Brazil Visa in Canada

Table of Contents

Canadian citizens and permanent residents need a visa to Brazil. The Brazil tourist visa covers leisure visits to the country for people visiting friends and relations or who wish to holiday there. Brazil tourist visas are limited to a fixed period of time and no business activity is allowed. The Brazil business visa covers both business and leisure visits enabling business people to participate in trade, business meetings and exhibitions in the country as well as taking a vacation. Business visas do not cover permanent employment. Your Brazil visa must be obtained prior to leaving Canada.




The Climate of Brazil

There’s no wrong time of year to visit Brazil, especially when you want to enjoy the beach or just hang out and wear your favorite swimsuit by the sea. Brazil is situated in the tropics, so its temperature is mostly warm and doesn’t vary as much, especially in the northern part of the country. This is the same with the rain forest areas of Pantanal and the Amazon, where everything is humid and warm all year round.  However, this changes the further south you travel, where temperatures might be more changeable (though not as unpredictable as the climates are in Europe). For instance, the typical dry months in Southern Brazil are from March to November, while its wet months are from December to February. The winter months in Brazil are from June to September, and it is during this time that the weather in Rio and its surrounding areas is similar to the warm summers found in Northern Europe.


The Rainy Season in Brazil

The rainy season in Brazil extends from January to July (north), January to May (northeast), September to January (southeastern areas, like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo), and September to January (south). It is possible to have flash floods and landslides, which can be quite dangerous if you are driving on mountain roads and highways that lead to beaches. Make sure to keep yourself informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.


Hot / Dry Season in Brazil

The hot, dry weather conditions during the dry season of Brazil last from May to September. This may lead to wildfires in the central areas of Brazil, including the capital of Brasilia. Remain alert to local developments through the media and modify their travel arrangements accordingly.

Should you experience the event of a wildfire, make sure to follow the advice of local authorities. Also take into account that the air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke, which can exacerbate respiratory ailments.


The Climate of Northeastern Brazil

The northeastern part of Brazil has two seasons, although their changes are hardly noticeable. The average temperature is 23 degrees to 27 degrees all year round.


Southern Brazil

The dry season runs from March to November, with December to February considered the wet seasons. The evenings can get particularly cool from June to September, with 5 degrees Celsius the minimum temperature. It would be a good idea to bring a light sweater or a winter coat with you during this particular time of year.

Its winter season is from June to September, and Rio, with its weather similar to northern Europe, is a bit cloudy and rainy, although there is plenty of sun from time to time. Expect the temperature to decrease further as you continue to travel south.


The Climate of Central Brazil: the Amazon and Pantanal

The best times to visit the Amazon are in July and August, and expect it to be hot and humid not only on those months but throughout the whole year as well. There would also be heavy rain showers in the late afternoon, with mornings and early afternoons mostly sunny.

The Pantanal can get very hot in summer, particularly during the months of November until February. It’s not surprising to find the temperature exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. The rainy season is usually from December to March, and winter is from June to July, with temperatures rarely dropping below 20 degrees Celsius. The dry season is from April/May to October, which is the best time to see Brazil’s various animals in action.


The Climate of the Coastal Areas of Brazil

There are two seasons in the northeastern part of Brazil, although their temperatures are so close that it’s not easy to distinguish between the two. The average temperature is usually between 23 to 27 degrees Celsius for the whole year, and the months January to June have rain showers from time to time. Its humidity is relatively high along the coast, with comfortable sea breezes conducive to spending some time by the sea.

Fernando de Noronha Island, which is one hour by plane from Brazil’s mainland, has a dry season that runs from August until April. The best months for diving are from July until November, and you can find sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach from November until May. Also expect a lot of rain from April to July. These months are the best times to view the seas’ colors turn to emerald green.


Brazilian Culture

Here are some things you need to know about Brazilian customs and traditions:

  • Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. It also has the largest rain forest and second longest river (in the Amazon).
  • The country is predominantly Catholic, although various groups with different culture converge to form a unique mixture of religious practices, such as Candomble, for instance. Candomble is actually a mixture of African and Catholic religious doctrine and found only in Brazil.
  • Brazil is well-known for its carnivals and other celebrations. Many of them are a fusion of African, Portuguese and Native Indian cultures.
  • Samba is a distinctive Brazilian style of music that can be traced to the Bantu people of Angola Africa. It is characterized by strong beats and accompanied by a guitar. Bossa Nova, which is directly influenced by Samba, still remains a very popular form of music for a lot of Brazilians.
  • Many Brazilians are expressive, and human feelings often take a more dominant role over factual details.
  • Brazilians are highly tactile, which means that they tend to invade space. Arm patting, warm embrace, and many other forms of tactile gestures are commonly practiced by many of its people.
  • Many believe that it is impolite to arrive at someone’s house for dinner on time, so it’s best to arrive a bit late.


Languages of Brazil

Portuguese is spoken by nearly 100 percent of the Brazilian population, with the exception of the Amerindian groups and other immigrants (such as Koreans and Japanese). The main families of Indian languages are Tupí, Arawak, Carib, and Gê.

There are no dialects when it comes to Brazilian Portuguese, although regional variations occur particularly in vocabulary, accent, verb conjugations, and even pronouns. However, these variations tend to blur due to mass media, especially television networks that are watched by many Brazilians.

Be aware that Brazilian locals do not think of themselves as Hispanics, and will be offended when addressed in Spanish.


Brazilian Ethnicities

Intermarriage has been very active in Brazilian society that there is no clear and distinct Indian population. Almost everyone has a European, African, and other indigenous ancestry in their genetic make-up.

Many Portuguese settlers married native women in Brazil, which resulted to a new race, called the mestizos. Mulattoes, on the other hand, can trace their roots back to the Portuguese and African slaves.


Brazilian Family Values

Families in Brazil tend to be huge, with a strong social network and support within families. However big families have been diminishing in recent years, and this trend continues even today.

Nepotism, which is actually discouraged in some countries, is actually a positive thing for Brazilians. For them, employing someone you know means you trust the person, which is important in any business.


Etiquette in Brazil

Many Brazilians invade personal space, and are often not bothered when they are packed closely in crowded places. They are also physically expressive and show their emotions through touch. Women tend to touch more than men, and they often greet each other with kisses on both cheeks. Men prefer bear hugs and hearty pats on the back. This informality may even extend itself in conversation, although many still address people using their titles (followed by their last names).

Body language depends on the individual’s social standing. For instance, a domestic servant will usually greet the employer with a limp handshake, eyes lowered, and head slightly bowed. They will also address them using the respectful “you” rather than the familiar “you”.

Many Brazilians have very relaxed attitudes when it comes to nudity and the body. It’s not uncommon to find a Brazilian dressed up in scant costumes (especially during the Carnival), and many women like to wear “dental floss” (fio dental), a Brazilian slang that refers to very tiny string bikinis.


Business Etiquette in Brazil

  • “Flexible Punctuality” is one of the characteristics of Brazilian business culture. Accept the fact that you might have to wait for your Brazilian counterparts during meetings or any other event.
  • Brazilians conduct their businesses mainly through personal connections. There is also an unspoken agreement that business relationships are long-term.
  • When in a meeting, make sure to maintain a steady eye contact while shaking each other’s hands. Women, however, generally kiss each other, starting with the left and then the right cheeks.
  • It’s common to see backslapping and hugging as common greeting gestures among Brazilian male friends.
  • A woman should extend her hand first if she wishes to shake hands with a man.


  • Brazilians often prefer face-to-face meetings instead of written communication because it gives them the chance to get to know the person they are doing business with.
  • Criticizing an individual will cause him or her to lose face with others in a meeting. Also, the person who is making the criticism loses face as well. The lesson here is to be very careful when making criticisms. Try to avoid doing it as much as you can, and if you can’t avoid it, then it’s best to talk to the individual privately and behind closed doors.
  • Communication is mostly informal, and many do not rely on strict rules of protocol. It is not surprising to hear people speak up and add their opinions directly to you. Also, prepare for interruptions while speaking with one another.
  • Many Brazilians believe that the individual that they’re dealing with is actually more important than the company.
  • It is advisable – although not required – for you to have your business card translated into Portuguese on the other side of your business card.
  • Present your business card with the Portuguese side facing the recipient.


Business Attire in Brazil

  • Brazilians take great pride on dressing well.
  • Men should wear dark and conservative business suits, while women should wear suits or dresses that appear feminine and elegant. Manicures and/or pedicures are also expected.


Meeting Etiquette in Brazil

  • Business appointments are required, and can be scheduled on short notice; however, it is best to make them 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
  • Make sure to confirm the meeting in writing. There are times when appointments might get cancelled or changed at the very last minute.
  • Arriving on time for meetings is common in Sao Paulo and Brasilia. Rio de Janeiro and other cities, however, prefer arriving a few minutes late for meetings.
  • Business meetings are generally informal.
  • Expect to be interrupted while you are making a presentation or speaking.
  • Avoid confrontations, and do not appear frustrated with your Brazilian colleagues.
  • Business cards are given and exchanged during introductions with everyone at the meeting.


Negotiation Etiquette in Brazil

  • Expect to get plenty of questions, as Brazilians prefer to do business with companies and individuals that they know.
  • Building relationships are important; never rush it. Wait for your Brazilian colleagues to bring the business subject up
  • Negotiating takes time as well, so don’t rush it.
  • Never look like you are in a rush, or worse – impatient.
  • Reviewing details will take a lot of time.
  • The people you negotiate with often don’t have decision-making authority.
  • If you are not fluent in Portuguese, make sure you hire a translator before you do your negotiations.
  • Use local accountants and lawyers when doing your negotiations as many Brazilians resent outside legal firms.


Conversation in Brazil

  • Generally, the communication styles of most Brazilians are informal and fairly relaxed.
  • Many are also direct in speaking, often touching one another lightly and standing close together. This applies to two women talking or when a woman and a man are speaking with each other. This is normal behavior, and not to be thought of as a flirting or inappropriate behavior.
  • Making brief or steady eye contacts with strangers are okay; however, people who are working in service professions, such as nurses, construction workers, and house cleaners often avoid making eye contacts to those they perceive to be higher in social status.


Here are some safe topics you can use to make conversation in Brazil:

  • The part of Brazil that you are currently visiting. It’s also good to talk about your travels and memorable experiences in other parts of Brazil.
  • Food is a safe and easy topic you can talk to. Mention grilled meats and wines in one of your conversations and see the topic take a life of its own!
  • Brazilian industry and business, particularly its modern innovations and productive aspects.
  • Soccer (or “futebol”) is another topic that will be met with great enthusiasm. Brazilians love this sport, and can be a highly-stimulating conversation piece. Other popular sports you can talk about are horse racing, basketball, volleyball, racing, and tennis.
  • Aside from sports, dancing is one topic that Brazilians are passionate about. Dance, Capoeira, and other Brazilian arts and cultural experiences are some of the best topics you can also discuss about.


Topics to Avoid in Business Conversations in Brazil

  • The economic challenges of the country, whether it’s past or present.
  • Class or ethnic differences are some of the sensitive topics you need to avoid. Class (economic terms) and status highly influence the kind of job a person will have, and the assumption that powerful people are entitled to special privileges are starting to be questioned in the society.
  • Argentina, which is Brazil’s largest business rival.
  • Criticisms against any aspect of Brazil.
  • Personal questions, especially about family, status, and income are generally avoided. Many Brazilians are reticent when it comes to discussing their private lives with people they hardly know.


Dining Etiquette in Brazil

When invited to a Brazilian’s house:

  • Arrive at least 30 minutes late if it’s a dinner invitation.
  • Always dress elegantly. Brazilians often judge others on their appearance, and casual dress in the country is more formal when compared to other countries. This means that it’s best to overdress than to underdress when going out.
  • You can always send flowers the next day if you forgot to bring a gift to the hostess.


Gift Etiquette in Brazil

  • Bring the hostess flowers or a small gift when you are invited to a Brazilian’s house.
  • Orchids are nice gifts; however, avoid the purple ones.
  • Purple and black are basically avoided, as they are associated with mourning.
  • Don’t give handkerchiefs as they are associated with funerals.
  • Gifts are opened immediately when they are received.


  1. You will have to fill an online visa request form available here:
  2. Print out, complete, and sign the one-page “visa form delivery receipt.”
  3. Collect all the documents that you need for the specific type of visa that you are applying for.
  4.  Submit your application together with the other documents.

It is very important that you follow the Brazilian immigration laws when you arrive in the country. Also make sure that you meet the requirements (depending upong your visa) set by the Federal Police (the Brazilian immigration authority). Travelers are given entry/exit cards by immigration officials once you enter the country. It should be presented to officials in your departure. You will be fined if you lose the card.

The immigration officers will look at how much money you have while you are in the country, your accommodation details, and return airline ticket. If you do not have any of these, then you are at a much higher risk of being denied entry into the country. Should you wish to extend your stay in the country, then you should apply (in advance) for a 90-day extension. However, this can be extended up to 180 days per year, if necessary. The extension should be requested before your authorized stay expires.

What if you overstay the validity of your visa? Then you will be given notice to leave the country and will be either fined or deported at your own expense.

Make sure that you have enough cash to pay the airport tax (R$65, paid only in cash), especially if this hasn’t been paid together with your airline ticket.

Check that names on the birth certificate, Canadian passport, and visa application must all be identical. Don’t write the initials, including your parents’ names.\

A Certificate of Canadian Citizenship should not be used as a travel document. The only universally accepted travel and identification document that is honored for the purpose of international travel is a Canadian passport.

You are required to show evidence of parental or access rights when you are traveling with children.


General Requirements for Brazilian Visa Applications

  1. You are required to have a valid passport for at least six months before its expiration date. It should be signed on the designated space and must have at least two blank pages available.
  2. You must fill an online visa application (one per applicant only) by going to this site:  Take note that paper application forms are no longer used. (Please read Brazil Consulate and Embassy for more information on how to fill out a visa request form).
    • Reminder: If, when trying to access the online application form, you receive a security warning, please be advised that the website you are redirected to is a secure Brazilian Government website. The security certificate is issued by the Brazilian governmental company responsible for the software used by the Brazilian Government. You can just click on “OK” to continue.
  3. A protocol number will be generated after you file out and submit your online visa request form. Make sure to print out the one-page receipt for the completed online form (you will need an Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to open and print the form).
  4. Sign the printed protocol documents inside the box and glue your photograph in the appropriate space. Make sure that the photograph you use meets the consulate’s specifications.  Fill in your own contact information especially your telephone number. This is how the consulate will contact you should they need more information with regards to your visa application.
    • Reminder: Remember that the protocol is only valid for one month. A new application must be made after this period.
  5. Minors under the age of 18 years old must have both their parents sign their visa applications in the presence of the Consular Officer. Should the application be mailed or through third party applicants, those under the age of 18 must show a notarized letter of consent that is signed by the parents or guardian (with proof of guardianship, in this case). However, this is not necessary if both the minor’s parents are also submitting their own visa applications together with the minor’s application.
  6. You are required to give a print-out or a photocopy of your round-trip ticket to Brazil, or if not, a ticket in transit indicating the flight numbers, dates, and itinerary. If you will be on a cruise that starts or ends in Brazil, make sure to have a photocopy or a print-out of both the cruise and flight tickets (in and out of Brazil). The Embassy will also accept a signed letter from the travel agent or carrier, which is written on company letterhead, indicating the vessel’s name, dates of arrival and departure from Brazil, and your itinerary.
  7. Persons on standby with open tickets and airline employees must present their tickets with their itinerary and an airline ID card (or a signed letter from the airline on company letterhead) with the name of the employee and their itinerary.
  8. All applicants are expected to present their proof of earnings by showing a letter of employer or a statement of their earnings. Self-employed, students, or the unemployed must show a statement of their earnings or a copy of their last year’s income tax from a spouse or a parent. Retirees must present any proof of income (such as their rent or pension), or they can submit their last year’s income tax.
  9. Children between the ages of 3 months and 6 years are required to show their polio vaccination certificate.
  10. All consular fees should be paid only through certified cheques or money order. Credit or debit cards and personal checks, and any other form of payment are not accepted. Fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Brazilian Tourist Visas

Eligibility for a Brazilian Visa

You can apply for a Brazil tourist visa if you fall under these categories:

  • You are just doing some “Leisure Traveling”;
  • You are visiting friends or relatives;
  • You are a scientist, a professor, or a researcher, and are attending technological, cultural, or scientific conferences, meetings, or seminars (the services provided here will not be paid by the Brazilian company or organization, except for expense reimbursements or per day allowances);
  • You are participating in an artistic or amateur sports competition, and no monetary prize of paid admission is done.

Terms and Conditions of Your Brazilian Tourist Visa

  • Tourist visa holders are not allowed to engage in business, work, or academic activities in Brazil.
  • Tourist visas are for multiple entries. Check the validity of your visa upon receipt. It may vary from only a few days up to several years.
  • Tourist visa holders are allowed to stay in the Brazilian territory for a maximum of 180 days over a 12-month period.
  • A tourist visa has multiple entries, and can be valid for up to five years.

Requirements for a Brazilian Tourist Visa

  1. A valid passport, with at least six months before it reaches the expiration date. It should also have at least two blank pages available.
  2. Visa application form for each applicant that must be completed online.
  3. A printed protocol document issued after completing the online form. Make sure to sign the protocol document in the appropriate space and glue a passport size photograph. Take note that the protocol is valid for 1 month, and you will be required to get a new application after this period.
  4. If you are under 18 years of age, you are required to complete a form that is completed and signed by both parents or your legal guardians. This authorizes the minor to apply for a Brazilian visa.
    • Don’t forget to bring documents that prove your relationship with the person(s) who are giving you permission to travel. Acceptable documents include: one piece of i.d. from each parent accompanied by a copy of minor’s the birth certificate stating the parents’ names; death certificate, when applicable, and, in the case of sole custody, a copy of a judicial document that indicates this custody.
  5. A photocopy of your round trip ticket to Brazil or even a transit ticket. Include the flight numbers together with the itinerary dates. The Embassy — should you have no ticket to show — will also accept a signed letter from the carrier or travel agent, written on company letterhead, with the itinerary and arrival and departure dates.
  6. Airline employees or persons on standby with open tickets must show their tickets together with the itinerary and an airline ID card. They can also get a signed letter from the airline using the company’s letterhead, together with the name of the employee and his or her itinerary.
  7. All applicants should show their proof of earnings (statement of earnings or an employer’s letter). If you are self-employed, unemployed, or a student, you need to show a statement of your earnings or a copy of your last year’s income tax either from your spouse or parents. If you are retired, you can also present a proof of income, such as your pension, or you can opt to show a copy of your last year’s income tax.
  8. A polio vaccination certificate is needed if your child is between 3 months to 6 years of age.
  9. If a dependent (adult or minor, including spouses and/or infants) is travelling with the main applicant(s), the basic documents for the dependent still have to be submitted, namely:
    • Original passport;
    • Photo;
    • Your visa receipt (RER);
    • Authorization form for the minor with the birth certificate, if applicable;
    • Payment.
    • Take note, however, that evidence of funds and economic ties only needs to be provided by the main applicant(s), who should assume full responsibility for the dependent(s) in the accompanying supporting letter.
  10. The Embassy may request additional documents when applicable, and may (or may not) include the following:


Visa form delivery receipt (RER)
  • Visit to fill out the visa request form.
  • Print the visa form delivery receipt (RECIBO DE ENTREGA DE REQUERIMENTO – RER), sign it in the designated box, glue the photo on the sheet and submit it with the other required documents. The RER must come on top of all supporting documents.
  • Where it asks for “nome de contato” and “telefone”, write your own name and phone number (it could also be the name of any person, preferably within Canada, capable of giving further information about the application in case they need to call for an interview).
1 recent 2″x2″ photo
  • Photo of the front face, taken against a plain off-white or white background.
  • Only professionally taken photos are accepted. Scanned pictures are not accepted.
  • It does not need to be signed on the back.
  • Please glue the photo to the application form covering the box in between bar codes. Do not staple it and do not use tape.
  • Do not cut the photo to make it fit in the box on the page. The box is just a placement guide. A 2×2″ photo will fit perfectly between the bar codes, covering the rectangle.
  • The photo must have been taken within the past 6 months.
Explanation for travel to Brazil Signed letter explaining your itinerary (when you will be arriving and leaving Brazil), the purpose of your trip and, if applicable, who in Brazil is inviting you. One letter for a group of people, such as a family, suffices.
Evidence of funds and ties to Canada You Must Provide evidence of funds to cover your expenses while in Brazil regardless of the duration of your intended stay
Accepted Documents

  • An official letter from the company you work for, stating your name and confirming your current position and most recent paystub (if applicable). Include a copy of the contract if possible.

And one of the following two options:

  • Photocopy of recent bank statement, with complete name of the account holder;
  • Copy of your latest notice of tax assessment.

If you cannot provide the above:

  • If self-employed: provide a notarized affidavit and a copy of your latest “notice of tax assessment” received back from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or equivalent agency in a different country. We do not provide a template of affidavit in verification of employment. The applicant should look for examples on the web or elsewhere. Summed up briefly, the affidavit must state the profession, field of activity, gross income and total taxes.
  • If unemployed: provide a letter explaining your situation and a copy of your bank statement and last “notice of tax assessment” received back from CRA or equivalente agency in a different country.
  • If retired: naturally you don’t need to provide proof of employment but proof of funds / income is still required (accepted documents are a recent bank statement accompanied by your latest “notice of tax assessment” received back from CRA – or equivalent agency in a different country).

Photocopies only. The Embassy or Consulate will not return your original documents to you.

If you are attending a conference
  • If you are presenting or going as a speaker: letter from the conference organizers stating that you are not going to receive earnings to present at the conference. If your airfare, accomodation and/or meals will be paid by Brazilian sources, you are still eligible for a tourist visa.
  • If you are only attending: official letter from the organizers confirming your registration or participating in the event.
Invitation Letter (If applicable) If you are visiting family members or friends in Brazil, provide a signed letter of invitation from them and (mandatory) either one of the following documents:

  • a copy of their Brazilian Identification Document (carteira de identidade ou passaporte) or
  • protocol issued by the Federal Police.

The invitation letter can be scanned and sent to you (the applicant) by fax or email, as an attachment, as long as it is signed and contains contact information. We do not accept separate documents sent directly to the Consulate, unless requested. If you are accompanying a Brazilian citizen who is travelling with your from Canada, he or she may write the invitation letter for.

If you are a student or a minor
  • In additional to the applicable documents requested above, an official letter from the school, college or university you attend, stating your name and confirming that you are currently enrolled to that institution and one of the following:
  • Photocopy of recent bank statement, with complete name of the account holder or
  • A notarized affidavit letter from your parents or legal guardian, confirming their financial support to your trip along with proof of their income and employment (see above). By providing us with a notarized affidavit of financial support, you meet one of the requirements. However, since the parents or legal guardians are financially responsible for minor (hence, the affidavit), whoever signs the affidavit needs to provide proof of funds (letter of employment, bank statements, etc.), as if they were applying for a visa themselves.
  • If you are a student and also a worker, please provide documentation to prove both conditions.

How to Fill Out the Brazilian Visa Request Form

  • The visa request form can be completed exclusively at
  • You are required to fill out the form online. Don’t download the forms, print them out, and then write your information on the form. They will not be accepted.
  • Go to the SCEDV page, and then click on “Request Visa” and then on “Next”.
  • Click the “OK” button if you receive a security warning while trying to access the online application form.
  • Make sure you fill out all the required fields to the best of your knowledge, and enter your personal information correctly and accurately.

The information you enter, such as your name, sex, date of birth, nationality, and passport number, will automatically show on your visa. What this means is that if you enter the wrong information, then your visa will contain mistakes. Consequently, you will encounter problems with immigration and border protection authorities in Brazil.


Here are some guidelines you should always keep in mind:

  • Name: If your full name is “Peter Dale Scott”, but your passport reads “Peter Scott”, omit the middle name. Similarly, if your passport shows abbreviated names or symbols such as hyphens, type them exactly as they appear on the passport.
  • Nationality: Under the “General Data” tab, you must select your nationality. If you have dual or multiple citizenships, select only the name of the country that issued the passport which you are using to apply for the Brazilian visa. To avoid possible mistakes in your visa, do not select “Other Nationalities”.
  •  Contact in Brazil: Under the “Addresses” tab, you need to enter information about your “Contact in Brazil”. If you do not have any contact in Brazil, leave it blank.

Once you’ve completed the visa request form, all you will be required to print out is the visa form delivery receipt and attach it to your application.

This page contains:

  • A bar code
  • A box for the applicant’s signature (or legal guardians in the case of minors)
  • Space for a 2×2″ photo.

If you are unable to print out the receipt, you can do it later at a different computer. All you need to do is to go back to the SCEDV page and click “Print Visa Form Delivery Receipt”.

If you made a mistake and pressed “Submit”, you can go back to the homepage and then click on “Update Visa Request Form” to correct your mistakes.

If you made a mistake or if would like to edit any information on a visa that is already stamped onto a passport, you will need to pay forthe applicable fees another time because your incorrect visa will be cancelled and another one will be issued to you.

Your Brazilian visa application does not guarantee that you will get a visa. Here are some factors that visa officers look for in assessing whether you can be given a visa:

  • The purpose of your visit and your ties to your home country, including your family and economic situation.
  • The authenticity of your application. Make sure that your applications contain complete, authentic, and truthful information, including your supporting documents as well.

Regardless of what you give, there is no formula or specific document that will give you a 100% guarantee of a visa approval. Just make sure that you have followed all the instructions that were given to you, and make sure that you have submitted all your requirements down to a tee. Then cross your fingers and hope for the best.


Brazilian Visa Fees and Payment

If you are applying by mail, you will have to include a pre-paid Xpresspost or Priority Mail envelope with your application. If you are dropping off your application but want the visa sent to you, you will have to provide a pre-paid Xpresspost or Priority Mail envelope as well.

The cost depends on whether or not you are a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. Fees are subject to change.

Citizenship Cost (CAD)
Canada $81.25
American $200.00
Australian $43.75
Japanese $31.25
Mexican $37.50
Nigerian $81.25
Other $25.00

There is a handling fee of $25.00 if you submit your application by mail or via a third party.


Brazil Visa Processing Time

It takes around ten working days, plus the delivery time for applicants to apply through mail. However, keep in mind that changes in procedures may mean that there are various processing times, and these may depend on your home province. For instance, Western Canadian residents will have to wait for a minimum of three working weeks (sometimes even one month) before they can get their Brazilian visa. It’s best to check in with the Brazilian consulate neares you.

Other Important Information About Your Brazilian Visa Application

  1. Processed documents will be returned through mail through the prepaid services given by Canada Post (Express Post, Priority Courier, and Registered Mail).
  2. Here is a complete checklist that you can use when applying for a Brazilian Tourist Visa.
  3. It would be better not to buy your travel ticket to Brazil before you get an approval from the Embassy.
  4. Incomplete applications will not be processed and will be returned to the applicant.

Extending Your Brazilian Tourist Visa

You can request for an extension of your stay, although you need to meet certain requirements to apply. Your application will be approved or denied by the Federal Police. Bear in mind, however, that the visa extension may be or may not be granted. Once it is given to you, however, you are not allowed to exceed your stay for 90 days. This privilege may also be shorter and can be canceled by the Federal Police anytime.

Brazilian Business Visas

When to Apply for a Brazilian Business Visa

  • You are required to go to Brazil for a business trip. A business trip usually involve one or more of the following activities:
    • Meetings to discuss sales or purchases of goods and services
    • Showcasing material
    • Close export or import deals
    • Meetings to evaluate ongoing operations or existing contracts between a Canadian company and a Brazilian counterpart
    • Explore investment opportunities
    • Business relocation
    • Outsourcing
    • Media coverage or filming. However, your intent should be for business or for journalism or news-gathering. If your activities do not fall under these categories, then it will depend on the prior authorizations from the Ministry of Culture in Brazil. To obtain this, you have to find a Brazilian co-producer who shall get the authorization for you. Take note that long-term media correspondents should apply for a Media Correspondents Visa or Temporary Visa VI – VITEM II.
  • You are adopting a Brazilian child.
  • You are a flight or ship crew member who does not have an international crew card.

When Not to Apply for a Brazilian Business Visa

  • Your activities are not related to business or for the specific purpose required by this type of visa. This means that you will be required to fully disclose all of your intended activities when you submit your visa application form.
  • You are required to engage in the following activities:
    • technical assistance training,
    • installation or repair of machinery
    • software development implementation or modification
    • provision of service
    • laboratory or field work
    • recurrent office tasks
    • As a precaution, refer to Work Visa or a Temporary Visa V – VITEM V to make sure whether the purpose of your visit falls under its categories, and not here.
  • Take note that you are not allowed to engage in any activity while under an employment contract with a Brazilian organization or corporation.
  • You are going to Brazil for a consulting service or technical assistance of any kind. You should get a Work Visa or a Temporary Visa V – VITEM V, instead.

Information About Your Brazilian Visa Application

  • The validity of your Business Visa will be determined by the consular authority. You can check your validity once you get your receipt.
  • The consulate highly recommends that you DO NOT buy your travel ticket to Brazil before your application has been approved. However, you should send them a letter detailing your planned trip and travel dates.
  • Your application will only be processed if you have submitted all the required documents that are listed here. Incomplete applications will not be processed and will be returned to the applicant.
  • The requirements listed here are not all-inclusive. This means that the Consulate reserves the right to ask for more additional information.
  • There is no rush or expedited services given.
  • Brazilian nationals are required to travel using their Brazilian passport.

Requirements for a Brazilian Visa Application

  1. You are required to have a valid passport for at least six months before its expiration date. It should be signed on the designated space and must have at least two blank pages available.
  2. You must fill an online visa application (one per applicant only) by going to this site:  Take note that paper application forms are no longer used (Please read Brazil Consulate and Embassy for more information on how to fill out a visa request form).
    • If, when trying to access the online application form, you receive a security warning, please be advised that the website you are redirected to is a secure Brazilian Government website. The security certificate is issued by the Brazilian governmental company responsible for the software used by the Brazilian Government. You can just click on “OK” to continue.
  3. A protocol number will be generated after you file out and submit your online visa request form. Make sure to print out the one-page receipt for the completed online form (you will need an Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to open and print the form).
  4. Sign the printed protocol documents inside the box and glue your photograph in the appropriate space. Make sure that the photograph you use meets the consulate’s specifications.  Fill in your own contact information especially your telephone number. This is how the consulate will contact you should they need more information with regards to your visa application.
    • Remember that the receipt is only valid for one month. A new application must be made after this period.
  5. You are required to give a print-out or a photocopy of your round-trip ticket to Brazil, or if not, a ticket in transit indicating the flight numbers, dates, and itinerary. If you will be on a cruise that starts or ends in Brazil, make sure to have a photocopy or a print-out of both the cruise and flight tickets (in and out of Brazil). The Embassy will also accept a signed letter from the travel agent or carrier, which is written on company letterhead, indicating the vessel’s name, dates of arrival and departure from Brazil, and your itinerary.
  6. Persons on standby with open tickets and airline employees must present their tickets with their itinerary and an airline ID card (or a signed letter from the airline on company letterhead) with the name of the employee and their itinerary.
  7. All applicants are expected to present their proof of earnings by showing a letter of employer or a statement of their earnings. Self-employed, students, or the unemployed must show a statement of their earnings or a copy of their last year’s income tax from a spouse or a parent. Retirees must present any proof of income (such as their rent or pension), or they can submit their last year’s income tax.
  8. All consular fees should be paid only through certified cheques or money order. Credit or debit cards and personal checks, and any other form of payment are not accepted. Fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Additional Requirements for Brazilian Visas:

  • Passport
    • Passports must be valid for at least 6 (six) months. Passports expiring in less than 6 (six) months will be returned.
    • Must be signed on the designated space.
    • Must have at least 2 pages for the visa.
    • As with any official Government document, your passport must be in good condition. Damaged passports will not be accepted.
    • Non-Canadians must also provide proof of legal status in Canada such as: valid visa (if applicable), admission stamp on passport, copy of valid study permit or copy of valid work permit or copy of permanent resident card).
  • Visa receipt (RER)
  • Photo (see specifications)
  • Letter from your Canadian employer:
    • The Canadian company must assume full responsibility for the travel expenses and inform the travel dates, name of contact(s) in Brazil as well as detailed information about the type of business and purpose of the specific trip(s).
    • This letter should state the field of activity of both companies (in Brazil and Canada).
    • A letter simply stating that “the visa applicant is needed in Brazil for business meetings” will not be accepted. Please provide as much information as possible.
    • If you are the president of the company, writing the letter for yourself, it must be signed before a Notary Public.
  • Letter from the company you are visiting in Brazil:
    • This letter must confirm the nature of the meeting(s) and include all Brazilian contacts. It must be written in Portuguese as it will be addressed to the Consulate General of Brazil. A translation may be provided by the Brazilian company to the visa applicant. However, the Consulate General requires only the one in Portuguese.
    • A letter simply stating that “the visa applicant is needed in Brazil for business meetings” will not be accepted. Please provide as much information as possible.
  • Business Card.

Brazilian Business Visa Fees

  • CAD$75 for Canadians and Permanent Residents who are not American citizens.
  • CAD$200 for American citizens.

Fees are subject to change.

Brazilian Business Visa Processing Time

10 or more business days, depending on the diplomatic mission.

Other Types of Brazilian Visas

You need a visa to enter Brazil, even if it’s only a few hours. However, there is an exception to this rule: If you are only in transit through a Brazilian airport on your way to another country (and you have no intention of leaving the transit area of the airport), then you are not required to apply for a visa.

The maximum transit time you can stay in Brazil without a visa is around 7 hours. You must have a valid passport with you and an onward ticket. You must also remain in the airport’s transit area.

It would be advisable to apply for a tourist visa instead because of possible international flight delays or cancellations due to unforeseen events. Remember that transit visas are only for one entry, and only for connecting flights.

Brazilian Student Visas

This visa is suitable for students who fall under the following categories:

  • All levels of studies (primary, secondary, graduate, or post-graduate academic studies)
  • Language and technical courses
  • Exchange programs, where the students undergo tertiary level study in Brazil as part of their studies for their home university.
  • Internship programs, where the student works in a supervised environment.
  • All levels of theological programs.

Student visas normally cost CAD$50 for Canadian citizens.

In addition to the normal tourist visa requirements, you need to provide:

  • Proof of enrollment in a Brazilian institution (legalized by a notary public in Brazil) indicating duration and nature of studies.
  • Proof of your residence for the past twelve months (example: copy of driver’s license and/or copy of bill with your name and address).
  • A proof of your financial capability to support yourself throughout the duration of your studies.
  • If you are under 18, a notarized form signed by both parents or legal guardians authorizing you to apply for a Brazilian visa along with documents that prove the relationship between you and the person(s) giving the authorization (acceptable documents include: copy of I.D. from each parent accompanied by a copy of the long form of the birth certificate showing the parents’ names; death certificate, when applicable and, in the case of sole custody, copy of a judicial document attesting to that).

You will also have to provide additional information, depending on why you are applying for a student visa:

For undergraduate students undertaking bachelor degrees in Brazil:

  • Proof of secondary education completion (high school or equivalent), legalized by the Consulate.
  • Proof of passing college entrance examinations or other type of selection processes that are recognized by the Ministry of Education (MEC) for undergraduate courses in a higher education that are recognized by MEC. Note that neither vacancy reservation nor selection through C.V. analysis can be classified under the selective process.
  • A copy of the Public Notice for the selection process (call for applications). This includes the minimum passing grade and the assessed subjects. Take note that any selection process should assess the use of Portuguese proficiency in communication, organization, and expression of thought. It should also be noted that the Public Notice shall be published in the Diário Oficial da União (Brazilian Federal Official Gazette) and in other broadly-circulating newspapers in Brazil.
  • Certificate that you have attained the minimum required grade in each subject and that you were included and approved in the selection process.
  • Actual proof of enrollment in the undergraduate courses at the Brazilian Educational Institution.
  • Proof of being awarded a scholarship, or in cases where it’s not present, a proof of financial capability that guarantees you can support yourself in Brazil.
  • Police clearance certificate (non-fingerprint background check).

Additional documents to pursue Graduate Studies (Master’s Degree, Doctorate) in Brazil (You should include these together with the following documents listed above):

  • Proof of your completed tertiary education or equivalent, which is legalized by the Consulate.
  • Proof of actual enrolment in the graduate program at any Brazilian Educational Institution that is determined by the Ministry of Education.
  • Proof of being awarded by a fellowship or grant, or if not present, a proof of financial capability that shows you can support yourself during your study in the country.
  • Police clearance certificate (non-fingerprint background check).

For exchanges:

  • Proof of enrollment in a graduate or undergraduate program abroad;
  • Proof of registration or reservation of a spot in an undergraduate or graduate program in Brazil that is acknowledged by the Ministry of Education (MEC);
  • Proof of having been given a fellowship or grant, or if not present, proof of your financial competence in supporting yourself in Brazil during the study period;
  • Police clearance certificate (non-fingerprint background check).

For internships:

  • The term of recommitment or agreement signed between the intern and the organization that is granting the internship (Intervening Parties) together with the Brazilian educational institution.
  • Interns should come from a foreign university, and the collaboration should extend to a university in Brazil. Intervening parties include the following: legal entities of private law and public administration agencies, autarchies and foundations of any of the branches of the government, as well as top-level professionals with higher education properly registered in their respective boards of professional surveillance.

Brazilian Work Visas

Who Can Apply for a Brazilian Work Visa?

  • Foreign workers and service providers that have (or not have) an employment contract with a Brazilian company.
  • Engineers, Geologists, and other specialized professionals that provide consulting services can also apply for a temporary work visa and not for a business visa.
  • Technologists, well-qualified scientists and researchers, and professors who plan to do activities related to private or public technology, teaching, and technology.
  • Services given to a Brazilian government agency or organization that is under a contract or international agreement.
  • Internship or professional training without an employment contract after completing a university degree or professional schooling.
  • Foreigners intending to train in foreign language, with the salary or remuneration given entirely from abroad.
  • Work under a Brazilian-managed employment contract.
  • A foreign company’s employee allowed in Brazil to work as an intern at a subsidiary or a Brazilian branch. They must, however, be paid exclusively by the foreign company abroad.
  • Foreigners who come to the country without any employment bond with a national company to transfer technology and/or provide technical assistance.
  • Technical assistance, which requires you to contact the Brazilian company and ask them to apply for a permit from the Ministry of Labor.
  • Professional athletes with employment contracts.
  • Foreigners who work for a transnational economic group with their company headquartered in Brazil. Their task should involve performing technical-perational or administrative work without any employment contract.
  • Crew members and other oil or gas specialists that provide service within Brazilian waters.
  • Crew members who serve aboard a fishing vessel that is chartered by a Brazilian company.
  • Professionals and crew members who perform paid activities aboard cruise vessels along the Brazilian inland waters and coast.
  • Foreign vessel crew members traveling to Brazil and operating in Brazilian waters as required by a charter, services, or risk contract with a Brazilian company.
  • Medical residents.

Make sure that before you submit your application package to the Consulate General, the Brazilian company that is inviting or hiring you must get a permit directly in Brazil through the Ministry of Labor (Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego – MTE).

Once you get your permit, you can now apply for a visa. However, please do not send any documents before getting the permit from the Ministry of Labor.

Work visas cost CAD$125 for Canadian citizens.

Brazilian Diplomatic Missions in Canada

All Canadian passport holders, whether they are holders of diplomatic passports, service passports, with Business and Tourism purposes, are required a visa before they can enter Brazil.

Reminder: You do not need to get a new visa every time you travel to Brazil for as long as the visa is still valid. However, you should never use it to enter the country for a different purpose other than it was originally intended to be. For instance, you are not allowed to work, study, or do business in the country if you only hold a tourist visa.

  • : Ottawa-Gatineau visa applications only.
  • Consulate General of Brazil in Montreal: Quebec (except Gatineau), New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and PEI.
  • Consulate General of Brazil in Toronto: Ontario (except Ottawa), Manitoba, Nunavut.
  • Consulate General of Brazil in Vancouver: British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Yukon.
  • Honorary Consul of Brazil in Halifax: Does not handle visa applications.

Vaccines and Health Information

Vaccination or Disease Recommendations or Requirements for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
Routine Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots, such as measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.
Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG) Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in countries with an intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus infection (see map) where exposure might occur through food or water. Cases of travel-related hepatitis A can also occur in travelers to developing countries with “standard” tourist itineraries, accommodations, and food consumption behaviors.
Hepatitis B Recommended for all unvaccinated persons traveling to or working in countries with intermediate to high levels of endemic HBV transmission (see map), especially those who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).
Typhoid Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in Tropical South America, especially if staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water.
Yellow Fever Requirements: None
Recommended for all travelers ≥9 months of age going to the following areas: the entire states of Acre, Amapá, Amazones, Distrito Federal (including the capital city of Brasília), Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins, and designated areas of the following states: Bahia, Paraná, Piauí, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and São Paulo. Vaccination is also recommended for travelers visiting Iguassu Falls. Update: The Brazil Ministry of Health has recently expanded the list of municipalities for which yellow fever vaccination is recommended in the four southeastern states of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul.
Not recommended for travelers whose itineraries are limited to areas not listed above, including the cities of Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and São Paulo.
Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10-year intervals if there is on-going risk.
Rabies Rabbies vaccination is only recommended for certain travelers, including

  • long-term travelers and expatriates living in areas that pose a high risk for exposure;
  • travelers involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats, stray dogs and cats, wildlife, and other mammals. Such travelers include wildlife professionals, researchers, veterinarians, or adventure travelers visiting areas where bats, wildlife, and other mammals are commonly found.


Other Health Considerations in Brazil

Common Diseases in Brazil

Make sure to apply a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin whenever you are in an area with possible presence of insects. Also apply Permethrin spray or solution to your clothing and gear, and make sure to sleep under a Permethrin-treated bed net.

Be careful to avoid contact with animals, especially dogs, cats, monkeys, snakes, bats, and rodents. Rabies is commonly found in the saliva of these infected animals, and may be transmitted through animal bites. Most of the reported cases in Brazil come from the extreme western Minas Gerais state and northeastern areas. Dogs are the most common culprits, although rabies from vampire bats are also common in certain areas of Brazil, such as the Amazon.

Disease Information
Chagas Disease (American Trypanosomiasis) Chagas Disease is an infection that occurs through the feces of the reduvid bug. It can also be transmitted through blood transfusion or organ transplantation, or through contaminated beverages or food.
The risk for getting this in Brazil is relatively low, although it would still be wise to use insecticide bed nets, and to follow the necessary precautions when handling food and other beverages. Also avoid blood transfusion and organ transplantation whenever possible.
Cutaneous and Mucosal Leishmaniasis Cutaneous and Mucosal Leishmaniasis causes skin ulcers and sores caused by the bite of a female sandfly. Typically, these insects are active at dawn and dusk, especially in rural and forested areas. Most cases are on the skin, whih slowly grows ulcers over exposed parts of the body. It can be very severe for those with HIV.
There is no vaccine for Leishmaniasis. A good prevention would be to use a skin repellant and sleep in a netting made of fine mesh or or covered with permethrin.
Leishmaniasis has been reported from suburban areas in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Dengue Fever Dengue is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms.

Chronic cases can lead to hemorrhagic fever, and can be fatal when left untreated. There is no vaccine available for Dengue. The best preventive measure is to avoid standing water where mosquitoes can breed. It’s also good to wear mosquito repellants.

Dengue is widespread in the country, especially in Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais. The traditional peak season in Brazil happens from January through March. Recently, the greatest number of cases has been reported from the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, which is along the border of Bolivia and Paraguay. Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Ceara States Maranhao, and Parana were also included in recent reports.

Malaria Malaria in Brazil is often known as the legal Amazon. It is a serious and quite often a fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes.

Common symptoms of malaria include: fever, chills, sweats, headaches, body aches, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue. It may also cause anemia and jaundice, and in severe cases, kidney failure, coma, and death.

Mosquitoes that carry the malaria strain often feed mostly during the hours from dusk to dawn. Evening and nighttime mosquito bites should be avoided.

Ninety-percent of malaria cases are reported from Para, Mato Grosso, and Rondonia States.

Onchocerciasis Also known as River Blindness, Onchocerciasis is caused by roundworms that attack the eye, which leads to blindness. This transmission is often caused by black flies that breed on the banks of flowing rivers and streams. Their bites are often made during the day, and found near very fast, moving rivers.

Symptoms may occur months to even years after leaving Brazil. Many are often dermatologic in nature, and may present itself as skin or ocular disease.

Often Onchocerciasis is reported among the indigenous Yanomamai population living along the Venezuelan border

Schistosomiasis This disease is found in Brazil, Suriname, and north-central Venezuela. It is often caused by blood flukes or tiny worms that are transferred to humans through contaminated water. The worm’s eggs cause stomach illnesses, such as cramps, diarrhea, or even urinary problems.

Travelers often get this when they swim in contaminated fresh water, such as open ponds or lakes. The risk, however, is relatively low in swimming pools.

There are no available vaccines for Schistosomiasis.

Traveler’s Diarrhea The most common illness affecting travelers, Diarrhea is often spread through eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms include more than three watery bowel actions within 24 hours, vomiting, cramps, fever, or feeling unwell. This disease can be treated by the use of antibiotics.

You can avoid this by staying away from tap water unless it has been filtered, boiled, or disinfected chemically (such as the use of iodine tablets). Don’t drink dairy products from unknown sources or those that contain unpasteurized milk. Also be cautious of street vendor food.

Visceral Leishmaniasis Visceral Leishmaniasis is also spread through the bite of a female sandfly, or may be transmitted through blood transfusion or sharing contaminated needles. This can be fatal if left untreated.

The risk is generally low for most travelers, and no vaccine is also available for this disease.

Ninety percent of this disease is reported from the north, or the mouth of the Amazon and other eastern regions. It is endemic to Roraima and Sergipe, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio Grande do Norte,Minas Gerais, Para, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso do Sul, Alagoas, Bahia, Ceara, and Espirito Santo.

sease Prevention in Brzil

Malaria, Dengue, and many other diseases are spread through insects. The best way to prevent them is to:

  • Use insect repellent with 30% to 50% DEET. You can also use Picaridin (7% and 15%), although it needs more frequent applications
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, hats, and long pants outdoors whenever possible.
  • Avoid going out during the peak biting periods for Malaria (dusk and dawn).
  • Sleep in beds that are covered by nets that are treated with Permethrin whenever you’re sleeping in a room without any air conditioner.
  • Spray insecticides that are effective against flying insects.

Malaria is a very serious condition and can be fatal. Seek immediate medical attention if you become ill with fever or flu-like illness either while traveling or returning home (even after a year has already passed).

Direct contact with animals can spread fatal diseases like rabies.

  • Make sure to be up to date with your tetanus vaccination.
  • Don’t touch or feed animals, including dogs and cats.
  • Supervise your children when they are around animals.
  • If you are scratched or bitten, wash the wound well with soap and water and immediately go to a doctor.
  • After your trip, make sure to inform your doctor or state health department that you were bitten by an animal during travel.


Hospitals and Clinics in Brazil

City Hospital or Clinic Map
Brasilia Hospital de Base de Brasilia
SMHS, bl A an 1 Brasilia
Tel: [55] (61) 3325-4080
Most specialty services including trauma; 24-hour emergency room.

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Curitiba Travel Clin (Clinica de Medicina do Viajante)
Rua da Paz, 195 conjunto 319
Alto da XV
Tel: [55] (41) 3019-2474
E-mail: [email protected]
Travel Clin is the first clinic of Travel Medicine in Curitiba and it is the only one in Parana State that is operated by members of International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM). It also offers services of diagnostic evaluation of disease related to any journey, emission of certificates, evaluation of expatriates, evaluation of tourists in transit and others.

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Fortaleza SAT Emergencia Medicas
Tel: [55] (85) 4009-0909
24-hour medical care.

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Rio de Janeiro Hospital Israelita Albert Sabin
56 Rua Lucio de Mendonca
Rio de Janeiro
Tel: (21) 2568-8822

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Hospital Pro-Cardiaco
Rua Dona Mariana, 219
Rio de Janiero
Tel: 2537-4242

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Hospital Samaritano
Rua Bambina 98
Rio de Janiero
Tel: 2537-9722

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Sao Paulo Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein
Av. Albert Einstein, 627/701
Sao Paulo
Tel: [55] (11) 3747-1301
Excellent facility, regularly used by expatriates. Offers broad range of state-of-the-art specialty services.

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Hospital Samaritano
Rua Conselheiro Brotero
Sao Paulo
Tel: [55] (11) 3821-5300
Accredited by the Joint Commission International and the Consortium for Brazilian Accreditation.

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Pharmacies in Brazil

Most Brazilian pharmacies are well-supplied, with licensed pharmacists to assist you. DrogaRaia is a large, reputable pharmacy chain, and many of its branches are open 24 hours (see their website at for locations).


Calling Brazil

To make a direct call to Brazil from Canada, you need to follow the international dialing format given in the box below. The dialing format is same for calling Brazil mobile or land line from Canada.


To call Brazil from Canada

Dial 011 – 55 – Area Code – local number

  •  011 – Exit code for Canada, and is needed for making any international call from Canada
  •  55 – ISD Code or Country Code of Brazil


List of area codes in Brazil

Ananindeua 91 Ilheus 73 Rio de Janeiro 21
Anapolis 62 Itaquaquecetuba 11 Salvador 71
Aparecida de Goiania 62 Joinville 47 Santa Maria 55
Aracaju 79 Joao Pessoa 83 Santarem 91
Bauru 14 Juiz de Fora 32 Santo Andre 11
Belem 91 Limeira 19 Santos 13
Belo Horizonte 31 Londrina 43 Sao Bernardo Campo 11
Boa Vista 95 Macapa 96 Sao Goncalo 21
Brasilia 61 Maceio 82 Sao Joao de Meriti 21
Campinas 19 Manaus 92 Sao Jose Campos 12
Campo Grande 67 Maringa 44 Sao Jose de Rio Preto 17
Canoas 51 Maua 11 Sao Luis 98
Carapicuiba 11 Montes Claros 38 Sao Paulo 11
Cariacica 27 Mogi das Cruzes 11 Sao Vicente 13
Caxias do Soul 54 Natal 84 Serra 27
Contagem 31 Niteroi 21 Sorocaba 15
Cuiaba 65 Nova Iguacu 21 Taubate 12
Curitiba 41 Olinda 81 Teresina 86
Diadema 11 Paulista 81 Uberlandia 34
Duque de Caxias 21 Pelotas 53 Uberaba 34
Feira de Santana 75 Petropolis 24 Varzea Grande 65
Florianopolis 48 Piracicaba 19 Vila Velha 27
Fortaleza 85 Porto Alegre 51 Vitoria 27
Foz do Iguacu 45 Porto Velho 69 Vitoria da Conquista 77
Franca 16 Recife 81 Volta Redonda 24
Goiania 62 Ribeirao Preto 16
Guarulhos 11 Rio Branco 68


Time Difference Between Brazil and Canada

There are multiple time zones in Brazil:

Canadian Time Zone BrazilianTime Zone # of Hours Difference with western Brazil # of Hours Difference with central Brazil # of Hours Difference with eastern Brazil
Pacific (BC, Yukon) Western Brazil is 4 hours ahead Central Brazil is 5 hours Ahead Eastern Brazil is 6 hours Ahead
Mountain (Alberta, western Nunvaut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan) Western Brazil is 3 hours ahead Central Brazil is 4 hours ahead Eastern Brazil is 5 hours ahead
Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario, Saskatchewan) Western Brazil is 2 hours ahead Central Brazil is 3 hour ahead Eastern Brazil is 4 hours ahead
Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec) Western Brazil is 1 hour ahead Central Brazil is 2 hours ahead Eastern Brazil is 3 hours ahead
Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec) Same time Central Brazil is 1 hour ahead Eastern Brazil is 2 hours ahead
Newfoundland Western Brazil is 30 minutes behind Central Brazil is 30 minutes ahead Eastern Brazil is 90 minutes ahead

Like Canada, Brazil participates in Daylight Saving Time. However, Brazil goes through DST in their summer (our winter), making it difficult to calculate the time differences. Also, not all of Brazil participates in DST, just like Saskatchewan doesn’t. Figuring out the time difference between your time zone in Canada and the Brazilian time zone you are calling can be really hard. The above time differences only apply when neither country is in DST, which is from the third Sunday of October to the first Sunday of November, and from the third Sunday of February to the second Sunday of March.

The below table shows you what Canadian time zone equivalent Brazilian states are in at different times of the year.

Brazilian States Time of Year Third Sunday of February to Second Sunday of March

and third Sunday of October to first Sunday of November


(No DST)


(Brazil DST)

March-October (Canada DST)
Western Brazil: Acre, Amazonas, Roraima, Rondonia Atlantic Time Eastern Time Eastern Time
Southwestern Brazil: Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sol Atlantic Time Atlantic Time Eastern Time
Northeastern Brazil: Alagoas, Amapa, Bahia, Ceara, Maranhao, Para, Paraiba, Piaui, Pemambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe 1 hour ahead of Atlantic Time Atlantic Time Atlantic Time
Southern Brazil: Brasilia, Espirito Santo, Goia, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sol, Sao Paulo, Tocantins 1 hour ahead of Atlantic Time 1 hour ahead of Atlantic time Atlantic time


Brazilian Money

10 Reais (old)

[Public Domain]

Brazil’s currency is the “Real” or “Reais” (plural form), which is indicated as R$. This currency is presently very strong against the US dollar and the Euro, and has become stable in recent years.

The Real has the same denominations as the US dollar. One Real is made up of 100 centavos, and paper bills are issued between R$1 and R$100. It would be a good idea to keep some of the $R1 coin, as it is highly popular in Brazil.

Banknotes are easy to recognize from each other, and they come in different colors with a different animal shown on each note:

  • Green one-real note (hummingbird)
  • A blue two (hawksbill turtle)
  • A violet five (egret)
  • A scarlet 10 (macaw)
  • A yellow twenty (lion-faced monkey)
  • A golden-brown 50 (jaguar)
  • A blue 100 (grouper)

The Brazilian Central Bank issued new R$50 and R$100 notes with enhanced anti-counterfeit technology in December 2010. The other denominations will also be replaced in 2012.

It is advisable to arrive in Brazil with some small amount of Reais and carry with you at all times.


How to Recognize Genuine Brazilian Money

  1. The paper texture of the money should have a certain roughness — or aspereza — to it.
  2. Look for the Watermark or Marca d’Água. It should have the Brazilian flag or the Republic effigy, for example.
  3. You should find a latent image (imagem latente) when you hold it under a microscope or UV light. In some cases, it can also be seen when you hold up the bill against a very bright light.
  4. You should find coinciding images (registro coincidente) to be a perfect match when you fold the bill in half and look at it against the light.
  5. Look for High Relief (alto relevo) portions of the bill. The left end of the front side should have tactile bars (marca tatil) to make them easily identifiable by people with visual disabilities. An exception to this rule would be the polymer $10 bill, which has a unique feel to it in the first place. There are also high-relief areas found look for the Republic effigy’s forehead and the animals’ heads on the reverse side.


Costs of Travelling in Brazil

Brazil, although still cheaper than Europe and North America, has become quite expensive due to its strong economy.

If you are intending to stay in Brazil for quite some time, make sure that your budget is enough on where you intend to stay. There are some cities that are quite expensive, particularly Rio de Janeiro. If you are tight on the budget, choose Brazil’s rural areas and less-visited destinations, which are often cheaper. It’s also cheaper to travel by bus, which costs about R$8 (US$4) of the distance you’ve covered compared to renting cars, which can easily cost you around R$100 per day.

Believe it or not, you can travel on a budget without feeling extremely deprived. You can actually spend only R$100 or US$50 per day: R$40 for your accommodations, R$30 for your food and beverage, and some extra for your bus fare, even admission to occasional entertainment. The trick here is to stay in hostels and eat simple dishes. If you can get by with fish, rice, and beans everyday, then you can easily scrape by on $70 per day.

If living a spartan lifestyle is not appealing for you, then prepare to spend at least R$250 a day. This amount is enough to go by with reasonably comfortable hotels, eat in good restaurants, go out at night for a couple of days in a week, and even schedule some excursions around Brazil. However, if you plan to stay in exclusive resort areas or hotels, eat out at the finest restaurants, and make the most of your nightlife for the rest of you stay, then be prepared to shell out R$500 a day or more for your expenses.

Keep in mind that accommodation costs increase around 30 percent during the months of December through February. Also, accommodations increase dramatically during Carnival season, although prices drop down to low-season rates a week afterwards.


Exchanging Money in Brazil

All banks and “cambios exchange” recognize traveler’s checks and other foreign currency. Many large bank offices and hotels in the bigger Brazilian cities also have a foreign section. You will have to submit your passport to exchange your money.

Make sure to keep your receipt whenever you exchange money, be it cash or traveler’s cheques. You will need them in case you want to change all your unused Reais back to your country’s currency.

There are no restrictions when it comes to importing and exporting foreign and local currency up to $10,000. You have to declare amounts that go higher than this amount.\


Brazilian ATMs

The best way for you to get your money in the big cities is through ATMs. Remember that Brazil’s financial infrastructure is sophisticated, and ATMs were common in the country even before ATM were utilized in western Europe. This  means that you’ll literally find ATM machines everywhere, and you can withdraw from any ATMs even in smaller towns. However, keep in mind that in many cases, Brazilian cards  are only accepted in the smaller towns.

Most ATM cards only accept ATMs with four-digit PIN numbers (those with longer pins might not work). so make sure to contact your financial institution and ask for confirmation before you go to Brazil .  In general, the best ATMs for foreigners to use are HSBC, Banco de Brasil, Citibank, and Bradesco. Most ATMs have a limit of $1,000, but this will depend on the machines you’re using as well. Small towns normally have one ATM, such as PLUS/Visa or Cirrus/MasterCard, but not always both. When in doubt, check with your bank to find out which Brazilian banks are compatible with your card.

Make sure you have enough cash with you ahead of time, especially during New Year and Carnival, as machines often run out of money during by the endo of the holidays.

Many ATMs don’t operate for 24 hours and close after 10 pm, or if not, only allows a small amount of cash when you withdraw after 10 pm. The best places you can withdraw during this time are gas stations, malls, or airports.

Just like elsewhere, be careful when withdrawing from ATMs. Don’t withdraw at night, and make sure that you cover the keypad with your hand when typing in your PIN number to prevent hackers getting into your bank account.

Make sure to write down all your card numbers, expiration dates, and contact phone numbers, and leave a copy to yourself and save it in a private account that can easily be accessed everywhere. This will help you have all the available information at your fingertips in case your ATM gets lost or stolen.

Banking hours are on Monday to Friday, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Some HSBC branches are open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

ATM machines are generally open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

It may be difficult to get cash on the weekend (even from Citibank and other local Brazilian banks). Many Canadians have reported encountering problems when getting cash from ATMs after the “normal” banking hours on a Friday.

Using Traveler’s Cheque in Brazil

It’s not a good idea to use traveler’s cheques. Not only do most shops refuse to accept them, many hotels will give you a depressing exchange rate if you encsh them, or banks will not encash them unless you have an accout at that branch of the bank.

Using Canadian Credit Cards in Brazil

You can make all your purchases just by using your credit cards.  THe most-widely accepted card is Visa, followed by MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express (the last two are less common in smaller towns). You can also make visa cash advances even in small towns with no currency-exchange facilites.

The best exchange rates can be gotten from credit cards. Make sure to keep your credit cards in sight at all times when you are making your transactions, as credit card fraud is a growing problem in Brazil.

Tipping Etiquette

Many service workers are tipped 10%, and service charges are normally included in the bill. If you encounter a receipt with no service charge, then it’s customary that you include 10% tip. If the waitperson is very helpful and friendly, feel free to give more.

There are some places where tipping is not mandatory, but still accepted. These include coffeeshops, local juice stands, beach vendors, bars, and street vendors. It would be good, however, to give parking assistants tips, as many don’t have wages and are highly-dependent on tips given by customers.


Portuguese Phrases Related to Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? Aceita dólares americanos / australianos / canadianos?
Do you accept British pounds? Aceita libras britânicas?
Do you accept Euros? Aceita Euros?
Do you accept credit cards? Aceita cartões de crédito?
Can you change money for me? Posso cambiar dinheiro para mim?
Where can I get money changed? Onde posso cambiar dinheiro?
Money or Cash Dinheiro
Numbers um, dois, três, quatro, cinco, seis, sete (seche), oito, nove, dez
Bank Banco
ATM Machine Caixa (caysha) Eletronica
Check Cheque (shek)
Credit Card Cartão de Crédito
Cost Custo
Coin moeda
Bill nota
Change troco
Exchange troca or câmbio


Electrical Information

The standard voltage used by the electronic and appliance gadgets in Brazil i 110-120 volts. The main types of primary electrical outlets are Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American, Type B NEMA 5-15 , and Type C CEE 7/16 Europlugs.

Brazilian Plugs and Sockets By Fasouzafreitas (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Fasouzafreitas / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

However, the standard 110-120 volts is not always used by all the states. There are others like Bahia, Brazil, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais that use a more specific voltage, (127 volts). And while most hotels use 220 volts, hotels in Fortaleza do not. In addition to this, there are cases where the shape of the plug does not fit with the shape of the electrical outlet.

The solution here is to use adapters. Brazil has various adapters you can use to make the plugs work together with the outlets.

Banana Adapter by

by Atlant / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.5

The solutions to the voltage problem would be to use voltage converters such as resistor-network converters, transformers, and in some cases, a combination of both. Often, the resistor-network converters that are widely used in the country are advertised to support as much as 50-1600 Watts, and they are best used for only short periods of time. The resistor-network converter is also not ideal for digital devices such as laptop computers. It is, however, recommended for lightweight electronics, such as irons and hair dryers.

The ideal voltage converter that you can use for laptops or camera battery chargers, mp3 players, Brazilian radios, and camcorders would be a transformer that lowers the maximum watt rating. This can be used for a much longer period of time, although its major drawback is that it can be a bit heavy (large copper wires and iron rods).

Emergency Information

Canadian Diplomatic Missions in Brazil

Embassy of Canada in Brasilia

Quadra 803 Lote 16
70410-900 Brasília
D.F., Brazil
Postal Address:
P.O. Box 216,
Brasilia, D.F., 70359-970,
Telephone: 55 (61) 3424-5400
Fax: 55 (61) 3424-5490

E-mail: [email protected]

View Larger Map

Consulate of Canada in Belo Horizonte

Edifício Lumiere: Hospital de Olhos Dr. Ricardo Guimarães
Rua da Paisagem 220, 3rd Floor, Vila da Serra
Belo Horizonte
Postal Address:
P.O. Box 420
Belo Horizonte
Cep: 30161-970, Brazil
Telephone: 55 (31) 3047-1225
Fax: 55 (31) 3289-2150

E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

View Larger Map

Consulate of Canada in Rio de Janeiro

Avenida Atlântica 1130, 5th Floor
22021-000 Rio de Janeiro
Telephone: 55 (21) 2543-3004
Fax: 55 (21) 2275-2195

E-mail: [email protected] Website:

View Larger Map

Consulate of Canada in Sao Paulo

Centro Empresarial Nações Unidas – Torre Norte
Avenida das Nações Unidas, 12901, 16th Floor
04578-000 São Paulo
Telephone: 55 (11) 5509-4321
Fax: 55 (11) 5509-4260

E-mail: [email protected]

View Larger Map

Honorary Consul of Canada in Porto Alegre

Avenida Carlos Gomes
222 – 8o. andar, room 808
90480-000, Porto Alegre
Telephone: 55 (51) 3378-5210
Fax: 55 (51) 3378-1099

E-mail: [email protected]

View Larger Map

Canada’s consular services aim to help Canadians prepare for foreign travel and provide various services once you are abroad. Canada’s consular services operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are even some places where Australian diplomatic officers also give consular services to Canadian citizens.


Arrest and Detention in Brazil

If you are arrested or detained in Brazil, make sure that you inform the arresting authorities that you want to immediately notify the nearest Canadian government office in your area.

Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the arresting authorities are obliged to give you your rights of access to consular representation and to make the necessary arrangements for you. However, note that they are not required to notify any of the Canadian government office of your arrest / detention unless you tell them of this preference.

  • Here are some of the services that consular officials can do for you in case you’re imprisoned:
  • Provide financial assistance, but only as a last resort and in exceptional circumstances;
  • Provide a list of local English-speaking lawyers and information about local legal aid;
  • Notify your next of kin, at your request, about your situation; let them know whether, and how, they can help; and keep them informed;
  • Ensure equitable treatment under local laws, consistent with the standards of the host country, and assist in ensuring that your legal rights, as provided locally, are protected;
  • Direct you to sources of information about local laws, regulations, cultural customs, and visas; and
  • Conduct prison visits and ensure treatment consistent with what would be expected by the host country’s own citizens.

Child Abduction and Custody Problems in Brazil

It is important that you confirm with Brazil’s embassy or consulate in Canada about your own and your child’s custody status, since child custody arrangements in Canada may not be recognized in Brazil.

In case a custody battle happens while your child is abroad, you can contact the Case Support and Children’s Issues Division toll-free through the government’s Emergency Watch and Response Center.

The Travel Reunification program is a special program that helps parents or legal guardians to transport their abducted child back home, once the child has been found.


Financial Assistance for Canadians in Brazil

The government of Canada can provide financial aid to Canadians who are victims of violent crimes through the Victims Fund.

However, you have to remember that a financial assistance is considered an actual debt to the Government of Canada, and must be totally reimbursed as soon as you return to Canada.

Once you’ve arrived in Canada, you will be issued an invoice from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada showing details about your debt. This invoice will include a customer number that you will use as your reference number. You can choose from these payment options:

  • Passport Canada: To pay at a Passport Canada office, you may pay by debit card, credit card, certified cheques, or money order. These payments must be made in person. Make sure you have your customer number available at all times.
  • Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada: To pay directly to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, you may pay by money order, certified cheques, or post-dated personal cheques payable to the “Receiver General for Canada” (allow 30 days for personal cheques to clear). Cheques should be mailed to the following address:
    • Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    • 125 Sussex Drive
    • Cashier’s Office (SMFM)
    • Ottawa, ON
    • K1A 0G2
    • (Make sure to include your customer number on all cheques).

You can also choose to pay your debt through monthly installments rather than a lump sum payment. However, they will only return your passport or reissue your debt until it’s paid in full.

Lost or Stolen Belongings in Brazil

Lost or stolen belongings may be a major inconvenience for you; make sure to take immediate action to prevent someone from claiming and even using your possessions.


Lost Canadian Passport in Brazil

Immediately report the loss or theft to the local police and get a written police report. Next, notify the nearest Canadian Consulate or Embassy in your area and apply for a replacement passport. You will have to submit a police report together with the following:

  • Two passport-size photos;
  • The required passport fee;
  • Documentary proof of Canadian citizenship (your birth or citizenship certificate); and
  • A Statutory Declaration concerning a lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed or inaccessible Canadian passport or travel document (available at any Canadian government office abroad);
  • A completed passport application form (available at any Canadian government office abroad).

It’s highly advisable for you to copy the identification page of your passport and other travel documents. Make sure to write down the numbers of your credit card and other debit cards; but more important, however, is to carry them with you at all times. Read our article for more information.

Lost or Stolen Ticket in Brazil

Make sure to contact the airline, bus, or Railways Company that issued your tickets as soon as possible. Ask them if it’s even possible to replace the ticket.

Stolen Wallet in Brazil

If your credit card or wallet is stolen, cancel all your credit, debit, traveler’s cheques, and other transaction cards immediately. Get a police report, as this may be needed if your card is used before you cancel it.

Medical Issues in Brazil

Try to buy the best travel insurance that you can afford. If you plan to go abroad, make sure to get supplementary travel insurance, such as vehicle, driving, disability, health, life, and even trip cancellation before you depart. This is because in most cases, your Canadian insurance (particularly your provincial health plan) is not valid outside Canada. Getting supplementary travel insurance will ensure you a much better peace of mind.

In case you are involved in a medical emergency, you can contact your nearest Canadian government office in Brazil (please see Brazilian Consulates and Embassy for more information or the Emergency Watch and Response Center.

However, keep in mind that consular officials have limitations, and can only give you these services in the event of medical emergency:

  • Report to family members back home.
  • Provide you with a list of local doctors and medical facilities.
  • Help with medical insurance issues.
  • Assist in obtaining financial help from family and friends if required.
  • Assist in arranging for a medical evacuation to Canada or a third country, along with a medical escort. Be aware that medical evacuations can be extremely expensive, and it is your responsibility to ensure you have appropriate travel health insurance to cover the costs.

There are some instances where travelers feel quite ill after they’ve returned from their trip. If this is the case, see a doctor immediately and make sure to inform them of your recent trip to Brazil. Tell your doctor your symptoms (if you were ill while you were traveling there) and tell your doctor the treatment you received for that sickness.

Missing Persons in Brazil

One of the most stressful things a traveler can experience is finding that their loved ones are missing. If this should happen to you, keep yourself centered and calm, and ask the help of appropriate professionals. Don’t also forget to report the disappearance to the local and international police, and make sure to get the advice of the nearest Consulate in your area. Another helpful tip would be to get more information from credit card companies and banks about the recent financial activities of the missing person.

Here are some details you may (or may not) need to provide to authorities:

  • Full name, including all alternative spellings and arrangements of the family name;
  • Date of birth;
  • Place of birth;
  • Nationality, including legal status in Canada (i.e., citizen, permanent resident, student);
  • Passport number;
  • Height;
  • Weight (specify measurement and date);
  • Eye colour;
  • Hair colour (keep hair strands for DNA testing);
  • Most recent photograph;
  • Blood type;
  • Identifying features (marks, scars, glasses, tattoos, etc.);
  • Medical information;
  • Fingerprint record/dental records.

Natural Disasters in Brazil

You are required to pay for any travel beyond a safe haven should you receive an evacuation assistance from the Government of Canada.

However, keep in mind that the Government of Canada will give aid to Canadians in leaving a country only as a last resort, and when all means of personal and commercial transportation have been rendered unavailable.

The government recommends you register before going abroad.

Passport Validity for entery into Brazil

Your Canadian passport is generally valid for five to 10 years, starting from the day that it was formally issued to you. However, there are some cases wherein these passports are issued for a much shorter period; for example, a passport that is issued to a three year old child is only valid for up to three years.

Brazil requires that your passport should be valid for at least six months before its expiration date beyond the date of your expected return to Canada. Make sure to check your passport before you submit your visa application.

A Canadian citizenship certificate is not a travel document.

Emergency Fund Transfers in Brazil

ou can transfer your funds by using commercial agencies, such as Canadian Forex and Western Union.

However, if you find it difficult or even impossible to transfer funds using your bank account or a private commercial agency, then you can go to a Canadian diplomatic mission for help.

Usually, it takes two or more working days for these transactions to be completed, and you will need to pay around Canadian $75. This amount is usually subtracted from your transferred funds. Moreover, you need to include the details on the source of funds you have and where you can be contacted. You may also have to advise the source of funds in Canada that you are authorizing the consulate when you are making the transfer.

Once this pushes through, then the consular officials in Ottawa can now arrange for a wire transfer from your bank or from another private source.

Transportation Accidents in Brazil

Road accidents abroad might not be something you’ve anticipated, and learning what to do when this happens can make a huge difference in your stay in Brazil.

When you are involved in an accident, make sure to do the following:

  • Account for your belongings.
  • Be prepared to provide information on your insurance.
  • Contact the nearest Canadian government office abroad for guidance and assistance.
  • Ensure that the appropriate authorities are advised, especially if medical attention is required.
  • Have information available on any pre-existing medical conditions that could affect your treatment and know your blood type.
  • If detained by police, make no statements until you consult a lawyer.
  • If possible, get in touch with family and friends in Canada and have them contact Canadas’ Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
  • Make notes on the circumstances of the accident and, if possible, take photographs.
  • Obtain the names and addresses of witnesses and others involved in the accident.

Helpful Portuguese Phrases for Emergencies

Crime and Theft
You must go to the police station. Você tem que ir à esquadra da polícia.
Is there a police station near here? Há alguma esquadra da polícia perto?
My watch has been stolen. Roubaram-me o relógio.
I think I put my wallet on the counter. Acho que pus a minha carteira no balcão.
Can I have your name and address, please. Pode dar-me o seu nome e morada, por favor?
Where have you looked for it? Onde o/a procurou?
Lost Items
Where did you lose your bag? Onde perdeu o seu saco?
What was inside it? O que tinha lá dentro?
There was a camera inside. Tinha uma máquina fotográfica dentro do saco.
When did you lose your camera? Quando perdeu a sua máquina fotográfica?
What’s it like? Como é?
What shape is it? Qual é o feitio?
Was it marked with your name? Estava marcado/a com o seu nome?
How valuable is it? Quanto vale?
You must fill in a report form. Tem que preencher um impresso de queixa.
Road Accidents
I’ve lost my passport. Perdi o meu passaporte.
There has been a accident. Houve um acidente.
We must call the police. Temos que chamar a polícia.
We must phone for an ambulance. Temos que chamar uma ambulância pelo telefone.
How did the accident happen? Como sucedeu o acidente?
Was he going fast? Ele ia depressa?
Do you have your driving license? Tem a sua carta de condução?
Do you have your insurance certificates? Têm os vossos papéis de seguro?
Were there any witnesses? Houve alguma testemunha?
I witnessed it happening. Eu vi o que aconteceu.
It wasn’t my fault. Não foi culpa minha.
It wasn’t his right of way. Ele não tinha prioridade.
I crashed into the truck. Eu bati no camião.
The accident happened at the crossroads. O acidente aconteceu no cruzamento.
The strong winds blew the tree down. O vento forte deitou a árvore abaixo.
The storms caused flooding. As tempestades causaram inundações.
There is a bomb alert. Há um alerta de bomba.
There was a big explosion. Houve uma grande explosão.
Telephone the fire service. Telefone para os bombeiros.
Can you help me. Pode ajudar-me?
He broke the window. Ele partiu a janela.
Evacuate the building, please. Evacuem o edifício, por favor.
fire fogo
storm tempestade
flood inundação
explosion explosão
murder assassínio
shooting tiroteio
police polícia
fire service bombeiros
ambulance ambulância
help! ajuda!
General Problems
Leave me alone! Deixe(a)-me em paz! (DAY-sheh(shah)-meh ehn pahsh!)
Don’t touch me! Não me toque(s)! (now meh TOH-keh(sh)!)
I’ll call the police. Vou chamar a polícia. (voh shah-MAHR ah poo-LEE-syah)
Police! Polícia! (poo-LEE-syah!)
Stop! Thief! Ladrão! (lah-DROW!)
I need your help. Preciso da sua(tua) ajuda. (preh-SEE-zoo dah swah(twah) ah-ZHOO-dah)
It’s an emergency. É uma emergência. (eh OO-mah ee-mehr-ZHEHN-syah)
I’m lost. Estou perdido(a). (ish-TOH pehr-DEE-doo(ah))
I lost my bag. Perdi o meu saco. (PEHR-dee oo MEH-oo SAH-koo)
I lost my wallet. Perdi a minha carteira. (PEHR-dee ah MEE-nyah kahr-TAY-rah)
I’m sick. Eu estou doente. (EH-oo ish-TOH doo-EHN-teh)
I’ve been injured. Eu fui ferido. (EH-oo fwee feh-REE-doo)
I need a doctor. Preciso de um médico. (preh-SEE-zoo deh oon meh-DEE-koo)
Can I use your phone? Posso usar o seu(teu) telefone? (POHS-soo OO-sahr o SEH-oo(TEH-oo) teh-leh-FOH-neh)
Help! Socorro! (soo-KOH-roo!)
Help me! Ajude(a)-me! (ah-ZHOO-deh(dah)-meh!)
Look out! Atenção! /Cuidado! (ah-tehn-sow! / “cooy-DAH-doo!”)
I have had an accident Eu teve um acidente
This is an emergency Temos uma emergência
I need an ambulance Preciso uma ambulância
I need a doctor Preciso um médico
I need the police Chamar a polícia
Heart attack Infarct
I have had / he/she has had a stroke Eu sofrei/ ele/ela sofreou um aneurisma, ataque apopléctico
Very sick Muito doente
Unconscious Inconsciente
Where is the nearest hospital? Onde e o hospital mais próximo?
Is there a pharmacy near here? Há uma farmácia aqui perto?
Call the fire services Chamar os bombeiros
I have had a car accident Eu teve um acidente de carro
I have been robbed/mugged Eu fui vitimo dum assalto!

Calling Canada from Brazil

To make a direct call to Canada from Brazil, you need to follow the international dialing format given in the box below. The dialing format is same for calling Canada mobile or land line from Brazil.

To call Canada from Brazil

Dial exit – 1 – Area Code – local number

The exit code is determined by our provider:

  • 0014 – Brasil Telecom
  • 0015 – Telefonica
  • 0021 – Embratel
  • 0023 – Intelig
  • 0031 – Telma

1 – ISD Code or Country Code of Canada

List of area codes in Canada

Province Code Province  Code
Alberta 403 / 587 (southern Alberta)

587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)

Nunavut 867
BC 236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)

236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)

Ontario 226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)

249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)

289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)

343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)

416 / 647 (Toronto)

807 (northwestern Ontario)

Manitoba 204 / 431 PEI 782 / 902
New  Brunswick 506 Quebec 418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)

438 / 514 (Montreal)

450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)

819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)

Newfoundland and Labrador 709 Saskatchewan 306 / 639
Northwest Territories 867 Yukon 867
Nova Scotia 782 / 902


Maps of Brazil

Map of Brazil

[Public Domain]


Regions of Brazil

Regions of Brazil by

by Pedro Augilar / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0


Cities in Brazil

About Brasilia

Brasilia By OpenStreetMap ( [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Open Street Map / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

About Fortaleza

Map of neighbourhoods of Fortaleza By David Moraes de Andrade (Trabálho próprio My own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by David Moraes de Andrade / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

About Recife

Recife Map By AndersonPv (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by AndersonPV / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

About Rio de Janeiro

Map of Rio de Janeiro By OpenStreetMap ( [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Open Street Map / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Map of Rio Metro By Hmaglione10 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Hmaglione10 / Wikimedia Comons / CC BY-SA 3.0

About Sao Paulo

Map of Sao Paulo By OSM (OSM) [CC-BY-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Open Street Map / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Sao Paolo Subway

Sao Paolo Subway

[Public Domain]

Driving in Brazil

You don’t need a car to travel around Brazil. Buses, both in large and small cities, are highly reliable and quite comfortable, and they are good options for any traveler. There are also subways in the larger cities, should you feel like taking the metro. However, most of the subways don’t have direct routes to the beaches, and that’s where rented and borrowed cars might come in handy for you.

If you plan to do your own driving, make sure to come prepared and informed. Driving in Brazil may not be easy as you’ve expected; in fact, it can be quite challenging, to say the least. Here are some things you need to know when driving your vehicle in Brazil:

  • If it’s your first time to visit Brazil, it would be good for you to take a taxi (please see Transportation in Brazil) or take the bus to first get a feel of the traffic scene
  • Have your Portuguese phrases (related to driving) ready whenever you need them (please see Uniquely Brazil and Travel Alerts in Brazil for additional information).
  • A pre-paid cellphone might come in handy for you, especially when you need to get a taxi. The best places to buy them are in larger cities, where there is a better chance for you to find English-speaking salespeople.
  • On a tight budget? Consider taking public transportation in the major cities, including the subway system (when available).
  • Holidays, such as New Year’s Eve, Oktoberfest, and the Carnival, might increase alcohol intake among many drivers (and non-drivers). It’s best not to drive during these times.
  • Avoid driving at night, especially in places where speed bumps are prevalent and unmarked.
  • Become more familiar with Brazil traffic signs.
  • Try to check the local weather and road conditions first before heading out to your intended destination.\
  • When you are driving in the city, you have to pay attention to your surroundings while you are waiting at traffic lights. Flashing yellow lights indicate that drivers have to yield, and pedestrians and motorists who proceed during this time are advised to be cautious and careful.
  • Don’t stop if a vehicle is threatening you at any time. Drive to the nearest police station, if you can. (See Portuguese phrases below)
  • Make sure to keep car doors and windows closed at all times.

Brazilian Driving Rules and Regulations

Driving Rules in Brazil applies to the whole country. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to drive on the right side of the road; you can overtake on the left.
  • The legal minimum age for driving a motorcycles and driving cars is 18 years old.
  • Mobile cellular phones can only be used with a “hands-free” system.
  • You can contact the national emergency number 193 in the event of an accident .
  • Make sure you wear a seat belt (cinto de segurança), including back seats. Children should also use a seatbelt, or must be fitted with one.
  • Always park in the direction of traffic flow and not facing it.
  • Don’t turn right at red lights, unless there is a “livre a direita” sign.
  • It is against the law to wear flip flops or to drive with your elbow resting on the window sill.

General Driving Information for Brazil

Auto Theft in Brazil

Drivers should be aware of car thieves, even while they are inside their car. There are instances where armed individuals or groups would force a driver to hand in their valuables (or even their car), even during traffic. While this doesn’t happen often, many drivers still keep their windows rolled up despite not having air conditioners inside (many cars in Brazil often don’t have air conditioners installed inside).

Irresponsible and Agressive Drivers in Brazil

Driving in Brazil for the first time might be shocking to you, especially if you’re from Canada. Rules aren’t often followed here, and bad habits, such as road rage to even tailgating are often encountered by many motorists.

A study conducted by SOS Estrada reveal that around 42,000 deaths happen just from traffic accidents the country every year, with 24,000 of those deaths coming from roads and highways. Many of these deaths can singularly be traced to road behavior, which has been growing rampant in recent years.

Car Maintenance in Brazil

Brazil has some highways that are well-maintained; there are those, however, that are not, making the roads harder to navigate through. There are also some with deep potholes and impassable mud pits, making it more difficult to drive to, especially at night. It would be best to avoid them after dark.


Brazilian Motorcycles

There are many daring motorcycle riders in Brazil, especially in Sao Paulo, where motorcycle messengers called “motoboys” do risky swerves and moves just to avoid traffic and deliver their packages as soon as possible. This is also true for mototaxis found in all Brazilian cities. Mototaxis are often used as alternatives to public transportation, especially for passengers who are late going to work.

Parking in Brazil

Parking is an exercise of skill when it comes to Brazil. Be prepared to do plenty of parallel parking on narrow streets while cars are waiting. You should be adept enough to maneuver in tight shopping mall garages, or if you can’t, park far from your destination and endure a few minutes of walking. You also have to be prepared to purchase parking cards and leave them on your dashboard from time to time.

Dealing with Pedestrians in Brazil

There are loads of pedestrians in Brazil, and many don’t use pedestrian crossings all the time. Expect the unexpected, especially those who cross the road and suddenly stop in the middle to wait for a chance to finish crossing over. This can be very dangerous not just for the pedestrian but also for the drivers on the road. Drivers often don’t expect other drivers to suddenly stop in a public road or highway, and there’s a chance that a collision might happen if you suddenly stop to give way to someone crossing the road.

There are also thousands of stray animals that are roaming the streets of Brazil, and they can easily distract you while you’re on the road. Always be alert for those who cross the streets or walk near the edge of the roads.

Inadequate Road Signage in Brazil

Many Brazilian towns have ample signs to guide you at the first few miles; however, they may disappear suddenly and you might have to go to gas stations to ask for directions. In case you can’t find any gas station, another alternative would be to stop by roadside bars. Keep in mind that many don’t speak English, so be prepared to use some Brazilian phrases.

Brazilian Speed Limits

Speed limits are actually ignored and hardly enforced in Brazil, although this trend is changing due to the increasing number of electronic devices (Fiscalisacao Electronica). These devices verify car speed and then take photos of cars that violate the speed limit. Often, the maximum speed limit set on major, divided highways is 120 kmph, or 74 mph. Urban areas, however, have lower limits which are often set to they are set to 40 mph or 60 kmph, more or less. The limits set will depend on the road and the nature of the neighborhood.

Traffic in Brazil

Traffic jams in Brazil happen at many different times of the day. In Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, traffic is usually caused by storms, accidents, and holiday festivities.

Trucks in Brazil

Truck drivers in Brazil vary, and there are some who are very responsible drivers, while there are those who intoxicated and overworked all the time. Whatever the case, be vigilant when you see them on the road.

Getting a Drive’s Permit / License in Brazil

Unlike in the past, when drivers were required to present a sworn translation of their driver’s license, driving around in Brazil for up to 180 days is much simpler for Canadian drivers now. All you need to bring are the following documents:

  • Your valid, original driver’s license
  • A photo ID (your passport)

However, if you are going to stay in Brazil for more than 180 days, you have to apply for a Brazilian driver’s license at Detran, or the local Transit Department. You have to undergo a medical examination. You will also be required to submit a sworn translation of your valid, original driver’s license.

Requirements for Driving in Brazil

  • Driver’s license – If your license does not incorporate a photograph, ensure you carry your passport to validate the license.
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Owner’s Permission – If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.


Brazilian Buses

The best way you can move around Brazil on land is by bus, especially since it’s not common to find trains in Brazil. Buses are often are well-guarded, and can easily fill up quickly. This is the reason why tourists are advised to make reservations first before they arrive in Brazil.

There are actually two types of buses in the country: regular buses, or “convencional” buses, and long-distance buses, or “executivo” buses. The regular bus is often used to travel, for example, between Salvador to Lencois, and lack most amenities found in the “executivo” buses (except toilets). The long distance buses, on the other hand, are quite comfortable, with adjustable seats, air conditioning, toilet, and television to make your travel as pleasant as possible.

Sample Standard Bus Times for Brazil

Rio de Janeiro – Ouro Preto 7 hours Cuiaba – Pantanal fazendas 2 hours
Rio – Angra dos Reis, Ilha Grande 3 hours Campo Grande – Pantanal ranches 4 hours
Rio – Paraty 4 hours Manaus – jungle lodge 3 hours by boat
Rio – Sao Paulo 7 hours Olinda – Recife 20 minutes
Salvador – Lencois, Chapada Diamantina 6 hours Recife – Porto Galinhas 1 hour
Salvador – Itacimirim/ Praia do Forte 1 hour


Brazilian Taxis

Here is a comparison of the common taxi fares for few Brazilian cities (bandeirada + price per km + price per hour at low speeds):

  • Brasilia: R$ 3,30 + R$ 1,40 + R$ 18
  • Natal: R$ 3,00 + R$ 1,71 + R$ 17,54
  • Porto Alegre: R$ 2,76 + R$ 1,37 + R$ 10
  • Recife: R$ 3,00 + R$ R$ 1,40 + R$ 11
  • Rio de Janeiro: R$ 4,30 + R$ 1,25 + R$ 15,75
  • Sao Paulo: R$ 3,50 + R$ 2,10 + R$ 28,00

You can calculate the approximate taxi price by using this site:

There are certain places, especially airports and interstate bus terminals that have fixed fare depending on the destination. Taxi fare is also paid before boarding the vehicle. Many taxi drivers don’t speak English, so it’s quite a bonus to find one who does.

There are times you will encounter a variety of other “unofficial” taxi drivers who are offering you a ride to the hotel. Never attempt to accept a ride from someone unless you are sure that they work for an officially registered taxi company. Remember that non-official taxi services may cause some problems, and you may be charged a lot of money, robbed, or just left standing on the side of the road without your belongings.

Your other option would be to choose the “executive style” taxi companies. They operate using a reliable fixed rate service from the airport to your chosen destination.


Always insist on using the taxi meter – or take another cab.

Taxi companies in major cities in Brazil

City Company Contact Information Other Information
Belo Horizonte Hutaxi Phone: +55 (0)31 3278 1797 Standard white taxi services
Ligue Táxi BH Phone: +55 (0)31 3421 3434 OR 0800 030 1414
24 hour service
Service desk at Pampulha Airport (Belo Horizonte Airport)
Bilingual drivers, by appointment
Brasilia Rádio Táxi Federal Phone:+55 (0)61 3336 8808 White taxis
24 hour service
Credit cards accepted
Curitiba Faixa Vermelha (Red belt) RadioTaxi Phone: +55 (0)41 3362 0022
Taxi company with red stripe
Drivers available with English and German
24 hours a day
Rádio Táxi Capital Phone: 0800 600 6666
Rádio Taxi Sereia Phone: +55 (0)41 3352 5252
Orange taxis with racing checker pattern
Rio de Janeiro Central Taxi Phone: +55 (0)21 2195 1000
Email[email protected]
260 radio taxis
City tours
Credit card facilities
Online booking (Portuguese only)
Coopacarioca Taxis Phone: +55 (0)21 2518 1818 These are standard taxis equipped with air conditioning and VHF radio.
Can be called by telephone.
Taxis are a bright yellow, blue stripe on the sides.
Run by the meter. The initial fare is R$2.70(2008), and the meter starts ticking as soon as you get in. After 9 p.m. and on weekends fares are a little higher (the meter is set to bandeira 2). You do not need to give large tips: R$1 is plenty enough. Some taxis are air-conditioned at no extra charge.
Radio Taxi Coopertramo Phone: +55 (0)21 2209 9292
Email[email protected]
Radio Taxi Coopertramo is a radio taxi service
Bilingual drivers are made available on request.
They have operating desks at Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport, Santos Dumont Airport and several support points at hotels and buses terminals to offer personal complimentary welcome service with no cost to the client.
They also offer an exclusive shuttle van service throughout Rio de Janeiro to places such as Sugar Loaf, Corcovado, Oceanic Beaches, Museums, etc. They accept all major credit cards and cash payment for our services. Reservation in advance can be done by e-mail, telephone or at their desks at airports 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sao Paulo Central Radio Taxis Phone: +55 (0)11 2163 9555 Fleet of 400 air conditioned vehicles with GPRS-GPS. English not guaranteed.
Guarucoop Phone: +55 (0)11 2440 7070
Rádio Táxi Vermelho e Branco Phone: +55 (0)11 3146 4000
Email[email protected]
The standard Red and White Taxis found througout Sao Paulo.
Always pay the metered fare.
Credit Cards Accepted
City Tours
24/7 operation
Pick up points throughout the city


Internet in Brazil

Here are some of the many internet cafes and wireless hotspots throughout Brazil. Costs and availability are subject to change.

City Type Location Cost
Agua Claras Public City Park Free
Alvares Public Downtown Paid
Americana Business Centre Mikrotik Paid
Campinas Business Centre Condomínio Edifício Office Park
R. Maria Monteiro, 830 – Cambuí, Campinas – SP, 13025-000, Brazil
+55 19 3254-1688
Contagem Business Centre Pipe Sistemas Tubulares Ltda
Via Expressa de Contagem, 3500 – Água Branca, Contagem – MG, 32370-485, Brazil
+55 31 3352-0795
Curitiba Restaurant Território Gourmet Restaurante
R. José Molenda, 1919, Curitiba – PR, 81820-310, Brazil ‎ 10 km S
+55 41 3079-2310
Home R. José Valle
Curitiba – PR, 82020-250, Brazil
Farroupilha Internet Cafe Wi-Fi Zone Paid
Florianopolis Other Reg’s Wi-Fi Paid
Fortalazela Airport Fly Cafe Free
Goiania Apartment Building R. Caranha – Residencial Aquárius I
Goiânia – GO, 74370-460, Brazil
Itapura Public Downtown Paid
Joinville Government Office 8920000 Hermman Agusto Lepper, Brazil Paid
Manaus Apartment Building Eliza Miranda, Piscina 1° Etapa
Manaus – AM, Brazil ‎
Maua Public R. Washington Luís
Mauá – SP, 09390-140, Brazil ‎
Natal Hotel Coral Plaza Apart Hotel
R. Francisco Gurgel, 2009 – Ponta Negra, Natal – RN, 59090-050, Brazil ‎ 9.2 km SE
+55 84 3642-7400
Home R. Miguel Matias – Ponta Negra
Natal – RN, 59090-311, Brazil ‎
Osasco Internet Cafe Cyber Cafe Demo Free
Palmares Government Office Defensoria Pública da União
Palmares – PE, 55540-000, Brazil
Porto Alegre Home Av. Protásio Alves
Porto Alegre – RS, 90410-000, Brazil ‎
Rio de Janeiro Cafe Caffé Leone
R. Visc. de Pirajá, 483 – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22410-003, Brazil
+55 21 2529-8441
Government Office Av. Ataulfo de Paiva, 1351 – Leblon
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22440-034, Brazil ‎
Restaurant Restaurante La Maison
Av. Atlântica, 2634 – Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22041-001, Brazil ‎
Residential Area R. Barão de Iguatemi
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20270-060, Brazil
Residential Area R. Alexandre Dias – Brás de Pina
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 21012-240, Brazil ‎
Home R. Dona Zulmira, 88 – Andaraí
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20550-160, Brazil
Sao Paulo Hotel Residência Alameda
Alameda Santos, 2015 – Jardim Paulista, São Paulo – SP, 01419-002, Brazil ‎
+55 11 3253-6070

Emporio Alto Dos Pinheiros

R. Vupabussu, 305 – Pinheiros, São Paulo – SP, 05429-040, Brazil ‎

+55 11 3032-5514
Bar Rosas Gois
Av. Miruna, 283, São Paulo – SP, 04084-001, Brazil
Rosas-Luis Gois Paid
Bar Sampa Bar e Eventos
R. Emília Marengo, 737, São Paulo – SP, 03336-000, Brazil ‎
+55 11 2671-0084 ‎
Restaurant Pasteeka
Sao Bernardo do Campo
São Paulo
09751-400, Brazil
RV Park Lignet
Sorocaba – São Paulo
18055-190, Brazil ‎
Shopping Mall Oeste Plaza
Andradina – São Paulo
16900-020, Brazil ‎
Store Styllo’s Cabelereiros
São Paulo
15115-000, Brazil
Residential Area R. Santa Cruz, 1755 – Cursino
São Paulo – SP, 04121-001, Brazil
Residential Area R. Bela Flor – Saúde
São Paulo – SP, 04128-050, Brazil ‎
Sumare Internet Cafe R. Dezesseis de Dezembro, 279 – Centro, Sumaré – SP, 13170-018, Brazil
+55 19 3883-1550
Taguatinga Public Parque Aguas Claras Paid
Teresina Home R. Fenelon Silva, 1966 – Lourival Parente
Teresina – PI, Brazil
Uberlandia Business Retífica Markin Ltda
Av. Ligia Neves Pinto – Jardim Brasília, Uberlândia – MG, 38401-648, Brazil
+55 34 3219-6222
Várzea Alegre Hotel Hotel Municipal
CE, Brazil
Vitoria Cafe Cafe Feinkosten Jardins
R. Carlos Eduardo Monteiro de Lemos, 262 – Jardim da Penha, Vitória – ES, 29060-120, Brazil
+55 27 9730-6160


Shopping in Brazil

Brazil offers the best shopping opportunities for everyone, especially if you’re looking for leather goods such belts, wallets, shoes, and purses. Clothes are reasonably affordable, with sizes that follow the European numbering: 36, 38, 40 (and so on), or marked P (small or pequeno), M (medium or medio), or G (large or grande). The most popular clothes are often those that showcase the Brazilian soccer (football) team

Should jewelry be one of your passions, then Brazil is definitely for you. Amsterdam Sauer and H. Stern sells various jewelry and high-quality gemstones and both are located in Rio de Janeiro. A good option for those who are far from Rio is Minas Gerais. There are many other shops you can go to when buying gemstones, and expect to find really good quality pieces, especially diamonds, esperssartita, quartz, tourmaline, greengold, topaz, and amethyst.

You can also purchase arts and crafts in many areas of Brazil, with unique features specific to the different regions of the country. If ethnic arts and crafts are your thing, then you can buy one at numerous tourist and souvenir stores throughout the cities. However, it would be better if you visit artisan fairs that are found outside major cities so you can get a first-hand interaction with local people selling their wares.

Another good option would be to shop in FUNAI, a government Indian agency that showcases regional crafts, such as Marajora, Tapajora, and other eastern Amazonian Indian ceramic arts, painted figures of the Karaja tribe, Kaxinawa Indian woven bags and baskets, and laces most popularly found in the south eastern coast and Fortaleza.

When doing your shopping, it’s best to pay particular attention to the cities’ native specialties. Here are some guidelines:

São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the best places you can go to when purchasing artisan crafts. Rio de Janeiro offers numerous shops with good quality semiprecious stones, such as topaz, jade, and amethyst, as well as precious stones likes diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. São Paulo, on the other hand, offers the finest leather, prints, paintings, and percussion instruments.

Ipanema and Copacobana are popular for their leather as well. Ceará offers the best  embroidered hammocks, detailed and intricate laces, and tablecloths made of coconut thread.

Minas Gerais has a popular food and flower market, and Cachoeira and Salvador de Bahia has the best wood products and handmade lace that uses zizal thread. You can find very beautiful wicker and straw objects made by the Xavante Indian tribes in Brasilia.

It’s actually more expensive to shop for branded items in Brazil (that are available in the U.S. and Canada) because of the very high import taxes. In fact, prices are more expensive compared to Canada counterparts.  A good tip would be to buy at duty free shops whenever possible.

It would also be good to visit flea markets for more unique and affordable pieces that cannot be found in other countries. Save buying popular designer products and brands for Canadian or U.S. shopping malls.

There are many Brazilian-made bargains found in all categories. Spend some time going to their “shoppings” (the Brazilian term for shopping malls) to get a feel of the items that are being sold in their area. Also, don’t be afraid to venture out into the outdoor streets that offer spectacular discounts and less expensive products.

Be prepared for change shortages. This happens often, even in places you wouldn’t expect, such as the supermarket, and you would often be asked:  “O senhor tem troco/trocado?” or “A senhora tem troco/trocado?

Arts and Crafts in Brazil

Feeling artsy? Then you should visit outdoor weekend markets (such as the Hippie Fair, the Babilônia Hype Fair, and the enormous Feira Nordestina São Cristóvão). They are the best places to find local arts and crafts especially during the weekend.

Many local people showcase their works and their wares here at decent prices. They are also good livelihood for local Indians, who rely on these fairs to make a living (due to the destruction of their traditional way of living).

Some of their most popular works include:

  • Ceramic arts – a specialty of Marajora, Tapajora, and othe eastern Amazonian Indians.
  • Painted figurineses – closely associated with the Karaja tribe.
  • Woven bags or baskets – these infamous Kaxinawa Indian products are made from Brazilian barks, leaves, and other natural fibers.
  • Lace – these are famously made in the south-eastern coast and Fortaleza areas.

If you are thinking of giving an eclectic gift, you can pool your money and go the gift shop at the Museu do Índio. You can choose from a selection of pots, woven baskets, and wooden artifacts created by the indigenous tribes of Brazil, or you can also try the cachaça, or sugar cane brandy, that is brewed at Pretisco da Vila. Here, you can even watch the entire production process straight to their brewery.

Shopping in Rio

Rio offers numerous shops, from high fashion boutiques and air-conditioned malls, to even street vendors. Its most popular items for sale are artwork, Brazilian music CDs, coffee, and Euro-style clothing.

There are many items that are reasonably-priced in Brazil, and you can barter at most markets. Most shops accept major credit cards, and you can get up to a 10 percent discount in shops if you pay cash. Most shops are open on Mondays to Fridays, from 9 am to 7 pm, with shopping centers open from 10 am to 10 pm every day. Sales tax is 18 percent, and there are no tax refunds for tourists departing in Brazil.

Rio’s main shopping destinations are focused on the city center. However, don’t discount the shopping districts near the beaches, such as Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva in Leblon, and Rua Visconde de Piraja in Ipanema, Avenida Nossa Senhora, and Rua Barata Ribeiro in Copacobana. These places have many unique products for good souvenirs.

Rio is also popularly known as the birthplace of Havaianas. But don’t just limit yourself to just one brand. Try to explore many of the great beachwear shops found in Rio, and you will have a hard time choosing what to buy.

Brazilian soccer jerseys are also highly popular in Rio, although you might have to know the difference between the cheap imitations and the original ones.

Brazilian Books

You should try experiencing Rio de Janeiro’s unique local music flavor. Barata Ribeiro offers the biggest collection of modern sounds, and Livraria da Travessa showcases jazz collections of books and music.

Brazilian Gems

Rio has some of the most beautiful gemstones, with Rio by far, the best place to go to for high-quality gemstones at good prices.

Shopping Districts and Malls in Rio

The main shopping destinations are mostly found in Rio Sul in the city center, and if you are looking for shopping districts near the beaches, then you can also go to Avenida Nossa Senhora and Rua Barata Ribeiro in Copacabana, Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva in Leblon, and Rua Visconde de Pirajá in Ipanema.

Rio Sul Mall

Rio Sul (Botafogo) is one of Rio’s most popular retail complexes, with more than 400 shops. The shopping is sophisticated and a massive food court.

Av. Lauro Müller 116, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Phone: 021 295-1332


Barra Mall

One of South America’s premier shopping centers is the Barra Shopping complex. You may have to take a ride using the monorail system to explore the 577 restaurants, shops, bowling alley, cinemas, and even indoor entertainment park found in the complex. There is even a medical center available in the center.

Av. das Américas 4666, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Phone: 021/431-9922

Shopping in Ipanema

Another one of its most popular shops is the fashionable Ipanema. Exclusive boutiques along  the street of Rua Visconde di Praja are also highly recommended, and so is Diamond Row, found between Anibal de Mendonça and Garcia D’ Avila. Copacobana has one of the best bookstores and souvenir shops along Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacobana and its other adjacent streets. Avenida Atlântica offers some of the best upscale jewelry.

Other Places to Shop in Rio

  • Rio Off Price Shopping (Botafogo) sells goods for 20% lower than normal markets. The complex has snack bars and two movie theaters. Rua General Severiano 97, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Phone: 021/542-5693
  •  Shopping Center Cassino Atlantico (Copacabana) is next door to the Rio Palace hotel. It features souvenir stores, antique shops, jewelry stores, and art galleries. Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Phone: 021/247-8709
  • Sao Conrado Fashion Mall(São Conrado) has a great selection of international and Brazilian fashions. Estrada da Gávea 899, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Phone: 021/322-0300
  • Shopping Center Da Gavea (Gávea) has a small but a good selection of fashion clothing and leather goods stores. It also has several top art galleries.
  • Via Parque(Barra da Tijuca) has 230 stores with its outlets being the attraction. There are movie theaters and fast-food restaurants, and the site of the Metropolitan Theater.

Some of the shops and malls have free shuttle service from the hotels. Please check with the concierge.

Flea Markets in Rio

Hunting for bargains such as cheap souvenirs or designer goods? Rio can offer you a number of markets and stalls that offer these things at some great bargains


Rio Antiques Fair

Held during daylight hours on Saturdays, the Antiques Fair is filled with China and silver sets, watches, Asian rugs, chandeliers, rare books, records, objets d’art, and many more.

Avenida Atlântica

This is a great place – especially during the evenings and on weekends – to find along the median of Avenida Atlântica artisans who sell their carvings, handicrafts, sequined dresses, paintings, and hammocks from the northeast.

Feira Hippie

The Feira Hippie is a colorful handicraft street fair that is held every Sunday from in Ipanema’s Praça General Osório. Make sure to visit the place especially if you love jewelry paintings, leather goods, hand-painted dresses, wood carvings, rag dolls, other knickknacks, and furniture.

Feira Nordestino

This is a social event for those who live in the northeastern part of Rio. Feira Nordestino (Northeastern Fair) is held every Sunday at the Campo de São Cristóvão, and people from all walks of life gather together to listen to their own unique music, eat regional food, and purchase tools and cheap clothing.

Shopping in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, and also one of the most expensive cities in the world. It ranked 10th place in 2011 – ahead of London, Paris, Milan, and New York City.

Sao Paulo also has pedestrian-friendly streets with many shops that sell one specific item, such as women or men’s apparel, shoes, lingerie, and many others. The best way to go about it is to get a good idea about which street sells the particular item you’re looking for to save time when doing your shopping. For instance, you can find furniture and musical instruments in Rua Teodoro Sampaio (West); bargain and wholesale clothing in Rua José Paulino (Downtown) and Brás neighborhood (Southeast) and cosmetics and Asian products in the Liberdade neigborhood (Downtown).

The original downtown of São Paulo offers shoppers the chance to visit the many market stalls offering all kinds of eccentric goods that range from cds, shoes, calculators, t-shirts, books, and other gadgets. And if ever you feel like going Japanese, then Liberdade is the place for you. Similar to Little Tokyo, this place also has a Sunday market that offers performances, food, creative fabrics, paper, and art-making.

You will also find many designer labels and haute couture that can compete with the best boutiques of London and New York.

The most popular things you can buy in Sao Paulo include soapstone carvings, gemstone jewelry, and religious antiques that are sold by numerous shops all throughout the city. If you are an animal and jewelry lover, then you will surely enjoy local gemstones that are carved in many animal shapes, such as jaguars and many others.

Shops in this city accept major credit cards. You can’t bargain on high-end shops, but you can surely haggle at the markets. The sales tax is 18 percent, and there are no tax refund schemes for departing tourists in Brazil.

Shopping Malls in Sao Paulo

There are two main types of malls that can be found in the city: those that are located at the working class neighborhoods and those situated in wealthy areas. The former makes it easier to find bargain department stores, while the latter gives exclusive access to designer stores. The best way to know them is to check the individual district listings to get a more accurate list of shopping malls that operate in the city.

The busiest suburban shopping area in the city is the area around Largo 13 de Maio (South Central), or the “central shopping area” of the previous city of Santo Amaro, which is now a part of Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo’s most sophisticated shopping district is Shopping Iguatemi (Brigadeiro Faria Lima  2232, Jardim Paulistano, tel. 11/3816-6116, Established in 1966, it has around 360 boutiques offering many international brands such as Burberry and Tiffany’s. Aside from this, it also offers some gourmet cafes, movie theaters, cafes, restaurants, and a Saraiva bookstore.

Shopping Patio Higienopolis (Higienópolis 618, Higienópolis, tel. 11/3823-2300, has a blend of restaurants, cinemas, and stores. Discreetly hidden from the public, it has a spacious and airy atmosphere that makes for a pleasant shopping experience.

The trendy Shopping Frei Caneca (Rua Frei Caneca 569, Consolação, tel. 11/3472-2000,, which is nicknamed “Shopping Gay Caneca” is popular among the more fashion-forward lesbians and gays of the community. Boutiques are more customized for the younger, more modern clients, and it also offers a gourmet supermarket, a food court, two theaters, and Uni banco Arteplex — its cinemas.

Looking for price discounts? Then SP Market offers 50 percent or more off its regular retail prices. Some of the most well-known wholesale clothing streets are Rua Jose Paulino (Metro Tiradantes) and Rua 25 de Marco in Centro. The streets of Jardins also have boutiques that offer well-priced and upscale fashion merchandise.

Here are shopping malls that deserve special mention:

  • Morumbi / Market Place (South Central) – offers more than 600 shops together with dozens of restaurants.
  • Eldorado (West) – has a very large food court.
  • Iguatemi (West) – considered one of the oldest shopping mall of São Paulo. It has very opulent surroundings.
  • Cidade Jardim (West) – considered the shopping mall for only rich people.
  • Aricanduva (Far East) – Sao Paulo’s biggest and most famous working class shopping mall.
  • Frei Caneca (Downtown) – favorite hangout of the LGBT community.


Flea Markets in Sao Paulo

There are numerous flea markets found in the city. They include:

Praça Benedito Calixto near Ave. Henrique Schaumann in Pinheiros offers flea-type markets on Saturdays. You can buy “antique” furntiure and other household items, handmade gadgets, homemade sweets or spices (northeastern delicacies). It’s best to go there early in the mornig to midday if you want to browse through the stalls calmly and try out Minas Gerais’ cuisine at Consulado Mineiro (the line can get too long as the day progresses)

Artesanal Fair on Sundays at a parking lot adjacent to Praça Republica. This is one of the oldest and most traditional weekend fairs. Expect to find a lot of souvenirs that you can give to your friends and family back home. They also have one of the most beautiful amethysts that you can use as home decorations or accessories to your jewelry collection. There are also great leather goods, paintings, musical instruments, massage chairs, and paintings you can choose from.This fair is a crowd and all-time favorite, and they are open only on early Sundays (9:00 am to 4:00 pm)

Oriental Fair at Praça da Liberdade on Sundays is a great place to look for Korean, Chinese, and Japanese oriental pieces. You can also try their food and other artsy and gadgetry items that range from dolls, wooden kitchen utensils, incense, and many others.

Feira de Republic is the place to go to if you are serious about stamps and coin collecting.  Some stalls also sell arts and crafts that range from gaudy to very gaudy, but they’re fun just the same.

Embu holds weekend markets in its town square and sells locally-made and inexpensive trinkets that are made from rose quartz, agate, amethyst, hand-painted tiles, handicrafts, and even antiques, and they all can be found on cobblestone paths in the Embu center.Bargaining is accepted here, so don’t be shy when haggling for a lower price.

Try to use a rented car when you go to Embu, because its outside vicinity has a lot of crime-related activities due to the poor people living in the area. However, it’s relatively safe inside its vicinity, so you don’t need to be worried about getting mugged or kidnapped.

If you want to hang out with friends or just see a lot of people, go there towards mid- to late- afternoon.

Antiques in Sao Paulo

One of the most popular places to buy antiques is at the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP), which attracts a high number of travelers and Paulistanos alike.

Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) by

by Gabriel de Andrade Fernandes / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

MASP is where you should go to if you are looking for vintage postcards of Brazil cities, or pictures of soccer players from olden days, or even silver 500 reis coin from 1865 or cruzeiro bills from the 1960s. It is a trasure trove of porcelain sets to out-of-print books, to stalls selling statues to even exotic coins. What’s more, you can find numerous arts and crafts stores across Paulista Avenue on the sidewalk at the Parque Trianon.

MASP Antiques Fair is open from 10 am to 5 pm every Sundays at Avenida Paulista. Aside from finding some of the most interesting and fascinating antique pieces around, you can have the chance to tour a museum that showcases Western Art — one of the most important collections in Latin America

Brazilian Food

Brazilian Street Vendor By Rodrigues Pozzebom (Agência Brasil) [CC-BY-3.0-br (], via Wikimedia Commons

by Rodrigues Pozzebom / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0 BR

Brazilian food is interesting and diverse. It’s strongly connected to its culture and history, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, African, Syrian, Japanese, and Portuguese cuisine, among others. These combinations have made Brazilian food very interesting, with a lot of contrasting and bold flavors.

Like other countries, Brazilians also have their own staple diets. Their food mostly is made up of three basic ingredients: white rice (arroz), black beans (feijao), and flour-shaped farinhas. These come in different sizes and shapes, and are eaten with red meat, fish, or chicken.

Brazilian cooking is quite distinct, despite having many similarities with its other South American neighbors. Brazilian culture has a distinct mix of cultures and cuisines, with a mish-mash of African-influenced cuisines of the coastal states, particularly Bahia. You can also see a lot of Portuguese heritage in many of its dishes.

The most common local ingredients in the country are root vegetables, such as cassava, yams, peanuts, and fruits like pineapple, hog plum, orange, mango, papaya, passion fruit, guava, açaí, and cupuaçu. The pine nuts found in the country (pinhão) are highly-abundant in the southern part of Brazil, and are considered national snacks and lucrative export products for the country.

Feijoada Di Gildemax (Opera propria) [CC-BY-SA-2.0-de (], attraverso Wikimedia Commons

Feijoada by Gildemax / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0 DE

Other popular dishes include pork, fish, rice, beans, and beef. The most typical dishes include: are caruru, (consisting of okra, dried shrimp, onion, and toasted nuts cooked with palm oil until it reaches a spread-like consistency); feijoada (a simmered bean-and-meat dish); tutu de feijão (a paste of beans and cassava flour); moqueca capixaba (slow-cooked fish, tomato, onion and garlic, topped with cilantro); and linguiça (mildly spicy popular dessert). The country is also known for a popular native, alchoholic beverages used in the caipirinha: the cachaça (or fermented sugarcane juice).

Regional Cuisines

Bahian Acaraje By José Oliveira (flickr user) (Flickr here) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Bahia acaraje by Jose Oliveira / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

It might seem quite similar to the untrained eye, but Brazilian food subtly varies from region to region. For example, the Northern interior has a lot of Indian influence, while the Northeastern area of Brazil has a lot of African influences.

Brazil’s southern region can be distinguished from its gaucho influence, which shows the region’s proclivity to meats. Other familiar ingredients found on the kitchen table are fish, eggs, beans, rice, tomatoes, corn, and fish.

The northern region of Brazil also uses a lot seafood, beans, tropical fruits, rice, and onions, among others, while the central region utilizes pork, fish, beef, manioc, rice, and beans.

Southeastern Brazilian cuisine

The cuisine found in this region is mostly dominated by the states of Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais.

The regional dishes in Minas Gerais include the typical dish, frango com quiabo, or “chicken with okra.” Minas Gerais, together with Rio and Sao Paulo, have a popular dish called “feijoada”, or black bean and meat stew. You can find this dish served everywhere, especially if you decide to drop by for a Wednesday and Saturday lunch in restaurants. Another dish that’s consumed frequently is picadinho, or minced meat together with rice and beans

Espirito Santo, on the other hand, has a lot of Italian and German influences, particularly in its local dishes. Its state dish, however, is of Amerindian origin, which is known as moqueca capixaba.

Moquecab By Janaina Roberge (English Wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Moquecab [Public Domain]

This popular dish is actually a tomato and fish stew prepared in a clay pot, and has been around Brazilian kitchens for almost 300 years now.

Northern Brazilian Cuisine

By Janaina Roberge (English Wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Popular dishes in Brazil

Rice and beans are one of the most popular dishes in Brazil. Similar to several Carribean nations, Brazilians usually cooked the rice and beans using either lard or vegetable fats and oils. Another variation to a typical rice and beans meal are pasta (which includes lamen, bifum, and yaksoba), pasta salad, and polenta as substitutes for rice. Brazilians also eat soybeans, and moyashi, a Japanese influence.

Many also eat small savory snacks called “salgadinhos”, which literally mean salty snacks. They are similar to Spanish tapas and are a staple food of working class and lower middle-class celebrations.


Coxinha [Public Domain]

Coxinha are chicken croquettes that are shaped into chicken thighs.

Kibe or Quibe is an extremely popular Lebanese and Syrian dish that corresponds to the Lebanese dish, kibbeh. It can be served raw, fried, or baked.

Esfiha – another Middle Eastern dish, it is highly popular in the Southeastern, Northeastern, and Southern regions. They are actually pies or cakes that have different fillings, such as curd, cheese, mutton, beef, and seasoned vegetables.

Pasteis are pastries that offer different fillings. It is similar to Spanish empanadillas, although of Japanese origin. These pastries have many different shapes that correspond to different flavors, with half-moon (cheese) and square (meat) shapes the most common shapes.

Empadas are snacks that are similar to pot pies in a small scale. They are often filled with a mixture of flour, chicken / shrimp, peas, and palms.

Cuscus branco are popular desserts made from milled tapioca cooked with coconut milk and sugar. It is the couscous equivalent to the rice pudding.

Starfruit, acaia, and cupuacu are tropical fruits that are shipped from the rainforests of Amazon. They are mostly consumeds as smoothies or as fresh fruit.

Queijo Minas Frescal

Queijo Minas Frescal [Public Domain]

Minas Gerais is known for Quejjo Minas, a mild-flavored, soft, white cheese that is packaged in water. Requeijão is a silky-textured, mildly salty spreadable cheese that is sold in glass jars and eaten on bread.

Pinhão is a common tree found in the highlands of southern Brazil. The pine nuts are boiled and eaten as a snack during the winter months and eaten during the festas juninas.

Risoto (risotto) is a rice dish consisting of seafood, shrimp, and chicken, and is mostly served with vegetables, a well-known dish in Southern Brazil.

Mortadella sandwich is made up of Imortadella, a large Italian sausage together with Provolone cheese, mayonnaise, sourdough bread, and Dijon mustard.

Sugarcane juice is often mixed with pineapple or lemon juices.

Polenta By [1] (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Polenta with Sausages by AlMare / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Angu, a popular side dish similar to polenta, is commonly found in Southern and Southeastern Brazil.

Arroz com pequi, also known as souari nut (and often chicken), is a traditional dish from the Brazilian Cerrado, and a focal symbol of Center-Western Brazil’s cuisine.

Non-Brazilian Food Favourites

There are special ethnic foods and restaurants that are commonly found in Brazil, such as Arab cuisines (Syrian and Lebanese) and local variations of Chinese, Italian, and Japanese cuisines. Sushi bars are commonly found in the metropolises, and people from Rio de Janeiro are more used to temaki than those from São Paulo.

Pizza is extremely popular in Brazil, especially those made from thin, flexible crusts and very little sauce. Aside from the traditional pizza toppings, there are also interesting and unique toppings made from guava paste with Minas cheese, banana with cinnamon, chicken, meat, or smoked turkey breast with catupiry cheese, and even chocolate. A lot of Brazilians also enjoy putting ketchup, mayonnaise, and even mustard in pizza. However, the most popular condiment used, especially in the southeastern region (where pizza is the most popular food), is olive oil.

Popular Brazilian Desserts

Typical BrazilianCakes (Bolos)

Bolos by

Pain d’epice by David Monniaux / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

  • Pão de mel, or honey cake, resembles a gingerbread, and usually covered with melted chocolate
  • Bolo de rolo, or roll cake, is a thin mass wrapped with melted guava. It is often called rocambole in Southern and Southeastern Brazil
  • Bolo de cenoura is carrot cake with a chocolate cover made with butter and cocoa
  • Bolo prestígio is chocolate cake with a coconut and milk cream filling. It is also covered with brigadeiro
  • Bolo de fubá or corn flour cake
  • Bolo de milho or Brazilian-style corn cake
  • Bolo de maracujá or passion fruit cake
  • Bolo de mandioca or cassava cake
  • Bolo de queijo or “cheese cake”
  • Bolo de laranja or orange cake
  • Bolo de banana or banana cake spread with cinnamon


Other Popular Desserts in Brazil

Figs, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and native fruits such as papaya, mango, orange, citron, pear, peach, sweets and preserves, and are often eaten with solid fresh cheese and/or doce de leite. Other interesting desserts include:

  • Quindum
  • Brigadeiro – a Brazilian chocolate candy
  • Biscoitos de maizena – cornstarch cookies
  • Beijinho – coconut “truffles” with clove
  • Cajuzinho – peanut and cashew “truffles”
  • Cocada – sweet coconut

Pudim de pao by

Pudim de Pao by Harry Wood / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Pudim de pão – literally “bread pudding”. It is pie made with bread “from yesterday”  immersed in milk instead of flour. Also added are the typical pie ingredients like eggs, sugar, plus some dried orange slices, and clove
  • Manjar – coconut pudding with caramel cover and dried plums
  • Doce de leite
  • Arroz-doce – rice pudding
  • Canjica – similar to rice pudding, but made with white corn
  • Romeu e Julieta: Goiabada –  sweet Guava with white cheese (most often minas cheese or requeijão)
  • Lemon pie – shortcrust pastry with creamy lemon-flavored filling
  • Pé-de-moleque – made with peanuts and sugar caramel
  • Paçoca – similar to Spanish polvorones, but made with peanuts instead of almonds and without addition of fats
  • Pudim de leite – similar to a flan, but done with condensed milk
  • Brigadeirão – a pudim de leite with chocolate or a chocolate cake
  • Rapadura
  • Doce de banana – different types of banana sweets, solid or creamy
  • Maria-mole

Pamonha by

Pamonha by Jorge Peixoto / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

  • Pamonha – a traditional Brazilian food made from fresh corn and milk wrapped in corn   husks and boiled. It can be savoury or sweet
  • Papo-de-anjo
  • “Açaí na tigela” – usually consists of an açaí (Brazilian fruit) mixture with bananas and cereal or strawberries and cereal (it is often made from granola or muslix)

Brazilian Drinks

Brazilian Liquor and Beer

Eisenbahn Cervejas by Leonardo Lang via

Eisenbah Cervejas by Leonardo Lang / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.5

Beer in Brazil is quite good, thanks to Germans who immigrated in the country a long time ago.  Many Brazilian beer brands are less thin and bitter than English, German, and Danish beers, with the most popular domestic brands including Skol, Brahma, Antarctica, and Bavaria. The oldest and most traditional beers are Itaipaya, Caracu, and Bohemia. There are also international brands, such as Budweiser, Miller, Carlsberg, Guinness, Stella Artois.

Brazil is alos having a beer renaissance, with microbreweries such as Cervejaria Wäls, Cervejaria Colorado, Cervejaria Bodebrown, Whitaker & Vega Cervejaria and Cervejaria Coruja wowing beer connoisseurs at international beer festivals.

There are two methods you can use when it comes to drinking beer in Brazilian bars: bottled or draft beer. Draft lager beer, or chope (chopp), is served with one inch of head.  Usually, the waiter will continuously collect the empty bottles and glasses and replace them until you ask him to stop (in a tap charging system). It’s also important to note that bottled beers are shared among everyone in the table and poured into small glasses. They are not drunk straight from the bottle.

Cachaca by Benutzer:Tom Tom at de.wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Cachaca by Tom Tom at the German Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Imported alcohol is quite expensive, although you can find a large number of vodka wines and rum brands that come relatively cheap in the supermarket. You can also buy imported gin, Scotch, or vodka in duty-free shops at the airport.

If you happen to pass by Minas Gerais, try to look for licor de jabuticaba (jabuticaba liquor) or vinho de jabuticaba (jabuticaba wine). Jabuticaba is the name of a small, grape-like fruit found in Brazil.

Brazilian Coffee and Tea

Brazilian Coffee By Jkafader (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Coffe by Jkafader / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Brazil is known for its very strong coffee. It’s so popular that coffee is actually used to name meals, such as café da manhã, or morning coffee, orcafé da tarde (afternoon coffee, which means a light afternoon meal).

Thinking of drinking a cup of coffee for free? You can ask for a free small cup of strong, sweetened coffee after your meal in a restaurant if you ask politely.

Tea is mostly of the Assam variety, and more specialized tea shops would also feature Earl Grey and Green Tea in their menus.

You can also try mate, which is an infusion that is similar to tea, yet very high in caffeine. It has two kinds: the toasted version, which is served chilled and enjoyed by all regions of the country, and the hot, bitter one (Chimarrão) that is found in the southern areas and liked by many gaúchos (Rio Grande do Sul dwellers). If you prefer cold Chimarrão, you can try Tererê, which is highly common in Mato Grosso state.

Brazilians love their coffee. Many drink small – yet intense – cups of coffee all day long, even at lanchonetas and specialty coffee bars.

Brazlian Soda Pop

Coconut water, or água de coco, is highly popular in Brazil. When ordering one, be careful how you pronounce the word coco. Make sure to stress the first o; otherwise, it will sound to them like you are ordering poo.

Meals in Brazil

Breakfast in Brazil

Brazilian Breakfast By Jeff Belmonte from Cuiabá, Brazil (Comilança) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Brazilian Breakfast Buffet by Jeff Belmonte / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Breakfast or café-da-manhã (which means “morning coffee”), is usually from 6 a.m. 8:30 a.m. A typical breakfast in Brazil includes coffee, bread, juice, fruit, eggs, cheese and cereals. Other regions eat grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, smoked turkey and cheese, ham an requeijão, honey, jam, and mortadella. Drinks are often sweetened coffee, juice, sweetened tea, hot chocolate, or café com leite.

Brazilian Brunch

Brunch, or Elevenses is the morning snack. Light sandwiches, cookies, crackers, fruits, and juices are the common snacks that they eat during brunch.

Lunch in Brazil

Lunch, or almoco, is the biggest meal of the day. Rice is the staple food, although it is also normal to substitute pasta with rice. They are often eaten together with boiled dry legumes and some protein served with farofa (toasted flour of maioc or corn), polenta, cooked vegetables or salads.

Tea (lanche-da-tarde) in Brazil

Tea, or lanche-da-tarde (literally “afternoon snack”), is a meal between lunch and dinner. Basically, it includes all the foods eaten during breakfast. Fruits, however, are not common.

Brazilian Dinner

Dinner is similar to lunch in terms of the food eaten, and is often from 7 p.m. to onwards. You may notice that big cities, like Sao Paulo and Rio often have late dinners, which start around 10:00 p.m. Many Brazilians often prefer a lighter meal during dinner time.

Eating Etiquette in Brazil

Brazilians prefer not to do any other thing while they are eating; they aren’t even partial to eating food anywhere on the street, in the bus, subways, or in workplaces. This means that they would rather eat their food first before doing anything else. Eating on the run, especially on the streets is not commonly practiced by many Brazilians, and many take frequent sips of coffee all throughout the day.

Bakeries and cafés are actually quite the in thing for many individuls, groups, and even families, especially when hanging out and bonding with each other.  Those who live alone tend to have breakfast in a café or bakery, and many families also go out to these places for breakfast every weekend as well.

Many use a knife and a fork for pizza, chicken, and even open sandwiches. Usually, the fork is held in the left hand, and the right hand holds the knife (left-handers are an exception).

Lanchonetes, or snack bars / juice bars, are a common sight in Brazilian society. They come in all shapes and sizes, with some specializing in quibes, esfihas, and other savory snacks that are of Middle Eastern origin.  However, one thing you need to remember is to finish your food and not eat on the go (even if it’s just a food cart on the street). As a rule, Brazilians do not eat while they are walking down the street or riding any transportation, like the bus or the subway. Also expect many to carry coffee cups and drinks in their cars.

Many Brazilians find it quite rude to eat in places that are not appropriate for eating. This even applies to movies. Usually, you’ll find them bringing only small bags of popcorn or just some candies while they’re inside a cinema house. There are some (better) theaters that actually have great cafés where they can get fresh Brazilian goodies and pão de queijo and eat them before or after the movie. Many Brazilians, after arriving in the U.S. first time, are actually shocked to find many people eating a complete meal inside movie theate.

Types of Restaurants in Brazil

Eating out in Brazil can be one of the most pleasurable and inexpensive things you can do in the country. Service may vary, although many are quite cheap. Even if you eat out in the expensive, marked-up and pricey restaurants in Rio and in other touristy areas, you can get a great meal and drinks at a decent restaurant for US$10.

Vegetarians who are looking for a simple and inexpensive restaurant can go to comida à quilo or comida por quilo restaurants (literally “food by kilo value”), which are buffets that make you pay food by weight. Another alternative is to go to the all-you-can-eat restaurants that offer customers fix prices. Many are self-service and you can  mix and assemble your choice of dishes from a large buffet.

If you prefer regular restaurants where there is a specific price for every meal, you can go to the “a la carte” ones, instead.

Many of the self-service restaurants offer two kinds of deals: “Por Quilo or price per kilo, or the “Rodizio” an all-you-can-eat buffet.

A lot of the cheaper restaurants are weighted self-service buffets, or por quilo. What you do is pile up you plate with whatever you want, and then place it on a scale at the counter and pay by weight. Many Brazilians prefer to eat here daily because they are inexpensive. The only drawback here is that the service may be hard if you can’t speak Portuguese. However, this is only a small inconvenience compared to getting cheap and good food.

It won’t be difficult to find self-service restaurants that offer good food even in the smallest towns. However, these restaurants have varying degrees of cleanliness, and you are allowed (by law) to visit the restaurant’s kitchen to see how food is being handled by the staff.

Some Brazilian restaurants serve only meals for two, with the portion quite large for even a single person. The size of the portions are often not indicated on the menu, so you may have to ask the waiter for more details.

Fast food is quite popular, and a good tip is to try the hotdogs (“cachorro-quente”) and hamburgers. There are many combinations of sandwiches that you can try, with some of the most common ingredients, like pickles, ketchup, eggs, raisins, ham, cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce, corn, peas, ham, and bacon.

Note that many locals tip 10% of the bill but this is often included in the bill.

You can try the fast food chain Bob’s, which is found nationwide. It has been around in the country for as long as McDonald’s.

Dietary Concerns in Brazil

How to Manage Your Allergies in Brazil

Allergies can be a bit of a hindrance for any traveler. However, it’s always possible to have a good time in Brazil without letting your allergies ruin your time in the country. One good thing you can do when eating out is to check out comida por quilo and all-you-can-eat restaurants, which offer a wide range of fresh dishes that can satisfy any dietary limits you may have, even food allergies.

Avoiding Gluten in Brazil

Gluten sufferers should find Brazil to be very accommodating to their condition. Brazil has a law that mandates every single product in supermarkets to reveal whether or not it contains gluten. You can find them labeled “CONTÉN GLÚTEN” (Contains Gluten) or “NÃO CONTÉN GLÚTEN” (Does Not Contain Gluten). It would also be good to remember the Portuguese terms for barley, oats, wheat and rye, which are” malte”, “aveia”, “trigo” and “centeio”.

You can find a lot of gluten-free foods in bigger towns, such as São Paulo City, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, and Rio de Janeiro City. The best thing you can do is to visit the Brazilian Celiac Foundation to find a lot of helpful information about where to buy gluten-free products, doctors, and other valuable information that can help you with your gluten allergy.

Restaurants that serve gluten-free food are quite many, and it wouldn’t be hard for you to find restaurants that accommodate this type of allergy. You can easily order foods that don’t contain gluten, such as white rice, salads, potatoes, and fruits. If you are craving for a breakfast or afternoon snack of bread, you can have “pão de queijo”. It is actually a small, soft roll made from manioc flour, minas cheese, milk, and eggs.

What’s good about it is that it’s a traditional food that can be found everywhere. Tapioca is available in almost all the resorts in Northwest, so finding gluten-free bread wouldn’t be a problem for you especially in this region. It can even be purchased frozen in a supermarket and ready to be baked or bought ready-made at any bakery corner.

If you suffer from gluten allergies, your salvation can be to carry Portuguese phrases that inform hotels, cafe, and restaurants of your food requirements for a gluten-free diet. A good site you can use is the Portuguese Celiac / Celiac Gluten-Free Restaurant Card. These are extremely helpful, especially when you are eating out.

Here is a great website that offers helpful information about Gluten allergies and travellers in Brazil:

Avoiding Nuts and Seafood in Brazil

If you are allergic to nuts, pay particular attention to dishes such as stews from the Northeast, such as moqueca, vatapá, and bobó. Often, these dishes have ground-up shrimp or even nuts in the sauces. There are also many desserts that have nuts in them, so always ask the waiter or chef before you eat them. Here are some words you need to know:

  • Peanuts – amendoim
  • Cashews – castanha de caju or caju
  • Almonds – amendoas
  • Brazil nuts – castanha do Pará
  • Hazelnuts – avelas
  • General word for nuts – nozes
  • Fish – peixe
  • Shrimp – camarão
  • Crab – caranguejo
  • Lobster – lagosta
  • Anchovy – anchova
  • Squid – lula

You can let people know that you have an allergy to peanuts by saying: “Tenho alergia de amendoim” and seafood: “Eu sou alérgica a crustáceos.”

Travelling in Brazil as a Vegetarian

Brazil has many traditional dishes prepared with fish or meat, although it’s not difficult to find vegetarian food as well. You can find plenty of these in the mid-sized and larger cities of the country. There are actually plenty of fruits and vegetables to choose from, and there are plenty of cheese buns (pão de queijo) on city streets that are made from soy.

Several vegetarian / vegan restaurants are found in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre, Take note that not all restaurants offer vegetarian dishes, and those that say “vegetarian meals” may include meat as well. Many Brazilians think that “meat” is red meat, so they might assume that chicken and fish can be acceptable ingredients to a vegetarian diet.

Find vegetarian and vegan restaurants at

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