Brazil: useful information, things to know to travel

Travel guide with practical information for holidays in Brazil, geographic and climatic conditions, time zone, necessary documents, best times to go and how to get there.

Brazil travel guide

  • Capital: Brasilia
  • Surface area in square kilometers: 8511996
  • Population: 180 million (first half 2006)
  • Religion: Catholic (majority), Protestant and animist minorities.

Where is Brazil

Brazil is in South America and is bordered to the north by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana and Colombia, on the west by Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay; south with Argentina and Uruguay. The entire eastern part of the country is the Atlantic Ocean. The territory of Brazil comprises a wide plateau that slopes to the west to the flood plains of the Parana and Paraguay and north towards the Amazon (the region bounded on the north by the Massif of Guyana). The plateau is cut by valleys that form the east, not far from the Atlantic coast, raised rims. In particular, in the southeastern part of the plateau, you can reach the top with enough high reliefs that descend directly overlooking the Ocean. In the central part of the plateau, which takes the name of Mato Grosso, slopes from south to north, to the immense Amazon basin, formed by the river basin of the Amazon and its tributaries, in the tropical forest.

Hydrography Brazil

The Amazon River is the largest river in Brazil, the second-longest in the world and the first to reach water. It flows with a vast estuary in the Atlantic Ocean after forming with its tributaries (Madeira, Rio Negro, Xingu, Purus, Tapajos, Japura etc.) A rich catchment area. Another important hydrographic network is formed by the Araguaia and Tocantins river that joins the central western region in the north of the country. Runs largely parallel to the Atlantic coast of the Sao Francisco River; long but little water. Also belong to Brazil also high basins of the rivers Parana, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Climate of Brazil

The equator passes north of the country, while the Tropic of Capricorn passes south near San Paolo. Brazil is comprised largely in this range and except for the Amazon we can define its mild climate. The seasons are the opposite of ours, the summer months are between November and February and winter between May and August. The climate of this country is characterized in several ways:

-In The Amazon, the climate is equatorial, hot and humid with high rainfall distributed throughout the year.

-An Area with considerable rainfall (in summer) is also located within the State of Sao Paulo.

-A South of the Amazon, the highlands, the weather is generally arid rainfall is concentrated in one season (austral summer, from December to February) and the temperature range (both day and seasonal) is more pronounced.

-In Particular in the north-east of the country (state of Paraiba) during the dry season (May to September) the temperatures are very high.

-The Coastal belt is warm and humid with mild temperatures even in winter. Rain falls mainly in autumn and winter (April to August) on the northern stretch of the coast and mostly in the summer (December to February) on the southern coastline, up to Rio de Janeiro.

-The Southern part of the country enjoys a temperate climate.

Population of Brazil

Until the beginning of 1800 Brazil was populated by Indians, Portuguese settlers and blacks as slaves imported from Africa; later began the mass immigration from mostly Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and later also Germans, Poles, Russians, Japanese, Greeks, Arabs, who have made Brazil a big melting pot of races and peoples. The majority of the population lives in the coastal strip, and thickens especially in large cities; vast regions of Brazil are almost uninhabited. Some Indian tribes (the Europeans have so called ‘the people who lived in Brazil before their arrival) live isolated in some regions of the Amazon. These ethnic groups, protected from the environment, have survived to the present day, trying to maintain their cultural identity.

Time in Brazil

In the eastern part of the country (the area covering Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belem), the time difference is 4 hours behind Italy. In the west (Mato Grosso, Pantanal etc.). The time difference is 5 hours behind Italy. When in Italy’s summer time and you have to add an hour when there is daylight saving time in Brazil (October to February) must be removed to an hour time differences above.

Language spoken in Brazil

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese.

Brazil’s economy

Brazil despite being a country with great natural resources has had an unbalanced development of the economy. The wealth is distributed unevenly, there are still many areas of the country where the living conditions are characterized by poverty. Relief the great forests, endangered by indiscriminate deforestation and subsoil of Brazil, rich deposits of copper, bauxite, nickel, Zingo, titanium, asbestos, manganese, and especially iron (second largest producer in the world). In addition to significant deposits of precious minerals (gold and diamonds). The presence of these resources combined with capital, first the British and then the US, has put in his time basis, for the birth of the industry in Brazil. Industrial activity is then represented by the mining industry, steel industry, automotive. Also developed are also the textile, chemical, food, tobacco processing, rubber and paper. For how much on agriculture, Brazil is a major producer of plantation crops such as coffee, sugar cane, cocoa. Important fishing and in the farm animal breeding cattle, although for economic purposes is the service sector that dominates all others.

When you go to Brazil

The high season in Brazil coincides with the summer and covers the months from December to March. In February / March is celebrated in all states of the country Carnival. And ‘famous Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but also those of Salvador de Bahia, Recife, Olinda are very characteristic. And ‘the holiday season for many Brazilians and therefore also the busiest for tourism purposes. From the perspective of climate the country is open all year round, even in winter temperatures are pleasant, only in the area to the south of the country, in winter the temperatures drop more, than in other regions of Brazil.

Documents required for travel to Brazil

For entry into the country need a passport with valid for at least six months from the date of departure and the ticket round trip. Upon entry into the country must fill out a tourist card consists of 2 parts, one of which must be delivered to the immigration office and the other must be kept and returned to that office at the time of departure. The visa is only required for a stay of more than 3 months and if necessary will be issued in the offices of the local Federal Police.

Vaccinations Brazil

There are no mandatory vaccinations to visit Brazil, but to go in some regions such as the Amazon, the Pantanal, Mato Grosso and are recommended malaria prophylaxis and vaccination against yellow fever (at least 10 days before departure). And ‘appropriate adequate protection from mosquito bites and those staying in the resorts of the coast is advised not to eat raw food, and not to drink tap water.

Phone Brazil

To call to Brazil, the country code is: 0055 followed by the area code without 0 and the desired number.

Electricity Brazil

The electric current in Brazil is not uniform, so you should bring a current transformer. In Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre the current is 127 volts and 60 hertz. In Brasilia, Florianopolis, Curitiba current is 220 volts and 60 hertz. In Manaus the current is 110 volts.

Money and credit cards Brazil

The official currency of Brazil is real. Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels, shops and restaurants, and you can make ATM withdrawals.