Brazil is the biggest country in South America covering almost half of the continent. A country rich in stunning natural beauty, Brazil has something for everyone. Incredible wildlife in the Amazon and Pantanal, thriving nightlife in Rio and São Paulo and golden beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. Brazil is one of our favourite countries in the whole of the Americas and, hopefully, our guide will help you enjoy it as much as we did.
UK citizens do not require a visa to visit Brazil. So long as your passport is valid for 6 months you may stay for up to 90 days. Officially, you can be denied access to the country if you are unable to provide proof of onward travel, accommodation or sufficient funds, although it is highly unlikely that you will even be asked, much less denied entry. It's also worth checking if you require a yellow fever certificate as the time of travel as sometimes this will be enforced.
Entry fee: N/A
Exit fee: N/A
From Bolivia (Puerto Quijarro) - At the crossing in Puerto Quijarro the building on the right side of the road is the processing office where you'll get your exit stamp. From here cross the bridge and get your Brazil entry stamp from the first building on the left. You will also receive an immigration card which you need to keep safe as you may have problems trying to leave the country without it. To get to the centre of Corumba from here take the number 102 bus for 3.25 BRL.
To read more about other border crossings in South America and tips on how to cross like a pro click here.
From Honduras (Guasaule) - Honduran immigration is a breeze to pass through. There is no official exit fee, although that doesn't stop them from trying their luck sometimes. Take a right out of the office and cross over the bridge into Nicaragua. The office will be right in front of you where you need to pay your entry fee and put your bags through an x-ray. To get to the bus station from this point is about a 10 minute walk, although there will be dozens of tuk tuks all over the place. Follow the round straight down for 6-8 minutes until you see a small road on your left, turn there and that will lead you to the bus station.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
One the most magical cities in the world, Rio is an absolute must on any Brazil itinerary. Beaches, amazing weather and world famous attractions are just the tip of the iceberg.
A collection of beautiful beaches and islands in Brazil’s South West “home to Brazil’s most beautiful people."
More authentic and less touristy than Rio. Famous for colourful buildings and churches connected by underground tunnels.
This well-preserved colonial town sits atop of a hill overlooking an amazing beach. The cultural heart of the North East.
Small, chilled out town with tranquil beaches. Very popular with travellers.
“The gateway to the Amazon” This is the place for jungle expeditions.
Ilha Do Mel-
Collection of islands and beaches with no roads and amazing scenery. Peaceful during the week with a party atmosphere on the weekends.
BUDGET & MONEY
Being one of the richest countries on the continent, it should come as little surprise that Brazil is pretty expensive, by backpacker standards anyway. On average, for 2 people, we were spending about 245 BRL (£54.50) per day. That figure includes accommodation, transport, activities, food and, of course, beers. Brazil's currency is the Real (BRL) and its exchange rate to GBP is currently around £1=4.5.
Those familiar with South America will find prices comparable with those in Argentina and Chile. A private double room in a hostel or cheap hotel will run you around 85-100 BRL (£18.90-22.20) and dorm beds in the the region of 40 BRL (£17.80). As with everywhere, you can spend as much or as little as you like on food. Brazil has a wide range of options to cater for all tastes. If you're sticking to street food you won't be spending much more than 15 BRL (£3.35) for a nice, filling meal and you can expect to pay a minimum of 20 BRL (£4.45) for a meal in a local restaurant and 45 BRL (£10) for western style food.
Buses in Brazil are amongst some of the best in South America. Modern, comfortable and some even have food service. One thing you'll learn very quickly is that pretty much every single long distance bus will have the aircon on full blast for the duration of the journey. Doesn't matter how hot it is outside, when taking a bus make sure to wear trousers/jeans and a long sleeved top or three.
The average price per hour of bus travel in Brazil is 16 BRL (£3.55).
- Rio to Ilha Grande - 2.5 hours - 72.5 BRL (£16.10)
- Ilha Grande to Paraty - 2.5 hours - 72.5 BRL (£16.10)
- Paraty to São Paulo - 6 hours - 71 BRL (£15.80)
- Foz Do Iguacu to Campo Grande - 13 hours - 150 BRL (£33.35)
- Campo Grande to Bonito - 5 hours - 64 BRL (£14.20)
Top tip - There's no need to book tickets online. Simply head to bus station and buy them there. 99% they will be significantly cheaper.
Brazil gets more than its fair share of negative cover in the media due its extremely high murder rate. Whilst there is no arguing with the statistics, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of violent incidents in Brazil occur in and amongst criminal gangs in areas tourists are highly unlikely to visit. You are no more likely to fall victim to violent crime in Brazil than anywhere else in South America. That being said, it is always a possibility that you want to be mindful of. Don't be flashy with cash, jewellery or electronics, avoid being out alone after dark and only use registered taxis which staff in most bars, clubs and restaurants will call for you.
As with any destination on the backpacker trail you need to keep a sharp eye on your belongings on buses and in and around stations, cities and major attractions as petty crime and bag theft is always a concern.
Final thing; make sure to have these numbers saved in your phone -
- Police: 190
- Ambulance/Fire: 192/193
- Tourist Police: +55 2232 2924
- Your Embassy (UK): +55 61 3329 2300