Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil), is a country in South America. It is the fifth largest country by geographical area, occupying nearly half of South America, the fifth most populous country, and the fourth most populous democracy in the world.
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of over 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It is bordered on the north by Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and the overseas department of French Guiana; on the northwest by Colombia; on the west by Bolivia and Peru; on the southwest by Argentina and Paraguay and on the south by Uruguay. Numerous archipelagos are part of the Brazilian territory, such as Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Saint Peter and Paul Rocks, and Trindade and Martim Vaz.
A valid passport and visa are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil for any purpose. Brazilian visas must be obtained in advance from the Brazilian Embassy or consulate nearest to the traveler’s place of residence. There are no “airport visas” and immigration authorities will refuse entry to Brazil to anyone not possessing a valid visa. All Brazilian visas, regardless of the length of validity, must initially be used within 90 days of the issuance date or will no longer be valid. Americans reentering Brazil must be able to show an entry stamp in their passport proving that the visa was issued within 90 days; otherwise they will not be allowed reentry. Immigration authorities will not allow entry into Brazil without a valid visa. The U.S. Government cannot assist travelers who arrive in Brazil without proper documentation.
Travelers are reminded that they are subject to local law. Showing contempt to a Brazilian government official at the port of entry, or elsewhere, is a serious offense. (Fines for such offenses are based on the offender’s claimed income.)
Additionally, travelers who have recently visited certain countries, including most other Latin American countries (check Brazilian Embassy website linked below), may be required to present an inoculation card indicating they had a yellow fever inoculation or they may not be allowed to board the plane or enter the country. Minors (under 18) traveling alone, with one parent or with a third party, must present written authorization by the absent parent(s) or legal guardian specifically granting permission to travel alone, with one parent, or with a third party. The authorization (in Portuguese) must be notarized and then authenticated by the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate.
This information is subject to change without previous notice. For latest updates on entry/exit requirements for US citizens, please visit any of the following websites:
- The local currency of Brazil is the Real.
- For information on the current exchange rates, click here
- Visitors are advised to carry some cash in Brazilian currency to pay for their expenses.
What our clients say!
How to Get There and Around
The following airlines can take you to Brazil.
Click on any of the airlines’ name to access their web sites.
Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and malaria are prevalent in Brazil. Insect repellent and protective clothing is essential. Malaria exists below 2,953ft (900m) in most rural areas, and outbreaks of dengue fever occur frequently. A yellow fever vaccination is recommended for those traveling to rural areas and other parts of the country as a yellow fever outbreak occurred at the beginning of 2008. Visitors traveling from infected areas outside the country require a yellow fever certificate. Chagas disease, caused by a parasite, is widespread in rural areas of Brazil. Until recently infection was believed to be from insect bites only, but an outbreak in March 2005 caused three deaths in Santa Catarina and was traced to the ingestion of sugar cane juice contaminated with the feces of vector insects, and further cases were linked to the ingestion of bacaba wine from roadside stalls; visitors are advised to seek medical advice urgently if any of the symptoms occur (fever, nausea, muscle aches and pains and/or swelling at the site of the insect bite). Tap water is heavily treated resulting in a strong chemical taste; bottled water is, however, freely available for drinking purposes. Milk in rural areas is not pasteurized. Travelers are advised to take along medication for diarrhea. Hospitals in the major cities are fairly good, but medical costs are high and medical insurance is strongly recommended.
Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. English is understood and spoken in the most popular tourist areas.
Electricity in Brazil is very variable, but most hotels offer 110 volts. The most commonly used electric sockets are the round two-pin ones, but this is also very variable. Universal plug adaptors and a transformer are highly recommended.