Brazil Travel Information
Airport taxes are usually included with all international and domestic flights in Brazil, but please check your flight tickets to be sure. Other countries such as Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador also usually include the taxes. Airport taxes in Peru can only be paid at the departure points in the airports, around US$6 for domestic and US$36 for international flights.
In case of emergency in Brazil, please seek local help immediately, whether in your hotel, with the local police or with our guides and contacts in each area. We are available at all times of course, and the following numbers are the first ones that you should use.
A list of the public holiday dates in Brazil that are important to consider when planning your Brazil trip, especially with regards to the Carnaval period. There are also many other public holidays during which tourist destinations are busier and hotels may have fixed packages with requirements of 2 or more nights.
It is recommended that you drink only bottled water during your time in Brazil and South America. Tapwater in Brazil may be ok to drink for locals in some areas, although foreign visitors may not be accustomed to the bacteria it contains. It is best not to risk upsetting your stomach for the sake of buying treated water which is readily available all over Brazil.
Brazilian meals generally include fresh salad and of course there is an incredible variety of fresh fruits to try. You may need to take care with such fresh items if they have been washed in tap water. Meats are generally freshly cooked to order. Drinks tend to come with ice made from treated water, while most beers are bottled, but draught beers also exist.
TAM and GOL are the major domestic carriers for flights around Brazil. They have a 5kg limit for hand luggage, and 23kg limit for the hold. For excess baggage, the fee is usually 0.5% of the standard seat price (economy class – Y tickets) for every kilogram over the limit. You may not need to pay this if the flight is quiet but that is certainly not guaranteed.
The currency in Brazil is the Real (plural Reais which is pronounced something like Hay-Ice). Most places in Brazil will not accept foreign currency for transactions, Including the US dollar. Border towns such as Iguazu Falls, Corumbau and Guaruja-Mirim will accept the money from the other side of the border, but generally using Reais or your cards are the only options.
The first step then is to leave valuables behind as much as possible, don’t wander the city streets wearing expensive watches and jewellery, as the small amount of clothes you are likely to wear in Brazil will leave them permanently on show. Leave valuables in the hotel safe or in your hosts’ residence. Better still, leave the real valuables at home.
You can buy a reasonably cheap Pay As You Go (telefone credito pré-pago) mobile/cell phone with R$20 worth of credit for R$60 or so. For those and the public phones, your credit drops rapidly, especially when calling another celular. You can also buy sim cards for unblocked phones to use in your own handset.
Have a look through a few of our restaurant recommendations to see if anything appeals to you. There are plenty more places of course, but these are places that we know will treat you well and should be an enjoyable experience of Brazilian and South American cuisine.
Tipping in Brazil is quite a simple process. Most bars and restaurants that provide you with a proper bill will add 10% service charge. Cheaper, family run places on the beach or similar often do not include or expect 10%, so tips are at your own discretion. Hotel staff and taxi drivers don't seem to expect tips.