Brazil Vacation Tips - 5 Things Not To Do

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A Brazil vacation can be a wonderful experience. There is much to see and do in the world's fifth largest country. However, there are also some things that you should not do in order to make the most of your trip to Brazil. This article lists five.

1. Don't drink the water...unless it's bottled and sealed.

Like many developing nations, Brazil's sanitary conditions are less than ideal. You can avoid complications by drinking only bottled water. Make sure that it is delivered to you closed and sealed. Unless you are assured by a trustworthy source, it is also a good idea to avoid raw vegetables.

2. Don't dress like a typical tourist.

Crime rates in Brazilian cities are exceedingly higher than those of large cities in the United States or Europe. Tourists are often prime targets for seasoned criminals. Common sense and extra caution should be used. Get an idea of what Brazilian wear in the places you plan to visit and try to blend in. Try not to call attention to yourself by wearing either expensive clothing or jewelry.

3. Don't go without checking the climate and holiday schedule.

Since Brazil is located in the Southern hemisphere, the seasons are the opposite times of year as those in the United States. Brazil's summer runs from December 22 to March 21 and winter goes from June 22 to September 21. Since Brazil is so large, temperatures vary widely, especially during winter months. Rainy seasons are also at different times of the year. Besides the weather conditions, you will also want to check the holiday schedule. There are quite a few Brazilian holidays related to historical events or religious celebrations. You certainly don't want to travel to Brazil when most things are closed or overly crowded.

4. Don't act like an ugly foreigner.

The term "ugly" refers to your attitude. Don't be ethnocentric. Respect the local culture. Participate in and learn from the traditional events and activities. Mingle with the people. Get to know some of them. It's not that hard. Brazilians are very friendly and usually go out of their way to befriend strangers. Try learning a little Portuguese both before you depart and during your trip. Sure, you'll make mistakes but you will also make friends. Many things will be different. Don't criticize. Take note and learn what it means to be Brazilian.

5. Don't forget to get a tourist visa to Brazil.

On more than one occasion I have seen tourists barred from entering a plane destined for Brazil because they did not have the appropriate visa to Brazil. While there are many countries in the world that allow U.S. citizens to enter without a visa, Brazil is not one of them. The visa applications process it pretty straightforward. Complete the visa application online. Once this has been done, you schedule an appointment at the nearest Brazilian Embassy or Consulate.

At the appointment, you need to present your current U.S. passport with at least six months validity and two adjacent blank visa pages, a recent 2x2 inch photo, a copy of your itinerary and a copy of your driver's license. If you cannot attend the appointment yourself, you can have an authorized third party represent you. This can be a friend, relative, travel agent or visa expediter. Following the five tips above will not only help you to get to Brazil but will help you create a more memorable experience on your vacation to Brazil.

Visit U.S. Passport Service Guide, the experts in expedited passports and visas, to learn how to get a Brazil visa fast and access informative articles about travel to Brazil.

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