Brazil or officially the Federative Republic of Brazil is a state in South America. It borders virtually with all the countries of the continent. On the east, it is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of the country is Brasilia.
The climate varies from equatorial on the north to subtropical on the south. The most popular time for visiting Brazil is January, February and March.
The official language is Portuguese. The major religion is Catholicism and around one-fourth of the population are the Protestants.
The tourists are attracted to Brazil by sandy beaches, picturesque natural parks and bright and energetic culture of the country.
The largest beach resorts in Brazil are in the states Alagoas, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina and Espirito Santo and such cities as Angra Dos Reis, Buzios and João Pessoa. The tourists will also enjoy their time on the beaches in Ilhéus, Itacare and Costa Do Sauípe, Maragogi, Maceió, and Natal. There are the beaches in Marau, Pipa, Porto Seguro and Fortaleza.
The most popular destination for the divers is the archipelago Fernando de Noronha.
Many tourists come to Brazil for surfing. The best places for surfing are near the cities of Florianopolis, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
You can go hiking, biking and horse riding in numerous national parks and other picturesque places in Brazil. The Amazon River is the most popular destination in the country.
Brazil cannot boast of many ancient monuments as the Old World but there are interesting sights of the colonial period.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Brazil to the world famous carnival in Rio de Janeiro and the second famous Salvador Carnival.
CIS countries do not have direct flights to Brazil so the tourists will have to fly through Europe. In Europe, there are regular flights to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro from Paris, Frankfurt, London, and other cities.
You can get to Brazil by car from the territory of all the neighboring countries except Suriname. The tourists can travel to Brazil from Columbia but not by car or by bus but by boat because in this part of the country, it is possible to move around only along the rivers.
The tourists from the European Union and CIS countries can stay in Brazil without a visa for 90 days. These rule does not apply to the citizens of Kazakhstan, Belarus and Moldova. They must obtain a visa to travel to Brazil.
You can apply the documents for a visa personally or through an authorized person. Usually, it takes about 6 working days to get the visa.
Customs legislation of Brazil does not restrict import and export of currency but the sum of 1.000 US dollars or its equivalent must be declared. The tourists can import the national currency not exceeding 10.000 reals (around 3.200 US dollars). You can export the money in an amount you stated in the declaration form. We recommend spending the national currency in Brazil because you cannot export it without a special permit of the Central Bank of Brazil.
You can import into Brazil duty-free the following things:
- a small amount of alcohol and tobacco;
- 1 photo and video camera and other electronic devices for each traveler;
- personal belongings (in a reasonable amount);
- other goods of a total sum not exceeding 500 US dollars.
It is prohibited to import:
- dairy products, eggs and meat;
- fish and seafood;
- plants, their fruits and seeds;
- live animals, snail and insects;
- honey and wax;
- fake goods.
It is prohibited to export:
- wild animals, their skins and goods from them and also shells, claws and feathers;
- art objects and items having a historical value.
The Brazilian national cuisine is a combination of local traditions of the Indians, Portuguese settlers and the descendants of the African slaves. The staple foods in Brazil are beans, rice and manioc.
We recommend trying such meat dishes as Feijoada (black beans and manioc with meat), Sarapateu (pork liver or heart with tomatoes, pepper and onion) and Churrasco (grilled beef).
Poultry is used for preparing such dishes as Pato no tucupi (duck prepared in a special sauce), Coxinha (crispy fried chicken) and chicken with shrimps.
The most famous Brazilian soup is Moqueca with coconut milk, sea fish, tomatoes and spices. We also recommend trying Sopa de mondongo (thick meat soup with vegetables) and Tacaca (manioc soup with shrimps).
A long sea coast and several large rivers allowed the Brazilian enjoy a more varied diet with fish dishes. In Brazil, treat yourself to Caldeirada (stewed fish with vegetables) and Vatapa (shrimp curry with fish and rice).
The Brazilians like manioc, rice and beans as well as tomatoes, onion and other vegetables. The foodies will surely like Bobo de camarao (mashed manioc with coconut milk and other ingredients), Arroz de coco (rice in coconut milk) and Galinhada (stewed rice and chicken).
A popular Brazilian dessert is candies Brigadeiros, Cocada, Pacoca, Beijinhos and Pe-de-moleque (peanut in palm sugar) and Quindim (coconut egg cream).
The most popular non-alcoholic drinks in Brazil are Brazilian coffee and tea Mate. The Brazilians also make juices with local plants.
Brazilian beer is famous far beyond Brazil and we also recommend trying vodka Cachaca. They make a cocktail with vodka Caipirinha. Brazilian wines and rum are also appreciated.
The official currency is real (BRL) which is equal to 100 centavos. The Central Bank of Brazil
issues the bank notes from 10 to 100 reals and coins from 1 centavo to 1 real.
In Brazil, the tourists can exchange currency at banks, in exchange offices, hotels, airports and railway stations. The better rate offer the banks.
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in large cities and touristic centers but the Brazilians still prefer cash. If you are planning a trip to small towns, make sure you have enough cash.
You can cash traveler's check at banks, in hotels, travel agencies and large stores but the commission is higher than exchanging cash. The restaurants typically do not accept traveler's checks and foreign currency.
There are many ATMs especially in large cities.
The travelers should be very attentive and careful in large cities because of a high level of street crimes. Do not have with you large sums of money. Withdraw the money from your card in ATMs which stand in banks or in hotels.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Brazil
UNESCO sites in Brazil are a must-see:
- Historical cities: Ouro Preto in the state of Minas Gerais, Olind in the State of Pernambuco, Salvador in the State of Bahia, São Luís in the state of Maranhao, and Goias in the state having the same name.
- The Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea in Rio de Janeiro and the world famous statue Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado mountain. This is a popular destination for the tourists.
- Igauzu National Park in the State of Parana, the Atlantic Forest in Rio Grande do Norte and Rio Grande do Sul. Go to an excursion to the Parque Nacional do Jau in the State of Amazonas, the park Pantanal in the State of Mato Grosso and Matto Grosso do Sul, and Serra da Capivara National Park in the State of Piaui.
In Brazil, there are the UNESCO candidate sites:
- Arquipelago de Anavilhanas near Manaus;
- Serra do Divisor National Park and the State of Acre;
- The Gold Path in Paraty;
- The center of Belem in the State of Para;
- Açude do Cedro in the State of Ceara;
- Drawings on the stones on the Inga river in the State of Paraiba.
The sites which are not under UNESCO protection are also of a great interest for the tourists coming to Brazil:
- Fortaleza de Sao Jose de Macapa in the State of Amapa;
- The colonial monuments in the Parque Nacional do Monte Roraima in Boa Vista microregion, the State of Roraima;
- Real Forte do Principe da Beira in the State of Rondonia;
- The state park Parque Estadual Do Cantao in the State of Tocantis;
- The Tucurui Hydroelectric Power Plant in the State of Para.
The centers of excursion tourism are Belo Horizonte and Goiânia , Dourados, Caldas Novas, Campo Grande, Caxias do Sul and . Many interesting sights the tourists will find in Maringa, Petrolina, Poços De Caldas and Recife as well as in Teresina and Uberlândia.
The tourists usually buy in Brazil:
- souvenir statues of Christ the Redeemer;
- bracelets and beads;
- football and carnival souvenirs;
- Brazilian coffee;