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General
information about
travel to Brazil

Weather information from Brazil, about the currency, holidays, besides time zones, electrical current, language and business hours.

Climate and weather in Brazil

Because of its geographical location, seasons in Brazil are in the reverse period of the year compared to the United States:

  • Spring – September 22 to December 21
  • Summer – December 22 to March 21
  • Autumn – March 22 to June 21
  • Winter – June 22 to September 21

Most of the country’s climate is tropical. Plateau cities such as São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Brasília have mild climates averaging 66ºF. Coastal cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Salvador have tropical climates with warm temperatures offset by the constant sea breeze; the average temperature is in the eighties.

While most of the country experiences no significant seasonal variation because it lies within the tropics, in the Southern region temperatures during winter can drop below freezing.

Temperatures in the Amazon region range in the mid-seventies, while rainfalls total more than 118 inches a year.

Electrical Current

Voltage is not standard throughout the country. Most cities, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Manaus, Salvador, use 110/127V electricity. Brasília, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Recife, and São Luis use 220V electricity.

Currency

The Brazilian monetary unit is the Real (R$). Official exchange rate is published daily in newspapers. Cash and traveler’s checks are easily exchanged at hotel cashiers, banks, and travel agencies.

Language

Portuguese is the national language. Brazil is the largest Lusophone country in the world, and the only one in the Americas.

Business Hours

Most shops in Brazil open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 or 7:00 p.m., except on Sundays. Shopping centers stay open as late as 10:00 p.m., and are open on Sundays and most of the holidays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Banks open from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm Mondays through Fridays in most parts of the country, with slight regional variations.

Public Holidays

  • January 1 – New Year
  • February and March – Carnival: Dates vary.
  • Easter: Dates vary.
  • April 21 – Tiradentes, a national hero, is commemorated on the date he was executed, in 1792, for leading a conspiracy to break Brazil free from Portuguese rule.
  • May 1 – Labor Day
  • June – Corpus Christi: Corpus Christi, a moveable feast, is celebrated all over Brazil with traditional Catholic rites and processions which have touristic appeal especially thanks to the decorated carpets created in the streets for the occasion.
  • September 7 – Brazil’s National Day
  • October 12 – Our Lady Aparecida’s Day (Brazil Patron Saint’s Day)
  • November 2 – All Souls Day
  • November 15 – Proclamation of the Republic
  • December 25 – Christmas Day

Tipping

Most restaurants and bars include a 10% service charge on the bill. It is customary to leave a bit extra for good service. When not included on the bill, 10-15% is the general tipping rule.

Time Zones

Brasília official time – BRT (UTC-03)

The main time zone of Brazil corresponds to the time at Brasília. All the other time zones are given as offsets to it. Outside of summer time, it corresponds to UTC-03; during summer time, it changes to UTC-02, but this change is not followed by all states. It comprises the states in the Southeast Region, the South Region and the Northeast Region (except some islands), the states of Goiás, Tocantins, Pará, and Amapá, plus the Federal District.​​

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