What About São Paulo is my little corner of the internet in which I like to write about all things São Paulo related, where to go, cultural observations and differences. But every now and again I will receive emails from readers curious about navigating Brazil for the first time. As someone who arrived in Brazil with no more than a backpack, a Lonely Planet guide and a shed load of optimism myself, I thought it was about time I wrote a post specifically for backpackers.
Backpacking Tips For Brazil
Brazil is one of the top destinations in the world for backpackers. It is the largest country in South America, has the world’s largest rainforest, and the world’s most famous carnival. So because it’s so popular with backpackers, here are some top tips for those who are planning to travel through Brazil.
Plan Your Travel Time
Brazil is such a large country that the climate can change depending on where you are. Depending on which part of the country you intend to explore it is best to be aware of the rainy seasons. The Backpacking Guide states that in the north it is between January and April, northeast is from April to July and around Rio and São Paulo is from November to March.
If you are not intending to experience Carnival it is best to avoid travelling around this time as prices triple. The carnival begins on the Friday before the beginning of Lent and ends on Ash Wednesday.
Always check if you require a visa to enter, as you don’t want to get stuck at immigration without the right papers. Gap Year informs that most European countries including the UK don’t require a visa. Travelers from America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand do require one. There is also a chance that you will have to present a Yellow Fever Certificate upon arrival.
This blog is all about São Paulo, so let’s take a look at some of the other options for traveling around Brazil. Popular travel blogger Nomadic Matt argues that Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s most iconic cities with the statue of Christ the Redeemer looking down on it. Visitors can go up to the statue and get a great view of the city. The city arguably also has some of the world’s best beaches and beach parties.
Brasilia is the capital of the country. It is a relatively new city as it was founded in 1960. It is famous for its art-deco architecture and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Amazônia National Park is one of the largest in the world covering 3,300 square miles. Tourists can experience the Amazon rainforest either on foot or by a river excursion. The nearest city to the park is Itaituba. A backpacking trip to Brazil is not complete without a visit to the planet’s largest ecological system.
On the border between Brazil and Argentina is one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders: the Iguazu Falls. The Falls are the largest waterfall system in the world. According to CNN, when the former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw the falls she was so impressed she said “poor Niagara.”
Travelling in Brazil
There are two main modes of transports in Brazil: bus and airplane. Travelling from one end of Brazil to the other by bus will take at least two days and is one of the best ways to experience the country. For travelers with less time, flying is recommended and the price is not much more expensive than taking a long distance bus.
One travel tip all travelers should consider when flight short haul was brought to light by parking specialists, Parking4Less who recommend in their post ‘The Top Ten Hidden Costs of Cheap Flights’ to double check your hold and hand luggage allowances. This is especially true for backpackers who often travel with just one large bag. It is best to make sure you also have a small bag that you can keep on your person that contains your passport, phone and other important documents.