Travel Facts

City Codes
GIG: Rio de Janeiro
GRU: Sao Paulo
BSB: Brasilia
BHZ: Belo Horizonte
BEL: Belem
CGB: Cuiaba
MAO: Manaus
IGU: Foz do Iguaçu
REC: Recife
SSA: Salvador
Entry requirements: Passport and visa (photo required plus US$45 fee). Visa can be obtained through any Brazililan Consulate. Proof of return or ongoing ticket must also be presented, and passport must have at least six month's validity remaining.
Taxes/Surcharges: International departure tax: $36 Hotel taxes and service charges: 10%
Tipping: If not already on bill restaurant tips of 10% are customary. Taxis are not tipped.
Currency: Real. Bank hours are Mon.-Fri., 10-4:30 p.m. ATMs are convenient, major credit cards widely accepted.
Shopping: Brazil is famous for jewelry and gemstones. The semi-precious stones include: aquamarines, tourmalines, amethyst, topaz, and emeralds. There are also Brazilian diamonds. Mines are located in the state of Minas Gerais. In Rio visits can be made to the gem factories with transportation provided from hotels free of charge. For souvenirs and artisan crafts the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) and several chain establishments such as Folclore have retails shops in the major cities, resorts, and airports. Ceramics, tropical hardwood carvings, Afro-Brazilian handiwork and Indian artistry are popular visitor purchases. Rio's sexy "tanga" bathing suits make an eye-catching souvenir. The "Hippy Market," Rio's open-air Sunday flea-market, overflows with arts, crafts and souvenirs. Major shops hours: Monday-Friday 9-6:30pm, Saturday 9-1:30pm.
Food and Drink: Feijoada, the national dish, is a savory combination of exotic spices and mixed meats (beef, sausage, etc.) and rice and beans. Exotic dishes like African inspired vatapá (seafood sautéed in coconut and oil) are found along the coast, and in the far south pampas-style churrasco or grilled steak is popular. The "rodezio" style churrascarias are an event in themselves - waiters roam the restaurant with huge skewers of all cuts served "all-you-can-eat-style." Sao Paulo's large Japanese population provides the city with great Asian dining. Tropical fruits, ice creams, juices and cheese are excellent year 'round. Guarana is Brazil's original nutty-tasting bottled soda drink. Cachaça is Brazil's omnipresent cane liquor. National beers are excellent. Lunch is often the day's main meal, so many moderate-priced establishments close for the evening. Cafezinho (robust Brazilian coffee in a demitasse) is drunk and offered everywhere around the clock. Hearty portions of everything should be anticipated.
Telephone Area Codes:(55) country code; GIG (21), GRU (11), BSB (61), BHZ (31), MAO (92), BEL (91), CGB (65), REC (81), IGU (455), SSA (71).

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