Rio de Janeiro: simply, one of the world’s great cities … the beautiful people that gather on the city’s magnificent beaches: Ipanema and Copacabana…the natural wonders, from the mighty Amazon River to the massive Iguassu Falls … the rich Colonial heritage seen in Rio, Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia and elsewhere … the joie de vivre of the people and their infectious love of music, dance, and partying, that makes every visit to Brazil a Carnival of experiences.
From the teeming jungle wilds of the Amazon basin to the crowds of sun worshippers on the beach at Copacabana, Brazil is a fascinating mix of people, places and things to see and do.
One of the world’s greatest cities Rio de Janeiro offers world-famous beaches, the towering edifice of Corcovado Mountain, the favelas that teem with life and music, and its rich cultural life.
The mighty Amazon which drains much of the South American continent, is an endless motherlode of natural wonders, ripe for exploration. And there are also the Pantanal, the largest wetlands on earth, and Iguacu Falls, an unforgettable natural cascade of hundreds of waterfalls.
In addition to Rio and its nightlife, there are other great cities to visit. Sao Paulo is one of the oldest Colonial cities in the New World. Brazil’s coastline contains thousands of miles of magnificent beaches, coral reefs to explore, sand dunes to hike, waves to surf.
And adding to all the fun are the Brazilian people themselves. Perhaps the most fun-loving people on earth, a visit to Brazil is a nonstop festival of music, dance, fine dining, laughter and delight. No matter where you go, you will find a winning smile and a warm welcome in Brazil.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese. However, English, Spanish and other European tongues are also spoken in the large cities and in tourist areas.
The currency in Brazil is the real (pronounced ree-ALL). The exchange rate is roughly 1 US dollar equals 3.63 Brazilian reals.
The electrical current in Brazil varies from place to place. In the large tourist cities, most hotels have outlets for both 220v and 110-120v appliances. Travelers are advised to bring a converter and a surge protector.
Internet connections and WiFi spots are found throughout the country. Most major hotels provide good accessibility.
Most visitors to Brazil, including those from the United States, are required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. It can take up to 30 days to obtain a visa from the Brazilian government, although the process can be started online (https://formulario-mre.serpro.gov.br/). The cost of obtaining a Brazilian visa is USD$160. Separate visas are required for those visiting for tourism and those visiting for business purposes.
It is recommended that visitors use bottled water for drinking and teeth brushing.
While there are four time zones within Brazil, most of the country, including Rio de Janeiro is on Brasilia Time (GMT -3). (If it is noon in New York City, it is 1 p.m. in Rio de Janeiro).
Located in the Southern Hemisphere, Brazil’s summer/winter seasons are the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. Peak tourist season is in their summer: December through March, peaking during Carnival in early February. However, as a mostly tropical nation, the climate is warm and humid year round in most locations.