Public health services in Brazil are free for foreign tourists. So, if you are in an accident or present any health problems, just call the Mobile Emergency Service (Samu) dialing 192 on the phone. The call is free.
- Brazil is a country with tropical climate, so we recommend that you drink liquids constantly in order to prevent dehydration.
- Wear comfortable clothes and protect yourself from the sun with a hat (or cap), sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Avoid direct sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
- Always bring repellent against insects, to use whenever necessary.
- Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day, especially after using public transportation and visiting attractions with a great movement of people.
- Avoid consuming foods that have been poorly prepared or packaged.
- During cycling or hiking trips, take foods that can be keep without refrigeration and that don’t spoil with the heat.
Zika virus prevention
To impede the action of the mosquito that carries the zika virus, it is necessary to use repellent and long-sleeved clothes (especially in the early morning and late afternoon). In case you have symptoms such as fever, rashes, headaches, pain behind the eyes, pain in the body and joints, or red spots throughout the body, the Brazilian Ministry of Health advises that you should look for a hospital or health unit and drink plenty of liquids.
The virus is the main cause of the increase of microcephaly in babies, being a reason for concern mainly among pregnant women and women who plan to become pregnant in the next few months. Regardless of the destination or reason, all pregnant women should consult their physicians before travelling.
Pregnant women are advised to use only drugs prescribed by health professionals, take qualified prenatal examinations for their current stage, in addition to reporting any changes during pregnancy. In addition to the use of insect repellent and long-sleeved clothes, it is also recommended to avoid accumulating stagnant water in places such as buckets, vases, old tires, ect.
Brazil has outlined a National Plan to fight the disease, involving different ministries and agencies of the Federal Government, in partnership with states and cities, to prevent new cases of the disease.
To enter Brazil, it is not mandatory to vaccinate against any type of illness. However, in the country there are areas with Vaccination Recommendation (ACRV), where it is recommended to vaccinate against yellow fever before your visit. Yellow fever is a disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes.
So, if you have never taken the vaccine, you need to take it 10 days before your trip (this period is not necessary if you have been vaccinated before).
If you have any doubts, check the website of the Brazilian Ministry of Health .
According to the World Health Organization (OMS) , there is a risk of malaria transmission in 96 countries around the globe. Infected people have symptoms such as fever, chills and flu-like symptoms at the beginning.
In Brazil, the transmission of malaria is concentrated in the Amazon, that is composed by the States of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins. In these areas, it is essential that you take certain precautions during periods of higher activity of the mosquitoes that carry the disease (from sunset to sunrise):
- Use light clothes with long sleeves during periods of high exposure in activities such as canoe trips.
- Apply insect repellent on exposed areas of the skin, always following the guidelines of the manufacturer.
- Pay attention to the appearance of disease symptoms, such as fever, body aches and headaches.
- In case any symptom of the disease appear, look for the nearest hospital or health unit. Ideally, medical attention should be given until 48 hours after the first symptoms.
It is important to highlight that Brazil has a public health network structured to diagnose and treat patients appropriately.
Most tourists have a good experience when arriving in Brazil, but, especially in the big cities, you must be careful not to become targeted by thugs. See below our tips about safety during your trip:
- Upon arriving at the airport, look for registered cabs.
- Whenever you need to open your wallet in public, avoid exposing big cash notes.
- Do not place your wallet or your phone in the back pockets of your pants, especially in places that are very busy and full.
- Do not carry large amounts of cash in your wallet, purse or bag. Take only small amounts in the country’s currency for daily expenditures.
- If you have to take a lot of money, keep it in bags used inside your clothing, closed with zippers or velcro strap and tied with an elastic around your waist.
- Avoid leaving with important documents and, if you have more than one credit card, take only one. In case your credit card gets stolen, you will have another card for future spending.
- Leave your passport where you are staying and take only a certified copy of it.
- Use the safe where you are staying, if the place has one, to keep your money, original passport, credit cards and other important items.
- Most thefts occur in places where there are large concentrations of people, like markets, subway stations, bus stations and full buses. Luggage theft is also common in airport lounges. Keep an eye out.
- Avoid walking through empty places or neighborhoods indicated as dangerous by the local residents. This advice is especially important in large cities and to people who are travelling alone.
- Be wary of people who offer a ride in a non-registered cab, at the airport or in any other location.
- If you go to the beach, don’t leave your belongings in the sand while you go into the water.
- If you rent a car, don’t leave any luggage or bags visible inside. If this is unavoidable, try to park the vehicle in a safe place, where there is policing.
Currency and exchange
Brazil’s currency is the Real (R$). Foreign currencies and travelers ‘ checks can be exchanged for Real (R$) in banks, travel agencies and authorized hotels.
Understand Brazilian banknotes and learn how to identify them .
Some useful apps
Legal Exchange: information on Exchange Service points, authorized by the Central Bank of Brazil to purchase and sell currency, that are closest to you. The app is available for IOS and Android.
Brazilian Money: helps identify and understand the security items present in the brazilian banknotes. The app is available for IOS and Android.
Due to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Rio 2016, tourists from Australia, Canada, the United States and Japan are exempt from a visa to enter Brazil during the period from June 1st to September 18th 2016. The exemption applies only and exclusively to tourist travels, for a period of up to 90 days. See our official statement on the subject .
Visas to enter Brazil are granted by the Brazilian consulates abroad. Citizens of countries that are members of the Mercosul do not require visas, only a valid passport or valid identity document are required.
To learn more about the documentation and procedures for granting visas, see the Brazilian embassy/consulate in your country of origin. See the list of consular representations in each country .
Also check out the general framework of visa regime for the entry of foreigners in Brazil.
Driving in Brazil
Tourists with an active driver’s licence abroad can drive in Brazil if they are staying for less than 180 days. For longer stays, it is necessary to obtain a brazilian license corresponding to your foreign license. It is essential that your foreign license and your identity document are valid.
The foreign tourist driver is chargeable according to the brazilian legislation. See the law
193. FIRE DEPARTMENT
199. CIVIL DEFENSE
197. CIVIL POLICE
190. MILITARY POLICE
192. MOBILE EMERGENCY SERVICE
198. STATE HIGHWAY POLICE
The electricity voltage in Brazil varies between 110V and 220V depending on the location. Many hotels offer wall sockets in both voltages, and it is easy to find portable voltage transformers in construction shops.
Below is the distribution of electrical voltage throughout the country:
Check the electrical voltage throughout the country
Belo Horizonte: 110V
Rio de Janeiro: 110V
São Paulo: 110V
The wall sockets in Brazil have the shape of a well, to make contact between the finger and the electrical current more difficult and avoid accidents. The plugs have a system that avoid overloading and heating and also provide better linkage with their terminals.
The adapter plugs can be easily found in construction stores or in the free shop stores at airports.
Brazil has climates that suit all tastes, thanks to its great territorial extension, combined with factors such as altitude, pressure and ocean proximity. The average annual temperature is 28° C in the North and 20° C in the South of the country.
The Brazilian winter happens between June and September and in some cities of the South and Southeast, temperatures reach less than 0° C, with frost and snow. In the summer, you can enjoy a 40° C heat in cities such as Rio de Janeiro. Summer in Brazil is the best time to go to the beach, drink coconut water, plunge into the sea and sunbathe.
Regardless of the season, it’s always a good idea to pack a coat and pants, because the weather can change suddenly in some locations, especially in mountain and coastal regions.
Seasons in Brazil:
Summer: from the 21st of December to the 21st of March.
Autumn: from the 21st of March to the 21st of June.
Winter: from the 21st of June to the 23rd of September.
Spring: from the 23rd of September to the 21st of December.
The National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) is the Brazilian Government agency in charge of administering phone operations in the country and on their website you can learn more about codes , carriers and other information.
- The international code for Brazil is + 55.
- All cities have two-digit codes and landlines have eight digits in the whole country.
- Cell phones have eight or nine digits, depending on the location.
- For long distance calls in the country: 0 + operator code + city code + destination phone number.
- For collect calls, simply change the 0 to 90 at the start of the call.
- For international calls from Brazil: 00 + operator code + country code + city code + destination phone number.
- To call service numbers (900, 0800, 0900, 0300, 800), you don’t need to dial the operator code.
- Check contacts for the main operators in Brazil.
Use of mobile phone
The use of a foreign phone in Brazil depends on the technology used and the compatibility with Brazilian operators. Check with your carrier for cell phone usage conditions in Brazil, because the service rates may differ.
Check out how to make calls to Brazil .
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, which is derived from the language in Portugal, but with different accent and some different expressions. Many Brazilians speak English and Spanish, and in some States, you can also find people speaking German (Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, for example), Italian (São Paulo and Paraná, for example), indigenous languages (Amazonas and Mato Grosso do Sul, for example) and other languages.
Here are some words and basic expressions that can help you during your visit to Brazil:
Hey, what’s up? : Olá, tudo bem?
Good morning! : Bom dia!
Good afternoon! : Boa tarde!
Good night! : Boa noite!
What is your name? : Qual é o seu nome?
My name is… : Meu nome é…
Do you speak english/spanish ? : Você fala inglês/espanhol?
Please : Por favor.Thank you : Obrigado.
You are welcome : De nada.
Excuse me : Com licença.
Great! : Que bom!
Can you give me some information? : Pode me dar uma informação?
Can you help me? : Pode me ajudar?
I am lost : Estou perdido.
I don’t understand : Não entendo.
Can you speak slowly, please? : Pode falar mais devagar, por favor?
I don’t speak portuguese : Não sei falar português.
Are there any bank/restaurant/hotel/taxi point nearby? : Há algum banco/restaurante/ponto de táxi/hotel perto daqui?
How much does this cost? : Quanto custa isso?
Where can I get… ? : Onde posso conseguir…?
Brazilian Free Flight Association
Cities with recommendation for vaccination against yellow fever
Brazilian consulates abroad.
General framework of visa regime for the entry of foreigners in Brazil
Malaria – information to tourists
Check out Brazilian banknotes and learn how to identify them
Legal Exchange App (IOS)
Legal Exchange App (Android)
Brazilian Money App (IOS)
Brazilian Money App (Android)
How to make calls to Brazil