Traveling Luck for Brazil
Brazil is located in Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
Brazil has borders with Venezuela for 2200km, Argentina for 1224km, Paraguay for 1290km, Bolivia for 3400km, Suriname for 597km, Colombia for 1643km, French Guiana for 673km, Uruguay for 985km, Peru for 1560km and Guyana for 1119km.
Land in Brazil is mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt.
Brazilian land covers an area of 8511965 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than the US
As for the Brazilian climate; mostly tropical, but temperate in south.
Brazilian(s) speak Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French.
Places of note in Brazil
- São Paulo
- Rio de Janeiro
- Belo Horizonte
- Porto Alegre
- Nova Iguaçu
- São Luís
- Duque de Caxias
- São Bernardo do Campo
- Campo Grande
- Santo André
- João Pessoa
- São José dos Campos
- Ribeirão Preto
- Feira de Santana
- Juiz de Fora
Brazilian National Map
Regions of Brazil
- Brazil (general)
- Distrito Federal
- Espírito Santo
- Mato Grosso
- Mato Grosso do Sul
- Minas Gerais
- Rio de Janeiro
- Rio Grande do Norte
- Rio Grande do Sul
- Santa Catarina
- São Paulo
Following three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent nation in 1822 and a republic in 1889. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil overcame more than half a century of military intervention in the governance of the country when in 1985 the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers. Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of its interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, it is today South America's leading economic power and a regional leader. Highly unequal income distribution remains a pressing problem.
Characterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and is expanding its presence in world markets. From 2001-03 real wages fell and Brazil's economy grew, on average only 2.2% per year, as the country absorbed a series of domestic and international economic shocks. That Brazil absorbed these shocks without financial collapse is a tribute to the resiliency of the Brazilian economy and the economic program put in place by former President CARDOSO and strengthened by President LULA DA SILVA. In 2004, Brazil enjoyed more robust growth that yielded increases in employment and real wages. The three pillars of the economic program are a floating exchange rate, an inflation-targeting regime, and tight fiscal policy, all reinforced by a series of IMF programs. The currency depreciated sharply in 2001 and 2002, which contributed to a dramatic current account adjustment; in 2003 to 2005, Brazil ran record trade surpluses and recorded its first current account surpluses since 1992. Productivity gains - particularly in agriculture - also contributed to the surge in exports, and Brazil in 2005 surpassed the previous year's record export level. While economic management has been good, there remain important economic vulnerabilities. The most significant are debt-related: the government's largely domestic debt increased steadily from 1994 to 2003 - straining government finances - before falling as a percentage of GDP in 2005, while Brazil's foreign debt (a mix of private and public debt) is large in relation to Brazil's small (but growing) export base. Another challenge is maintaining economic growth over a period of time to generate employment and make the government debt burden more manageable.
Brazilian natural resources include bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber
largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador
Brazilian religion is Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Spiritualist 1.3%, Bantu/voodoo 0.3%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.2%, none 7.4% (2000 census).
Natural hazards in Brazil include recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south.
- The threat from terrorism is low. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
- Around 156,000 British nationals visit Brazil each year. Most visits are trouble-free. The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Brazil is muggings and the subsequent replacement of stolen passports. Levels of crime and violence are high, particularly in major cities. You should be vigilant, especially when going out after dark.
- The recent delays and cancellations on domestic and international flights have diminished but travellers should be aware that there may be an increased risk of delays over Carnival and the rest of the high season i.e. until the beginning of March. Departure times should be checked with the airline or via the website of the main Brazilian airport operator Infraero before travelling to the airport.
- Since May 2006, there have been outbreaks of violence aimed primarily at police and officials in Sao Paulo. However, attacks also occurred in Rio de Janeiro in late December 2006. You should continue to monitor the news carefully. If there is a further escalation of violence, enquire about the situation at your destination and on the route you intend to take there. If you need to use public transport, use taxis where at all possible, and avoid areas near banks, police and fire stations and other public buildings like courthouses. You should remain alert and aware of local conditions at all times.
- VARIG no longer offers flights between the UK and Brazil. If you purchased a ticket for this route before 20 July 2006, you should contact VARIG via their website (http://varig.com.br) or their office in the UK (telephone: 0870 120 3020).
- Drug trafficking and use is a growing problem, with severe penalties in Brazil. Do not become involved.
- Dengue fever may be encountered throughout Brazil and outbreaks are currently occurring particularly in the south of the country. Take local advice. You are advised to minimise exposure to mosquito bites by covering up and using repellents.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Brazil Country Profile.
The recent delays and cancellations on domestic and international flights have diminished but travellers should be aware that there may be an increased risk of delays over Carnival and the rest of the high season i.e. until the beginning of March 2007. Departure times should be checked with the airline or via the Infraero website before travelling to the airport.
VARIG no longer offers flights between the UK and Brazil. If you purchased a ticket for this route before 20 July 2006, you should contact VARIG via their website (www.varig.com.br) or their office in the UK (tel: 0870 120 3020).
In general if you use public transport you are advised, where possible, to travel by taxi in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Recife and Salvador. This is strongly recommended for any travel at night. Travel by public bus or tram within the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Salvador is unsafe and while less of a risk in Sao Paulo, it is complex. In Rio de Janeiro in 2006 there were two incidents of hijacking and robbing of tour buses transferring British tourists from the international airport to their hotel including a hijacking of 19 British tourists on 25 November 2006. Bus travel between major cities and travel within other cities is relatively safe.
On arrival you should use registered airport taxis. The various taxi offices in airport arrival halls sell pre-paid tickets for these. You can pick up taxis from the many recognised taxi ranks around Brazilian cities.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Drug trafficking is widespread in Brazil. If you are caught trafficking, or in possession, the penalties are severe.
Driving Licence Requirements
Foreigners are allowed to drive in Brazil provided they have their original driving licence, their original identification document (passport) and an authorised Portuguese translation of their driving licence.
Malaria is a risk in some northern parts of Brazil. You may need to take anti malarial medication, depending on the areas to be visited: - take medical advice before travelling.
Rotavirus is also common. The symptoms are severe diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. This virus is highly contagious and usually spread through contact with an infectious person but it can also be spread through the air. If you suspect you may have contracted the disease seek medical advice.
There have been recent cases of people contracting Brazilian Spotted Fever, caused by being bitten by ticks. If you suspect that this has happened to you, you should seek medical advice.
Chagas disease (or American trypanosomiasis), caused by a parasite, is widespread in rural and poor areas of Brazil. The vector insects are usually found in the walls of poorly constructed dwellings that may be made of mud and thatch. Most infections are mild or asymptomatic but may be more severe in children. Treatment can be difficult in all stages of disease, and after many years intestinal or cardiac problems may develop which can be fatal. Early symptoms include fever, nausea, muscle aches and pains and there may be swelling at the site of the insect bite. Until recently, infection was thought to be via insect bites only, but some cases have been traced to the ingestion of sugar cane juice and the tropical açai fruit contaminated with the faeces of vector insects. Check hygiene precautions with the supplier before purchasing such products.
The incidence of some other diseases, previously confined mainly to rural areas, has increased substantially in poorer urban areas in recent years. They include leishmania infection, amoebiasis, shigella infection and leptospirosisicterohaemorrhagica. Symptoms may include persistent fever and/or diarrhoea. However, these diseases are unlikely to be encountered in modern hotels in the main tourist areas.
If you have reason to suspect you may have contracted any of the above diseases, seek medical advice urgently.
Tap water is heavily treated giving it an unpleasant chemical taste but is safe to drink in most urban areas providing it has been passed through a charcoal filter system; you should check with your hotel/restaurant management before drinking tap water. Tap water in remote areas can be unsafe even if filtered; stick to bottled mineral water, which is available virtually everywhere.
You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date. For further information on health, check the Dept of Health's website at: www.dh.gov.uk
Flash floods and landslides, especially in poorer urban areas, occur regularly. Following recent heavy rains in the north-east of the state of Rio de Janeiro around Nova Friburgo, Campos, Sumidouro and Ponta Grossa dos Fidalgos, 26 people have died and more than 12,000 made homeless. Certain highways have been closed. Similar flooding and landslides have hit parts of the state of Minas Gerais in the south, west and in the Triangulo Mineiro (centre of the state). Affected cities include Esmeraldas, Goncalves, Matias Barbosa, Novo Cruzeiro, Pouso Alegre and Itajuba.
It is a legal requirement in Brazil to carry evidence of identity at all times. A photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport is acceptable. Because of the risk of mugging, we would advise you to carry a photocopy and not the original document, which you should lock away in a safe place.