BRAZIL: TRAVEL ADVICE

How to get to Brazil

For travellers from the UK there is a direct flight on British Airways (BA249) from London Heathrow to Rio de Janeiro that departs at about 11:20 in the morning and arrives to Rio at about 20:10 at night the same day. The flight time is 11 hours 50 minutes. This flight runs daily for most of the year apart from a period in October when it is five times a week.

There is also a direct flight on British Airways from London Heathrow to Sao Paulo (BA247) which departs at about 22:20 at night arriving to Sao Paulo the following morning at about 06:20. It is 11 hours 55 minutes and the flight runs daily year round.

There is another direct flight between London Heathrow and Sao Paulo on LATAM Brazil airline (LA8085) departing about 20:35 and arriving to Sao Paulo the following morning about 05:20. The flight time is 11 hours 45 minutes and the flight runs daily year round.

There are many indirect flight options for flying to Brazil from the UK, including on TAP, the Portuguese national airline, that serves regional airports in Brazil including Northern Brazil by flying via it’s hub in Lisbon.

Voltage

In Brazil the standard voltage is 127 / 220V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. The standard voltage in the UK is 230V which means you can use all your electrical devices in Brazil without any problems or the need for a voltage adaptor. The standard voltage in the US is about 120V, so travellers from the states may need to use a voltage adaptor in Brazil. Nowadays most devices such as mobile phone chargers, USB chargers and laptop chargers are multi voltage which means they will switch automatically to the network voltage. However, some high power devices such as hair dryers don’t usually handle different voltages. Always check the label to see what voltage range the device works within. If you try to use a device with the wrong voltage it will most likely break.

Plugs & Sockets

In Brazil the official standard plug and socket type is type N. Socket type N also works with plug type C. Any universal adapter will accommodate.

plug and socket types in brazil

Capital City

Brasilia

Language

Brazilian Portuguese

Time difference

Mostly 3 hours behind GMT. Within Brazil there are four different time zones and only the southern part of the country observes daylight savings time.

Visas

No visas required to enter Brazil as a British national. You will be granted entry on arrival as a tourist for up to 90 days. You may also be asked to provide proof of onward or return travel, details of your accommodation, and proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the day of your arrival in Brazil. Make sure you keep your immigration landing card that you fill out on the plane as you will need to present this on departure.

Money

What is the currency in Brazil?

In Brazil the local currency is the Brazilian Real (pronounced hay-al) or reais (plural, pronounced hay-ice. The currency is referred to as BRL and identified using $ sign. One real is subdivided into 100 centavos. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos (or cents) and 1 real. Banknotes come in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 reais.

Cards or cash?

We would suggest a mixture of credit / debit cards and cash is best to take with you. All major credit and debit cards are accepted in Brazil. Smaller shops, kiosks, markets and more informal restaurants in remote areas may only accept cash, so make sure you have some with you as a back up.

Paying on card in local currency?

Sometimes when making a payment in Brazil on a foreign card the card machine will ask you if you want to pay in local currency or your home currency. Always select local currency. This way the exchange rate used will be that of the bank (the best rate). If you select to pay in your home currency the payment provider will use their own exchange rate, which is usually worse.

Do I bring Reais or US dollars?

Unlike some other South American countries US dollars are rarely accepted in Brazil. Therefore we recommend you have some reais in cash. However, you are unlikely to be able to get Brazilian reais in your home country and if you can you are not likely to get a good exchange rate. Therefore we recommend withdrawing some reais from an ATM on arrival or taking a small amount of US dollars with you that can be more easily exchanged for local currency.

Obtaining Reais in Brazil

ATM’s (Caixa eletrônico) are widely available in all major towns and cities including the airport. Most ATM’s in Brazil are located inside banks. Please be aware that the withdrawal limit per transaction is usually about 1000 reais (about £200 or USD$260).

Changing money in Brazil

You can exchange currency at any bank or a currency exchange. You can also exchange money at the airport but the rate you get is usually worse here. Similarly most hotels will offer to exchange money for you but at a slightly worse rate.

Vaccinations

You should confirm with your doctor that all courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life. Courses or boosters that are usually recommended for travel to Brazil include Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus. Other vaccines to be considered are Rabies, Typhoid and Yellow Fever.

There is no yellow fever certificate required for entry to Brazil. There are some areas where there is a risk of yellow fever and the vaccination is only recommended if you are visiting those areas. Please confirm with your doctor according to your medical history.

For the South, Central and North Eastern regions of Brazil malaria is categorised as low to no risk and antimalarial medication is not usually advised. Within the nine states of Amazonia malaria risk is considered high and anti malarial medication is recommended. Please consult with your doctor as to whether you need anti malarial medication for your trip and for what type of medication is best for you.

Disclaimer: All the information we provide here is purely for guidance purposes and we are not medical experts. We always recommend that you make an appointment with your doctor 6-8 weeks before departure who will be able to properly assess your personal medical history, give accurate advice and advise on exactly which immunisations or medical precautions you need to take.

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