As anyone who travels knows, you can only research on the internet so much before you go to that place. With my personality, I wanted to know everything I could before I came to Brazil, and of course I was still surprised! So I wanted to share a few things that I couldn’t find on the internet about Brazil!
Before starting, please note that I have not been to many cities and am going off of what Brasilians have told me themselves of I have experienced in the places I’ve been. Also, US & Canadian residents are REQUIRED to have a pre-approved Brasilian Visa in your passport in order to visit. I used ( https://www.visahq.com/ ) and was very pleased with the price and speedy return of my passport and approval. The visa is good for 10 years and you can stay up to 6 months in a calendar year, if you plan to stay for more than 3 months, you must pay a fee and renew your stay plans with the Federal Police. It isn’t hard unless you don’t speak Portuguese.
- Unless you are traveling to São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, it would be a good idea to learn some phrases in Portuguese
- The farther North you travel, the less clothes you will need. Natal’s weather ranges from 73-85 degrees all year around because of being 5 degrees South of the Equator
- Depending on the city you travel to will decrease or increase the safety of your trip. Rio is well known for it’s crime and most Brazilians choose not to go to Rio if they can help it
- Keeping a close eye on the currency exchange is important. I use ( http://www.xe.com/ ) to see where the Real (pronounced ray-eye) is compared to the Dollar
- A nice pair of real leather shoes (for women) here costs about 125.00 Reals, and average nice meal costs 45.00 a person
- Vacation time in Brazil is Dec-Feb so more Brazilians will be at the beaches being as it is their summer
- When checking luggage at the airport it is best to have the most generic suite cases, stealing of nice luggage is common in large airports
- If you are traveling in Rio it is very important to know where you are and where the favelas are. Favels are communities in Rio that are run by family gangs that have very specific rules. ( http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/05/americas/brazil-wrong-directions-death/ ) Unfortunately this has happened before. There are many different kinds of signals to communicate to the favela guards if you are friend or foe, something as simple as turning your cars headlights off can be a signal that results in deaths. GPS cannot always be trusted if you want to travel into the city, however tourist areas are heavily monitored and remain a safer place for foreigners
- Eat, laugh and enjoy your time. Brazil is a lively place and night life is very evident, where as morning time tends to be less bustling
- Going to the beach: Brazilians own groups of umbrellas that have table and chairs at the beach that you can rent by the hour. They often serve some kind of foods and drinks so it is best to look at what they offer before you sit down. Most menus are in Portuguese and English
-Carissa Raye Todd