Brazil Key Facts
8, 515, 767 km²
202, 656, 788
For Brazil travel insurance, select Worldwide Region
International Calling Codes
Rio de Janerio
64.6% Roman Catholic
8% No religion
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In Brazil they drive on the right side of the road
When is the best time to visit?
Most travel in Brazil happens domestically and most Brazilians travel during the school vacations in January and June, as well as around Carnival. Avoid travelling at these times for a cheaper and more relaxed experience! The rainy season is from April to July in the northeast, and from October to January in Rio.
Airports (34 international, 193 domestic), highways, rail, inter-city buses, harbours and ports.
World Heritage Sites
- Brasilia, the capital and a testament to the visions of urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemayer
- Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil's first capital from 1549 to 1763
- Historic Centre of São Luís, built with a rectangular street plan, this town is a great example of an Iberian colonial town
- Historic Centre of The Town of Diamantina, shows the efforts of early explorers and diamond prospectors as well as the European influence in Brazil
- Historic Centre of the Town of Goiás, a beautiful example of the sustainable development of a mining town in the 18th and 19th centuries
- Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda, which was founded in 1535 and is intimately linked to the sugar economy
- Historic Town of Ouro Preto, the hub of the gold rush in Brazil in the 18th century
- Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis, the remains of five Jesuit missions located in a tropical forest shared between Brazil and Argentina
- Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between Mountain and Sea. Rio de Janeiro offers dramatic landscapes between the mountains of Tijuca and Guanabara Bay
- Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas, a church built in the 18th century with Italian Rococo interior and soapstone and polychrome sculptures by Francisco Antônio Lisboa (Aleijadinho)
- São Francisco Square in the Town of São Cristóvão represents a mix of public and private buildings of the time when the Portuguese and Spanish crowns were united
- Serra da Capivara National Park, containing rock shelters and 25,000 year old cave paintings left over from some of the oldest human communities of South America
- Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves, containing some prime examples of the Atlantic forests of Brazil, ranging from coastal islands and wetlands to dense mountain forests
- Central Amazon Conservation Complex, one of the planet's most bio diverse areas home to black caiman and two species of river dolphins
- Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros Emas National Parks, containing fauna and flora of one of the world's oldest and most diverse tropical ecosystems
- Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves, consisting of 112,000 ha of pristine Atlantic forest
- Iguaçu National Park, home to the famous Iguaçu falls that extend over 2,700m
- Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reservas are both important breeding grounds for tuna, shark, and turtles as well as being home to the largest concentration of tropical seabirds in the Western Atlantic
- Pantanal Conservation Area is a 187,818 ha conservation area dedicated to the world's largest freshwater wetland ecosystem
Average Annual Temperature
Average Annual Rainfall
As the 5th largest country in the world, Brazil's various regions offer differing climates. The north has a rainy season and a dry season, with temperatures usually being on the hot side, averaging around 26 degrees. As you travel south, seasons become more pronounced and temperatures in the winter months tend to drop quite a bit. The central region of Brazil is characterized as seasonally tropical, with most rain falling in summer and temperatures averaging 22 degrees. The south, below the Tropic of Capricorn, is a temperate zone with hot summers and coolish winters.
- January 1 - New Year's Day
- February 16 & 17 (2015) - Carnival
- March | April - Good Friday
- April 21 - Tiradentes Day
- May 1 - Labor Day
- June 4 - Corpus Christi
- September 7 - Independence of Brazil
- October 12 - Our Lady of Aparecida
- November 2 - All Souls' Day
- November 15 - Republic Day
- December 24 - Christmas Eve
- December 25 - Christmas Day
Why Visit Brazil?
More than a collection of wonders of the natural world and amazing selection of colonial architecture, Brazil has a lively and friendly energy that draws you in to explore, play and discover. Brazilians are amazingly friendly and love nothing more than to connect with travellers, making for many memorable experiences. The variety of food is astounding, and Brazil can be conquered with a backpack or through luxury travel.
Things To Do In Brazil
- Explore Rio.
- Have a Caipirinha or coconut juice on the beach.
- Enjoy the great variety of fruits from the Amazon.
- Visit UNESCO Heritage Sites.
- Eat feijoada and mocequa.
- Play soccer or volleyball on the beach.
- Chill at the famous Copacabana beach.
- Learn to surf.
- Party during Carnival.
Travel Tips For Brazil
- Make sure to try 'Guaraná', a carbonated soft-drink made from the local guaraná berry.
- Cachaça (sugar-cane liquor) is the national alcohol which is used to make Caipirinhas together with any of the excellent fruit juices available.
- For travel planning, check out Booking.com, which has recently seen a big expansion in Brazil making every aspect of organising a trip a lot easier.
Brazilian cuisine is as much of a melting pot as the country itself. Waves of immigrants have taken their staple foods with them and adapted them to local taste sensibilities. Each region in Brazil offers its own culinary traditions which means there are lots of things to smell, taste and try! It is important to note that Brazilian food tends to be quite heavy.
Churrascos (Brazilian barbecues) are popular all over the country. In these churrascerias, waiters carry trays of meat around the restaurant and carve the meat at the tableside on request. In the Bahia region, the food is reminiscent of East Africa and India with a heavy focus on coconut and dende palm oil. If you had to pick one Brazilian dish to try, go for the national dish: feijoada, a black bean and pork stew made from pork ear, knuckles, chops and sausage. In coastal regions, various types of hearty moqueca (coconut and sea food stew) are available. Brazil also has a wide range of sweets such as brigadeiros (condensed milk and chocolate balls) and an amazing variety of fruits from the Amazon such as Açai. Being home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, you can also find some authentic Japanese restaurants.
Brazil Travel Safety and Warnings
- Crime is a problem in Brazil. For travellers this means firstly, get travel insurance for Brazil and secondly, do your best to not act like a tourist and avoid flashing expensive jewellery or fancy equipment.
- Stay clear of favelas unless you are on an organised tour.
Rio de Janeiro with its iconic landscape is perhaps one of the most famous beach and party towns on the planet. Rio's beaches are beautiful and a great place to experience Brazilian beach culture and perhaps even play a little volleyball. Head to the Copacabana or Ipanema beach to chill at two of the most famous beaches in the world. The famous Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue is located on top of the Corcovado. From this mountain you have an absolutely spectacular view of the city and its unique setting. In fact, the entire area of Rio with its stunning mountain and beach scenery is one UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rio does have a bit of a crime problem, so before coming here make sure you have your Brazil travel insurance sorted!
If you come in February during the Carnival, you get to see the party side of Rio and what a party it is. The whole city turns out for 3 days of craziness. If you are in Rio this time of year, you will enjoy the party of a lifetime, though you may also find your memory of events a bit hazy after many Caipirinhas!
South of Rio is the city of São Paulo, which has a population of roughly 11 million people making it Brazil's largest city. Getting around can be a bit difficult, due to the sheer size of the city. However, the excellent restaurants, distinctive neighborhoods, and selection of museums make São Paulo well worth exploring. If you find yourself here, make sure to explore Avenida Paulistas and go up the highest building to enjoy a breathtaking view of downtown and experience the sheer size of the city stretching out in all directions towards the horizon.
In the Central West region of Brazil you will find the Distrito Federal. This region is home to the country's capital, Brasília. Brasília stands testament to the visions of town planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemayer, who designed this entire city from scratch. The clean lines and overall harmony of the design is impressive not just to architecture buffs.
The northeast of Brazil has some of the hottest climate in the country, and boasts a unique mix of black culture mixed with Iberic and indigenous traditions. The food here is heavily reminiscent of African and Indian traditions, with palm oil and coconuts forming favorite staples. In this area you will also find the famous Brazilian Atlantic Islands Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas, which are important breeding grounds for sharks, tuna and turtles. While in this region, make sure to visit the historic center of Brazil's first capital, Salvador de Bahia.
Towards the northwest of Brazil you will find the Amazon conservation area, and if you want to enter a wild rainforest, this is definitely the place. This is the most unexplored area of the country, as the cities themselves leave much to be desired in terms of tourism. The region is however notable for its protection of the Amazon forest and there are several Amazon River cruises operating out of Manaus.
The south of Brazil borders on Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, is one of the most economically developed in the country, and has some of the top travel destinations. In fact, a lot of Brazilians and Argentinian's tend to enjoy their vacations in this beautiful area. The beach town of Florianópolis has some of Brazil's most beautiful beaches and is a perfect destination to relax for a couple of days. With most European immigrants being in this area, you can also find an active German community around Blumenau, and there is even a version of the famous Oktoberfest celebrated here. The south also offers access to Iguaçu Falls, which are shared between Argentina and Brazil.
While Brazil is beautiful and the people generally friendly, it is important to note that crime is a bit of a problem when travelling around. In bigger cities it is important not to flash expensive jewelry or equipment, and unless you are on an organized tour, do stay away from the favelas. As a precaution, ensure you have travel insurance for Brazil before you depart.
For anyone wanting to explore new cuisines, Brazil is a dream come true: each region has its regional specialties, and with a high immigrant population, you can find many popular European menu items as well. Being home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan means that you can also get authentic Japanese sushi here. One word of warning: Brazilian cooking is very heavy, which is a bit unexpected with such a hot climate and eating can result in gentle sweating. Having said that, do make sure to try feijoada (a hearty pork and bean stew) and a good mocequa (a delicious seafood and coconut milk stew) while you’re at the coast.