Brazil is a beautiful country that includes party-destination, Rio de Janeiro and much of the Amazon rainforest. This Portuguese-speaking nation is full of colorful attire and exciting festivities. Brazil is the perfect place to let loose for a fun vacation in a beautiful part of the world.
- Currency: Brazilian Real
- Must-See Landmark: Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janeiro
- Must-Try Food: Pão de Queijo
- Most Common Language: Portuguese
- Emergency Services Telephone Number: 190
Travel Insurance Plans for Brazil
With a wide range of plans on the market, it may be difficult to select a plan. To find the plan that's best for you, first assess the condition of your health then take a look at your travel plans. From there, you can compare plans side by side with our compare tool. For travelers with pre-existing conditions, senior travelers and those looking for more complete coverage, a comprehensive plan is the best option. If you are looking for basic coverage at an affordable price, a limited plan may be the way to go.
Visas and Documentation
People of all ages need a passport and a visa to enter Brazil. However, visas have been waived for citizens of a few countries including the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and many European and South American countries. Learn how to apply for a visa, and once your visa is approved, it is valid for five years.
Weather and What to Pack
As one of the countries on the equator, Brazil can be quite hot year-round. Light colors and fabrics like cotton and linen are good choices. Shorts and skirts are popular clothing items and beach-wear is appropriate when near the coast.
Insect repellant is also very important as many diseases can be transmitted by bugs like mosquitos. Yellow fever, in particular, has made a resurgence in the region. While this disease is treatable, it will ruin your trip. Make sure you are up-to-date on all of your vaccinations, including yellow fever, before your trip and apply insect repellent often to avoid bug bites.
If you forget any essentials, don't worry—you can always purchase them at your destination. However it is often more cost and time effective to simply bring your favorite supplies with you when you travel.
Common Words and Phrases in Portuguese
- Yes: Sim [see]
- No: Não [Now]
- Please: Por Favor [poor-feh-vohr]
- Thank You: Obrigado [oh-bree-gah-doh]
- Cheers: Saúde [saw-oo-jay]
- Hello: Olá [oh-la]
- Goodbye: Adeus [eh-de-osh]
Etiquette and Cultural Norms
Brazil is generally an informal country. Handshakes and kisses on the cheeks are both appropriate ways to greet someone. People tend to stand very close to one another on public transportation, during festivals and when conversing. Touching people's shoulders or back is considered normal during conversation.
People generally dress casually as well. Shorts, eccentric styles and loud colors are all considered normal for everyday wear. However it is considered rude and inappropriate to wear flip-flops, shorts, mini-skirts or tank tops in churches and government buildings.
The okay sign with the tip of the thumb and pointer finger touching, with the other three fingers up, is considered rude and vulgar. Use a thumbs-up instead to indicate approval.
- Rio de Janeiro: There is no place quite like Rio. Between the beautiful beaches, iconic hilltop statue and vibrant nightlife, Rio de Janeiro is a place that ought to be on everyone's bucket list. Whether you're interested in the colorful fashion and party atmosphere of this city or more excited by the live music and adventure sports of the surrounding area, Rio is sure to enchant and delight you.
- Foz do Iguacu: This jaw-dropping collection of waterfalls is located along Brazil's border with Argentina and Paraguay. Each waterfall is amazing on its own, but together they create an unforgettable sight. You can also spend time learning about the area's conservation efforts including a nearby bird park.
- Salvador: The former capital of the Portuguese colonial empire, Salvador is still filled with beautiful historic architecture. The colorfully painted buildings are charming, but the churches in the area are breathtaking. Check out São Francisco's gold-covered wood carvings and the Terreiro de Jesus which blends Brazilian and Portuguese art styles in beautiful ways that reflect the culture.
- São Paulo: This metropolitan capital is the largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world and home to over 12 million people. Full of theaters, shopping and art, São Paulo is a concrete jungle of Brazilian culture and commerce. Don't forget to check out the art museums in São Paulo that house some of the finest collections in South America.
- Manaus: A city located in the center of the world's largest rainforest, Manaus is a great place to stop or stay while exploring the Amazon. If you want to experience the majesty and incredible natural space of the Amazon Rainforest, Manaus can be a great place to start or end your trip and transition in or out of the modern world.
Health & Safety Tips
The two biggest concerns in Brazil are illness and theft. You can protect yourself from illness by getting the proper vaccinations and reapplying bug spray often. To avoid theft, be sure to be aware of your things and do not leave them unattended on a beach or any public place. The biggest risk is losing your passport as it is likely to take a great deal of your vacation time to get a new or temporary passport from the embassy of your home country.
To reduce this risk, consider keeping your passport in the hotel safe or on your person in a passport holder. Also be sure to make copies of your passport, insurance information and credit cards and keep them in the bottom of your luggage or in the hotel safe. This way, if these important items are stolen, you have a backup and an easy way to verify your identity.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the following vaccinations for Brazil: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza. The Yellow Fever vaccine is especially recommended if you are traveling to Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and/or Bahia.