Many people ask us if it is hard to plan a trip to Brazil, especially to National Parks. First of all, I would like to identify some of the issues in planning and traveling within Brazil, so we can map where we need solutions and then get to the point.
1 – Brazil is big, so logistics are THE concern.
Brazil is almost the same size as Europe! Imagine starting your trip in Berlin, then going to Lisbon, then a couple of days in London and finishing in Rome. That´ s how a Brazil trip may look like when you target famous attractions and don´t understand logistics and distances within the country.
Brazil’s trains do not connect the country as Europeans are used to and National Parks are usually far from the main airports. Sometimes schedule doesn´t allow you to get to two destinations in a single day and in certain seasons “low-cost” fares are not that low.
With long distances, transportation costs can be high when visiting Brazil National Parks. Cars, boats and fuel for local transportation can be very expensive in Brazil, so consider that travel agencies have to absorb those costs to provide quality cars, and safe boating experiences, to get you to those perfect places that make a trip unforgettable.
Tip 1: Get familiar with a map of Brazil. 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. [Do a lot of research on Brazil travel logistics or hire an expert to do it for you.]
2 – Match your expectations with the right destinations.
Brazil has a lot to offer. When we say that, every person´s has a different “ideal destination”. For Go Green Brazil, we are focused on exploring environment and local culture of National Parks. But Brazil also offers beautiful beaches, romantic destinations and lively cities for night-life and the big attractions. Make sure you know which kind of experience you want, to decide which destination best fits you.
Among the National Parks, which activities are you most interested in? Are you a seasoned hiker, do you crave to see the Amazon and local indigenous communities, or is it jungle survival, stunning mountain landscapes or to see wildlife.
Tip 2: Read carefully every destination briefing, so you can decide which experiences you are looking for.
3 – Many Brazilians do not speak English – Brazil is not Venice. Be prepared to handle basics in Portuguese and bring a translation tool.
Brazil doesn´t rely on tourism, which means international visitors need to be resourceful when traveling off the beaten path. US Dollars are usually not accepted, ATMs and bank cashiers can be hard to find in some small cities. English speakers can be rare, even at hotels and transportation centers, and signage on roads will not typically be in English
When you need to orient yourself, make sure you notice nearby reference points (supermarket, museum, etc) close to your hotel/destination.
Tip 3: Be prepared for basic question/answers in Portuguese so you can get the information you need.
4 – Safety.
Safety is a concern of every visitor when traveling. We see a lot of news about violence in Rio and Brazil in general, which suggests Brazil is a dangerous place to visit. However, violence in Brazil (as in many places) is associated with poverty and low-income neighborhoods. Visiting touristic attractions, and staying in good locations makes the risk violence remote. Always rely on registered, experienced travel agencies, for the best results.
Tip 4: Choose experienced companies to plan touristic services and book hotels with good location reviews. Avoid services offered to you on the streets.
5 – Best time to visit.
Brazil has different weather conditions, but in general very pleasant and sunny. The country has 4 different time zones and 6 kinds of biomes, from rainforests (Amazon and the Atlantic Rain Forest) to dry mountains (Caatinga – Chapada Diamantina), the mountains in the south (Aparados da Serra), tropical savannah (Cerrado – Chapada dos Guimarães) and the largest wetlands (Pantanal) in the world.
Rainy season is generally during summer (December to Feb) in most parts of Brazil, but many destinations are pleasant the whole year, such as Rio, Iguaçu Falls, Chapada Diamantina and the Amazon. Others like Chapada dos Guimarães & Pantanal, Lençois Maranhenses and Chapada dos Veadeiros are recommended only during dry season (May to September).
Match the best seasons in each destination, so you can travel to multiple destinations in a single trip to Brazil. Combining good logistics and the best seasons, a remarkable trip to Brazil could last 15 days with 3 distinct destinations!
Tip 5: Determine the best seasons for each desired destination.
For all the above reasons, using a reliable Travel Agency to plan your trip to Brazil is highly recommended. You benefit from the best experiences Brazil can offer, ones that meet your highest expectations and also enjoy a safe and hassle-free vacation, avoiding lots of time-consuming research. Contact us for more info!