The Gold Trail to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Almost half of South America belongs to Brazil. It is over 8,500,000 square kilometers. It shares its border with 10 different countries, including Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela. One of the world's longest rivers, the Amazon passes through Brazil. This gives way to the Amazon rainforest (the largest rainforest in the world) and a tropical climate in much of the north west of the country. Brazil's highest mountain is Pico de Neblina (2994m/9823ft), with the summit lying just on the Brazilian side of the border with Venezuela. Brazil is also home to the worlds largest wetland at approx 150,000 square kilometers - the Pantanal. The Pantanal also stretches into Bolivia and Paraguay but 90% lies in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.
The time in Brazil spans 3 times zones.
Acre State (Manaus) GMT -4 hours
Brazil Eastern Time (Rio de Janeiro/Sao Paulo/Brasilia) GMT -3 hours
Brazil Fernando de Noronha Archipelago GMT -2 hours
The national language of Brazil is Portugese. The local guides will speak reasonable English but we recommend that you take a Portugese phrase book with you and learn some basic phrases and greetings. Everyone appreciates it when visitors take the trouble to speak the local language.
Manaus, Amazon - The basin of the Rio Negro is characterized by a hot, tropical climate. Rainfall occurs year round but the intensity is somewhat seasonal, with less rain during the summer (Northern Winter). During dry periods it can become quite difficult to navigate the tributaries of the Rio Negro. Temperatures vary little throughout the year and we can expect daytime maxima of 33 degrees centigrade at Manaus, falling to 23 degrees centigrade at night. During the trek and while on the tepui, the temperatures will vary between a humid 20 and 30 degrees centigrade, falling to 10 degrees centigrade at night.
Brazil's unit of currency is the Real For up to date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com
If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs or large amounts of beer or soft drinks you should budget accordingly It is not necessary to purchase Reals outside the country. Your travel money should be carried in the form of cash in US dollars. Money can be exchanged at the airport on arrival and in the major towns. It is also possible to withdraw cash from ATMs (including at the airport).
For entry into Brazil, you must have a full passport that has at least 6 months remaining validity. Citizens of the UK and most European Union countries, do not require a visa if the intended stay in Brazil is less than 90 days. Citizens of the USA and Canada do require a tourist visa to enter Brazil. Visas are valid for 90 days from the date of issue and are good for stays up to 90 days. Please contact the Brazilian embassy in your country for further information on obtaining a visa.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis ‘A'. Malarial prophylaxis and Yellow fever vaccination are required if going to the Amazon rainforest and various other areas in Brazil. A very good online resource is the National Health Travellers website at fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Additional Sources of Information
Brazil - Lonely Planet. Nick Selby et al.
Brazilian Adventure. Peter Fleming.
Travellers Tales - Brazil Scott Doggett.
The Naturalist on the River Amazons. Henry Bates
Brazil - Amazon and Pantanal: Travellers' Wildlife Guide. David L. Pearson
ITMB - International Travel Maps. 1:3,300,000