Brazil accepts tourists from all over the world under the eligibility of a pre-requested Visa. There are different kinds of Visas, the most popular being the tourist and business. If you’re traveling for some other purpose, (example, educational, research or other) check with your Consulate prior to application. Keep in mind that it is unlawful to engage in business or professional activities in Brazil on a tourist visa. Ask your travel agent or consult the nearest Brazilian consulate/embassy.
The Brazilian currency is called “Real” (“heh-ALL”). The Atm and Bank network throughout Brazil will accept most of the bank/credit card network/operators. Cash and traveler checks can be exchanged in banks and exchange shops. Remember to keep your money in safe deposit boxes and go out only with the necessary amount for your daily needs. Check exchange rates here.
Brazil has a wide variety of food therefore an even wider variety of restaurants, bars, cafes, delis, bakeries, markets and supermarkets. Good quality meals will range from U$ 5 to U$ 30 (top restaurants). Seafood is very cheap and mostly appreciated in most of the coastal cities and in Florianopolis you can get a dozen of oysters for about U$ 3. Besides that, it is possible to please almost any taste, going form fast food or pizza places to fancy international restaurants. The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcoholic beverages is 18, and a beer costs about U$ 1.5 (600 ml), and a soda or juice about U$ 1.
Buses are totally safe and cheap (for about aU$1 you can go to any beach). Taxis can easily be found and are safe too, but make sure you come up to a price before you leave to your destination. In Florianopolis hitchhiking is still safe and a lot of people actually stop. Car and motorcycle rental are also available with prices starting around U$ 20 a day.
Winter time (June to August): Bring warm clothes such as pullovers, a rain coat, sweaters and pants to use during the mornings and the coldest days when the temperatures sometimes can get as low as 10ºC (50ºF) or lower. Summer (from November to February): you should bring only light clothes, but a rain coat can be useful for the tropical rains that fall in this time of year. Don’t forget sunscreen since the sun can get very intense in this time of the year. Mid-season: In these portions of the year the coastal areas will present warm days and cooler nights, so it is safe to pack a few warmer clothes as well as light ones.
Santa Catarina is a well developed state and it has a very good commerce structure. All kinds of shops and markets can be found with cheap products. Internet is spread all over in cyber-cafes, even in the smallest towns. There is good road access to most of the beaches and city areas. Police stations (dial 190) can easily be found and will assist the tourist in any case of emergency. Many tourist information booths are located at the main tourist areas.
Brazil has an excellent network of private hospitals and clinics in the major cities. Private medical assistance can be more expensive, but Brazil has a public health service that will look after foreign visitors in an emergency. Medical Insurance is recomended for all visitors. Usually vaccinations against Yellow Fever are not required when traveling to Brazil but there are some exceptions and some recommendations. For persons arriving from or having passed thru the following countries, within three months, a Yellow Fever International Immunization Certificate will be required. These certificates take 10 days to become effective and are valid for 10 years. - Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina, Cameroon, Columbia, Congo, Ecuador, Guyana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Venezuela and Zaire. It is recommended however that all travelers anticipating the visitation to the following states in Brazil be vaccinated. - Acre, Amazonas, Amapa, Distrito Federal, Goias, Maranho, Mato Grasso do Sul, Para, Rondonia and Tocantins.
Brazil is no more dangerous than anywhere in Europe or North America and violent crimes against tourists or foreign visitors are extremely rare. Brazil is also politically stable with no natural enemies and no terrorist activities. The crime tourists are most likely to fall victim to in Brazilian cities is robbery and pick pocketing, so do not leave your belongings unattended and do not wear jewelry in the streets. Always leave travelers checks, passports, air tickets and the like in the hotel safe deposit box. Visitors should however carry some form of ID, such as a photocopy of their passports, with them at all times.