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How to Reach Brazil

How to Reach Brazil by Flight / Air

The swiftest and fastest way to travel from India to Brazil is via a flight. Unfortunately, as is the case with other South American countries, there are no direct flights from India to Brazil. You will have to catch a connecting flight from India, stop at Abu Dhabi and then proceed to Sao Paulo – which is home to the biggest airport in the country. These connecting flights are available from some of India’s biggest cities – Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kochi and more. The airlines that do offer flights to Brazil, include GOL Linhas Aereas, Etihad Airways and LATAM Airlines Brasil. 

Brazil has an incredible number of airports (close to 700), however, these can be split into the big, well-connected airports and the smaller more domestic ones. The biggest airport in Brazil is the Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport. The busiest airport in Brazil is the Rio de Janeiro Galeao Airport in Rio. Other major airports in the country include, Brasilia International Airport (Brasilia), Santos Dumont Airport (Rio), Afonso Pena International Airport (Curitaba) and more. If you are planning to fly domestic, do a little research at which airport you will be landing. Many cities have more than one major airport, so do check your destination and the facilities and transportation available at the airport. 

If you are flying from outside India, many cities in North America have direct flights to Brazil. You can also travel to Brazil from some capital cities in Europe, Africa and Asia. The biggest airlines are TAP, Gol Aereos and TAM Airlines. 

How to Reach Brazil By Sea

The main passenger port in Brazil is in Rio de Janeiro and is used by many international cruise ships. Other popular ports in Brazil are found in Manaus, Sao Paulo, Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador and Vitoria. You could book a trip via a cargo ship, however, do note that passenger services on these vessels are limited. The Grimaldi Freighter from Italy does offer departure from European Cities like Antwerp and Hamburg. 

For cruise ships, the most popular ports of call are found in Rio de Janeiro (which features a modern dockside complex) the Porto de Santos (the largest and busiest port in Brazil) and Porto Maravilha.

How to Reach Brazil From the Airport (Sao Paulo)

Most international flights from India land in Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport. To reach your destination in the city, you can opt for either a taxi or a bus. Book a prepaid taxi with Taxi Guarucopp or through a metered taxi, both of which are cheaper options when traffic is thin. Rent-a-car companies at the airport include Hertz, Avis, Movida, Localiza and Unidas. There are 3 train services from the airport to downtown Sao Paulo – the Airport Express (direct), Connect (stops included) and Line 13 (Jade) + Line 12 (Safira), which includes a train-to-train transfer. You’ll need to take a quick 10-minute ride to the train station. The Airport Bus Service is an affordable and comfortable option and is perfect if you don’t have much money to spend on Ubers or taxis. The journey takes about an hour-hour and a half to reach downtown Sao Paulo (depending on the route and traffic). 

Commuting in Brazil

Now that you’ve landed, reached your hotel, freshened up and are ready for the day, the question becomes how to travel in Brazil? Most large cities in Brazil feature extensive road networks, and buses are usually the most accessible and affordable mode of transport. Taxis are expensive but a safe option if you are travelling at night. Nevertheless, do keep in mind that Brazil’s infrastructure is rather underdeveloped, and you need to take all safety precautions when you are commuting through Brazil’s urban cities. 

Buses are used by a large part of the population as they are cheap and have a network spread across the country’s main cities. Bus fares are usually around 3 Brazilian Real (INR 50-60), however this can vary based on your route, your stop and which city you are travelling in. Payment is usually in cash, so do make sure you have some forex in the form of cash in your wallet for these journeys. In both Sao Paulo and Rio, buses can become crammed during peak hours (7:00 AM-10:00 AM and 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM). Bear in mind that bus stops in Brazil don’t have signs or maps on them, so work out your route before you leave the hotel. Rio offers commuters airconditioned buses (Frescao) which is more expensive but helpful during the hot months. 

Although public transport like buses are reliable and affordable, to get to a destination safely and quickly, a cab is preferable. Cabs are shaded in different colours in Brazil – in Sao Paulo the cabs are white, in Rio they are yellow, in Curitaba they are orange and so on. You can call companies like Radiotaxi or Coopertaxi and book the cab in advance, or head to the closest cab stop (ponto de taxi). If you choose to hail a cab from the street, be wary. There are unregistered taxis on the road and while its an exaggeration to say they are all unsafe, you need to be cautious. You could also book a taxi via the app 99Taxis, similar to Uber. Keep all valuables you’re carrying tucked away safely, when you’re in the cab as taxis can be targeted by muggers. Tipping the taxi driver isn’t mandatory, but you can round up the fare.   

Eight of Brazil’s cities have subway - Sao Paulo, Belo Horizote and Rio, Brasilia, Porto, Alegre, Recife, Teresina and Cariri. Although they’re not as extensive as other cities in the world, the metros are clean, efficient and help you escape the crushing crowds during peak hour. Fares are usually around 3 Brazilian Real, which makes them a cost-effective travel solution. 

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