Getting to Brazil

Depending on where you are travelling from, getting to Brazil could involve flying, travelling by bus, or taking a boat. Below is information on the three main ways to enter Brazil: by air, by river, and by road.

Getting to Brazil: Air

Airport information

For most visitors the point of arrival will be
Cumbica International Airport
at Guarulhos in São Paulo or
Tom Jobim International Airport
(also known as
) on the Ilha do Governador, 16 km from the centre of Rio de Janeiro. Details of other entry airports are given in their respective sections. Make sure you arrive two hours before international flights and it is wise to reconfirm your flight in advance as departure times may have changed.

Air passes

,, offers a 21-day
Brazil Airpass
, which is valid on any TAM destination within Brazil. The price varies according to the number of flights taken and the international airline used when getting to Brazil. They can only be bought outside Brazil. TAM also operates as part of the
Mercosur Airpass
, which is valid for Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay using local carriers. It is valid for any passenger with a return ticket to their country of origin, and must be bought with an international flight. Children pay a discounted rate for flights and air passes, and under threes pay 10% of the adult rate. Some of the carriers operate a blackout period between 15 December and 15 January.

Getting to Brazil: River

Boats run from Iquitos in
to Tabatinga in Brazil. Onward travel is then on a five-day riverboat journey (or when they are available, a flight) to Manaus, the capital of the Amazon. This border can also be crossed by land from Leticia in
, which is alongside Tabatinga. Getting through these borders can be difficult as security is tight and Brazilian immigration occasionally refuse to allow entry to Brazil for more than 30 days.
Brazil is connected to
through Puerto Ayacucho, San Carlos de Rio Negro and Cucui/São Gabriel da Cachoeira. The crossing is difficult. Exit stamps should be secured in Puerto Ayacucho.
Wayumi Airlines
flies to San Carlos. From here it is possible to hitch downstream to Cucui and take a bus to São Gabriel. Entry stamps must be secured in São Gabriel. Boats connect São Gabriel with Manaus (five to seven days).

Getting to Brazil: Road


Getting to Brazil by bus is easier than you think. Argentina
is connected to the south of Brazil at Foz de Iguaçu/ Puerto Iguazú (the Iguaçu falls) in Paraná state, Porto Xavier/San Javier on the Uruguay river and Uruguaiana/Paso de los Libres, both in Rio Grande do Sul state. Bolivia
is connected to Brazil at Puerto Quijarro/Corumbá via road and rail, with onward connections to the rest of Bolivia via Santa Cruz. French Guiana
is connected from Cayenne via Oyapock/Oiapoque to Macapá. The road is unpaved in Brazil. It is possible to do a circuit through the Guianas overland from Manaus/Boa Vista to Macapá and onward to Belém, although you will need a visa for Suriname (available in Guyana or Guyane). Guyana
is connected to Brazil at Leticia/Bonfim (by road from Georgetown) and Boa Vista. Paraguay is reachable via Ciudad del Este/Foz de Iguaçu. Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo can easily be accessed by international buses from Asunción, which has connections with Buenos Aires, Santiago and Montevideo.
Uruguay is connected to the south of Brazil; as of 2008 all crossings go via Bagé where Brazilian immigration is located. From here there are connections to Aceguá for the Uruguayan town of Melo; Jaguarão for Rio Branco and the Uruguayan border; and Barra do Quaraí/Bella Unión, via the Barra del Cuaraim bridge and Quaraí/Artigas. Venezuela
is connected to Manaus via Santa Elena de Uairen/Boa Vista in Roraima state and a good road.


Getting around South America by car is a good way to travel. There are agreements between Brazil and most South American countries (check in the case of Bolivia) whereby a car can be taken into Brazil for a period of 90 days without any special documents. For cars registered in other countries, you need proof of ownership and/or registration in the home country and valid driving licence. A 90-day permit is given by customs or at the
Serviço de Controle Aduaneiro
, and the procedure is straightforward. Keep
the papers you are given when you enter, to produce when you leave.

When crossing the border into Brazil, make sure that there is an official who knows about the temporary import of cars. You must specify which border station you intend to leave by, but application can be made to the customs to change this.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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