The largest of all the Latin American countries, Brazil covers nearly half the entire continent of South America. The Amazon River, running across the entire width of Brazil, is the world's largest river in terms of volume. As it thunders towards the Atlantic Ocean, the Amazon passes through the largest rainforest in the world, many tracts of which are still unexplored and home to the greatest number of biological organisms on earth. Further south are the Iguazu falls, the most voluminous waterfalls in the world. Lying on the borders of Brazil and Argentina, the colossal cascades are perhaps the most amazing site on the continent.
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Brazil Factsheet

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Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world – is a country of samba, carnival and beach culture. Along with miles of palm-fringed, pristine golden beaches, the country also boasts beautifully preserved colonial towns with fabulous Portuguese architecture and meandering cobbled streets.
Brazil is also home to some of the world’s most magnificent natural phenomena – from the world’s most voluminous waterfalls at Iguazu, to the rich, diverse and largely unexplored ecosystem of the Amazon to the incredible wildlife of the Pantanal wetlands.
With an equally diverse cultural and ethnic population, from Portuguese colonists, Amazonian Indians, and descendants of African slaves in the north to the German-Italian communities of the south, Brazil will captivate your every sense.
Electricity: 110 to 120V, 60 Hz, non-standardized
Time Zone: GMT minus 3 hours in the east, northeast, south and southeast; GMT minus 4 hours in the west; and GMT minus 5 hours in the far west.
Dialling Code: 55

Festival Calendar

With so many festivals, we have only included the most important.
January 6th – 15th - Festa de Santo Amaro (Santo Amaro, Bahia)
2nd Thursday in January - Lavagem do Bonfim (Salvador, Bahia)
January 20th - Folia de Reis (Rio)
February 2nd - Festa de Iemanja (Salvador, Bahia)
February - March - Carnival - Rio is without question the world’s most popular place to celebrate Carnival. Prices for accommodation can triple and the streets are packed. The parades and costumes are beyond compare. The streets are alive with dancing and music and food stands. One word of caution: it is so easy for visitors to get caught up in the sights and sounds surrounding them that you can easily become a target for petty crime. Carry few valuables with you.
Late May/Early June - Festa do Divino Esppirito Santo (Rio)
June - Festival Folclorico do Amazonas (Manaus)
July 17th – 19th - Festa do Divino - (Fortaleza, Ceara)
August 15th - Festa do Iemanja (Fortaleza, Ceara)
October 12th - Discovery of America Day
November 18th - Feria de la Chinita - (Maracaibo)
December 8th - Festa de Santa Barbara (Salvador, Bahia)


The name of the official currency of Brazil is the Real, divided into 100 centavos. The
notes are of different colours, much like the Australian and Canadian dollar, so they are hard to mistake.
Again, the US dollar is the best foreign currency to take to Brazil. Dollars can be exchanged everywhere
and at considerably better rates than travellers’ cheques. However, travellers’ cheques are still the safest mode of currency, so try to carry both. American Express travellers’ cheques are the most widely
accepted. Most convenient, however, is the credit card. Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are accepted almost everywhere, Visa being the most widely accepted. You can often avoid the high “transaction fees” placed on exchanging travellers’ cheques. As long as you deposit your travelling money into your credit card account before you leave, you will escape the interest fee charged.
ATMs are fouind almost everywhere. You can either withdraw currency on your credit card by using your
personal pin number, or you can even use your bank card on the PLUS network.
When changing Reals back to dollars upon exiting the country, remember to keep your receipts.

Most nationalities require a 90 day tourist visa.

Health risks

Malaria - If you are travelling in endemic areas it is extremely important to avoid mosquito bites and to take tablets to prevent this disease. Symptoms range from fever, chills and sweating, headache, diarrhoea and abdominal pains to a vague feeling of ill-health. Seek medical help immediately if malaria is suspected. Without treatment malaria can rapidly become more serious and can be fatal. If medical care is not available, malaria tablets can be used for treatment. You should seek medical advice, before you travel, on the right medication and dosage for you. If you do contract malaria, be sure to be re-tested for malaria once you return home as you can harbour malaria parasites in your body even if you are symptom free. Travellers are advised to prevent mosquito bites at all times. The main messages are: wear light-coloured clothing; wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts; use mosquito repellents containing the compound DEET on exposed areas (prolonged overuse of DEET may be harmful, especially to children, but its use is considered preferable to being bitten by disease-transmitting mosquitoes); avoid perfumes and aftershave; use a mosquito net impregnated with mosquito repellent (permethrin) – it may be worth taking your own, and impregnating clothes with permethrin effectively deters mosquitoes and other insects.

Yellow fever - Yellow fever is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is an effective vaccine against yellow fever, so if you have been immunised, you can basically rule this disease out. Symptoms of yellow fever range from a mild fever which resolves over a few days to more serious forms with fever, headache, muscle pains, abdominal pain and vomiting. This can progress to bleeding, shock and liver and kidney failure. The liver failure causes jaundice, or yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes – hence the name. There's no specific treatment but you should seek medical help urgently if you think you have yellow fever.

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