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What you need to know before traveling to Brazil in 2021

You know when your flight is, where you’re staying, and maybe even what you’re going to do while you’re in Brazil. However, as with any place that you’re traveling to, there are some things you could know beforehand to make the transition smoother. If all you know about Brazil is the weather forecast during your stay, fret not. In this Pacific Prime Latin America article, we share six things you should know before traveling to Brazil in 2021.

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Brazil travel advice 2021

Beautiful beaches, historical sites, Carnival, and the Amazon rainforest are some of the many reasons why Brazil is a bucket list favorite. Delicious food and affordable activities are other reasons why travelers from all walks of life wish to visit the country. When we travel somewhere new, we’re in unfamiliar territory. While you’ll certainly learn what you need to know along the way, these tips for traveling to Brazil make it easier to worry less and enjoy more.

1. The country’s official language isn’t Spanish

While you’ll probably get to use the Spanish phrases you’ve been practicing during your time in Brazil, it’s important to know that Spanish is not the official language. Many tourists don’t know that it’s actually Portuguese. With that said, Brazilians often speak Spanish and English.

Portuguese and Spanish might sound similar enough, but being able to speak Spanish doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be able to communicate in Portuguese. English isn’t widely spoken throughout the country either, though locals in the popular tourist destinations can often speak it.

2. Do not cross blindly just because the light is green

Depending on where you’re traveling from, this advice is one that bears repeating when traveling. The green pedestrian crossing light does not mean you should cross without looking, and looking again. To safely cross the road in Brazil, you should wait for cars to come to a complete stop before even leaving the sidewalk.

It doesn’t matter how green the light is. Drivers in Brazil are known for speeding up when the light turns orange to try and make the light, even if they’re far away. While this might sound like general safety advice, the frequency of these occurrences in Brazil make it something important to be aware of.

3. Simple precautions can keep you safe

As one of Latin America’s least safe countries, Brazil is known for crime, violence, and high murder rates. However, criminal activities contribute significantly to these statistics. On top of that, gang violence typically takes place in areas far from where tourists want to spend their time.

Brazil is relatively safe for tourists and visitors. When tourist-related incidents do happen, they usually involve muggings or pickpocketing. It’s still a good idea to practice simple precautions, especially in central urban areas such as Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and Salvador, and guard your belongings.

4. It’s probably more expensive than you think

People often assume that Brazil, and most of Latin America, is a budget-friendly tourist destination. While the assumptions do have some truth behind them, travelers should know that Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and other major cities can be expensive, especially if you spend time in the wealthier parts of town such as Ipanema and Leblon, which also happen to be popular tourist spots.

Thanks to import taxes, you can forget about buying electronics in Brazil since they can cost up to triple the price of what you’d pay back home. Additionally, you can expect to pay more for food and drinks than normal if you’re traveling to Brazil during peak seasons, such as the New Year or Carnival period.

5. International tourists are welcome (again)

While traveling to Brazil is currently not recommended due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travelers are eager to return to the country when the situation improves. Even so, travel restrictions eased as of late July 2020 as Brazil reopened its borders to international tourists. Travelers can currently visit Brazil without having to stay in quarantine or even be tested.

Though some international airports in the country remain closed, major airports like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are operating as usual. If you do choose to travel to Brazil during the pandemic, check if you need to apply for a visa and secure travel insurance.

6. Health considerations before traveling

Following the Yellow Fever outbreak in Brazil in 2017, visitors may require a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate to enter the country. Not having the right vaccination certificates can cost you a lot of money if you’re denied entry and have to change flights, and so on. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, and Tetanus are other vaccinations you might want to consider before visiting Brazil.

Dengue and malaria are present in the Amazon rainforest and other swampy areas – and are much more prevalent during the rainy season. It’s advisable to use repellent and cover up in the evening in most parts of Brazil. Be sure to have some anti-malarial tablets on hand if you’re heading into the jungle.

Brazil’s universal healthcare system is accessible to tourists, making it possible for you to get emergency treatment at any public hospital. It’s still highly advisable to secure travel insurance before traveling to Brazil. Pandemics, flight changes, and luggage loss are just some of the many events that are out of your control and could affect your travel plans.

Hopefully, the tips above have helped you become more confident in preparing for a trip to Brazil. Whether you are planning on traveling to Brazil shortly or are just daydreaming for now, the diverse country is certainly worth exploring whenever you get the chance.

Have any insurance-related questions?

Already have travel insurance, but not sure if COVID-19 affects it? Looking for international health insurance in Brazil and Latin America? You’ve come to the right place! As a reputable global insurance broker, Pacific Prime Latin America has a wide selection of insurance plans for you to choose from, including travel insurance, short-term medical health insurance plans, and so much more. Get in touch with our expert advisors for impartial advice or a free quote and plan comparison today.

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Latin America
Jantra Jacobs is a content writer at Pacific Prime. On a typical work day, she writes and edits articles, guides and anything else word-related. She aims to produce content that is easy for readers to understand and enjoyable at the same time.

When she’s not writing, she’s likely searching for a new restaurant or cafe to try, reading or doing yoga.