Brazil Basic Information
Beachwear Brazilian-style is not for the faint-hearted. Think micro bikinis (fio dental or ‘dental floss’) for the gals and Speedo-style suits (sungas) for the guys that fit and flatter but leave nothing to the imagination. Pair with the ubiquitous Havaianas and you’re ready to hit the beach! For more need-to-know info about travelling to Brazil, read on.
Australians travelling to Brazil on holiday are required to have a proper and valid visa prior to your arrival and to remain aware of their visa status while in the country. If you plan to leave Brazil and then return during your trip, Australian travellers should obtain a multiple entry visa before leaving Australia, and ensure an exit stamp is placed in your passport by Brazilian immigration authorities when you depart Brazil. Be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of Brazil.
The currency of Brazil is the Brazilian Real. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and Brazilian Real fluctuates constantly so it’s a good idea to monitor the rate before purchasing cash. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit card or debit card.
Brazilian cuisine is as varied as its climate and cultures with many regional differences. The national dish is feijoada, a hearty stew of Latino staples like black beans, pork and beef served with rice and collard greens. From Gaucho country in the south comes Brazilian barbecue or churrasco, which you can now find around the world and involves waiters carving all-you-can-eat meat from spits onto plates, while the northeast Bahia region, with roots in East Africa and India, is known for spicy seafood dishes. As with all other cosmopolitan cities, a wide variety of international cuisines are also on offer with popular choices including pizza and Middle Eastern fare as well as Japanese food and huge steaks. Brasilia, Rio and Saõ Paulo are renowned as foodie hotspots where you can find juice bars and cafe delicacies as well as churrascarias, upmarket restaurants, bar bites (cod balls and shrimp coquettes) and street food (‘pastel’ or pasties) to satisfy a sweet or savoury craving.
Heard of Carnival? Yep, Brazil sure knows how to party. The legendary hedonistic celebration before the austerity of Easter is famous worldwide for its two-day parade of bare flesh, feathers and sequins and a showcase of 12 months of meticulous preparation by countless samba schools. The festival is actually a full month of celebrations during February every year, and while Rio is best known for its Carnival revelry it’s not the only Brazilian city to get down at blocos (street parties) and bailes (balls). Decadent debauchery can also be found in all cities including Saõ Paulo, Brasilia, Olinda and Salvador. When Brasileños and visitors from around the world aren’t shaking their tail feathers at Carnival, the cities heave with a huge variety of underground venues, rooftop bars, superclubs, warehouse parties and even islands devoted to clubbing where you can party to house tunes, live music and eclectic styles. Botecas are the place for a traditional glass of cachaça, a potent sugarcane spirit, or modern bars for dancing, cocktails, artisan beers and bar food.