A passport and visa are required. Brazilian visas
must be obtained in advance. Immigration authorities
will not allow entry into Brazil without a valid visa.
Minors (under 18) traveling alone, with one parent
or with a third party, must present written authorization
by the absent parent(s) or legal guardian, specifically
granting permission to travel alone, with one parent
or with a third party.
This authorization must be notarized, authenticated
by the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate, and translated
into Portuguese. All those traveling on business do
need a visa (except nationals of the UK who will be
granted an appropriate business visa on arrival, provided
holding a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient
funds to cover duration of stay).
Passports valid for at least 6 months from date of
entry required by all except nationals of Argentina,
Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay arriving in Brazil directly
from their own countries and holding a national identity
The Polícia Federal handles visa extensions
and they have offices in the major Brazilian cities.
Go for an extension about 15 days before your current
visa expires. In most cases a visa extension is pretty
automatic. The police require a ticket out of the
country and proof of sufficient funds.
When applying for an extension, you will be told
to go to a papelaria (stationary shop) and buy a DARF
form. (Sometimes this isn’t necessary; it depends
on the office you go to.) After filling it out, you
must then go to a Banco do Brasil (or another bank
nearby) and pay a fee of about US$20. You then return
to the Polícia Federal with the DARF form stamped
by the bank. The extension should then be routinely
Brazilian embassies and consulates are maintained
in the following countries:
19 Forster Crescent, yarralumla, ACT 2600. ((062)732-3772)
255 Albert ST, Suite 900, Ottawa, Ontario KIP –
34 Cours Albert, ler, 75008 Paris ((1)259-9250)
Kurfürstendamm 11, 1 Stock, 1 Berlin 15 ((49)307-26280)
32 Green St, London W1Y 4 AT((0171)499-0877)
630 Fifth Ave, Suite 2720, New York, NY 10111 ((212)757-3080)
Los Angeles ((213)651-2664)
San Francisco ((212)981-1870)
Please use the following links to help you plan your
Embassies In The US
Around The World
The following link directs you to the US State Department
Passport Service & Information web page. This
page should answer all of your questions relating
to getting a passport, renewing your passport, etc.
State Department Passport Service & Information
If you are looking for inexpensive fares to Latin America
or Europe, we recommend that you check with:
It is a good idea to make a photocopy of the front
page of your passport and the page with your entry stamp,
as well as any other essential documents you may have.
It is better to not carry around the originals. By law
you must carry a passport with you at all times, but
many travelers opt to carry a certified photocopy. A
credit card is quite handy, as is a Hostelling International
card if you plan to use the albergues da juventude (youth
hostels). To rent a car you must have a credit card
and a valid driver’s license.
It’s convenient to have several extra passport
photographs for any documents or visas you might acquire
in Brazil. As a back up for emergencies, it’s
handy to have photocopies of the following: your passport
(including relevant visas), tourist card (provided when
entering Brazil), traveler’s cheque numbers, and
Money, Finances and Exchange
The Brazilian currency is called the Real (R$) and
its value to the dollar changes daily. For the past
year it has ranged around R$ 3,00 (three Reais) to the
dollar. The current rate can be found at www.ljsp.com/currency/htm
While in Brazil the best place to exchange money is
at a "Casa de Câmbio" or exchange house.
Most travel agencies work as exchange houses, and there
are several in Florianópolis. They hold fairly
normal business hours, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Many
banks do not exchange money and those that do apply
the official rate, which is usually lower. Bank hours
are: 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
We recommend you bring a combination of US dollars
(easiest currency to exchange) and US dollar-denominated
travelers checks. Do not expect to cash personal checks.
All major credit cards are widely accepted and there
are many ATMs where it is possible to get cash using
your credit card.
Due to its continental proportions, Brazil has several
different climatic zones. Florianópolis has quite
warm weather during most of the year.
- The spring months, September to November, have warm
temperatures ranging from approximately 20º to
30º Celsius (77º to 95º Fahrenheit),
and are normally dry. For much of this season shorts
and t-shirts are comfortable during the day, although
sometimes it does get cooler, and you’ll need
a light jacket in the evening.
- Summer includes the months from December through
February and is quite warm. Temperatures often reach
above 32º Celsius (90º Fahrenheit) during
the heat of the day, and evenings can be hot and humid
too. It is advisable to bring light clothes, and a lot
- The fall includes the months of March, April and
May and is very pleasant. Temperatures can vary from
20º to 30º Celsius (68º to 86º Fahrenheit),
and it can rain occasionally. For this season you should
bring summer clothes along with a warm jacket and a
sweater or fleece for cool days or evenings.
- Winters (June, July, August) are mild in Florianópolis.
Temperatures during the day usually range between 15º
and 25º Celsius (59º and 77º Fahrenheit).
Although you should bring warm clothing, there is no
need for the heavy attire used for American or European
Brazil has some of the best medical services in Latin
America (in the private sector). It is not advisable
to use the public hospitals as they are typically under
funded. It is a good idea to contract traveler’s
insurance prior to leaving home. No vaccinations are
required to enter the country. Here are a few useful
- Use plenty of sunscreen when outside for any length
of time, especially at the beach. The sun can be strong
and you may get more than that longed-for tan.
- While in Florianópolis, you shouldn’t
drink water straight from the tap. Although it is treated,
it still has microorganisms. Most people have water
filters in their homes, and it is safe to drink from
them. While on the street, drink bottled water.
- Food cooked by your host family or in restaurants
is usually safe, but it is not advisable to eat food
cooked on the street or in eateries that look questionable.
- Unlike the U.S. and Europe many normally prescribed
medicines can be purchased over the counter at any pharmacy.
Shaking hands is the customary way of saying both hello
and good-bye between men; otherwise two kisses on the
cheek (one on each side) are common. It is always very
kind to bring a small gift when paying a visit. Suggestions
for gifts are: candy, a bottle of liquor, or something
local from your hometown.
There are internet cafes all over Florianópolis.
There is one close to the school and several in the
downtown area and in different suburbs. The price for
one hour is about US$1,00.
There are many card-operated public telephones in the
city. To make international calls, you will need an
international calling card or a local prepaid telephone
card. Telephone cards are sold at many kiosks and newsstands
and can be purchased for different amounts. The cards
may be used in either public or private phones simply
by calling the company indicated on the card. Long-distance
operators speak Portuguese, English and Spanish.
It takes about a week to receive a letter from the U.S.
or Europe. Letters from Brazil take about the same to
reach the U.S. and Europe. You may use the school’s
address to have mail sent to you. If you are in a hurry,
there are special mail services that deliver within
three or four days that are cheaper than the usual courier
services (DHL, Fedex or UPS).
For most Brazilians, breakfast consists of a cup of
coffee and a slice of French bread with butter or cheese,
or fruit. The big meal is midday.
Lunch is traditionally eaten between 12:00 PM and 2:00
PM. Many restaurants offer buffets where you pay by
the weight. You may help yourself to as much food among
those offered and your plate is weighed before you go
to your table. Prices vary a lot depending on the kind
of restaurant and the foods offered. Restaurants offering
regular menus are also available, but they are usually