WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO BRAZIL
• January to March – Summer
• April to June – Autumn
• July to September – Winter
• October to December – Spring
WHAT TO PACK
As you plan what to wear, keep in mind that the trick is to pack and wear layers. We suggest layering like this: tank top or t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, jersey and then jacket. Always pack something to protect yourself against rain showers.
When it comes to shopping, it is possible to divide stores into two types, those located in streets and those inside malls:
• Stores placed inside malls (shopping centres) mirror the opening hours of the building. These are generally from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, except for Sundays, when stores open around 2:00 PM and close 8:00 PM.
• Stores in the streets are accustomed to the standard business hours, opening from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. However, some will them stay open until 8:00 PM or even later.
The currency in Brazil is the Real (plural Reais which is pronounced something like Hay-Ice). Most places in Brazil will not accept foreign currency for transactions, including the US dollar. Border towns such as Iguazu Falls, Corumbau and Guaruja-Mirim will accept the money from the other side of the border, but generally using Reais or your cards are the only options.
Currency: Real (BRL). BRL1 = 100 Cents.
Credit Cards are widely accepted. However, it’s good to note that many small stores, cafes, markets, as well as spots outside of the city don’t allow card payments, so it’s important that you carry some cash. ATMs are common in major cities and towns, but may be more difficult to find in the countryside. Be aware that many ATMs are located behind a lockable door that closes overnight for security.
The tap water in Brazil is increasingly safe to drink. However, as a result of the treatment process it still doesn't taste great. To be on the safe side, drink bottled or filtered water (most Brazilians do).
TIPPING / PORTERAGE
• Hotels It's customary to tip for room service, maids and bellboys.
• Restaurants A 10% service charge is often added to the bill. While there is no legal obligation to pay it, it's customary to do so.
• Bars In nightclubs, people are given a paper ticket that tracks each individual's drinks, and it is paid at the end of the night so bartenders never deal with cash. Most of the time, a 10% service charge will be added, so you do not have to tip.
• Taxis Tipping is not expected, but cabbies will often round to the nearest real.
• Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
• Appropriate behaviours by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospital and friendly.
• Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
• Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
• Buy locally made crafts and support local skills.
• Portuguese is the official language. English isn’t spoken widely.
• South African citizens do not require a visa to enter Brazil, Visa free entry into Brazil is valid for 90 days.
• Brazil is located on the continent of South America. They are 5 hours behind S.A
• For Brazil there are two associated plug types, types C and N. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins. Plug type N is the plug which has two flat parallel pins and grounding pin.
• Brazil operates on a 127/220V supply voltage and 60Hz.
WHAT THINGS COST
• Inexpensive restaurant meal : +- 25.00 BRL
• Meal for 2 people Mid-range Restaurant, 3 Course : +- 120.00 BRL
• McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal): +- 25.00 BRL
• Domestic Beer (0.5 Lt Draught) : +- 8.00 BRL
• Imported Beer (0.33 Lit Bottle) : +- 15.00 BRL
• Cappuccino (Regular) : +- 6.80 BRL
• Coke/Pepsi (0.33 Lt Bottle) : +- 4.94 BRL
• Water (0.33 Lt Bottle) : +- 3.05 BRL
• A lot of public restrooms will charge you a small fee to use them, so just keep some change on hand to pay the fee.
• Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
• Always be aware of pick pockets irrespective of where you are in the world.