At The Copa, Copacabana…
Brazil is big. Very big. The land mass is almost as large as The United States so if you’re thinking of see the country you’re going to need a long time! However, most people visit Sao Paulo and of course Rio de Janeiro. Indeed most people live on the coast and the further one ventures inland the thinner the population becomes. There is no question Brazil has a lot to offer. The Rio carnival is world famous, held every year in February the carnival is the largest in the world and is the epitome of a party. Copacabana beach is one of the most famous in the world with its crescent moon shape creating a glorious bay over looked by Christ the Redemmer. Sugar Loaf Mountain boasts epic views of the surrounding area which you can reach by foot or cable car.
The weather plays an important part in the outdoor lifestyle that dominants here. The average annual temperate is 24 degrees (!!!) with the months November – April being he warmest and May – October a little cooler. Because of the weather the beaches playa major role in day to day life as does sport and activity. You won’t be short of things to do. It’s also worth mentioning that due to the warm evenings the night life takes on a carnival atmosphere too. Get yourself a caipirinha and enjoy!
Not to be missed when visiting Brazil is a trip to the Amazon to experience rainforest life, see the Iguazu Falls, the wildlife and of course, the vast river itself. For most people visiting the Amazon is a once in a lifetime event and as a result we high recommend taking a trip to see first hand this wonderful part of the world.
Finally, remember the language is Portuguese, not Spanish which is dominant across the rest of South America!
Brazil lies in the northern realms of South America. Taking up over 8,500,000 square kilometres, Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world by geographical area. With 7491 kilometres of coast line, the Atlantic Ocean to its east and crossed by the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, Brazil is home to numerous climatic regions: equatorial, tropical, semi arid, highland tropical, temperate and subtropical.
90% of the country lies within the tropics, meaning that much of Brazil is hot, humid and home to two seasons: wet and dry. Much of the country is covered by the enormous Amazon Rainforest which only increases the humid, tropical conditions that are experienced in most of northern Brazil.
In northern Brazil there isn’t really a ‘dry season’ though certain times of the year do see more rainfall than others; you could divide the year into a ‘wet season’ and a ‘wetter season’!
The average temperature across the country is about 25°C, and most of Brazil sees quite significant diurnal temperature ranges – meaning there is quite a large difference between daytime and night time temperatures.
Central Brazil sees weather that in more indicative of a savanna climate, with rainfall that is more seasonal and seasons that are slightly more defined than in the north.
The South of the country has a temperate climate with daily average temperatures below 18 °C and much cooler winters. There are frosts in parts and occasional snowfall as you increase in altitude.
The currency of Brazil is the Real. At the time of writing £1GBP is equal to 3.8BRL. It’s worth checking the exchange rate before you depart, we recommend Xe.com.
Below are some prices which give you a guide. Please be aware these are just rough and will change, we just wanted to give you some idea before you arrive!
- 3 course meal for 2 at mid priced restaurant: 100$R or £26
- Domestic Beer: 6$R or £1.50
- Cappuccino: 4$R or £1
- Bottle of water: 2.5$R or £0.75
- Bottle of milk: 3.4$R or £0.80
- Bottle of wine: 30$R or £7.50
- Can of Coke: 4$R or £1
- 1kg Bananas: 4.2$R or £10.05
- Taxi per KM: 2.5$R or £0.62
Etiquette & customs
Brazilians are typically open and friendly people, and this is reflected in their behaviour when dealing with others.
When having a conversation with a Brazilian, expect them to be animated and engaged. Interruptions and interjections when someone else is speaking are not necessarily considered rude, as they demonstrate that you are engaged in what is being said. Bear in mind that physical contact and close proximity are both common, particularly between men, and that you will be expected to maintain good eye contact whilst speaking to someone.
Family is a very important part of Brazilian culture, and many smaller to medium sized companies are likely to be family owned and operated. It is possible that you may be invited to someone’s home for a meal. If this is the case, then it would be customary for you to bring a small gift with you, such as wine or flowers. It would also be well received for you to send a gift the day after being entertained, to demonstrate your gratitude.
Music and dance are very important in Brazil, and Brazilians are generally very proud of their musical heritage. Few events in Brazil encapsulate the countries culture more than the famous Carnival, a very popular annual festival which takes place to mark the beginning of lent each year. Exact customs vary from region to region across the country, but samba dancing and exuberant colourful parades in the streets are common in the larger cities.
Brazil (Federative Republic of Brazil) is the largest country in South America, and is the world’s fifth largest country by both land area and population. As such, it borders every other South American country other than Ecuador and Chile, and is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
The Capital: Brasilia
Main Cities: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador
Population: 206 million
Size: 8,515,767 sq km (3,287,597 sq miles)
Major Religion: Christianity (87%)
Main Language: Brazilian Portuguese
Climate: Varied, spanning tropical, subtropical, temperate, equatorial and semi-arid zones.
Life Expectancy: 71 years (men), 79 years (women)
Dialling Code: +55
Emergency Numbers: 192 (ambulance), 193 (fire), 194 (police), 191 (highway police)
British nationals can normally enter Brazil without a visa as a tourist. For further information about visas see the website of the Brazilian Consulate in London.
Make sure you comply with Brazilian immigration laws on arrival in the country. You must satisfy the Federal Police (the Brazilian immigration authority) of your intended purpose of visit. You will need to be able to demonstrate that you have enough money for the duration of your stay, and provide details of your accommodation and evidence of return or onward travel. Make sure your passport is stamped. If it is not, you may be fined on departure. Keep your immigration landing card. You’ll need it when you leave. If you lose it you may be fined.
If you wish to extend your stay while you are in Brazil you should apply to the Federal Police for an extension. If you overstay your visa, you are likely to be given notice to leave the country at your own expense and you may be fined or deported.
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