Country Information

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About country

Brazil is the fifth largest country in Central America. On the East side of the country is the Atlantic Ocean. The northern part of the country is bounded by Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana.  On the Northwest side of the country is Colombia and on the west side is Bolivia and Peru. Bordering the Southwest is Argentina and Paraguay.  The country is really in the middle of Central America, bordered by Uruguay in the South.  There are also numerous islands that are part of Brazil.

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese but many tourism workers in major cities can understand and speak English.  Citizens of the country are predominantly Roman Catholic.  Brazil is a melting pot of cultures and is a vibrant country.

Accommodation

Because Brazil is a popular tourist destination the country offers a wide range of accommodations to satisfy the needs and the desires of travelers.  From luxury hotels that offer the finest services and views to affordable inns, there is surely an accommodation that will fit your budget and needs. Discuss accommodations with your travel agent so you can find the best hotel or resort for you.  You can also get more information on Brazil hotels online.

 

Airport Tax

The departure tax in Brazil is at US $ 38.   This is usually included in the airline ticket price. Verify with your travel agent or with the booking agent if the airport tax has already been included in the ticket price.

Arrival and Departure

The following are the International airports in Brazil: the Brasilia International Airport (Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport), Rio de Janeiro International and the Sao Paolo International Airport.

Currency

The currency on Brazil is the Real.  US Dollars can be easily exchanges in banks, travel agencies and currency exchange agencies.

Money Changers

US Dollars and other currencies may be changed in the bank.  There are also money exchange counters in hotels, and international airports. Money can also be exchanged in money changing agents located in various offices in cities and towns of Brazil. Generally, the exchange rate is lower for traveler’s checks than for cash.

 

Banking

There are often English speaking employees in banks in Brazil so transacting with a local bank should be no problem. Most banks also have ATMs that will enable you to withdraw money from your own bank. Just check if a particular ATM covers your bank’s network (e.g. Cirrus).  You can also change US dollars and other currencies in Brazil Banks/

 

Credit/ Charge Cards

Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted in major cities in Brazil. When traveling to small towns, make sure to bring cash.

Food  

Brazil is a large country that has been influenced by many cultures. You can expect to experience great gastronomical treats in the country. There are plenty of restaurants and eateries where you can get a fulfilling meal. If you need to have a taste of the familiar, you will surely find a restaurant to fill your needs, from the many restaurants that feature various cuisines in Brazil.

 

Drinking Water

Although tap water is largely safe in most major cities in Brazil, to guarantee that you are only consuming safe drinking water, go for the bottled water sold in stores.

 

Electricity

The electricity system in Brazil is at 110 Volts, alternating at 60 cycles per second. Sockets in Brazil are usually for two-prong plugs, either flat types or round ones. 

 

What to Wear

Wear casual and comfortable clothes when traveling to Brazil - shorts, shorts, flip flops, and pants are all acceptable for daily wear.   Be sure to bring a dressier outfit for when you want to go out to a fancy restaurant or for when you will be visiting religious or cultural areas. 

 

Mobile Phones

The mobile phone network in Brazil is GSM 1800.   If you have a mobile phone that is GSM 1800 capable and not locked to any mobile phone service provider, you can acquire a prepaid SIM in Brazil to use with your phone.

 

Payphone Services

There are many payphones in cities and commercial and tourist destinations in Brazil.  When you visit small towns then the availability of a pay phone is not guaranteed so it is best to bring along a mobile phone with a SIM that works in Brazil.

 

Postal Services

The postal service in Brazil is operated by the Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telegrafos.  There are many postal offices in the different parts of Brazil so sending local or international mail should be no problem for any traveler.  The postal service is generally safe and efficient in Brazil but it is still not advisable to send money and valuable items through mail.

 

Transport

The easiest and most affordable way to get around Brazil is through the public bus system.  Bus routes cover tourist attractions so you can get around from one tourist destination to the next easily. You can also travel by air but air travel understandably costs more than traveling by bus. You can also rent a car to go around cities and towns.

 

Visa and Entry Facilities

US Citizens are required to get a visa when traveling to Brazil. Citizens of the following countries may enter Brazil without visas: Andorra, Argentina , Austria , Bahamas , Barbados , Belgium , Bermuda ,Bolivia , Bulgaria , Chile, Colombia , Costa Rica , Czech Republic , Denmark , Ecuador, Finland , France ,Germany , Great Britain , Greece , Hungary , Iceland ,Ireland , Italy , Israel , Liechtenstein , Luxembourg , Malaysia , Malta , Monaco , Morocco , Namibia , Netherlands , New Zealand , Norway , Paraguay , Peru ,Philippines , Poland , Portugal , San Marino , Slovenia , South Africa , South Korea , Spain , Surinam , Sweden , Switzerland , Thailand , Trinidad & Tobago , Tunis , Turkey , Uruguay , and Vatican .

Country Code

The country code for Brazil is 55.  City codes are different for each city. You can check city codes in local phone directories or check with the telephone operator or customer service.

 

Useful Telephone Numbers

Police                                                             :190

City Police Force                                            :399 - 3217

Federal Police (loss of passport)                    :291 - 21

Firemen/Ambulance                                      :193

Special Tourist Service Police Branch             :511 - 5112 / 5767
Women’s Police Service                                  :399 - 3690

PROCON (Consumer Protection Service)         :1512
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm

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