Horseback riding in Brazil

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Equestrian tours in Brazil

Brasil Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide

Overview

South America's giant, Brazil is a seductive country with dazzling beaches, tropical islands and picturesque colonial towns. Its verdant rainforests boast an astounding array of wildlife, while its wildly energetic cities are home to a multitude of ethnic groups.

Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country in both size and population, and its thriving economy has made it Latin America's powerhouse, enjoying record growth in the last five years (Brazil currently ranks among the ten largest economies in the world). This is a country revered for its football prowess and rich musical traditions, which include samba, bossa nova, tropicalismo, forró and numerous other distinctive styles.

Although Brazilians are a diverse bunch, joie de vivre is a characteristic shared by most of the country's 192 million citizens. Carnival is the best-known manifestation of this celebratory spirit and is feted throughout Brazil. Rio de Janeiro and Salvador are the best places to join the mayhem, when samba-filled parties erupt through the streets, and revellers dance and celebrate for days on end.

Brazil's landscape is as diverse as the people who inhabit it. Few tourists venture far from Brazil's spectacular coastline (which spans 7400km/4598 miles), but a trip into the interior reveals a different but equally captivating Brazil. As well as the world's biggest rainforest in the Amazon, Brazil boasts many wilderness areas including the wildlife-rich wetlands of the Pantanal, the canyons and caves of the Chapada Diamantina and the colourful old gold-mining towns in the mountains of Minas Gerais.

The population of Brazil is a melting pot of races, including indigenous people, descendants of slaves from Africa and the offspring of European immigrants. This variety is reflected in the food, architecture, music and culture of Brazil. It is this assortment of places, people and traditions that makes Brazil such an unforgettable place to visit.

 

Passport/Visa

Passport Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

Visa Required?

British

No

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

No

Return Ticket Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

 

Passports

Passports valid for at least six months from date of entry required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Passport note

Brazilian nationals with dual nationality must enter and leave the country on their Brazilian passport. All travelers must be in possession of onward or return tickets and sufficient funds to cover their stay.

Visas

Visas for Brazil are not required by all nationals of EU countries for stays of up to 90 days.
Visas are required by nationals of Australia, Canada and the USA.

Note: Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements (see Contact Addresses).

Types of Visa and Cost

Tourist visa: cost varies according to nationality and is in some cases based on reciprocity. A tourist visa costs £28 for nationals of Australia, £52 for nationals of Canada and £128 for nationals of the USA.
Business and transit visas: cost varies according to nationality; contact the consulate for details.

Validity

UP to 90 days.

Applications to

Consulate by appointment only (or consular section at the embassy); see Contact Addresses. Applications made through travel agents or by post are subject to an additional fee. You cannot obtain visas at the airport or port of entry.

Working Days Required

Allow at least five working days for visa processing.

Money

Currency

Real/Reais (BRL; symbol R$) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of R$100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of R$1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, and 1 centavos.

Currency Exchange

All banks, cambios, travel agencies and authorised hotels exchange recognised traveller's cheques and foreign currency. The US Dollar is the most widely accepted foreign currency.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

Most major international credit cards are accepted (Visa more so than other cards), though not universally. There is an extensive network of ATMs around the country.

Traveller's Cheques

Exchangeable at hotels, banks and tourist agencies. Tourists cannot exchange US traveller's cheques for US banknotes but they may, however, benefit from a 15% discount when paying hotel or restaurant bills in foreign currency or traveller's cheques. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, it is advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.

Banking Hours

Mon-Fri 1000-1600.

Exchange Rate Indicators

Date

Jun 2016

£1.00=

R$5.22

$1.00=

R$3.6

€1.00=

R$4.01

 

Health

Vaccinations

 

Special Precautions

Diphtheria

Yes

Hepatitis A

Yes

Malaria

Sometimes*

Rabies

Sometimes

Tetanus

Yes

Typhoid

Yes

Yellow Fever

Sometimes**

Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required, depending on the season and region visited.

 

* Malaria risk exists throughout the year below 900m (2,953ft) in Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Maranhão (western part), Mato Grosso (northern part), Pará (except Belém City), Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins states, as well as some larger cities, such as on the periphery of Pôrto Velho, Boa Vista, Macapá, Manaus, Santerém, Rio Branco and Maraba.

** A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travellers over nine months old arriving within from infected regions. Vaccination is strongly recommended for those intending to visit some rural areas.

Food and Drink

Water should not be drunk unless boiled or sterilised first. Even filtered water in more remote areas should be avoided and bottled water should be drunk instead. Pasteurised milk and cheese is available in towns and is generally considered safe to consume. Milk outside of urban areas is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other Risks

A polio vaccination certificate is required for children aged between three months and six years old. Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present. Other infectious diseases prevalent in Brazil include trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (on the increase). Dengue fever is on the increase, especially after rain in densely populated areas. There are epidemics of meningococcal meningitis in and around the Rio area. Air pollution, especially in São Paulo, may aggravate chest complaints. Rabies is present. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

Health Care

There is no reciprocal health agreement with the UK or USA. Full insurance is strongly recommended as medical costs are high. The standard of medical care is generally very good in major towns and cities. English-speaking medical staff are found mainly in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The main hospital in São Paulo is the Hospital das Clinicas.

 

Getting There

Getting There by Air

Following Varig's bankruptcy, the main national airlines are TAM (JJ) (website: www.tam.com.br) and Gol (G3) (website: www.voegol.com.br).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to São Paulo and to Rio de Janeiro is approximately 11 hours. From New York to São Paulo and to Rio de Janeiro is about 10 hours.

Main Airports

Brasilia International (BSB) is 12km (7 miles) south of the city. To/from the airport: Buses run regularly to the city centre (journey time - 30 minutes). Taxis are also available (journey time - 15 minutes). Facilities: Left luggage, first aid, snack bar, post office, banks/bureaux de change, bar, restaurant, shops and car hire. 

Rio de Janeiro (GIG) (Galeão) is 20km (13 miles) north of the city. To/from the airport: Public buses operate 0530-2330 to the city (journey time - 40 minutes). There is an airport shuttle bus which stops at all major resorts and hotels, running every hour. Taxis are also available. Facilities: Left luggage, banks/bureaux de change, duty-free shops, a pharmacy and a small 24-hour hospital, restaurant, snack bar, car parking, tourist information, post office and car hire companies.

São Paulo (GRU) (Guarulhos) is 25km (16 miles) northeast of the city. To/from the airport: An airport bus runs every 30 minutes (journey time - 30 minutes). Taxis are also available. Facilities: Left luggage, duty-free shops, banks/bureaux de change, pharmacies, restaurants, snack bar, post office and car hire.

Further information on Brazilian airports can be found on the following website: www.infraero.gov.br.

Air Passes

Mercosur Airpass: valid within Argentina, Brazil, Chile (except Easter Island), Paraguay and Uruguay. Participating airlines include Aerolíneas Argentinas (AR), Aerolíneas Del Sur (AS) and Pluna (PU). The pass can only be purchased by passengers who live outside South America and must be booked in conjunction with an international ticket. It is valid for a minimum of seven to a maximum of 45 days. At least two countries must be visited; dates can be changed but the flight route cannot. A maximum of three stopovers is allowed per country. 

Oneworld Visit South America Pass: valid within Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile (except Easter Island), Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Participating airlines are American Airlines (AA), British Airways (BA), Cathay Pacific (CX), Iberia (IB), Japan Airlines (JL), LAN (LA) and Qantas (QF). The pass must be bought outside South America in the country of residence. It allows unlimited travel to over 30 cities. A minimum of three flights must be booked, with a maximum of 20; prices depend on the amount of flight zones. For further details, contact one of the participating airlines.

Departure Tax

None.

Getting There by Water

The main port is Rio de Janeiro (website: www.portosrio.gov.br), which is used by many international cruise ships.

Other popular ports include Manaus, Fortaleza (website: www.docasdoceara.com.br), Recife (website: www.portodorecife.pe.gov.br), Salvador (website: www.codeba.com.br) and Vitória (website: www.portodevitoria.com.br).

Passenger services are limited but Grimaldi Freighter (tel: +39 81 496 203, in Italy; website: www.grimaldi-freightercruises.com) does offer sailings from Europe. Most major international cruise lines sail to Brazilian ports.

Getting There by Rail

Rail travel is not a really a viable way of getting to or from Brazil, but there is the Trem da Morte (Train of Death) route between Santa Cruz in Bolivia and Corumbá in Brazil, which is popular with backpackers travelling to the Pantanal. Contact Ferroviaria Oriental (website: www.ferroviariaoriental.com) for more information.

Getting There by Road

It is possible to drive or travel by bus to Brazil from all surrounding countries. Entry points include the border with Argentina at Foz de Iguaçu, the border with Uruguay at Jaguarão and from Santa Elena de Uairén in Venezuela.

There are plenty of bus routes from surrounding countries, and it is possible to travel to Brazil from Montevideo (Uruguay), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and as far away as Santiago (Chile). International bus companies include Pluma (tel: (41) 3212 2689; website: www.pluma.com.br) and Crucero del Norte (tel: (11) 6221 0277; website: www.crucerodelnorte.com.ar).



Climate

The climate varies from hot and dry in the arid interior to the humid tropical rainforests of the Amazon jungle. Coastal Brazil tends to be hot and sticky for most of the year but it can get cold in the south and in the mountains during the winter months. Rainy seasons occur from January to April in the north, April to July in the northeast and November to March in the Rio/São Paulo area.

Required Clothing

Lightweight natural fabrics; waterproofs for the rainy season. Warm clothing is needed in the south during winter (June to August). Specialist clothing is needed for the Amazon region. The sunlight is extremely bright and sunglasses are recommended.

 

Contacts

Embassies and tourist offices

Brazilian Consulate General in the UK
Telephone: (020) 7659 1550. Website: http://cglondres.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us Opening times: Mon-Fri 0845-1100 and 1300-1500.
Brazilian Consulate General in the USA
Telephone: (202) 461 3000. Website: http://cgwashington.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1700 (Open to the public until 1300).
Brazilian Embassy in the USA
Telephone: (202) 238 2805 (consular section). Website: http://washington.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us

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