Travel to Brazil

Flying to Brazil

Flights to Brazil are served by the main national carriers TAM (www.tam.com.br) and Gol (www.voegol.com.br). TAM has direct flights from the UK, as does British Airways (www.ba.com).

The most expensive time to fly to Brazil is during the main high seasons: in the two weeks before Christmas; during Carnival (dates vary, five days between February and March); and during July and August. Fares don’t actually go down the rest of the year, but with less demand cheaper flights are easier to find outside of the high seasons.

Flight times:

To São Paulo: from London - 12 hours; New York - 10 hours.

To Rio de Janeiro: from London - 11 hours 30 minutes; New York - 10 hours.

Air passes:

The GOL South America Pass (www.voegol.com.br) is valid on GOL flights within Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. The pass can only be purchased by Brazilian citizens and passengers who live outside South America. It must be booked in conjunction with an international ticket and is valid for five to 30 days.

The Oneworld Visit South America Pass (www.oneworld.com) is valid within Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile (except Easter Island), Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Participating airlines are American Airlines (AA), British Airways (BA), LAN (LA), Qatar Airways (QR), TAM (KK) and their affiliates. The pass must be bought outside South America in the country of residence. It allows unlimited travel to over 60 destinations. You can take as many flights as you like, but a you must book a minimum of three flights.

Departure tax:

None.

Airport guides

Airport Code: BSB. Location: Brasilia International Airport is situated 15km (9 miles) south of Brasilia. Money: There are two banks and various ATMs at the airport. Bureau de change facilities are located within... Read more

Airport Code: GIG. Location: Rio de Janeiro-Galeão Airport is located 20km (13 miles) north of Rio de Janeiro, on... Money: Terminal 1 has a range of ATMs, banks and bureau de change facilities. Currency exchange services... Read more

Airport Code: GRU. Location: São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport is situated 25km (18 miles) northeast of São Paulo. Money: Banks with bureau de change facilities are located in Terminals 1 and 2. ATMs are available in... Read more

Airport Code: SSA. Location: Salvador International Airport is located 28km (17 miles) northeast of central Salvador. Money: ATMs are located in the arrivals hall (to the left, past the Policia Federal area) of the main... Read more

Travel by rail

Rail travel is not a viable way of getting to or from Brazil, but there is the historically nicknamed Trem da Morte (Train of Death) route between Santa Cruz in Bolivia and Corumbá in Brazil. These days the overnight journey is a bum-numbing rather than life-threatening experience, going through mostly featureless scrubland. It’s a popular route though with adventure travellers en route to the Pantanal or Bolivia. Contact Ferroviaria Oriental (www.fo.com.bo) for more information.

Driving to Brazil

It is possible to drive or travel by bus to Brazil from all surrounding countries. Entry points include the border with Argentina and Paraguay near to Foz de Iguaçu, the border with Uruguay at Jaguarão and from Venezuela via Santa Elena de Uairén.

There are plenty of bus routes from surrounding countries, and there are regular services to Brazil from Montevideo (Uruguay), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Asunción (Paraguay), Santiago (Chile), and Lima (Peru). Several reputable bus companies offer international connections, including Pluma (tel: +55 41 3212 2689, www.pluma.com.br) and Crucero del Norte (tel: +54 11 5258 5000, in Argentina; www.crucerodelnorte.com.ar).

Getting to Brazil by boat

The main passenger port is Rio de Janeiro (www.portosrio.gov.br), which is used by many international cruise ships. Other popular ports include Santos in Sao Paulo (www.portodesantos.com.br), Manaus (www.portodemanaus.com.br), Fortaleza (www.docasdoceara.com.br), Recife (www.portodorecife.pe.gov.br), Salvador (www.codeba.com.br) and Vitória (www.portodevitoria.com.br).

Passenger services on cargo vessels are limited but Grimaldi Freighter (tel: +39 081 496 444, in Italy; www.grimaldi-freightercruises.com) offers departures from European ports, including Tilbury and Hamburg. A specialist agency in the UK is The Cruise People (tel: +44 20 7723 2450; www.cruisepeople.co.uk). Most major international cruise lines sail to Brazilian ports.

Cruise ships:

The most popular ports of call are Rio de Janeiro, with a modern dockside complex, Porto Maravilha (http://portomaravilha.com.br), as well as Santos (São Paulo) and Manaus.




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