Best time to go: High Season is from Christmas until Carnaval (late Feb / early Mar). September – October and March – May has good weather and low season rates.

Best for: Rain Forests, Colonial Architecture, Beaches

Official Name: Federative Republic of Brazil

Capital: Brasília (BSB)

Currency: Real/Reais (BRL). USD is widely accepted in tourist areas.

Language: Portuguese. Spanish, English, Italian, French and German may be spoken in tourist areas.

Dialling code from SA: +55

Time Zones: Brazil lies across 4 time zones:
Acre Time: UTC / GMT -5 (7 hours behind South Africa)
Amazon Time: UTC / GMT -4 (6 hours behind South Africa)
Brasilia Time: UTC / GMT -3 (5 hours behind South Africa)
Fernando de Noronha Time: UTC / GMT -2 (4 hours behind South Africa)

Daylight Savings Time: Observed by some states in Brasilia Time from 3rd Sunday in October to 3rd Sunday in February (clocks move forward 1 hour). States which observe DST: Distrito Federal (includes Brasilia), Espírito Santo (includes Vitória), Goiás (includes Goiânia), Minas Gerais (includes Belo Horizonte), Rio Grande do Sul (includes Porto Alegre), Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina (includes Criciúma), São Paulo

Side of the Road: Right. Tourists with a foreign driver’s license are authorized to drive in Brazil when their stay is less than 180 days.

Plugs: 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.

Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Bottled water is available.

Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.

Customs: Normal social courtesies. Casual wear is acceptable, but Brazilians take pride in their appearance. Beachwear should be reserved for the beach / poolside.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Crime in Brazil is on the increase and in particular slum areas should be avoided unless part of a guided tour. Outside of the slum areas, normal precautions against crime should be taken. Only official taxis should be used. Women should take care when travelling alone.

Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Brazil by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 12L of alcohol.
• 200 cigarettes and 25 cigars and 250g of tobacco.
• 20 items (such as small gifts) worth up to US$10 each (or US$5 if arriving via land).
The total value of the above items should not exceed US$500 if arriving via air or sea or US$300 if arriving via land, river or lake.
In addition to the US$500 limit, travellers can buy goods up to US$500 in value at the duty-free shop on arrival in Brazil. The following limits apply:
• 24 units of alcohol.
• 200 cigarettes and 25 cigars and 250g of tobacco.
• 10 toiletry items including cosmetics.
• 3 of the following: watches, toys, games or electronic items.

Prohibited Imports: Prohibited imports include toy, replica and imitation firearms, illegal drugs, cigarettes and drinks manufactured in Brazil intended for sale abroad, unlicensed wildlife species, and counterfeit and pirated goods. Restricted items which you must declare and have prior authorisation for include firearms and ammunition, drugs (other than prescribed drugs for personal use), animals, animal products, plants and seeds.

For up to date Health & Visa information click here

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