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10 Things to Know Before Traveling to Brazil

Brazil is a vibrant country in South America! As the largest South American country, it is home to 60% of the Amazon Rainforest. It is a popular travel destination for several reasons. Do you have some worries about visiting the world’s largest exporter of coffee? Curious about the best time to visit Brazil? Continue reading for some helpful tips and the best of Brazil!

1. Hostels

In order to sleep soundly at night, most hostels have tight security. This extra security means that many hostels don't have signs on the front of the building. It is common for hostels to have intercoms, or a security system before allowing you to enter. It is recommended that you arrive during daylight.

2. Plan Accordingly

Brazil is a large country. It can be helpful to hone in on what you want to see. Brazil offers everything from big cities to the Amazon Rainforest to beautiful beaches. If you plan on city hopping, it can be easier to fly.

3. Brazilians are Social

Brazilians are loud, talkative, and very outgoing. When greeting each, in Brazil culture it is common to kiss each other on the cheeks. Some areas kiss on both cheeks and it is acceptable for men to give a simple handshake with each other. Portuguese is the spoken language, but some can get by with using Spanish. One thing I have learned from traveling abroad is that locals love when you try to speak their language. Most would help me improve my speech.

4. The Best Time

The best time to visit Brazil is March-November. During these months, Brazil weather sees cooler temperatures and less humidity. Brazil receives heavy rain from December-February.

5. Visa

U.S., Canada and Australian Citizens need a visa to enter Brazil. If you are a U.S. Citizen, you will need to fill out a DS-160 form and schedule an interview. The cost of a Brazil travel visa is $160 for U.S. citizens and is usually valid for 5 years. Other visas are available and carry different fees and requirements.

6. Safety

Exercise caution when wearing any expensive jewelry or clothing. It is advisable to hide your phone, camera, and other precious items in your bag all the time. If you get robbed do not fight back. If you are being followed hail a taxi or find local security or police.

7. Noise

Be prepared for noise. This especially true for big cities, like Rio. Nights can be filled with the sounds of bars, buses, motorcycles, and people. In rural areas noises include dogs barking or roosters crowing. If you are a light sleeper, it might be helpful to bring earplugs or play white noise.

8. ATMs

With all foreign travel let your bank know where you are going and for how long. Having your card shut off in a foreign country can be a nightmare! If using an ATM avoid the first few days of the month. There can be long lines just after people get paid at the beginning of each month. ATMs may be closed at night for security reasons. Always check the back of your card to see if the networks the machine accepts are the same as the ones on your card. If there is no match, don't insert your card.

9. Food and Water

While the water is safe to drink in some areas it is best to drink bottled water. It is also recommended to decline ice in your drinks. If you consume alcoholic beverages, make sure to keep an eye on it. Brazilians love simple meals like rice and beans. It might seem simple or boring but often the spices are amazing!

10. Have Fun

Traveling abroad can be scary if you are not familiar with the country. One way to elevate your experience is to have an open mind. People around the world live differently and it is important to recognize that.

Brazil is a beautiful country with lots of character! I hope this has put your mind at ease and inspired your next adventure. Let me know down below if you have any tips or questions!

Until next time, Jordan Eshbaugh, @jordaneshbaugh