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How to plan a trip to Brazil

Your passport to international travel starts with good preparation.

If you like exciting nightlife, sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and lush rainforests, a holiday trip to booming Brazil are well worth your money! As with any international travel, there are a few things you need to do ahead of time to prepare for your trip, such as getting your tourist visa and passport, as well as making hotel and transport arrangements. Once these measures are in place, it's time to schedule some enjoyable activities.

IMAGE: Without a valid passport, you will not be able to travel far

If you do not already have a tourist visa, you need to apply for one. To enter Brazil, all US citizens and nationals of most other nations must have valid a tourist visa, as this is required, in addition to a valid passport. To apply for a visa for Brazil, you will need a valid passport, copies of your return ticket, the necessary application forms, vaccination certificates, and immunization records for children. For more information go to the Brazilian Consulate's official website.

Overcome the language barrier

You might want to learn a few simple phrases in Portuguese to help you converse more effectively when you visit Brazil. The majority of Brazilians speak only their native language, however in tourist areas, many people speak French, English, Italian, German, Spanish, and Arabic. "Thank you" ("Obrigado"), "Hello" ("Oi"), and "Can you assist me?" ("Can you help me?") are just a few basic phrases you can learn, although you may want to brush up on some other Portuguese fundamentals, just in case. You will have an advantage if you speak Spanish or another Romance language because Spanish is very close to Portuguese.

Choose your destination and tourist attractions carefully

If you're after a relaxing vacation where you can spend most of your time soaking up the sun, lounging on the beach or exploring the countryside, Fortaleza, Salvador, Bahia, and the Amazon are great places to visit. If you want to experience more of the party scene and nightlife, you can head to the regions of So Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Travel between cities via domestic aircraft or long-distance buses if you wish to visit various locations.

IMAGE: One of the most famous landmarks in Rio de Janeiro - the colossal statue of Jesus Christ at the summit of Mount Corcovado

Discover some of the country’s top architectural attractions

Although most people associate Rio de Janeiro with beautiful natural vistas and beaches, the city also has a diverse collection of architectural landmarks, including the Christ the Redeemer statue, architect Oscar Niemeyer's futuristic masterpieces (the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum), centuries-old colonial churches and government buildings, and the iconic verdant parks and tropical gardens designed by landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx.

Mosteiro do So Bento, is an outstanding example of Brazilian colonial architecture. This building was constructed in 1671 and is still in use as an abbey today. While the exterior of the church appears quite simple with two pyramid-topped towers, the interior is ornately gilded and something one has to see and experience when visiting Brazil!

IMAGE: The Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum

When is the best time to visit Brazil?

Summer in Rio de Janeiro is from December through February, and temperatures can exceed 40 degrees Celsius. There will be a lot of rain throughout this time, so don't let the hot weather deter you from bringing appropriate rain gear. The winter months are July and August, and the average temperature is roughly 21 degrees Celsius. The weather in So Paulo is consistently pleasant all year round. January is the warmest month of the year, with an average temperature of only 24 ° C, while June is the coolest, with an average temperature of 19 ° C.

Brazil is a big country with varying weather depending on the places you visit. In general, the temperature is usually warm and pleasant, so you can dress in lightweight clothing most of the time. Because it is mostly tropical weather, it is recommended that you also carry rainwear and perhaps something warm for cooler days.

Book your flights early

Finally, compare airline prices online to locate the cheapest offers. This is something else to do right now. The more you wait, the higher the price of the tickets may get. The best prices on flights to Brazil can be obtained if tickets are purchased at least 90 days before your departure date.

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