Casa Cohiba Brazil InfoGuide through Brazil / Cumbuco Casa Cohiba Avenida Central do Cumbuco 2596 Phone: +55 85 8555 1678 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit www.casa-cohiba.com & www.cumbuco-car-rental.com PDF generated using the open source mwlib toolkit. See http://code.pediapress.com/ for more information. PDF generated at: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 23:12:45 UTC
ContentsArticles Brazil 1 Rio de Janeiro 30 Fortaleza 55 Cumbuco 69References Article Sources and Contributors 72 Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors 73Article Licenses License 74
Brazil 1 Brazil Location Flag Quick Facts Capital Brasilia Government federative republic Currency Real (BRL) Area 8,511,965 sq km Population 190,732,694 (2010 Census) Language Portuguese Religion Roman Catholic 64.6%, Protestant 22.2%, none 8.0% (2010 Census) Electricity In general 127V/60Hz with some cities using 220V/60Hz (North American or European plug); 110V/60Hz has been confirmed in use in São Paulo and most other sites do not mention 127V, but 110V. Calling Code 55 Internet TLD .br Time Zone UTC -3 (-2 to -4)
Brazil 2 Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil), , is the largest country in South America and fifth largest in the world. Famous for its football (soccer) tradition and its annual Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife and Olinda. It is a country of great diversity, from the bustling urban mosaic of São Paulo to the infinite cultural energy of Pernambuco and Bahia, the wilderness of the Amazon rainforest and world-class landmarks such as the Iguaçu Falls, there is plenty to see and to do in Brazil. Understand Brazil was inhabited solely by indigenous people, mainly of the Tupi and Guarani ethnic groups. Settling by the Portuguese began late in the 16th century, with the extraction of valuable wood from the pau brasil tree, from which the country draws its name. Brazil was settled by the Portuguese and not the Spanish, as were the rest of Central, South and parts of North America in the New World. Despite Portuguese rule, some parts of Brazil formed a Dutch colony between 1630 and 1654. They founded several cities, such as Mauritsville, and many sugar cane plantations. The Dutch fought a grim jungle war with the Portuguese, and without the support of the Republic of their homeland due to a war with England, the Dutch surrendered to the Portuguese, though they did not officially recognize Portuguese rule, which led to an all-out war with Portugal off the coast of Portugal in 1656. In 1665 the Peace Treaty of The Hague was signed, Portugal lost its Asian colonies and had to pay 63 tons of gold to compensate the Dutch Republic for the loss of its colony. Brazil became the centre of the Portuguese Empire by 1808, when the King Dom João VI (John VI) fled from Napoleons invasion of Portugal and established himself and his government in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The following four centuries saw further exploitation of the countrys natural riches such as gold and rubber, alongside the rise of an economy based largely on sugar, coffee and African slave labor. Meanwhile, extermination and Christianizing of natives kept its pace, and the 19th and 20th Century saw a second wave of immigration, mainly Italian, German (in southern Brazil), Spanish, Japanese (In São Paulo State) and Portuguese, adding to the set of factors that generated todays complex and unique Brazilian culture and society. Following three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent nation on September 7th, 1822. Until 1889 Brazil was an Empire under the rule of Dom Pedro I and his son Dom Pedro II. By this time, it became an emerging international power. Slavery, which had initially been widespread, was restricted by successive legislation until its final abolition in 1888. Perhaps this was the reason why the Empire was abolished in the following year: unhappy with the end of slavery, the ultraconservatives shifted their support to Republicanism and the Emperor was overthrown in a sudden coup détat. By far the largest, most populous and prosperous country in Latin America, it has also overcome more than two decades (1964-1988) of military intervention in the governance of the country to pursue democratic rule, while facing the challenge of keeping its industrial and agricultural growth and developing its interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, today Brazil is Latin Americas leading economic power and a regional leader, overshadowing the likes of Mexico and Argentina. High rates of political corruption and unequal income distribution, though softening from 2004 onwards, remains a pressing problem. A consequence of this is a high crime rate, specifically in large cities. After 20 years of democracy, the country has grown strong, and despite the social problems of the unequal income distribution, the people try to remain happy and festive.
Brazil 3 Culture Owing to Brazil’s continental dimensions, varied geography, history and people, the country’s culture is rich and diverse. It has several regional variations, and in spite of being mostly unified by a single language, some regions are so different from each other that they look like different countries altogether. Music plays an important part in Brazilian identity. Styles like choro, samba and bossa nova are considered genuinely Brazilian. Caipira music is also in the roots of sertanejo, the national equivalent to country music. MPB stands for Brazilian Popular Music, which mixes several national styles under a single concept. Forró, a north-eastern happy dancing music style, has also become common nationwide. New urban styles include funk - name given to a dance music genre from Rios favelas that mixes heavy electronic beats and often raunchy rapping - and techno-brega, a crowd-pleaser in northern states, that fuses romantic pop, dance music and caribbean rhythms. A mixture of martial arts, dance, music and game, capoeira was brought to Brazil by African slaves, mainly from Portuguese Angola. Distinguished by vivacious complicated movements and accompanying music, it can be seen and practiced in many Brazilian cities. In the classical music, the Modern Period is particularly notable, due to the works of composers like Heitor Villa-Lobos and Camargo Guarnieri, who created a typical Brazilian school, mixing elements of the traditional European classical music to the Brazilian rhythms, while other composers like Cláudio Santoro followed the guidelines of the Second School of Vienna. In the Romantic Period, the greatest name was Antonio Carlos Gomes, author of some Italian-styled operas with typical Brazilian themes, like Il Guarany and Lo Schiavo. In the Classical Period, the most prominent name is José Maurício Nunes Garcia, a priest who wrote both sacred and secular music and was very influenced by the Viennese classical style of the 18th and early 19th century. Candomble and Umbanda are religions with African roots that have survived prejudice and persecution and still have a significant following in Brazil. Their places of cult are called terreiros and many are open to visit. Indigenous traits can be found everywhere in Brazilian culture, from cuisine to vocabulary. There are still many indigenous groups and tribes living in all Brazilian regions, although many have been deeply influenced by Western culture, and several of the countrys surviving indigenous languages are in danger of disappearing completely. The traditional lifestyle and graphic expressions of the Wajãpi indigenous group from the state of Amapá were proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Worlds Intangible Heritage  by UNESCO. Globo, the largest national television network, also plays an important role in shaping the national identity. Nine out of ten households have a TV set, which is the most important source of information and entertainment for most Brazilians, followed by the radio broadcast. TVs broadcast sports, movies, local and national news and telenovelas (soap operas)– 6-10 month-long series that have become one of the country’s main cultural exports. People Throughout its history, Brazil has welcomed several different peoples and practices. Brazil constitutes a melting pot of the most diverse ethnic groups thus mitigating ethnic prejudices and preventing racial conflicts, though long-lasting slavery and genocide among indigenous populations have taken their toll. Prejudice is generally directed towards different social classes rather than between races. Nevertheless, race, or simply skin colour, is still a dividing factor in Brazilian society and you will notice the skin typically darkens as the social class gets lower: wealthy upper-class people are mostly white; many middle-class are mixed; and the majority of poor people are black. Nowadays, however, Afro-Brazilians and Amerindian populations are increasingly aware of their civil rights and of their rich cultural heritage, and social mobility is achievable through education. In general, Brazilians are a fun-loving people. While Southerners may be somewhat colder and more reserved, from Rio upwards people usually boast a captivating attitude towards life and truly enjoy having a good time. Some may even tell you that beer, football, samba, barbecue and woman is all they could crave for.
Brazil 4 Friendship and hospitality are highly praised traits, and family and social connections are strongly valued. To people they have met, or at least know by name, Brazilians are usually very open, friendly and sometimes quite generous. Once introduced, until getting a good reason not to, a typical Brazilian may treat you as warmly as he would treat a best friend. Brazilians are reputedly one of the most hospitable people in the world and foreigners are usually treated with respect and often with true admiration. Attitudes towards foreigners may also be subject to regional differences: • The state of Santa Catarina welcomes their Spanish-speaking tourists with bilingual signs and welcome committees. • In Salvador, the largest city of the Northeast, anyone talking, acting or looking like a tourist (even other Brazilians!) could be charged higher prices, such as in parking lots, in restaurants, etc. Most Brazilians are honest and genuinely friendly, but many are used to small acts of corruption in their everyday lives, the so-called jeitinho brasileiro. If you obviously look like a tourist, you are a potential target; for instance, a vendor may try to sell goods at higher prices, or a taxi driver may choose the longest route to the destination. It doesnt mean that you cant trust anyone, just that you have to be a bit more alert and careful, particularly if someone seems too friendly. Whereas the "Western" roots of Brazilian culture are largely European, especially Iberian, as evidenced by its colonial towns and even sporadic historic buildings between the skyscrapers, there has been a strong tendency in recent decades to adopt a more "American way of life" which is found in urban culture and architecture, mass media, consumerism and a strongly positive feeling towards technical progress. In spite of that, Brazil is still a nation faced towards the Atlantic, not towards Hispanic America, and the intellectual elites are likely to look up to Europe, especially France, as source of inspiration, rather than the US. Many aspects in Brazilian society, such as the educational system, are inspired by the French, and may seem strange at first to Anglo-Saxon visitors. Brazilians ARE NOT HISPANIC. Some may be offended if a visitor openly says that, or tends to believe that Brazilians have Spanish as a primary or secondary language, visitors will receive a warmer welcome if they try to start conversations in Portuguese, but even if the visitor speaks Spanish towards Brazilians, theyre likely to answer in Portuguese. The contrasts in this huge country equally fascinates and shocks most visitors, especially Europeans, as well as the indifference of many locals towards the social, economic and ecological problems. Whereas an emerging elite of young, well-educated professionals indulge in amenities of modern society, child labor, illiteracy and subhuman housing conditions still exist even in regions blessed by economic growth and huge foreign investments such as São Paulo or Rio. As much as Brazilians acknowledge their self-sustainability in raw materials, agriculture, and energy sources as an enormous benefit for the future, most of them agree that without huge efforts in education there will hardly be a way out of poverty and underdevelopment. Since the beginning of the 21st century, Brazil has faced an increasing wave of immigration from China, Bolivia and Haiti.
Brazil 5 Climate Brazil is a huge country with different climate zones. In the North, near the equator there is a wet and a dry season; from about São Paulo down to the south there is spring/summer/fall/winter. Holidays and working hours Brazil observes the following 13 national holidays: • New Year - 1st January • Carnival - February/March (Movable - 7 weeks before Easter. Monday and Tuesday are the actual holidays, but celebrations usually begin on Saturday and last until 12PM of Ash Wednesday, when shops and services re-open.) • Good Friday - March/April (movable) two days before Easter Sunday • Tiradentes - 21st April • Labour Day - 1st May • Corpus Christi - May/June (movable) sixty days after Easter Sunday • Independence Day - 7th September • Patroness of Brazil - 12th October • All Souls Day (Finados) - 2nd November • Republic - 15th November • Christmas - 25th December Working hours are usually from 8AM or 9AM to 5PM or 6PM. Banks open Monday to Friday, from 10AM to 4PM. Street shops tend to close at noon on Saturday and only re-open on Monday. Shopping malls normally open from 10AM to 10PM, Monday to Saturday, and from 3PM to 9PM on Sundays. Some malls, especially in large cities, are also open on Sundays, although not all the stores may be open. It is also possible to find 24-hour stores and small markets that are open even on Sundays. Electricity Brazil is one of a few countries that uses both 127 and 220 volts for everyday appliances. Expect the voltage to change back and forth as you travel from one place to the next -- even within the same Brazilian state, sometimes even within the same building. There is no physical difference in the electric outlets (power mains) for the two voltages. Electric outlets usually accept both flat (North American), and round (European) plugs. Otherwise adaptors from flat blades to round pins are easy to find in any supermarket or hardware shop. Some outlets are too narrow for the German "Schuko" plugs. The best makeshift solution is to buy a cheap T-connection and just force your "Schuko" in, -the T will break, but it will work. Very few outlets have a grounding point, and some might not accept newer North American polarized plugs, where one pin is slightly larger. Again, use the cheap T. Near the border with Argentina, you might occasionally find outlets for the Australia/New Zealand-type plug. If crossing the border, youll probably need this adapter as well. In 2009/2010, a the IEC 60906-1 was introduced to Brazil and some newer buildings already have it. It is backwards compatible with the Europlug, but it has a receded socket. Again, T-plugs can be used as adapters for other common formats. Frequency is 60Hz, which may disturb 50 Hz electric clocks. Blackouts are less and less frequent, but you always run a risk at peak of high season in small tourist towns. See also: Travel topics -- Electrical systems
Brazil 6 Regions Brazil is the fifth largest country on earth. It is divided into five regions, mainly drawn around state lines, but they also more or less follow natural, economic and cultural borderlines. Regions of Brazil North (Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins) The Amazon, the rain forest and frontier life, with remarkable Amerindian influence. Note the states of Mato Grosso and Goiás in the Center West region (below) are mostly within the Amazon Basin as well. Northeast (Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe) Strong black culture (especially in Bahia) mingles with early Iberic folklore and Indigenous traditions. This is often considered the countrys most beautiful coastline, and has the sunniest and hottest climate; but it is also the countrys driest and poorest region. Capital of the "Forró" musical style. Central West (Distrito Federal (Federal District), Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul) The Pantanal wetlands, great farms, young cities, the cerrado and the Federal District, with its otherworldly modernist architecture. Birth place of the "sertanejo" music style. Southeast (Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo) The cosmopolitan heart of the country. São Paulo and Rio are the largest cities of the country and its economic and industrial hub; there are also some century-old colonial towns, especially in Minas Gerais. South (Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Santa Catarina) Is a land of valleys and pampas where a strong gaucho culture (shared with Uruguay and Argentina) meets European influences. It has the best standard of living in Brazil with only two large cities (Curitiba and Porto Alegre) and several mid-size cities and rural settlements. Great German, Italian, Polish and Ukrainian took place in the region during the 19th century.
Brazil 7 Cities Brazil has many exciting cities, ranging from pretty colonial towns and coastal hideouts to hectic, lively metropolises; these are a few of the more prominent travel destinations: • Brasília - The capital of Brazil, and an architectural spectacle. Noteworthy buildings include a basket-shaped cathedral, the beautiful Arches Palace (seat of the Ministry of Justice) and others. • Florianópolis - The city is located in an island in the Atlantic Ocean in the southern state of Santa Catarina, with lakes, lagoons, amazing nature and more than 40 clean, beautiful, natural beaches. Major destination for Argentines during the summer months. • Fortaleza -- The 4th biggest city in Brazil, blessed with beautiful beaches. Home of the Iracema Beach street market. A good base for exploring the beaches of the northeastern coast, including Jericoacoara. Famed for forró music and comedians. • Manaus - Located in the heart of the Amazon, is the capital of Amazonas State and it is also the biggest city of the Amazon. At Manaus the rivers Negro and Solimões meet to became the Amazonas River. The best place to go to visit the Amazon rainforest. It is a gateway to the Anavilhanas and to Jaú National Park. • Porto Alegre-- a major city between Argentina and São Paulo and gateway to Brazils fabulous Green Canyons. • Recife - A major city in the Northeast region, originally settled by Dutch colonizers. Nicknamed "The Brazilian Venice", it is built on several islands linked by many bridges. Rich in history, art and folklore. Do not miss neighboring Olinda and Porto de Galinhas. The city is also a gateway to the amazing archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. • Rio de Janeiro - World famous, beautiful city that welcomes visitors with that big statue of an open-armed Jesus atop Corcovado Hill. • Salvador - The first capital of Brazil is home to a unique blend of indigenous, African and European cultures. Its Carnival fun is famous, and the influence of African culture and religion is remarkable. • São Paulo - Brazils largest, richest and most cosmopolitan city, where you can find strong influences of several ethnicities, including Italian, Korean, Japanese, German, Russian, Caribbean, Greek and Arab. Other destinations • Amazonia - jungle tours, wildlife, floated wood, the mysteries of the Amazon • Chapada Diamantina National Park • Chapada dos Veadeiros — cerrado (tropical savanna) wildlife and stunning waterfalls • Fernando de Noronha — tropical island paradise in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, is protected as a Marine National Park since 1997 and a World Heritage Site • Ilha Grande • Iguaçu Falls — world-famous waterfalls • Ilha do Marajó • Lençóis Maranhenses • Pantanal — the worlds largest wetland hosts lots of eco-tourism and vast biodiversity, including caiman, jaguar, anaconda, giant anteater, primates, giant otter, and piranha
Brazil 8 Get in Visa requirements • Brazil has a reciprocal visa policy with all countries, meaning that whenever visa fees and restrictions are applied to Brazilian visiting a country, Brazil adopts the same measures for that countrys visitors. • Citizens from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela may enter the country with a valid ID card and stay up to 90 days. • No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days from holders of passports from these countries, unless otherwise indicated: Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Rep., Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR passport, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom (Including British National (Overseas) passport holders), Uruguay, Venezuela (60 days) and Vatican City. Note that the immigration officer has the right to restrict your visa to less than 90 days, if he deems fit. (This has been done routinely for lone male travellers arriving in Fortaleza, allegedly to combat prostitution tourism.) He will then state the number of days (e.g. 60 or 30) in pen writing inside the stamp just given in your passport; if not, it remains as 90 days. • Citizens from all other countries (complete list ) do require a visa. The fees vary depending on reciprocity: for example, US citizens have to pay at least US$160 for a tourist visa and US$220 for a business visa. As of November 2008, citizens of Canada should expect to pay at least CDN$ 117.00 for a tourist visa, not including any handling or processing fees. Cost of Brazil visa for citizens of Taiwan or Taiwanese passport holder pay $20 (Reference from Embassy of Brazil in Lima, Peru) and 5 days to process. The reciprocity, however, also frequently applies to visa validity: US citizens can be granted visas valid up to 10 years and, likewise, Canadian citizens for up to 5. • Tourist visas (including those granted on the spot in immigration control) can be extended at any office of the Policia Federal. Since 01.10.2012 Tourist Visas granted to citizens of the Schengen Area can NOT be extended anymore. All state capitals, and most border towns and international ports have one. Tourist visas only be extended once, for a maximum of 90 days, and under no circumstances can you be granted more than 180 days with a tourist visa for any 365-day period. You should contact the federal police about 1 week before your visa expires. The handling fee is currently R$ 67 (Oct. 2008). You may be asked for an outbound ticket (book a fully refundable one on the internet, then cancel when your visa is extended), and a proof of subsistence (for which your credit card is mostly accepted.) In order to apply for the extension, you must fill out the Emissão da Guia de Recolhimento  on the Federal Police website, which you will carry to the Banco do Brasil in order to pay the fee. Do not pay the fee until you have spoken with a federal police officer about your case. If she/he denies the extension of your visa, you must have a bank account in Brazil in order to receive a refund. • The requirement to first enter Brazil within 90 days of the issue of the visa now only applies to nationals of Angola, Bahrain, Burma, Cambodia, Cape Verde, China, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, The Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Syria, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Tunisia. Failure to enter Brazil within 90 days will invalidate the visa, no matter how long it is otherwise valid for.
Brazil 9 Entry vs. exit stamps Immediately after your passport is stamped by the Brazilian Federal Police, ensure that the last number on the right-end of the stamp is a 1. A number 1 indicates that you entered the country and a number 2 indicates that you exited. Some federal police officers have mistakenly given foreigners the number 2 stamp upon entering. If you have the number 2 stamp and try to extend the visa in a city that is not your port of entry, you will be told to return to the city where you received the incorrect stamp so that it may be corrected before you can receive the extension. • By law you are required to produce your outbound ticket upon entry, but this is only enforced in exceptional cases. Even if you are asked, you could often get away with explaining that you are taking the bus to Argentina, and couldn´t buy the ticket in, say, Europe. • If you overstay your tourist visa, you will be fined R$8.28 per day (as of October 2007), for a maximum of 100 days. This means that even if you stay illegally for 5 years, the fine will never exceed R$828. You will be made to pay this at the border crossing. As this can take time, it could be wise to do it a few days up front at a federal police office, especially if you have a domestic to international flight connection. The federal police will then give you 8 days to get out of the country. If you don´t pay your fine upon exiting, you will have to pay the next time you enter. The fact that you have been fined for overstaying in the past does not normally imply future difficulties with immigration, but you´d better keep all receipts and old passports for reference. • If you want to enter/exit the country for some reason without coming in contact with the immigration authorities, there are numerous tiny border towns that have virtually no control. You will perhaps be told by the local police (who don´t have stamps or computer registers for immigration) to contact the federal police in such and such nearby town. • When you are travelling from certain tropical regions to Brazil you need a yellow fever vaccination and the certificate showing you had this. Note that it is illegal to bring in animals, meat, dairy, seeds, plants, eggs, honey, fruit, or any kind of non-processed food without a permit. Contact [email@example.com] for more information. By plane The cheapest airfares are from February (after Carnaval) to May and from August to November. Tickets from New York, for instance, can cost as little as US$699 including taxes. Many undersubscribed flights within Brazil can be had for bargain prices. By far the largest international airport in Brazil is São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (IATA: GRU ICAO: SBGR), the hub of TAM airlines , which has direct flights to many capital cities in South America. Other direct flights include: North America: New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Toronto. Europe: Lisbon by TAP, Madrid by Iberia, Amsterdam and Paris by KLM-Air France, London by British Airways, Frankfurt and Munich by Lufthansa. Asia: Seoul by Korean Air, Tel Aviv by ELAL, Doha by Qatar Airways, and Dubai by Emirates. The second largest airport in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, (IATA: GIG ICAO: SBGL) the home of Gol Transportes Aéreos , which flies to many regional destinations including Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Asuncion. Other direct flights include: North America: Delta Air Lines flies to Atlanta, and New York, US Airways flies to Charlotte, and United Airlines to Washington, D.C., and Houston. Africa: Taag Angola to Luanda about 3 times a week. Europe: Paris by Air France, Rome by Alitalia, London by British Airways, Madrid by Iberia, Amsterdam by KLM, Frankfurt by Lufthansa, Lisbon and Porto by TAP Portugal. The Northeastern capitals have slightly shorter flying times to Europe and North America: Natal: Direct flights to Lisbon by TAP, Amsterdam by Arkefly. Recife: Direct flights to Lisbon by TAP, Madrid by Iberia, Atlanta by Delta, Miami by American Airlines and Frankfurt by Condor. Fortaleza: Direct flights to Lisbon by TAP, Madrid by Iberia, Cabo Verde by TACV, and Italy by Air Italy.
Brazil 10 In addition to the above, TAP flies directly to Salvador, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Campinas, Porto Alegre. TAP Portugal  is the foreign airline with most destinations in Brazil, from Lisbon and Porto, and provides extensive connection onwards to Europe and Africa. Air travel in Brazil has increased exponentially in the past few years, partly as a result of the poor condition of many Brazilian roads(qv)and the absence of any viable railroad network (cf India). It is still relatively inexpensive with bargains sometimes available and easily the best option for long distance travel within the country. Some major airports, particularly those in São Paulo and Rio, are, however, becoming very congested. By car The main border crossings are at: • with Uruguay: Chuy/Chuí, Bella Unión/Barra do Quaraí, Artigas/Quaraí, Aceguá/Aceguá, Río Blanco/Jaguarão, and between Rivera/Santana do Livramento • with Argentina: Paso de los Libres/Uruguaiana, Santo Tomé/São Borja, Bernardo de Irigoyen/Dionísio Cerqueira, Tobuna/Paraíso (Santa Catarina), Comandante Andresito/Capanema, and between Puerto Iguazu/Foz do Iguaçu • with Paraguay: Ciudad del Este/Foz do Iguaçu, Salto del Guaira/Guaíra, and between Pedro Juan Caballero/Ponta Porã • with Bolivia: Puerto Suarez/Corumbá, Cobija/Brasileia/Epitaciolandia, San Matías/Cáceres and between Riberalta/Guayaramerin/Guajará-Mirim (the bridge over Mamoré river will be ready in 2007) • with Peru: Iñapari/Assis Brasil • with Colombia: Letícia/Tabatinga No road connections on either side of the border. • with Guyana: Lethem/Bonfim In certain border towns, notably Foz do Iguaçu/Ciudad del Este/Puerto Iguazu, you do not need entry/exit stamps or other formalities for a daytrip into the neighbouring country. These same towns are good venues if you for some reason want to cross without contact with immigration authorities. By bus Long-distance bus service connects Brazil to its neighboring countries. The main capitals linked directly by bus are Buenos Aires, Asunción, Montevideo, Santiago de Chile, and Lima. Direct connections from the first three can also be found easily, but from Lima it might be tricky, though easily accomplished by changing at one of the others. Those typically go to São Paulo, though Pelotas has good connections too. It should be kept in mind that distances between Sāo Paulo and any foreign capitals are significant, and journeys on the road may take up to 3 days, depending on the distance and accessibility of the destination. The national land transport authority has listings on all operating international bus lines, and the Green Toad Bus  offers bus passes between Brazil and neighbouring countries as well as around Brazil itself. By boat Amazon river boats connect northern Brazil with Peru, Venezuela and Colombia. The ride is a gruelling 12 days upriver though. From French Guiana, you can cross the river Oyapoque, which takes about 15 minutes. By train Train service within Brazil is almost nonexistent. However, there are exceptions to the rule, including the Trem da Morte, or Death Train, which goes from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to a small town just over the border from Corumbá in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul. There is still a train line from there all the way to São Paulo which at the moment is not in use, but bus connections to São Paulo via the state capital, Campo Grande, are plentiful. The journey itself is reputedly replete with robbers who might steal your backpack or its contents but security has been increased recently
Brazil 11 and the journey can be made without much difficulty. It goes through the Bolivian agricultural belt and along the journey one may see a technologically-averse religious community which resembles the USAs Amish in many ways. Get around By plane Brazil Air Pass If you intend to visit various cities within Brazil, you should consider getting a Brazil Air Pass, offered by TAM or Gol— you purchase between 4 and 9 flight tickets which can be used at any time for any destination within Brazil served by the airline. A typical 4-ticket pass starts at around US$580 while a full 9 tickets will run around US$1150. In addition, Gol also offers a cheaper flight pass good for travel only within the Northeast of the country. These passes can only be obtained before arrival in the country, and you must prove that you have already purchased international return trip tickets or tickets for onward travel. Air service covers most of Brazil. Note that 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 airlines own site. The Brazilian airline scene completely changed at least twice over the last 10 years or so. The largest carriers are now TAM 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 WebJet , Avianca , and Azul . TRIP  has short-haul flights to smaller airports throughout the country, and Pantanal  and Puma  are growing in the same segment. Portuguese TAP  has a few domestic code shares with TAM. There are also a number of regional companies, such as NHT (Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina). Price differences, at least if a ticket is purchased on the internet well in advance, are so small that it´s rather meaningless to call any of these "low cost", although WebJet and Azul have lately been a notch cheaper for domestic flights. 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 only can be found online. Be aware that 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.
Brazil 12 By car See also: Driving in Brazil. 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 4 Rodas (can be bought from most newsstands in Brazil) provide not only maps and distances but also information about current conditions of the roads. 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 American. 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 youre going to stop on the side of the road, so it means youre going to slow down. On the other hand the left signal is the same signal to indicate youre going to pass the car ahead, meaning youre 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. Youll 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 bicycle In smaller cities and towns the bicycle is a common means of transport. This does not mean that cyclists are usually respected by cars, trucks, or bus drivers. But you may find good roads with little traffic outside the cities. It is also easy to get a lift by a pickup or to have the bike transported by a long-distance bus. Cycling path are virtually non-existent in cities, except along certain beachfronts, such as Rio de Janeiro and Recife. There are a bicyclers groups around the country, e.g. Sampa Bikers  in São Paulo which meets weekly.
Brazil 13 By train Brazils 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$ 25. Seats are limited and it is not possible to reserve, so it is advisable to buy in advance. • From São Luis to Parauapebas - interesting because part of it passes through the Amazon rainforest. • 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 hr 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 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. ANTT, the national authority for land transportation, has a search engine  (in Portuguese) for all available domestic bus lines. 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. 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.
Brazil 14 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 1 R$, but in Recife in might cost you 5 R$). 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 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 no 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$ 3,00. 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.
Brazil 15 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. Talk See also: Brazilian Portuguese phrasebook Non-verbal communication Brazilians use a lot of gestures in informal communication, and the meaning of certain words or expressions may be influenced by them. • The thumbs up gesture is used to mean everythings OK, yes or even thanks. Avoid using the OK hand gesture for these meanings, as it can be considered obscene. • Wagging your extended index finger back and forth and/or clicking your tongue behind your teeth two or three times means no • Using your index finger to pull down one of your lower eyelids means watch out. • Stroking your two biggest fingers with your thumb is a way of saying that something is expensive. • Snapping a few times means fast or a long time (ago). • Stroking your lips and then snapping means delicious; pinching your earlobe means the same in some regions. • Making a fist with your thumb between the index and middle finger, known as the figa, is a sign of good or bad luck depending on the region. • Touching the palm with the thumb and making a circular movement with the hand means I am being robbed/ripped off/ in some regions. • The hush gesture is considered extremely impolite, about the same as shouting "shut up!" to someone. • An informal way to get someones attention, similar to a whistle, is a hissing sound: "pssiu!" It is not perceived as unpolite, but gets really annoying if repeated too often. The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, spoken by the entire population (except for a few, very remotely located tribes). Indeed, Brazil has had immigrants from all parts of the world for centuries, whose descendants now speak Portuguese as their mother tongue. Brazilian Portuguese has a number of pronunciation differences with that spoken in Portugal (and within, between the regions there are some quite extreme accent and slang differences), but speakers of either can understand each other. However, European Portuguese (Luso) is more difficult for Brazilians to understand than the reverse, as many Brazilian television programs are shown in Portugal. Note that a few words can have a totally different meaning in Brazil and Portugal, usually slang words. An example of this is "Rapariga" which in Portugal means young girl, and in Brazil means a prostitute. English is not widely spoken except in some touristy areas. Dont expect bus or taxi drivers to understand English, so it may be a good idea to write down the address you are heading to before getting the cab. In most big and luxurious hotels, it is very likely that the taxi fleet will speak some English. If you are really in need of talking in English, you should look for the younger people (-30 years), because they, generally, have a higher knowledge of the language and will be eager to help you and exercise their English. Spanish speakers are usually able to get by in Brazil, especially towards the south. While written Portuguese can be quite similar to Spanish, spoken Portuguese is much harder to understand. Compare the number 20 which is veinte (BAYN-teh) in Spanish to vinte (VEEN-chee) in Brazilian Portuguese. Even more different is gente (people), pronounced "HEN-teh" in Spanish and "ZHEN-chee" in Brazilian Portuguese. Letters CH, D, G, J, R, RR, and T are particularly difficult for Spanish speakers to understand, and thats without even considering the vowels. See Natural wonders • Amazon Rainforest - The Amazon River Basin holds more than half of the worlds remaining rainforest, and over 60% of that lies within the North of Brazil — approximately one billion acres with incredible biodiversity. The region is home to about 2.5 million insect species, over 40,000 plants species, 2200 fish species, and more than 2,000 types of birds and mammals. One in five of all the bird species in the world live in the rainforests of
Brazil 16 the Amazon, and one in five of the fish species live in Amazonian rivers and streams. • Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica) - A region of tropical and subtropical forest which extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil from Rio Grande do Norte state in the Northeast to Rio Grande do Sul state in the South. The Atlantic Forest has a wide variety of vegetation, including the many tree species such as the iconic araucaria tree in the south or the mangroves of the northeast, dozens of types of bromeliads and orchids, and unique critters such as capivara. The forest has also been designated a World Biosphere Reserve, with a large number of highly endangered species including the well-known marmosets, lion tamarins and woolly spider monkeys. Unfortunately, it has been extensively cleared since colonial times, mainly for the farming of sugar cane and for urban settlements — The remnants are estimated to be less than 10% of the original, and that is often broken into hilltop islands. However, large swaths of it are protected by hundreds of parks, including 131 federal parks, 443 state parks, and 14 municipal parks, most of which are open to visitation. • Pantanal - A vast tropical wetland expanse, one of the worlds largest. 80% of it lies within the state of Mato Grosso do Sul but it also extends into Mato Grosso (as well as into portions of Bolivia and Paraguay), sprawling over an area estimated at between 140,000 and 195,000 square kilometers (54,000-75,000 sq mi). 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, nurturing an astonishing biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants and helping support a dense array of animal species. • Waterfalls (Cachoeiras) - Brazil has an amazing range of impressive waterfalls of all sizes and shapes. Iguaçu Falls, in eastern Parana, is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, truly a sight to see. The 353-meter Cachoeira da Fumaça in Bahias Chapada Diamantina National Park is the countrys second highest waterfall, after the Amazons almost inaccessible Cachoeira do Araca. Other famous waterfalls include Caracol Falls, in a Rio Grande do Sul state park of the same name near Canela, Itaquira Falls, an easily accessible 168-meter fall near Formosa, Goiás, and the gorge at Parque da Cascata near Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais. Aside from the nationally famous falls, in many parts of the country, particularly the South, Southeast, and Central West regions, you are rarely far from at least one locally-famous, named waterfall worth a short hike. Architecture • Colonial architecture - Many cities have reminders of Brazils colonial past, with churches, monasteries, forts, barracks, and other structures still intact. Some of the most concentrated and best-preserved colonial buildings can be found in old gold-mining towns such as Ouro Preto and Tiradentes, but many other cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Petrópolis, Salvador, Paraty, and Goiânia have quite significant colonial centers as well. • Oscar Niemeyer works - Niemeyer, Brazils most famous architect, is a modern architectural pioneer who explores the aesthetic impact of reinforced concrete, using curves to create buildings with a unique sense of space. He is most famous for designing many of the buildings when the new capital of Brasilia was built in the 1950s, but his works literally dot the country, with major works in Natal, João Pessoa, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Niterói, São Paulo, Londrina and other locations.
Brazil 17 Do Gay Travel Due to its high degree of acceptance and tolerance, gay travel is increasingly popular. Brazil hosted the first gay ball in America in 1754! Nowadays the main lesbian and gay destinations are Rio, which was elected the worlds sexiest destination twice, São Paulo, which has the worlds largest Pride Parade, Florianópolis, which is the hippest gay hangout and Recife which is attracting more and more lesbian and gay tourists looking for fun and sun. Carnaval The biggest party in the world takes places across the country every year, lasting almost a week in February or early March. It is celebrated in a wide variety of ways, from the giants boneco masks of Olinda and the trios elétricos of Salvador to the massive samba parades of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. For a relatively more subdued atmosphere, check out the university-style street party of Ouro Preto or the sporty beach party at Ilha do Mel. Dont forget to make your reservations well in advance! Beaches Almost the entire coast is lined with fabulous beaches, and the beach lifestyle is a big part of Brazilian culture. Nowhere is that more true than in Rio de Janeiro, with its laidback, flip-flop-footed lifestyle and famous beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana. Beaches in other areas of the country may not have the instant name recognition but are no less amazing. The Northeast has jewels like Jericoacoara, Praia do Futuro, Boa Vista, Porto de Galinhas, and Morro de São Paulo which bring in throngs of travellers, particularly Europeans. Landlocked mineiros go mingle with the rich and famous at Guarapari or dance forró in the sand at Itaunas, while paulistas head for Caraguá or Ubatuba. In the South, weekend revelers flock to Ilha do Mel or Balneário Camboriú, while the 42 beaches of Santa Catarina Island draw in thousands of Argentianian tourists every year. Hundreds more beaches lie ready to be explored as well. Sports • Soccer - Soccer is the talk of the town wherever your are in Brazil, and the country is brimming with great teams and great players. While Rio de Janeiros world-famous Maracanã stadium is currently in renovations, you can still catch a game at lots of other great venues like the Mineirão in Belo Horizonte or Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo. • Volleyball - While soccer is the main sport in Brazil, it is very common to find spaces on the beaches where you can play beach volleyball, but this version of the sport possess a different code of rules than indoor volleyball (for example instead of six players, only two players are allowed to play on each team). Buy Brazils unit of currency is the Real (pronounced hay-AHL), plural Reais (hay-ICE), abbreviated BRL, or just R$. One real is divided into 100 centavos. As an example of how prices are written, R$1,50 means one real and fifty centavos. Foreign currency such as US Dollars or Euros can be exchanged major airports and luxury hotels (bad rates), exchange bureaus and major branches of Banco do Brasil (no other banks), where you need your passport and your immigration form. Look for an ATM with your credit/debit card logo on it. Large branches of Banco do Brasil (charging R$ 6,50 per withdrawal) usually have one, and most all Bradesco, Citibank, BankBoston and HSBC machines will work. Banco 24 Horas is a network of ATMs which accept foreign cards (charging R$ 10 per withdrawal). Withdrawal limits are
Brazil 18 usually R$ 600 (Bradesco) or R$ 1000 (BB, HSBC, B24H), per transaction, and in any case R$ 1000 per day. The latter can be circumvented by several consecutive withdrawals, choosing different "accounts", i.e. "credit card", "checking", "savings". Note that most ATMs do not work or will only give you R$ 100 after 10 PM. In smaller towns, it is possible that there is no ATM that accepts foreign cards. You should therefore always carry sufficient cash. Wiring money to Brazil can be done through Western Union  transfers to be picked up at a Banco do Brasil branch in most cities, and also quite a few exchange offices. Travellers checks can be hard to cash anywhere that does not offer currency exchange. A majority of Brazilian shops now accepts major credit cards. However, quite a few online stores only accept cards issued in Brazil, even though they sport the international logo of such cards. Coins are R$0.05, R$0.10, R$0.25, R$0.50 and R$1. Some denominations have several different designs. Images from the central bank of Brazil . And more . Bills come in the following denominations: R$1 (being phased out), R$2, R$5, R$10 (still a few plastic red and blue around), R$20 R$ 50 and $100. Images from the central bank of Brazil . Starting in the first half of 2010 with the bills of 50 and 100 reais, all Brazilian bills will start circulating with a new design by 2012. You are likely to find both versions circulating together for the next few years. Exchange rates 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. As of January 14, 2013, R$1 was worth about: • US$0.492 • €0.368 • £0.306 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 USD and EUR 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. E.g., Banco do Brasil collects US$15 for each transaction (regardless of amount). Souvenirs Similar to the rest of Latin America, hand-crafted jewelry can be found anywhere. In regions that are largely populated by Afro-Brazilians youll find more African-influenced souvenirs, including black dolls. Havaianas jandals are also affordable in Brazil and supermarkets are often the best place to buy them — small shops usually carry 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 a traditional game of the same name, similar to volleyball. Shopping Its 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 -
Brazil 19 therefore, do not expect to find any good prices on brands like Diesel, Levis, 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 almost always 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 60Hz, so dont 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 usually expensive or 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 code(s), 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 its probably fake. Dont be afraid to "feel" an item. If it doesnt feel right, most likely it isnt! Beware of the dreaded "Made in China" label. If theres none, its probably Brazilian, but be aware: some Brazilian-made products are less robust than their American or European counterparts. Eat Cuisine Brazils cuisine is as varied as its geography and culture. 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. Brazils national dish is feijoada, a hearty stew made of black beans, pork (ears, knuckles, chops, sausage) and beef (usually dried). Its served with rice, garnished with collard greens and sliced oranges. Its 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. 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. 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 -
Brazil 20 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. 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 dont 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 youre ready to eat, put the green side up. When youre too stuffed to even tell the waiter youve 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 "miners" 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. • Cearás food has a great sort of seafood, and is known to have the countrys best crab. Its 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 cuisine also has a lot of imports: • 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, wich Brazilians calls "churrasco grego" (Greek Barbecue) • São Paulos 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. 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
Brazil 21 much commoner than Chinese and can be found in many Brazilian cities, especially in the state of São Paulo. Restaurants • ALL restaurants will add a 10% service charge on the bill, and this is all the tip a Brazilian will ever pay. It is also what most waiters survive on, but it is not mandatory and you may choose to ignore it, although is considered extremely rude to do it. In some tourist areas you might be tried for extra tip. Just remember that you will look like a complete sucker if you exaggerate, and stingy and disrespectful if you dont tip. 5-10 Reais are considered good tips. • 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), very common during lunchtime throughout Brazil. Load up at the buffet and get your plate on the scales before eating any. In the South theres also the traditional Italian "galeto", where youre served different types of pasta, salads, soups and meat (mostly chicken) at your table. • Customers are allowed by law to visit the kitchen and see 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. The size of the portions might not say in the menu, -ask the waiter. Most restaurants of 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 waiters cues or express your preference when being seated. • Fast food is also very 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-Salad, 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 Bobs is found nationwide and has been around in the country for almost as long as McDonalds. There is also a national fast-food chain called Habibs which despite the name serves pizza in addition to Arabian food (and the founder is Portuguese, by the way). Recent additions, though not as widespread, are Burger King and Subway. Drink Alcohol Brazils 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, Brazils 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, its a caipiríssima; and with sake its 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
Brazil 22 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! Its actually 50% imported scotch - the malt component -and approximately 50% Brazilian grain spirit. Dont 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 below 0ºC). 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 countrys 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.
Brazil 23 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 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. 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 "Antartica" 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 Antartica 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 is also a popular soft drink made of guaraná and a typical Brazilian leaf called Chapéu de Couro. Although most Brazilians says that it tastes like grass, older people (+70 years) claim that the drink has medicinal proprieties. Fruit juices Fruit juices are very popular in Brazil. Some cities, notably Rio de Janeiro has fruit juice bars at nearly every corner. • 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 its 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, its 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 is also Açai Ice Creams available. • Maracuja (passion fruit)(careful during an active day- this has a relaxant effect) • Caju (cashew fruit) and • Manga (mango) are also great juice experiences. • Mangaba • Umbu Brazilians have great taste when it comes to mixing juices.
Brazil 24 Sleep 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". Theres 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. Learn Portuguese courses for foreigners are not widespread outside the big cities. A good alternative is to befriend language students and exchange lessons. If you come to Brazil with some initial notions of Portuguese, you will see that people will treat you much better and you will get by much easier. Language schools in Salvador, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Porto Alegre have Portuguese courses from 2 weeks up. Work If you can get a job, working in Brazil is easy, mostly because there is much informality. In theory, you must have a work permit (Autorização de Trabalho) from the Ministry of Labor before you can get a job. However, in order to obtain it, you must be sponsored by an employer before entering the country. The company must want a foreigner bad enough to pay the government upwards of R$2000 to sponsor you, knowing also that they are required by law to simultaneously hire and train a replacement for you. Because of this, finding a legal job can be a pretty daunting bureaucratic task, even in Brazils growing job market of today. If you are a native English speaker, you may be able to find an English-teaching part-time job, but dont expect that to save your holidays. Although working in the informal market can seem hassle-free at first, there are risks as well. The pay will be under-the-table without contract, so it will be difficult for you to claim your labor rights later. In the bigger cities, there is also the danger of being turned in to the authorities by a rival school, which may see you to a plane home earlier than you had planned.
Brazil 25 There is also a growing demand for Spanish language classes, so native Spanish speakers should have no trouble finding work, especially in the major cities. In both cases, its always much more lucrative to find work privately rather than through schools. This can be done easily, for example by putting an ad in the classifieds section of the Veja weekly news magazine (you have to pay for it) or by putting up signs on the notice boards at universities like USP (free of charge). Refer to the Ministry of Labour website  for more detailed information. Stay safe By law, everyone must carry a photo ID at all times. For a foreigner, this means your passport. However, the police will mostly be pragmatic and accept a plastified color photocopy. Crime Even the most patriotic Brazilian would say that the greatest problem the country faces is crime. Brazil is one of the most criminalised countries of the world, therefore the crime rate is high, even for a developing nation. Armed bandits have, more recently, been attacking hotels, people inside vehicles or simply shooting at the driver for a quick robbery. Most of the violence against drivers occur while stopping on the semaphore, during daylight or night time, though the latter is more dangerous and many locals prefer to ignore and speed away. Bank robberies and ATMs, recently, are being done with stolen TNT. While in recent years, the overall crime levels are steadily decreasing, Brazil continues to have moderately high crime rates in various aspects, even with a moderate homicide rate (about 28 per 100,000 people). Of significant concern is that policemen may not always provide the best quality of assistance and even be more dangerous than the criminals themselves. Lack of man power, low wages and inappropriate training, all contribute to a lack of professionalism. The police, recently, have become targets for hitmens, either on-duty or off-duty, reward for such an attack often range from $300 to $1000(American Dollars) and in some cases even more. Brazil is a country plagued with inequality, in the same city it is possible to find extremely safe and, at the same time, often a few feet away, extremely unsafe areas. Towards the southern part of the country, with higher HDI, the crime is slightly lower. Poor areas Walking in slums and other poor areas while wearing expensive clothes or jewellery is extremely dangerous. If you want to visit such an area, get a reliable contact with recognized NGOs. It is relatively safe, even for foreigners, get in poor areas if accompanied by a community leader. Do not do it alone, nor Brazilians do it! Stay healthy Food from street and beach vendors has a bad hygienic reputation in Brazil. The later in the day, the worse it gets. Bottled and canned drinks are safe, although some people will insist on using a straw to avoid contact with the exterior of the container. Bear in mind the heat and humidity when storing perishable foods. Tap water varies from place to place, (from contaminated, saline or soaked with chlorine to plain drinkable) and Brazilians themselves usually prefer to have it filtered.. In airports, bus stations, as well as many of the cheaper hotels, malls..., it is common to find drinking fountains (bebedouro), although not always safe. In hostel kitchens, look for the tap with the cylindrical filter attached. In more expensive hotels, there is often no publicly accessible fountain, and bedrooms contain minibars — selling you mineral water at extremely inflated prices, buy bottled water on the market is always the best alternative.
Brazil 26 Vaccination against yellow fever and taking anti-malaria medication may be necessary if you are travelling to central-western (Mato Grosso) or northern (Amazon) regions. If youre arriving from Peru, Colombia or Bolivia, proof of yellow fever vaccination is required before you enter Brazil. Some countries, such as Australia and South Africa, will require evidence of yellow fever vaccination before allowing you enter the country if you have been in any part of Brazil within the previous week. Check the requirements of any country you will travel to from Brazil. Public hospitals tend to be crowded and terrible, but they attend any kind of person, including foreigners. Most cities of at least 60,000 inhabitants have good private health care. Dentists abound and are way cheaper than North America and Western Europe. In general, the quality of their work is consistent, but ask a local for advice and a recommendation. The emergency number is 190, but you must speak Portuguese. Beware that air conditioning in airports, intercity buses etc. is often quite strong. Carry a long-sleeved garment for air-conditioned places. Although Brazil is widely known as a country where sex is freely available, it is sometimes misunderstood regarding HIV. Brazil has one of the best HIV prevention programs and consequently, a very low infection rate compared with most countries. Condoms are highly encouraged by governmental campaigns during carnival, and distributed for free by local public medical departments. Respect Brazilians tend to be very open and talk freely about their problems, especially political corruption and other issues. Also, they use a lot of self-deprecating humour. This allows you to make jokes about the problems in Brazil, when they are talking about such issues, in a playful manner. It is common when you pointing out something bad, for them to give answers like, "Thats nothing. Look at this here. Its so much worse". But dont imitate them, as they are likely to feel offended if you criticize certain areas, such as nature or soccer. In some small towns, local politics can be a sensitive issue, and you should be careful when talking about it. Always be polite. Be aware that racism is a very serious offence in Brazil. Most Brazilians frown upon racism, and even if you are only joking or you think you know your company, it is still wise to refrain from anything that can be perceived as racism. According to the Brazilian constitution of 1988, racism is a crime for which bail is not available, and must be met with 6 months to 8 years imprisonment. This is taken very seriously. However, the law only seems to apply to overt, unquestionably racist statements and actions. Therefore, be aware and be respectful when discussing racial relations in Brazil; do not assume you understand Brazils history of racial inequality and slavery better than a Brazilian person of colour. Remember that Portuguese is not Spanish and Brazilians (as well as other Portuguese speakers) feel offended if you do not take this in mind. Both languages can be mutually intelligible to a certain extent, but they differ considerably in phonetics, vocabulary and grammar. It is not a good idea to mix Portuguese with Spanish, dont expect people to understand what youre saying if you (intentionally or unintentionally) insert Spanish words into Portuguese sentences. It is also noteworthy that the Brazilians are fanatical about football (soccer) and so there are (some times violent) disputes between teams from different cities, and walking with the shirt of a team in certain areas may be seen as controversial or even dangerous. Speaking ill of the Brazilian national football team is not considered an insult, but you should never praise the Argentine team or compare them both. Brazil is open to LGBT tourists. São Paulo boasts the biggest LGBT Pride parade in the world, and most major cities will have gay scenes. However, be aware that homophobia is widespread in Brazilian society, and Brazil is not the sexual haven that many foreigners perceive it to be. Couples that in any way dont conform to traditional heterosexual expectations should expect to be open to some verbal harassment and stares if displaying affection in the streets, though several neighborhoods of many of the major cities are very welcoming of the LGBT population,
Brazil 27 and LGBT-oriented bars and clubs are common. It is best to gather information from locals as to what areas are more conservative and what areas are more progressive. Social etiquette • Cheek-kissing is very common in Brazil, among women and between women and men. When two women, or opposite sexes first meet, it is not uncommon to kiss. Two men WILL shake hands. A man kissing another mans cheek is extremely bizarre for Brazilian standards (unless in family relationships, special Italian descendants, and very close friends). Kissing is suitable for informal occasions, used to introduce yourself or being acquainted, especially to young people. Hand shaking is more appropriate for formal occasions or between women and men when no form of intimacy is intended. Trying to shake hands when offered a kiss will be considered odd, but never rude. However, to clearly refuse a kiss is a sign of disdain. When people first meet, they will kiss once (São Paulo), twice (Rio de Janeiro) or three times (Florianópolis and Belo Horizonte, for instance), depending on where you are, alternating right and left cheeks. Observe that while doing this, you should not kiss on the cheeks (like in Russia) but actually only touch cheeks and make a kissing sound while kissing the air, placing your lips on a strangers cheek is a clear sign of sexual interest. • In Brazil showers are long and frequent. In fact Brazil is the only country that rivals Japan in the amount of time people spend cleaning themselves • Many Brazilians can dance and Brazilians are usually at ease with their own bodies. While talking, they may stand closer to each other than North Americans or Northern Europeans do, and also tend to touch each other more, e.g. on the shoulder or arm, hugs etc. • Brazilians like to drink, especially (very) cold beer (in pubs and in hot weather) and wine (in restaurants or in the winter). However getting drunk, even in a pub, is considered very unsuitable unless you are with very good friends and everybody is as drunk as you. People go to pubs to talk, flirt and tell jokes, not essentially to drink. It allowed the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the streets, but not in football stadiums, remember that. And in certain regions of the country, it is common for homeowners, especially older people, offer to you cachaça, it is not rude to deny, but probably they will make a lot jokes about you, since drink cachaça in some places is considered a sign of strength. Contact By phone Brazil has international telephone code 55 and two-digit area codes, and phone numbers are eight digits long. Some areas used seven digits until 2006, meaning you might still find some old phone numbers which wont work unless you add another digit. (Mostly, try adding 2 or 3 at the beginning). Eight-digit numbers beginning with digits 2 to 5 are land lines, while eight-digit numbers beginning with digits 6 to 9 are mobile phones. All cities use the following emergency numbers: • 190 - Police • 192 - Ambulance • 193 - Firefighters However, if you dial 911 while in Brazil, you will be redirected to the police. To dial to another area code or to another country, you must chose a carrier using a two-digit carrier code. Which carriers are available depends on the area you are dialing from and on the area you are dialing to. Carriers 21 (Embratel) and 23 (Intelig) are available in all areas. The international phone number format for calls from other countries to Brazil is +55-(area code)-(phone number)
Brazil 28 In Brazil: • To dial to another area code: 0-(carrier code)-(area code)-(phone number) • To dial to another country: 00-(carrier code)-(country code)-(area code)-(phone number) • Local collect call: 90-90-(phone number) • Collect call to another area code: 90-(carrier code)-(area code)-(phone number) • International Collect Call: 000111 or through Embratel at 0800-703-2111 Public payphones use disposable prepaid cards, which come with 20, 40, 60 or 75 credits. The discount for buying cards with larger denominations is marginal. Phone booths are nearly everywhere, and all cards can be used in all booths, regardless of the owner phone company. Cards can be bought from many small shops, and almost all news agents sell them. The Farmácia Pague Menos sells them at official (phone company) price, somewhat cheaper. Calls to cell phones (even local) will use up your credits very quickly (nearly as expensive as international calls). Calling the USA costs about one real per minute. Its possible to find all international and Brazilian phone codes on DDI and DDD phone codes . By mobile phone When traveling to Brazil, even though it may seem best to carry your cell phone along, you should not dismiss the benefits of the calling cards to call the ones back home. Get yourself a Brazil calling card when packing for your trip. Brazil phone cards  Brazil has 4 national mobile operators: Vivo, Claro, OI and TIM, all of them running GSM and HSDPA/HSPA+ networks (Vivo still runs a legacy CDMA 1xRTT network, which is being phased out). There are also smaller operators, like Nextel (iDEN Push-To-Talk and HSPA+), CTBC-ALGAR (GSM and HSDPA in Triangulo Mineiro Region (Minas Gerais)), and Sercomtel (GSM and HSDPA in Paraná). Pay-as-you-go (pré-pago) SIM cards for GSM phones are widely available in places like newsstands, drugstores, supermarkets, retail shops, etc. Vivo uses 850 MHz and 1900 MHz frequencies, while other operators uses 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequencies. 3G/HSDPA coverage is available mostly on big cities on the southeast states and capitals. Some states use 850 MHz but others use 2100 MHz for 3G/HSDPA. If you need to unlock a phone from a specific operator, this can be done for a charge in any phone shop. All major carriers (Vivo, Claro, TIM and Oi) can send and receive text messages (SMS) as well as phone calls to/from abroad. By net Internet cafes (Lan houses) are increasingly common, and even small towns often have at least one spot with more or less decent connections. An increasing number of hotels, airports and shopping malls also offer hotspots for Wi-Fi with your laptop computer. For general tips on internet while travelling, see our travel topic: Internet access By mail The Brazilian Correio  is fairly reliable and post offices are everywhere. However, be aware that if you ask how much it costs to send a letter, postcard or package they will automatically give you the "priority" price (prioritário) instead of the normal one (Econômico). You might think that the priority one will make it go faster, but it isnt always true; sometimes it takes as long as the normal fare, so be sure to ask for the "econômico" price of anything you wish to dispatch.
Rio de Janeiro 30 Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings—consider printing them all. Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil, on the South Atlantic coast. Rio is famous for its breathtaking landscape, its laidback beach culture and its annual carnival. The harbour of Rio de Janeiro is comprised of a unique entry from the ocean that makes it appear as the mouth of a river. Additionally, the harbor is surrounded by spectacular geographic features including Sugarloaf mountain at 395 m (1,296 feet), Corcovado Peak at 704 m (2,310 feet), and the hills of Tijuca at 1,021 m (3,350 feet). These features work together to collectively make the harbor one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World ). Rio de Janeiro will host many of the 2014 FIFA World Cup games, including the final, and the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, becoming the first South American city to hold either the Summer or Winter Olympics. Districts • Centro including Lapa and Santa Teresa. The citys financial and business centre also has many historic buildings from its early days, such as the Municipal Theatre, National Library, National Museum of Fine Rio de Janeiro, The Marvelous City Arts, Tiradentes Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral and Pedro Ernesto Palace. • Zona Sul (South Zone) including Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema, as well as the districts along Flamengo Beach. Contains some of the more upscale neighborhoods and many of the major tourist sites, such as the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, and Sugarloaf and Corcovado Mountains. • Zona Norte (North Zone). The Maracanã stadium, Quinta da Boa Vista Park with the National Museum the citys Zoo, the National Observatory and more. • Zona Oeste (West Zone), a rapidly growing suburban area including primarily the districts of Jacarepaguá and Barra da Tijuca, popular for its beaches. Most of the Olympics in 2016 will be hosted there. Understand It is a common mistake to think of Rio as Brazils capital, a distinction it lost on April 21st 1960 when Brasilia became the capital. Beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema, the Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue, the stadium of Maracanã and Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) are all well-known sights of what the inhabitants call the "marvelous city" (cidade maravilhosa), and are also among the first images to pop up in travelers´ minds, along with the Carnaval celebration. The South Zone holds most of Rios landmarks and world-famous beaches, in an area of only 43.87 square km (17 square miles). Many of them are within walking distance of each other (for instance, the Sugarloaf lies about 5 miles
Rio de Janeiro 31 from Copacabana beach). Most hotels and hostels are located in this part of the city, which is compressed between the Tijuca Range (Maciço da Tijuca) and the sea. There are important places in other regions as well, such as Maracanã stadium in the North Zone and the many fascinating buildings in the Centre. Sadly, most people also know Rio for its violence and crime, special with drugs. And social problems, as slums or favelas, areas of poor-quality housing and living; slums usually located on the citys many mountain slopes, juxtaposed with middle-class neighbourhoods. If you plan on staying in Rio for more than a couple of days it would be good to invest in a copy of How to be a Carioca (Priscilla Ann Goslin, Livros TwoCan Ltda, R$32). This is an amusing look at the people of Rio and will help you enjoy the city as well as appear less of a "gringo" when you hit the streets. History Rio was founded in 1565 by the Portuguese as a fortification against French privateers who trafficked wood and goods from Brazil. Piracy played a major role in the citys history, and there are still colonial fortresses to be visited (check below). The Portuguese fought the French for nearly 10 years, both sides having rival native tribes as allies. For the next two centuries it was an unimportant outpost of the Portuguese Empire, until gold, diamonds, and ore were found in Minas Gerais in 1720. Then, as the nearest port, Rio became the port for these minerals and replaced Salvador as the main city in the Though modest and small, the Paço was the office of the King of Portugal and colony in 1763. When Napoleon invaded Brazils two Emperors. Portugal, the Royal Family moved to Brazil and made Rio capital of the Kingdom (so it was the only city outside Europe to be capital of a European country). When Brazil became independent in 1822, it adopted Monarchy as its form of government (with Emperors Pedro I and Pedro II). Many historians and Brazilians from other places say cariocas are nostalgic of the Royal and Imperial times, which is reflected in many place names and shop names. In 2009, the city won their bid to host the games of the XXXI Olympics in the summer of 2016. This was the fifth bid by the city, whose 1936, 1940, 2004, and 2012 bids lost. Get in Rio is one of the countrys major transportation hubs, second only to São Paulo. By plane • International and most domestic flights land at Galeão - Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport (better known as Galeão International Airport) (IATA: GIG) (ICAO: SBGL), Tel: +55 21 3398-5050 (fax 3393-2288). This airport is 20 km away from the city centre and main hotels. While you can sometimes zoom through Immigration and Customs, be prepared for a long wait. Brazilians travel with lots of baggage and long queues can form at Customs, which are usually hopelessly understaffed. • Santos Dumont Airport (IATA: SDU) (ICAO: SBRJ), Tel. +55-21-3814-7070 (fax. 2533-2218). Gets flights only from São Paulo and some of Brazils largest cities such as Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre and Salvador, as
Rio de Janeiro 32 well as the capital Brasilia. Located right next to the city centre, by the Guanabara bay. Airlines that service Santos Dumont include: GOL , TAM , Webjet , Azul  and Avianca . Dont rush off without taking a look inside the original terminal building - a fine example of Brazilian modernist architecture. Four bus lines operated by Real  depart from right outside the arrival section of Galeão and Santos Dumont. Buses are air-conditioned and comfy, with ample luggage space. They run rougly every 30 minutes from 5:30 AM to 10 PM. • 2018 Aeroporto Internacional do RJ/Alvorada (Via Orla da Zona Sul) runs between both airports, the main bus terminal and further along the beachfront of Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, and has its terminus at the Alvorada terminal near Barra Shopping in Barra da Tijuca. The full run takes at least 60 minutes, often double that. Tickets are R$ 12 (Jan 2012). • 2918 Aeroporto Internacional do RJ/Alvorada (Via Linha Amarela) runs to the Alvorada bus terminal, via Jacarapaguá (the best spot for taxis) from Galeão airport along the Linha Amarela in as little as 35 minutes, traffic allowing. R$ 12(Jan 2012). • 2145 Aeroporto Internacional do RJ/Aeroporto Santos Dumont (Via Seletiva da Av. Brasil/Av. Pres. Vargas) runs between the two airports and the main bus station, at R$ 5. • 2145 Aeroporto Internacional do RJ/Aeroporto Santos Dumont (Via Linha Vermelha e Perimetral), same as above, along a slightly different route. There are two types of taxis. As you leave Customs you will see booths of different companies offering their services. These are considerably more expensive (ex: Galeão - Copacabana R$70; Galeão - Ipanema R$99) than the standard yellow taxis that are to be found outside the terminal building but the quality of the cars is generally better. These taxis can often charge double the price of those ordinary taxis from the rank located around one hundred metres from the arrivals exit and should cost you about R$40 (July 2009) on the meter to reach Ipanema or Copacabana or R$50 to Jardin Botanico. The price can go up by R$10 or more if you get stuck in a traffic jam. It is possible to pre-book airport transfers. Rio Airport Transfer , allow you to book and pay before you leave home. Money change facilities are limited and high commissions are charged. Slightly better rates can be obtained, illegally, at the taxi booths but they may want you to use their cabs before changing money for you. In any event, don´t change more than you have to as much better rates are available downtown. From Europe, TAM Airlines offers direct flights from Paris (daily), London and Frankfurt (both three times a week). Alitalia flies five times a week from Rome, Air France flies twice a day from Paris, British Airways three times a week from London, TAP twice a day from Lisbon and on fridays and sundays to Porto, Lufthansa four days a week from Frankfurt, KLM four days a week from Amsterdam and Iberia daily from Madrid. From Africa, Taag conects Rio to Luanda four times a week, and from Asia, Emirates has a daily non-stop flight to Dubai, where is possible to continue to many Asian destinations (also, from Rio this flight continues to Buenos Aires). From North America, there are non-stop flights to Rio de Janeiro only from New York and Miami with either American Airlines or TAM Airlines, Washington, D.C. and Houston with United Airlines, Charlotte with US Airways, Dallas with American Airlines and Atlanta with Delta Airlines. Travellers from elsewhere in the region have to make a stop in the aforementioned U.S. cities or in São Paulo to get to Rio. A number of carriers (including TAM, Gol, LAN, TAM Mercosul, Emirates, Pluna and Aerolineas Argentinas) connect Rio de Janeiro to Argentina (Buenos Aires and Cordoba), Venezuela (Caracas), Paraguay (Asuncion), Uruguay (Montevideo) and Chile (Santiago). Avianca, TACA and Copa Airlines connect Rio with Bogotá, Lima and Panama City, respectively, offering onward connections to Central America or other South American cities. LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas offer connections from their respective hubs to Australia and New Zealand.
Rio de Janeiro 33 By train Rios glorious Central Station, or Central do Brasil, made famous by a movie of the same name, serves mostly local commuter lines (SuperVia ), so its unlikely that youll arrive through here. Its worth a visit just to see it, though, you can get there either by bus or subway (subway is better; get off on Central station, line 1). By bus The long-distance bus depot, Rodoviária Novo Rio, is in the North Zones Santo Cristo neighborhood. Taxis and coach buses can get you to the South Zone in about fifteen minutes; local buses take a bit longer. Frescão air-conditioned coaches can be caught just outside the bus station. The coaches connect the station to the city centre and main hotel areas of Copacabana and Ipanema. Bus companies include Itapemirim , Penha , Cometa , 1001 , and Expresso Brasileiro . Several companies offer bus passes from Rio to the rest of the country. The Green Toad Bus  also offer bus tickets online for buses from Rio de Janeiro to Ilha Grande, Paraty, São Paulo, Florianopolis, Campo Grande, Foz do Iguacu and some other destinations in Brazil. They have bus passes to take you to other countries as well. By car Rio is connected by many roads to neighboring cities and states, but access can be confusing as there are insufficient traffic signs or indications of how to get downtown. The main interstate highways passing through Rio are: • BR-116, which connects the city to the southern region of Brazil. Also known as Rodovia Presidente Dutra • BR-101, which leads to the north and northwest, and • BR-040, which will take you in the central and western areas.
Rio de Janeiro 34 By boat Ferries (barcas) connect neighbouring Niteroi to Rio de Janeiro and arrive at Praça XV, in the city centre. Get around By taxi A cab is one of the best ways to move around Rio. All legal cabs are yellow with a blue stripe painted on the sides. Taxis not designed like this are special service cars (to the airport or bus stations) or illegal. Rio taxis are not too expensive on a kilometre basis but distances can be quite considerable. A journey from Zona Sul to the Centro will cost around R$20, and from the airport to Copacabana is around R$50 for example. The car can usually hold four people. You can ask a cab for a city tour, and arrange a fixed price (may be around US$20). Major taxi companies include Central de Taxi, Ouro Taxi and Yellow Taxi. After getting into the taxi, check to see if the taximeter has been started, it charges R$4.40 (March 2011) for the minimum ride, called bandeirada), and R$1.60 per kilometer. If not, ask the taxi driver to do so. You may be ripped off by some taxi drivers. If you want to avoid being ripped off then it may be worthing taking a radio-taxi, particularly when arriving at the airport. Radio Taxis, such as Rio Airport Transfer  and others are usually the blue, green, or white taxis To get to the Cristo one had to climb hundreds of steps, but it is and they do cost a little more than the typical yellow possible nowadays to use an elevator and escalator. taxi. The advantage of a radio taxi is that you pay a fixed rate regardless of the time of day or if theres heavy traffic etc, this means that you do not risk the price increasing at the drivers discretion. While many of these companies do have websites, they are generally in Portuguese and do not provide you with prices. The exception to this is Rio Airport Transfer , www.rioairporttransfer.com, which allows you to choose your arrival and drop off points and will quote you a price, you can then pay for your transfer online from the comfort of your armchair. Other companies such as Holiday Taxis also offer transfers in Rio, however they tend to be very expensive. For those travelling to Rio for Carnival its worth using a company that allows you to book and pay in advance, and to try and pay as much in advance as possible as prices tend to increase a few weeks before Carnival. Be aware that traffic jams in Rio can be terrible at times. A taxi ride from Ipanema to the bus terminal for instance can take an hour and a half if you get seriously stuck, so make sure you have margins in case you really can´t afford to be late.
Rio de Janeiro 35 By car Traffic within some parts of Rio can be daunting, but a car may be the best way to reach distant beaches like Grumari, and that can be an extra adventure. Avoid rush-hour traffic jams in neighborhoods such as Copacabana, Botafogo, Laranjeiras, and Tijuca, where moms line up their cars to pick up their children after school. Buy a map, and have fun. Note that Rio has an interesting programme of traffic management. Between 7AM and 10AM on weekday mornings the traffic flow of one carriageway on the beachfront roads of Ipanema and Copacabana is reversed, i.e. all traffic on those roads flows in the same direction, towards the city. Note also that on Sundays the carriageway closest to the beach is closed to allow pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, skaters and others to exercise. By bus Buses are still the cheapest and most convenient way to get around the South Zone (Zona Sul) of the city due to the high number and frequency of lines running through the area. For the adventurous or budget traveler, it is worth asking your hotel or hostel employees how to navigate the system or which routes to take to arrive at specific locations. However, you should be mindful of questionable characters and your belongings. By night buses are more scarce, and most lines will usually not be running by the time the bars and clubs are full. Buses start at R$2.75(Jan 2012); buses with air conditioning charge higher fares. The fare is paid in cash to a controller or the driver inside the bus, by passing through a roulette. There are no tickets, and try to have change/small bills. Some residents and students have a digital pass card. Keep an eye out for pickpockets when the bus is crowded, and dont be surprised if your driver goes a little faster and brakes a little more suddenly than youd like. Except for minibuses, buses now have two doors: passengers get in through the front door and get off through the back (it was otherwise until 2001-2002). Some bus stops in the South Zone are equipped with a shelter and a bench, but sometimes, far from tourist areas, they are less obvious and have no signs at all - you might have to ask. As a general rule in most parts of Brazil, buses stop only when you hail them, by extending the arm. If you dont hail and there are no passengers waiting to get off, the bus simply wont stop. The same can be said if you are on the bus wanting to get off at a particular stop. You should know the surroundings or the name of the intersection of the area you are going, or inquire to the employee operating the roulette, so you can signal to the driver that you want to get off, or he may not stop! There are no schedules nor timetables, but there is an invaluable book called Ruas de Rio de Janeiro (The streets of Rio de Janeiro) that has maps of Rio and lists bus routes by bus line. Although it does not list the exact schedule of arrivals and departures, it lists the bus stops, and one an easily orient oneself and navigate the city using it. Usually buses run no less infrequently than every 15 minutes. However, they can run just once an hour or more infrequently late at night or in remote areas of town. There are a baffling 1000+ bus lines in Rio (including variants), covering nearly all of the city, operated by perhaps a dozen independent operations. (At least 6 operations ply the streets of Copacabana and Ipanema.) The  website contains a catalog of the lines, but is of little help unless you know the line number or can enter exact street names. Many lines differ only a few streets from each other in their itineraries, and some even have variants within the same line. Bus lines with a * or a letter means that this bus has a variant. It means that there may be a bus with the same name, same number, same origin, even same destination but with a complete different route. Lines are numbered according to the general route they serve: • beginning with 1 - South Zone/Downtown • beginning with 2 - North Zone/Downtown • beginning with 3 - West Zone/Downtown • beginning with 4 - North Zone/South Zone • beginning with 5 - within South Zone • beginning with 6 - North Zone/West Zone
Rio de Janeiro 36 • beginning with 7 and 9 - within North Zone • beginning with 8 - within West Zone Most popular lines for tourists are 583 and 584 (from Copacabana and Ipanema to Corcovado railway station), as well as 464 and 435 (from Copacabana to Maracanã). Buses 511 (Ataulfo de Paiva) and 512 (Bartholomeu Mitre) are also popular as they take you to Urca for the station to take the cable car up the Sugarloaf mountain. Typically bus drivers and controllers wont understand any foreign language. If you cant speak Portuguese at all, use a map. Trying to speak Spanish is usually not particularly useful. By subway . The Metrô Rio  subway system is very useful for travel from Ipanema through Copacabana to Downtown and beyond, although it closes after midnight (24 hours during Carnival). The air-conditioned subway is safe, clean, comfortable, and quick, and has much better signage, etc., than most transport in Rio, making the lives of foreign tourists easier. There are two main lines: Line 1 (Orange) has service to Ipanema (General Osorio), the Saara district, and much of Downtown, as well as Tijuca. Line 2 (Green) stops at the zoo, Maracanã stadium, and Rio State University. The two lines are integrated between Central and Botafogo, so check the trains destination if you board within the integrated section for a destination in the Zona Norte. A one-way subway-only "unitario" ticket is R$3.20 (May 2012). The ticket window will give you a card that you insert in the turnstile; do not pull it out unless youve purchased a multi-trip or transfer pass. Rechargeable IC cards (minimum charge R$5, no deposit required) are also available and definitely worth getting if youll be in town for a few days. A detailed map of Rios subway lines with stations and integração (connection) bus lines. Since 2003, the Metrô company operates bus lines from some stations to nearby neighborhoods which are not served by the subway system. This is particularly helpful for places uphill such as Gávea, Laranjeiras, Grajaú and Usina. Since the city grew around the Tijuca Range mountains, these neighborhoods will never be served by the subway, but you now can take the integração (connection) minibuses. The company calls it Metrônibus and Metrô na Superfície (literally, Subway on Ground), but actually they are ordinary buses in special routes for subway commuters. You can buy tickets for these - just ask for expresso (pronounced "eysh-PREH-sso", not "express-o") when buying a ticket, then keep it after crossing the roulette (prices range from R$ 2.80 to 4.40, depending on the transfer you want, as of Sep 2010). When you leave the subway, give the ticket to the bus driver (who shall be waiting in the bus stop just outside of the station). If you buy an ordinary ticket, you wont be able to get this bus for free - then it will cost a regular fee. Recently the last car of each train has been marked women-only with a pink window sticker, in order to avoid potential harassment in crowded trains. Some men, however, are not yet used to this separation (since it is very recent) and many women, who are accustomed to hassle-free everyday travel in Rios subway, also think the measure is unnecessary. Anyway, if youre a man, avoid getting into trouble with local security staff and stay off the pink-marked cars. Note that the women-only policy for the wagon is valid only in the rush hour.
Rio de Janeiro 37 See Beaches • Ramos (in-bay) - inappropriate for bathing • Flamengo (in-bay) - usually inappropriate for bathing • Botafogo (in-bay) - inappropriate for bathing • Urca (in-bay) - usually inappropriate for bathing • Vermelha (in-bay) - sometimes inappropriate for bathing • Leme (oceanic) • Copacabana (oceanic) • Arpoador (oceanic) • Ipanema (oceanic) • Leblon (oceanic) • São Conrado (oceanic) - sometimes inappropriate for bathing • Barra da Tijuca (oceanic) • Recreio dos Bandeirantes (oceanic) • Grumari (oceanic) • Abricó (oceanic, nudist beach) Abricó is the only official nudist beach in the city of Rio de Janeiro,it lies next to Grumari beach. Only accessible by car/taxi. Copacabana sidewalk An option is taking the bus numbered 360 (Recreio) that passes along Copacabana/Ipanema/Leblon, and from the end of the line (ponto final) take a cab. It is also worth visiting the beaches in Paquetá, particularly: • Praia da Moreninha (on the Guanabara Bay, but often not clean enough for swimming) Cariocas have a unique beach culture, with a code of customs which outlanders (even Brazilians from other cities) can misconstrue easily. Despite what many foreigners may believe, there are no topless beaches. Girls can wear tiny string bikinis (fio dental), but it doesnt mean theyre exhibitionists. For most of them, its highly offensive to stare. Until the 1990s, men and boys wore speedos, but since then wearing bermuda shorts or boardshorts has become more common, although speedos ("sungas" in Portuguese) seem to now be making a comeback. Jammers are less common but still accepted. Waves in Rio vary from tiny and calm in the Guanabara bay beaches (Paquetá, Ramos, Flamengo, Botafogo, Urca) to high, surf-ideal waves in Recreio. In Leme, Copacabana, Arpoador, Ipanema, and Leblon, theres a popular way of "riding" the waves called pegar jacaré (pe-GAHR zha-kah-REH; literally, "to grab an alligator"). You wait for the wave to come behind you then swim on top of it until it crumbles next to the sand. Commerce is common in Rios beaches, with thousands of walking vendors selling everything from sun glasses to fried shrimp to cooling beverages (try mate com limão, a local ice tea mixed with lemonade, or suco de laranja com cenoura, orange and carrot juice). For food, there is also empada (baked flour pastry filled with meat or cheese) and sanduíche natural (cool sandwich with vegetables and mayo). Vendors typically shout out loud what theyre selling, but they wont usually bother you unless you call them. All along the beaches there are also permanent vendors who will sell you a beer and also rent you a beach chair and an umbrella for a few Reais. The beaches in Barra and Recreio (Quebra-Mar, Pepê, Pontal, Prainha) were favored by surfers and hang-gliders until the 1980s, but now they are outnumbered by the middle-class and nouveau riche from the suburbs and also West Zone favela residents, such as now world-famous Cidade de Deus (City of God, made famous in the eponymous film).
Rio de Janeiro 38 Sights • Corcovado  - The funicular train up costs R$44 (students from Brazil pay 50% - R$18 but are usually requested to prove showing some ID or document) for a round trip up to Cristo Redentor, and it is definitely worth the view. The queue for the train, in Cosme Velho, can get rather long; you purchase a ticket for a particular departure time (that day only). The trains run every 30 minutes. Try going when the morning coach parties have already passed through, i.e. when most tourists are having their lunch. Take The Maracanã stadium, once the largest on Earth. a taxi to Cosme Velho, or take the Metro-Onibus Expresso combination (see above) from the Largo do Machado station. If you opt for a taxi to the up instead of the funicular, its R$20 round-trip to enter the park, then another R$18 or so for the shuttle up to the monument. Theres also a hiking trail that begins at Parque Lage and gets there (see Hiking and Trekking on the Do section below). • Pão de Açúcar - The Sugarloaf mountains (one taller, the other shorter), Brazils top landmark, with a two-stage aerial tramway to the top; a definite must see. A ticket is R$53 (the way back is free after 7pm). There is also an unsigned trail leading to the second station where you can pay only R$22 to reach the top. Ask locals for directions. The buses number 511, 512, 591 and 592 and the subway buses from Botafogo bring you to the base station. Do not make the mistake of thinking you have seen enough once you have seen the view from Cristo Redentor. Try Sugarloaf at sunset for a truly mind-blowing experience. • Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas - A large lagoon in the middle of South Zone, with great views to Corcovado and Ipanema and Leblon beaches; you can jog or cycle all the way round; there are skating areas and you can hire little peddle-operated boats. • Streetcar of Santa Teresa - Until recently, you could ride for a few cents to this scenic neighbourhood. The tram is currently closed, after accidents, but it is planned to reopen. • Maracanã - The largest football stadium in South America and once the largest on Earth. Currently closed for renovations for the 2014 World Cup, scheduled for reopening in June 2013. However, the Soccer Museum inside it is still open and its possible to see the renovation work being done. • Parque Lage - A small park, once a private mansion, where now a school of fine arts works. Contains some interesting plants and wildlife as well as strange concrete structures that will entertain the kids. The park is the beginning of a hiking trail Corcovado, through sub-tropical rain forest (see Hiking and Trekking under the Do section) • Jardim Botanico - The Botanical Garden, planted in the 1800s. It is both a park and a scientific laboratory. It contains a huge collection of plants from all over the world, not only tropical ones. If you take the bus note that Jardim Botanico is also the name of a neighborhood so make sure you take the right one to the entrance. The admission is R$6. The gardens are well kept and very lush. Not far from the cafe, first you hear swooshing sounds. Look up and you can see small monkeys swinging from tree to tree.
Rio de Janeiro 39 Buildings • Paço Imperial (1743) - Old Imperial Palace (though impressively modest), colonial architecture (in downtown, next to Praça XV, Fifteen Square). • Casa França Brasil (1820) - French cultural centre, with gallery and video hall (in downtown, next to CCBB). • CCBB - Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (1906) - A cultural centre with gallery, movie theater, video room, library and stages; Although located across Guanabara Bay, one of usually hosts the main exhibitions in town (in downtown). An Rios best views (one that includes both the Christ interesting building with old-fashioned elevators/lifts. and the Sugarloaf in your camera frame) can be • Candelária Church - Neoclassic cathedral (next to CCBB). seen from this Museum in Niteroi, a neighboring city only 15 minutes away from downtown Rio by ferry boat. • Mosteiro de São Bento (1663) - Saint Benedicts Monastery, colonial architecture (in downtown). • Ilha Fiscal Palace (1889) - Located in the Guanabara Bay, next to the Navy Museum • Gloria Church (1739). Small but interesting church reached by a funicular. Nice views. (metro: Gloria) • Palácio Gustavo Capanema - Former ministry of culture, designed by French architect Le Corbusier; though small, it is regarded as an important pioneering in modern architecture (downtown). Inside Candelária cathedral, in downtown. • Arcos da Lapa (1750) - Lapa Aqueduct, colonial structure that brought water from springs to downtown. • Catedral Metropolitana - a modern, cone-shaped cathedral, designed by Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca (in Lapa). • São Francisco da Penitência church (1773) - Colonial church. • Teatro Municipal (1909) - City Theater, inspired by the Paris Opéra House (in Cinelândia square). • Biblioteca Nacional (1910) - National Library (in Cinelândia square). • Câmara Municipal - The City Hall, hosts the city council (in Cinelândia square). • Palácio do Catete - The former presidential palace (1893-1960), now hosts a museum of recent history and nice gardens (in Catete). • Itamaraty - Former presidential palace (1889-1893) and foreign office; now hosts a museum of South American diplomacy, a library and the UN information offices in Brazil (in Downtown, next to the Central station). • Palácio Guanabara - Former palace of the Imperial Princess, now governors office; eclectic architecture; not open to public (in Laranjeiras). • Art Deco. Rio is a major centre for the Art Deco style of architecture. Indeed, the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado is considered a classic example of Art Deco work. There are numerous buildings in Copacabana and elsewhere that employ this style.
Rio de Janeiro 40 Museums There is no shortage of things to do on a rainy day. In addition to a wide range of museums, Rio has many cultural centres, which are run by banks and other organizations and usually host free exhibitions. Details of what is on can be found in the Segundo Caderno section of the daily O Globo newspaper, which provides more detail in a weekly Friday supplement. Also very useful is the Mapa das Artes Rio de Janeiro, which provides detailed bi-monthly listings as well as detailed maps of the city. This is free and can be picked up at most museums. Downtown • Museu Histórico Nacional (National Museum of History) - A museum of Brazilian history stretching from colonial to imperial times; big collection of paintings, but poor in artifacts (downtown). • Museu Nacional de Belas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) - Includes large paintings from Academicist and Neoclassical Brazilian artists, as well as many copies of European sculptures (downtown, Cinelândia square). • MAM - Museu de Arte Moderna (Museum of Modern Art) - The Aerial view of downtown Rio and surroundings second most important contemporary art museum in Brazil, after where most historic buildings and museums can MASP (downtown, next to Santos Dumont airport). Modernist be found. architecture spreading over almost the sea. • Museu da Imagem e do Som (Image and Sound Museum) - For researchers about Brazilian film, radio, and broadcasting industry (downtown). • Museu Naval (Navy Museum) - Located downtown not far from the ferry terminal. (www.mar.mil.br/dphdm/) • Museu do Carnaval (Museum of Carnival) - History of Brazilian carnival and parades (in downtown, next to the Sambódromo). • Museu Chácara do Céu - An important collection of South American modern art (in Santa Tereza). South Zone • Museu da República (Museum of the Republic) - Hosted on the former presidential palace, this museum hosts permanent exhibitions about recent Brazilian history (from 1889 on); one of main features is the room where president Getúlio Vargas shot himself in 1954 (in Catete). • Oi Futuro (Formerly Centro Cultural Telemar) - Formerly Museum of Telephone, it now hosts a fine gallery with temporary exhibitions of digital art or art with interactive medias; it is sponsored by the local phone company (in Catete). • Museu Internacional de Arte Naïf (International Naïf Art Museum) - In Cosme Velho, next to Corcovado rail station. • Museu Carmem Miranda (Carmem Miranda Museum) - About this Brazilian actress and singer (the lady with pineapples-and-bananas hat), the national icon in the 1940s and 50s (in Flamengo). • Museu do Índio (Museum of the Indian) - A small museum with a collection of Brazilian Indian (povos indígenas) photographs, paintings, artifacts and other craft (in Botafogo). Very popular with local schoolchildren, but has much for adults as well. • Museu Villa-Lobos, Rua Sorocaba, 200 - Botafogo, Phone:+55 21 2266-1024 , M-F 10AM-5:30PM, Free entrance, A modest collection about Brazils most important composer.
Rio de Janeiro 41 North Zone • Museu Nacional (National Museum) - Actually, its the Natural History museum, with dinosaur fossils and lots of mounted tanned animals; go there if you want to see a jaguar without getting into the jungle; it was formerly the Emperors Palace (in São Cristóvão, just next to the Zoo). • Museu do Primeiro Reinado (First Reign Museum) - A museum about the reign of Emperor Pedro I (1822-1831), but with a modest collection (in São Cristóvão). • Museu Museu de Astronomia e Ciências Afins (Astronomy Museum) - Also has an observatory (in São Cristóvão). • Museu do Trem (Train Museum) - A modest collection of 19th century engines, train cars and streetcars (in Engenho de Dentro). • Museu Aeroespacial (Aerospace Museum) - Located in Campo dos Afonsos (in the suburbs). West Zone • Museu Casa do Pontal - The most important collection of popular arts and crafts (in Recreio dos Bandeirantes). Parks In addition to Jardim Botânico and Parque Lage, mentioned above, other parks worth a visit are: • Parque do Flamengo, also known as Aterro do Flamengo. • Parque Guinle • Campo de Santana • Quinta da Boa Vista • Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos Do Quinta da Boa Vista, a park where Rios Zoo and The National Museum are located.
Rio de Janeiro 42 Carnival Still the greatest reason for visiting Rio seems to be the Carnaval. This highly-advertised party lasts for almost two weeks and it is well known for the escolas de samba (samba schools) that parade in Centro, on a gigantic structure called Sambódromo (Sambadrome). During Carnaval, Rio has much more to offer though, with the blocos de rua, that parade on the streets. There are now hundreds of these street "samba blocks", that parade almost in every neighborhood, especially in Centro and the South Zone, gathering thousands of people. Some are very famous, and there are few cariocas that have not heard of "Carmelitas", "Suvaco de Cristo", "Escravos da Mauá" or "Simpatia É Quase Amor". The rest of the year, samba shows are popular with tourists, and are held at several venues like Plataforma and Scala. These are expensive and not really representative of Brazilian culture, they present a lot of almost naked women and bad musicians, a tourist trap (much like the real thing.) Much more interesting and genuine, though, are the night practice sessions held by the various samba schools in the months leading up to Carnaval. You will find only a small number of tourists here, and you will be served the best caipirinhas of your Sambodrome at night. Here thousands spend the night dancing, trip! These go on into the wee hours of the morning, singing and celebrating their favorite samba school (comparable to soccer teams) till dawn. with the fun really only starting at 1-2 A.M. A good cab driver should be able to hook you up, and cabs will be available to take you back when you are samba-ed out. Salgueiro and Mangueira are good choices, as they are two of the larger samba schools, and are located relatively close to the tourist areas in a fairly safe area. Note that a change is afoot that may make this genuine experience a thing of the past (or more convenient, depending on your viewpoint) for all but the most savvy tourists. The local government built a complex of buildings (Cidade do Samba) where many of the samba schools are moving their practice halls and float-construction facilities from the gritty warehouses typically located in or near their home favelas. One can expect many more tourists, and shows made-up for the tourists as the tourist bureau milks this facility for all its worth year-round. Here is a list of some of the samba schools: • Mangueira, Rua Visconde de Niterói, 1072, Mangueira, Phone:+55(21) 3872-6786, Fax:+55(21) 2567-4637 , Rehearsals every Saturday, 10PM • Salgueiro, Rua Silva Teles, 104, Andaraí, Phone:+55(21) 2238-9258 , Rehearsals every Wednesday, 8PM • Acadêmicos da Rocinha . The newest addition for tourists is the Samba City .
Rio de Janeiro 43 Music Rio was the cradle of three of Brazils most important musical genres: samba, choro, and bossa nova. In recent years, there has been a boom of traditional samba and choro venues. A lot of them are in the downtown district of Lapa. There are good and cheap nightlife options, where you will see some of the best musicians of the country. Any of the city newspapers provide pointers to the best shows. If youre not such an anthropological type of tourist, you can check out the same papers for tips on other kinds of music. Being a big city, Rio has big and small clubs that play almost every kind of music. The major mainstream clubs mostly play whatevers on the Radio - which is usually whatevers on the USA radios and MTV - but the underground scene has a lot to offer on Rock, E-Music, Rap and such. The best way to find out about those are the flyers handed or left at hostels, cinema and theater lobbies, nightclub lines, etc. New Years Eve celebrations Rio hosts the countrys largest and most popular New Year’s Eve celebrations. The huge fireworks display and music shows attract 2 million people to the sands of Copacabana beach every year. People dress in white for luck and toast the arrival of the new year. Its usual also to have some national and international concerts on the beach for free. Gay Travel Rio de Janeiro is the main destination for lesbian and gay travellers from all over Brazil and the rest of the world. The city has been chosen as the best lesbian and gay international destination in 2009, and the sexiest gay place in the world in 2010 and 2011. Hang gliding and paragliding The Hangliding and Paragliding flights have found in Rio de Janeiro, the ideal land for its high hills and favorable wind. Different from other places in the world, in Rio, the sport could be done in urban areas and landing on the beach! These conditions naturally attract many tourists who get the courage to enjoy a flight. And even the most inexperienced person can flight since there´s no training or special gear needed. Operator: • Sky Center  (21) 2437-4592 / 7817-3526 Hiking and Trekking Not surprisingly, a huge city that has an actual forest within its limits has lots to offer for hikers. Its always advisable to have a local with you when trekking in Rio (Couchsurfings Rio de Janeiro group  usually organizes hikes around the city), as some treks are not very well-marked. Since the early 2000s there hasnt been any reports of violence/burglary on the citys trails (a problem in the 90s), but the rules on the Stay safe section apply as anywhere else in the city. Some of Rios hiking trails include: • Parque Lage - Corcovado The trek is fairly demanding and steep, and takes about 1h30/2h to complete, but yet very popular among locals - its normal to see whole families doing it, as well as groups of friends and foreigners. Ask the parks staff or look for signs that say "Trilha" to get to the start of the trail, just behind the ruins of an old house. From there you have two paths: going straight ahead leads to a waterfall that is usually full of families on the weekends (its a good spot to stop on your way back if you go back the same way), and left leads straight to the main path of the trek. Along the way there are 3 waterfalls (just one you can actually bath in, though) and a small path where you have to hang on to a chain to pass through some rocks. Until this point you will be going up, but always surrounded by forest. The first views of the city will start after the chain (about 1h/1h30 in). Then you get to the train tracks, which you can follow up to the Christ (another 15/30 minutes). Views from here on are breathtaking. June 2011: Hiking up to the Christ is possible, but at the top you must get in a van and take it a about a half mile down the mountain. From there tickets
Rio de Janeiro 44 can be bought for 25R (this includes the van rides). • Sugarloaf This is a short and fairly easy hike, taking about 20/30 to complete, also very popular among locals, specially because you can go up for free then hitch a ride back on the cable car (after 6pm, its free to return on it). The hike begins at Pista Cláudio Coutinho in Urca, and is very popular among the locals. If you ask the guards theyll point you to the start. Its uphill, but just the first five minutes are really steep and will need you to use your hands. From there on just keep to your left. There are amazing views of Urca and the Guanabara Bay during the final 20 minutes, some of which are angles you dont get from the vantage points above. The trek actually ends on top of Morro da Urca, the smallest of the two. You have to buy a ticket for the cable car if you want to go up the other hill. Panoramic flights If you have the money the following operators give you panoramic flights in helicopters: • Cruzeiro Taxi Aéreo  • Helisight  Favela (Shantytown) tours A number of operators offer tours of Rocinha, the largest and safest Favela in Rio. Many tours are done by outside companies in safari-like buses, which can lead to awkward interactions with the locals. Try to go with someone who lives in Rocina on a walking tour. It is also possible to arrange tours to other favelas, although Rocinha has a longer history of tourism and is one of the more developed favelas. You may hear stories about people being invited by locals to visit their home in a favela. If you receive such an invitation do think carefully about it and perhaps ask around about the person that has invited you. Many of the favelas are rife with drugs and guns so think carefully about how much you trust the person that is inviting you. A search on the Internet may reveal some accounts of tours others have taken. A visit like this will obviously be more authentic than a book tour and could be the highlight of your visit to Rio; on the other hand you are taking a risk. Learn For tourists there are many interesting things to learn. Why not take a rainy day in town to have samba (the national rhythm) classes (http:/ / www. riosambadancer. com) or capoeira, a mix of dance and fighting created by the then enslaved African community. Is not as hard as outsiders may think, and its original and fun. At Casa Rosa Cultural , an antique house in Laranjeiras neighborhood, they offer special classes for the beginner tourists. If you are staying in Brazil for an extended time, major universities offer Portuguese courses for foreigners, usually for a very low price and with high educational standards. • Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro • Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)  - Offers courses at various levels in Portuguese for Foreigners . R$428 for one semester, or R$214 if youre a regular student at UFRJ. • Universidade Federal Fluminense  (located in Niterói) • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)  - Its courses Portuguese for Foreigners  are popular, but a bit pricey at R$1632 per semester for the beginners levels. • Goethe-Institut  • Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos  • Cultura Inglesa  • Instituto Cervantes  • Aliança Francesa 
Rio de Janeiro 45 • Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA)  - the National Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. A centre with an international renown for scientific excellence and superb working conditions in Mathematics. You can take any course for free. The summer courses (Jan-Feb) are very popular and there is even the possibility of getting some modest funding for the summer. • Casa do Caminho Language Centre  - Learn Portuguese here with the profits going back into the Casa do Caminho  • Carioca Languages  - Learn Brazilian Portuguese at Carioca Languages. The school is situated in Copacabana, offering intensive group courses of all levels, private lessons, conversation classes and CELPE-Bras exam preparation Shopping When shopping in street commerce, always bargain; this can lower prices considerably. Bargaining in stores and malls, though, is usually impolite. But naturally merchants wont bargain unless you ask, especially if you are clearly a tourist. To tourists, items can easily be overpriced by a factor of 20% especially in highly informal markets such as Saara or on the beach. • A typical Brazilian hammock shouldnt be more than R$20-30 but they can sell for up to US$150. • A beer on the beach should cost around R$3.00 Colonial buildings next to modern skyscraper in • A caipirinha can be had for the same price (around R$3.00-R$4.00) downtown Rio. and you get a great show as the ingredients are produced from a cooler and lime slices muddled before your eyes • You can get coconut water for R$2.00-3.00 • For trinkets, your best bet is the "hippie fair" in Praça General Osório in Ipanema every Sunday. Great bargains can be had on Brazilian-made clothing, as well as some European imports. Most imported items, however, such as electronics, tend to be insanely expensive due to protective import duties. For example, you will find digital cameras sell for about twice what they sell for in Europe or the U.S. Store managers in Rio often speak some English, as this gains employees an almost-automatic promotion. But "some" can be very little, so it is useful to learn at least some very basic Portuguese. Just knowing basic greetings, numbers, and how to ask directions and prices will get you at least a "B" for effort, and despite finding that store clerks may know more English than you Portuguese, it can still come in handy to know a bit of the language. Dont be afraid to resort to writing numbers, pictures, or resorting to pantomime. Shop assistants will often tap out prices for you on a calculator. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Brazil, with American Express to a significantly lower degree. But beware that many stores will accept either Visa or Mastercard, but not both! If you carry only one, look for the sign in the store window before attempting to buy. A great choice of gift, since they do not take much space in the suitcase back home, are bikinis, a trademark from Rio for its quality and fashion style. Shopping malls can be found all over town, with the cheaper ones in the Zona Norte like Shopping Tijuca and Shopping Iguatemi and popular upscale shopping malls concentrated in the Zona Sul like Shopping Rio Sul and Shopping Leblon and Sao Conrado Fashion Mall and BarraShopping in Zona Oeste. Organic Food Organic food arrived in the brazilian supermarkets but if you want to support local small scale farmers you might consider the following fairs of Circuito Feiras Organicas Carioca : • Tuesday:
Rio de Janeiro 46 Ipanema, Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz, de 7h às 13h • Thursday: Tijuca, Praça Afonso Pena, de 7h às 13h | LEBLON, Praça Antero de Quental,de 7h às 13h • Saturday: Bairro Peixoto, Praça Edmundo Bittencourt, de 8h às 13h | GLÓRIA, Rua do Russel, de 7h às 13h | JARDIM BOTÂNICO, Praça da Igreja São José da Lagoa, de 7h às 13h Eat In Rio de Janeiro you can probably find something to fit any craving. A good approach to local food is "comida a kilo" - buffet style restaurants where you pay by the weight of the food on your plate. An excellent place to go with your friend or even with your partner is the Fellini restaurant. Located in Leblon, the place has a "pay for what you eat" buffet, with really good and beautiful food. Great for all tastes, it has even Asian food on the menu- approximately R$5 per 100g. More information available online . Another one is Ming Ye, Rue do Lavradio 106, near Lapa. Ming Ye offers a wide range of Chinese stir-fry and delicious sushi, as well as brazilian dishes for cheaper prices (around R$3 per 100g). Dont miss the Brazilian most famous dish, the feijoada (fay-zho-AH-da), a black bean stew filled with big chunks of meat, like sausages, pork and beef. Along with the "feijoada", you also get some colorful side dishes that come with it, such as rice, cassava (roasted manioc), collard greens, fried pork rinds, and some orange slices, to sweeten things up a bit. This is bonafide, authentic carioca culinary excellence, almost worth the trip alone! Best while sipping down a "caipirinha". For the hungry, nothing beats a good rodízio (all-you-can-eat service). These are available in numerous types, although the most well-known are the churrascaria, all-you-can-eat grilled meats. Marius, in Leme has arguably the best churrascaria in town. Porcão  has 5 restaurants around Rio, whereas Carretão  has a good and cheap(er) rodizio. At various restaurants around town, you can also find rodízio style dining featuring seafood, pizza, or various appetizer-style snacks. The defining element of rodízio is that unlike an all-you-can-eat buffet, the servers continuously bring skewers of various meats. If you like meat but want an alternative to the rodizios, a good place to eat at is Filé de Ouro (Rua Jardim Botânico, 731, Jardim Botânico; phone: 55 (21) 2259-2396; see Google Maps for directions). The place is simple and cozy. During the weekends there are usually big lines, but the steak is delicious. Try "Filé à Oswaldo Aranha", with toasted garlic. Brazil has the largest population of Japanese outside of Japan, and sushi has become widely popular in Rio too. If you are a sashimi and sushi lover, you will find a great deal of options in Rio de Janeiro. If you are in Ipanema or nearby, a great tip is Benkei , that has an "all you can eat" buffet, with high quality products, great environment and staff for nice prices. As a former ex Portugal colony, Brasil has maintained many influences of this country on its culinary. Therefore you will find great authentic Portuguese restaurants in Rio. A good option, from the localization to the ambiance, and naturally the food, is the CBF Restaurant, in the Tiradentes Square, a lovely area full of antique architecture. In Leblon, the best choice is the hip and contemporaneous Zuka,  where chef Ludmila creates many original recipes. In Ipanema, Zazá Bistrô  is a trendy, sexy and exotic place with great South Asian dishes. Good to go as a couple. Because its huge coast, many Brazilian specialties are in the seafood area. They are very rich in shrimps, lobster, calamaris, shellfish, clams, mollusks and many other tasty fishes. So, once in this land, dont miss the opportunity to order those lovely dishes. An option of restaurant very well known is Azul Marinho which is located below the building of Arpoador Inn , in Arpoador, very close to Ipanema. However, expect to pay at least R$100 per person, and set menus go about R$120 per person, excluding drinks.
Rio de Janeiro 47 The highest recommendation for a decently priced superb meal is at Sobrenatural, that has the some of the freshest fish in Rio. Go on Monday, Wendesday or Friday, when they have live samba and chorinho music by renowed artists. Try their moqueca dishes. It is located at Rua Almirante Alexandrino, 432 Santa Teresa. For sophisticated people who enjoy simple life, Via Sete  is in the heart of Ipanema, on Garcia DÁvila. This grill restaurant offers a great bang for the buck: from their veranda you get to people-watch pretty Brazilians. There you can enjoy tasty wraps and sandwiches. Felice  is one of those tasteful places you can just hang out all day and all night: it has a great breakfast, a healthy lunch, varied gourmet ice-cream flavours at the palour, and a hip sunset after hour vibe. St.Tropez inspired dinner menu with a fair cost benefit and a lounge crowd after 11PM. Travellers with fatter pockets may also splash out a bit at the Dias Ferreira street in Leblon, Rios up-and-coming restaurant row. There are many places to get pizza and lots of restaurants also offer pasta. Rio is also famous for its pastries and street food, heritage from Portuguese and old European culture. In most cafeterias (lanchonete; lun-sho-NETCH) you can have a pastel (pahs-TELL) or salgado (saw-GAH-do; local pastry) for less than R$2. Typical pastries are coxinha (ko-SHEEN-ya; chicken nugget shaped like a chicken leg), and unique Rios joelho (zho-EH-lyo; rolled dough filled with ham and cheese). Also try pão de queijo (pawn-deh-KAY-zho; cheese baked dough), typical from Minas Gerais but very common in Rio as well, and tapioca (typical from Bahia), a kind of crepe made out of manioca flour. For drinking, ask for guaraná (gwa-ra-NAH; soda made from the seed of an Amazon fruit, also available as a strong drink), mate (MAHTCH; sweet ice tea; not like Rio Grande do Sul or Argentinas hot and sour mate), água de coco (ah-gwa-djee-KOH-ku; natural coconut water) or caldo de cana (caw-do-djee-KAH-na; sugarcane juice). There is also a common fruit called açaí (ah-sah-EEH), with a dark-purple pulp out of which are made juices, and ice-creams. Typical cariocas eat it like cream in cups or glasses, mixed with granola, oats or other flakes. The best place for such drinks are one of a number of Rios open juice bars. Very often, these are located on street corners and have long, curved bars offering you juices from pretty much every fruit you can imagine. The best option is a small chain of juice bars called "Big Bis". The juices are astounding value alongside their good selection of salgados and sandwiches. Their açaí is one of the best in terms of value and taste and the staff are excellent. On top of all this, if you leave a tip, you get a big "Obrigado" from all the staff. For the best Big Bis experience, try the Tangerina ao Limão juice along with the famous Bauru sandwich for a total of a mere R$13. Finish it all off with an açaí to go. Perfect. Big Bis has a few branches dotted around Copacabana and Ipanema, one of which is on the corner of Rua Santa Clara and Rua Barata Ribeiro in Copacabana. If you then cross the road of Rua Barata Ribeiro, you will land at an exquisite ice cream parlour. There are many specialized "health food" shops that offer an incredible variety of rich meat and vegetable sandwiches, plus an awesome variety of fruit juices, many of them delicious and usually unknown by foreigners. Among them are graviola, fruta do conde, jaca, açaí, guaraná, pitomba, mango, coconut, orange, lemon, papaya, melon, etc. (they make it as you ask and all food is 100% organic and fresh. The meal is often prepared as you wait, so you can ask them to mix whatever fruit you want and create a customized mix if you like). You must try açaí and guaraná, Amazon fruits which are famous to be the strongest energizers and anti-oxidants of the world. They also offer Brazilian snacks (including many Italian and Oriental delicacies), and other simple but delicious things to eat. I never got enough of them! These shops usually are cheap and hang many fruits at the entrance or somewhere visible to display their quality. Warning: look for clean places, as hygiene can be poor in many street shops. If your palate is homesick for more familiar tastes, Rio has most of the fast-food chains found around the world (McDonalds, KFC, Dominos, Outback, Subway, Pizza Hut and Burger King). Bobs and Habibs are the biggest national fast food chains.
Rio de Janeiro 48 Many foods that in other countries are simply picked up in the hands and eaten, are either eaten with knife and fork (such as pizza) or are picked up by wrapping a napkin around the food so that it is not touched with the hands (such as sandwiches). You will undoubtedly notice napkin dispensers on the tables in most restaurants for this purpose. After Hours Leaving a club or a bar, late in the night? The best option is Cervantes in Prado Júnior Street, in Copacabana. It closes only with the sun raising. The menu is composed by big sandwiches, with whatever you want: ham, salami, cheese, tenderloin and so on, with one home special ingredient: a big pineapple slice. Its a tropical taste to the end of your night. Look out for the legendary "Penguin Waiter", whove been working there forever. You wont have a problem to find out who he is. Drink What • Botequim (pronounced boo-chi-KEEN) also well known as boteco - These quite unpretentious bars with simple appetizers and lots of ice-cold chope (draft beer) are everywhere and are almost inseparable from the carioca lifestyle. Try Bracarense (85, José Linhares street, Leblon), one of the most traditional. • Juice bars - Of particular note for an often hot and muggy city are the refreshing juice bars, found on nearly every corner in the city. Choose from dozens of freshly squeezed fruit juices - mix two or three fruits together or simply try the freshly squeezed orange juice. For a delicious Brazilian special try the açaí, a smoothie made from a deep purple fruit from the Amazon. • Caipirinha, a drink made of cachaça (a Brazilian liquor made of sugarcane juice), lime, sugar and ice cubes. Where • Kiosks along the boardwalk at Copacabana and Ipanema beach stay open all night. • Devassa, Nine locations in Rio (and one in São Paulo), including Leblon (Rua General San Martin 1241, 021-2540-6087) and Jardim Botânico (Av. Lineu de Paula Machado 696, 021-2294-2915). Well-crafted microbrews, a tropical take of English ale styles. Neighborhoods: • Lapa - A good bet for Thursdays, several bars and clubs, but the party is in the street. There you will find people dancing and playing Samba, Choro (soft rhythm with flutes and mandolin), Reggae and Hip Hop, as well as ballroom dancing (gafieira), but no Rock (except for some underground, which doesnt happen often or in the same place, but usually in some less known places of Lapa) or Pop music. While drinks are sold in the bars and clubs, vendors also roam the streets wearing coolers full of beer for even cheaper prices. It can also be a very exciting and packed place on Friday and Saturday nights. Be sure not to bring valuables, as there are a lot of pick-pockets operating in the area. Dont take it for the neighborhood with the same name in São Paulo, which is totally different. Samba clubs Being in Rio and not going to one of the countless samba live music bars, certainly youve missed a lot on your trip. In Lapa, the nightlife district of Rio, there are many nice bars with great atmosphere where locals go for dancing and meeting people. There are a couple of them in the Zona Sul as well. Most of these bars work with a kind of consumption card, which is handed to you when you enter. Everything you consume is marked on this card, and losing it means youll have to pay a really high fee of sometimes more than R$200,00! So take good care of it.
Rio de Janeiro 49 Clubbing For those who like to go clubbing, Rio has some good options. Youll be seeing lots of flyers and talk about "raves" Usually Rios raves are devoted to trance, which is pretty popular, especially with the upper-class youngsters, though some electronic parties do have good djs and live acts from around the world. The night in Rio is pretty much divided between mainstream and underground. Mainstream would be such "raves" and big electronic festivals, as well a nightclubs like Bombar (Leblon and Barra da Tijuca), Baronetti (Ipanema) and Melt (Leblon) that are devoted to pop, dance and variations of house and trance. Those are not, however, places you go for the music. They are usually packed with "patricinhas" (tanned, long soft-haired girls with gym-built bodies) and specially "pitboys" (upper/middle-class boys, known for having various degrees of martial arts training and a certain tendency for violence). Yes, fights are one of the major problems with the mainstream clubbing scene in Rio. Its also fairly expensive. Youd be expecting to pay between R$30 and R$50 to get in a club (girls pay less, but all those clubs will have an f/m proportion around 1/3) and between R$50 and R$100 for a "rave" or electronic music party being held at spots like the Marina. Though with far less options, the underground clubbing scene is more available and interesting than the mainstream. Most of the underground clubs are on Zona Sul and offer different parties for each day of the week. The underground club scene has a more diverse public, from goths to punks also with strong hedonistic tints. Its very gay-friendly and most of the parties and clubs have almost the same m/f proportion. It is also far cheaper than the mainstream clubs, with tickets starting as low as R$5 and not going further up than R$25. Some good alternative clubs are Fosfobox (Copacabana), Dama de Ferro (Ipanema) and Casa da Matriz (Botafogo). For a real "carioca" experience, try Mariuzinn Copacabana. Brazilian Funk and eletronic music, with a eccentric crowd. It just finishes when the last dancer gives up. Which means early in the morning. It will be an unforgettable experience. Sleep In the Zona Sul, you will find Rios fanciest and most popular hotels along the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, but there are lots of small, cheap, clean hotels around Flamengo and Catete. The street in front of the strip of tourist hotels in Copacabana can be seedy, due to both garishly-dressed tourists, and a few opportunistic locals ready to take advantage of them. The apart-hotels in Ipanema are a much more pleasant alternative, being both better appointed and in a nicer neighborhood with fewer tourists. Sunset at Arpoador, best in Rio Accommodation in the lower Centro can be convenient for business travellers. The surrounding areas, however, are far from pleasant at night, being nearly deserted and lacking decent restaurants and leisure options. The central Santa Teresa neighbourhood, however, is quite departed from the city centre life and has plenty of pleasant bed and breakfasts and a significant nightlife. Given Rios rise as a fashionable destination with creative and fashion people, some hotels that cater to the design-conscious crowd have also been popping up at the most upscale neighborhoods. The city also has a large selection of apart-hotels, which provide apartment-style accommodations with kitchen facilities. Private condominium apartments can also be rented short-term at reasonable rates, and can be found on the internet. This is probably a preferable means of finding one of these than the notes that will be passed to you by anonymous persons on the street. These apartments generally have a one-week minumum, or two weeks during Carnaval or New Years holidays.
Rio de Janeiro 50 Accommodation in Rio is probably Brazils most expensive. There is a relative shortage of hotel rooms on the cheaper range and booking in advance is recommended. Moreover, prices for most accommodation can more than triple during New Years and Carnival. Those are very busy periods and booking well in advance is recommended. Note that most hotels in tourist areas will only sell 4-day packages and charge in advance - even if you want to stay only for a couple of days during those events. Other than those, the busiest month is January - summer holidays in Brazil. Motels, that you will see mainly on the outskirts of the city, are not motels in the North American sense. Rather, they are places you go with your lover for a few hours. One famous motel, overlooking the Sheraton in Leblon, was taken over by the US Secret Service when George Bush Sr stayed at the Sheraton. It is not recorded whether heart-shaped beds, mirrors on the ceiling and on-tap porno movies affected their work! If hostel life is more your style, they are easy to find in Rio. The more expensive ones boast locations that are short walking distance to either Ipanema or Copacabana beach. However if you prefer to stay in Lapa, Glória, Catete, and Botafogo, there are many other choices available. Hostelling has become increasingly popular in Brazil, and many of them are located at walking distance from hot spots. Beware, however, not to be taken to any fraudulent scheme - you might end up being robbed. Look for accredited places with Youth Hostelling International and similar franchises. Stay healthy Rio is vulnerable to epidemics of dengue fever, particularly during the late summer months of February and March. If an epidemic occures, be sure to take the appropriate precautions by using insect repellant and, if you happen to be staying at a place with a balcony, make sure there is no standing water around. Here is a list of medical clinics and hospitals in Rio de Janeiro that accept international traveler´s health insurance: • The Tourist Doctor , Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana 605/406, Copacabana, tel: 3596-1222. Rio de Janeiros most trusted and experienced team of English speaking doctors, offering 24 hour care to you in the comfort of your own hotel or apartment rental. We accept most major travelers insurance and health plans, and offer completed medical forms and receipts for those travelers with reimbursement policies. We are your family doctor away from home. • Galdino Campos Clinic , Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana 492, Copacabana, tel: 2548-9966. 24 hours, 7 days a week. All specialties. Accepts most travelers insurance or health plans. Home-care visit at hotels and hostels also available. Stay safe It is important to note that while the following information may panic you and also make you question whether to go or not to Rio, most visitors to the city have a great time with no incidents. Still, Rio can be dangerous. As a traveler, even if you dont leave the "Zona Sul" (which include Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Gávea, Jardim Botânico, Flamengo, Laranjeiras, Botafogo, Urca) or Western Suburbs (Barra, Recreio), you may experience a palpable tension over security. Armed robbery in Rio de Janeiro. Generally, tourists (also called "gringos," which is not derogatory but means "outsiders") and teenagers are considered "easy" targets for criminals. Day-to-day living has also been affected by this. For example, regular banks all have fortress style security doors and armed security men. Rio can be a dangerous city and it is wise to follow these rules even if they seem exaggerated.
Rio de Janeiro 51 In order to fully enjoy your trip the traveler should pay attention to simple things. Avoid the downtown area, especially Saara, after dark. Although downtown is a relatively safe place during the day, after-dark all the people who work there have already gone home. If you are going to a theater or a show, its all right; but do not wander in those dark streets by night. Go to Ipanema beach, all lighted and policed during the night, though even there is not entirely safe for tourists who look obviously like tourists. On Sunday, most shops are closed and their security guards are absent, so the neighbourhood Centro is not safe in the daytime. Also, even the bigger streets in Copacabana are less safe after dark so the beach walk is probably the best option. Should you find yourself being mugged, the normal advice applies: Dont resist or do anything to aggravate the muggers. Try not to stare in their faces as they might think you are memorizing their appearance. Eyes to the ground is probably your best bet. Let them take anything they want (keep your arms limp). Afterwards, leave the scene quickly but calmly (dont run in panic screaming for the police). In the morning, especially before the police arrive, if you are walking or jogging on, Copacabana should be considered unsafe. Even with people around, joggers are popular targets for mugging. If you plan on jogging make sure not to wear anything that may tempt a mugger (watch, ipod etc) and if you can, wait until after 10:00 AM. When in downtown during the rush hour, be aware of pickpockets as in any other big city centre. The difference in Rio is that the pickpocket can often be a bit violent: one of them pushing you forward in the bus or to the ground in the street while another one takes your wallet and runs away. Its not that usual or as bad as it sounds, but try to avoid being in real danger by reacting strongly as these guys often operate in armed groups (2-5 people), some unnoticed by you. In the area around Copacabana beach (and maybe in the city centre), the tourist should be aware of a shoe shining scam. The tourist will be approached by a shoeshiner and to his astonishment discover a large, dirty blot on his shoes (which is actually shoe polish or mustard but looks like quite something else). The tourist is typically shown to a chair and has his shoes or sandals cleaned in the best manner. Only after this service is rendered, the outrageous price of somewhere around R$1000 or more is revealed. At this point, muscular friends of the shoeshiner typically appear to "oversee" the completion of the On weekends, beaches in Rio are watched by helicopters. transaction. The subway is fairly safe, so it is recommended to use it if you want to go from one place to another. Although you may be used to taking the handy and good trains in Europe or even in North America to go across many places, you wont need to take a train in Rio. If you do, it can be a fairly nice trip to the suburbs or a chaotic journey to a bad neighborhood in a train where people sell all kinds of weird stuff, where everyone will look at you in a way you will feel you are a alien, about to be mugged. Buses on the South Zone are fairly safe as well, but, in the city centre, they can be quite crowded. Inside a bus, being mugged is always a threat: less so but stil possible in the South and tourist zones. Always remember that Bus 174 movie. It happens so often that they dont even go to the news (only homicides or big cases where the police got involved such as this Bus 174 go to the news). In the subway, it is quite unlikely though, which is one extra point to the subway! Dont walk around with lots of money in your pocket. ATMs are everywhere (prefer the ones inside shopping centres) and credit/debit cards are widely accepted. But dont walk around without any money: you may need something to give to the bad guys in case you are mugged. Not having money to give a mugger can be dangerous as they may get angry and resort to violence. An excellent idea is to buy a "capanga" (literally meaning bodyguard), that is, a small frontal unisex pouch, normally used to carry your wallet, checks, money and car keys.
Rio de Janeiro 52 Avoid wearing jewelry or other signs of wealth (iPods, fancy cell phones/mobiles, digital cameras, etc.) if possible, at any time of the day, as these attract attention. Thieves have been known to run past targets and tear off necklaces, rings, and earrings without stopping. Earrings are particularly dangerous as tearing them off often harms the owner. There are around 700 favelas in the city and most of them can potentially be unsafe in Rio: and there is always one near you (by a couple of miles or just a few yards). These are easily recognized by their expansive brick walls, and are often on a hillside. The slums grew from being impoverished neighborhoods but are now large areas ruled by drug lords. If you want to keep your nice vision of Rio, you dont need to go there. However, some favelas are amazingly huge, and a new experience for some -- there are some travel agencies who take people on tours there. If you want to go, pay one of those agencies. NEVER go to a favela by yourself, or with an unknown guide. The tour operators have "safe-conduct pacts" with the local drug dealers. If you dont have one, youll be in BIG trouble. Youll most likely be approached by the drug barons guards and asked what you are doing there (and these guys typically dont speak English). If you dont have a good reason (and you probably dont), the consequences could be dire. Dont count on the police to help you, as they dont like to enter the favela either, except in special circumstances, though most likely they will check if you are carrying any drugs upon leaving the favela. In Brazil, every state has two police forces: the Civil (Polícia Civil) and Military (Polícia Militar). Only the latter wear uniform (in Rio, it is navy blue). The city of Rio also has an unarmed Civil Guard, dressed in khaki. Policemen can usually be trusted, but corruption in Brazil is still rampant and a few officers may try to extort you or demanding a little bribe. When this happens, it is usually very subtle, and the officer may typically say something about "some for the beer" (cervejinha). If you are not willing, refuse and ask for another officer. Dont ever try to bribe a policeman on your own--most of them are honest and you might end up in jail. The local emergency dial number is 190. At night, especially after traffic has died down, you may hear what sounds like fireworks and explosions. This is not as menacing as it sounds, though it is still indicative of somebody up to no good. These are often firecrackers set-off as signals in the favelas. It might mean that a drug shipment has arrived and is in-transit or that the police are making a raid into the favela. It is a signal to gang operatives who act as lookouts and surrogate police to be extra-vigilant. However, real shoot-outs may occur, especially on weekends. If you are on the street and you hear a shooting, find shelter in the nearest shop or restaurant. For your safety, cross at the crosswalks, not closer to the corner, and watch for cars regardless of traffic lights. Carjacking can be a threat too, especially if you are outside the tourist areas and after dark. It is perfectly acceptable (even if exactly legal) not to stop in the traffic lights if there is nobody else on the street and you feel its okay to go (if there are no other cars). You will see even police doing this. Some major motorways such as Linha Amarela (Yellow Line: connects the west zone(Barra da Tijuca) to the north zone - may be your way to Norte Shopping for example) and Linha Vermelha (Red Line - the main connection from the International Airport) are strongly avoided late at night. Both motorways are surrounded by favelas so carjacking is usual and shoot-outs may occur between rival drug lords or between drug lords and the police. If you rent a car, be aware of all these issues. As a tourist, it may be better not to rent one anyway, as if you get lost and go to a bad neighbourhood (and again, there will always be one near you), you will most likely be in trouble. If you want to go to a traditional escola de samba (samba school), Mangueira is a good place. This is close to a favela, so you should go with a guide accordingly. If you do have a trustful Brazilian friend that can take you, thats excellent. Ask the friend to take you to Maracanã as well to watch a football (soccer) match! Yet exercise great caution if you go by yourself especially if two of the local Rio teams are playing (Flamengo, Fluminense, Botafogo, and Vasco). These matches can be very exciting but also very dangerous especially if between Flamengo and Botafogo or Vasco. If it looks like the team for which the fans around you are cheering is losing, it is wise to leave the stadium before the match ends. You dont want to be in the middle of a very angry bunch of football fans when they all cram out of the stadium.
Rio de Janeiro 53 Cope The Rio Times is the only English language news publication dedicated to the English speaking foreign community living and traveling in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They have been publishing weekly online since March 2009, covering Rio Politics, Business, Real Estate, Sports, Entertainment, Travel, as well as offer Classifieds and a daily Rio Nightlife Guide. • Lavamaqs, Praia do Flamengo, 118 - Flamengo (two blocks south of Metro Catete), 21 2557-5965. Self-service laundry, $R25 wash and dry. Consulates • Egypt, Rua Muniz Barreto 741, Botafogo, Phone:+55 21 2554-6318, Fax:+55 21 2552-8997 • Japan, Praia do Flamengo, 200-10 andar, Phone:+55 21 3461-9595, Fax:+55 21 3235-2241  • United States, Avenida Presidente Wilson, 147, Centro, Phone:+55 21 3823-2000  Go next • Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande. Angra is surrounded by 365 islands, the largest being Ilha Grande, a pretty island and former penal colony with beautiful beaches and good hiking. Angra is 2-3 hours from Rio by car and it is a one-hour boat ride from there to Ilha Grande. • Arraial do Cabo is a small town near Búzios. Its beaches have the most beautiful turquoise waters of Rio de Janeiro state. Beaches like Forno and Prainhas do Atalaia are surrounded by virgin lush green coastal vegetation and have clear blue waters similar to the Caribbean ones. • Búzios is a small peninsula about three hours east of Rio. It has several beaches, lots of places to stay and an abundance of night clubs. • Niteroi - The ferry between Rio and Niteroi, a city across the bay, is a pleasant and cheap trip (as of October 2010, R$ 2.80). There are a couple of kinds of boats, ranging from very cheap and slow (called barca) to fairly cheap and fast (called catamarã, catamaran). Niteroi does not have many tourist attractions, but it does have a wonderful unique view of Rio and an intriguing contemporary art museum , which looks like a flying saucer jutting out over the sea (designed by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer). Also, it has one of the states most beautiful beaches, Itacoatiara, which can be reached by the bus numbered 38. • Paraty - One hour south of Angra, this is a fully-conserved 18th-century colonial town by the ocean, hidden by tall jungle-covered mountains which used to be a hideout for pirates after the Portuguese ships; a must-see for people interested in History and Culture; also good for Rainforest hiking and kayaking. • Paquetá -- Though not exactly outside of Rio, because it is an island and can only be reached by a 70 minutes ferry ride, this district of Rio makes an excellent (and inexpensive) day trip. The island is an car-free zone, so travel is limited to bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. Theres not a lot to do on this island, but the ferry ride is worth it. • Petrópolis - In the mountains outside Rio. A good place to cool down when Rio becomes too hot. • Praia do Abricó  The best public naturist beach around Rio, located in Grumari, right after Prainha. Facilities and telephone service are quite limited, so plan ahead. • Teresópolis - Another mountain town, near Petrópolis. • Serra dos Órgãos -Nationalpark in the mountains west of Rio. http://www4.icmbio.gov.br/parnaso//
Rio de Janeiro 54 Routes through Rio de Janeiro Vitória ← Niterói ← → Mangaratiba → Santos N S Fortaleza ← Teresópolis ← → Nova Iguaçu → São Paulo N S This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow! References  http:/ / sevennaturalwonders. org/  http:/ / viajemais. voeazul. com. br/  http:/ / www. realautoonibus. com. br/ Site/ NossasLinhas-Premium-00,undefined,REAL84866120120119115236-71. html  http:/ / www. rioairporttransfer. com  http:/ / www. supervia. com. br/  http:/ / www. novorio. com. br/  http:/ / www. itapemirim. com. br  http:/ / www. nspenha. com. br  http:/ / www. viacaocometa. com. br  http:/ / www. autoviacao1001. com. br  http:/ / www. passagem-em-domicilio. com. br/ expresso%20brasileiro. asp  http:/ / www. greentoadbus. com/ en/  http:/ / www. rioonibus. com  http:/ / www. metrorio. com. br  http:/ / www. corcovado. com. br/ index_ing. html  http:/ / www. jbrj. gov. br/  http:/ / www. museuvillalobos. org. br/  http:/ / www. mangueira. com. br  http:/ / www. salgueiro. com. br  http:/ / www. academicosdarocinha. com. br/  http:/ / www. sambacity. info/  http:/ / www. skycenter. com. br  http:/ / www. couchsurfing. org/ group. html?gid=1234  http:/ / www. cruzeirotaxiaereo. com. br/  http:/ / www. helisight. com. br/  http:/ / www. casarosa. com. br  http:/ / www. uerj. br  http:/ / www. ufrj. br  http:/ / www. scri. ufrj. br/ oprt30. htm  http:/ / www. uff. br  http:/ / www. puc-rio. br  http:/ / www. cce. puc-rio. br/ letras/ portuguesingles. htm  http:/ / www. goethe. de/ br/ rio  http:/ / www. ibeu. org. br/  http:/ / www. culturainglesa. com. br  http:/ / riodejaneiro. cervantes. es/ br  http:/ / www. rioaliancafrancesa. com. br  http:/ / www. impa. br  http:/ / casadocaminho-languagecentre. org/  http:/ / www. casadocaminhobrasil. org/  http:/ / www. carioca-languages. com/  http:/ / www. facebook. com/ abio. circuito  http:/ / www. fellini. com. br
Rio de Janeiro 55  http:/ / www. porcao. com. br/  http:/ / www. carretaochurrascaria. com. br/  http:/ / www. benkei. com. br/  http:/ / www. zuka. com. br  http:/ / www. zazabistro. com. br  http:/ / www. cozinhatipica. com. br/ ver_restaurante. php?id=1  http:/ / www. viasete. com. br  http:/ / www. felice. com. br  http:/ / www. thetouristdoctor. com  http:/ / www. galdinocampos. com. br  http:/ / www. rio. br. emb-japan. go. jp/  http:/ / riodejaneiro. usconsulate. gov/  http:/ / www. macniteroi. com. br/  http:/ / www. anabrico. com/ i_abertura. htm Fortaleza Fortaleza is a major city on Brazils northeast coast, and the capital of Ceará state. Understand Fortaleza is one of the largest cities in Brazil and certainly one of the most vibrant. Temperatures range from 23-31 C with rare exceptions. July - November has virtually no rain. February - May can have its share, but mostly at night. Fairly safe for a Brazilian city this size (about 2,5 million), but stay alert when wandering away from Beira Mar, especially after dark. Despite being quite a party town, the carnival in Fortaleza is rather feeble, although growing bigger by the year, with the largest parades being Maracatu-style. The official history of Fortaleza as a permanent settlement dates back to the 17th century, when the Dutch had a brief dispute with the Portuguese over the territory. However some local historians fiercely defend the thesis that the very first European to land in South America -allegedly the Spaniard Vicente Yáñez Pinzón- did so where the citys port is situated today, in January 1500, i.e. a few months before Portuguese Pedro Alvares Cabrals much celebrated arrival in Porto Seguro. Probably the most proudly remembered occasion of local history was the abolition of slavery in 1884, four years ahead of Brazil as a whole. The mulatto Dragão do Mar, native of Aracati, reached a near-mythical status for his role in the boycott of slave ships starting in 1881, and is still widely recognized. The author José de Alencar  is so important for the identity of the city of Fortaleza (and also the state), that its inhabitants are nicknamed Alencarinos. He eagerly discussed the origins of the people, languages and geographical names of the region. Most important in this context is the novel Iracema, with its renowned main character lending her name to several neighborhoods and inspiring statues around town. In Brazil, Fortaleza is also known for its crop of comedians and the forró music and dance, all gaining popularity countrywide. The city is perhaps the most popular domestic package tour destination, and Europeans are following suit. Sadly, the latter comes with its share of holiday prostitution. Several municipal tourist information offices around, the most convenient being at the airport, the Central Market and Beira Mar(Half way between McDonalds and the fish market).
Fortaleza 56 Get in By air The modern terminal building of the international airport Pinto Martins (Telephone +55 85 3392 1200) was opened in 1998. An extension of the same size should be ready by 2014. Services here include federal police, post office, health authorities, internet cafe, tourist information and travel agencies. Airlines fly to almost every major city in Brazil and also other capitals of South America, mostly via São Paulo. Todays flights can be checked online. Direct flights to Europe: • Daily to Lisboa by TAP • Weekly to Amsterdam, via Natal with ArkeFly, often cheaper if bought at FlyBrazil. • Weekly to Rome and Milan with Air Italy. Other international flights: • To Lisbon via Cape Verde every Sunday by TACV. • The Miami route keeps opening, closing and reopening again. Delta is currently having their go. Otherwise the direct route from [Manaus] is an alternative to Sao Paulo. Allow at least an hour for immigration control if you fly in from abroad. Double it if there is another international flight shortly before yours. There is an urban bus 404 Aeroporto/Benfica which runs frequently between the airport and the center, where you can find buses to virtually anywhere in Fortaleza (Not recommended at night). This bus also stops at the main bus station. Going to the urban beaches can either be done this way, or by crossing the parking lot(keep slightly to the right) and the highway (somewhat on your left) and catch the 027 Siqueira Papicu/Aeroporto, which will take you pretty straight to Praça Portugal/Shopping Aldeota in 25 minutes, traffic allowing. (Not recommended at night) From here you can either walk some 7 blocks along Avenida Desembargador Moreira to the beach of Meireles, or you can wait for Circular 1 which passes within a block of most hotels in Meireles and Praia Iracema. Reverse this process (Start with Circular 2) to get to the airport, which is slightly easier as the bus then stops right in front of the terminal, and not on the highway. There are two types of taxis, follow the signs: Airport taxis are more expensive, and have fixed prices. Most tourist areas fall within the most expensive zone, charging R$ 32,40 (R$ 48,60 on rate 2). Regular taxis offer just about the same comfort, and run on the meter, stopping at about R$ 25 (R$ 40 rate 2) to Praia de Iracema or Meireles. Bargaining is tough out here, but fairly easy in the opposite direction. By bus The main bus station (Telephone +55 85 3230 1111) has buses to most all of the country, often via connections. Expresso Guanabara has the most extensive network from here, and also sells tickets near Beira Mar: Loc Autos, Av. Abolição 1840 and Bem Estar Tur, Rua Tabajaras 580. Note that most lines within the state of Ceará have their last coach leaving around 6-7 PM. Buses to neighbouring towns, within some 100 km, often leave from the train station in the centre. • To Natal 8 times daily (3 of these stopping in Mossoró) by Nordeste and Guanabara  R$ 35-150, 6-8 hours. • To Salvador daily at 7 PM by Itapemirim. R$ 190. 22 hours. Taxi to Beira Mar is about R$ 15 and 10-15 minutes. The bus 099 Siqueira - Mucuripe / Barão de Studart (on Sundays this line is substituted by 078 Siqueira - Mucuripe, bus stop around the corner) will take you the same place in around 25 minutes, -right from the doorstep of the bus station! If you are heading for Praia de Iracema (or anywhere else west of Av. Barão de Studart), take two lefts from the bus stations main entrance, then cross the
Fortaleza 57 street, and take the bus 073 Siqueira - Praia de Iracema. The bus 404 Aeroporto - Benfica takes you to the airport in less than 15 minutes. A second, smaller bus station is in the western suburb of Antonio Bezerra(1,2 km down the road from the urban bus terminal with the same name). Most all lines here are en route between the main bus station and western Ceará (such as Jeri or Sobral. Access from Av. Desembargador Moreira by bus 076 Conjunto Ceará / Aldeota in about 40 minutes. A third bus station opened early 2010 in the southern suburb of Messejana (next to the urban bus terminal with the same name), and has lines by the companies São Benedito (for Canoa), Fretcar and Expresso Guanabara mostly en route between the main bus terminal and the southern and eastern parts of Ceará. Get around Orientation Most tourists will not go more than 5 blocks from the sea, except for the airport and bus station, and perhaps a shopping mall. The following main streets will take you from the city centre to the fish market, by way of Dragão do Mar and the beaches Iracema and Meireles, totalling some 6 km: Avenida Almirante Barroso, Av. Beira Mar (until Rua Ildefonso Albano, where its cut off by an artificial beach -the aterro.), Av. Historiador Raimundo Girão, Av. Beira Mar (from Av. Rui Barbosa). This last three km section of Beira Mar (literally Sea Side) is by far the most attractive part of the city, with police stands and patrols making it fairly safe around the clock, although rather deserted from midnight to dawn. From the fish market, where the Avenida Beira Mar with its broad pavement stops, to the beach of Praia do Futuro is the port area, backed by a refinery and slums. Walking here at daytime can be risky, -at night its asking for trouble. By subway Many years in the planning, and quite some time under construction, always halted but budget quarrels, Metrofor promises to take you there and back in no time. Whenever it will be operational. By bus As any major Brazilian city, Fortaleza can be done almost entirely by bus . Ticket price is R$ 2 (rare exceptions, like Sundays at R$ 1,40), and if you get off at a terminal you can change lines without paying again. Most lines run 7 days a week 0500-2300, give or take. The lines listed here, deemed most useful for tourists, will run roughly every 10 minutes daytime weekdays, frequencies perhaps halved nightime and weekends, and down to once an hour after midnight. Only the most useful parts of the routes are described. Some lines have the number 1 or 2 after their names, only to indicate direction, others dont. I.e. the very same bus with the same number and name could be running either from A to B, or from B to A. Ask! • Centro/Beira Mar Caça e Pesca is comfy and air conditioned. It runs Beira Mar and all along Praia do Futuro. Returning it swaps Beira Mar for Abolição. This bus can get very packed from Praia do Futuro before sunset. Risk of muggings at Praia do Futuro bus stops after dark. • Circular 1/2 - 24 hours!!! City center - Mercado Central - Dragão do Mar - Historiador Raimundo Girão - Abolicão - Desembargador Moreira/Shopping Aldeota. • Grande Circular 1/2 - 24 hours!!! City Centre - Dragão do Mar - Historiador Raimundo Girão - Abolição - Praia do Futuro - Terminal Papicu - Shopping Iguatemi. • Centro Iguatemi - R$ 3,00. Last bus leaves Iguatemi at 2200, does not run on Sundays. Comfy and air conditioned. City centre - Monsenhor Tabosa - Abolição - Desembargador Moreira (Shopping Aldeota), leaves you inside the Iguatemi shopping mall.
Fortaleza 58 A slowly increasing number of buses, although this far none belonging to the above mentioned lines, are monitored in real-time and you can check how far your bus is from your stop.  By taxi All 4000-odd taxis in town run on the same meter system , except the special cabs at the airport. Start price is R$3,62, then R$1,81 per km on rate 1 and R$ 2,72/km on rate 2. The latter is charged every day from 20:00 to 06:00, Saturdays also from 13:00 to 20:00 and all Sunday, public holidays, and the whole month of December. Waiting is charged R$ 18,10 per hour. It is mandatory for taxis to display the fare system on one of the rear side windows. Do not take a cab without such a posting. Cab drivers in Fortaleza are fairly honest, although a few will put the meter on rate 2 too often. The meter should always run unless you have fixed a price before getting into the car. Most trips that would exceed R$ 10 on the meter are negotiable, and when you pass R$ 30 on the meter a discount of up to 50% could be obtained if you bargain well. Taxi stands are abundant , but it can often prove easier to negotiate if you hail one off the street. Average bargained prices to out-of-town-destinations: • Cumbuco R$ 80 return same day. • Canoa Quebrada R$ 150. By moto taxi Depending on the traffic flow, this can be a rather scary experience. In general about half the price of a cab, starting at R$ 4 for runs up to ten blocks or so. Rental car Brazilian city traffic makes this option a bit frustrating for anyone who honks less than once a minute while driving back home. The city is best covered by bus and cab, but a car can make many daytrips to outlying beaches. Rental shops are virtually everywhere. Despite huge signs claiming low prices, you will hardly end up paying less than R$ 60 for the most basic car, -plus fuel. Beach buggies start at R$ 100. See Quite an effort has been put into restoring colonial architecture over the last years. Still there is no area that is completely "clean", but the stretch from the beachfront of Praia de Iracema, via Dragão do Mar and to Praça do Ferreira is steadily improving and worth a walk. • History Train and Step-by-Step History are two free tours offered on alternating Saturdays in the city centre. Show up at Banco do Nordeste, Rua Floriano Peixoto 941, at 1:15 PM. Both last about 3 hours. Basic Portuguese is a must. • Praça do Ferreira is the main city square, with stores, restaurants, a movie theater and plenty of benches. • Praça José de Alencar has plenty of greenery and is the place to catch the citys best street performers. • Theatro José de Alencar on the south side of the above square. The architectural landmark of the city, finished in 1912, has performances almost every evening. Visits every hour on the hour, except noon. R$ 4, 30 minutes. • The Dragão do Mar culture center, opened in 1999, has an art museum, a library, a cinema and surrounding nightlife. • Museu de Arte e Cultura Popular, Rua Senador Pompeu 350, centre. Located in an old prison, now the Centro de Turismo, along with a handicraft market and a tourist information. Displays many fine examples of folk art as well as boats and other cultural relics.
Fortaleza 59 • The sunset, either from Ponte Metalica, Praia Iracema, or the beach by the fish market, Mucuripe. • Parque Ecologico do Cocó, the citys largest green area, near the Iguatemi-mall. No lawns, but a nice walk in the woods. • Cathedral, city centre. The closer you get, the worse it looks, with a parking lot and all. But it still has nice mosaics. French architect George Mounier allegedly was inspired by the Cologne cathedral. Note the 40 year span between the initial works and the inaugural mass, above the main entrance. • Museu do Ceará, Rua Sao Paulo 51, one block north of Pr. do Ferreira, centre. In a late 19th-century seat of state government. Explains the history of the state of Ceará and its capital. Free entry. • Museu do Automóvel(Veteran Car Club do Brasil), Rua Desembargador Manuel Sales Andrade 70 (Walk some 7 blocks up Av. Cel. Miguel Dias from Shopping Iguatemis main entrance, then turn right.), Phone:+55 85 3273 3129 , 9-12, 14-17, closed Mondays and Sunday afternoons., R$ 7, Some 60 cars on display, mostly of US make, ranging from 1917 to 1995(!). Notably two funeral cars from the 30s. • Estoril, Rua dos Tabajaras 397, Praia de Iracema (Near Pirata Bar), This mansion, built in 1925 as Vila Morena, and later used as a casino, a restaurant(when its current name was applied) and a rather political bar, is of peculiar architecture. It was virtually rebuilt in the 90s, and is undergoing another refurbishment to be used for public cultural arrangements. • Mercado dos Pinhões, Praça Visconde de Pelotas, Praia de Iracema (Two blocks inland from the shops at Rua Monsenhor Tabosa), This former meat market was imported piece by piece from Europe and set up in 1897. Refurbished and now used as a handicrafts fair. • Mini Siará(Museu de Miniaturas), Rua José Avelino 250 (Right off Dragão do Mar), Tue - Sat 2 PM - 5 PM, R$ 5, More cute than really interesting, this tiny museum has about 25 scale models of Fortalezas colonial buildings, and also a couple of scale landscapes. Do The monthly listing Olheiro can befound in he receptions of most large hotels, or downloaded as .pdf. Urban beaches Beach Worries Dont buy anything from beach (or street) vendors. Their food is a potential hazard to your health, and most anything they sell can be had from the beach shacks at a similar price. Souvenirs and clothing is cheaper and more varied at the Feirinha or Mercado Central. Many of them will distract you and steal your belongings. And, please, dont feel sorry for the kids: The more money they can make on the street/beach, the more colleagues they will attract: Their income goes either straight to their parents, or to drug dealers. The city of Fortaleza provides food and shelter for homeless kids, -note the people with the high visibility vests strolling Beira Mar. If you are sitting at a table, and really need something from a vendor, -say cigarettes, -ask the waiter to do the shopping on the pavement. This will be appreciated by everyone around you. There are a couple of locals (although they will sometimes tell you otherwise) that speak some English who approach tourists on the beaches being very helpful. In the end they are not. They want your money, -watch out! There are two nice city beaches, Praia de Iracema and Meireles. Some people discourage bathing here, although they are mostly rated green by authorities. The whole stretch from the Ponte Metálica (aka Ponte Inglesa) pier to the fish market is paralleled by the Avenida Beira Mar, very nice for an evening stroll. A string of shacks line the beachfront, mostly good for drinking and people watching. Some of these, particularly when serving in the sand, have up to three different menus with varying prices. Sunbeds can be charged up to R$ 30 a day, although the real price is R$ 3-5. Unless otherwise stated, cross the street for food. The busiest strip (with the most expensive beer), including the bulk of beggars, prostitutes and vendors, is right in front of McDonalds, to avoid these go east of the market. A selection listed from west (Praia de Iracema) to east (Fish market): • Babagula, more sandwiches, playground for children. Subway is cohabiting. • Satéhut, Dutch run with some Indonesian on the menu. Clean toilet!
Fortaleza 60 • Veraneio, the hedges protect you! • Joca, Gay. • Beira Mar Grill, decent food. • Volta da Jurema, near Othon Palace. Nice sunset. • G2, a notch cheaper than the rest. The most attractive urban beach is Praia do Futuro, about 5 km (unsafe to walk) from Meireles. Windy, with rather strong currents and undertows, swimming can be a challenge, but for a dip its fine. Some 150(!) beach shacks, here a selection from north (closest to Beira Mar) to south, with their special features: • Marulhos. Reggae music and good food. Try the escondidinho. • Croco Beach. Plenty gringos. "After Beach" with live music on Sundays, sunset to eightish, no forro! Taxi drivers get a R$ 2 commission for each head they land here, -get a discount on the fare! • Sorriso do Sol. Reggae and cannabis. • Vira Verão. Young Brazilian crowd. If youre lucky, youll get a table. • Vila Galé. Belongs to the hotel. Perhaps the neatest appearance, definitely the most expensive! • Chico do Carangueijo. Clean, popular, good food, specializing in crab, sometimes live music. • Côco Beach and Boa Vida. Mainly foreigners and their crew, live forro. At the very end of Praia do Futuro its name changes to Caça e Pesca. Freshwater swimming in a strong current where the river Cocò meets the ocean. Surfing There is good surfing on the beaches, and frequent competitions at Praia do Futuro. • Chandler Surf, 411 Rua 24 de Maio, Phone:+55 85 8803-4487 , is a surf school working at Meireles Wednesday - Sunday afternoons, R$ 17-35 an hour, including board rent. • Aldeia Surf School, Phone:+55 85 9444-7496 / 8610-4092, Offers surf lessons and surf trips every day of the week. Based at Hotel Vila Galé. Kite and Wind Surfing Good conditions most of the year, with winds up to 40 knots. • Windzen, Praia do Futuro (Next to Vira Verao) , Equipment (Naish dealer) and classes. Helpful with info about out-of-town spots. Schooner cruises A couple of motorized schooners and a catamaran do similar 2 hour cruises along the city beaches at R$ 30 per person, setting out daily at 10:00 and 16:00 from near the Iracema-statue, where they also have their ticket booths. The latter time is better, as you get the sunset. Bring swim-gear. Minimum of ten people required- often cancelled in the low season. Another schooner takes you all the way to Cumbuco at 09:00, lands you for lunch and has buses you back to Fortaleza before 5 PM. R$ 130.
Fortaleza 61 Golf The nearest golf club is in neighbouring Iguape, some 30 minutes by car from Beira Mar. Cinemas Oba  has the full programme for the citys cinemas. • Shopping Aldeota  and Shopping Del Paseo are walking distance from Beira Mar, along Av. Desembargador Moreira. • The largest complex is at the Iguatemi-mall, with some 12 showrooms mostly displaying the latest fare  from Hollywood. • At Dragão do Mar theres a more alternative selection. Festivals • Ceará Music Brazilian rock, pop and techno during three days in October by the hotel Marina Park. About R$ 40 per night. • Fortal  Fortaleza´s Salvador-style out-of-season carnival (allegedly the largest in Brazil) kicks off in a purpose-built area near Praia do Futuro. Direct buses from the Papicu terminal. Thursday - Saturday from dusk till dawn. End of July. • Vida e Arte  A range of Brazilian music and other performances. January. • Although carnival here is rather dull, the citys pré-carnaval is a major happening, all the way from New Year until the real thing starts in February or March. Several venues, the most accessible at Dragão do mar Saturdays from 3 PM. • The local Gay Parade, officially named Parada pela Diversidade Sexual de Fortaleza, happens along Beira Mar on the last Sunday of June. Learn There are a few private lesson on offer for foreigners who want to learn Portuguese. These typically cost around R$ 20 per hour. • Easy to Learn language school. Rua Frei Mansueto, 1018, Meireles, Phone 3267 1622 - Portuguese private classes for foreigners are around R$ 40 Work Job opportunities for travellers are scarce. Buy The state of Ceará has a large textile industry, and arguably the cheapest clothing in Brazil. Also the capital of hammocks, varieties of which can be found ranging from less than R$ 10 to more than R$ 100. Best place to buy is the range of small shops opposite the cathedral, city centre. There are handicraft shops all around the city, but the best places to go are the Feirinha da Beira Mar (Beach front fair, daily about 4 PM - 10 PM) and the Mercado Central (Near the cathedral). These places have a large number of stalls and shops, and competition drives prices down. • There is a very convenient Pão de Açucar round-the-clock supermarket by the intersection of Av. Abolição and Av. Desembargador Moreira. Although more expensive than most other shops, it has a good selection of groceries, including many imports, and also some fresh foods. Fresh sandwiches and pizzas until 8 PM.
Fortaleza 62 • For a true abundance of fruits and vegetables, in addition to meat, fish and whatever else you could think of for your kitchen, visit Mercado São Sebastião, at the east end of Av. Bezerra de Menezes, 4 blocks south and 5 west of Praça José de Alencar in the centre. The earlier you arrive, the greater the variety. • Sebo O Geraldo, Rua 24 de Maio 950, Centro (Three blocks south from Praça José de Alencar), Phone:+55 85 3226 2557, About R$ 5 for a paperback, Behind a modest façade there is a vast selection of used books, including hundreds of titles in English (although much outdated) and a little something in many other languages. • Shopping Iguatemi The largest mall in Fortaleza and one of the best. Everything from C&A, to Zoompe and Lacoste. A huge 24-hour supermarket, large food court and the biggest cinema in town. • Shopping Aldeota On Praça Portugal, seven blocks from Beira Mar, with a cinema. • Shopping Del Passeo Near Shopping Aldeota, with a cinema. Eat The best concentration of restaurants in town is found in the Varjota neighbourhood, especially along Rua Fredrico Borges and its side streets, starting some five blocks inland from Beira Mar. Thursday is crab day in Fortaleza, especially in the many shacks at Praia do Futuro. • For a cheap and good lunch, try Maciel Lanches at Av. Monsenhor Tabosa 1010, near the corner of Rua Ildefonso Albano, from 1045 AM to 145 PM. The normal mix of rice, beans, farofa and vegetables comes with some four different options, like chicken, fried or boiled beef, all fresh. At R$ 4 it includes a softdrink. Also has a few a la carte options and fresh juices. • Naturalmente Jeri (In Windzen Naish kitesurf and windsurf store - Praia do Futuro near Barraca Vira Verão), Phone:+55 85 3262 0632 , Lunch and Dinner, Crepes from R$9, Specialties are crepes and Açaí, also sandwiches, fruit juices, and salads. Hang out for local windsurfers and kitesurfers, especially after beach. • La France, Rua Silva Jatahy 982, Meireles (Just off Av Desembargador Moreira, two blocks from Beira Mar), Phone:+55 85 3242 5095, Dishes for 2 at R$ 40-60, Perhaps not authentic French, but a varied menu, including escargots, and a selection of wines. • Parque Recreio, Av. Rui Barbosa 2727. Open air restaurant with grilled meats, sea food and more. Three options for a rodizio (grilled meats en masse, watch out for expensive drinks and desserts): • Churrascaria Gheller, Av. Monsenhor Tabosa 825, corner of Antonio Augusto, Praia Iracema, Phone:+55 85 3219 3599, 13:00-late, All you can eat R$ 20, This is arguably the best value rodizio in the tourist area. If you are not too hungry, you can also pay R$ 22 per kilo. Tuesdays and Saturdays theres a stand-up comedian at 21:00, adding R$ 10 per person to your bill. • Sal e Brasa, Av Abolição , All you can eat R$ 49 • Boi Preto, Av Beira Mar , All you can eat R$ 59, Is it worth it? The state of Ceará is renowned for its seafood. Near the fish market are a couple of restaurants: • Alfredo do Peixe, Many dishes for two at around R$ 40, also meat. • Hong Kong Arguably the best Sushi in Fortaleza. Also fried fish with stir fried vegetables, etc. Try the Barca - a boat of fish with up to 50 pieces of your choice served on a bed of salad. If you are a bit more courageous, buy your shrimp, lobster, squid, whatever straight from the stalls, and hit one of the nearby shacks to fry it for you. One kilo of mid-sized shrimps about R$ 15, R$ 3 for frying, -then plenty of beers! There is bad, watery, plastic flavoured ice cream galore in Fortaleza, as elsewhere in Brazil. Try these for the real stuff: • Sorveteria 50 Sabores, Several branches: At the fish market; At Nautico, R$5 for one scoop • Barbaresco, Several tiny branches around town If your accommodation has bad or no breakfast, most large hotels let you take part in theirs for about R$ 10-12.
Fortaleza 63 Drink Grab a chilled coconut from a stall at Beira Mar, starting at R$ 2,00! Fortaleza is a forró-stronghold. Virtually any day of the week you can find a party with live music and this traditional dance, sometimes in quite modern variations (often referred to as forró universitário). On weekends you can choose from literally dozens of places. For a more genuine, tourist-free happening, you must move towards the outskirts of the city, paying up to R$ 30 by cab. Traditionally, Fortaleza nightspots have their dedicated day of the week, like Pirata (below) on Mondays. So, when asking around for a place to go, always be specific on when. For daytime drinking, which can be quite a party, specially on weekends, see the Beaches-section. The downtown (Centro) area is surprisingly scarce on waterholes, which would be more than welcome after a hot afternoons walking. An even more surprising exception is found in the recently (2010) refurbished park Passeio Público (officially Praça dos Mártires): A small kiosk with outdoor seating serving lunch and cold drinks. Daily until 5 PM. • Internacional, Avenida Beira Mar 4456 (200 m from the fish market), Daily until midnight, With Belgian and Dutch owners Filip and Marco, has grown into a kind of ex-pats hangout, good food. Free WiFi. Occasional live music. • Mucuripe, Travessa Maranguape, 108. tel +55 85 3254 3020 . Fanciest club in town, best on Fridays. Ticket normally R$ 25-30 (everyone pays "half-price", don´t be fooled by vendors on the street that claim that its R$ 50 inside.) Be aware that foreigners with Brazilian girlfriends often are turned back at the entrance. Enter separately. • Forró do Pirata on Mondays (in high season also on Fridays) in Praia de Iracema. A crowd of happy tourists (many domestic) dances to forró and axé music. Overpriced at R$ 35. Most large hotels have discounted tickets for their guest (and occasionally others), -ask in the reception. The largest concentration of watering holes, very practical if you want to hit and miss and dont have a car, is at Dragão do Mar, Praia de Iracema. This area features refurbished colonial buildings, loads of open air seating, live music (sometimes charged), and happy hour beer. Fridays and Saturdays the party is everywhere: • Café Santa Clara, Excellent coffee, some extremely sweet varieties, good bites, and extreme air-conditioning in a pleasant, old-worldly setting. Slow service, though. Tue-Sun 3-10 PM. • Armazem, 23-04, Entry R$ 20, The biggest party in town on Wednesdays, when it attracts mostly foreign men and a fair share of working girls. Also opens on Saturdays with a more mixed crowd. Live forro on a big stage and a separate eurotechno-lounge. • Órbita, 20-04, Entry R$ 18-23 small beer R$ 4, Brazilian and international rock and pop cover bands. Later electronica DJs. Thursdays and Sundays(packs from 9 PM) good. Mostly well off students. • Dona Santa, Gay, transvestite and more. • Music Box, Gay • Chope do Bexiga, Famous for its Chope de Vinho (Is it wine or beer after all?) • Bueno Amicis, Entry R$ 10, small beer R$ 4, Informal, variety of styles, most famous for its Samba!! • Acervo Imaginário, Avenida Pessoa Anta, Entry R$ 10, small beer R$ 4, Live music on weekends, dancing student crowd. A smaller version of this can be found along Rua Norvinda Pires, and the neighbouring part of Rua Desembargador Leite Albuquerque, centering on the rock-bar Maria Bonita, pagode-neighbour Bebedouro and the more mixed style Fafi, plus a few more. Cobblestones calls for flat shoes! Thursday to Sunday. Another area of interest is Varjota, inland from Mucuripe. Plenty of bars and restaurants. Take Rua Frei Mansueto from Beira Mar, 5-10 blocks. • Arre Égua, Rua Delmiro Gouveia 420, Varjota , Tuesdays and Fridays from about 8 PM till late, Entry R$ 30, Thoroughly decorated as a Ceará countryside joint, although the prices are nothing of the kind. Live classic
Fortaleza 64 forro. Good spot on Tuesdays. Mainly age 30+. Next door restaurant. Many of the shacks at Praia do Futuro host parties nightime Thursday - Sunday. • Biruta, Mostly electronica on Fridays. Prostitution Like it or not, Fortaleza has grown into the Brazilian gringo prostitution capital. (At least by repuatation. Rio arguably wins in absolute figures.) Many foreigners, especially Europeans, fly in on charters with this as the main attraction. Unfortunately, this affects other travelers, particularly single men. Many Brazilians, including otherwise sympathetic girls, will assume you are there for "business". The main concentration is at "Happy Street" (Rua dos Tremembés), Praia de Iracema, where the clubs Forró Mambo (R$ 20), Café del Mar (R$ 15) and their immediate neighbors serve overpriced drinks. A small group of young females sitting alone at a table along Beira Mar are more than likely to be pros. Any drinking spot that attracts foreigners, is bound to attract working girls, therefore some of them try to filter the entries, meaning that a foreign man can have trouble getting in with his Brazilian girl. Sleep This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room: Budget Under R$50 Mid-range R$ 50-150 Splurge Over R$150 Reservations are essential in January, when Brazilian holidaymakers pack in. September-November and March-May have room for bargaining at most posted prices. Many hotels will immediately give you 30% off. Most hotels are on the strip Praia Iracema - Meireles - Mucuripe, parallel to Avenida Beira Mar, and up to about 4 blocks inland. Categories are spread about, but Praia Iracema has most budget options. Many cheap deals can be struck at Praia do Futuro, but be aware transport costs and lack of security at night. Budget Hostels Charging up to R$ 40 for a dorm bed, hostels are sometimes outpriced by cheap single rooms in the same area. • Rolling Stone, Rua dos Pacajus 66, Praia de Iracema (Next to Praca da Mincharia), Phone:+5585 3067 5929 , Dorm bed 25-31 reais, single 50, double 65., A stones throw from the waterfront. With the city refurbishing the area, this looks very promising indeed. • Hostel Terra da Luz, Rua Rodrigues Júnior 278 (Three blocks inland from Dragao do Mar), Phone:+55 85 3082 2260 , Dorm bed R$ 25, single R$ 30, double R$ 50, Also triples. • Backpackers Ceará, Avendia Dom Manuel 89, Praia Iracema (Up the road from Dragão do Mar), Phone:+55 85 3091 8997 , R$ 25 per person
Fortaleza 65 Hotels A number of cheap options in the city centre, but the area goes seedy and unsafe at night. Unless you have a car, and can stay at Praia do Futuro, your best cost/benefit is probably along Avenida Dom Manuel, between Av. Monsenhor Tabosa and Av. Santos Dumont -just inland from Dragão do Mar. Stick to the main street after dark! • Hotel Passeio, Rua Dr. João Moreira 221, centre. A bit run-down. Singles around R$25. • Hotel Caxambu, Rua General Bezerril 22. Modern and well-equipped. Rooms with TV and A/C, singles R$ 25. Mid Range • Shammah Hotel, Avenida Almirante Barroso, Praia de Iracema , Singles R$ 70, doubles R$ 85, Refurbished 2010 • La Maison, Av. Des. Moreira 201. Small, conveniently located hotel with nice rooms and friendly staff. Singles R$100. • Ibis Just up from Holiday Inn at Historiador Raimundo Girao. Convenient for online booking and cancelling. R$ 85 single, 109 double. Breakfast R$ 10. Wi-Fi R$ 12/day. • Hotel Porto Futuro R$ 90 double. Av. Zeze Diogo, 7260 - Praia do futuro. tel +55 85 3265 3365 / 3263 1441, Large rooms. • Pousada Villa Marina, Rua Monsenhor Bruno 104, Praia de Iracema (Next to Ideal Clube) , Doubles R$ 95 Splurge • Vila Galé, Av. Dioguinho 4189, Praia do Futuro, Phone:(+55) 85 34 86 44 00, Fax:(+55) 85 34 86 44 30” url=, Located on the beach 15 minutes cab ride from Avenida Beira Mar. Online booking • Hotel Marina Park, Av. Presidente Castelo Branco 400, Praia de Iracema, Phone:(+55) 40 06 95 95, Fax:(+55) 85 32 53 18 03” url=, Online booking Apartments A typical modern two bedroom 65 m2 flat, fully furnished and equipped 2 blocks from Beira Mar will cost around R$ 70 a day in low season, double in high. Monthly rates are about R$ 1200 low season, R$ 2000 or more peak. Mostly you have to pay electricity on top of this. Be aware that an air conditioner can set you back R$ 20 a day if you leave it running. Dozens of agencies. Many hotels put "flat" or "residence" in their name. This mostly means that you can buy an apartment there, -typically 40-50 m2 with one bedroom and a tiny kitchen. Many of the owners will rent these out for a price substantially less than the one posted in the reception, particularly for longer terms. Monthly deals can come close to the R$ 1000 mark in low season, including linen change and cleaning. Ask the receptionsts for owners phone numbers: • Praia Mansa, Avenida Abolicao 2480, Meireles (One block from McDonalds)  • Flat Atlantico, Avenida Abolicao 2111, Meireles If you go for a furnished room with a bathroom (often no fridge or a/c), referred to as a kitchenette (often spelled "Kitnet", or anything in between), you will typically be charged R$ 3-400 a month in high season. Praia Iracema has most of these.
Fortaleza 66 Contact • Fortaleza and all neighbouring municipalities share a telephone area code: 85 • Internet is everywhere, with greatly varying comfort, hardware and bandwidth. R$ 3-4 an hour is an OK price in tourist areas-- any more is too much. If you go inland you can get down to R$1/h. • There is a free Wi-Fi zone in the café of the 24-hour Pao de Acucar supermarket at Avenida Abolicao. • Several post offices along or near Beira Mar: Right in front of the Praia Iracema church; on Av. Monsenhor Tabosa just down from Ideal Clube; a small booth almost in the sand in front of Clube Nautico; in the mall of Scala Residence. Stay safe • Helpful tourist police "Delegacia do Turista" at Avenida Historiador Raimundo Girao 805, phone 31012488, just by Hotel Travel Iracema (formerly Othon), Praia Iracema. Some English spoken. • There are countless stories of single foreign men being robbed by prostitutes, apparent or not, they take back to their rooms. Reportedly they sometimes employ a drug to knock victims out, otherwise they just rely on your voluntarily exagerrated alcohol/drug consumption. Be aware that most all hotels and apartment buildings will register visitors, particularly late night ones. As soon as you are aware of missing valuables, get the reception to pass you the data of the suspect and go straight to see the police, above. The sooner you act, the greater the chance of getting your stuff back. Money mostly evaporates instantly, though. • Although most commercial districts of the city are fairly safe, including the center and the tourist area around Beira Mar, pickpocketing, bag-snatching and other non-violent robberies are always a possibility. Never flash valuables and be aware beggars that keep touching you. • Praia do Futuro is bordered by one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in town, the Serviluz slum. Under no circumstances walk through deserted areas of this beach, even if moving between two crowded places. Bus stops are notoriously robbery-ridden after sunset -even if its only 5:45 PM. • There has been a number of cases where foreigner have been detained at the airport with large amounts of drugs, particularly cocaine, on their way out of the country. The federal police is working hard: Dont even think about it! Stay healthy If you travel west from Fortaleza, into the states of Maranhão, Pará or further, Brazilian authorities recommend that you get a yellow fever vaccination. An International Certificate of Vaccination  can be issued if you have the shot taken at the airport or in the city center. If you already have your booklet, and only need a new shot and the corresponding entry, this is best done at the medical center at Avenida Antonio Justa, one block from Pão de Açucar, weekdays 7 AM to 4:30 PM, free of charge. Cope There are plenty of laundries around. Those which charge per kg (mostly R$ 6-10) are somewhat cheaper than those which charge per garment. Your clothes are normally ready next day. There is one single self-service laundry: • Lav e Lev at Avenida Abolição just by the corner of Avendida Desembaragador Moreira. R$ 9,50 to wash a big load, then typically R$ 19 to dry it. Turns out cheaper, plus you have it all ready in less than 2 hours. Add R$ 1,50 per garment for ironing. Monday - Friday until 7 PM, Saturday until 2. • Laundromat at the corner of Av. Abolição and Rua Paulo Barros washes and dries a small load for R$ 17, ready within 24 hours, often much sooner. • Changing cash EUR or USD into BRL is done close to interbank rates, meaning that its better value than cash advances on credit or debit cards. Many travel agencies exchange money, -you mostly get slightly better rates
Fortaleza 67 moving away from Beira Mar. • For visa extensions and any other issue between a foreigner and the Polícia Federal, head to their office at Rua Paula Rodrigues 304, Bairro de Fátima, near the main bus station. Open Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 6 PM. Bus 099 Siqueira - Mucuripe / Barão de Studart to/from Avenida Abolição. • The joint Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish consulate, Rua Rocha Lima 371, Joaquim Tavora (Three blocks off Av. Dom Manoel), Phone:+55 85 3242 0888, At the premises of Emitrade. Bus 077 Parangaba Mucuripe to/from Avenida Abolição. Go next • Museu da Cachaça , In neighboring is the Cachaça Museum, hosted by Ypióca , one of the countrys most widespread brands. • Museu Senzala Negro Liberato, Phone:+55 85 3332 1116, Daily 8 AM - 5 PM, R$ 2, A monument of slavery and liberation, with a nearby cachaça-destillery. On the main highway just outside , some 60 km from Fortaleza • The Jazz and Blues Festival is a continuation of the carnival in Guaramiranga, the weekend after. Out-of-town Beaches Any tour agency, and a number of pushers along Beira Mar, can offer you daytrips, and longer packages, to outlying beaches. The one thing they have in common is the price, -its fixed in between them, and its far too expensive. Oceanview is old in the game and has a site with prices. If you are a group of 3-4 persons, a taxi can mostly be negotiated for less. • Cumbuco is a small fishing village, grown into a kite-surfers paradise. Fresh water lakes with swimming nearby. Dune buggy tours. Horseback riding along the beach. A traditional fishing raft, Jangada, gives you a postcard view of the coastline. Buses from Avenida Abolição R$ 4,50. • Jericoacoara is among Brazils finest, and hence makes its way into any global listing. Buses (changing to trucks in Jijoca)twice daily from outside Praiano Palace Hotel at Beira Mar. • Canoa Quebrada used to be quite rustic, attracting mostly hippies. Now its slowly growing into a resort town. Can be done as a day trip (R$ 40, many agencies), but is worth a longer stay, particularly for its weekend nightlife. • Some 16 km outside Fortaleza, at the beach of Porto das Dunas, is a huge water park with slides and other wet interactive fun, Beach Park . Stiffly priced at R$ 120 for a day. The beach right outside the park is very nice, and although you pay nothing to walk in the sand, food and drinks are 2-3 times city prices. Routes through Fortaleza END ← → Governador Valadares → Rio de Janeiro N S This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!
Fortaleza 69  http:/ / www. ypioca. com. br  http:/ / www. jazzeblues. com. br/  http:/ / www. oceanviewturismo. com. br/ us/ default. asp  http:/ / www. redencaoonline. com. br/ english/ rotas. html  http:/ / www. beachpark. com. br/ english/ home/ home. asp Cumbuco Cumbuco is a beach village of about 25.000 inhabitants in Ceará, some 30 kilometers west of Fortaleza. It has recently been discovered by European developers, and small resorts are popping up. Larger projects are in the pipeline, such as a golf course and a beach volleyball arena with a training camp for players. To the west you can see the modern and steadily growing port of Pecém. With a steel mill and petroleum refinery to come, it promises a certain impact on the region. Get in • From Fortaleza there are convenient buses from Clube Ideal, leaving at 9 AM, 11 AM, 3:50 PM and 6:20 PM. These first go all the way to the fish market along Beira Mar, then come back along Avenida Abolição and Avenida Historiador Raimundo Girão. About 1 hour, R$ 4,50. From Cumbuco, buses leave the main square at 6:30 AM, 10 AM, 2:35 PM and 5 PM. More frequent buses to/from Av. do Imperador in the center of Fortaleza. All buses pass by the suburban beach of Icaraí. • To get anywhere else by bus, you need to go to the center of nearby Caucaia. • Taxis to Fortaleza can be negotiated at R$ 50-80, often included waiting time and return to Cumbuco same day. Get around You can walk mostly anywhere. The local taxi stand is one block west of the main square. Negotiate prices up front. Buggies can also be hired for short runs, but are mostly more expensive than cabs. Do • This is one of the best spots in the world for kite surfing. Several places rent equipment and give classes.Since 5 years [Extreme Control Kiteboarding http://www.extremecontrol.net] offers Personal Training in Cumbuco • Horseback riding along the beach. • A jangada (traditional fishing raft with sail) will take you a kilometer or so into the sea to give you a different view of the beach. Nice photos from out there. R$ 10 or less per person. • A buggy with a driver can be rented for a day for about R$ 150, -fits 3-4 passengers. It will take you to 2-3 different fresh water lakes for swimming, and also for a ride up and down some dunes. • You can also rent a buggy and drive it yourself, but you will not have access to the dunes. It is nominally prohibited to drive on the beach, but this is not enforced. • Rent an ATV to make sure that you disturb other peoples beach experience.
Cumbuco 70 Eat Prices vary greatly. Lunch can be had from R$ 5 at a number of tiny local restaurants. • Muda, SW corner of the square, breakfast until late, Light dishes 10-15 R$, Good for breakfast and light lunch. Drinking in the evenings. Chill music • Sabor da Praia (Just uphill from Bistro), Mains around R$ 25 • Gaucho (Just uphill from Bistro), Fill up for R$ 15, Loads of grilled meats • Living, R. Almirante Pedro de Frontim, 11 (Entrance to the village, on the right hand side.), Food and Lounge. Open evenings only, from Monday to Saturday. Happy Hour daily from 17.00 to 20.30. Drink What little action there is into the wee hours, all happens along the side streets of the main square: • Laranja Mecanica, Small beer R$4 • 0031 restaurant, Rua Almirante Tamarandi s/n (at the beach), Phone:86 179 119 [www.003.com], 18.00 , RS 25, International restaurant which is already a wellknown place for over 3 years. Nice ambiance and tasty food. • Secret Spot, Next door to Gaucho, R$ 20, Open evenings only. International menu with strong Italian influence. Highly recommended. Sleep Loads and loads of apartments for rent, mostly in the mid and upper range. Good deals can be found outside the peak and kiting seasons. Mid-range • Cumbuco Guesthouse,  • Cumbuco Hostel,  Casa Cohiba Hotel(Casa Cohiba Hotel), Avenida Central do Cumbuco 2596, Phone:+55 85 8555 1678 , Splurge • Kariri Beach (200 m west of the main square.) , Singles from R$ 150, Good restaurant, large pool area right at the beach. Larger rooms have kitchens. • Vila Gale (At the western outskirts of the village) , Allegedly the largest hotel in the state, this is a full-scale resort. Golf course coming up next. Cope There is an ATM located in the small bakery at the east end of the village, just around the corner from the main square. It is open until around 6pm. The only other ATM in the area is at a gas station (open every day 7 AM - 10 PM, probably the only one ever seen selling kite surfing gear) some 25 minutes walk in the direction of Fortaleza. Any bus leaving from Cumbucos main square passes by.
Cumbuco 71 Contact Slow internet in a couple of shops at R$ 2/hour. Go next References  http:/ / opovo. uol. com. br/ app/ cidades/ 2010/ 09/ 15/ noticiacidades,2042280/ setur-inicia-obra-de-saneamento-e-abastecimento-de-agua-no-cumbuco. shtml  http:/ / www. evitoria. com. br/ servicos-linhas-metropolitanas. php#id9  http:/ / www. cumbuco-guesthouse. com  http:/ / www. cumbuco-hostel. com  http:/ / www. casa-cohiba. com  http:/ / kariribeach. com/  http:/ / www. vilagale. pt/ pages/ hoteis/ ?hotel=26