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Backpackers and Brazil
If you are considering exploring South America, Brazil should be at the top of your list. Brazil is an absolute blast for backpackers given the friendly people and very happy attitude of the culture.

Brazil has become a hot destination for many young travelers wishing to see a different sort of culture and climate. Where many college age people of former generations would spend their summer vacations trekking across Europe, today many Americans and Europeans spend that time in Brazil. While Brazil is generally considered to be a friendly and accommodating country to visitors, it's important to take a few steps to assure that your trip will be a pleasant one.

The main language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese, unlike the Spanish spoken in the rest of South America. If you take the time to learn a few key phrases in Portuguese, the people will be even friendlier as well as patient with the language barrier. You will need a visa to spend time in Brazil. For United States citizens, that will cost you $100 (free for Europeans!). You will also need about $35 a day to live on while in Brazil. Your best bet is not to visit during December through February, as this is summer in Brazil and prices tend to go up when the country goes on vacation. If you want to be in the country for Carnival, however, you'll need to spend the extra money and travel to Brazil in the end of February.

One problem that Brazil tends to bring up for backpackers is the large distances between cities and regions. This is not a country that is easily seen on foot or even by bus or train. Most of the inner sites in Brazil require plane transport, and you can find some discount airlines that leave from some of the bigger cities in Brazil. It's also important to take a good guide book with you that includes plenty of maps, books such as those by Lonely Planet tend to be the most accurate and up to date. You will also want to be prepared for the extreme weather and heat that is common in Brazil. Remember, the Amazon River is located in this country and rainforests abound. That sounds romantic, but dehydration can be a major issue as can heat stroke.

If you enjoy the beach life, Brazil is definitely for you. You can spend days on the beach in hotspots such as Rio de Janeiro. This is by far the touristiest area of the country, so try to get out and about to other areas. Salvador da Bahia and Recife are worth a visit. Sau Paolo and Brasilia are not so hot and probably should be avoided. Remembering to bring all of your necessities with you, including enough money to get along and your passport, as well as an open mind will make your trip to Brazil a memorable and interesting journey.
About the Author
Rick Chapo is with Nomad Journals - makers of travel journals to preserve your travel experiences.
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