When you travel to Brazil, the first thing you realize is just how alive the nation is. The Amazon is bursting with unique flora and fauna, the culture everywhere is vibrant and the city of Rio de Janeiro is at once welcoming and dynamic. Luxury tours to Brazil show just how full the country is of exciting experiences, one-of-a-kind views and engaging people.
Christ the Redeemer
In the middle of the 19th century, a Vincentian priest, Pedro Maria Boss, had an idea. He thought that a Christian monument, placed on Corcovado Mountain, would be not just a powerful symbol of the country’s strong religious heritage, but also a great honor to Princess Isabel, daughter of the Emperor.
It took nearly 80 years for his vision to be realized, but in 1931, it was finally accomplished. A Brazilian engineer, Heitor de Silva Costa, along with a French sculptor, Paul Landowski, turned Pedro’s idea into a reality, in the form of Christ the Redeemer. The Rio de Janeiro statue sits atop Corcovado Mountain, as originally intended, standing nearly 100 feet tall with arms spread more than 90 feet wide.
The beauty of the structure, combined with the engineering ingenuity required to build it, has led it to be honored as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Today, visitors flock to the landmark, which is not only an attraction in its own right, but is also surrounded by gorgeous views of Rio de Janeiro.
Hike to Iguazu Falls
Interested in checking out Brazil waterfalls? Look no further than Iguacu National Park, designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987. Along with Iguazu National Park in Argentina, it shares the Iguazu River, which creates approximately 275 waterfalls and distinct islands.
Iguazu has the sixth-greatest average annual flow of any waterfall, 1,746 cubic meters. At its highest point, it is 269 feet tall, and has a total width of 1.7 miles. As it is in a tropical area, it is also recommended for those who wish to see rare wildlife, including spotted jaguars, prego monkeys, coral snakes and toucans.
For an added thrill, visitors are well-advised to journey into the long and narrow chasm called Garganta del Diablo, or, in English, the Devil’s Throat. Roughly half the of flow from the Iguazu River empties into the long, narrow chasm, creating a U-shaped rush of water that is as exhilarating as it is scenic.
Soak up the Sun at Paraty Beach
What would a trip to Brazil be without getting into the water? The beaches of Brazil are world-renowned for their clear waters and pristine sand. For one of the best beaches, look no further than Paraty. As it is just a three-hour drive from the city, it makes the perfect day trip from Rio de Janeiro, an opportunity to slip out from the hubbub and get in some relaxation.
The town of Paraty, where the beach is located, is a small fishing village with a big cultural impact. Historically a producer of sugar cane, the area today stands as a testament to beautifully-preserved architecture, charming cafes and rustic cobblestone streets. In fact, so wonderful was the preservation that the whole town has been designated a UNESCO cultural site.
The beach itself has a hip, buzzy bar vibe, filled with laid-back people who want nothing more than tranquility and goodwill. Sail out to a few of the islands for truly great snorkeling, diving and sightseeing.
Tour the Amazon for Incredible Wildlife
There is no parallel for the biodiversity on display in the Amazon rainforest. As a whole, wet tropical forests are the species-rich of all biomes, and as the largest such tract in the Americas, the Amazon jungle has a range of creatures that have to be seen to be believed.
The Amazon is the largest grouping of flora and fauna in the entire world. In fact, 10 percent of all species lives in this forest, including 427 kinds of mammals, 428 amphibians, 378 reptiles and an astonishing 2.5 million unique insect varieties. The Amazon River, which winds its way through the forest, is home to more than 2,000 different kinds of fish, with one in every five extant species of fish represented.
The Amazon is home to a number of unusual creatures that can be found in few other places. For example, visitors can marvel at the Fishing Bat, the only bat in the entire world with the ability to fish for its food, or the Jesus Lizard, which can scamper away from predators by walking along the surface of a pond or stream.
Party at Carnival's Winner's Parade
More than anything, Brazil Carnival is a celebration of togetherness and goodwill. Perhaps the best example of that spirit is the Winner’s Parade, which happens on the Saturday following the main event.
Every year, the best samba school, along with five runners-up, get to take part in a special Carnival-related celebration. Since there is no longer a competition, those in this parade are free to have fun with their dancing, showcasing a good humor and lightness that represents the heart of the dance. Anybody who is interested in learning what it really means to samba would be well-advised to make the trip, as it is one of the most natural, organic and free-spirited exhibitions anywhere in the world.
American and Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended return date in order to enter and depart Brazil.Tourists must also provide proof of return or onward travel. Each traveler is responsible for ensuring that his/her passport is up to date. Citizens of other nationalities should check with respective authorities before departure. Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from the original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed the replacement process should you lose your passport.
A passport and visa are required for both Canadian and U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil for any purpose. Brazilian visas MUST be obtained in advance from the Brazilian Embassy or consulate nearest to the traveler's place of residence. There are no "airport visas" and immigration authorities will refuse entry to Brazil to anyone not possessing a valid visa. Processing generally takes 10-15 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately $106.25. All Brazilian visas, regardless of the length of validity, must initially be used within 90 days of the issuance date or will no longer be valid. Americans re-entering Brazil must be able to show an entry stamp in their passport proving that the visa was issued within 90 days; otherwise they will not be allowed re-entry. Immigration authorities will not allow entry into Brazil without a valid visa. The U.S. Government cannot assist travelers who arrive in Brazil without proper documentation. For remote, jungle or Amazon a Yellow Fever Certificate is required.
For more visa information please visit:
Cancellation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended as it can safeguard against the expenses associated with in-country medical emergencies, lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty doctor’s bill while away. Insurance can be purchased through us.
No vaccinations are currently required to enter Brazil, although it is strongly recommended to vaccinate against Malaria and Yellow Fever if visiting rural areas.
It is advised to consult a travel doctor 4-6 weeks before departure in regards to the recommended vaccinations below:
For all vaccinations and health requirements, you can also refer to the recommendations from:
World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov.
If there are any medical items essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.
Other recommended Items:
Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), after-sun lotion, lip balm, sunglassesInsect repellent with a high concentration of DEET (at least 30 percent)Basic medicine kit (painkillers, band-aids, antiseptic cream, etc.)Digestive aids such as Imodium, Pepto-Bismol. Also, re-hydration salts and anti-diarrhea preparationsHydrocortisone tablets or cream for allergic skin reactions and bitesAnti-nausea tablets if you suffer from motion sickness
Brazil is a huge country with a variety different climate zones. Coastal regions can reach extremely hot temperatures, while plateau cities tend to have a much milder climate. South of Rio experiences much more defined seasons with a wide range of temperatures. The Amazonia regions can get more than 78 inches of rain every year, while the rest of the country has an average rainfall of between 39 – 59 inches per year, with most rain occurring between December and April.
For up-to-date forecasts, check www.weather.com.
Electricity: Brasília and Recife, 220 volts AC; Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, 127 volts AC or 220 volts in larger hotels. Plugs are of the two-pin type and three-pin type. Most hotels provide 110-volt and 220-volt outlets, transformers and adaptors.
Phone: Coverage is good throughout most of the country. Check with your phone company if there are roaming agreements before your departure.
Internet: Internet cafés and wireless access is available in most urban areas, airports and hotels with good connections and speed.
The official currency of Brazil is the Real (BRL), divided into 100 centavos. ATMs are available in most cities but it is still best to carry alternative forms of payment as some ATMs will notaccept international cards, and it can be difficult for Americans and Canadians to withdraw money on weekends and after 10 pm on weekdays. For current exchange rates please visit www.xe.com
Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL)
Religion: Roman Catholic & Protestant
Time Zone: UTC -2/-3/-4
Electricity: 127V/60Hz, 220V/60 Hz
Telephone: Country code for calling Brazil is +55
Calling North America: Dial 001 plus area code and your 7-digit number
Emergency numbers in Brazil: Police: 190, Medical Emergency Services: 192, Firemen: 193