Brazil is an alluring country of shimmering sandy beaches, tropical islands and quaint colonial cities. Its verdant rainforests are home to an incredible diversity of animal species, while its energetic metropolises are home to numerous ethnic groups. Brazil is best known for good football and music, and the passionate spirit of carnival lives in every Brazilian. In Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, visitors can immerse themselves in the carnival hustle and bustle and the many samba parties every year. The Brazilian landscape is as diverse as its people. A trip inland reveals something entirely different, but no less fascinating Brazil. Few tourists dare this adventure, but what awaits them is the world’s largest rainforest in the Amazon, the vast inland wetlands of the Pantanal, the gorges and caves of the Chapada Diamantina, and the mountains of Minas Gerais. Rio de Janeiro was one of the venues for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the main venue for the 2016 Summer Olympics. See other countries in South America on computergees.
Arriving by plane
Brazil’s largest airline, LATAM Airlines (JJ), flies from Frankfurt/M. to São Paulo and to Brazilian destinations from London, Madrid and Paris. Lufthansa (LH) offers non-stop flights from Frankfurt/M. to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and from Munich to São Paulo, Swiss (LX) from Zurich to São Paulo. From Vienna there are feeder flights to Frankfurt/M. and Zurich. TAP Portugal (TP) flies from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belém, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Salvador, Porto Alegre, Natal and Campinas, among others, and from Porto to São Paulo. There are feeder connections to Lisbon from Frankfurt/M., Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and Zurich, among others. In addition, Brazil is served by the following airlines, among others: Air France (AF),
Frankfurt/M. – Rio de Janeiro: 11 hours 45 minutes; Frankfurt/M. – Sao Paulo: 11 hours 55 minutes; Zurich – Sao Paulo: 12 hrs 05 mins
Arrival by car
Brazil’s road network is connected to those of its neighboring countries; however, the journeys take a long time (journey time from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires (Argentina), for example, is about 44 hours). More information is available from the Brazilian Tourist Office (see addresses). Long-distance buses connect Brazil with Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and Peru. The trips take a lot of time because of the long distances. The company Green Toad Bus offers bus passes for discounted international and domestic bus travel. Tolls: Numerous motorways are subject to tolls; including the route between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Payment is generally made in cash, Electronic payment using a chip on the windscreen is only possible on some routes. Documents: The national driving license together with the passport is sufficient. However, to avoid misunderstandings, it is advisable to also carry an international driver’s license or a certified Portuguese translation of the national driver’s license.
Arrival by train
There are limited connections to Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay.
Arrival by ship
Rio de Janeiro is the largest port in the country, which many cruise operators also offer. Other well-known Brazilian ports are Manaus, Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador and Vitória.
The shipping companies AIDA, Trans Ocean, Cunard and Grimaldi Lines also call at Rio de Janeiro on their cruises departing from Hamburg; MSC start their cruises with stopovers in Rio de Janeiro in Marseille, Phoenix in Nice.
Traveling by plane
Brazil has one of the largest domestic air networks in the world, with LATAM Airlines (JJ) and Gol Linhas Aéreas (G3) airlines serving around 80% of all domestic air traffic. On the routes São Paulo – Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo – Brasilia and Brasilia – Belo Hoizonte there are a large number of regular flight connections every day. Air taxis are also available. It is advisable to book these early for weekends.
Flight times from Brasília to the following major cities (approximate hours and minutes): Belo Horizonte 1.00 São Paulo 1.30 Rio de Janeiro 1.30 Pôrto Alegre 2.20 Manaus 1.50 Foz do Iguaçu 2.30
Traveling by car/bus
The road network covers approx. 1,725,000 km. All places in the country are easy to reach; the road quality is quite variable. Federal roads similar to motorways connect Rio de Janeiro with São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Recife, Belém and Brasília, among others. Tolls: Numerous motorways are subject to tolls; including the route between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Payment is generally made in cash, electronic payment using a chip on the windscreen is only possible on some routes. Gas stations: The gas station network is nationwide; the fuel is sold in different qualities and blends.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The main roads are usually paved. Side roads are often in less good condition. Dust tracks and potholes are not uncommon.
The road network in Brazil includes – Federal roads (green signs, white lettering, lettering: BR and a number), some of which are built to resemble freeways; – State roads (white signs, black letters, inscription: SP and a number).
Rental cars are available in all major cities. The prices are mostly high. The formalities can take a long time to complete.
Taxis are widely available in cities. They are inexpensive and reliable. In larger cities, it is quite common to lock the doors and keep the windows closed while driving.
Bicycles and scooters can be rented in the cities. There are bike lanes in Rio de Janeiro, especially along the coast; Bike Rio offers bikes at a variety of stations that are free for the first hour.
The country’s bus connections are excellent. Smaller towns can also be reached by bus or minibus. However, the connections to more remote places are rather irregular; the buses there are quite busy. Most modern intercity buses are fast and comfortable, and often have reclining seats. Travelers should expect longer waiting times for connections on long-haul routes; sometimes overnight stays.
Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.0 ‰; – Compulsory headlights around the clock for two-wheeled motor vehicles, for cars only at night and when visibility is appropriate; – Children under the age of 10 must ride in the back seat; Child seats are required for children under 7 1/2 years of age. Tip: Bring child seats with you, as these are often not available in Brazil. Speed limits: – urban: 30 km/h; – on secondary roads: 40 km/h; – on 1st class rural roads: 60 km/h; – Expressways: 80 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (89) 76 76 76. The ADAC partner club is the Automóvel Clube Brasileiro (ACB), Rio de Janeiro, Tel. +55 (21) 22 62 48 00.
The national driving license is sufficient. However, to avoid misunderstandings, it is advisable to also carry an international driver’s license or a certified Portuguese translation of the national driver’s license.
Traveling in the city
The bus network is excellent in the big cities. Subway and suburban trains are also available in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Taxis are metered; Travelers should make sure that these are also switched on. Prices are generally low; Air-conditioned taxis can be slightly more expensive. In Rio de Janeiro, the Trem de Corcovado goes up the mountain of the same name, to the famous statue of Christ. The train runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every 30 minutes (journey time: 20 minutes).
Locally on the way by train
Rail traffic was largely stopped in Brazil. Only a few routes are served, such as Belo Horizonte – Vitória (daily), São Luis – Parauapebas (several times a week) and Macapá – Serra do Navio. However, various tourist train connections are still in operation; These include the Serra Verde Express from Curitiba to Morretes, the Trem do Vinho Carlos from Barbosa to Bento Gonçalvez and the Trem das Termas from Marcelino Ramos to Piratuba.
Traveling by ship
Private companies operate the ship traffic that connects the country’s seaports. There is also heavy traffic on the rivers of Brazil. CCR Barcas offers ferry services between Rio de Janeiro and Charitas, Cocotá (Ilha do Governador) and Paquetá, and between Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande, among others. Various ferries serve the Belém and Manaus route on the Amazon.