Fast Facts: Brazil

Below are some of the most common questions from our travelers.

Do I need a passport? What is required for entry?

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid at the time of entry, though we strongly recommend it be valid for at least six months after your return date.

U.S. passport holders must have a visa for entry into Brazil, obtained prior to arrival. Applications must be submitted in person by the applicant at a Brazilian consulate, or online through a fee-based visa service such as our preferred provider VisaHQ. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? We will send a visa support letter and e-ticket for U.S. passport holders to obtain your visa through VisaHQ, after you have completed your registration form and made your final payment, approximately 60 days prior to departure. Please apply for your visa only after receiving this letter and your e-ticket.

If you hold a passport from another country, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements.

Children under age 18 traveling alone, with one parent, or with a third party must have a notarized, written authorization from the absent parent or legal guardian. It must be translated into Portuguese and authenticated by a Brazilian embassy or consulate.

More information about passports & visas.

What is the weather like?

In Brazil, March thru November are the best months in which to visit due to a drier climate. December through February are rainy, hot, and humid months. July through August are the best time to visit the Amazon, although the climate there is almost always humid and hot.

One of the best times to visit Iguazu Falls is during the rainy seaon (January to March) when the water flow of the waterfall is significantly increased. The hottest months in Iguazu Falls are October through April. During the rest of the year, the climate changes slightly based on the hot breezes from the Amazon and cold winds from Patagonia. Winter months are a bit cooler, especially at night.

Check out the current weather conditions in Brazil.

Are there any health precautions I should take?

A Yellow-fever certificate of vaccination is now required for all passengers taking the Sensational South America tour program. Remember to bring mosquito repellant and lots of sunscreen.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

What is the currency?

In Brazil, the currency is the real. Please review the current exchange rate for the Brazilian real.

Few ATMs provide cash from American Express cards. Travelers may be able to use debit cards in some ATMs located in the "Banco 24 horas" or "Banco do Brasil" (ATM's with Plus, Visa logo). Travelers are encouraged to contact their respective U.S. bank in advance to enquire about ATM fees. Visa is the most commonly accepted card. For safety reasons, use ATMs located inside banks or convenience stores.

Are tips & service charges customary?

A 10% service charge is usually included in the restaurant bill, but feel free to leave more. Tip a cabdriver no more than 10%. Tip the bellboy, the porter, or the concierge about R$1 per luggage item or for help given.

What are the best items to shop for?

Brazil is famous for its leather goods and shoes. Other items unique to Brazil are coffee, gems, music traditional handcrafts, lace, embroidery, and artifacts from Brazil's indigenous tribes.

What are the voltage requirements?

110/220 volts. Plugs A & B. C. You will probably need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Can I take my cell phone?

See our blog post on using your cell phone abroad.