Brazil

Brazil

Use High Level of Caution

The Federative Republic of Brazil is Latin America's largest country and the world's fifth largest country, located on the east coast of South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, stretching from Venezuela in the north to Uruguay in the south, and west as far as Peru and Bolivia. The population is about 191,000,000 people.

The government is a federal republic with a federal district and 26 states. The head of state and head of government is a president.

Most Brazilians are now middle class, and the strong and developing economy is said to be the largest in South America. Brazil is geographically diverse with beaches, tropical islands, forests, wetlands, mountains, savannahs, and jungles. As a tourist destination, Brazil is known for the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Ipanema Beach, colonial towns, and many other beaches and water sports.

Currency BRL: Real
Language Portuguese
Capital Brasilia
Recent Alerts 8
Latest Alert November 09, 2019 - Zika in the Americas

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Brazil. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Malaria

In the states outside the administrative region of the Amazon basin, the risk of malaria transmission is negligible or non‐existent. Malaria risk is present in most forested areas below 900 meters within the nine states of the Amazon region (Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Maranhão (western part), Mato Grosso (northern part), Pará (except Belém City), Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins (western part). Transmission intensity varies from one municipality to another, and is higher in jungle mining areas, in agricultural settlements, in indigenous areas and in some peripheral urban areas of Cruzeiro do Sul, Manaus and Pôrto Velho. Malaria also occurs on the periphery of large cities such as Boa Vista, Macapá, Maraba, Rio Branco and Santarém.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks are common in almost every state in Brazil, and the risk to travellers is significant.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs in Brazil, especially in the northern and eastern regions in rural areas during heavy rains and flooding.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Brazil.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Brazil, particularly in the northeast.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Brazil, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives.

Yellow Fever

There is a risk of yellow fever transmission in Brazil.

Schistosomiasis

The parasite that causes schistosomiasis is found in Brazil. It is not found in well-chlorinated swimming pools in saltwater in oceans or seas.

Chagas Disease

American trypanosomiasis is also known as “Chagas disease” and occurs in rural areas of Brazil.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Brazil. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Brazil. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Zika Fever

There is transmission of the Zika virus in this country.

Oropouche Fever

Oropouche fever may occur in Brazil.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Brazil.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through the consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travellers over 9 months of age going to the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Distrito Federal (including the capital city of Brasília), Espiritu Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Rio de Janeiro (and city), Rondônia, Roraima, São Paulo (and city) and Tocantins, and designated areas of the following states: Bahia, Paraná, Piauí, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina. Vaccination is also recommended for travellers visiting Iguazu Falls. The vaccination is not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to areas not listed above, including the cities of Fortaleza, and Recife. Brazil requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination for travellers over 9 months of age arriving from Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Travellers in transit in Brazil and who have transited through an airport where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission are exempt. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers over 9 months of age departing Brazil travelling to Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Brazil.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended medications are atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Brazil

Emergency Numbers

190
192
193
(21) 2334 6802 Tourist police Rio de Janeiro
(11) 3120 4447 Tourist police Sao Paulo
(11) 3151 4167 Tourist police Sao Paulo
(21) 2332-2924 Tourist police Rio de Janeiro

General operators may not speak English. For service in English in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, contact the tourist police.

Personal Safety

Crime rates in Brazil are high. Violent crime, including the use of firearms, can occur anywhere but occurs particularly in cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Salvador, and São Paolo and their adjacent shantytowns (favelas). If robbed, hand over all your valuables and do not attempt to resist. Be particularly vigilant in areas outside the south side of Rio de Janeiro, as well as in areas around the Rodoviaria (bus station).

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, is common in Brazil, particularly in crowded, public areas. Ensure your personal belongings, valuables, and travel documents are kept secure at all times. To minimize risk, avoid showing signs of affluence, such as expensive jewelry and clothing. Avoid walking alone after dark, especially in poorly lit and isolated areas. Be cautious with recent acquaintances offering help, friendship, or hospitality. Drink spiking has been reported. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never leave your drinks out of your sight.

Kidnappings where victims are forced to withdraw money from automated banking machines (ABMs) occur throughout the country. Some ATMs have an anti-theft system that marks notes with pink ink if the machine has been tampered with. If you receive cash marked with pink ink, immediately take your receipt and cash into the bank for an exchange.

The incidence of road accidents is high in Brazil. Road travel may be dangerous due to poor road conditions, traffic congestion, and reckless driving. Exercise extreme caution in rural areas where roads may be unpaved and unlit at night. Avoid travelling after dark. Only use registered taxis and avoid using public buses.

Sexual assault against foreigners can occur. Female travellers should be cautious and never accept rides or food and drink from strangers or casual acquaintances.

Credit card fraud and cybercrime are becoming major problems in Brazil. Check your bank account regularly for suspicious activity.

Theft is common on beaches. Always avoid isolated areas on or around beaches. Do not carry valuables or important documents, such as passports, to a beach. Follow the advice of local authorities as to where to swim. Strong currents and sharks can make swimming dangerous.

Carjackings do occur. Remain vigilant in your car with windows up and doors locked. Be especially careful at traffic lights, particularly at night. Have your keys in hand and ready when you are approaching your car. Keep valuables out of sight since theft from cars is common.

Brazilian authorities require all individuals to carry identification with them at all times, particularly passport and visa documentation for travellers. If possible, travellers should lock their personal documents in a secure hotel safe and carry photocopies of their identification with them.

Extreme weather such as seasonal heavy rains, wildfires and droughts affect Brazil. Monitor local weather and news outlets closely as weather conditions could change rapidly.

Brazil has progressive laws with respect to LGBTI rights, however, Brazil is also a very conservative society. Outside large cities, LGBTI travellers should be cautious and discrete. Same-sex marriage is legal and LGBTI couples have equal rights under the law.

Areas To Avoid

Drug trafficking occurs along border areas, and criminal activity aimed at tourists may occur. Avoid travelling to bordering regions, especially those in the northern and western parts of the country.

Avoid travelling to the remote Amazon border regions and the Pantanal wetlands. If choosing to go to these areas, do so only with an experienced and very reputable guide as these areas are largely uninhabited and can be very dangerous.

Do not travel to favela neighbourhoods due to high levels of gang violence and crime. Tour companies and city police cannot guarantee your safety if you enter a favela.

Political Unrest

Protests and demonstrations occur frequently in Brazil, and in some cases, have turned violent. To minimize safety risk, avoid all public gatherings and demonstrations due to the unpredictability of these situations.

Get A Free Account!

Sitata uses advanced software algorithms to monitor the world for disease outbreaks and safety hazards. Each travel alert published by Sitata is reviewed by staff to ensure it meets the concerns of a traveller.

Sign up for a free account so that you can prepare for your trip and view the latest alerts.

Plan A Trip