Many people ask us why is it so hard to plan a trip to Brazil, especially to National Parks. First of all, I would like to highlight some of the difficulties of planning and travelling in Brazil, so we can map where we need solutions and then get to the point.
1 – Brazil is too big, so logistics is the number one concern.
Brazil has almost the same size as Europe! Imagine planning to start your trip in Berlin, then head to Lisbon, then a couple of days in London and finish in Rome. That´s how a trip in Brazil may look like when you go for famous attractions and don´t understand logistics and distances inside the country.
Unfortunately, Brazil doesn´t connect the country with trains as Europeans are used to and flight connections are not prepared for the tourism in National Parks, which usually are far from the main capital´s airports. Sometimes schedules doesn´t allow you to connect two destinations in a single day and low-cost fares are quite not that low as well.
As distances are far, costs with transportation are the highest concern when planning a trip to National Parks in Brazil. Not only to get to the destinations, but also to get around to the attractions. Cars, boats and fuel are very expensive in Brazil, so take into consideration that the travel agencies have to face those costs in order to provide good cars, boat experiences and take you to the best hidden places.
Tip 1: Get familiar with the country´s map. Understand, for example, what kind of transportation is available for the trip you are planning and how far southeast (where Rio is) is from north (where the Amazon is) – that is over 4.000km.
2 – Make sure you match your expectations with the right destinations.
Brazil has a lot to offer. When we say that, something very particular pops up in every person´s mind. For Go Green Brazil, we are focused in exploring National Parks to see their nature and culture. But Brazil has a lot to offer in terms of beaches to rest and for romantic trips or lively cities for night-life and traditional tourism to main attractions. Make sure you know which kind of experience you are willing to get, in order to decide the destinations that best fits you.
Among the National Parks, a second thought has to be made according to the activities you are most interested in. If you are a long-term trekking lover, if you are into the Amazon and the indigenous communities’ kind of trip, or a jungle survival, if you are looking for stunning mountains landscapes or to see wildlife.
Tip 2: Read carefully about every destination briefing, so you can decide which are the experiences you are looking for and from that, design your logistics in the country.
3 – Brazil is not very well prepared for international tourists. Be prepared to handle basics in Portuguese.
As a country that doesn´t rely on tourism as a powerful industry, Brazil still has little field for international visitors to be encouraged to travel in the countryside. US Dollars are usually not accepted anywhere, bank cashiers can be hard to find in some small cities and someone speaking English can be rare, even in hotels and local travel agencies.
Maybe the worst part for foreigners is to not have enough information in English in road plates and at bus stations, for example. When you need to find somewhere, make sure you have enough surrounding information, such as an important reference place close to your hotel. If you need to ask for information, people will know if they recognize a supermarket name or a main touristic attraction.
Tip 3: Be prepared with, at least, basic questions in Portuguese so you can look for information when necessary.
4 – Safety.
This may be the greatest concern of every visitor when travelling to Brazil. We are used to see a lot of news about violence in Rio and Brazil in general, which can make us think that this is a dangerous place to visit. However, violence in Brazil is much more related to a poverty situation and robbery, rather than to killing and attempts against people´s life. Visiting touristic attractions, staying in good locations and hiring trustful companies, is far from where violence usually takes place. For this matter, always look for the registered travel agencies, with trustful websites and insurance.
Tip 4: Choose trustful companies to rely your money for touristic services and book hotels with good location reviews. Avoid buying services that are offered to you in the streets.
5 – Best time to visit.
Brazil has very different weather conditions, but in general very pleasant and sunny. The country has 4 different time zones and 6 kinds of biomes, from rainforests to dry mountains, fields and the largest wetlands in the World.
Rain season in generally during summer (December to Feb) in most parts of Brazil, but many destinations are available the whole year, such as Rio, Iguaçu Falls, Chapada Diamantina and the Amazon. Others like Chapada dos Guimarães & Pantanal and Chapada dos Veadeiros are recommended only during dry season (May to September).
The important issue is to notice if the best times in different destinations match, so you can plan and include many destinations in a single trip to Brazil. When making good logistics and combining the best seasons, a great trip to Brazil can have 15 days and 3 destinations in a remarkable experience!
Tip 5: Check the best seasons of every destination here.
For all those reasons, getting a reliable Travel Agency to plan your trip to Brazil is a very good option. You don´t waste your time in a lot of research and have a safe trip, making sure that you are going to have the experiences that best fits your expectations.