Travelling to Brazil
If you’re thinking of heading off to Brazil any time soon, here are a few tips to ensure your trip runs smoothly.
Entry: First up, getting in. To enter Brazil, you don’t need a visa but you do need a valid passport that has six months or more before expiration, as well as a return ticket. (Although no one would blame you for not wanting to leave.)
Money: Brazil’s national currency is the Real. Watch out for how they use commas and full stops when expressing numbers; it’s basically the opposite of how we write it in the UK.
Weather: If you’re looking for sunshine, Brazil’s a good a place to go as any, as the sun shines 365 days a year there, right? Well, not quite. There is a rainy season which runs from November to March in the south and south east of the country and from April to July in the north east. And it’s no light shower either; in rural areas the rain can trigger landslides and disrupt infrastructure. Yikes!
Healthcare: Brazil enjoys spectacles like the Amazon, the Pantanal, and Iguazu Falls, and has some stunning national parks and incredible biodiversity. Unfortunately, such elaborate wildlife does come with its own set of tropical diseases. Of course, it’s unlikely you’ll be affected, but it’s certainly worth taking a few precautions if you’re spending more than a few days in a high-risk area. Wearing protective clothing and bug spray is a good way to decrease your chances of getting anything nasty, but be sure to consult with your doctor before heading off. And that’s especially true if you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. The Zika virus – which is transmitted by mosquitoes and has made headline news in Brazil in the last 12 months - is known to cause birth defects.
Emergency healthcare is free to visitors in Brazil’s public hospitals, although any ongoing treatment will have to be paid for. We would not suggest visiting without medical cover in place. Private health treatment will give you excellent levels of medical care, and the English speaking doctors come in handy if your Portuguese is a bit rusty. You will require proof of medical insurance before they treat you. Take two copies of your travel insurance documents with you and keep one with you at all times and the other copy in the safe at your hotel.