Welcome to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo

Welcome to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are extensively covered by bus services, but in town they can be crowded, uncomfortable and noisy. Rio also has a fleet of min-buses (lotacao) but metered taxis are the quickest form of city transport.

You can hail one in the street almost any time, day or night, but finding one in the rush hour is difficult. For longer journeys and excursions, agree on the price with the driver. Extra charges of 25 % for night fares and Sundays.

An international driving license is required. Traffic lights are high over the middle of the roads and go from green to red surprisingly quick.

Train services connecting Rio, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte are quite reasonable, with sleepers and food available. Express bus services link most Brazilian cities.

Air travel is the most convenient form of transportation. Brazil has one of the largest domestic networks in the world. Main international airlines are Cruzerio do Sul, Varig, Vasp and Transbrasil. Air taxis are available between main centers. Advance reservations between Rio and Sao Paulo and Rio and Brasilia (Ponte Aerea) are not required. Aircraft leave every 20 minutes to half an hour. Flying time to Sao Paulo, 45 minutes.

Welcome to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo

Beer, bottled or draft, is superb; favorite brands are Pilsner, Brahma and Antarctica. Malzbier is a good Brazilian stout.

Most first class hotels have good hairdressing salons. Dry cleaning and laundry services are of a very high standard in major cities; 24 hour dry cleaning service available, mainly in hotels. Most hotels have babysitting services. Toilets are available in hotels, restaurants, bus and ferry terminals. No charge and tip expected; ladies, Senhoras or Damas; men, Cavalheiros.

Many doctors have also trained in the US or Britain and speak good English. Pharmaceuticals available. Drink only bottled water. Outside main cities, mosquitoes can be nuisance.