Top events in Brazil

February
09

The fifth stop of the six-tournament Latin American tennis ATP tour, the Brasil Open has been held for the last three years in São Paulo. The...

February
13

Okay, while it’s not exactly Rio, São Paulo’s celebrations beginning on the Friday before Ash Wednesday are a riot of samba school rehearsals,...

February
13

Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival is Brazil’s one genuinely global event, attracting thousands of revellers from around the world to join its spectacular...

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
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Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

© 123rf.com/Christophe Schmid

Brazil Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

8,547,404 sq km (3,300,171 sq miles).

Population

201 million (2013).

Population density

23.5 per sq km.

Capital

Brasília.

Government

Federal Republic.

Head of state

President Dilma Rousseff since 2011.

Head of government

President Dilma Rousseff since 2011.

Electricity

Brasília and Recife, 220 volts AC; Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, 127V AC or 220V in larger hotels. Plugs are of the two-pin type. Most hotels provide 110V- and 220V-outlets, transformers and adaptors.

From the jungle calls of the Amazon to the thong-clad crowds of Copacabana beach, Brazil is an intoxicating mix of the big, the bold and the beautiful, perennially one of the world’s favourite destinations.

It’s also one of the largest countries on the planet, with an awesome array of treasures to match. Its vast coastline is fringed with soft sands and island getaways; the Amazon Basin teems with an unrivalled mass of flora and fauna; and the wetlands of the Pantanal, the largest on Earth, support a staggering diversity of wildlife.

And then there’s the Iguaçu Falls, an unforgettable natural spectacle featuring hundreds of waterfalls, which cascade from the tropical rainforest as blue morpho butterflies flit through the spray.

Undoubtedly the greatest draw, however, are the Brazilians themselves; probably the most hedonistic people on earth. Whether it’s Rio’s effervescent Cariocas going overboard at Carnival, or São Paulo’s sultry citizens gyrating in chic nightclubs, Brazilians love having fun.

Their irrepressible joie de vivre finds its best outlet through music and dance. Samba, lambada and bossa nova are Brazil’s best-known musical exports, but visitors can also discover a plethora of other genres, from the Northeast’s forró to the punchy bass of baile funk coming out of Rio’s favelas.

Adrenaline junkies can go wild in Brazil; shooting the big surf of Santa Catarina; bouncing in beach buggies over the sand dunes of northern Natal; snorkeling in Fernando de Noronha National Park; or abseiling in the Chapada Diamantina National Park.

Or you can take life easy and let Brazil come to you by lolling in a hammock on an Amazonian ferry, looking out for the occasional macaw, or browsing the backstreets of colonial towns such as Ouro Preto and Paraty, which are lined with architectural monuments and chic boutique hotels.

Whatever you’re looking for, rest assured, Brazil has it in spades.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 29 January 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Protests take place regularly, often without warning, in a number of Brazilian cities, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Belo Horizonte. There have been violent incidents and injuries. Take extra care and avoid all large gatherings and demonstrations. Monitor local media and follow the guidance of local authorities.

Strikes affecting transport and security may take place at short notice across Brazil. These are often short but may cause disruption. Monitor local media for updates and advice.

Levels of crime and violence are high, particularly in major cities. You should be particularly vigilant before and during the festive and Carnival periods. Bank card fraud is common. 

There is an underlying threat from terrorism.

169,732 British nationals visited Brazil in 2013. Most visits are trouble free.

If you’re a single parent or guardian travelling with a child, you may need additional documentation.
Drug trafficking is widespread in Brazil, and incurs severe penalties.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Cases of Chikunyunga virus have been confirmed in Brazil and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. For more details about this outbreak, see the website of the National Health Network and Centre.

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