Brazil: our practical guide to planning your trip

Brazil: our practical guide to planning your trip

Discover our practical guide to organizing your trip to Brazil: flights, transport, accommodation, food, climate, what to pack… we give you all our advice.




Si vous souhaitez des informations sur la région du Nordeste, sur le voyage en buggy, les paysages traversés, je vous invite à lire mes autres articles sur le Brésil pour vous aider à préparer ce voyage.


– 4h shorter than in France (plus or minus 1h depending on summer or winter time)

– Between an 8h and 9h flight from Paris.

Flights to Brazil are generally operated by TAP, the Portuguese company. With Tap, you can depart from 6 airports in France: Paris, Nice, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse and Nantes. The proposed destinations in Brazil are : Fortaleza, Natal, Recife, Salvador, Belem, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte. They were our partner for this trip and I was very satisfied with their services.

Did you also know that with TAP, a stop over is possible? In fact, you can stop for up to 5 nights in Lisbon on the outward or return journey, at no extra charge. Think of it as an opportunity to visit two destinations for the price of one (Brazil and Portugal).

Second good plan, you have the opportunity to be upgraded to business class by placing a bid. All you have to do is indicate the amount you’re willing to invest and wait for the answer! Nice, isn’t it? It’s a good opportunity to try out the business class services, because I have to tell you, you quickly get the hang of it! Being able to lie down 180 degrees in the plane and sleep like a baby is a real luxury.

More information on their website Flytap

I also tested the flights Joon, by Air France. The planes are brand new, with a new-generation screen for each one. Meals are provided in all cabins.

Brazil’s national currency is the real (pronounced Réal in French). The exchange rate for the real is quite variable. Banks are generally open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, and closed at weekends. In the major cities, credit cards are increasingly accepted, but in the Nordeste, for example, it is preferable to withdraw at the airport, as there are few ATMs and virtually no CB payments, except in Canoa Quebrada.

1€ = 4.3 BRL

It’s important to have an up-to-date DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and poliomyelitis). Malaria and the Zika virus are present throughout the Amazon, so take skin and clothing repellents, wear light-colored, covering clothing, buy mosquito nets soaked in product and eat spicy food.

French, Belgian and Swiss nationals do not need a visa for a tourist stay of less than three months in Brazil. A passport valid for more than six months (beyond the date of your return) is sufficient. If you’re touring Latin America or staying in the West Indies beforehand, you should be aware that the authorities require travelers from Guyana, French Guiana, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Surinam, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago to be in possession of a yellow fever vaccination certificate (the original is required).

In Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the current is generally 110 volts, but many hotels also have 220-volt sockets. As you’ll find, plugs come with two flat plugs (US model) or round plugs (European model). So it’s best to carry a universal adapter with you.

Brazil has wifi just about everywhere. It works more or less well depending on the region and location, but you’ll be able to read your emails.

Throughout the country, you’ll find a wide range of accommodation: from colonial houses to charming and unusual hotels, tree houses and elegant luxury hotels, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. But in Brazil, it’s common to sleep in pousadas, pretty tropical inns that could be likened to bed & breakfasts. You will find a list of our favourite pousadas here .

Brazil is a huge country that requires a great deal of logistical organization. The most common way to get around the country is to take small domestic flights. There is the Brasil Air Pass proposed by the Varig and Tam companies. There are several formulas for easy travel throughout Brazil. This pass must be purchased before departure and is reserved for non-residents with a return ticket. The Nordeste is often served by local transport such as buses, but the most obvious way to explore the beaches and sand dunes is by buggy. Buses don’t go to every remote place. Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license for buggy driving.

The Nordeste region offers food that often consists of rice, potatoes, manioc, pan de queijo (bread with cheese), seafood such as grilled fish or lobster, depending on the season, as well as good meat. The fruit is quite varied and tasty. Taste the Guarana juice, a local energy drink, as well as the Açai, a high-calorie but very tasty fruit. The Nordeste is also an opportunity to eat cashew nuts or Brazil nuts.

This is my third time in Brazil, including 2 in the Nordeste. I love this country because the locals are friendly, smiling people. I didn’t feel at all unsafe in the Nordeste, but Brazil is known for its violence and high crime rate. So use common sense and take the necessary precautions. Don’t go out at night after a certain time.

Take a soft suitcase with light items (light, flowing shorts for driving, tee-shirts, dresses, blouses, etc.), sun creams, sneakers that are comfortable for driving and can go in the water if necessary, flip-flops, swimsuits, a waterproof Kway (very useful when the tropical storm hits!), a small jacket for the evening or a big sweater, a waterproof neoprene bag to protect your personal belongings (camera, passport, cameras and other valuables, etc.).), a small jacket for the evening or a thick sweater, a waterproof neoprene bag to protect your personal belongings from the rain and sand (camera, passport, cameras and other valuables), you won’t regret it, believe me. Here, it’s real tropical storms that hit you, and we’ve paid the price! You’ll also need a power strip with an adapter, as there are few sockets in the rooms. Finally, take a portable speaker with you and make yourself a great musical playlist! You won’t regret it in the buggies!

From the Nordeste, you can bring back Ypioca cachaça, perfect for your caipirinhas, crocheted clothes, pretty hammocks, cashew nuts or Brazil nuts, decorative objects made from sand, bracelets in shells or Brazilian colors, embroidered fabrics, Havaianas or Ipanema flip-flops.

The airport duty free is not very large, so you’re pretty limited in terms of choice for your last purchases. Expect to pay around 50 Reals for 2 pairs of Ipanema flip-flops. You’ll only be able to buy a bottle of alcohol (in a tiny store) once you’ve passed through customs and checks.

The good news is that Brazil can be visited all year round. December to February is high season and the summer vacation period in Brazil, so crowds are intense and your trip may be a little more expensive. From April to July there’s more rainfall, but it’s ideal for visiting the oases and bathing in the dunes in the Lençois Maranhenses (especially late July/early August). September to January is ideal for the Nordeste. April is the start of the rainy season, which means that it rains heavily in the morning and the sun comes out around 9-10am. It may also rain in the late evening. The routes taken by the buggy change every day at this time of year, as they depend on the tides, rising water levels, sand dune formations and so on…

Brazil isn’t known for being a “cheap” country, it’s not a Third World country. The country is home to many billionaires, and the gap between rich and poor is very wide.

Budget idea for Brazil: cost/p including accommodation, meals and some travel

Minimum: from 20 € Comfortable: from 29 € Chic: from 52 €

Average budget: €47/p/day

A trip like we did in a buggy (January 2018) costs for 8 days on site from €3000/p (flights from Paris with TAP + buggy + overnight stays with breakfast + guide (his buggy and expenses) + planned activities + ferry crossing rights on the beaches… Please contact me for a quotation.


I invite you to read my other articles on Brazil


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