Welcome to Brazil
Welcome to Brazil - The Country of Carnivals and Samba
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is proud of three records: first of all it has the largest river basin in the world, the Amazon River, it has the largest country in South America and finally it is the fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population. For this vast territorial there are different ecosystems that sustain the greatest biodiversity: such as the Amazon rainforest, with the Atlantic Forest and the Cerredo. More than the natural landscapes, Brazil also offers great metropolis. There are many cosmopolitan cities like Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Sao Paulo offer visitors several cultural activities. It is possible to take part at a samba lesson in a nightclub, browsing designer shops, wandering through museums and art galleries, or taking a trip up to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. Brazilian history is very dynamic and starts with the Indians of America and the first Europeans that explored Brazil which was Pedro Alvares Cabral on 22 April 1500, under the sponsorship of Portugal. From the 16th to the 19th century, Brazil was a colony of Portugal. After that Brazil protested for independence from Portugal, which was declared on 7 September 1822 and became a constitutional monarchy, the Empire of Brazil. Subsequently, in 1889, a military group established a republican government. Finally the country has seen a dictatorship and a period of military rule.
Information and facts
The most convenient mode of travelling in Brazil are local flights and São Paolo is the major connecting hub. Another efficient alternative are buses, that link all the major cities together, the schedules are very reliable. During the night, taxis are the most reliable and safest mode of transport. In the rural areas of the Amazon and in large sections of the Pantanal rainforest river travel is still used.
Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended for all travellers and insect repellent and protective clothing is essential. In the most rural areas Malaria exists and also yellow fever vaccination is recommended for those travelling to rural areas. Chagas disease, caused by a parasite, is widespread in rural areas of Brazil and Typhoid vaccinations are recommended if travellers intend to spend a lot of time outside of major cities. Tap water is heavily treated resulting in a strong chemical taste; however the bottled water is freely available for drinking purposes. Milk in rural areas is not pasteurised and besides travellers are advised to take along medication for travellers' diarrhoea. Hospitals in the major cities are fairly good, but most doctors will want cash payment.
Brazil Emergency Numbers: 190(police), 192 (ambulance)
The spoken language in Brazil is Portuguese, however Spanish and English are also used in the cities.
The Brazilian monetary unit is the real (BRL), but in most tourist establishments the US dollar is utilized. There is an extensive network of ATMs in the country and most major international credit cards are accepted.
All visitors require passports that are valid for at least the period of intended stay in Brazil and this is valid for six months after intended date of travel.
In Brazil there are different ways to follow out the business practices, for example in Sao Paulo they are very formal and instead more relaxed in Rio de Janeiro. In local businesses face-to-face meetings are preferred rather than phone calls or written communication
In business meetings the punctuality is flexible while when the meeting is in a restaurant the delay is considered impolite. Finally a small gift or flowers for the hostess is common when invited to a home.