What we have added recently! Recent Changes! Updates galore!

We have been adding quite a few new features to the site, and really trying to increase the amount of content available.   We have a couple of additional people working with us now to fill out attractions and activities to help vacation goers get even more from their Brazil travel!  Comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Brazil Security Tips

Brazil Security Tips

Security is a big issue in Brazil, while it isn’t generally dangerous the possibility of being non-violently mugged is decent in Brazil. Many people warn you of how to defend against pickpockets, however in Brazil that seems to be a smaller problem than actual muggings.

Many of these muggings appear to be just opportunists, people who see you have something of value and come after you. They might have just been going out for a walk, and then suddenly you come along with a flashy gadget and they decide to mug you. They aren’t waiting for someone to come along, you just happen to catch their fancy while they are out and about.

Because a lot of these opportunists, it makes it a little easier to protect yourself. In essence, blend in and show nothing of value.

Smart phones, jewelry and cameras are dead giveaways. Everyone has a smartphone, right? Not in Brazil. They can represent up to 5 months of a worker's salary! Would you carry around with you 5 months of your salary in your pocket in your own country? Probably not. Smart phones are still working their way through the Brazilian economy, while many people have them, they are still for the wealthy because of their import taxes, which make them extremely expensive here. You might think your 2 year old iphone is worthless, but remember, those phones have 100% taxes in Brazil and they can’t tell if your phone is new or not. So your $600 phone you paid for 2 years ago, would be $1200 or more in Brazil!

Things to pack for Brazil

Things to pack for Brazil

Brazil has very high import taxes to protect it’s internal manufacturing. That makes the internal manufacturing fairly uncompetitive, and also imports extremely expensive. Instead of the usual attitude of “I’ll just buy it there!”, bring it with you.

Don’t worry about luggage costs, Brazil is the only country in the world where they have laws that require 2 free bags at 70lbs each for international travellers. Normally, on an international flight you will get one bag of 50lbs at most. For whatever reason, Brazil has it mandated that you’re allowed 2 bags of 70lbs. So you will have plenty of weight and space to bring your goods with you. If you’re going to be traveling around the country you’ll want to keep that weight down, but it is available to you and it might behoove you to not use it.

A small bottle of Spray on suntan lotion (you’ll need it!) will cost you about $30USD here. You can pick up a package of two, fairly large, and good name brand versions in the US for about $13. Or about $7 versus $30+. If you’re heading to the northeast, or Rio, you’re likely going to be going through a lot of this!

Brazil Visa Tips

Brazil Visa Tips

Brazil has a reciprocity visa system, which means if your country requires a visa, then Brazil will require a visa. Most of Europe does not require a visa, but due to constant changes, double check the visa requirements well in advance. In essence, Brazil will try and treat you as their citizens are treated. Usually you can get a visa good for 3 months that is extendable upto 180 days. However, some countries have recenty changed their laws to limit Brazilians to 90 day in the country with no extensions. If that is the case, you might find yourself restricted to 90 days. For most, this isn’t going to be any concern, but if you plan on staying longer, do extra research.

Brazilians LOVE paperwork. They make every other countries red tape look like a day at the beach. If you’re going for a visa and you’re missing some piece of paperwork, there is about a 90% chance you will be sent off to get it. Even if it means missing your flight, they won’t budge. So be prepared.

The US and Canada are probably the hardest countries to get a visa for. Not in the sense that they will reject you, but in the sense that they will try and make you jump through as many hoops as possible to “mimic” what a Brazilian would go through. It’s generally just embarrassing and every other sentence out of their mouths will be “this is because of reciprocity with your country…” Just ignore it, and nod your head.

They are definitely friendly, they aren’t rejecting people because they believe they are flight risks, or because you might take up a minimum wage job in their country, they’re just making you fill out paperwork, and god do they love their paper work.

Driving in Brazil

Driving in Brazil


Driving in Brazil is challenging, and depending on what part of the country you plan on visiting, extremely dangerous. Brazil has some very high death rates for cars, in part due to poor seat belt usage, and other common missing safety features on almost all cars.

Other aspects that make driving in Brazil dangerous. The drivers don’t have the experience that most western countries have. Places like the US have a good number of experienced drivers, new drivers, and reckless drivers. The mix generally allows drivers to avoid dangerous situations by having at least one party aware of their surroundings and being able to take the necessary action to prevent an accident. This isn’t the case in Brazil, where cars have become more affordable in the last decade and where almost all drivers have no real experience with driving in dangerous situations. The drivers who were on the road previously had the roads to themselves, the new drivers are all like kids in a candy store, regardless of their age the car is a novelty. Anyone who can’t afford a car, buys a motorbike, and fails to get it registered or get any training. In Natal, from 2010 to 2014, motorbikes went from 250K to 350K, nearly 50% more in 4 years. There are 20 times more motorbikes on the roads, than their are issued licenses for motorbikes!

Road signs are random and placed all over the place. This requires constantly reading every sign you come across, or missing out on something fairly important, such as a speed bump (on the highway!) or that the 2 way street your are driving in, will become a one way street at the next intersection.

Best options for flying from the West Coast to Brazil

We have all spent time studying airline reservation systems.  Seeking out the best deals possible, only to realize to that our few dollars in savings will cost us 12 hours of extra lay over time.  Flying from the West Coast to Brazil has been one of the most challenging flight reservation projects I’ve embarked on.   

Until recently there was really only one way of flying to Brazil, and that was through an East Coast hub, and then through Sao Paulo for almost all destinations.   Now with Lan Peru and Taca, there are far more abundant options for us.   While they aren’t always the cheapest, they are the easiest in terms of lay overs, flight times and abundance of final destinations.  There are three reasons I like this flight path over the East Coast to Sao Paulo flight path.

A Christmas in Brazil

Brazilians start celebrating the Christmas season on Christmas day, and keep going until early February when Carnival ends.   Brazilians often say the entire country is on vacation during this time, which isn’t far from the truth.  

It may not be obvious to everyone why the Christmas season starts on Christmas day, unlike much of the northern hemisphere where year end parties, celebrations, and gift purchasing starts at the end of November and continues until Christmas Eve.   It boils down to a couple of simple reasons.  Brazilians don’t focus a lot of attention on gift giving, they like to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, much like thanks giving is celebrated in the US.  Christmas is in the middle of summer, not winter, and finally the school year ends right before Christmas, for summer vacation!   Christmas is actually the start of summer, summer vacation, the end of the year, and beginning of most employee vacation time.  The entire country is literally on vacation during this time, enjoying the hot summer days and warm summer nights.

Brazil Vacation and Travel Information

My Travels through Brazil

The first time I visited Brazil, it was to Porto Alegre and the small city of Gramado, where I ended up meeting my future wife.  Since then, I've been back to Brazil many times, visiting different parts of the country each time.  It's such a massive country, that it always seems different, no matter where we go.   The beaches of Natal were amazing, the food was wonderful and the people fantastic!   Rio has lots of great tourist attractions, and it's just such a relaxing time to be on the beaches there.  Sao Paulo is just a massive city, and without knowing someone there, I could see it becoming insanely infuriating.  The city itself was amazing because I now have relatives there!  The parks within the city where goregous.  They seemed to be everywhere!   All of the areas we were taken to were of course well manicured, safe and fascinating.  The traffic was intense, and without knowing someone there it would be horrendous to get around.  While taxi's were abundant, it's impossible to tell if the 3km journey is going to take you 10 minutes or 3 hours.  For now, I think I'll stick with the beaches of Santa Catarina.  Beautiful, calm, and with a city just large enough to keep up a nice city lifestyle.

I am still working on my next vacation, but I am leaning towards a revisit of the Florianopolis area, and possibly trying to see Recifie!   I've been through Natal and I loved the weather, people, and beaches!  For now, I'm just relaxing and making some very simple plans.

It's pretty basic so far, but I'll fill things in as time permits!  There are so many places to visit, and so many places to just sit back and relax in these cities.  I'm going to be extremely busy trying to relax.

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