5 Things to Know Before Visiting Brazil

5 Things to Know Before Visiting Brazil

Brazil is a beautiful country with so much to see and do. In the past few years, the country’s popularity has skyrocketed, with the number of international tourists entering the country skyrocketing 108% compared to last year. Brazil is the hottest place to visit in 2023. Before you book your trip to Brazil, consider these 5 insider tips. 

  1. Understand Brazil’s Cultural Diversity

Brazil is renowned for its rich cultural diversity, primarily stemming from its unique triracial mixture. The majority of Brazilians have European, African, and indigenous ancestry, creating a fascinating blend of cultures. Brazil is home to the largest population of Japanese origin outside Japan and also is home to the largest African population outside of Africa in Salvador, Bahia. The country's ethnic distribution undergoes a noticeable shift from north to south, with Afro-Brazilians being the majority in the north, a mix in the cosmopolitan cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and a predominantly white population in the southern states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grosso do Sul. Remember that each region boasts distinct cultural practices and ethnic backgrounds; your experience in Brasil will vary greatly depending on where you decide to visit. 

2.Learning basic Portuguese is a must!

Unlike many tourist destinations, English isn't widely spoken in Brazil. It is important to spend some time studying basic Portuguese, learning questions, numbers, greetings, etc. before traveling to Brazil.  This way, you will have the freedom to explore and interact with the people of Brazil, which is the best part of a Brazilian vacation. 

Some important phrases to know are:
olá, oi : hello, hi 

Bom dia: Good morning

Boa tarde: good evening

Boa noite: good night 

Tudo bem? :How are you?

Estou bem: im good

Obrigado/a: thank you

Por favor: please

Tchau: goodbye 

eu quero um cafe por favor: I would like a coffee please

 This effort will enhance your interactions with locals and contribute to a more immersive experience.

  1. Brazil is an Affordable Country 

Brazil is a great place to visit for Americans because of our privileged currency: the dollar. In Brazil, your 1 US dollar is worth approximately 5 reais, which means your purchasing power is much greater. If you enjoy street food, your 1 US Dollar can buy you a “coxinha” or pão de queijo and a coffee, or a coconut if youre looking for a healthier snack. Overall, all costs will be much lower than a vacation within the US or Europe, which is another reason why Brazil is popular for younger travellers like myself. 

 In the biggest tourism cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, prices are a bit higher than in other Brazilian cities, however still very affordable compared to the United States. For instance, you can enjoy a night at 4-star hotel, Nobile Hotel Copacabana Design, in the world famous Copacabana for 44 USD or dine in the hills of Santa Teresa at Aprazivel, a Michelin restaurant for around 30 USD. 


  1. Be aware of your surroundings 

While Brazil is undoubtedly beautiful with friendly people and great parties, it's crucial as a foreigner to remain aware of your surroundings. In the United States, it is normal for us to walk around with our phone in hand, wear our Louis Vuitton purses out, and talk loudly with our friends in English. In Brazil, it is important to understand that as an American, you are a easy target for robberies and assaults.  Avoid drawing attention to yourself by being overly loud or displaying expensive items like jewelry or smartphones if you’d like to leave Brazil with everything you came with. Remember that thefts and assaults can and do occur, especially in major cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Additionally, exercise caution when visiting favelas and adhere to local rules and customs to ensure a safe and respectful experience. There is a different culture that exists within the favela, and there are many rules that must be followed or you could put your life at risk. A general rule is to not take photos of “moradores” of the favela, enter the favela only with someone who is “cria”, who lives In the favela you are visiting, and never pee or throw trash anywhere in a favela. It all comes down to situational awareness and respecting the place you are visiting.

  1. The seasons are switched! 

Seasonal Differences: The seasons in Brazil are opposite to those in the United States due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere. While you might expect sunny beach weather in Rio during the American summer months of July and August, it's actually their winter with cooler temperatures and more rainfall. The best time to visit Brazil is typically from January to April when you can partake in unique cultural events like Carnival and Revellion. When planning your trip, consider this seasonal switch and pack accordingly. This does depend on region though, the North of Brazil is generally always pretty warm, whereas the South can hit freezing temperatures. 

In the United States, our 4 seasons are generally 

Winter: December to February 

Spring: March to May

Summer: June to August

Fall: September to November 

In Brazil, the 4 seasons are generally 

Winter: June to September

Spring: November to December

Summer: January to April

Fall: April to June


By keeping these five essential factors in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Brazil and appreciate the country's vibrant culture, affordability, and natural beauty while staying safe and well-prepared for the journey.

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