Discover Brazil travel guide

Brazil is a colourful and exotic South American destination.

It’s famous for its beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema as well as the exhilarating festival, Carnival. Brazil stretches from the Amazon Basin in the north to the impressive and equally beautiful Iguacu Falls in the South. Brazil borders every South American country (10 in total) except Chile and Ecuador. Brazil recognises four time zones. The main time zone corresponds to the time of the national capital Brasilia, which is 3 hours behind Universal Coordinated Time (UTC-3).

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Emergency Numbers Police - Dial 190
Fire - Dial 193
Ambulance - Dial 192
 
Main Ethnic Groups Caucasian 47%
Pardo Brazilian 43%
 
Main Religion Roman Catholic 64%
Protestant 22%
 
Geographic Facts Capital City: Brasilia
Largest City: Sao Paulo (11.3 million)
 

Brazil is a mixture of races and ethnicities, resulting in a rich cultural diversity. Family is the foundation of the social structure, and even the extended family is quite close. 
 

  • Don’t make the ‘OK’ hand gesture in Brazil as it has a very different and offensive meaning.
  • Despite being ethnically diverse, there is a class system in Brazil and a visible divide between middle and lower classes.
  • It’s customary to bring a gift to a friend’s house, but avoid the colours purple and black as they are
    associated with mourning.
  • Kissing is customary, so don’t be shocked when you are kissed by a stranger.
  • Olá = Hello
  • Com licença = Excuse me
  • Desculpe = Sorry
  • Obrigado = Thank you
  • Por favor = Please

Best time to visit
For good weather and the best deals, September to October is the best time to visit as it’s less crowded with holidaymakers from America. But for a good time, January to February is the best as this is when Carnival is hosted and the weather is hot.

Seasons
Due to its size, Brazil has three main weather regions, each with its own rainy season. The North is closer to the equator and can experience hotter temperatures than the more moderate South.
Temperatures below are averages for Rio De Janeiro:

Summer
Dec to Mar
22° - 30°
Autumn
Mar to Jun
19° - 29°
Winter
Jun to Sep
18° - 25°
Spring
Sep to Dec
19° - 27°
Transport
Bus travel is the best way to get around Brazil — everything from long distance to city transport. Bus travel is usually excellent, cheap, uncomplicated and has plenty of services. Rio and Sao Paulo also have a metro system, and taxis are another great option for city transport.
Dialing code +55

 
Visas - Canadians do not require a visa to enter Brazil for tourism for stays under ninety (90) days.
 
The drinking age in Brazil is
18 or over.
Tipping - Customary for 
services, usually 10%.
Language - Portuguese
 
Currency - Brazilian Real
(CAD$1 = R$0.558) *average rate, 2006-2015.
 
Drive on the right side of the road.
 
Electrical / Device: Type N or J plug. Adapter required and converter may be required.

World records 

  • The largest mural made of kisses — 13,316 people used lip balm to make a gigantic picture.
  • The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, with the largest part found in Brazil’s borders.
  • The largest samba band — 1,038 people took part in Sao Paulo.

National icons

The national icons are the bright yellow flower lpê-amarelo and the Rufous-bellied Thrush.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd.
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