Getting around Brazil
Brazil has a great road, boat and flight network and with the distances in the vast country of Brazil often too large to cover by land, most people opt for domestic flights. Shorter distances can be covered by land or sea and give you a chance to discover this varied and beautiful country. During your time in the cities, public transport offers a great way to experience the everyday and explore the city at your own pace. Below you will find some helpful information on the transport available during your Brazil trip.
There’s no way to avoid it, during your Brazil trip you’ll have to travel quite a few kilometres to get from one place to another so the easiest way to do this is by domestic flight. However, Brazil has very high quality flight options and domestic flights can be booked in advance from the UK, often in conjunction with your international flights. If your itinerary requires several domestic flights, an Air Pass is the most affordable option. These are based on one total price for a combination of domestic flights and are often considerably lower than booking separate flights. Air Passes can be difficult to obtain especially for peak travel dates but booking as far as possible in advance gives you the best chance of getting one.
Long Distance Buses
The best way to get around Brazil on land is by bus. There are two types of buses: long distance buses (‘executivo’ buses), and regular buses (‘convencional’ buses). The long distance buses run on schedule and are comfortable, clean and equipped with adjustable seats, air con, a toilet and television to make your journey as pleasant as possible. Regular buses are less luxurious, but do have toilets. We can make reservations for you prior to your trip because buses often only run several times a day and fill up quickly. Bus stations are very well guarded with police officers as well as an information desk and platforms can only be accessed with a ticket.
Private Transfers and Minibuses
Most transfers, either by car or minibus (from airport to hotel, from hotel to bus station), are already included in your Brazil itinerary. If a transfer is included, you’ll read more about it in the daily programme for that particular trip. We will make reservations for transfers for you and confirm these in your documents. The transfers that are not included can either be arranged locally or we can add them in for you.
Rental car reservations are made for routes that are best driven in your own car. An example would be the road between Salvador and Recife during our Coconut Palms and Fishing Villages trip, roads in Southern Pantanal during our Ranches and Rivers tour and the road from Rio during our Colonial drive to Belo Horizonte trip. The roads in these areas are paved and generally well maintained and you’ll receive all the necessary Brazil tourist information before you start driving.
If you are travelling through the Pantanal, The Amazon or to islands just off the coast you will need to take a boat. These are a great way to take in your surroundings at a slower pace.
Taxis are a great choice, especially at night. In the cities they usually have a meter or tariff chart so be sure to check beforehand and ask the driver to turn on the meter. In smaller towns where taxis don’t have meters you’ll need to agree a price. Airport and hotel taxis always charge a little more, but you’ll generally get a cheaper ride if you walk further out. Radio taxis are more luxurious, and many city taxis can hardly fit suitcases (they’re often placed in the seat next to the driver) so only seat two passengers.
Exploring the cities by local bus, or Metro in Rio and Sao Paulo is not only a sustainable option but it’s a great way to explore the city, get your bearings and meet some locals. Fares are inexpensive and services are frequent.
Travelling with Meaning
We like to encourage people to travel in the most meaningful way they can during their time in Brazil. You can explore the places you visit on foot or by public transport where possible and eat in local restaurants and cafes. Not only is this a great way to meet the locals but it also reduces the impact on the environment in an already congested city. When travelling around Brazil, domestic flights are unavoidable so we also recommend offsetting your carbon emissions with a company like Climate Care.