Brazil Visas for US Citizens

Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro

Brazil visas for US citizens are a requirement for entry into the country. All American citizens must have a Brazil visa and a valid US passport with at least 6 months validity remaining on it upon arrival in the country. If you do not, you will be denied entry into Brazil. There is no visa on arrival in Brazil.

If you are an American citizen, it is important that you apply for your Brazil visa well in advance of traveling. Visas take at least 5 business days to process, and many consulates only accept a small number of applications each day (some by appointment only).

Additionally, you or your authorized third party must apply in person at the embassy or consulate closest to your residence, as snail mail and online Brazil visa applications are not accepted. There are no expedited or rush visas for Brazil, either.

The Brazilian consulates in the US are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. All of them process visas for American citizens traveling to Brazil.

To get a Brazil visa, you must fill out an application online and then print it out and take it to your appointment. Don’t forget to bring the relevant photograph and any other documents required with your application. If you do not have everything that is required, your application will be denied.

Brazil visas for US citizens cost $140.00. An additional $20.00 fee is charged if you send a third party to submit your application on your behalf. You must pay by US Postal Service money order made out to the Consulate General of Brazil.

Most Brazil visas for Americans are multiple-entry visas valid for 10 years from the date that they are granted. However, the duration is ultimately is at the discretion of the consulate.

Rules for Brazil visas for US citizens are subject to change at any time. Make sure to check the website of your nearest Brazilian consulate for updated information.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro Deals

Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro
Sambadrome

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is one of the best times to visit Brazil. People from all over the world descend on the city to celebrate and take part in the processions and festivities that take place every year for the occasion.

Carnival is a great time to travel to Rio, but make sure to book well in advance if you go. Hotels and other accommodations get booked up months ahead, so be sure to plan accordingly to avoid disappointment. Sometimes there are last-minute deals available if demand is low, but most years prices rise significantly the closer you get to Carnival.

If you book ahead, many hotels have 5-day package deals beginning on the Saturday before Carnival and ending on the Wednesday. They offer tickets to the Carnival festivities at the Sambadrome for around US$300 to 400 per night. There are also cruise deals for Carnival in Rio. Cruise companies tend to charge slightly more than hotels for tickets to the parades at the Sambadrome, but offer a good experience all the same.

If you go to the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro for Carnival, you can watch the 12 famous samba schools compete. The best seats for Carnival are in sector 9, so if you can get tickets for that area, you will have the best view of the parades. The parades take place on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights at 9:00pm, with the last of these being the time when the final judging happens. On the following Saturday there is a winners’ parade.

On the Saturday before Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the second samba schools compete. If you arrive early, don’t miss their parades and others throughout the city in the week before the main events.

If you don’t go to the Sambadrome during Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, you can take part in the processions throughout the city. Special music is composed just for the occasion, and the starting points are announced each day on television. Anyone can join, and it is free of charge to take part.

Best Places to Visit in Bahia, Brazil

Giant shell at the TAMAR turtle sanctuary in Praia do Forte Brazil
Praia do Forte

There is no shortage of places to visit in Bahia. The state has miles of coastline with beautiful beaches, colorful cities and towns, and great inland treasures. To help you narrow down the choices, here is my list of the best places in Bahia, Brazil:

Salvador – Salvador is one of the most famous cities in Brazil. Home to a colorful old town and host to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the city has a lot to offer.

Don’t miss the beautiful Pelourinho district with its 17th and 18th century colonial buildings and vibrant Mercado Modelo market, the Barra Lighthouse, the Bonfim Church, the traditional Ribeira neighborhood, Corredor da Vitoria, Campo Grande, Piedade, Sao Tome de Paripe Beach, the Cidade Baixa with its Itapagipe Peninsula, and the Cidade Alta.

Praia do Forte – Located on the coast not far from Salvador, Praia do Forte is one of the best places in Bahia. The town has great shops and restaurants, accommodations, resorts, beaches, and the TAMAR turtle sanctuary where visitors can see conservation efforts taking place.

The Islands – Bahia has no shortage of beautiful islands off its coast. Some of the best are Itaparica and Ilha dos Frades, which are located in All Saints Bay near Salvador. Others include the famous Ilha de Tinhare, on which the famous Morro de Sao Paulo lies, as well as the Ilha de Boipeba. These secluded islands to the south of Salvador are known for their stunning beaches where visitors can go snorkeling and sunbathing.

Cachoeira – Smaller and less well-known to people visiting Brazil, the Bahian city Cachoeira is well worth a visit. Located 110 kilometers from Salvador, it is brimming with history and is home to stunning architecture. Don’t miss the beautiful Igreja da Ordem Terceiro do Carmo church, the Hansen Bahia Foundation, and the Danneman Cultural Center.

Marau and Itacare – The neighboring Marau and Itacare peninsulas are two of the most beautiful places in Bahia. They are lush with coconut trees, coastal forest land, lakes, waterfalls, and picturesque sandy beaches with clear water. Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the region in Marau, and surfers can find some of the best surfing in Brazil in Itacare.

Chapada Diamantina – Away from the coat, Chapada Diamantina is one of the best places in Bahia’s inland region. The rugged natural beauty of the area features waterfalls, deep valleys, caves, lakes, and plateaus. If you ever get tired of the beaches in Bahia, Chapada Diamantina is the place to visit.