Brazil is in the western hemisphere and encompasses 4 time zones and is behind the Greenwich meridian. The main one is the second time zone that is 3 hours behind the Greenwich meridian and covers most of the country, being the official time of Brasilia.
In the summer season, it was customary to apply Daylight saving time, advancing the clocks of most states by one hour. However, the current government signed in April 2019 the decree ending Daylight saving time and therefore is suspended until the present time.
The voltage in Brazil can be 110w or 220w, depending on the state, and within a state there may be cities with different voltages.
States like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia are 110w.
The official language is Portuguese, but in the most important touristic cities Spanish and English are spoken.
The climate varies according to the region. In the areas more distant from the coast it is hot and dry. In the South it is mild to slightly cold in winter.
In the other areas such as the Southeast it is hot and humid, and there is not much difference between seasons. In the Northeast it is warmer all year round, as it is closes to the Equator, and there is almost no difference between the seasons.
Generally speaking, the rainy season is:
- January to April in the North.
- April to July in the Northeast.
- March in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
In the Amazon:
- From the Amazon to the regions on the coast it is wet and hot.
- Dry season - from October to the end of December - rivers with low level of water
- Season of flood of rivers - May, June and July
- Rainy season - January, February and March , heavy rain
- In August and September the level of water in the rivers start to go down
This is very important piece of information, as it can change the operation of ecological products in areas by the river (lodges and cruises).
There are no compulsory requirements to enter Brazil. It's advisable precautions against the yellow fever, typhoid, polio and malaria. We recommend check beforehand if the country of origin of the passenger has any recommendation or specific requirement towards visiting several regions of Brazil.
It's advisable for the tourist to have some insurance.
Please be aware that if you come to Brazil via Peru, Ecuador or Colombia you will be requested to carry your certificate of vaccination of yellow fever for immigration.
Avoid eating or drinking local products of street vendors, or restaurants that don't look very reliable in what concerns hygiene and the way it looks.
In Brazil tap water is not drinking, that's why we recommend drinking only mineral water. One must ask for ice of filtered water to cool the drink in the glass.
Brazil and more specific Rio de Janeiro had in the past bad reputation in what concerns security. Just like any other capital in the world, it is necessary that any visitor to Rio take all the precautions and follow all the recommendations of any big city . Great part of this reputation was way beyond the reality, but it served right for the politicians to take some action.
Nowadays the city relies on special actions of citizenship in several communities, with the support of the tourist police whose men work in areas that are considered for tourists, speak two languages and are trained to cope specifically with tourists and foreigners.
It's always a good idea to keep valuable items, documents and passports in the safety deposit box in the hotel.
Beaches: Most of the Brazilian culture and time at leisure take place near the beach. Therefore beaches are good places to spend some happy moments and relax.
Many beaches of the Brazilian coast are oceanic, hence the rough sea. The life guards of each coastal city identifies dangerous spots and undercurrent with flags that any visitor should pay attention to: red flag: danger/ white : safe.
It's important not to buy or eat any product on the beach that is sold by vendors or by the kiosks in packages that are not industrialized as for instance typical brochettes of shrimp, cheese, sandwiches and others, as it's not possible to guarantee the quality or origin, and hygiene.