The long-lasting impression with which most visitors leave Brazil is of carefree, colorful people dancing and celebrating in the street parades at Carnival. Being so vast, larger than the continental United States, Brazil is home to a variety of cultures and topographies. From the Amazon and Pantanal rainforests, to the urban jungle of Sao Paulo. From the wide open spaces of the central plateau around Brasilia and world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, to the secluded mountain towns of Minas Gerais; every experience combined results in an exotic and exciting Latin American holiday destination where the common denominators are samba, sunshine, sultry smiles, and soccer.
Currency: The Brazilian currency is the Real (BRL). The US Dollar is also welcome in most tourist establishments. In the main cities, foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks or cambios. There is an extensive network of ATMs in the country and most major international credit cards are accepted.
Electricity: The electrical current is not standardized in Brazil and can be almost anywhere between 110V and 220V. The most common power points have two sockets, and most will take both round and flat prongs.
Language: The spoken language in Brazil is Portuguese, however Spanish and English are also used in the cities.
Climate: Brazil's weather is quite diverse as there are five different climatic regions: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical, and subtropical. Cities such as Sao Paulo and Brasilia, on the plateau, have a mild climate with temperatures averaging 66°F (19°C). Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Natal, and Salvador on the coast have warmer climates balanced by the Trade Winds. Rio, for example, has an average temperature of around 80°F (26°C), which will climb to over 100°F (38°C) during the summer months, between December and February.
In the southern Brazilian cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba, the subtropical climate is similar to parts of the US and Europe, with frosts occurring in the winter months, between July and August, when temperatures can fall below freezing. Summers are hot, however. Despite the popular image of the Amazon as a region of blistering heat, temperatures rarely rise above 90°F (32°C), and days are generally warm, wet, and humid. The region has two seasons: a rainy season (November to May) and a not-so-rainy season (June to October).