Brazil is one of the most populous countries in the world yet it is considered to be one of the emerging global tourist destinations. Its vibrant colours and festivities make it a welcoming country for first-time travellers while the year-long celebrations, open-hearted songs and dance are other features that can easily win any heart. On top of it, the almost untouched natural beauty of the country is to die for. The beaches are perfect for lazy holidays while Amazon is ideal for those who want to trek through rough and tough terrains. There is a carefree rhythm to the nation which perfectly syncs with enthusiastic tourists. The postcard-perfect locales of the country are worth visiting and relaxing in one of the many beaches something that everyone should try. Brazil also boasts of a pulsating nightlife and gourmet restaurants. Simply put there is a lot in store for first-time travellers in Brazil and you shouldn’t miss the chance of visiting this beautiful country. Below are mentioned some of the tips that will help first-time travellers to Brazil.
Brazil is a Large and Diverse Country
As the fifth-largest country in the world, the country covers about 8.5 million square kilometres. Simply put it is a large country – so huge that in one visit you cannot experience everything that the country has to offer. If seeing the classic postcard pictures of Brazil makes you believe that you can always enjoy tropical temperatures here, then you are in for some surprise. In some parts of Brazil, specifically in the southern-most tip, the temperatures can drop to sub-zero degrees. In fact, it even snows in these parts. While the snow may not paint the area white, you surely can feel the cold under your skin. The northern region, on the other hand, experiences tropical temperature and you can enjoy the sun there almost all throughout the year.
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Home to the Amazon Jungle
If you cannot wait to explore nature in its truest sense then there is no better place to start your journey then in Brazil. It’s simply because the major part of the world’s largest rainforest is in this South American country. Almost 60% of Amazon lies within Brazil which makes it an ideal destination for any nature enthusiast. Amazon which is nicknamed the “Lungs of the World” is home to thousands of species of animals and plants. It is potentially one of the most dangerous places to travel alone. Most advisories on Brazil highlight the importance of always travelling in a group when entering the Amazon forest. There are innumerable risks that lie within the depths of the jungle and you surely wouldn’t want to experience them alone. But a carefully planned and executed trip to the jungle is worth every penny.
It is an Expensive Country
One of the most common assumptions about South America is that it is a cheap continent to travel to. It may be true while travelling to other countries of the continent, it definitely isn’t the case with Brazil. Certain things are very expensive in Brazil, such as electronics and imported goods. The taxes on imported goods is very high which doubles the price of so many things. Cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are especially expensive as they are popular tourist attractions. Hotel rents, hostel dorms, food and drink are also quite expensive and more so if you plan your trip around the New Year or the carnival time.
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English isn’t the Lingua-Franca of the Country
Many tourists have expressed their surprise that Brazilians do not converse in English. It is because Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. This is mainly due to the fact that Brazil was a part of the Portuguese Empire in 1500 AD and continued as its colony with autonomous powers from 1532. The Portuguese influence is evident in not just the way people speak in the country but also in various cultural aspects. Since English isn’t easily spoken here, it is better to pick up rudimentary Portuguese to ease conversation while in Brazil.
Brazil is Safe for Tourists
For a long time, Brazil has been under the scanner for its high rate of violence and crime. These incidents have not only gathered bad press but have, for a long-time, deterred tourists from visiting the country. However, the reality is quite different. It is mostly a safe country for tourists and the worst you might experience is a pick-pocketing or non-violent mugging. Murders, thefts and other sorts of violence usually happen between gangs who do not easily come in contact with tourists. Nevertheless, you can always ensure your safety by travelling in a group, keeping your passport and money safe and being in touch with your country’s consulate.
Try Local Transport Means
Brazil’s public transportation is very good and easily accessible to tourists. In fact, if you are looking for ways of cutting your travel expenses then you should definitely tour the cities of Brazil in local buses. Buses ply all across the country and are quite efficient. Though they pile more people than necessary, it is cheap and easy on the pocket. Domestic airlines do not come cheap but they can be worth all your money especially when you want to traverse the length and breadth of the vast nation in a short period of time.
Brazil is Home to Multiples Cultures and Traditions
It almost goes without saying that Brazil is a vibrant country and it is because of the people who reside here. Home to multiple cultures and traditions, Brazil is a hotpot of frenzied festivities. While half the population of Brazil are whites who came generations ago from Portugal, Italy and Germany to settle in this tropical land, there is also a large section of indigenous inhabitants who continue to live in the country. About 10% of Brazil’s population consists of Blacks who were brought centuries ago as slaves from Africa.
Do Not Miss Out The Beaches
Brazil is known for its tropical climate and its beaches. If you are a water baby and love the seas then there is no better place to enjoy an idyllic holiday then on the Brazilian beaches. The Copacabana and Ipanema beaches around Rio are famous and worth a visit. But if you want to explore a lot more beaches then you must head to Florianopolis, the city with 42 beaches! In fact, you can easily plan a trip to Brazil just to visit the beaches and even then, you wouldn’t be seeing them all. A lot of the beaches in north-eastern Brazil give out a Caribbean feel, something you shouldn’t miss at all.
Know Your Country’s Visa Rules
One of the first things you will need for entering Brazil is a valid passport and visa. The visa rules vary for different countries hence you will need to check out your country’s rules. There is visa-on-entry relaxation for certain countries while for other countries the rules for visa application can vary. You can get a tourist visa, work permit visa or other types of visa depending upon your requirement.
Few Interesting Facts about Brazil
There are many interesting tidbits worth knowing about Brazil. We have listed just a few
Rio de Janeiro isn’t the capital of Brazil like many would believe. It is Brasilia, a small capital city located in the centre of the country which is the country’s capital. Rio used to be the capital till 1960 and continues to be one of the most important and populous cities of Brazil.
Unlike other parts of the world, beer isn’t served in mugs but in small glasses. The glasses are in fact smaller than half a pint. This is mainly due to the tropical climate which makes it almost impossible to drink a large glass or bottle of beer.
Brazilian wine is worth tasting though they cannot yet be compared to those produced in Italy or France. The local wines especially made in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais has a subtle rose flavour which is quite nice.
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Evidence of German influence in the southern part of the country is evident. The Oktoberfest is worth mentioning, a replica celebration held in Blumenau, Santa Catarina every October in accordance with the similar festival celebrated in Germany.
Brazil is one of those South American countries that are worth a visit. The country is always in a celebratory mode with smiling, affable locals always ready to help foreign tourists. There is simply so much to explore that one visit will not seem enough. If you are planning to visit an exotic location for your holidays, do check out your options for visiting Brazil – because you won’t be disappointed.