Travel to Brazil
Business Travel to Brazil
Sooner or later you want to travel to Brazil, a nation of 165 million people that is larger than the continental U.S. Most Fortune 500 companies have been in Brazil for many years. Here are our travel tips and hints:
Getting to Brazil by Air
Main gateways for Brazil are São Paulo (more business) and Rio de Janeiro (more tourism). From these cities you can make connections to anywhere in the country, as well as to other countries in South America. Both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have 2 airports each, an International one and a National one. Some northern locations such as Manaus and Recife do have also direct flights from the United States and Europe.
Visa for Travel to Brazil
Tourist Visa. This type of Visa can be issued to persons traveling to Brazil as long as the visitor has no intention to remain indefinitely in the country or engage in any paid activity. Many countries in Europe have a visa waiver. USA citizens do need a visa!
Business Visa. This type of visa can be issued to persons who wish to travel to Brazil for short- term professional purposes that do not involve payment of wages, salary or financial compensation from a Brazilian entity. It is applicable to short- term business trips. Business Visas can be issued with a validity of up to 5 years and allow for stays of up to 90 days, with multiple entries. Many countries in Europe have a business visa waiver. USA citizens do need a visa! For detailed information visit the Brazilian consulate website.
Brazil Climate and Weather
There are five climatic regions in Brazil: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical and subtropical. The seasons are the reverse of those in Europe and the United States. Cities such as Sao Paulo and Brasilia, on the plateau, have a mild climate with temperatures averaging 66°F (19°C). Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Natal and Salvador on the coast have warmer climates. Click here for Brazil Weather.
The Brazilian monetary unit is the real (BRL), plural reais. There are 100 centavos to the real. The US dollar is also welcome in most tourist establishments. In the main cities foreign currencies and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks or “cambios”. There is an extensive network of ATMs in the country and most major international credit cards are accepted. For current exchange rates please check our currency converter.
Do not underestimate the language barrier …… Brazilians speak Portuguese, and Portuguese IS NOT Spanish. Many Brazilians speak English, but only a few have your level of fluency. Do not proceed unless you are convinced that the other parties understand you very clearly, either personally or through an interpreter that you trust. Be careful when Brazilians tell you they understand you “perfectly”. They are so polite….
Doing business in Sao Paulo
Corporate offices are vastly spread out, and automobiles are the only way to move around. Schedule your meetings according to location, as you would do in Los Angeles. There are top hotels in different parts of town, so find out where in the city you need to be. Big name hotels are excellent and there are many good smaller hotels and flats or apart-hotels. São Paulo starts early and stays up late. Normal working hours are 8am to 6pm; lunch is at noon. Some restaurants don’t open until 21:00. Business attire is equivalent to the U.S. (suits), but is becoming more informal (no tie, short sleeves). If in doubt, wear a suit. If possible, ask first. .
Going around Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro
For local transport, don’t even think of renting a car. Always ask suggestions from the people you will meet. Easiest way to get around is by cab. It may even be advantageous to hire a Taxi for hours or days as your need may be. Drivers will usually agree to take you on trips to locations within 2 or 3 hours driving; don’t forget to negotiate the price ahead of time, and tip 10 to 15%. A way to increase your productivity is to use a temporary office and invite people to come to visit you. .