General information about Brazil
There are no mandatory requirements for entry into Brazil. It is recommended to take precautions against yellow fever, polio, typhoid and malaria. We suggest you contact the nearest Consulate of Brazil for updated information. It is recommended that you are covered by a comprehensive health insurance. Attention: If you are entering Brazil by Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, you must present updated certificate of vaccination against yellow fever to passport control. Local diet: It is advisable to take precautions against intestinal ailments as long as there is not adapted to the change in diet. It is not recommended to take tap water, especially in rural areas, due to possible contamination. Limit your consumption of water to the bottled product. Even with treatment that water gets in big cities, and because the chemicals are different from what you are used to, we still recommend that you drink mineral water.
The Brazilian currency is the REAL. The banknotes are in denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1; Coins: 1.00 real; 50 cents, 25 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents and 1 cent. In general, exchange offices accept exchange a wide variety of foreign currencies, however we recommend that you bring US dollars in the same currency, since this exchange more easily than any other.
The Brazilian territory covers multiple time zones. From GMT, the official GMT, then also in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, is three hours early (two hours earlier in the summer)
The electric current in Brazil is 110 or 220 volts, depending of the city. However, you may find these two options inside the hotel
The official language is Portuguese. The English language is also spoken, especially in major cities, but the closest language to Portuguese is Spanish with which you can be understood.
The climate ranges from arid scrub the inside to the impenetrable Amazon jungle in the north, through the tropical beaches of the Atlantic in the east of the country. The south is more temperate. Rainy seasons: From January to April in the north; April to July in the northeast; December to March in the region between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Most restaurants and bars include 10% service the account. More sophisticated places can charge up to 15% more. If the service is not included, there should be a warning stamped on the account. Taxis do not expect gratification, but it is common to round the fare up. At certain times it is possible that the amount you see on the meter is not the exact amount due. Check for a table stuck to the rear window of the car. There you can measure the exact amount due.
Foods and drinks
The most common dishes take various meats, rice and black beans. Restaurants offer buffets of grilled meats and other dishes. The Brazilian regional cuisine is richly varied such as Vatapá (shrimp, fish oil, coconut milk, bread and rice) and Sarapatel (pork, tomatoes, peppers, onions and sauce). In Rio Grande do Sul, the barbecue is a typical dish (grilled meat, and sauce with tomato and onion). There are numerous varieties of alcoholic beverages available, including excellent beers: Antarctica, Brahma, Skol. The most popular is the rum, the main ingredient of Caipirinha, made with diced lemon, ice and sugar. There are no restrictions on hours for serving alcohol. You can also take one of an endless variety of fruit juices, including some highly-vitamin, of which you have never heard. The coffee is usually served strong and very sweet. If you want to avoid sugar, ask your juice or coffee with sweetener or sugar.
The climate in Brazil is tropical in the north to temperate in the south. All over the country, people dress informally. During the day, the ideal is to use light cotton shirts, shorts, dresses and trousers. At night, it is customary to wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants and leather shoes. In Brazil you will normally need a jacket and tie. In winter (June / July), it is good idea to bring a sweater, since the temperature can drop.
In Brazil there are many local specialties for those who want to go shopping. The shops stay open late (in a few days to 22:00) in large urban centers. The Rio de Janeiro offers antiques and jewelry. Special purchases may include gems (particularly emeralds) and jewelry (especially silver). In the northeast, among the specialties are the incomes, tablecloths, sheets etc. and pottery.
The Brazil, especially Rio de Janeiro, have a bad reputation when it comes personal safety, and many potential visitors feel discouraged from traveling there. Much of this reputation can be considered extreme exaggeration, but had the positive effect of bringing the authorities, particularly in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, to do something about it. There are now more trained police officers to meet the tourists. Furthermore, the patrol problem areas was significantly improved. Although they take a lot more steps to improve safety, it is important you take note of the following tips in order to reduce the risk to you and your belongings. Valuables: Most crime is opportunistic nature, and the best way to avoid theft is to stay in safe areas. Check with the concierge at your hotel on the place where you want to go or not secure.
A significant part of Brazilian culture and the Brazilian of leisure centers around the beach. Thus, the beaches can be very fun and relaxing places. Do not forget the sun in Brazil can focus more directly and more strongly than in Europe, and take precautions. Certain areas, especially in Rio de Janeiro, have dangerous currents. Knowing this, stay close to other bathers and obey the warning flags: Red - Danger. It is strongly discouraged to enter the sea. White: The water is safe.