Are you going to Brazil? Awesome, it’s such a great country! But you do have to know a couple of things before you leave. After one month of traveling through Brazil I give you my best advices for and practical information about Brazil.
Best time to visit Brazil
The first thing you have to figure out is the month you want to travel through Brazil. Weather can break or make your trip. Brazil has two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. In the south, from Rio de Janeiro to the border of Argentina, the rainy season is from October till January. In the north east of the country, around Fortaleza and Salvador, the rainy season starts in April. If you don’t go further north than Rio de Janeiro, the weather will be great. Especially between May and September, when the weather is the best. Do you want to go to the north of Brazil only? Go between July and December. Oh and by the way: the best time to spot the dangerous jaguar is between July and September.
After you’ve decided when to go to Brazil, it’s very important to get your vaccinations on time. For Brazil you definitely need some vaccinations, like yellow fever. Please don’t forget this one, because they can refuse you for not having it. Other vaccinations are not required, but they’re strongly advised. Check your doctor for more information.
Visa and passport Brazil
Visa and passport: very important. Are you from the States, Canada, Japan or Australia? Then you have to get a visa, which you can get at the Brazilian embassy. Are you from another country? Lucky you: you probably don’t need a visa. Just make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you arrived in Brazil.
Very important: how to be safe in Brazil. As you may know, Brazil is not the safest country. A lot of thieves are active and riots occur regularly. I was robbed too, but I didn’t pay attention at that moment so yeah… my own fault. Just make sure you never have your credit card with you, only when you have to go to the ATM. When you finally have your cash, bring it back to your hotel, including your credit card. And make sure you only bring one phone when you’re with someone else. Phones are very popular.
Transport in Brazil
Brazil is a huge country and flying from one destination to the other is unavoidable. But luckily Brazil has many great night busses. Those are ideal: you still can sleep, you don’t lose precious time (because it’s night) and because you’re sleeping most of the time, the time flies like crazy. But just take the airplane sometime. I know it’s not sustainable, but the flights are not that expensive (if you book on time!) and it saves you a lot of hours or even days.
What to bring to Brazil?
You definitely need DEET when you’re in Brazil, especially in nature destinations like Pantanal and the Amazon. The mosquitoes were killing me and you don’t want to get diseases from them. Try to get good insect repellent before you go on the trip.
Sunscreen and sunglasses are also great ideas, because the sun in Brazil is pretty strong. You can buy this in Brazil, since they use international brands. Brazil even has very high factors which I had never seen before.
Bring summer clothes! Even in winter time the temperature is around 25-30 degrees Celsius. But since you will spend some time in busses and airplanes, it’s handy to bring long trousers and a sweater as well. Good shoes are a must if you want to go to the Pantanal, Chapada Diamantina or the Amazon.
How many weeks are enough for Brazil?
Brazil is a huge country and there’s so much to do and to see. You definitely need some time to travel from one place to another, so don’t underestimate this. Do you want to explore South and Central Brazil? Think about four weeks. Do you want to see the north of Brazil as well? Make sure you have six weeks (at least). Of course more weeks is even better!
How to dress in Brazil?
I love this one, because you can dress the way you want to. It’s so normal to show off your body, even if you’re not the skinniest. But make sure you have shaved your legs. Hair on the body is a no go in Brazil!
Want to read more about Brazil? Just check out my Brazil archive.