Vast and exotic, engaging and vibrant, Brazil has long been a playground for travellers from around the world. White-sand beaches and bright tree-studded islands dot the coastline from north to south. Inland, the intensity of natural wonder and the vibrancy of human activity will mean that, in Brazil, you are never too far from adventure.
Brazil is a beautiful mosaic of cultures and geography. The inhabitants’ roots stem from nearly every corner of the world; from the majority European population to the descendants of African slaves and Japanese immigrants, it seems that all of the world’s cultures have been melded together into one beautifully unique culture known as Brazilian.
Brazil’s geography, however, isn’t nearly as diverse as its people. The country is a great expanse of green wetland foliage which stretches across the country, bordered by a frontier of white-sand beaches. The climate has helped make it one of the most bio-diverse in the entire world. Regions like the Pantanal, in the country’s south, and the famous Amazon basin seem to burst at the seams with life.
There’s also plenty to do in Brazil. Brazilian Carnival is a must, regardless of where you take it in. Explore the historical city of Salvador de Bahia, the natural wonder of Iguazu Falls, and the sheer beauty of Rio de Janeiro. If you’re feeling more adventurous, head off the beaten path to places like Jericoacoara, Santeriem or the Pantanal. No matter where you go, Brazil will surely leave you wanting to explore a little bit more.
Getting to and from Brazil
There are a number of cities in Brazil that offer international flights. The most popular places of entry into the country are Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Salvador de Bahia, all of which have direct flights from North America and Europe as well as other major Latin American countries.
Assuming that you have the proper documentation, land crossings in Brazil are very simple. Remember that there is not just one border control but two. You will first have to visit the immigration office of the country you are exiting to receive your stamp, then continue to Brazilian immigration to receive your entrance stamp.
Brazil has overland borders with every neighbouring country. The most popular overland entries to Brazil are via Uruguay, or via Argentina at Iguazu Falls. Entrance into the country by road is also possible via Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, French Guyana, Suriname, and Guyana. If you want to enter from Peru or Colombia you can also enter by boat.
Getting a visa
Depending on your country you may or may not need a visa to enter Brazil. EU citizens and New Zealanders don’t need a visa, but Americans, Canadians, Australians, and visitors from a handful of other “western” countries do. From early 2018, citizens of the US, Canada, Australia and Japan will be able to apply for electronic visas, which will make things a bit easier!
At present, you can apply for a visa through the Brazilian embassy at home or while in South America; many people head to the Brazilian consulate in Buenos Aires to have their visas issued. The process has recently been simplified when done in Argentina and can be done in two or three business days.
The typical visa given is either five or ten years depending on the length of validity of your passport. A tourist visa allows 180 days per year with each visit being no longer than 90 days. Student and work visas are also available and must be organised abroad.
Brazil travel resources
Check out our articles about Brazil below.
This page by Brendan van Son of Brendan’s Adventures.