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Brazil

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| image=[[Image:Brazil_rio_janeiro.jpg|250px|noframe]]
| location=[[Image:BrazilWorldMap.png|250px|noframe]]
| flag=[[Image:br-flagFlag of Brazil.pngsvg|150px]]
| capital=[[Brasilia]]
| government=Federal Republic
| timezone=UTC -3 (-2 to -4)
}}
 
{{warningbox|For the past several days large scale protests have taken place in at least eleven Brazilian cities. Although most protest activity was peaceful, both police and protestors alike have been injured in clashes. The security response has been measured, but police have used riot control tactics, including tear gas and mounted units, to disperse protestors. 
Tourists should avoid the protests and areas where large gatherings may occur. Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. Tourists in Brazil are urged to monitor local news reports and to plan their activities accordingly.}}
 
'''Brazil''' (Portuguese: ''Brasil''), [http://www.visitbrasil.com/], is the largest country in [[South America]] and fifth largest in the world. Famous for its football (soccer) tradition and its annual Carnaval in [[Rio_de_Janeiro_(city)|Rio de Janeiro]], [[Salvador]], [[Recife]] and [[Olinda]]. It is a country of great diversity, from the bustling urban mosaic of [[São Paulo]] to the infinite cultural energy of [[Pernambuco]] and [[Bahia]], the wilderness of the Amazon rainforest and world-class landmarks such as the [[Iguaçu Falls]], there is plenty to see and to do in Brazil.
==Understand==
'''Music''' plays an important part in Brazilian identity. Styles like ''choro'', ''samba'' and ''bossa nova'' are considered genuinely Brazilian. ''Caipira'' music is also in the roots of ''sertanejo'', the national equivalent to country music. MPB stands for Brazilian Popular Music, which mixes several national styles under a single concept. ''Forró'', a north-eastern happy dancing music style, has also become common nationwide. New urban styles include ''funk'' - name given to a dance music genre from Rio's ''favelas'' that mixes heavy electronic beats and often raunchy rapping - and ''techno-brega'', a crowd-pleaser in northern states, that fuses romantic pop, dance music and caribbean rhythms.
A mixture of martial arts, dance, music and game, '''capoeira''' was created by African slaves brought to Brazil by African slaves, mainly from Portuguese [[Angola]]. Distinguished by vivacious complicated movements and accompanying music, it can be seen and practiced in many Brazilian cities.
In the classical music, the Modern Period is particularly notable, due to the works of composers like Heitor Villa-Lobos and Camargo Guarnieri, who created a typical Brazilian school, mixing elements of the traditional European classical music to the Brazilian rhythms, while other composers like Cláudio Santoro followed the guidelines of the Second School of Vienna. In the Romantic Period, the greatest name was Antonio Carlos Gomes, author of some Italian-styled operas with typical Brazilian themes, like ''Il Guarany'' and ''Lo Schiavo''. In the Classical Period, the most prominent name is José Maurício Nunes Garcia, a priest who wrote both sacred and secular music and was very influenced by the Viennese classical style of the 18th and early 19th century.
Brazil is one of a few countries that uses both 120 and 240 volts for everyday appliances. Expect the voltage to change back and forth as you travel from one place to the next -- even within the same Brazilian state, sometimes even within the same building. There is no physical difference in the electric outlets (power mains) for the two voltages.
Although Brazil has its own type of eletric outlet, almost nobody uses it.Electric outlets usually accept both flat (North American), and round (European) plugs. Otherwise adaptors from flat blades to round pins are easy to find in any supermarket or hardware shop. Some outlets are too narrow for the German "Schuko" plugs. The best makeshift solution is to buy a cheap T-connection and just force your "Schuko" in, -the T will break, but it will work. Very few outlets have a grounding point, and some might not accept newer North American polarized plugs, where one pin is slightly larger. Again, use the cheap T. Near the border with [[Argentina]], you might occasionally find outlets for the Australia/New Zealand-type plug. If crossing the border, you'll probably need this adapter as well.
In 2009/2010, a the '''IEC 60906-1''' was introduced to Brazil and some newer buildings already have it. It is backwards compatible with the Europlug, but it has a receded socket. Again, T-plugs can be used as adapters for other common formats.
* [[Brasilia|Brasília]] - The capital of Brazil, and an architectural spectacle. Noteworthy buildings include a basket-shaped cathedral, the beautiful Arches Palace (seat of the Ministry of Justice) and others.
* [[Florianopolis|Florianópolis]] - The city is located in an island in the Atlantic Ocean in the southern state of Santa Catarina, with lakes, lagoons, amazing nature and more than 40 clean, beautiful, natural beaches. Major destination for Argentines during the summer months.
* [[Fortaleza]] -- The 4th fifth biggest city in Brazil, blessed with beautiful beaches. Home of the Iracema Beach street market. A good base for exploring the beaches of the northeastern coast, including [[Jericoacoara]]. Famed for forró music and comedians.
* [[Manaus]] - Located in the heart of the Amazon, is the capital of [[Amazonas (Brazil)|Amazonas]] State and it is also the biggest city of the Amazon. At Manaus the rivers Negro and Solimões meet to became the Amazonas River. The best place to go to visit the Amazon rainforest. It is a gateway to the Anavilhanas and to Jaú National Park.
*[[Porto Alegre]]-- a major city between Argentina and São Paulo and gateway to Brazil's fabulous Green Canyons.
* Citizens from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay may enter the country with a valid ID card and stay up to 90 days.
* No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days from holders of passports from these countries, unless otherwise indicated: Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Rep., Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR passport, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom (Including British National (Overseas) passport holders), Uruguay , Venezuela (60 days) and Vatican City. Note that the immigration officer has the right to restrict your visa to less than 90 days, if he deems fit. (This has been done routinely for lone male travellers arriving in [[Fortaleza]], allegedly to combat prostitution tourism.) He will then state the number of days (e.g. 60 or 30) in pen writing inside the stamp just given in your passport; if not, it remains as 90 days.
* Citizens from all other countries (complete list [http://www.portalconsular.mre.gov.br/antes/quadro-geral-de-regime-de-vistos-1]) do require a visa. The fees vary depending on reciprocity: for example, US citizens have to pay ''at least'' US$160 for a tourist visa and US$220 for a business visa. As of August 2012, citizens of Canada should expect to pay at least CDN$81.25 for a tourist visa, not including any handling or processing fees. Cost of Brazil visa for citizens of Taiwan or Taiwanese passport holder pay $20 (Reference from Embassy of Brazil in Lima, Peru) and 5 days to process. The reciprocity, however, also frequently applies to visa validity: US citizens can be granted visas valid up to 10 years and, likewise, Canadian citizens for up to 5.
*The requirement to first enter Brazil within 90 days of the issue of the visa now only applies to nationals of Angola, Bahrain, Burma, Cambodia, Cape Verde, China, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, The Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Syria, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Tunisia. '''Failure to enter Brazil within 90 days will invalidate the visa, no matter how long it is otherwise valid for.'''
{{infobox|Entry vs. exit stamps|Immediately after your passport is stamped by the Brazilian Federal Police, ensure that the last number on the right-end of the stamp is a 1an odd number. A number 1 (air)/3 (boat)/5 (car/bus) indicates that you entered the country and a number 2 /4/6 indicates that you exited. Some federal police officers have mistakenly given foreigners the even number 2 stamp upon entering. If you have the even number 2 stamp and try to extend the visa in a city that is not your port of entry, you will be told to return to the city where you received the incorrect stamp so that it may be corrected before you can receive the extension.}}
* By law you are required to produce your outbound ticket upon entry, but this is only enforced in exeptional exceptional cases. Even if you are asked, you could often get away with explaining that you are taking the bus to Argentina, and couldn´t couldn't buy the ticket in, say, Europe.
* If you overstay your tourist visa, you will be fined R$8.28 per day (as of October 2007), for a maximum of 100 days. This means that even if you stay illegally for 5 years, the fine will never exceed R$828. You will be made to pay this at the border crossing. As this can take time, it could be wise to do it a few days up front at a federal police office, especially if you have a domestic to international flight connection. The federal police will then give you 8 days to get out of the country. If you don´t pay your fine upon exiting, you will have to pay the next time you enter. The fact that you have been fined for overstaying in the past does not normally imply future difficulties with immigration, but you´d better keep all receipts and old passports for reference.
===By bus===
Long-distance bus service connects services connect Brazil to its neighboring countries.  The main capitals linked directly by bus are [[Buenos Aires]], [[Asunción]], [[Montevideo]], [[Santiago de Chile]], and [[Lima]]. Direct connections from the first three can also be found easily, but from Lima it might be tricky, though easily accomplished by changing at one of the others. Those typically go to [[São Paulo]], though [[Pelotas]] has good connections too. It should be kept in mind that distances between Sāo Paulo and any foreign capitals are significant, and journeys on the road may take up to 3 days, depending on the distance and accessibility of the destination.  The national land transport authority has listings[https://appweb.antt.gov.br/transp/linha_internacional.asp] in Portuguese on all operating international bus lines, and BuscaOnibus (english version) [http://www.buscaonibusOnlie tickets around the country can be found at brasilbybus.com.br/en] is great to find bus times and prices for most destinations in Brazil.  Green Toad Bus [http://www.greentoadbus.com] offers bus passes between Brazil and neighbouring countries as well as around Brazil itself.
===By boat===
Mostly you have to go to the bus station to buy a ticket, although most major bus companies make reservations and sell tickets by internet with the requirement that you pick up your ticket sometime in advance. In a few cities you can also buy a ticket on the phone and have it delivered to your hotel for an extra charge of some 3-5 reais. Some companies have also adopted the airlines' genius policy of pricing: In a few cases buying early can save you more than 50%. The facility of flagging a bus and hopping on (if there are no available seats you will have to stand, still paying full price) is widespread in the country. This is less likely to work along a few routes where armed robberies have happened frequently, such as those leading to the border with [[Paraguay]] and to [[Foz do Iguaçu]].
There is no one bus company that serves the whole country, so you need to identify the company that connect two cities in particular by calling the bus station of one city. ANTT, the national authority for land transportation, has a search engine [https://appweb.antt.gov.br/transp/secao_duas_localidades.asp] (in Portuguese) for all available domestic bus lines and both BuscaOnibus [http://www.buscaonibus.com.br/en] and Brasilbybus.com[http://www.brasilbybus.com/en-US] have English language websites covering many destinations in Brazil. Be aware that some big cities like São Paulo and Rio have more than one bus station, each one covering certain cities around. It is good to check in advance to which bus station you are going.
Bus services are often sold in three classes: Regular, Executive and First-Class (''Leito'', in Portuguese). Regular may or may not have air conditioning. For long distances or overnight travels, Executive offers more space and a folding board to support your legs. First-Class has even more space and only three seats per row, making enough space to sleep comfortably.
* '''Volleyball''' - While soccer is the main sport in Brazil, is very normal to find spaces on the beaches where you can play beach volleyball, but this version of the sport possess a different code of rules than indoor volleyball (for example instead of six players, only two players are allowed to play on each team).
 
* '''International Charter Group:''' - [http://www.luxuryonlineyachts.com]- Yacht charter and sailing, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in the Brazil. Operating from nine offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).
==Buy==
Foreign currency such as US Dollars or Euros can be exchanged major airports and luxury hotels (bad rates), exchange bureaus and major branches of Banco do Brasil (no other banks), where you need your passport and your immigration form.
Look for an ATM with your credit/debit card logo on it. Large branches of Banco do Brasil (charging R$ 6,50 per no withdrawalfees for credit cards) usually have one, and most all Bradesco, Citibank, BankBoston and HSBC machines will work. Banco 24 Horas is a network of ATMs which accept foreign cards (charging R$ 10 per withdrawal). Withdrawal limits are usually R$ 600 (Bradesco) or R$ 1000 (BB, HSBC, B24H), per transaction, and in any case R$ 1000 per day. The latter can be circumvented by several consecutive withdrawals, choosing different "accounts", i.e. "credit card", "checking", "savings". Note that most ATMs do not work or will only give you R$ 100 after 10 PM.
In smaller towns, it is possible that there is no ATM that accepts foreign cards. You should therefore always carry sufficient cash.
Travellers' checks can be hard to cash anywhere that does not offer currency exchange.
A majority of Brazilian shops now accepts major credit cards. However, quite a few online stores only accept cards issued in Brazil, even though they sport the international logo of such cards.  In Brazil it is very common for credit cards being used like debit card. So, when you pay using card commonly you will hear the question: "Crédito ou débito?(Credit or debit?)". Debit card is like as paying cash. Some places put signs stating a minimum card value payment. This is illegal. Every commercial establishment that accepts card is required to accept payment regardless of the amount. If the merchant that accepts cards refuses to receive the payment due to the low value, call the police or PROCON (consumer protection agency).
Coins are R$0.05, R$0.10, R$0.25, R$0.50 and R$1. Some denominations have several different designs. Images from the central bank of Brazil [http://www.bcb.gov.br/?MOEDAFAM1]. And more [http://www.bcb.gov.br/?MOEDAFAM2]. Bills come in the following denominations: R$1 (being phased out), R$2 , R$5 , R$10 (still a few plastic red and blue around), R$20 R$ 50 and $100. Images from the central bank of Brazil [http://www.bcb.gov.br/?CEDCOMUM].
 
It is also very common to receive the change (pay back) for cents with candies (for example, R$ 0,05 or R$ 0,10).
Starting in the first half of 2010 with the bills of 50 and 100 reais, all Brazilian bills will start circulating with a new design by 2012. You are likely to find both versions circulating together for the next few years.
===Exchange rates===
The Real is a free-floating currency and has become stronger in the past few years. Especially for US citizens, prices (based on exchange rates) have increased quite a bit. As of NovemberJanuary, 619, 2012, R$1 was worth about:
*US$0.49249*€0.383368*£0.307309
There are many federal regulations for dealings with foreign currency, trading in any currency other than Real in Brazil is considered illegal, although some places in big cities and bordering towns accept foreign money and many exchange offices operate in a shady area. In addition, exchange offices are almost impossible to find outside of big cities. Currency other than USD and EUR is hard to exchange and the rates are ridiculous. If you would like to exchange cash at a bank, be prepared to pay a hefty commission. E.g., Banco do Brasil collects US$15 for each transaction (regardless of amount).
===Regional cuisines===
* '''Southern''' - ''Churrasco'' is Brazilian barbecue, and is usually served "rodizio" or "espeto corrido" (all-you-can-eat). Waiters carry huge cuts of meat on steel spits from table to table, and carve off slices onto your plate (use the tongs to grab the meat slice and don't touch the knife edge with your silverware to avoid dulling the edge). Traditionally, you are given a small wooden block colored green on one side and red on the other. When you're ready to eat, put the green side up. When you're too stuffed to even tell the waiter you've had enough, put the red side up... ''Rodizio'' places have a buffet for non-meaty items; beware that in some places, the desserts are not considered part of the main buffet and are charged as a supplement. Most churrasco restaurants (''churrascarias'') also serve other types of food, so it is safe to go there with a friend that is not really fond of meat. While churrascarias are usually fairly expensive places (for Brazilian standards) in the North, Central and the countryside areas of the country they tend to be much cheaper then in the South and big cities, where they are frequented even by the less affluent. Black beans stew (''feijao'' ou ''feijoada'') is also very popular, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, where most restaurants traditionally serve the dish on Saturdays. It comprises black beans cooked with pork meat accompanied by rice and farofa (manioca flour with eggs) and greens fried with garlic.
* '''Mineiro''' is the "miner's" cuisine of [[Minas Gerais]], based on pork and beans, with some vegetables. Dishes from Goiás are similar, but use some local ingredients such as ''pequi'' and ''guariroba''. Minas Gerais cuisine if not seen as particularly tasty, has a "homely" feel that is much cherished.
* The food of '''Bahia''', on the northeast coast has its roots across the Atlantic in East Africa and Indian cuisine. Coconut, dende palm oil, hot peppers, and seafood are the prime ingredients. Tip: hot ("quente") means lots of pepper, cold ("frio") means less or no pepper at all. If you dare to eat it ''hot'' you should try ''acarajé'' (prawn-filled roasties) and vatapá (drinkable black beans soup).
Remember that Portuguese is not Spanish and Brazilians (as well as other Portuguese speakers) feel offended if you do not take this in mind. Both languages can be mutually intelligible to a certain extent, but they differ considerably in phonetics, vocabulary and grammar. It is not a good idea to mix Portuguese with Spanish, don't expect people to understand what you're saying if you (intentionally or unintentionally) insert Spanish words into Portuguese sentences.
It is also noteworthy that the Brazilians are fanatical about football (soccer) and so there are (some times violent) disputes between teams from different cities(and rivalry between teams of the same city), and walking with the shirt of a team in certain areas may be seen as controversial or even dangerous. Speaking ill of the Brazilian national football team is not considered an insult, but you should never praise the Argentine team or compare them both.
Brazil is open to LGBT tourists. São Paulo boasts the biggest LGBT Pride parade in the world, and most major cities will have gay scenes. However, be aware that homophobia is widespread in Brazilian society, and Brazil is not the sexual haven that many foreigners perceive it to be. Couples that in any way don't conform to traditional heterosexual expectations should expect to be open to some verbal harassment and stares if displaying affection in the streets, though several neighborhoods of many of the major cities are very welcoming of the LGBT population, and LGBT-oriented bars and clubs are common. It is best to gather information from locals as to what areas are more conservative and what areas are more progressive.
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