TGIF everyone! How are you?! I am so pumped up and excited to bring to you my first post from my Brazilian travels! I decided while in Brazil that I was really going to break these posts up and make it into a type of ‘series’ of posts. When I read travel blogs, I like when the posts are split up into segments because it makes it easier to find what you are looking for. So, instead of having you scroll through one long post, I decided to really break it up and try to give you specific tips and tricks to make the most of your stay in these beautiful places!
So lets get started: Today is all about what you need to know BEFORE arriving in Brazil!
Before you go to Rio or anywhere in Brazil, you have to look up to see if you require a Visa for entry. Abram and I booked our Brazil trip on a whim. Literally. We were going back and forth between places, and were thinking of Brazil one morning. I went to work right after we had talked about it and there was a coin left in the til. It was a Brazilian Real – I felt like it was a sign! So a few days later we booked a flight! It was so exciting and I was so happy but we did no research ahead of time and didn’t know what we were getting ourselves in to! Canadians and Americans are some of the people who 100% NEED a visa in order to enter the country of Brazil.
We found this out without a moment to lose and it caused us to have one week filled with stress and tears (on my part). For a Canadian Citizen who is over the age of 18 that works (part time or full time) and is a student, here is a list of the things you require:
- A letter of intent – explaining your trip and the purpose of your trip
- Itinerary including all accommodations and flights
- A letter from your school stating that you are enrolled full time
- A letter from your employer stating that you are in fact, employed by them
- 3 Months worth of bank statements
- Your latest tax assessment
- New square photos (which must be a specific size, or else your visa will be rejected. I believe it is 50 by 50)
After this, you must express mail your documents INCLUDING YOUR PASSPORT to the Brazilian Consulate. Lets just say that it is super stressful and nerve wracking and something you SHOULD NOT/ CANNOT leave to the last minute.
Another thing you need to look into before heading to Brazil is vaccinations. This is something people easily pass over and are not too concerned about. But in a foreign country where no one speaks English (I am not kidding, no one!) I think I would rather be safe than sorry!
Since we were not travelling to the amazonian areas of Brazil, we didn’t need our Yellow fever vaccination. As well, I was up to date on my tetanus and a few others. I did get my typhoid vaccination and my hepatitis B. These diseases are easily transmitted through food, unclean water, food that has been cleaned with dirty water, ect., Even though I hate needles, it was worth the pain because we ate at some super sketchy places and never experienced any problems!
Finally, the last thing I think you should consider before travelling to Brazil is Travel Insurance. I personally, did not purchase travel insurance, nor have I ever purchased travel insurance. But sadly while I was in Brazil my boyfriend and I got completely robbed. Luckily, my parents insurance covered the cost of everything that was stolen but for some people they may not be so lucky. Purchasing insurance is definitely not for everyone, but there is a high rate of robberies and pick pocketing in Brazil and it is definitely something to consider. For my next trip to south america, I am for sure going to be getting some! Oh and don’t worry, there will be more to come about my boyfriend and I being robbed haha. 🙂
These 3 things are the main things you need to consider doing before heading off to Brazil or before booking a trip. While they may seem like a hassle, it is totally worth it because Brazil is breathtaking! Luckily, your visa is valid for 5 years or until your passport runs out, so I am going to try to get in my fill of this country before mine expires!
I hope you enjoyed my first post in my series of Brazil Travel posts! Stay tuned for the next one which will be all about ARRIVING in Rio!
With Love, Meg
oh and ps. This Gringo Rio site is super helpful if you need another source of info!