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Brazil advice for May 2019?

Happy New Year!
Our family has a few international trips planned for this year. First trip, part of our family (adult travelers) have a work related trip planned for May 2019 to Brazil.
We have a place to stay already and transportation is provided while there. Staying with a host family for a week.

If you have been to Brazil lately, would love any advice or feedback!
Thanks so very much!

Posted by
635 posts

We lived in Brazil for 7 years in the 70s and have visited once since then. I'm willing to give advice and feedback but its a big country. Knowing where are you going to be for the week would be helpful. Have you been there before? Do you want the beach and nature, or big cities? Share a bit more info here or send a pm.

Posted by
121 posts

We are staying in and visiting Divinopolis. Flying into/out of Rio. This is a group of medical folks traveling together; staying with host families. Transportation also provided in Brazil so we don’t have to plan that.

Never been to South America. My brother lived and worked in Peru in the early 80’s and I don’t know anyone else who has traveled to South America continent. Thus we have no direct personal feedback.

Any info or experiences is appreciated.

Happy New Year!

Posted by
635 posts

Thanks for the additional info. I'd not heard of Divinopolis, so that is interesting in itself. First, about flights. If they aren't already booked, I'd consider flying into or out of another city than Rio--say Salvador if you want to explore the culture of the northeast or Manaus for visiting the Amazon. Consider open jaw flights--into one airport out of another. There are international flights to Belo Horizonte, the nearest major airport to Divinopolis. You can use a Brazilian airline for flights within the country.

Near Divionopolis are two colonial towns worth a visit--Ouro Preto and Congonhas--and the big city of Belo. You can read about these places in guidebooks or online.

If you have time and are able to venture further west I'd recommend a visit to Iguaçu Falls. You could fly there from Belo, but may need to connect in Sao Paulo.

And then of course there is Rio. The cathedral downtown, the bonde, the beach, Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugar Loaf, samba schools, and more. Again, all is in a guidebook or online.

Be sure to try feijoada--black beans and rice and smoked meats--and a Brazilian barbecue, churrasco. If you go to Salvador, there are other foods unique to that region.

If you have a Brazilian with you, great. If not mind your p's and q's in the big cities. Good luck. You'll have a great trip.

Let me know if you want something more specific.

Posted by
22 posts

Brazil is great country to see. It's probably the most impressive place I've been to in terms of natural beauty. I am not sure where you are staying but make it a point to see Rio on a clear day. If you have another two days pick one of: Sao Paolo (nightlife, food etc but certainly not nature), Salvador (history and a glimpse into a different side on the country), Iguazu Falls (nature), Manaus/Amazon (nature).

My general advice is to dress down and NOT to show any jewelry or designer clothes or gadgets. You want to dress as though you are poor. Brazil is beautiful but it is a deeply troubled society. Violent crime is a problem and if someone thinks you have money based upon your appearance, you will be in trouble very quickly. I wish I could sugarcoat this but a lot of Brazilians are afraid to go out at night or simply hang out in public spaces. Stick to the tourist areas especially in Rio or Salvador especially. Have your wits about you and be on the ball. Have two wallets, one with stuff you don't mind losing and a little bit of money. Also, learn some Portuguese as English is under spoken there and a few words can go a long way. Also, take Uber everywhere. or the subway (new) in Sao Paolo is fine. Do not take regular taxis if you can help it. And lastly, don't be scared off by anything I just typed. If you remain aware of your surroundings, stay on the beaten path and have street smarts, you'll be fine and have a great time!

Posted by
121 posts

Thank you so very much! We really appreciate the information!