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Finding the Best in Brazil

Travel expert Rosana Chermisqui is a native of Brazil,

so we consulted her to give our readers inside information about booking clients on the perfect Brazilian getaway. Rosana takes great pride in educating travel agents about worldwide destinations and how to be successful selling travel. She can be reached by email at askrosana@aol.com or you can visit her blog where she gives weekly travel business related advice at www.travelwithrosana.com


What advice would you give to a traveler who is visiting Brazil for the first time?

My advice for those who are visiting Brazil for the first time is to remember all the reasons you want to visit there in the first place. You will have fun exploring this new country that offers a safe travel environment. Friendly locals will enhance your experience, so be open to getting out of your comfort zone. When you are going to a country where English is not the first language, the culture is different. Sometimes, it is considered a third-world country. Be sure to learn as much as you can from your travel agent before departure, always be aware of your surroundings, and choose to take escorted tours. 


What about someone who is returning to Brazil, and wants to do more?

Doing more and going deeper is always good, but again, I suggest travelers do so on an escorted tour (either in a group or a private tour). As in any place, if you happen to get into the wrong neighborhood, especially when you can’t communicate in the same language (Brazilians DO NOT speak Spanish!), you could get into trouble. 


Brazil is a big country with many different regions, it is not only Rio de Janeiro. There are beautiful beaches on the northwest side of Brazil. Culturally, the south has more German influence, while the north has a beautiful Afro history. Brazil has so much to explore, most Brazilians haven’t even explored all of its beauty. 


What food and drink will give a visitor a true “taste” of Brazil? 

The food that is most common throughout the country is a typical Feijoada, or bean stew. It’s a pot of black beans cooked with chunks of meat, although the truly traditional feijoadas are made with pig’s ears, trotters and other parts. It’s served with fried kale mixed with bacon bits, rice, farofa, (which is a toasted cassava or corn flour mixture that works very well to absorb those last bits of bean sauce), and a slice of orange to add flavor.


A typical Brazilian cocktail is a Caipirinha. This national cocktail is made with cachaça, sugar, and lime. Cachaça, also known as caninha, or any of a multitude of traditional names, is Brazil’s most common distilled alcoholic beverage.


Where should a traveler go who is seeking:

Adventure? Manaus 

Beach? Rio de Janeiro, Buzios, Recife

Nightlife? Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have the best nightlife. 

Culture and history? Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia

Nature and wildlife? Amazon 


How would a traveler get to Brazil from the US? 

Right now, Americans don’t need a Visa to visit Brazil. This alone is a great reason to visit. Another good reason to travel to South America is that there have not been any reported cases of the Corona virus in the entire region. 


Many airline carriers fly to Brazil, with nonstop flights to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Manaus, Recife, Fortaleza, Belém and Brasilia. 


Do you suggest group travel or independent sightseeing? 

I highly suggest travelers take escorted tours. These can be with a group or private tours, but always escorted by a good, reputable company. 


Is there public transportation available?

DO NOT USE public transportation in Brazil unless you are being escorted by a reputable tour guide. 


Is Brazil safe for tourists? Tell us about the Brazilian people and their thoughts/feelings towards tourists?

Brazilians are well known as very friendly people who are easy going and love tourists. Unfortunately, like in any poor country, there are lots of homeless people. 


My strongest piece of advice about going to Brazil, or to any other country, actually, is to leave your valuables at home. Less is more. Dress modestly and do not wear expensive brand names which could make you a target. It is hot most of the year and rains a lot – very humid weather, so there is no need to show off. Just try to blend in by wearing comfortable clothes. You may need to change clothes often during the day, as most places do not offer air conditioning. Tennis shoes or flip-flops are the best for walking streets that are not so even or well kept. 


Focus on enjoying the experience and having fun. If you can, leave behind some of the clothes and shoes you brought (especially if you bought cheap ones) for those who need them. Don’t forget to leave a note saying: PARA VOCÊS, so the hotel staff knows they should not go to lost and found. 


For more information from the Brazilian tourist board, go to www.visitbrasil.com

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