“There are few countries as beautiful and vibrant as Brazil with nature so exuberant and people so welcoming.” These are the opening words from the 94th edition of the authoritative South American Handbook’s chapter on Brazil (2018 edition, published by Footprint Handbooks).
Indeed, Brazil is appealing, diverse and an exciting destination for travellers. Visitors are warmly welcomed and will quickly discover for themselves the Brazilian sense of fun.
Brazil came to the world’s attention when it hosted the football world cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Tourism, like sport, plays an important part in the Brazilian economy. It helps to drive growth and development and has a significant role in the improvement of infrastructure. Tourism also provides jobs, creates economic opportunities and, like sport, encourages respect, tolerance and understanding between individuals and nationalities.
The last few years have been characterised by political shenanigans, the Odebrecjt corruption scandal and the election of a new populist president. Brazil may not always be in the news for good reasons, but there are always good reasons to go to Brazil.
We will advise you on the best time of the year to travel and, just as importantly, when not to go to a particular region or place. We hope the following guidelines are useful:
Daytime temperatures in Rio de Janeiro range from 25oC in the driest months (June-Sept) to 30oC in the wet season (Nov-Mar). The wettest months in Salvador, by contrast, are May-July but they say the sun shines 365 days a year.
The Rio Carnival in February takes place at the hottest and wettest time of the year. It doesn’t stop the Brazilians, so please don’t let the weather put you off either.
If you a planning a trip to the Pantanal the best time is March to October whilst the wet season (November-February) is best avoided.
For the Amazon rainforest the driest (and hottest)months are July -Sept although humidity is at its lowest (around 80%). At the wettest time of the year (Feb-May) temperatures reach 30oC but humidity is 90%.
Please click the link below for up-to-date visa and entry requirements for British nationals travelling to Brazil:
Please make sure your passport is valid and up to date. In general terms, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from your date of arrival into all South American countries.
Evidence of Yellow Fever vaccination may be required for travellers who are going to or have recently been to countries where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.
Travelling with children
Single parents or adults travelling with children under the age of 18 are required to provide notarised documentary evidence of parental responsibility, or consent to travel from those with parental responsibility. Such documentation is often required before being allowed to enter Latin American countries and, in many cases, before permitting children to leave the country.
Local airport taxes International and domestic airport taxes may be payable locally if it is not included with your airline tickets. This is usually payable in US dollars and it may not always be possible to pay by credit/debit card.
For up-to-date advice on any vaccination requirements and any health risks associated with visiting South America, contact your local GP.
The following NHS website provides health information and advice for travellers to South America, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica:
Please click onto the links below for up-to-date advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office:
Help for British nationals in South America:
It is best to travel to Brazil with a supply of US dollars rather than trying to obtaining any Brazilian reales here. Dollars can always be changed for local currency and are more widely recognised than euros or pounds.
It is always a good idea to visit an airport ATM when you land, before leaving the airport.
It is generally easy enough to travel throughout South America using bank ATMs but these are not always available in remote locations such as the Pantanal, the Amazon jungle or in the savannahs of Chapada Diamantina or Chapada dos Veadeiros. We always recommend you keep a supply of US dollars handy and make sure that notes are clean and undamaged. Torn or damaged notes (e.g. from a staple or written on) will not be accepted.
We also suggest that you have a supply of single one dollar notes as these are useful for tips for airport and station porters and for hotel staff.
Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels and the better restaurants and shops but may not be accepted in small shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, nor in local markets.
In general terms, MasterCard is more widespread than Visa. It may be a good idea to take both if you have them. Usage of American Express is rare.
Exchange rates are subject to change at any time but the following table provides indicative information for Central and South America countries:
Brazil: Rio de Janeiro GMT -4