The 2016 Olympic Games (Rio2016) will take place in the city of Rio de Janeiro this August. Planning your trip to Brazil can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared for what to expect. Below are some helpful tips before you travel to Brazil.
Fast facts about Rio2016
• 206 country members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are expected to attend.
• 42 Olympic sports categories with 306 sports events will take place in 19 days.
• 32 venues are scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, along with the cities of Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Manaus, Salvador and São Paulo, co-hosting the highly anticipated soccer (football) events.
• 380,000 (approximate) foreign tourists are expected to visit Brazil during the games according to Brazil’s tourism agency, Embratur.
• According to the U.S. State Department, tourists attending the Olympics from the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia are exempt from visa requirements between June 1 and September 18, 2016.
• Individuals from these countries are still required to have a valid passport and completed entry card for entry into Brazil.
• Tourists may stay up to 90 days from the date they enter the country during the games.
Driving in Brazil
• Brazil’s National Traffic Council (Contran) published a new rule allowing tourists from 102 countries to drive vehicles in Brazil during the Olympic Games.
• Foreign Tourists are legally allowed to drive in the country from July 1 to December 31, 2016.
• Foreign drivers must carry a valid driver's license from their country of origin along with their passport and must follow the traffic laws of Brazil.
Cash rules so avoid ATM machines
• Brazil’s official unit of currency is the Real (R$) pronounced Ray-all.
• Daily withdrawal limit from most ATMs is around R$1000 or less.
• ATMs are closed from 10pm–6am across the country with few exceptions in certain locations.
• Do not insert your ATM card if it doesn’t have one of the symbols on the back of your card, your card may be confiscated by the machine.
Book your hotel in advance before arriving in Brazil. Browse and make your reservations online using a reputable travel website such as Kayak or TripAdvisor. Securing your reservations well in advance keeps you ahead of the game and better options to choose from than if you waited till the last minute. Below are additional accommodations for travelers who prefer alternatives to staying in traditional hotels.
• Airbnb: (official alternative accommodations service) has around 20,000 listings to choose from during the games categorized by neighborhoods in Rio.
• Hostels: For the traveler who don’t mind room sharing located around Rio check out Hostelworld’s website.
• Pousada: (Bed &Breakfast) – Hidden Pousadas Brazil charges about the same price of a hotel, but offers a much more intimate experience.
A growing issue tourists visiting Brazil should be aware of is the spread of the Zika virus. The virus is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes. Transmission from male sexual partners is also possible, people who are sexually active are encouraged to use protection when having sex or abstinence to decrease the risk of contracting the virus.
It’s also highly recommended to have your vaccines up-to-date when traveling abroad. The last thing you want is to become ill while in a foreign country. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend having the following vaccines up-to-date before visiting Brazil:
Now that you have some insight, you can plan your trip accordingly and be better prepared when visiting Brazil during Rio2016.