BRAZIL

BRAZIL

BRAZIL

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Name: Christ the Redeemer
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 metres (98 ft) high, excluding its 8-metre (26 ft) pedestal. The arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide.

The statue weighs 635 metric tons (625 long, 700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, and is listed as one of the New7Wonders of the World. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone.

In 2010, a massive restoration of the statue began. Work included cleaning, replacing the mortar and soapstone on the exterior, restoring iron in the internal structure, and waterproofing the monument.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_the_Redeemer_(statue)
Name: Escadaria Selarón
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Escadaria Selarón, also known as the 'Selaron Steps', is a set of world-famous steps in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón.

In 1990, Selarón began renovating dilapidated steps that ran along the front of his house. At first, neighbours mocked him for his choice of colours as he covered the steps in fragments of blue, green and yellow tiles – the colours of the Brazilian flag. It started out as a side-project to his main passion, painting, but soon became an obsession. He found he was constantly out of money, so Selarón sold paintings to fund his work. It was long and exhausting work but he continued on and eventually covered the entire set of steps in tiles, ceramics and mirrors.

Running from Joaquim Silva street and Pinto Martins street, officially known as Manuel Carneiro street, the steps straddle the Lapa and Santa Teresa neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro. There are 215 steps measuring 125 metres long which are covered in over 2000 tiles collected from over 60 countries around the world.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escadaria_Selarón
Name: Amazon rainforest
Location: Brazil
The Amazon rainforest is a moist broadleaf forest in the Amazon biome that covers most of the Amazon basin of South America. This basin encompasses 7,000,000 km2, of which 5,500,000 km2 are covered by the rainforest. This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and with minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and France (French Guiana). The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests, and comprises the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world, with an estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species.

The rainforest contains several species that can pose a hazard. Among the largest predatory creatures are the black caiman, jaguar, cougar, and anaconda. In the river, electric eels can produce an electric shock that can stun or kill, while piranha are known to bite and injure humans. Various species of poison dart frogs secrete lipophilic alkaloid toxins through their flesh. Vampire bats dwell in the rainforest and can spread the rabies virus. Malaria, yellow fever and Dengue fever can also be contracted in the Amazon region.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_rainforest
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
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FACTS:
Official Languages: Portuguese
Currency: Brazil Real (BRL)
Time zones: Various. For a specific city / region – please see the following timeanddate.com Brazil weblink here
Drives on the right
Calling code: +55
Local / up-to-date weather in Rio de Janeiro (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Brazil travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Brazil, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO BRAZIL.

Brazil’s unit of currency is the Real (pronounced ‘hay-AHL’), plural Reais (‘hay-ICE’), denoted “R$” (ISO code: BRL). One real is divided into 100 centavos. As an example of how prices are written, R$1,50 means one real and fifty centavos.

Foreign currency such as US dollars or euros can be exchanged major airports and luxury hotels (bad rates), exchange bureaus and major branches of Banco do Brasil (no other banks), where you need your passport and your immigration form.

The real is a free-floating currency and has become stronger in the past few years. Especially for US citizens, prices (based on exchange rates) have increased quite a bit.

There are many federal regulations for dealings with foreign currency, trading in any currency other than real in Brazil is considered illegal, although some places in big cities and bordering towns accept foreign money and many exchange offices operate in a shady area. In addition, exchange offices are almost impossible to find outside of big cities. Currency other than US dollars and euros is hard to exchange and the rates are ridiculous. If you would like to exchange cash at a bank, be prepared to pay a hefty commission. For example, Banco do Brasil collects US$15 for each transaction (regardless of amount). Also, travelling with a backpack, you are out of luck getting into banks, because they have annoying security doors and rules. And even if you get in and exchange is possible, you will have to queue for 30 min or so with other regular customers.

It is thus best to rely on ATM, most machines are giving cash without fees.

BY PLANE:

Air service covers most of Brazil. Many flights make many stops en route, particularly in hubs as São Paulo or Brasilia. Most all airports with regular passenger traffic are operated by the federal.Infraero. They have a very convenient website, with an English version. It lists all the airlines operating at each airport, and also has updated flight schedules.

There are now several Brazilian booking engines that are good (although not perfect) for comparing flights and prices between different companies. They will mostly include an extra fee, hence it is cheaper to book on the airline’s own site.

The Brazilian airline scene changes surprisingly often. The largest carriers are LATAM and Gol, which share more than 80% of the domestic market between them. The traditional Varig is now just another brand of Gol. Others include Avianca and Azul. TRIP has short-haul flights to smaller airports throughout the country, and Puma is growing in the same segment. Portuguese TAP has a few domestic code shares with TAM. There are also regional companies.

Booking on the domestic carriers’ sites can be frustrating for non-Brazilian citizens. Often, you will be asked for your CPF (national identity number) while paying by credit card. Even if you -as a foreigner- have a CPF, the sites will often not recognize it. Gol now accepts international cards, but the system is buggy (Oct 2010). One trick that might work is to visit one of the airlines’ foreign websites, although prices may vary. Many flights can also be found on foreign booking engines where no CPF is needed. If you book weeks in advance, most carriers will give you the option to pay by bank deposit (boleto bancário), which is actually payable by cash not only in banks, but also in a number of supermarkets, pharmacies and other stores. Buying a ticket at a travel agent is generally R$30 more expensive, noting that certain special offers can only be found online.

Many domestic flights have so many stops that some, including yours, may be missing from the listings in the airports. Double check your flight number and confirm with ground staff.

Certain domestic flights in Brazil are “international”, meaning that the flight has arrived from abroad and is continuing without clearing all passengers through customs and immigration. This means ALL passengers must do this at the next stop, even those having boarded in Brazil. Do NOT fill out a new immigration form, but show what you were given upon actual arrival to Brazil.

BY CAR:

Brazil has the largest road network in Latin America with over 1.6 million kilometres. A car is a good idea if you want to explore scenic areas, e.g. the historic cities of Minas Gerais, the Rio-Santos highway, or the beaches in North-East Brazil. There are the usual car rental companies at the airports.

Many roads are in good condition, especially in the east and south of the country and along the coast. In other areas and outside the metropolitan regions there are also gravel and dirt roads for which an off-road vehicle can be strongly recommended. This especially applies to the Amazon area where many roads are difficult or not at all passable during the rainy season from November to March. This is why it is advisable to travel with a good map and to be well informed about distances, road conditions and the estimated travel time. Road maps of the brand Guia Quatro Rodas was available in the most newsstands in Brazil until 2015, but they ceased to be published from that year. Cochera andina publishes useful information on almost 300 routes in the country. In theory, the driving rules of Brazil resemble those of Western Europe or North America. In practice, driving in Brazil can be quite scary if you are used to European (even Mediterranean) or North American road culture, due to widespread violations of driving rules, and the toleration thereof.

Distances kept to other vehicles are kept at a bare minimum, overtaking whenever close to possible, and changing lanes without much of a prior signal. Many large cities also suffer from hold-ups when you wait at a red light in the night. Even if there is no risk of robbery, many drivers (including of city buses) run red lights or stop signs at night when they do not see incoming traffic from the cross street. Drivers also indulge in “creative” methods of saving time, such as using the reverse direction lanes. In rural areas, many domestic animals are left at the roadside, and they sometimes wanders into the traffic. Pedestrians take enormous chances crossing the road, since many drivers do not bother to slow down if they see pedestrians crossing. The quality of the paving is very varied, and the presence of enormous potholes is something that strongly discourages night-driving. Also consider the risk of highway hold-ups after dark, not to mention truck drivers on amphetamines (to keep awake for days in a row).

  • In Brazil cars are driven on the right hand side of the road.
  • A flashing left signal means that the car ahead is warning you not to pass, for some reason. If the car ahead of you wants to show you that it is safe to pass it will flash the right signal. The right signal is the same signal to indicate that you’re going to stop on the side of the road, so it means you’re going to slow down. On the other hand the left signal is the same signal to indicate you’re going to pass the car ahead, meaning you’re going to speed up.
  • Flashing, twinkling headlights from the cars coming on the opposite side of the road means caution on the road ahead. Most of the time, it indicates that there are animals, cops or speed radar ahead.
  • Keep the doors locked when driving, especially in the larger cities, as robberies at stop signs and red lights are quite common in some areas. You’ll make it much easier for the robber if he can simply open up the door and sit down. Be equally careful with keeping your windows wide open, as someone might put their hands inside your car and steal a wallet, for instance. Leave your handbags and valuables out of sight.

BY TRAIN:

Brazil’s railway system was mostly wrecked during the military regimes. Today there are few passenger lines left:

  • The Serra Verde Express from Curitiba to Paranaguá. This scenic 150 km long railroad links the capital of Paraná to the coastal cities of Morretes and Paranaguá, through the beautiful Serra do Mar mountains covered with mata atlântica forest. The trip takes about 3 hours and has bilingual guides. Trains leave daily at 08:15 and prices start from about R$50 (round-trip) – see Curitiba#Get out for more information.
  • From São João del Rei to Tiradentes – This 35-minute trip on a steam train is almost like time travel. The train operates Fri-Sun, with departures from São João at 10:00 and 15:00 and 13:00 and 17:00 from Tiradentes. The round trip costs R$16.
  • From Belo Horizonte to Vitória – Daily trains operated by Companhia Vale do Rio Doce leave Belo Horizonte at 07:30 and Vitória at 07:00. Travel time is about twelve and a half hours. Tickets are sold at the train stations and a single 2nd class fare costs about R$65 (and R$89 for first class). Seats are limited and it is not possible to reserve, so it is advisable to buy in advance at the Vale’s website. The railway is the second longest passenger line of Brazil, almost 700 km long.
  • From Ouro Preto to Mariana – Weekend (and holiday) scenic trains operated by Compania Vale do Rio Doce and ABPF (Associação Brasileira de Preservação Ferroviária). Leaves Ouro Preto (or Mariana) in different times, depending on the day, or holliday (It’s advisable to consult the timetable prior abording or buying tickets). The train runs to both cities in 2 departures by day (sometimes three), and pass by some untouched and preserved atlantic forest reserves, with astonishing landscapes. The travel takes about 1 hour and it’s 16 km long. From 2016, the prices starts from R$40 (or R$58 if you buy the round-trip ticket).
  • From São Luis to Parauapebas – interesting because part of it passes through the Amazon rainforest and it’s the longest passenger railway of Brazil, almost 900 km long.
  • From Macapá to Serra do Navio
  • From Campinas to Jaguariuna. Part of the old Ferrovia Mogiana, which was built to facilitate coffee exports in the late 19th and early 20th century. Entertaining guides. Only at weekends and holidays. Some steam trains. Inexpensive. About 1 h each way.

BY INTER-CITY BUS:

Long-distance buses are a convenient, economical, and sometimes (usually if you buy the most expensive ticket), rather comfortable way to travel between regions. The bus terminal (rodoviária) in cities play a role akin to train stations in many countries. You should check travel distance and time while traveling within Brazil; going from Rio de Janeiro to the south region could take more than 24 hours, so it may be worth going by plane if you can afford it.

Brazil has a very good long distance bus network. Basically, any city of more than 100,000 people will have direct lines to the nearest few state capitals, and also to other large cities within the same range. Pretty much any little settlement has public transport of some kind (a lorry, perhaps) to the nearest real bus station.

Mostly you have to go to the bus station to buy a ticket, although most major bus companies make reservations and sell tickets by internet with the requirement that you pick up your ticket sometime in advance. In a few cities you can also buy a ticket on the phone and have it delivered to your hotel for an extra charge of some 3-5 reais. Some companies have also adopted the airlines’ genius policy of pricing: In a few cases buying early can save you more than 50%. The facility of flagging a bus and hopping on (if there are no available seats you will have to stand, still paying full price) is widespread in the country. This is less likely to work along a few routes where armed robberies have happened frequently, such as those leading to the border with Paraguay and to Foz do Iguaçu.

There is no one bus company that serves the whole country, so you need to identify the company that connect two cities in particular by calling the bus station of one city. Be aware that some big cities like São Paulo and Rio have more than one bus station, each one covering certain cities around. It is good to check in advance to which bus station you are going.

Busca Ônibus is a useful resource for finding bus schedules.

Bus services are often sold in three classes: Regular, Executive and First-Class (Leito, in Portuguese). Regular may or may not have air conditioning. For long distances or overnight travels, Executive offers more space and a folding board to support your legs. First-Class has even more space and only three seats per row, making enough space to sleep comfortably.

All trips of more than 4 hours are covered by buses with bathrooms and the buses stop for food/bathrooms at least once every 4 hours of travel.

Brazilian bus stations, known as rodoviária or terminal rodoviário, tend to be located away from city centers. They are often in pretty sketchy areas, so if you travel at night be prepared to take a taxi to/from the station. There will also be local bus lines.

Even if you have a valid ticket bought from elsewhere, some Brazilian bus stations may also require a boarding card. This can be obtained from the bus company, often for a supplement fee. If you buy a ticket in the departure bus station you will also be given this boarding card.

Rodoviárias include many services, including fast-food restaurants, cafés, Internet cafés, toilets and left luggage. As a general rule, the larger the city, the more expensive the services (e.g. leaving a suitcase as left luggage in a smaller city may cost R$1, but in Recife in might cost you R$5).

When buying tickets, as well as when boarding the bus, you may be asked for proof of ID. Brazilian federal law requires this for interstate transportation. Not all conductors know how to read foreign passports, so be prepared to show them that the name of the passport truly is the same as the name on the ticket.

BY RIDE SHARING:

Intercity buses are rather expensive in Brazil, compared to Paraguay or even Bolivia. However, many people offer shared rides between many popular destinations. The most notable website for finding rides is BlaBlaCar, which also has a rating system for drivers, making the trip very secure, especially for Brazilian standards. This way, you can easily bring down your transport costs by 40-50%. Costs are about R$20 per 100 km.

Also, it can be considerably faster, without unnecessary stops at restaurants and such. The BlaBlaCar website is free, and you only pay the driver directly. But they will almost certainly charge in the future like they do for other countries as well. But until the taxation status of such services (including Uber) is settled by the government, the free system will not change.

Do not underestimate the desire of Brazilians to discuss and talk about each and everything, and to give their opinions about even the most remote nonsense. This can be highly stressful if you got a different temperament, prefer a quiet drive and just want to reach your destination.

BY CITY BUS:

Most cities have extensive bus services. Multiple companies may serve a single city. There is almost never a map of the bus lines, and often bus stops are unmarked. Be prepared for confusion and wasted time.

Buses have a board behind the windshield that advertises the main destinations they serve. You may have to ask the locals for information, but they may not know bus lines except the ones they usually take.

In most cities you have to wave to stop the bus when you want to take it. This in itself would not pose a problem; however, in big cities there may be dozens of bus lines stopping at a given bus stop and bus stops are not designed to accommodate so many vehicles. Frequently one cannot observe the oncoming buses due to other buses blocking the view. Bus drivers are reluctant to slow down for a bus stop if they are not sure someone will take their bus, so it is common to miss your bus because you could not see it coming to wave on time or the driver did not see you waving in between buses already at the stop. Some people go into the middle of a busy street to wait for their bus to make sure they see it and the driver sees them. In some places, like Manaus, drivers even tend to ignore stop requests (both to get on and to get off) if it is not too easy to navigate to the bus stop.

Most city buses have both a driver and a conductor. The conductor sits behind a till next to a turnstile. You have to pay the conductor; the price of the bus is usually advertised on the windshield. The turnstiles are narrow, and very inconvenient if one carries any kind of load (try balancing a heavy backpack over the turnstile while the bus is running). Larger buses often have a front section, before the turnstile, meant in priority for the elderly, handicapped and pregnant women – you can use it but you still have to pay! Typical prices are around R$3.

You can try asking the conductor to warn you when the bus is close to your destination. Depending on whether he or she understands you and feels like helping you, you may get help.

In addition to large city buses, there are often minibuses or minivans (alternativo). You pay the driver when you go aboard.

BY BOAT:

In the Amazon region as well as on the coast west of Sao Luis, boat travel is often the only way to get around.

BY E-HAILING:

Brazil has availability of some e-hailing services, Uber being the largest of them. Notable e-hailing services in Brazil, are:

  • Uber (covering the majority of the big capitals and more than 20 other cities)
  • Cabify (covers some capitals)
  • T-81 (Brazilian app, covers some capitals)

EAT:

Cuisine:

Brazil’s cuisine is as varied as its geography and culture, based on the variety of crops, livestock and seafood produced in the country. On the other hand, some may find it an unrefined melange, and everyday fare can be bland and monotonous. While there are some quite unique dishes of regional origin, many dishes were brought by overseas immigrants and have been adapted to local tastes through the generations. Italian and Chinese food in Brazil can often be as baffling as Amazonian fare.

The standard Brazilian set lunch is called prato feito, with its siblings comercial and executivo. Rice and brown beans in sauce, with a small steak. Sometimes farofa, spaghetti, vegetables and French fries will come along. Beef may be substituted for chicken, fish or others.

Excellent seafood can be found in coastal towns, especially in the Northeast.

Dishes:

  • Brazil’s national dish is feijoada, a hearty stew made of black beans, pork (ears, knuckles, chops, sausage) and beef (usually dried). It’s served with rice, garnished with collard greens and sliced oranges. It’s not served in every restaurant; the ones that serve it typically offer it on Wednesdays and Saturdays. A typical mistake made by tourists is to eat too much feijoada upon first encounter. This is a heavy dish — even Brazilians usually eat it parsimoniously.
  • Brazilian snacks, lanches (sandwiches) and salgadinhos (most anything else), include a wide variety of pastries. Look for coxinha (deep-fried, batter-coated chicken), empada (a tiny pie, not to be confused with the empanada – empadas and empanadas are entirely different items), and pastel (fried turnovers). Another common snack is a misto quente, a pressed,toasted ham-and-cheese sandwich. Pão-de-queijo, a roll made of manioc flour and cheese, is very popular, especially in Minas Gerais state – pão-de-queijo and a cup of fresh Brazilian coffee is a classic combination.

Even more:

  • Farofa. A cassava flour stir-fried with bacon and onion bits; the standard carbo side dish at restaurants, along with white rice.
  • Feijão verde. Green beans with cheese gratin.
  • Paçoca. Beef jerky mixed with cassava flour in a pilão (big mortar with a big pestle). Traditional cowboy fare.
  • Pastel. Deep-fried pastry filled with cheese, minced meat or ham.
  • Tapioca (Beiju de tapioca). Made with the cassava starch, also known as tapioca starch. When heated in a pan, it coagulates and becomes a type of pancake or dry crepe, shaped like a disk. Some will serve it folded in half, others will roll it rocambole-style. The filling varies, but it can be done sweet or savory, with the most traditional flavors being: grated coconut/condensed milk (sweet), beef jerky/coalho cheese, plain cheese, and butter (savory). However, it has become a “gourmetized” food item, to be treated with creativity; nutella, chocolate, napolitano (pizza cheese/ham/tomato/oregano) and shredded chicken breast/catupiry cheese being almost standard options nowadays.
  • Brigadeiro. A traditional Brazilian dessert from the 1940s, made of cocoa powder, condensed milk, and butter, covered chocolate sprinkles.

Regional cuisines:

  • Southern – Churrasco is Brazilian barbecue, and is usually served “rodizio” or “espeto corrido” (all-you-can-eat). Waiters carry huge cuts of meat on steel spits from table to table, and carve off slices onto your plate (use the tongs to grab the meat slice and don’t touch the knife edge with your silverware to avoid dulling the edge). Traditionally, you are given a small wooden block colored green on one side and red on the other. When you’re ready to eat, put the green side up. When you’re too stuffed to even tell the waiter you’ve had enough, put the red side up… Rodizio places have a buffet for non-meaty items; beware that in some places, the desserts are not considered part of the main buffet and are charged as a supplement. Most churrasco restaurants (churrascarias) also serve other types of food, so it is safe to go there with a friend that is not really fond of meat. While churrascarias are usually fairly expensive places (for Brazilian standards) in the North, Central and the countryside areas of the country they tend to be much cheaper then in the South and big cities, where they are frequented even by the less affluent.
  • Mineiro is the “miner’s” cuisine of Minas Gerais, based on pork and beans, with some vegetables. Dishes from Goiás are similar, but use some local ingredients such as pequi and guariroba. Minas Gerais cuisine if not seen as particularly tasty, has a “homely” feel that is much cherished.
  • The food of Bahia, on the northeast coast has its roots across the Atlantic in East Africa and Indian cuisine. Coconut, dende palm oil, hot peppers, and seafood are the prime ingredients. Tip: hot (“quente”) means lots of pepper, cold (“frio”) means less or no pepper at all. If you dare to eat it hot you should try acarajé (prawn-filled roasties) and vatapá (drinkable black beans soup).
  • Espírito Santo and Bahia have two different versions of moqueca, a delightful tomato-based seafood stew prepared in a special type of clay pot.
  • Amazonian cuisine draws from the food of the indigenous inhabitants, including various exotic fish and vegetables. There is also a stupendous variety of tropical fruits.
  • Ceará’s food has a great sort of seafood, and is known to have the country’s best crab. It’s so popular that literally every weekend thousands of people go to Praia do Futuro in Fortaleza to eat fried fish and crabs (usually followed by cold beer).

Brazilian “fusion” cuisines:

  • Pizza is very popular in Brazil. In Sāo Paulo, travellers will find the highest rate of pizza parlours per inhabitant in the country. The variety of flavours is extremely vast, with some restaurants offering more than 100 types of pizza. It is worth noting the difference between the European “mozzarella” and the Brazilian “mussarela”. They differ in flavor, appearance and origin but buffalo mozzarella (“mussarela de búfala”) is also often available. The Brazilian “mussarela”, which tops most pizzas, is yellow in color and has a stronger taste. In some restaurants, particularly in the South, pizza has no tomato sauce. Other dishes of Italian origin, such as macarrão (macaroni), lasanha and others are also very popular.
  • Middle-eastern and Arab (actually Lebanese) food is widely available. Most options offer high quality and a big variety. Some types of middle-eastern food, such as quibe and esfiha have been adapted and are available at snack stands and fast food joints nation-wide. You can also find shawarma (kebabs) stands, which Brazilians calls “churrasco grego” (Greek Barbecue)
  • São Paulo’s Japanese restaurants serve up lots of tempura, yakisoba, sushi and sashimi. The variety is good and mostly the prices are very attractive when compared to Europe, USA and Japan. Most Japanese restaurants also offer the rodizio or buffet option, with the same quality as if you ordered from the menu. Sometimes, however, it can be quite a departure from the real thing. In particular, Brazilian-made sushis often employ copious amounts of cream cheese and mayonnaise, and breaded sushi with tare sauce (“hot rolls”) are as popular as “raw fish” sushi. The same can be said of Chinese food, again with some variations from the traditional. Cheese-filled spring rolls, anyone.Japanese restaurants (or those that offer Japanese food) are much commoner than Chinese and can be found in many Brazilian cities, especially in the state of São Paulo.

Restaurants:

  • Restaurants add a 10% service charge on the bill, and this is generally the only tip paid in Brazil. It is not mandatory, but asking for the charge to be removed is often considered very rude and is normally reserved for bad service. If you really want to tip, R$5-10 are enough, and it will probably really surprise your server too.
  • There are two types of self-service restaurants, sometimes with both options available in one place: all-you-can-eat buffets with barbecue served at the tables, called rodízio, or a price per weight (por quilo or quilão), very common during lunchtime throughout Brazil. Load up at the buffet and get your plate on the scale before eating any. Especially in the South, the traditional Italian “galeto” is common. You’ll be served different types of pasta, salads, soups and meat (mostly chicken) at your table.
  • Customers are allowed by law to visit the kitchen to check how the food is being handled, although this is extremely uncommon and doing so will probably be considered odd and impolite.
  • Some Brazilian restaurants serve only meals for two. It might not be clear from the menu, so ask the waiter. Most restaurants in this category allow for a “half-serving” of such plates (meia-porção), at 60-70% of the price. Also, couples at restaurants often sit side-by-side rather than across from each other; observe your waiter’s cues or express your preference when being seated.
  • Fast food is popular, and the local takes on hamburgers and hot-dogs (“cachorro-quente”, translated literally) are well worth trying. Brazilian sandwiches come in many varieties, with ingredients like mayonnaise, bacon, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, corn, peas, raisins, French fries, ketchup, eggs, pickles, etc. Brave eaters may want to try the traditional complete hot dog (just ask for a completo), which, aside from the bun and the sausage, will include everything on display. The ubiquitous x-burger (and its varieties x-salada, x-tudo, etc.) is not as mysterious as it sounds: the pronunciation of the letter “X” in Portuguese sounds like “cheese”, hence the name.
  • Large chains: The fast-food burger chain Bob’s is found nationwide and has been around in the country for almost as long as McDonald’s. There is also a national fast-food chain called Habib’s which despite the name serves pizza in addition to Arabian food. Burger King and Subway are also widespread.

DRINK:

Alcohol:

Brazil’s national booze is cachaça (cah-shah-sah, also known as aguardente (“burning water”) and pinga), a 40% sugar-cane liquor known to knock the unwary out quite quickly. It can be tried in virtually every bar in the country. Famous producing regions include Minas Gerais, where there are tours of distilleries, and the city of Paraty. Pirassununga is home to Caninha 51, Brazil’s best-selling brand. Outside Fortaleza there is a cachaça museum (Museu da Cachaça) where you can learn about the history of the Ypioca brand.

Drinking cachaça straight, or stirring in only a dollop of honey or a bit of lime juice, is a common habit on the Northeast region of the country, but the strength of cachaça can be hidden in cocktails like the famous caipirinha, where it is mixed with sugar, lime juice and ice. Using vodka instead of cachaça is nicknamed caipiroska or caipivodka; with white rum, it’s a caipiríssima; and with sake it’s a caipisaque (not in every region). Another interesting concoction is called capeta (“devil”), made with cachaça, condensed milk, cinnamon, guarana powder (a mild stimulant), and other ingredients, varying by region. If you enjoy fine brandy or grappa, try an aged cachaça. Deep and complex, this golden-coloured spirit is nothing like the ubiquitous clear liquor more commonly seen. A fun trip is to an “alambique” – a local distillery, of which there are thousands throughout the country – not only will you be able to see how the spirit is made from the raw cane sugar, you will probably also get a better price.

Well worth a try is Brazilian whisky! It’s actually 50% imported scotch – the malt component -and approximately 50% Brazilian grain spirit. Don’t be misled by American sounding names like “Wall Street”. It is not bourbon. Good value for money and indistinguishable from common British blends.

While imported alcohol is very expensive, many international brands are produced under license in Brazil, making them widely available, and fairly cheap. You can buy booze in the tax-free after landing at Brazilian airports, but it generally is more expensive than buying it outside the airports.

Beer:

Beer in Brazil has a respectable history because of the German immigrants. Most Brazilian beer brands tend to be way less thick and bitter than German, Danish or English beer. More than 90% of all beer consumed in Brazil is Pilsner, and it is usually drunk very cold (at a temperature close to 0°C). The most popular domestic brands are Brahma, Antarctica, and Skol. Traditional brands include Bohemia, Caracu (a stout), Original and Serra Malte (another stout). They are easily found in bars and are worth trying but are usually more expensive than the popular beers. There are also some national premium beers that are found only in some specific bars and supermarkets; if you want to taste a good Brazilian beer, search for Baden Baden, Colorado, Eisenbahn, Petra, Theresopolis and others. There are also some international beers produced by national breweries like Heineken and Stella Artois and have a slightly different taste if compared with the original beers.

There are two ways of drinking beer in bars: draft or bottled beer. Draft lager beer is called chope or chopp (‘SHOH-pee’), and is commonly served with one inch of foam, but you can make a complaint to the bartender if the foam is consistently thicker than that. In bars, the waiter will usually collect the empty glasses and bottles on a table and replace them with full ones, until you ask him to stop, in a “tap” charging system. In the case of bottled beer, bottles (600ml or 1l) are shared among everyone at the table and poured in small glasses, rather than drunk straight from the bottle. Brazilians like their beer nearly ice-cold – hence, to keep the temperature down, bottles of beer are often kept in an insulated polystyrene container on the table.

Wine:

Rio Grande do Sul is the leading wine production region. There are a number of wine-producing farms that are open to visitors and wine tasting, and wine cellars selling wine and fermented grape juice. One of these farms open to visitors is Salton Winery, located in the city of Bento Gonçalves. The São Francisco Valley, along the border of the states of Pernambuco and Bahia, is the country’s newest wine-producing region. Brazilian wines are usually fresher, fruitier and less alcoholic than, for instance, French wines. Popular brands like Sangue de Boi, Canção and Santa Felicidade and others with prices below R$6.00 are usually seen as trash.

In Minas Gerais, look for licor de jabuticaba (jabuticaba liquor) or vinho de jabuticaba (jabuticaba wine), an exquisite purple-black beverage with a sweet taste. Jabuticaba is the name of a small grape-like black fruit native to Brazil.

Coffee and tea:

Brazil is known world-wide for its high-quality strong coffee. Café is so popular that it can name meals (just like rice does in China, Japan and Korea): breakfast in Brazil is called café da manhã (morning coffee), while café com pão (coffee with bread) or café da tarde (afternoon coffee) means a light afternoon meal. Cafezinho (small coffee) is a small cup of strong, sweetened coffee usually served after meals in restaurants (sometimes for free, just ask politely). Bottled filtered coffee is being replaced by stronger espresso cups in more upscale restaurants.

Chá, or tea in Portuguese, is most commonly found in its Assam version (orange, light coloured). Some more specialised tea shops and cafés will have Earl Gray and green tea available as well.

Mate is an infusion similar to tea that is very high in caffeine content. A toasted version, often served chilled, is consumed all around the country, while Chimarrão (incidentally called mate in neighbouring Spanish-speaking countries) is the hot, bitter equivalent that can be found in the south and is highly appreciated by the gaúchos (Rio Grande do Sul dwellers). Tererê is a cold version of Chimarrão, common in Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso state.

Soft drinks:

If you want a Coke in Brazil, ask for coca or coca-cola, as “cola” means “glue”, in Portuguese.

Guaraná is a carbonated soft drink made from the guaraná berry, native to the Amazon area. The major brands are Antarctica and Kuat, the latter owned by Coke. Pureza is a lesser known guaraná soft drink specially popular in Santa Catarina. There is also a “Guaraná Jesus” that is popular in Maranhão. Almost all regions in Brazil feature their own local variants on guaraná, some which can be quite different from the standard “Antarctica” in both good and bad ways. If traveling to Amazonas, be sure to try a cold “Baré,” which due to its huge popularity in Manaus was purchased by Antarctica and is becoming more available throughout northern Brazil.

Tubaína is a carbonated soft drink once very popular among Brazilians (particularly the ones born in the 70s, 80s and early 90s) and becoming extremely hard to find. It was once mass-produced by “Brahma” before it became focused on beers only. If you happen to find a place that sells it, try it.

Mineirinho (or Mate Couro) is also a popular soft drink made of guaraná and a typical Brazilian leaf called Chapéu de Couro. Although most Brazilians say that it tastes like grass, older people (+70 years) claim that the drink has medicinal properties.

Fruit juices:

Fruit juices are very popular in Brazil. Some cities, notably Rio de Janeiro, have fruit juice bars at nearly every corner.

  • Nothing beats coconut water (água de coco) on a hot day. (Stress the first o, otherwise it will come out as “poo” (cocô)). It is mostly sold as coco gelado in the coconut itself, drunk with a straw. Ask the machete-wielding vendors to cut the coconut in half so that you can eat the flesh after drinking the water.
  • Açai (a fruit from the Amazon) is delicious and nutritious (rich in antioxidants) and can be found widespread across the nations. In the Amazon region it’s used as a complement to the everyday diet, often eaten together with rice and fish in the main meal of the day. Curiously, outside of the Amazon region, it’s typically used in blended in combination with guarana (a stimulant) powder and a banana to re-energize from late-night partying. It is served cold and has a consistency of soft ice. There are also açai ice creams available.
  • Maracuja (passion fruit) (careful during an active day as this has a relaxant effect)
  • Caju (cashew fruit) and
  • Garapa: freshly pressed sugarcane juice
  • Manga (mango) are also great juice experiences.
  • Mangaba
  • Umbu
  • Vitamina: milk shake with fresh fruits

Brazilians have great taste when it comes to mixing juices.

High season in Brazil follows the school holidays calendar, December and January (summer) being the busiest months. New Year, Carnival (movable between February and March, see Understand above) and Holy week are the peak periods, and prices can skyrocket, especially in coastal cities like Rio and Salvador. Also, during those holidays, many hotels restrict bookings to a 3 or 4-day minimum and charge in advance.

Hotels are plentiful in just about all areas of Brazil and can range from luxury beach resorts to very modest and inexpensive choices. The Brazilian tourism regulation board imposes specific minimum attributes for each type of facility, but as the 1-5 star rating is no longer enforced, check in advance if your hotel provides the kind of services you expect.

Pousada means guesthouse (the local equivalent of a French auberge or a British boarding house), and are usually simpler than hotels, and will offer fewer services (room service, laundry etc.). Pousadas are even more widespread than hotels.

In wilderness areas like the Pantanal, travelers usually stay in fazendas, which are ranches with guest facilities. In small towns of Minas Gerais people are fond of hotéis-fazenda (farm hotels) where you can swim, ride, walk, play football, and camp as well as sleep in picturesque barracks.

Also there is great fun in going on a boat hotel which will take you to inaccessible places on the rivers and lakes for great fishing trips or for simply relaxing and watching and photographing the wildlife which is very abundant in the Pantanal. The boats are large, safe, and comfortable with air-conditioned rooms (very necessary). Several small aluminum boats with outboard motor, carried by the boat hotel, driven by experienced fisher/guide will take 2 or 3 tourists to the best “points”.

Motel is the local term for a “sex hotel”. There’s no social stigma per se in staying in one, but the room service and rates are geared to adults staying for a few hours with utmost discretion and privacy.

Youth hostels (albergues da juventude) are becoming increasingly common.

Many ho(s)tels give discounts if you do not use the monopolistic reservation website in the middle, especially in Rio. So, checkout their website directly or drop them a message.

Souvenirs:

Similar to the rest of Latin America, hand-crafted jewelry and accessories can be found anywhere, especially in touristy areas, but be aware these will be significantly more expensive. In regions with a larger Afro-Brazilian population, you’ll find more African-influenced souvenirs, including black dolls. Havaianas flip-flops are affordable and readily available in Brazil and supermarkets are often the best place to buy them — small shops usually carry off-brand or fake ones. If you have space in your bags, a Brazilian woven cotton hammock is a nice, functional purchase as well. Another interesting and fun item is a peteca, a sort of hand shuttlecock used in an eponymous traditional game, which is similar to volleyball.

Shopping:

It’s not a bad idea to pack light and acquire a Brazilian wardrobe within a couple of days of arrival. It will make you less obvious as a tourist, and give you months of satisfied gloating back home about the great bargains you got whenever you are complimented on your clothing. Brazilians have their own sense of style and that makes tourists – especially those in Hawaiian shirts or sandals with socks – stand out in the crowd. Have some fun shopping, and blend in. Another good reason for buying clothes and shoes in Brazil is that the quality is usually good and the prices often cheap. However, this does not apply to any foreign brand as imports are burdened by high import taxes – therefore, do not expect to find any good prices on brands like Diesel, Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. To figure your Brazilian trousers size, measure your waist in centimeters, divide by 2, and round up to the next even number.

Store windows will often display a price followed by “X 5” or “X 10”, etc. This is an installment-sale price. The price displayed is the per-installment price, so that, “R$50 X 10”, for example, means 10 payments (typically monthly) of R$50 each. The actual price is often lower if you pay in cash.

Make sure any appliances you buy are either dual voltage or the same as in your home country. Brazil is 60 Hz, so don’t buy electric clocks or non-battery operated motorized items if you live in Europe or Australia. The voltage, however, varies by state or even regions inside the same state. (see Electricity below).

Brazilian-made appliances and electronics are expensive. If not, they are usually of poor quality. All electronics are expensive compared to European or US prices.

Brazil uses a hybrid video system called “PAL-M.” It is NOT at all compatible with the PAL system of Europe and Australia. Television began in black and white using the NTSC system of the USA and Canada, then years later, using PAL for its analogue colour—making a totally unique system. Nowadays, most new TV sets are NTSC compatible. However, the newly introduced digital TV standard is not compatible with that of most other countries. Digital video appliances such as DVD players are also compatible with NTSC (all digital colour is the same worldwide), but make sure the DVD region codes, if any, match your home country (Brazil is part of Region 4). Prices for imported electronic goods can be quite expensive due to high import tax, and the range of domestic electronic gadgets is not very wide. Also, be aware that the term “DVD” in Brazil is both an abbreviation for the disc itself and for its player, so be specific to avoid confusion.

Although the strength of the Real means that shopping in Brazil is no longer cheap, there are still plenty of bargains to be had, especially leather goods, including shoes (remember sizes are different though). Clothes in general are a good buy, especially for women, for whom there are many classy items. Street markets, which are common, are also a very good option, but avoid brand names like “Nike” – you will pay more and it’s probably fake. Don’t be afraid to “feel” an item. If it doesn’t feel right, most likely it isn’t! Beware of the dreaded “Made in China” label. If there’s none, it’s probably Brazilian, but be aware: some Brazilian-made products are less robust than their American or European counterparts.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Brazil
TOP ATTRACTIONS
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Name: Christ the Redeemer
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 metres (98 ft) high, excluding its 8-metre (26 ft) pedestal. The arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide.

The statue weighs 635 metric tons (625 long, 700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700-metre (2,300 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue has also become a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, and is listed as one of the New7Wonders of the World. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone.

In 2010, a massive restoration of the statue began. Work included cleaning, replacing the mortar and soapstone on the exterior, restoring iron in the internal structure, and waterproofing the monument.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_the_Redeemer_(statue)
Name: Escadaria Selarón
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Escadaria Selarón, also known as the 'Selaron Steps', is a set of world-famous steps in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón.

In 1990, Selarón began renovating dilapidated steps that ran along the front of his house. At first, neighbours mocked him for his choice of colours as he covered the steps in fragments of blue, green and yellow tiles – the colours of the Brazilian flag. It started out as a side-project to his main passion, painting, but soon became an obsession. He found he was constantly out of money, so Selarón sold paintings to fund his work. It was long and exhausting work but he continued on and eventually covered the entire set of steps in tiles, ceramics and mirrors.

Running from Joaquim Silva street and Pinto Martins street, officially known as Manuel Carneiro street, the steps straddle the Lapa and Santa Teresa neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro. There are 215 steps measuring 125 metres long which are covered in over 2000 tiles collected from over 60 countries around the world.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escadaria_Selarón
Name: Amazon rainforest
Location: Brazil
The Amazon rainforest is a moist broadleaf forest in the Amazon biome that covers most of the Amazon basin of South America. This basin encompasses 7,000,000 km2, of which 5,500,000 km2 are covered by the rainforest. This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and with minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and France (French Guiana). The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests, and comprises the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world, with an estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species.

The rainforest contains several species that can pose a hazard. Among the largest predatory creatures are the black caiman, jaguar, cougar, and anaconda. In the river, electric eels can produce an electric shock that can stun or kill, while piranha are known to bite and injure humans. Various species of poison dart frogs secrete lipophilic alkaloid toxins through their flesh. Vampire bats dwell in the rainforest and can spread the rabies virus. Malaria, yellow fever and Dengue fever can also be contracted in the Amazon region.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_rainforest
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
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My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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