If your country requires Brazilians to have travel visas, you will have to get a visa from the nearest Brazilian consulate before entering Brazil . To date, citizens of Canada, the United States, and Australia require visas. Citizens of the United Kingdom (and other European Union countries) and New Zealand don’t need visas, but do need a passport that is valid for six months and a return ticket. Upon arrival, you’ll be given a 90-day tourist visa.
All visitors who arrive in Brazil and go through customs will receive an entry form, which you should not lose. You’ll need to hand it back to the Polícia Federal when leaving the country. Should you want to extend your stay, you can renew your visa, 15 days before it expires, at the visa section of the Polícia Federal headquarters in any major city. The fee for renewal is the equivalent of US$10. If you exceed the 180-day limit, you won’t be deported, but you will pay a fine.
The one vaccination that is required for Brazil  is yellow fever. This is absolutely essential for visiting the Amazon region , but there have been isolated, yet recent, occurrences in the Pantanal , Brasília , and even Minas Gerais and Bahia . Be sure to bring an international certificate of vaccination since Brazilian authorities will sometimes ask for proof of vaccination for travelers going to and from the Amazon. If you’ve been in any other South American country (with the exception of Chile and Argentina) 90 days prior to coming to Brazil (as well as some African ones) you will also need proof of yellow fever vaccination. Since it takes 10 days for the vaccine to take effect, you can either have it at home or, if you’re going to spend time in a big city or the coast before heading to the Amazon , you can easily get the vaccine in Brazil at any public posto de saúde (health clinic)—ask at any pharmacy for the nearest location—where it will be administered free of charge. Other recommended vaccines include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, and rabies shots.
The two main gateways are Rio de Janeiro ’s Tom Jobim airport and São Paulo ’s Guarulhos airport. From Europe, Portugal’s national airline, TAP, offers flights to northeastern capitals such as Salvador , Recife, Natal , and Fortaleza  (with connections in Lisbon). If you’re going to Manaus , TAM and United operate direct flights from Miami that are much more convenient than flying all the way to São Paulo for a connecting flight. American is also set to begin direct flights to Salvador from Miami.
If you’re planning to travel around to far-flung regions in Brazil , you should purchase a Brazil Airpass (sold by TAM), which can only be purchased abroad along with your international ticket.
Flying is an ideal way to get from one region to another in record time, but with the exception of the Amazon , you can also get anywhere you want to go by bus. Due to lack of passable roads, the Amazon is a region where flying is a must (unless you want to spend days on a boat). Although there are many regional aerotaxis, it’s safest to stick to the main domestic operators.
For shorter bus trips, advance purchase isn’t necessary, but for interstate travel, especially during high-season or holiday periods, it’s recommended you purchase your bus ticket in advance. Although major companies sell tickets via travel agents, often your best (and only) option is to purchase them at the rodoviária (bus station). When purchasing a ticket, specify you want it sem seguro (without insurance), an added fee that bequeaths a small sum of money to your loved ones should you be involved in a fatal bus crash.
For visiting natural attractions around big cities and beach hopping, having a rental car gives you much more freedom to hit off-the-beaten-track places where buses don’t go. If you do rent a car, try to avoid driving at night. An international driver’s license is more widely recognized than a foreign license, but the latter is valid for up to six months.