In today’s post, we’ve prepared the Brazil Travel Guide with everything you need to know to enjoy your stay in the main cities and tourist destinations of the fifth-largest country in the world and one of the most visited countries, thanks to its wide and diverse tourist, gastronomic and cultural offer.
In this guide, you will find plans and unmissable destinations, the best time to go to Brazil, what to bring in your suitcase, options to have internet, ideas for your travel itinerary, immigration requirements and other important issues that you cannot lose sight of. Let’s start!
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Best time to travel to Brazil
Before planning your trip, you should identify the best time to travel to Brazil, which is in this guide. For many travelers, summer is undoubtedly the ideal time to enjoy the iconic beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, Praia do Forte, Fernando de Noronha, to name a few.
For other travelers, the best time is in the low season to enjoy a vacation without the crowds. Regardless of your choice, it is important to know the different seasons of the year to identify the best time for your next trip.
Spring in Brazil takes place from September to December. It is characterized by pleasant weather with mild temperatures and occasional rain in some regions of the country, although in destinations such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, tropical weather predominates.
On the other hand, it is a low season, so you can find cheaper flights and accommodations. And, as for the tourist offer, you will be able to appreciate the flowering of different species of trees in different regions and enjoy a wide cultural agenda, but we will talk about this later.
Summer in Brazil starts at the end of December and lasts until March. The weather is quite hot with temperatures that can exceed 40°C. As mentioned above, this is the best time to enjoy the iconic Brazilian beaches, as well as the rainforests and national parks.
Autumn starts in the last days of March and lasts until June. Here you will have mild weather with temperatures above 20°C, making it ideal to visit the main cities and enjoy cultural tourism plans.
Finally, there is winter, which begins at the end of June and lasts until September. The weather is particularly cool, although with lower temperatures, especially in the south of the country, so it would be advisable to visit mountainous areas.
Guide to must-see plans and destinations in Brazil
In every season of the year, you will find unmissable plans and destinations to enjoy in different regions of the country. The choice is up to you, as it all depends on your lifestyle, preferences and travel budget. Below, we’ll give you some inspiration with these recommended cultural activities:
World-class activities in Brazil
This festival is a tribute to the original version held annually in Munich, Germany. In Brazil, it is celebrated in several cities, especially in Blumenau, Santa Catarina and São Paulo. Beer is the great host of the event, which is also accompanied by a festive atmosphere with live music, dances, costumes and typical food, such as the famous German sausages.
Destination: São Paulo
The Tomorrowland Festival is the largest electronic music event in the world. It is held three times a year, thanks to its different venues in Belgium, France and Brazil. It is widely recognized for its incredible performance and staging, with the participation of the best exponents of this musical genre. if you want to go, check on the official website for your tickets and add them to your itinerary for Brazil and follow this travel guide for more!
São Paulo Comic-Con (CCXP)
Date: November 30 to December 03
Destination: São Paulo
It is the largest pop culture event in the world. It is characterized by bringing together thousands of fans of comics, movies, TV and video games, through the recreation of worlds that recreate their favorite productions to live a unique experience, meeting their favorite stars, in addition to enjoying many activities, including the famous contest, cosplay.
Date: December 31
Destination: Florianópolis, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Paraná
This is the most important New Year’s Eve event in Brazil, although it is also celebrated in other parts of the world. On this date, it is common for families and friends to gather to celebrate the arrival of the new year in public (and even private) spaces to enjoy multiple cultural activities, organized by the local governments of each city. This is a must-go on your itinerary and is a top recommendation in this travel guide to Brazil.
Rio de Janeiro Carnival
Date: February / March
Destination: Rio de Janeiro
This travel guide to Brazil wouldn’t be complete with the Rio Carnival. This Rio Carnival is one of the most famous popular festivals in the world. For four days, thousands of people gather in the city to enjoy the parades of the Samba schools, parties and cultural activities that take place throughout the city, being one of the most anticipated celebrations by Brazilians and foreign tourists.
Destination: São Paulo
The Lollapalooza Festival is an event created to annually bring together lovers of music, art, food, fashion, among other categories, with world-class artists. It originated in the United States and quickly expanded to countries such as Chile, Argentina, Germany, France, Sweden and Brazil.
Date: May / June
Destination: All Brazil
Of course, food can’t be skipped in this travel guide to Brazil. For food lovers there is the Brazil Sabor Festival, an event that already has its 18th version for 2024. Every year, more than 900 restaurants participate in the main cities of the country, so it is a great opportunity to discover the flavors, recipes and gastronomic secrets of Brazilians.
Rock in Rio
Date: Held every two years
Destination: Rio de Janeiro
The Rock in Rio music festival originated in Brazil and, thanks to its popularity, its celebration has expanded to cities such as Lisbon, Madrid and Las Vegas. It features the participation of world-class artists in different musical genres: rock, electronic, pop and Brazilian music.
Popular festivals in Brazil
In addition to the Rio Carnival, there are other popular festivals, declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage of the nation, such as the Festivities of the Divine Holy Spirit, held annually in Pirenópolis.
But there are also important celebrations such as the Congadas, which gather Catholic and African traditions; the Tiradents Day; the Parintins Folklore Festival; the Sâo Jôao Festivities; the Junina Festival, among other religious representations.
Requirements to go to Brazil
The requirements to travel to Brazil as a tourist depend on your country of origin, continue reading this guide to find out more! In some countries, it is only necessary to present your passport to enter Brazil, while in other cases it is essential to have a visa. That is why in this section we will explain what you must provide:
This document must be valid for the length of your stay in Brazil. It must be in good condition and have a photo that allows clear identification of the holder.
A list of countries that can enter the country without a visitor’s visa (VIVIS) is published on the website of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among them: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Spain and Mexico.
To enter the country by car, in addition to the immigration requirements, you must present a valid driver’s license, vehicle ownership card, valid compulsory insurance and other documents proving the authorized exit of private and public vehicles from each country, in accordance with national laws.
Fact: If you are traveling as a Digital Nomad, we explain the requirements and how to apply for a special visa.
Entry and exit airfare ticket
Upon arrival at the airport, the Brazilian immigration authorities will ask for your passport and/or visa to verify your identification and at the same time will ask you to fill out a form to allow you to enter and leave the country.
Confirmed reservation with round-trip flights
For your trip, you must have an airline ticket with a confirmed round-trip reservation. You will also have to justify the purpose of your trip to the immigration authorities.
Currently, there are no health restrictions for entering Brazil. Neither is the yellow fever vaccine required as a migratory requirement, nor the presentation of an international vaccination certificate; however, this vaccination schedule is recommended to protect the traveler’s health.
How to create a travel itinerary in Brazil
Another important aspect in planning your trip to Brazil is to dedicate time to create a travel itinerary that will help you optimize your time, regarding the destinations you plan to visit and the activities you can do. This way you can book flights and accommodations without leaving it to the last minute, but also create a route to visit the most emblematic places of each destination.
Surely, you are thinking of going to traditional travel agencies to take care of the planning and organization of the trip, but thanks to mobile technology, you can create your own travel itinerary with different mobile applications, such as the ones we will present below:
This app gives you the possibility to find free tours in Brazil’s main cities, with the support of a local guide who speaks different languages and will accompany you while you travel through different cultural tours to learn about important places and interesting facts about each destination.
Another free app that can be very useful when planning your trip is Passporter. With this app, you can get inspired by the experiences of other travelers, choose the destinations of your interest, create a personalized travel route, upload your reservations and invite other participants to contribute ideas to your trip planning.
Options to get internet in Brazil
Having the internet is another important issue to have all the control of your trip in one place. Fortunately, in Brazil, you will have multiple alternatives to secure your internet connection, but not all options are as convenient either for budget, security, practicality or compatibility reasons.
Below, we will share with you the alternatives most used by travelers so that you can choose the best option, take note!
If you have a smartphone compatible with eSIM technology, you can activate a prepaid data plan for your trip to Brazil, without depending on an operator or paying roaming fees. The purchase, installation and activation of this eSIM is at your own expense since the process is 100% virtual, although you have a 24/7 customer service team to resolve any issues related to your eSIM.
There are currently providers specialized in travel eSIMs; one of them is Holafly. Their online store has eSIMs for multiple destinations, with flexible plans and rates. For Brazil, you can find an offer of plans with Unlimited Data, starting at $19.
Prepaid SIM cards
If you do not have a cell phone compatible with eSIM, the following alternative with SIM cards of the main local operators; in this case we are talking specifically about: TIM, Claro and Vivo. Each of these companies offers coverage in different regions of the country, so you should check the coverage you need before choosing any of these options.
These chips include data, minutes and SMS messages for local use with different plans and rates. However, keep in mind that to acquire a SIM and activate a package of mobile services you must meet the requirements indicated by each operator and therefore, it will take some time.
The roaming service will allow you to continue using your cell phone in Brazil, as if you were at home. The activation of this service is done with the operator that manages your mobile service plan in your country, but keep in mind that the rates for each consumption you make abroad can be very high.
That is why we recommend other options such as Pocket WiFi, which are small pocket routers that you can take anywhere, but also have several associated costs that you must assume at the time of renting the equipment.
WiFi is the most practical alternative for many travelers, since it allows them to connect for certain periods of time in public establishments such as cafés, hotels, airports, libraries, among other places.
Although it is the cheapest option, it is not the safest and that is why we have left it for last. It is best to look for private connections to avoid putting your information at risk.
Guide to Public Transportation in Brazil
This is an important part of this travel guide for Brazil, so pay close attention. The country has several means of public and private transportation, available to everyone.
Buses: Each city has its own integrated transportation network and fares may vary, depending on the distance traveled. To use this service, you must purchase a card (cartão) at the main stations.
Metro: Cities such as Brasília, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have this transportation system, which is the fastest and most efficient in the country. Its fares are affordable and anyone can use it.
Trains: This means of transportation connects the metropolitan area of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with outlying neighborhoods, also known as suburbs. It is very convenient for traveling long distances, connecting cities and towns that are located in the interior of the country.
Streetcars: This transportation system is a bit more traditional and is found in cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre.
Cabs: Taxis in Brazil are available in various colors and provide different services. For example, in São Paulo, yellow taxis provide regular services, while white taxis provide special transportation.
- Fact: Before accepting the service, check to confirm the estimated fare as some drivers may charge you more money because you are a foreigner.
Where to exchange currency in Brazil?
When it comes to options for exchanging currency in Brazil there are exchange houses, banks and ATMs.
Currency exchange offices in Brazil
Casa de Cambio Cotação
Banks for currency exchange
Banco do Brasil
Caixa Econômica Federal
ATM electronic tellers (Caixas eletrônicos)
24 Hour Network
Fact: Remember that before making currency exchange operations with any of these companies, it is important to investigate the rates and commissions to get the best offer.
Exchange houses usually offer the lowest rates, since they are establishments dedicated to offering this type of service.
Things worth buying in Brazil
In Brazil, you will find a wide range of products that you can take home as souvenirs. In addition, it is a way to contribute to the local economy and employment with handmade products, here are some ideas:
Brazilian handicrafts are characterized by materials such as straw, açaí fibers, feathers from different species of birds, leather, wood, ceramics and textiles with traditional embroidery techniques. Additionally, you will find folk art and decorative objects such as lamps, mirrors and carved wood.
Brazilian coffee differs from other coffees in the world for its flavor and smoothness, with notes of chocolate and nuts; also for its consistency and export quality. It is a very traditional drink that you can bring as a gift for your family or friends.
Cachaça is a local drink, made from fermented sugar cane and distilled to produce a clear and strong liquor. It is used as a base to prepare the famous caipirinha, one of Brazil’s most popular cocktails.
Jewels and precious stones
Brazil is home to the most valuable gemstones in the world. We are talking about the emeralds, diamonds, sapphire, tourmaline, amethyst, among other high-quality stones. Hence, many tourists choose this destination to buy jewelry and gemstones at more affordable prices, compared to other countries such as India and Thailand.
The brigadeiros and chocolates are local products with worldwide recognition for their delicious taste. So if you are thinking of giving an authentic gift to someone who enjoys these preparations, it can be a very good alternative.
What to take in your suitcase to Brazil?
Knowing what to take in your suitcase is an excellent way to optimize space and leave aside the famous “just in case” that can lead you to have extra weight when boarding the plane and carry a lot of weight, which can cause physical discomfort.
So to avoid this kind of uncomfortable situations, the best thing you can do is to prepare your travel suitcase with what will really be useful on your trip. Here is a list of the basics:
- Travel documents such as passport, important documents, credit cards.
- Light, comfortable and appropriate clothing for the activities you plan to do.
- Comfortable walking shoes, sandals, beach shoes.
- Accessories to cover yourself from the sun: sunglasses, hat or cap, sunscreen.
- Electronic devices such as your laptop, cell phone, chargers, cameras.
- Toiletries and personal care products in the quantities indicated in the travel policy.
- Medications with their respective medical support that validates their consumption.
- First aid kit
Fact: What you should bring in your suitcase may vary according to the region you visit and the season of the year, so it is advisable to create your travel itinerary to take what you need.
What to do in case of emergency on your trip to Brazil?
At any time on your trip you may have an emergency, whether due to accidents, diseases, natural disasters, organized crime, among other examples. It is therefore essential that you follow the recommendations provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
This information can be found on the website of each Ministry. For example, on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, there is a section dedicated to travel information to Brazil. Among the important aspects to consider, keep in mind:
General protection recommendations.
Purchase a travel insurance with medical and hospital coverage with sufficient coverage in Brazil.
It is advisable to be vaccinated against yellow fever and use repellent to avoid dengue, chikungunya fever and zika virus.
If you are traveling with children, you should always carry the parents authorization if not present.
Avoid visiting risk areas such as favelas, especially in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, São Paulo and Brasilia. Caution in border areas and other places to avoid.
Keep this travel guide close or on your phone so you can quickly check it while in Brazil!
Useful telephone numbers in Brazil
Emergency number in Brazil: 190
Telephone number for violence against women: 180
Number to request an ambulance: 192
Frequently Asked Questions
Vaccination is not an immigration requirement for travel to Brazil. However, it is important to be vaccinated against yellow fever to protect the health of travelers.
The official currency in Brazil is the real (BRL) and its symbol is R$. Its denominations in coins are: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 real. And, as for banknotes: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 reais.
The official language is Portuguese, although there are also indigenous and immigrant languages spoken in different regions according to their cultural representations.
Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo for their beaches, carnivals and festivals; Iguassu Falls, Salvador de Bahia, Brasilia, Florianopolis, Recife, Fernando de Noronha, Manaus, Curitiba, Fortaleza, among others.