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Visas and passports
There are a large number of taxis in most cities. Regular taxis, with a meter, can be hailed in the street. Radiotaxis can be called by phone. They have air-conditioning, and are more expensive.
Most restaurants and bars include a 10% service charge on the bill. It is usual to leave a little more if the service was good. When it is not included on the bill, the general rule is a tip of between 10 and 15%. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped.
The currency in Brazil is the Real (abbreviated to R$). Dollars and travelers checks can easily be changed in hotels, authorized banks and travel agencies. International credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops and restaurants.
The bus is the most popular form of transport for traveling between states. For air travel, the main Brazilian airlines cover most domestic flights. There are also regional airlines, offering high levels of comfort and security.
Portuguese is the national language, but the Portuguese spoken in Brazil is quite different, in accent and intonation, from the language spoken in Portugal.
Brazil covers three time zones. The time in Brasilia is the official time in Brazil (see map), usually 3 hours behind GMT (London). This changes with the start of Summer Time (the clocks go forward an hour). The time in Rio de Janeiro is 2 hours ahead of New York, except during Summer Time, (3 hours ahead of Brazilian Summer Time and an hour ahead of North American Summer Time).
The climate varies according to latitude and altitude. The seasons are exactly the opposite of those in Europe and the United States (except in the north of the country). The average annual temperature is approximately 28ºC in the north and 20ºC in the south.
• Spring: 22 September to 21 December
To enter Brazil with domestic animals it is necessary an International Sanitary Certificate issued by a veterinarian. The certificate must contain: Attention: The certificate must be valid for at least 30 days.
• Indication of the animal’s health state.