Resources

  • Embratur (www.visitbrasil.com) Official site of Brazil's Ministry of Tourism.
  • Insider's Guide to Rio (www.ipanema.com) Tips and planning info, with special sections on Carnaval and gay Rio.
  • Rio Times (www.riotimesonline.com) English-language news and resources on Brazil.
  • What About São Paulo (http://whataboutsaopaulo.com) Blog exploring the highs and lows of life in Brazil's biggest city.
  • Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/brazil) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Top Tips

  • Brazil is a massive country, and it's impossible to see it all. Pick one or two regions, rather than losing a lot of time transiting between far-flung parts of the country just ticking off highlights.
  • If you haven't already, download WhatsApp and set up your profile. Tour operators, guides, restaurants, guesthouses and everyone else uses it. It's also the best way to stay in touch with Brazilians you meet.
  • Using a ride-sharing app (like Uber, 99Taxis or Easy Taxi) to get around major towns and cities is generally faster and cheaper than using a traditional taxi.
  • Brazil has many facets; decide what kind of trip you want while making your plans: wildlife-watching vs big-city nightlife, remote beaches and island-hopping vs cultural experiences etc. Customize your itinerary based on your own interests.

What to Take

  • Good walking shoes
  • A sarong (handy for the beach and as an extra towel)
  • Lightweight rain jacket (for those unexpected tropical downpours)
  • Brazilian electrical adaptor
  • Portable water filter (to cut down on waste from plastic water bottles)
  • Language phrasebook
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses

What to Wear

The dress code is very casual in Brazil, but it's a good idea to bring along something a bit more dressy for a night out. Given the heat and humidity, lightweight, natural, breathable fabrics are best.

On the beach, women generally wear tiny bikinis, and men wear tight swim trunks. Everyone flaunts it all, regardless of body shape and size.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make sure you have your Brazilian visa if you need one.
  • Inform your debit-/credit-card company of your travel plans.
  • Make arrangements to be able to use your mobile phone upon arrival.
  • Download essential smartphone apps, including WhatsApp (used by nearly everyone in Brazil including tour operators, guesthouse owners and some restaurants).