I’m baaaaaack – Amidst my break from blogging, I rejoined the workforce, spent time with family and friends, and lost inspiration to write due to mandatory overtime, the slow deterioration of summer weather and binge watching Shameless. But this I promise you, I will come back weekly, as I have moved back to the land of endless beaches and my writer’s block will slowly fade away as I stare into this blue abyss.
Each week I will attempt to switch it up throughout my topics, whether it be traveling tips, self help rants, recipes to try, music to listen to, or new DIY projects to attempt. This week, I want to talk about something that many people have been asking me about, how to visit me in Brazil! Of course, if you want to see some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth, it only makes sense that the governments make it difficult for us. But if I can do this meticulous process, so can you.
Here is an open invitation to fly on down to Rio de Janeiro, or wherever you want to go, and explore the beauty of Brazil with me! This country is one of the best I have entered thus far, and I want everyone to experience this magic once in their lifetime. So come, let’s drink caipirinhas beach side, eat coxinhas and acai, cure our hangovers with agua de coco and listen to me butcher the Portuguese language.. What you need to know:
You need a passport and visa
You need to plan, but also not really plan. All of the government documents that will allow you to pass through customs need to be planned ahead of time, as well as your flight. Yes, the passport and the tourist visa are two different things. If you don’t already have a passport, you need to apply for one by following the instructions here. The passport usually takes upwards to 4 months to arrive, and you need to give your passport to the Brazilian Consulate in order to have the visa printed. The visa process is extremely tedious, but pretty self explanatory. If you’re just going to be a tourist for a week or two, follow the instructions from the Brazilian Consulate’s website. You basically need to give the consulate your passport, the application receipt (signed with your passport photo attached), a copy of your plane ticket, a photocopy of your license, a copy of your immunizations, (Wisconsin residents can obtain that information here), a money order from USPS for $160 (U.S. citizens), and a pre-addressed return expedite envelope from FedEx that the consulate will use to mail you your passport. You can either mail all of these documents to the consulate or physically go and talk to someone to make sure you did everything right. If you mail your information in and you’re missing something, the consulate will mail you back your documents and this will delay your visa process. Give yourself enough time. I personally dropped off all of these documents and received my visa in the mail 12 days later. After this process, you can begin planning where you want to stay, what you want to do etc.
You need an open minded attitude
For starters, the official language in Brazil is Portuguese. It would be a good idea to learn some basics before entering the country, and no, Spanish is not the same as Portuguese. You also should know that Brazil is a very relaxed country, so leave your “I want it and I want it now” mentality in the U.S. You will enjoy yourself more if you take things slow, have patience and prepare for some inefficiency. Most days you eat dinner after 9pm and stay up late, even if you’re just chillen at someone’s house. Sometimes the bus shows up 2 hours late or not at all. Many times there is no toilet paper in the bathroom. Takes things as is and you will have the best time.
You don’t need much money
Your biggest expense will most likely be the plane ticket and a hotel if you choose to stay in one – there are other options of course. Other than that, the USD to Brazilian Real changes daily, but usually hovers around $1 to R$3.20. You can blow money down here without breaking your bank. Public transportation makes everything cheaper and is a great way to see everything you want in the short time you will visit.
Of course, I don’t expect everyone to love Brazil as much as me, but if you’re up for an adventure…come visit me!!