Horseback riding in Brazil

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Equestrian tours in Brazil

Brasil Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide


From the jungle calls of the Amazon to the thong-clad crowds of Copacabana beach, Brazil is an intoxicating mix of the big, the bold, and the beautiful, perennially one of the world's favorite destinations.

It's also one of the largest countries on the planet, with an awesome array of treasures to match. Its vast coastline is fringed with soft sands and island getaways; the Amazon Basin teems with an unrivalled mass of flora and fauna; and the wetlands of the Pantanal, the largest on Earth, support a staggering diversity of wildlife.

And then there's the Iguacu Falls, an unforgettable natural spectacle featuring hundreds of waterfalls, which cascade from the tropical rainforest as blue morpho butterflies flit through the spray.

Undoubtedly the greatest draw, however, are the Brazilians themselves; probably the most hedonistic people on earth. Whether it's Rio's effervescent Cariocas going overboard at Carnival, or Sao Paulo's sultry citizens gyrating I chic nightclubs, Brazilians love having fun.

Their irrepressible joie de vivre finds its best outlet through music and dance. Samba, lambada, and bossa nova are Brazil's best-known musical exports, but visitors can also discover a plethora of other genres, from the Northeast's forro to the punchy bass of baile funk coming out of Rio's favelas.

Adrenaline junkies can go wild in Brazil; shooting the big surf of Santa Catarina; bouncing in beach buggies over the sand dunes of the northern Natal; snorkeling in Fernando de Noronha National Park; or abseiling in the Chapada Diamantina National Park.

 Or you can take life easy and let Brazil come to you by lolling in a hammock on an Amazonian ferry, looking out for the occasional macaw, or browsing the backstreets of colonial towns such as Ouro Preto Paraty, which are lined with architectural monuments and chic boutique hotels.

Whatever you're looking for, rest assured, Brazil has it in spades.


Passport Required?









Other EU


Visa Required?









Other EU


Return Ticket Required?









Other EU




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 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 £108 for nationals of Australia, £72 for nationals of Canada and £144 for nationals of the USA.
Business and transit visas: cost varies according to nationality; contact the consulate for details.


UP to 90 days.

Applications to

Consulate by appointment only (or consular section at the embassy). You cannot obtain visas at the airport or port of entry.

Working Days Required

Allow at least three working days for visa processing.



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, casa de cambios, travel agencies and authorised hotels exchange recognised traveller's cheques and foreign currency. The US Dollar is the most widely accepted foreign currency. If you wish to change back any leftover reais, it is advised that you keep the initial receipt issued at the time of their purchase.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

Most major international credit cards are accepted (Visa more so than other cards), though not universally. It is easier to pay by card in hotels, shops, and restaurants located within the major cities. There is an extensive network of ATMs around the country. Occasionally, getting cash from ATMs can be problematic with machines producing a sem comunicacao error, which means won't give out any cash. Some may find they have still been debited for the sum. Check your bank statement and get in touch with the ATM operator and your bank back home if you are having trouble withdrawing money.

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


March 2018











Special Precautions



Hepatitis A










Yellow Fever


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.

** Brazil is currently experiencing an outbreak of yellow fever. The World Health Organization recommend a vaccination against yellow fever for all international travelers visiting the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Bahia. A yellow fever vaccination is also strongly recommended for those intending to visit rural areas and certain inland cities like Brasilia. A vaccination certificate is required from all travelers arriving from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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

Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present within Brazil, as ate several other infectious diseases such as chikungunya and dengue fever (which are more prevalent after rain in densely populated areas). There are cases of meningococcal meningitis in and around the Bahia area. Air pollution, especially in São Paulo, may aggravate chest complaints. If visiting remote parts of the Amazon or more rural villages, be sure to take the usual precautions, stocking up on mosquito repellant, sunscreen lotion, and wearing suitable clothing. Rabies is present. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

Health Care

Brazil is considered to have high risk Zika virus transmission, The mosquito-borne illness can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The World Health Organization recommends travelers to Brazil protect themselves from mosquito bites and suggests wearing clothes (preferably light-coloured) that covers as much of the body as possible, sleeping under mosquito nets, and using repellant that contain DEET, IR 3535, or KBR3023. Pregnant women are advised to postpone non-essential travel until after pregnancy and pregnant women whose sexual partners live in or travel to areas with Zika virus transmission should follow safe sexual practices or abstain from sex for the duration of their pregnancy. Women who are pregnant, at risk of getting pregnant, or planning pregnancy should seek further advice from their doctor before traveling to Brazil.

There is no reciprocal health care 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 Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Public health care services in Brazil are free of charge, but may only be used by foreign tourists in the event of an emergency. The main hospital in Sao Paulo is the Hospital das Clinicas, while in Rio the Hospital Copa D'Or and the Hospital Samaritano are both well regarded. In the event of a medical emergency, call 192 for an ambulance.

Getting There

Getting There by Air

Following Varig's bankruptcy, the main national airlines are LATAM (, Azul (, and Gol (G3) (website:

Approximate Flight Times

From London to São Paulo and to Rio de Janeiro is approximately 11 hours 45 minutes. From New York to São Paulo and to Rio de Janeiro is about 9 hours 30 minutes.

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:

Air Passes

GOL South America Pass ( valid on GOL flights within Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The pass can only be purchased by Brazilian citizens and passengers who live outside South America. It must be booked in conjunction with an international ticket and is valid for five to 30 days.

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), LAN (LA), Qatar Airways (QR), TAM (KK), and their affiliates. The pass must be bought outside South America in the country of residence. It allows unlimited travel to over 60 cities. You can take as many flights as you like, but you must book a minimum of 3 flights.

Departure Tax


Getting There by Water

The main port is Rio de Janeiro (website:, which is used by many international cruise ships.

Other popular ports include Santos in Sao Paulo (website:, Manaus (, Fortaleza (website:, Recife (website:, Salvador (website: and Vitória (website:

Passenger services are limited but Grimaldi Freighter (tel: +39 081 496 444, in Italy; website: 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: 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: and Crucero del Norte (tel: (11) 6221 0277; website:


Sitting within the tropics, Brazil is something of an all-year round destination with temperatures rarely dip below 20 C (68F), apart from in the mountains and southern regions. The climate varies from hot an dry in the arid interior to humid and sticky in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon jungle. The Pantanal and Amazon areas in the north of the country tend to get very hot during the summer, reaching highs of around 40C (104F).

Coastal Brazil tends to be hot and sticky for most of the year; the best time to visit is generally from March to November during the dry season. It can get cold in the south and in the mountains during the winter months, with temperatures sometimes hitting 0C (32F). Rainy seasons occur from January to April in the north, April to July in the northeast, and November to March in the Rio/ Sao Paulo area.

Required Clothing

As the weather is generally on the warmer side, bring clothes made from lightweight natural fabrics such as cotton and linens which you can layer up. Waterproofs may be needed if visiting during the rainy season. Bring warm clothing if visiting the south during winter (June to August), whilst the extremely humid climate of the Amazon region demands specialist clothing for any treks or activity tourism. Sunlight around the tropics is extremely strong and sunglasses are recommended.



Embassies and tourist offices

Brazilian Consulate General in the UK
Address: 3 Vere Street, London, W1G 0DH
Telephone: (020) 7659 1550.

Opening times:
Mon-Fri 0845-1100 and 1300-1500.

Brazilian Consulate General in the USA
Telephone: (202) 461 3000.

Opening times:
Mon-Fri 0900-1700 (Open to the public until 1300).

Brazilian Embassy in the USA
Telephone: (202) 238 2805 (consular section).

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