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Car Rental & Driver's License
The Origins of Carnival
Climate
How to get there? (flight duration)
Taxis
Temperature Conversion Table
Tipping &Taxes
Visa
Vaccination

Car Rental & Driver's License

Renting a car in Brazil is easy, however, driving in Brazil may be a challenge, due to the fact that all road signs are in Portuguese and road conditions may vary considerably.

Rules for driving in Brazil:

  • The minimum age to drive in Brazil is 18 years old
  • U.S. driver's licenses are accepted for car rental purposes
  • The speed limit on most national highways is 110 km/h (68 mph)
  • The speed limit within the city is 80 km/h (49 mph)
  • The right lane is the travel lane and the left lane is for passing; it is forbidden to pass on the right.

Remember these are general rules, speed limits may vary so pay attention to the signs. Most cars, even rental cars, are stick shift, so when you make your reservations be aware that if you need an automatic car you should check availability. Rental car companies include Hertz, Avis, Localiza, and Unidas. back to top

The Origins of Carnival

Carnival's roots go back to the ancient Romans and Greeks who celebrated the rites of Spring. In the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church tried to suppress all pagan ideas, it failed when it came to this celebration. The Church incorporated the rite into its own calendar as a period of thanksgiving. The nations of Europe, especially France, Spain, and Portugal, gave thanks by throwing parties, wearing masks, and dancing in the streets. All three colonizing powers carried the tradition with them to the New World, but in Brazil it landed with a difference. The Portuguese had a taste for abandoned merriment, they brought the entrudo, a prank where merry-makers throw water, flour, face powder, and many other things at each other's faces.

Prior to 1840, the streets of Brazilian towns ran riot during the three-day period leading up to Ash Wednesday with people in masks hurling stink bombs and squirting each other with flour and strong-smelling liquids; even arson was a form of entertainment. In 1840, the Italian wifeof a Rio de Janeiro hotel owner changed the carnival celebration forever by sending out invitations, hiring musicians, importing streamers and confetti, and giving a lavish masked ball. In a few years the masked ball became the fashion and the wild pranks played on the streets disappeared.
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Brazil Information Center

Living in Brazil
Bahia Resort Hotels
Brazilian Consulate
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Capoeira
Carnival of Brazil
Dictionary -Transltation
Flights to Brazil
Information About Brazil
Map of Brazil
Medical Tourism in Brazil
Samba of Brazil
Travel to Brazil
Visa to Brazil

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Climate

Average Annual Temperatures
Although 90 percent of the country is within the tropical zone, more than 60 percent of the population live in areas where altitude, sea winds, or cold polar fronts moderate the temperature. There are five climatic regions in Brazil: equatorial, tropical, semi arid, highland tropical, and subtropical. Plateau cities such as São Paulo, Brasília, and Belo Horizonte have very mild climates averaging 66°F (19°C). Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and Salvador on the coast have warm climates balanced by the constancy of the Trade Winds. In the southern Brazilian cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba, the subtropical climate is similar to parts of the U.S. and Europe with frosts occurring with some frequency. In this region temperatures in winter can fall below freezing. Despite the popular image of the Amazon as a region of blistering heat, temperatures of more than 90°F (32°C) are rarely experienced there. In fact, the annual average temperature in the Amazon region is in the range of 72 79°F (22-26°C), with only a very small seasonal variation between the warmest and the coldest months. The hottest part of Brazil is the northeast where, during the dry season, between May and November, temperatures of more than 100°F (38°C) are recorded frequently. The northeast has greater seasonal variation in temperatures than does the Amazon region. Along the Atlantic coast from Recife to Rio de Janeiro, mean temperatures range from 73°F to 81°F (23 27°C). Inland, on higher ground; temperatures are lower, ranging from 64°F to 70°F (18 21°C). South of Rio, the seasons are more noticeable and the annual range of temperature greater. The average temperature for this part of the country is in the range between 63°F to 66°F (17 19°C). back to top

Average Annual Rainfall
Brazil's most intense rainfall is found around the mouth of the Amazon River near the city of Belém, and also in the vast upper regions of Amazônia where more than 78 inches (2,000 millimeters) of rain falls every year. Another important region of heavy rainfall is along the edge of the great escarpment in the state of São Paulo. Most of Brazil, however, has moderate rainfall of between 39 to 59 inches (1,000 to 1,500 millimeters) a year, with most of the rain falling in the summer, between December and April. The winters tend to be dry. The driest part of the country is the northeast, the so called "polygon of drought", encompassing 10 percent of the country's territory. In this region rainfall is undependable and the evaporation rate is very high, making it difficult to raise crops. Along the coastline, south from Recife, the mountains trigger rainfall from the Trade Winds. In some places behind the mountains, such as the region south of Salvador, the hinterland is dry because the rain is dumped on the mountains leaving very little for the area behind. back to top

How to get there?

Several airlines offer scheduled services between the United States and Brazil.
American Airlines 1-800-433-7300
Continental Airlines 1-800-231-0856
Delta Airlines 1-800-221-1212
Japan Airlines 1-800-525-3663
Tam Airlines 1-888-235-9826
United Airlines 1-800-241-6522
Varig Airlines 1-800-468-2744

For customized help in planning your air and land travel, follow this link to find a Brazilian Travel Agency.

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Flight duration to/from Rio de Janeiro

São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the main gateways to Brazil. Flight time is eight hours from Miami to São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, ten hours from New York, just over nine hours from Atlanta, thirteen from Los Angeles and sixteen from San Francisco. back to top

Flight time between different cities within Brazil

Considering the size of the country, the best way to travel throughout Brazil is by air. Flying domestically can be quite expensive. However foreign visitors can travel economically by purchasing air passes from Tam Airlines or Varig prior to arriving in Brazil. Compared to domestic air travel available in Brazil, air passes are an excellent value. A round-trip flight from Rio de Janeiro to Manaus can cost over US$1000. Currently, an air pass exchangeable for up to 5 domestic flights used within 21 days costs approximately US$ 530. back to top

From
To Hours
Aracaju
Maceió 0:50
Aracaju
Recife 0:50
Aracaju
Salvador 0:40
Belém
Fortaleza 2:50
Belém
Macapá 0:50
Belém
Manaus 1:00
Belém
São Luis 1:00
Belo
Horizonte Goiânia 1:20
Belo Horizonte
Juiz de Fora 0:50
Belo Horizonte
Vitória 0:45
Brasilia
Belém 2:20
Brasilia
Belo Horizonte 1:10
Brasilia
Cuiabá 0:30
Brasilia
Curitiba 1:55
Brasilia
Fortaleza 2:30
Brasilia
Goiânia 0:40
Brasilia
Manaus 2:45
Brasilia
Recife 2:20
Brasilia
Salvador 1:55
Campo Grande
Londrina 1:50
Cuiabá
Campo Grande 1:15
Cuiabá
Goiânia 2:25
Cuiabá
Rio Branco 1:40
Curitiba
Florianapólis 0:45
Curitiba
Foz do Iguaçu 1:05
Curitiba
Porto Alegre 1:10
Fortaleza
Natal 0:55
Fortaleza
Salvador 1:40
João Pessoa
Natal 0:35
Manaus
Boa Vista 1:30
Manaus
Parintins 0:55
Manaus
Porto Velho 1:20
Natal
Maceió 1:00
Porto Alegre
Florianapólis 0:50
Porto Alegre
Foz do Iguaçu 1:30
Recife
Fernando de Noronha 1:25
Recife
Fortaleza 1:10
Rio de Janeiro
Belém 3:35
Rio de Janeiro
Belo Horizonte 0:50
Rio de Janeiro
Brasilia 1:30
Rio de Janeiro
Curitiba 1:35
Rio de Janeiro
Florianapólis 2:30
Rio de Janeiro
Fortaleza 3:00
Rio de Janeiro
Maceió 2:40
Rio de Janeiro
Manaus 3:00
Rio de Janeiro
Natal 3:00
Rio de Janeiro
Porto Alegre 2:00
Rio de Janeiro
Recife 2:45
Rio de Janeiro
Salvador 1:50
Salvador
Vitória 1:00
Salvador
Ilhéus 0:40
Salvador
Maceió 1:00
São Paulo
Recife 3:00
São Paulo
Belo Horizonte 1:00
São Paulo
Brasilia 1:35
São Paulo
Cuiabá 2:45
São Paulo
Curitiba 0:50
São Paulo
Florianapólis 1:00
São Paulo
Foz do Iguaçu 1:30
São Paulo
Goiânia 1:30
São Paulo
Manaus 2:55
São Paulo
Porto Alegre 1:35
São Paulo
Recife 3:00
São Paulo
Rio de Janeiro 0:45
São Paulo
Salvador 2:15

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Taxis

There are a large number of taxicabs in all major cities. Regular taxicabs can be hailed on the streets, and radio taxis can be ordered by phone. Radio taxis are air conditioned, somewhat more expensive and experienced at meeting the needs of international travelers.
At the major airports, the designated airport taxi companies have booths at the arrivals area, with fixed rates.

Most taxi drivers don't speak English, so it is advisable to have the address you are going to written on a piece of paper to show the taxi driver.
Tipping is not expected, yet many people choose to round up the fare. Drivers in some cities charge for help with baggage. back to top

Temperature Conversion Table

Temperature

In Brazil temperatures are measured in Celsius i.e Centigrade. To convert Celsius into Fahrenheit, divide the Celsius value by 5, multiply by 9 and add 32. Below you will find a temperature conversion table.

Fahrenheit

113
104
98
95
86
80
77
68
60
55
50
45
41
35
32
Celsius

45
40
36.7
35
30
26.7
25
20
15.5
12.8
10
7.2
5
1.7
0

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Tipping &Taxes
  • Airports: porters may charge as much as $1 per bag
  • Taxis: Tipping is not expected, yet many people choose to round up the fare. Drivers in some cities charge for help with baggage
  • Hotels: a $1 tip is a sufficient for chambermaids and bellboys
  • Restaurants: a 10% gratuity will often be included in the bill
  • Sales Taxes: advertised prices on store windows and bills will always include sales taxes
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  • Visa

    As a matter of reciprocity a visa is required for American citizens wishing to visit Brazil. To obtain a tourist visa you will need:

    Download Visa Application form in PDF Format

    • A passport that is valid for at least six months from the intended date of arrival in Brazil
    • One passport-sized photograph (2" x 2")
    • A photocopy of round trip ticket
    • A duly filled out and signed visa application form
    • The $100.00 processing fee

    Additional information and extra fees may apply, depending on the specific details of your trip, be sure to check directly with the Brazilian Consulate where you will be applying for a visa.

    To find out which Brazilian Consulate or Consular Office you should contact, click on the name of the state or region where you live.

    Citizens of some countries do not require a visa to visit Brazil for tourism purposes, provided the trip is strictly for tourism and the stay does not exceed 90 days.

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    Vaccination

    A yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required only if you have traveled within the last 90 days, to any of the following countries: Angola, Bolivia, Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, French Guyana, Gabon, Ghana, Gambia, Republic of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sudan or Venezuela). Yellow fever vaccination is advisable if your destinations in Brazil include any of the following Brazilian states: Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Federal District of Brasilia, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and/or Tocantins.

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