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Brazil

Continent: South America

Ideal Duration:

Best Time: November-March; June-September Read More

Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL)

Budget: Expensive

"Living the Carnival life"

Brazil Tourism

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America and fifth largest country in the world is a land of great diversity, be it in culture, geography or its ecosystems. From the wilderness of the great Amazon rainforests and sun-kissed tropical beaches to the Grand Carnival celebration in Rio, the country has it all. Visit the colonial era towns in the state of Minas Gerais, blend in the culture of Bahia or visit the futuristic capital city of Brasilia. The plethora of options available in the country actually encapsulate the visitors in their charm.

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Best time to visit Brazil

November-March; June-September is the best time to visit Brazil

Brazil is an all year round destination, and the best time to visit Brazil depends mostly on where you plan to go and what you plan to do. There are distinct climatic variations across all the regions of the country with the dry and wet season. However, the months from April to June are an excellent time to visit the country as the weather remains pleasant and evenings are more relaxed along with mild showers in a few parts of the country. August to October is a great time exploring the Pantanal and Rio. November to March is the peak tourist season, which is a great time to hit the beaches in southern Brazil. If you're planning to visit the Amazon, a great time would be from June to September. People generally avoid Brazil during the rainy season, which is considered as the Offseason for Tourism.

Regions in Brazil

One can experience a great diversity in the five geographical regions of the country. The North is the home to the world's largest rainforest, Amazon, and is a prime destination for adventure and nature lovers whereas the Northeast boasts of an impressive coastline and ethnic diversity in traditions and culture. Head out to explore the largest and most visited cities of the country, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and the colonial era towns of Minas Gerais in South East or witness the fey charm of the ultra modernistic architecture in the Central West region. The South is known for its high living standards and urban cities and is characterised by its European influences.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Amazing diversity in flora and fauna. Rich cultural heritage. Brazilian gastronomy

What's Not So Great?

High crime rate. Hygiene issues in street food. Prevalent corruption issues

For Whom?

Eco-tourists. Party lovers. Culture & heritage lovers. Architecture enthusiasts. Adventure seekers

Read More on Brazil

Currency of Brazil

Brazilian Real is the only accepted currency in the country. All major cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and in few taxis as well. ATMs are easily available throughout the country, though it is advised to carry some Brazilian Real before entering the country. Keep the in hand cash in small denominations to avoid counterfeited large bills, also paying for goods in cash makes you eligible for some discounts.

Exchanging Money in Brazil

ATMs are the best option for currency exchange and can be located easily. They charge a transaction and conversion fee depending on the bank and are closed between 10 pm to 6 am for security reasons. Currency exchange desks 'Cambio' can be found in all tourist areas and offer better exchange than airports and are a better option than withdrawing cash from ATMs.

Nightlife in Brazil

Brazil's flamboyant nightlife needs no introduction, making it almost synonymous with the country. The lively nightlife scenes attract millions of visitors throughout the year to cherish an unforgettable experience full of energy and liveliness. One can find a number of clubs, bars, discos and live music venues throughout the country. The typical nightlife scenes do not start before 11:00 PM and go all the way till sunrise. Rio is renowned all over the world for its lively party scenes where Sao Paulo for its electronic music clubs. Salvador is known for its diverse live music scenes and is one of the top places for nightlife in the country.

Shopping in Brazil

Brazil is a great place when it comes to hunting for souvenirs as there are a plethora of options available from local handicrafts to Amazonian products and gemstones. The country's biggest shopping hubs are in Rio and Sao Paulo, and one can find almost anything from designer boutiques and huge shopping malls to flea markets and artisan fairs on weekends. These cities specialise in antiques and jewellery, but when it comes to gemstones, you should probably head to Minas Gerais. Central markets or Mercado Central can be found in all cities, big or small and offer great deals on products.

Festivals of Brazil

Brazilian festivals are known for their exuberance and a myriad display of parades and celebrations all round the year. The enthusiasm and spirit of Brazilians in addition to the rich diversity in festivities leaves the visitors overwhelmed and awestruck. The Carnival is undoubtedly the most famous festival in the world with the celebration spanning a period of five days, filled with an elaborate display of costumes, masquerade parties, dances, parades and a lot more. The biggest hubs for the Carnival are Rio, Salvador and Recife. Other famous celebrations of the country include Festa de Peao in Barretos, Oktoberfest in Santa Catarina and Bumba - Meu - Boi in Sao Luis.

History of Brazil

The present day Brazil was inhabited by hunter-gatherers as early as 10,000 BC. However, the country's history begins with Portuguese colonization at the beginning of 16th century when Pedro Alvares Cabral first discovered the land in April, 1500. Initially starting with trading relation, the colony soon expanded and was under the direct rule of the Portuguese king. The colony flourished with sugar trade to Europe, and African slaves were bought to work on these plantations. The native Indians were also enslaved, and most of them died due to a number of epidemics which came with the Europeans. While being a colony, Brazil saw a boom in the likes of gold and coffee, leading to many people settling in the interior of the county. After Napoleon's conquest of Portugal in 1808, the King and his entire court shifted to Brazil which resulted in the construction of towns, buildings, libraries, and theaters, all of which are now prominent tourists destinations today. The country gained independence in 1822, and a large number of European immigrants settled here from the 1870s which has resulted in the great cultural diversity seen in the country today.

Hygiene in Brazil

Brazil being a tropical country is home to many bugs and diseases. There are no mandatory vaccinations as such, but getting a vaccination against Yellow Fever and Typhoid is recommended. Carry a bug spray and mosquito repellent with you all the times and avoid drinking tap water. Avoid getting in contact with street animals in outskirts as they might carry rabies.

Customs of Brazil

Brazilians are friendly and open people. They love talking to new people and your involvement and interest in their discussion is welcomed, be careful when talking about certain topics and avoid being critical of their country. Men shake hands and women kiss each other on the cheeks while greeting. Most of the businesses are family operated and they often invite new comers for dinner, it is customary to carry a small gift such as flowers or wine. Tipping is not expected in Brazil and generally not given. Restaurants have 10% service charge already included in the bill, however it is not compulsory. You can tip the housekeeping staff at the hotel at BRL 5 per day or beach vendors for their services.

Tips for visiting Brazil

Learn some basic Portuguese and carry a Portuguese - English dictionary. Avoid ATMs on the streets. Tourists should avoid remote areas and take care of their belonging in public. Cameras should be kept in hand instead of strapping on the body. Avoid wearing jewellery or overdressing.

Culture of Brazil

The multicultural Brazilian Society traces its roots to centuries of Portuguese colonization, under which the indigenous, African and Portuguese cultures mingled to create a unique and diverse culture famous all over the world. The dominant religion of Brazil is Christianity, and about 80% of the population practices Roman Catholicism, which was brought here by the colonizers. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, and a vast majority of the population speaks Portuguese as well. Not many people speak English here, even if you speak Spanish, you might be able to communicate only a little bit. Thus, it is advised to learn some basic Portuguese before you travel. Use 'Oi' for Hello, 'Por favor' for please, 'Bom Dia' for Good Morning and 'Boa Noite' for Good night.

Food of Brazil

The Brazilian cuisine has over the years earned the reputation of being one of the most mouth-watering cuisines on the planet. Influenced by Europe and America and because of its local and immigrant population, the cuisine in Brazil gets as varied as its geography. Rice, beans and manioc are the main ingredients of most of the food items almost everywhere in the country. Each region has its speciality owing to the immigrant population and local cultures, and there is no such thing as a national cuisine. However, the national dish of the country Feijoada which is a full meal in itself comprising of beans, rice and pork, can be easily found anywhere. Coffee is the country's national beverage and Caipirinha the country's national drink.

Stay options in Brazil

From luxury resorts to cheap dormitories, there is a wide range of options in Brazil. However, during the peak seasons such as the Carnival and the New Year, finding a place gets tough as the options fall short. The hotels are rated according to a Brazilian classification system and offer different types of rooms with prices varying from region to region. Special accommodation options here include family run hotels Pensões, and guesthouses called Pousada which are less expensive than a traditional hotel. Motels are strictly for couples, and the rooms are rented on the hourly basis, hence, making it quite expensive. While travelling by road, one can also find some accommodation on highway service stations called Postos offering cheap and clean rooms for night stay. Hostels known as Albergue de juventude are gaining popularity, and there is an extensive network of hostels including the IYHF in the country.

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