Brazil Travel Blog

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Brazil beaches are year round useable [except for the southern part of the country] with 4,578 miles of coastline packed with foot-friendly sand. Beware travelling Brazil in the summer holiday Dec-Feb [school holidays and Carnival time], when domestic transportation and accommodation can be expensive and difficult to find.  In summer, Dec-Feb, temperatures can reach 40C, best time to go is March - May and September - May and Sept

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
The world's best city beach with 4km of surprisingly spotless wide white sand. Relatively cheap, with friendly, lively locals. Plenty of accommodation, restaurants and outrageous night clubs. A great place for volley ball, and is the home of 'futevolei' [foot volley ball], too. Fun for people watching especially if you favour huge bottoms.

The down side is that you have to be cautious about thieves : use common sense - no watches, jewellery, or cameras.
If you like a little more sophistication go next door to Ipanema.

Ipanema and Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
Home of the bikini and tangas- tiny bikinis- Ipanema and Leblon are adjacent and slightly more chic and relaxed than nearby Copacabana. There is a family-friendly ambience and even a meeting area for mothers and babies. Soft white sand and cool blue water.

Buzios, 100 miles [160kms] NE of Rio
Originally a fishing village Buzios is now a small and still unspoilt town on a peninsula crowded with 22 fine beaches and not a lot of people top use them. Buzios came to fame when France's famous beauty, Brigitte Bardot, hung out there in the 60's.

Angra dos Reis, Costa Verde [between Rio and Sao Paulo]
If you want to escape from Rio, Costa Verde is a good destination. Costa Verde [Green Coast], is one of the most scenic stretches along the 175-mile coastline between Rio and Sao Paulo, where tropical forest spread down to the ocean, with broad bays, golden sandy beaches and small fishing villages. There are some good resort hotels, villas, trendy restaurants and clubs. Angra dos Reis [Kings' Cove] is the best beach of the area and one of the most untouched beauty spots in the country.

Santos Beach Gardens, south of Sao Paulo
The town of Santos, 45 miles from Sao Paulo, has a beautiful 4 mile beach garden, reckoned by locals to be the largest garden in the world.

It stretchs from Ponta da Praia, ferryport from another well-known beach resort called Guaruja, to Sao Vicente, the oldest town in Brazil.

Salvador, Bahia State
A beautiful, vibrant colonial city with excellent beaches on both sides.

Ilha de Tinharé, Bahia state
The seashore on this little island off the coast of Salvador is one of the prettiest in Brazil.
Neighbouring beaches, Ondina and Rio Vermelho, host Salvador's most expensive resort hotels, while Rio Vermelho has some of the city's best bars and music.
Going north along the Orla Marítima are many restaurants, clean white sand, and in the north, the Lagoa de Abaeté, a black freshwater lagoon.

Praia do Forte resort, Bahia State
Praia do Forte
, to the north of Salvador, is an old fishing village reconfigered as a laidback, downmarket resort.

It has more than 8 miles of superb sandy beaches and natural pools and is surrounded by thousands of square miles of wild nature. Among the many cheap and cheerful little hotels is Brazil's first eco-resort, Praia do Forte EcoResort - delux but low key - lurking by the best sandy bit in the area, and offering various eco tourist programmes such as bird-watching, and rainforest walking. 1.5 hours from Salvador.

Natal, Rio Grande Norte State
Natal, inelegant, but 'the city of the sun' sees more than 300 days of sunshine a year and has some of the best stretches of sand in South America, including good lively city beaches - but beware the surf.
Just out of town the seaside get better with the prettiest area being Ponta Negra bay[ 10km away], and Pipa beach [80km away] - so lovely that dolphins visit regularly to admire it.
In addition Rio Grande do Norte has a more than 40 other great beaches, in particular Pirangi, Jacuma, Maracajaú, Galinhos.

And by the way, wild buggy rides over the huge dunes seem to be a big attraction in this area.

Fortaleza, Ceara State
A mediocre city beach but hundreds of miles of superb wild coast either side of it, with dunes, palms, wild water and not much else.

Jericoacoara, Ceará State [300km west of Fortaleza]
Jericoacoara, increasingly fashionable in Brazil, has spectacular sunsets from the sand-dunes overlooking the little developed beaches. It is also known as an excellent place for windsurfing and horse-riding along the sands.

Praia do Rosa, 90km south of Florianopolis
A small fishing village popular with no more than a few surfers until recently, Rosa is a beautiful beach with great surf, but developing rapidly. Get there before it's too late.

Guardo do Embau, near Florianopolis
Between Florianopolis and Garopaba this is a beautiful beach with an excellent slope for sandboarding, a small beach, good surf and friendly locals.

tracia-ann says:
yes it is but its all good i will tell you sao paulo...and oh yes if they can party days a upon days they go......sometimes i forget AM/PM myself lolll ....
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008
keatsdad says:
Yeah I hear they love to party there. What part of Brazil are you from? Sorry, it might be somewhere on your profile, I don't remember though.
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008
tracia-ann says:
I go back home every year well at least try too....i have a good group of friends that we make a party out of it.....
Posted on: Mar 24, 2008
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Travelling To Brazil

Entering Brazil

To enter Brazil, a passport valid for at least 6 is required, along with a return ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay. Most non-European visitors will require a 90 day visa which must be obtained in advance, prior to entering the country.


There are five climatic regions in Brazil: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical and subtropical. Cities such as Sao Paulo and Brasilia, on the plateau, have a mild climate with temperatures averaging 66�F (19�C). Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Natal and Salvador on the coast have warmer climates. Rio, for example, has an average temperature of around 80�F (26�C).

In the southern part of Brazilian, the subtropical climate is similar to parts of the US and Europe, with frosts occurring in the winter months (July to August) when temperatures can fall below freezing. In the Amazon the temperature rarely rises above 90�F (32�C), and days are generally warm, wet and humid. The region has two seasons: a rainy season (November to May) and not-so-rainy season (June to October).

For the rest of the country, temperatures range from 70� to 90�F (20�-30�C), regardless of the season. The summer months between December and February can be hot and humid, bringing temperatures to the high 30s. The amount of rainfall depends greatly on where you are. Around the Amazon basin you can expect rain year round, while coastal regions are generally hot and dry.


Brazilian currency is the REAL, divided into centavos; 100 centavos = 1 real. Bank notes are in denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5, 1; Coins are 1.00 real; 50 centavos, 25 centavos, 10 centavos, 5 centavos and 1 centavo. The US dollar is the best foreign currency to take to Brazil as dollars can be exchanged everywhere. The most widely accepted travellers� cheques are American Express. Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are accepted almost everywhere, Visa the most widely. There are many ATMs where you can either withdraw currency on your credit card, or you can use your bank card on the PLUS network. Check with your bank prior to your departure to make sure your cards will work.

About Brazil

Brazil occupies nearly half the continent of South America and is the fifth largest country in the world.

The Atlantic Ocean runs along its entire eastern coast, where two-thirds of its population lives. Ruled by Portugal since the 1500s, Brazil is the only country in the whole continent that speaks Portuguese � all its neighbours speak Spanish.

Named after brazilwood, (pau-brasil) an indigenous tree highly valued by early colonists, Brazil is home to both extensive agricultural lands and rain forests. There are several ecological parks and extremely varied ecosystems: the tropical forest in the Amazon, the stunted vegetation in the northeast, the Atlantic Forest in the southeast, the vast marsh lands of the Pantanal in the mid-west and the pampas in the south.

People are the essence of the country, and while Brazil is home to a multitude of ethnic groups of varying economic status, there are some characteristics that everyone shares � energy and passion.

Much of the life of any Brazilian revolves around family�both immediate and extended. Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world and the most members of Asian religions in the Western world.

Brazilians are sun worshippers and love spending time at the beach. They also like music and dancing and celebrate with many fiestas. Carnaval is celebrated all over Brazil, with the most famous being festivities held in Rio's samb�dromo � a tiered street specifically designed for samba parades.

Brazil offers world class travel destinations with unique travel experiences...

Rio de Janeiro is the hottest of destinations and very few places in the world match its hospitality and natural charm. Rio is brimming with color, sound, rhythm, and joy, which make it synonymous with Carnaval, happiness, and beautiful people.

Rio has music, nightlife, beaches, historical sites and a spirit all its own. The locals are called Cariocas and tend to be extravagant, the intensity with which they live life is legendary and truly remarkable.

In the north are the major Brazilian tropical beach resorts areas such as Recife, Forteleza and Salvador da Bahia. Special amongst these is Bahia, with its prevailing African culture, cuisine, music and traditions truly their own. Here the pace and rhythm of life is very linked to history and the joy and warmth of the people make it a unique area.

The Country�s capital, Brasilia, is renowned for its futuristic architecture. Home to the Pra�a dos Tr�s Poderes, Pal�cio do Planalto and the National Congress � it is the first modern cultural complex to be included in UNESCO�s list of World Heritage monuments.

A rich colonial history exists in the town of Parati, which is an exquisite example of eighteenth-century Portuguese architecture. Other cities with unique cultural heritage include: Ouro Preto, Diamantina, S�o Miguel das Miss�es, Salvador, S�o Lu�s, Olinda, Cidade de Goi�s and Congonhas do Campo.

Sao Paulo is a large, metropolis at the heart of a region with 40 million people of varying national origins: Portuguese, Italian, Spanish or Spanish speaking people, German, Arab, Lebanese, and Asiatic. While business dominates Sao Paulo, its museums are among the finest in South America and the city has become legendary for its outstanding cuisine. And, though not as famously wild as Rio, entertainment hot spots have attracted some of the best performers in the world.

In Manaus, you can sense the unbelievable grandeur of the world�s largest rainforest � the Amazon. Another example of a very different Brazil culture, the indigenous people of the forest and the (Caboclos mixed white and Amerindian).

If you want to visit an atypical Brazil, deeply related with European culture, choose the southern states. Here you find folklore, traditions, music and a cuisine (with beer and wine) strictly rooted in Europe. Blumenau�s Oktoberfest is a three week festival, a replica of Munich�s, an event that calls more than a million people a year, and rivals with events as Rio de Janeiro or Salvador�s Carnivals.

The Pantanal, which is the world's largest wetland, covers more than 365,000 square kilometers. During the rainy season, the region experiences extensive flooding, connecting a vast array of swamps, lagoons, backwaters and oxbow lakes and has the largest American concentration of wild life.

Iguacu Falls, strung out along a crescent-shaped cliff about 2.5 miles long, some 275 individual cascades and waterfalls plummet up to 269 feet into the gorge below. The thunderous roaring can be heard from miles away. Truly a magnificent site.

Country Facts

Full name: Federative Republic of Brazil
Area: 8,511,965 sq km
Population: 186 million people (est.2004)
Capital: Brasilia
Largest city: S�o Paulo
Language: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French
Government: Federal Republic
Currency: Real
Time: GMT minus 3 to 5 hours from east to west
Electricity: 110 to 120V, 60 Hz, non-standardized
Major Industries: Metal ores & products, transport equipment, soya beans, coffee, sugar
International Dialing code: 55

Travelling Tips
Taxes -
Airport tax for international flights is approximately R$ 89,00.

Internal flights are taxed at about R$ 7,20 and R$ 9,20. In addition, some hotels require a City Tax at US$1-3 per day per room. All the above taxes may be paid in Dollars or Reals and must be paid locally.

Time - Brazil spans 3 time zones, GMT minus 3 to 5 hours from east to west. Brazilian Standard Time is 3 hours earlier than G.M.T. and 2 hours earlier in the summer.

Business Hours - Most shops In Brazil are open from 9 am - 6:30 or 7 PM, weekdays, and from 9 am - 1 PM on Saturdays. Some shops may close earlier, and many shopping centers stay open as late as 10 PM. Banks open from 10 am - 4:00 PM, Monday - Friday, in most parts of the country with small regional variations. In some regions, shops may also close for lunch.

Tipping - In most restaurants and bars a 10% service fee is added to the bill. More sophisticated places may add on 15%. If service is not included it will be stated at the bottom of the bill : Servicio nao incluido. Taxis do not expect a tip, but it is normal to round up the final price.

Electricity - Bras�lia and Recife, 220 volts AC; Rio de Janeiro and S�o Paulo, 127 volts AC or 220 volts in larger hotels. Plugs are of the two-pin type. Most hotels provide 110-volt and 220-volt outlets, transformers and adaptors.

Communications - Brazil has extensive fixed and cellular telephone systems which will allow you to call anywhere in the world. Public telephones use telephone cards which are widely available and can be purchased in various denominations to make local, intercity, interstate and international calls.

Internet service is readily available in Brazil. Many hotels include (or offer for an additional fee) high speed Internet access, if not in the room, then at least somewhere in the hotel. Additionally, most larger Brazilian cities have Cyber Caf�s offering inexpensive, high speed Internet access on their computers for around R$ 2 per hour.

Shopping - In most major cities shops and markets stay open until late (up to 10.00pm). Rio and the south specialize in antiques and jewellery - special purchases include gems (particularly emeralds) and jewellery (particularly silver). In the north east specialties include laces, linen and ceramics.

Clothing - Casual wear is normal, particularly during hot weather. In nightclubs, smart-casual (eg blazer, no tie) is acceptable.

For men, coats and ties are common in S�o Paulo and Bras�lia as well as some formal business situations. For women, slacks or skirts with a blouse, or dresses are common and acceptable, although, a dress or skirt may prove to be much cooler.) If you are traveling to the south of the country, in the winter (June/July), it is worth taking an extra layer, or something warm, as the temperature can be quite cool.

Social Customs - Since Brazilian culture is European based, most familiar European social customs are observed in Brazil. In both business and social situations, shaking hands when meeting or leaving is customary. But Brazilians are also very warm and caring people, the women may kiss one (or both) cheeks of other women upon meeting them and, often, kiss men in a similar manner.

Smoking is acceptable unless notified otherwise, however throughout Brazil smoking has been banned or severely limited in many public areas including airports, post offices, government offices, rest rooms, banks, hospitals, supermarkets, shopping centers and malls. Numerous restaurants do the same but some will have a separate section para fumantes (for smokers).

Food & Drink - The most common dishes feature various meats, rice and black beans. The nearest Brazil gets to a national dish is a black bean stew (feijoada), which is traditionally served on Saturdays. Visitors must also try out the churrasco (barbecue) restaurants and we highly recommend a visit to a rodizio, where they will keep serving of a variety of cuts of meats until you ask them to stop. Although Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer, the national drink is cacha�a, a sugar cane alcohol.

You will find this in the famously potent 'Caipirinha' mixed with sugar and slices of lime. Brazil has numerous brands of beer including Bohemia, Ant�rtica, Skol, Brahma, Itaipava, Bavaria, Xingu, Kaiser and more. Soft drinks include Guarana (a carbonated cola-like drink) and many varieties of excellent fruit-juices. Coffee tends to be served as a very strong, very sweet drink, so if you want to avoid sugar in your coffee, you should specifically ask.

Health - You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements.

Yellow Fever Vaccine - An International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever is required for tourists who have been in transit over the past three months, or who are coming from certain countries - Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, French Guiana, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leon, Sudan, Venezuela and Zaire.

Receiving a yellow fever vaccine is recommended for all tourists who intend to visit these Brazilian states: Acre, Amazonas, Amap�, Federal District, Goi�s, Maranh�o, Mato Grosso do Sul, Par�, Rond�nia, Roraima and Tocantins. It is advisable to take precautions against stomach upsets while adjusting to a change in diet. Avoid eating and drinking local products from street vendors and drink only bottled water.

General Security - Brazil, like many countries, has had a bad reputation for personal security, although there are far more tourist police patrolling problem areas now, than in the past. Use common sense. The best way to avoid theft is to stay in safe areas (if in any doubt please ask your hotel receptionist / concierge whether where you want to go is safe).

Where possible, leave valuables, documents and passports in your hotel safety deposit box and keep a copy of these documents retained separately, in case of loss or theft. Do not wear valuable jewelery or a visible wristwatch, keep your camera in your pocket or bag. Cash kept on your person should be kept to a minimum. If you have to take a bag while you are out, hold it in front of you where you can see it.

lvdp says:
This is something !! Great blog! Greets, Lex.
Posted on: Apr 07, 2008
ted332 says:
Posted on: Feb 11, 2008
worldcitizen says:
Very informative... I did eat street food in Brazil and only had a problem with it once. I think my stomach has toughened up after a few trips to Ghana ;) It's definitely 3rd world there whereas Brazil is more 2nd world!
Posted on: Feb 11, 2008
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