Passports: by law you must carry a passport with you at all times, but many travelers opt to carry a photocopy (preferably certified) when traveling about town and to leave their passport securely locked up at their hotel.
Visas: Brazil has a reciprocal visa system, so if your home country requires Brazilian nationals to secure a visa, then you’ll need one to enter Brazil. US, Canadian and Australian citizens need visas, but UK, New Zealand, French and German citizens do not. You can check your status with the Brazilian embassy or consulate in your home country.
Entry & Exit Cards: on entering Brazil, all tourists must fill out a “cartão de entrada/saida” (entry/exit card); immigration officials will keep half, you keep the other. When you leave Brazil, the second half of the entry/exit card will be taken by immigration officials. Don’t lose your card while in Brazil, as it could cause hassles and needless delays when you leave.
Customs Regulations: travelers entering Brazil can bring in 2L of alcohol, 400 cigarettes, and one personal computer, video camera and still camera. Newly purchased goods worth up to US$500 are permitted duty-free. Meat and cheese products are not allowed.
Electricity: it is not standardized in Brazil and can be almost anywhere between 110V and 220V. The most common power points have two sockets, and most will take both round and flat prongs. Carry a converter and use a surge protector with electrical equipment.
Internet Access: most hostels, as well as many cafes and restaurants, provide Wi-Fi access. It's usually free, although hotels sometimes charge for it.
Mobile Phones: Brazil uses the GSM 850/900/1800/1900 network, which is compatible with North America, Europe and Australia, but the country’s 4G LTE network runs on 2500/2690 (for now), which is not compatible with many North American and European smartphones. Foreigners can purchase a local SIM with a passport instead of needing a Brazilian CPF (tax ID number). Local SIM cards can be used in unlocked European and Australian phones, and in US phones on the GSM network.
ATMs: they are the easiest way of getting cash in big cities and are common. In many smaller towns, ATMs exist but don’t always work for non-Brazilian cards.
Cash: Brazilian currency is the Real (often written R$). One real is made up of 100 centavos.
Credit Cards: you can use credit cards for many purchases and to make cash withdrawals from ATMs and banks. Visa is the most widely accepted card, followed by MasterCard. Amex and Diners Club cards are less useful. Visa cash advances are widely available, even in small towns with no other currency-exchange facilities.
Tipping: hotel tipping is optional for housekeepers, but appreciated. Parking is usually R$ 2 or more; assistants do not receive wages and are dependent on tips. It's customary to tip guides at the end of a tour, and certainly appreciated if you can give a little to the assistant. At restaurants a 10% service charge is usually included in the bill.
Banks 9am–3pm Monday–Friday
Nightclubs 10pm–4am Thursday–Saturday
Restaurants Noon–2:30pm and 6–10:30pm
Shops 9am–6pm Monday–Friday and 9am–1pm Saturday
Taxes & Refunds: value-added tax (VAT), levied on most goods, ranges between 17% and 20% depending on the region; it is always included in the given price. Most restaurants also add on a 10% to 13% service charge. There's no system of VAT refunds for purchases made in Brazil.
Brazil has four time zones:
Most of the country is GMT/UTC minus three hours. This includes Rio, São Paulo, the South, Northeast, Brasília and half of the Amazon.
Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and most of the Amazon are one hour behind Brasília time (GMT/UTC minus four hours).
A tiny part of Amazonas state and all of Acre are two hours behind Brasília time (GMT/UTC minus five hours).
The Fernando de Noronha archipelago is one hour ahead of Brasília time (GMT/UTC minus two hours).
Brazilian daylight saving time runs from mid-October to mid-February, during which period clocks are advanced one hour – but only in the Southeast, South and Central West.
For hundreds of years, Brazil has symbolized the great escape into a primordial, tropical paradise, igniting the Western imagination like no other South American country. From the mad passion of Carnival to the immensity of the dark Amazon, Brazil is a country of mythic proportions. Brazilian people do permanently delight visitors with their energy, fantasy and joy. Brazil is the world's fifth largest country, occupying almost half the South American continent and bordering every country on it, except Chile and Ecuador. Much of Brazil is scarcely populated, although some regions with previously low population densities, such as the Amazon, are being rapidly settled, logged and depleted. Brazil can be divided into four major geographic regions. The long, narrow Atlantic seaboard has coastal ranges between the Rio Grande do Sul and Bahia, but is flatter north of Bahia. The large highlands, which extend over most of Brazil's interior south of the Amazon Basin are punctuated by several small mountain ranges and sliced by several large rivers. There are also two great depressions: the Parana-Paragui basin in the south, which is characterized by open forest, low woods and scrubland; and the huge, densely forested Amazon basin in the north. The Amazon, 6275km (3890mi) long, is the world's largest river, and the Amazon forest contains 30% of the world's remaining forest. The richness and diversity of Brazil's fauna, much of which is endemic, is astounding, and the country ranks first in the world for numbers of species of mammals, freshwater fish and plants; second for amphibians, third for bird species; and fifth for species of reptiles. Most of Brazil can be visited comfortably throughout the year, it's only the south - which can be unbearably sticky in summer (December-February) and non-stop rainy in winter (June-August) -submitted to large seasonal changes. The rest of the country experiences brief tropical rains throughout the year, which rarely affect traveling schedules.
Population: 205,8 millions.
Capital city: Brasília.
People: 55% European descent, 38% Mulatto, 6% African descent.
Religion: 70% roman catholic, also a significant proportion either belonging to various cults or practicing animism.
If we are staying at a Hotel in Puerto Iguazú, we depart from the Hotel and cross The International Bridge ‘Tancredo Neves’ (Puente de la Fraternidad) that joins the cities of Foz do Iguazú (Brazil) and Puerto Iguazú (Argentina). Here, at the crossing of borders, we have to go through Customs at both sides of the bridge. The tour visits the Argentinean side of the Iguazú Falls, located within Iguazú National Park. With 67.000 hs, they are made up of 275 falls thundering down from a 70-meter average height. In this section of the rainforest, we can find a huge variety of ferns, orchids, begonias, birds and butterflies. We are on our way to Estación Central, where we will take a train to Estación Cataratas and/or Estación Garganta del Diablo. From this site, we can choose: - Upper Circuit: 800 mts trail raised above the ground surface, so as not, to block or scare away local fauna as they go by. Highlights: Dos Hermanas, Bosetti, Bernabé Méndez, and M’Bigua waterfalls. Time required for this ride: 1 h. Difficulty range: low, no stairs. - Lower Circuit: 1.600 mts trail walk above the ground surface. Highlights: Dos Hermanas, Alvar Nuñez, San Martín, Bosetti and Peñon of Bella Vista waterfalls (from Peñon we get a view of Garganta del Diablo -Devil’s Throat- and Cañón del Rio Iguazú inferior). Time required for this ride: 2 hs. Difficulty range: moderate, with stairs. -Garganta del Diablo: departing from Estación Cataratas, the train takes us to Estación Garganta. The walk along the footbridges demands 1200 mts to delight us with the spectacular balcony of the most important waterfall of the National Park: Garganta del Diablo. Time required for this ride: 2 hs. Difficulty range: low, no stairs.
Parque das Aves is an internationally recognized rescue and conservation centre for birds, located in the middle of the rich and exuberant Atlantic Rainforest, neighbor of the Iguaçu National Park. Backstage Experience is your opportunity to have a look during a tour that lasts 1 ½ hours. It includes access to restricted areas and the privileged contact with some birds, featuring feeding of toucans and other species and the opportunity to better understand the conservation and rescue programs at Parque das Aves. Visit includes Baby Station (get to know a baby bird and understand how the incubation room works), Psittacine training (learn about the importance of training for birds and the technical team) and Toucan feeding (join our technical team in feeding toucans) At the end of the experience, you will be taken to an outdoor deck in the middle of a butterfly garden, and have the privilege of interacting with a macaw and getting to know a boa constrictor, as well as refreshing yourself with seasonal drinks and fruits. Since animal welfare is our absolute priority, the content of the tours can vary without further notice.
The Iguazú National Park (on the Brazilian side) is 185.000 hectares long. As we get to the ‘Visitor Center’ we have to enter the Gates individually to check the loading capacity of the Park. We immediately get into the buses that tour along within the park and take us to the 1200 trail over the ‘Iguazú River’. At this point, we get a panoramic view of the Argentinean falls, ideal to take pictures. As we go on, we can see ‘Río Iguazú Canyon’, Salto Rivadavia and Tres Mosqueteros. Towards the end of the tour, we will get to Devil’s Throat lower viewpoint, 200m away. This beautiful scenery is enhanced by permanent rainbows. The tour ends at ‘Salto Floriano’ where an elevator takes us to the bus parking. The other option is to walk the path and up the stairs to the meeting point. Return to the hotel.