Brazil Holidays & Travel Facts

Sprawling across half of South America, Brazil has captivated travellers for at least 500 years. Powdery white-sand beaches, lined with palm trees and fronting a deep blue Atlantic, stretch for more than 7000 km. Dotting this coastline are tropical islands, music-filled metropolises and enchanting colonial towns.

  • Iguazu Falls
  • Copacabana beach
  • Rio de janeiro
  • Rio carnival
  • Toucan in tree

AVERAGE MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE (°C) – based on Brasilia

JAN
29
FEB
29
MAR
28
APR
27
MAY
25
JUN
24
JUL
24
AUG
24
SEP
24
OCT
25
NOV
26
DEC
28
Country Dialling Code:
+ 55
When to Go:
Feb-May & Sep-Oct are the best times to visit. However, because the country is so large there are many different weather patterns. Generally winter is Jun-Aug, summer is Dec-Feb. Rio’s summers are hot and humid with temps in high 30’s and frequent short tropical rains. Rio in winter has average temperatures of mid 20’s with a slightly lower rainfall.
Capital:
Brasillia
Population:
Over 175 million people.
Official Language:
Portuguese
Currency:
Real (pronounced “hay-ow”) and made up of 100 centavos.
Tipping & Bargaining:
Customary to tip 10% for most services. Bargaining for hotel rooms, taxis and in markets is commonplace.
Electricity:
Recommend you carry a converter as electric current is not standardised in Brazil. Most common power points have two round sockets. In Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the current is almost exclusively 110 or 120V, 60Hz AC. Salvador and Manaus have 127V, other cities vary.
Geography:
The world’s fifth largest country borders every country in South America, except Chile and Ecuador. Its 8.5 million sq km occupy almost half the continent. Four Regions: the Coastal Band (bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and coastal mountain range); the Planalto Brasileiro plateau; the Amazon Basin and the Parana-Paranagua Basin.
Gateway Airports:
Rio de Janeiro (RIO); Sao Paulo (SAO)
Air:
Most international flights arrive into Rio and from here you can connect with the domestic routes.
Coach:
Except in the Amazon Basin, buses are the primary form of long-distance transportation. Services are generally excellent and buses are clean, comfortable and well maintained.
Train:
Very few passenger services in Brazil, most now carry only cargo. But there are some interesting train rides for the enthusiasts.
Food:
The Brazilian diet revolves around arroz (white rice), feijao (black beans) and farofel (manioc flour). From the rice-bean-farofel group, meals go in three directions: carne (steak), galinha (chicken) and peixe (fish). Lanchonetes are stand-up fast food bars where you can order sandwiches.


Tourist Information for Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is said to be quite simply one of the most beautiful cities in the world. From its wide expanse of stunning beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema, to its mountains of Sugarloaf and Corcovado; not to mention the beautiful nature of its local people known as ‘cariocas’.

Rio Carnival which lasts five days ending on Ash Wednesday is a spectacular celebration of samba parades, carnival balls and street parties. During New Year’s celebrations Copacabana Beach becomes a living sea of people dressed in white, holding glowing candles, as celebrations of the Goddess of the Sea get underway.

Salvador the former capital of Brazil is a unique blend of magnificent history and culture. Ornate 16th & 17th century churches, houses and museums still stand on cobblestone streets and the Portuguese influence is clearly evident with sandstone facades, decorated tiles and ceramics.

Top Highlights

Rio de Janeiro

Rio sits between the ocean and escarpment and is one of the most densely populated places on earth and is known as a cidade maravilhosa (the marvellous city).

Must sees:

The statue, Christ the Redeemer with his outstretched arms, on Corcovado mountain; Sugarloaf with its cable cars; the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema; Teatro Municipal (home of Rio’s opera, orchestra and gargoyles). A walking tour of Rio is the best way to explore the city’s museums, colonial buildings, churches and traditional meeting places - restaurants, bars, shops and street corners. Rio Carnival, February.

Amazon / Manaus

Covering more than 1.5 million sq km, Amazonas is Brazil’s largest state. The best time to visit the Amazon Jungle is when the water level is high - March to July. The Teatro Amazonas, in Manaus (a famous opera house in the middle of the jungle) is a reminder of the opulent lifestyles led by the rubber barons.

Foz do Iguacu

The Brazilian side offers an overview of the Falls and best time to visit is in the morning for photos. Best season to see them is from August to November. From May to July you may not be able to approach the falls on the catwalks, due to the increased volume of water. The Ponte Presidente Tancredo Neves bridges the Rio Iguacu and connects Brazil to Argentina.

The Pantanal

A vast area of wetlands, much of which is flooded during the wet season (Oct-Mar). Birds are the most frequently seen wildlife, but the Pantanal is also a sanctuary for giant river otters, anacondas, iguanas, jaguars, cougars, crocodiles, deer, anteaters, black howler monkeys and capybaras. Best time to visit is during the dry season (Apr-Sep/Oct), and birds are best seen Jul-Sep.

More highlights

  • Minas Gerais

  • Sao Paulo

  • Salvador da Bahia

  • Recife and Olinda.