Brazil Visa, Passport and Money Advice
When you’re planning a trip to Brazil, it’s important to get to grips with all the necessary currency, visa and passport information before you depart for your trip. Below we have compiled all the information you’ll need for a smooth trip.
Visa & Passports
If you have a valid British passport, you won’t need a visa to visit Brazil. However, it’s important to check that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your return date, make sure you have a return ticket and proof of sufficient funds may be requested on arrival.
You’ll be allowed to stay up to 30 days or 90 days upon request at customs. If you plan on travelling to other Latin American countries before continuing on to Brazil, you may need to present proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever so please check with the relevant embassy before you travel.
Flying via the USA
If you’re flying to Brazil via the USA and want to use the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), you will need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System Travel Authorization) in advance. All travellers on UK passports (including children and infants) must have an individual machine-readable passport and must complete an ESTA prior to departure. Without an approved ESTA, you could be denied entry into the US and therefore denied boarding your flight(s). It’s worth also checking the US embassy ESTA for current customs regulations, as they change frequently.
The local currency is the Brazilian Real (BRL) however most payments can be made in US Dollars, so it’s worth bringing some with you. We suggest taking cash in small denominations, for instance $20 bills, and making sure they are untarnished – otherwise they will not be accepted.
Travellers cheques can be cashed at banks, however it can be time consuming, commissions are steep and you won’t receive the best exchange rates. You can also exchange money at small street offices and Casas de Cambio.
Credit and Debit Cards
You can withdraw cash from ATMs with your credit or debit card and you’ll find Banco do Brasil, HSBC and Citibank in most major cities. Cards with Visa, Cirrus/Maestro symbols are accepted and you can withdraw US dollars or local currency. Euros are also accepted in larger cities, but you won’t receive the best exchange rate.
Many places accept credit or debit cards, especially Visa, but also MasterCard and Amex. This usually costs 8 to 10% in commission, so it’s better to withdraw cash to make payments.
Tips and Haggling
When travelling in Brazil, you’ll find that the service charge is included in the price meals at more expensive restaurants and where it isn’t, 10% is usually customary to tip. There’s no need to tip taxi drivers, just make sure you agree on a fair price beforehand. After a jungle excursion it’s customary to give a tip to your guide at the end for good service.