Brazil Travel Tips. Just for you.
You’ve put so much thought, energy and time into picking your destination and finalizing your itinerary. Just as important as the big picture, the small details can make or break a trip. Select your destination and discover great tips, tricks, and hacks for making travel smooth and hassle-free.
Everything You Need to Know Before You GO!
VISA AND PASSPORTS
- Please check the expiry date on your passport. Travel outside of the United States requires a passport valid for at least the next six months.
- If you are a US citizen, you are required to obtain a visa on your passport prior to entering Brazil. Non-American citizens must present proof they are staying and/or residing legally in the United States.
- If you have a valid Brazilian visa on an expired passport, and have another passport without name changes issued by same country, you may enter Brazil carrying both passports.
- If you are not a US citizen, consult the visa chart to check if you must have a visa to go to Brazil. Please check with your diplomatic or consulate office about whether you require a visa for Brazil. If your tour includes destinations other than Brazil, please contact the relevant consulate or visa agency to check whether a visa is needed for that country. Check the list of Brazilian Consulates in the United States to find out which Consulate is assigned to your area.
- Visa requirements are listed on this website according to visa type. For tourism purposes, you may need to apply for the TOURIST VISA (VITUR); for business purposes you should apply for the VITEM-II.
- Visa fees are 160 USD for both types of visas. All payments should be made only by USPS Money Order, made out to the Consulate General of Brazil in the exact amount of the service requested. Please bring 1 money order per visa application.
The US State Department provides Country Specific Information sheets for every country in the world as well as Travel Alerts and Warnings. For this information, call 888 407 4747 or 202 501 4444 or see travel.state.gov.
- Plan to visit your doctor or local travel clinic at least 6 weeks before departure to allow time for any vaccinations to take effect or to fill any prescriptions.
- We strongly suggest purchasing appropriate trip insurance covering medical, baggage, and trip cancellation as needed.
- Before traveling to Brazil or any other destination, we recommend consulting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for up-to-date information on required and recommended vaccines and medications. Visit cdc.gov/travel or call 800 232 4636 for more information.
- Applicants who have visited certain countries and territories within 90 days prior to entering Brazil are recommended to present a Yellow Fever International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV), known as the Yellow Card, upon entering the country.
- The Yellow Fever vaccination is also recommended for travelers who intend to visit rural areas in any of the following states in Brazil. Immunization is also recommended for travelers visiting the Iguazú Falls. Daytime insect precautions are essential for unvaccinated travelers.
- If you received any vaccinations in preparation for your journey, pack your vaccination certificates in your personal carry-on baggage in case you are asked to show them on arrival.
- For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO), which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
- Make sure that any medications you require, as well as copies of your prescriptions, are packed in your carry-on luggage and not in your checked baggage.
- Special meals and allergies: If you require special meals for health or dietary reasons, please let your Da’at tour operator know at least 60 days prior to your departure.
We strongly recommend that you purchase your own travel insurance. Please discuss land, air, and health insurance options with your insurance provider or contact Travel Insured at 1-800-344-6226, ext. 257. Some insurance programs provide more comprehensive coverage when the policy is purchased in close proximity to the initial trip deposit. We therefore recommend that you secure insurance within 14 days of your initial deposit payment date.
CURRENCY AND BANK INFORMATION
- The currency in Brazil is Brazilian Real (BRL) which is subdivided into 100 centavos.
- Click here to obtain the most current exchange rates.
- Banknotes are easy to distinguish from each other as they come in different colors with a different animal featured on each.
- ATMs are very common here and you will find them everywhere in Brazil, even in the smallest towns. The only trick is finding one that works with your card. You need to have a four-digit PIN to be able to access ATMs in Brazil. For most ATMs the limit is R$1,000 but depending on the machine these amounts may be lower.
- We recommend that you contact your bank in advance of departing on your journey in order to determine whether you will be able to use your ATM and credit cards while traveling. When contacting your bank, notify them of your travel dates so that they will anticipate charges being made outside of your hometown and will not suspend your cards for what may appear to them “suspicious” charges. We also recommend that you make a photocopy of the front and back sides of your ATM and credit cards to leave behind with someone at home who will assist you in the event your cards are misplaced, lost, or stolen.
- For more information about money in Brazil, click here.
- In Brazil, electric power is provided at both 127V and 220 V, 60 Hz; in most of the Brazilian federative units, such as Rio de Janeiro and Paraná, where the Iguazu Falls are located, use 127 V electricity (as in the US), but some of them are on 220 V.
- Click here for a full list of all 27 Brazilian federative units and their respective voltages.
- Electric shavers, traveling irons, phone rechargers, and other small appliances may require adaptors and/or converters, which you can purchase prior to your departure or at the airport.
Brazil is divided into four standard time zones: UTC-2, UTC-3, UTC-4, and UTC-5.
Rio de Janiero is three hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (or Greenwich Mean Time). From mid-October through mid-February, they switch to Daylight Savings Time (DST). To determine current time in major cities around the world, visit timeanddate.com.
Tips to avoid international roaming charges:
- Use your existing plan – contact your local carrier to find out plans and prices for data roaming.
- Rent a device – Rent a phone, download your information, and use the borrowed device as if it were your own.
- Get a local SIM card – Make sure your phone is “unlocked” before purchasing a local SIM card in your destination and using your phone on the local network.
- Wi-Fi only – Turn off your cellular data, switch your phone to airplane mode, and enable a Wi-Fi connection to access Internet hotspots in your destination.
- The International Access (Dial) Code you use to call overseas from within Brazil is: 00 (zero zero) + xx (carrier code) + 1 + xxx (U.S. area code) + telephone number.
- Carrier codes can be: 14 (Brazil Telecom), 15 (Telefonica), 21 (Embratel), 23 (Intelig) or 31 (Telemar).
FACILITIES FOR THE DISABLED
- To enjoy this tour, you should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances, often over unpaved and uneven surfaces. Some of the most memorable sightseeing can only be accomplished on foot. You will encounter cobblestone streets, narrow passageways, and some steep and winding staircases. For the most part, however, the amount of walking you do at the various sites and towns is at your discretion.
- The decision to participate in one of these tours is at the sole discretion of each participant.
- Airports, public transportation, and many tourist sites are wheelchair-friendly and most hotels have special rooms designed for disabled travelers.
- When making dinner plans, your hotel will be able to recommend restaurants that can accommodate your needs. Should you require specific equipment or facilities, please contact us.
- Should you require handicapped facilities, please contact our Customer Service Center.
With roughly 204 million speakers, Brazil is the world’s most populated Portuguese-speaking country. It is always worthwhile to speak a little of the local lingo so we recommend that you familiarize yourselves with some useful Portuguese words and phrases.
Rio de Janeiro has a tropical climate and is often characterized by long periods of heavy rain and high humidity from December to March. The average temperatures in the afternoon range from 86 ºF (30 ºC) in February to 65 ºF (18 ºC) in July.
The Iguazu Falls are located in a tropical rain forest area, with frequent rain and high humidity. The region has a sub-tropical humid climate divided into two distinct seasons – the hot and wet summer season from October to March and the relatively dry and fresh “winter” season from May to September. Temperatures are quite hot in summer and mild in winter. Rainfall is common throughout the year, but most abundant from October to March.
Use a website such as weather.com to find average temperatures and rainfall during your travel times.
In Rio de Janeiro:
- December, January, February, March, & April have the most rain.
- July & August are the driest months.
- November-April are the hottest months.
- June-October are the coldest months.
In Iguazu Falls:
- October has the most rain.
- July & August are the driest months.
- June & July are the coldest months.
- November-March are the hottest months.
WHAT TO PACK
Click here for our suggested packing checklist.
Confirm baggage limitations with your international carrier before packing. Remember that airlines can change their baggage restrictions at any time.
FLIGHTS AND AIRPORTS
- Be sure to reconfirm your international flights with your airline 24 hours prior to your departure.
- Passengers must check in for international flights from the US/Canada at least three hours prior to departure time.
Security checks are carried out routinely for your protection and safety. Expect to be asked about the contents of your luggage, who packed it, whether anyone asked you to transport items for them, and whether your luggage remained with you before you arrived at the airport. Do not take any mail, packages, or unknown items from anyone either before or after arriving at the airport.
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE TRANSFERS
- If your package includes arrival and departure transfers, this will be detailed in your travel documents which will be e-mailed to you up to one week prior to your trip.
- If you deviate from the arrival and/or departure dates and time as specified in your travel documents, you will need to arrange your own transfers. Alternatively, you may request a transfer service up to three working days prior to your arrival and the cost of the transfer service will be added to your invoice.
- When requesting a transfer service, please provide us with your flight information. Your arrival transfer is guaranteed for up to one hour from your scheduled arrival time in order to compensate for minor delays.
- Da’at or the transfer company will not be responsible for delays, for any reason, beyond one hour from your originally scheduled arrival time. In case of a delay, it will be your responsibility to contact Da’at directly and/or to make other transfer arrangements, such as by taxi.
- Transfer costs are not refundable and any additional expenses will be your responsibility.
- Travel by bus: A good way to explore Rio de Janiero is by bus. There are a few bus companies operating in the city, including the government-run bus rapid transit system, which were introduced in order to speed up the journeys. The service is usually frequent. Fares for buses will normally be shown in the front windscreen of all buses. The money collector sits just inside the entrance, usually at the front of the bus, but occasionally the entrance is from the back of the bus.
- There are also blue Premium buses run by private companies. Those are more like coaches, air-conditioned, more comfortable, and have special routes.
- Buses are generally quite safe; however, there are stories of robberies on buses. Therefore, try to avoid taking valuables on local buses and we recommend taking a taxi at night.
- Minivans: Minivans (called vans in Rio) are an alternative form of transportation in Rio and are usually much faster than buses. They are cheap and run frequently, but they do get crowded, thus not a good option if you have luggage. Call out your stop when you want to disembark.
- Subway: Rio de Janeiro has an excellent subway system, a safe, cheap, and efficient way of exploring the city.
- Traveling by taxi: Taxi rides are reasonably priced and the best option for getting around cities at night. Taxis in cities usually have meters. If possible, orient yourself before taking a taxi and keep a map handy in case you find yourself being taken on a wild detour.
- There are two types of taxis: yellow ones which can be hailed from the street and special taxis which have to be booked in advance and are usually found at the airport or bus terminal. Special taxis are more expensive but have the advantage of being pre-paid so you know how much the journey will cost and will usually have newer vehicles with air-conditioning.
- In small towns, taxis often don’t have meters and you’ll have to arrange a price beforehand. Some airports and bus stations have a system for you to purchase a fixed-price taxi ticket from a ticket office.
- The worst place to get a cab is where there is a concentration of tourists. In Rio, for example, walk a block away from the beach at Copacabana in order to flag down a cab.
- Taxi drivers in Brazil are usually not tipped, but it’s customary to round up the fare to the next Real.
CHECKING IN AT YOUR HOTEL
If you arrive at your hotel before the customary 3:00 p.m. check-in time, your room may not be available. Store your luggage with the concierge and take the time to walk around and get a feel for your new city.
PROTECTING VALUABLE ITEMS
- Hotel safes are usually provided and can be used to protect valuables such as passports, medications, jewelry, money, and electronics. If you must carry valuables, keep them on your person at all times, be mindful of your surroundings, and take extra caution in crowds.
- We recommend photocopying the personal information pages of your passport and leaving one copy with a family member or friend and packing another in a place separate from the passport itself. You can also scan your passport and email a copy to yourself for easy online access. This will help you secure a replacement quickly should the need arise.
Where and whether to shop while traveling with Da’at is a personal choice and shopping is never compulsory. If at any point during your journey you feel pressured to shop or make purchases, please immediately discuss the matter with your tour educator.
We recommend the following for tipping (amounts in US dollars):
- Groups of 20 participants or more:
Da’at Tour educator/escort $8, local guide $5, and driver $3 per participant per day.
- Recommended restaurant tipping when lunch or dinner is “not included in package”:
10% is customary for good service unless it is already included in the bill.
Included in your package.