Travel guide for first-time travelers to Brazil
Brazil hosts one of the most wanted artistic events in the world – Rio Carnival, luring 500,000 visitors every year. Besides, this largest country in South America boasts wonderful wildlife, stunning beaches, and lovely people, which making it top-rated destination in the world. Here is the travel guide for first-time travelers to Brazil.
Brazil boasts wonderful wildlife, stunning beaches, and charming people
SEE ALSO: Overview of Brazil
Best time to visit
If you want to save money and love mild temperature, head to Brazil from May to September. This period is also perfect for visiting the Pantanal wetland and Amazon rainforest.
From April to October, it is quite cold in the south but warm and dry in the coastline. Prices are medium most of the time, except for Easter week.
Peak season in Brazil is from December to March. This is festive time so the prices and crowds are at peak, particularly during Carnival.
1. Accommodation (per night)
- Dorm bed: R$40 – 60
- Private room in a homestay: R$35 – 50
- Standard double room in a hotel: R$160 – 300
- Room in boutique hotel: R$500 – 800
- Jungle lodges outside Manaus: R$500 – 1000
- A meal at small restaurant: R$14 – 20
- A meal for two at medium restaurant: R$80 – 160
- A meat for two at luxurious restaurant: R$200 – 400
Most of buses are comfortable and cheap
Buses are the most common means of transportation in Brazil. Most of them are comfortable, clean and depart on time. There are three types of long-distance bus: convencional, executivo, and leito. An executivo costs 25% higher than a convencional, and twice as much as a leito. Some buses have toilets and some don’t. Generally, buses stop for bathroom and food every 3- 4 hours.
- Cost (convencional): R$12 – 14/hour
Taxis are much cheaper than buses
Taxis are much cheaper than buses if you get around cities. It is a highly-recommended option for getting around at night. Most of the taxis have meters and ID card.
- Cost: R$5.2 (increase by R$2 per next kilometer)
Getting around by metros is popular in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo
Metros are popular in cities as well, especially Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Getting on metros are a cheap, safe way to explore cities.
- Cost (one-way): R$3.7 (Rio de Janeiro), and R$3.5 (São Paulo)
- Football matches: from R$35
- Museums and similar destinations: R$10 – 20
- Live music venues or nightclubs: R$20 – 50
5. Suggested daily costs
- Budget: up to R$200
- Medium: R$200-400
- Top end: more than R$400
Service charge is included in the bill while dining in restaurants.
It is not compulsory to tip for hotel housekeepers, beach vendors, hair stylists, shoe shiners, and juice-bar baristas.
Tipping for boat operator or assistant is highly appreciated.
Saving money in Brazil
- Go off season
If you want to save money for your trip in Brazil, avoid peak season (December to March).
- Agree on taxi fares
Before taxi departs, you should agree on the price in order not to be ripped off. Remember to ask the taxi driver to turn on their meters.
Couchsurfing provides a free stay at the local house. Not only can you stay for free but also you can learn local habits and gain crucial tips for your journey in Brazil.
Top things to do and see
1. Rio de Janeiro
Climb up Corcovado to have a great view of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro has so many things to do. It may take you weeks to discover on the surface. Rio features countless beaches, delicious food, and parties including the world famous artistic event – Rio Carnival. During Rio Carnival, parties are held day by day and night by night. Every street is filled with fantastic music and dance. Prices may be high but it worth experiencing. When you are at Rio de Janeiro, climb up Corcovado to touch Christ the Redeemer and have a panoramic view of the beautiful city.
Brasilia is famous for modern architecture
Brasilia is a capital of Brazil. It is not as lavish as Rio de Janeiro but worth visiting. The capital is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. For those who love modern architecture and historic sites, Brasilia is a great option for your journey in Brazil.
Salvador impresses visitors by colonial architecture
Salvador is the first city in Brazil. It is located on the northeast coast. Visiting this “capital of happiness”, visitors can admire at Portuguese colonial architecture at Pelourinho – UNESCO World Heritage Site amidst pleasant atmosphere.
Florianópolis is one of the most famous beach destinations
Situated in the south of Brazil, Florianópolis is one of the most famous beach destinations in Brazil. This is a holy place for sun worshippers and surfers year round. Florianópolis or Floripa boasts a wide range of beaches, exquisite seafood, and amazing nightlife. If you want to have some fun, it is definitely a great stop.
5. Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha is a favorite destination among celebrities
Nearly 354 kilometers off the coast is an archipelago called Fernando de Noronha. This is the first Marine Park in Brazil, 70% of which is under protection. This place has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only 420 are allowed to enter the archipelago at a time. Fantastic and mostly untouched, this awesome place is a holy land for many celebrities. If you want to experience top-end holiday, hit Fernando de Noronha.
6. The Pantanal
The Pantanal is the largest wetlands in the world
The Pantanal is the world’s largest wetlands. This is a paradise of wildlife watcher. More than 11,000 varieties of animals, including rare Marsh Deer, the Hyacinth Macaw, and the Giant Anteater, make the Pantanal their home.
7. Iguazú Falls
Iguazú Falls are one of the most amazing sights on the planet
Iguazú Falls are one of the most amazing sights on the globe. Hundreds of waterfalls stretch nearly 3 kilometers along the border between Brazil and Argentina. These awe-inspiring falls are twice as wide as famous Niagara Falls. Visitors are awed by the power of 275 cascades and great surrounding of typical fauna and flora.
8. Amazonia National Park
Amazonia National park covers an area of 8,600 square kilometers
Inaugurated in 1974, Amazonia National Park now covers roughly 8,600 square kilometers, accounting for 40% of the landmass. Located in the north-central part of Brazil, the National Park is an ideal place for birdwatchers, trekkers, and kayakers. It is not a complete trip to Brazil if you miss Amazonia National Park on your travel itinerary.
9. Manaus Municipal Market
Manaus Municipal Market is located on the right side of Rio Negro, stretching over an area of 12,000 square meters. You can purchase almost anything in this market, from local fruits to seafood. You can also get closer to local life when you come here.
- Do carry a small amount of money on decoy wallet and keep the rest in a hidden pocket inside your clothes
- Do disguise your camera in an old plastic bag to keep out of attention of robbers
- Do drink bottled water instead of water from the tap because some of the water in Brazil can be contaminated by garbage and contain E.coli
- Do act like locals otherwise, you may be the next victim of robbers. Wear flip-flops, T-shirt, drink beer, eat in the streets and stare at people within 2-meter distance
- Do ask your hotel receptionists or locals whether or not a place you plan to go are safe
- Don’t hang your bag on the chair while dining if you want to keep your purse safe
- Don’t walk on empty streets or beaches at night because you can get mugged easily
- Don’t use ATMs on the streets if you notice something wrong with them
- Don’t get on metros at night, use taxis instead because it is much safer
- Don’t pick fruits from a tree and eat them because Brazil houses many poisonous fruits. Try local fruits at the market only
Travel guide for first-time travelers to Brazil contains essential information you need to bear in mind while paying a visit to this largest country in South America. Be sure to check our safety tips for Brazil trip. And, you will have a fascinating and care-free journey in stunning country of Brazil.