Brazil travel advice

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Risk level

Brazil - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Brazil due to high crime rates and regular incidents of gang-related and other violence in urban areas.

Border areas - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to

  • within 20 km of the border with Argentina, excluding Iguaçu National Park
  • within 20 km of the border with Bolivia, excluding Pantanal National Park
  • within 20 km of the border with Colombia
  • within 20 km of the border with French Guiana
  • within 20 km of the border with Guyana
  • within 20 km of the border with Paraguay
  • within 20 km of the border with Peru
  • within 20 km of the border with Suriname
  • within 50 km of the border with Venezuela


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Safety and security

Border areas

Criminal activity related to narcotics trafficking and arms smuggling poses a threat to your personal security.

If you choose to travel near border areas

  • exercise caution at all times
  • monitor local media to stay informed on the evolving situation
  • follow instructions from local authorities and security forces


Crime rates are high throughout the country, particularly in:

  • Brasilia
  • Porto Alegre
  • Recife
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Salvador
  • São Paulo

Tourists are mostly affected by theft, but incidents of violent crime have occurred.

Violent crime

Violent crime occurs, including:

  • armed robbery
  • carjacking
  • burglary
  • sexual assault

Violent crime, often involving weapons, is common. Incidents of mass shootings occur, often resulting in casualties. Although tourists are rarely involved, you could be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Violent crime often occurs in the following areas:

  • Rio de Janeiro 
    • Christ the Redeemer statue
    • Copacabana Beach
    • Corcovado Trail
    • Ipanema Beach
    • Lapa neighbourhood
    • Santa Teresa neighbourhood
  • São Paulo
    • around São Paulo Cathedral
    • Avenida Paulista
    • historical downtown area
    • Municipal Market
    • Pinacoteca
    • Princess Isabel Square
    • Luz station
  • Satellite cities of Brasilia
    • Ceilândia
    • Paranoá
    • Santa Maria
    • São Sebastião

If you decide to travel to these areas:

  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • avoid going out after dark  
  • travel in groups
  • avoid isolated areas
  • don't resist an attack


Robberies occur regularly and often involve weapons such as guns and knives. Thieves generally target people who appear wealthy, such as those using cell phones and laptops. 

Robberies can occur anywhere.

Drive-by snatching by armed thieves on motorcycles occurs regularly, particularly in São Paulo and Porto Alegre. 

  • Keep car windows and doors locked at all times
  • If you feel threatened while driving, do not stop

Mass robberies (arrastões) involve a group of criminals that swarm public places and snatch valuable items such as cash, jewellery and cell phones. This type of crime can occur day and night at:

  • beaches
  • traffic jams
  • shopping centres
  • restaurants

Criminals sometimes attempt to rob you by offering to help you if you appear lost. If you’re lost, go into a nearby business or hotel to ask for directions.  

Victims have been seriously injured or killed when resisting perpetrators, who were armed or under the influence of drugs.

Petty crime

Petty crime increases around big events and festivities, such as:  

  • large-scale sporting events
  • international conferences
  • Carnival
  • Christmas

Foreign tourists are most affected by theft. Petty theft, including pickpocketing, purse snatching and car theft, is common in Brazil’s large cities.

Thefts commonly occur at or near: 

  • beaches
  • outdoor markets
  • hotels
  • bars and nightclubs
  • airports and bus stations
  • parking lots

During your trip:

  • keep your personal belongings, including your passport and your other travel documents in a secure place
  • be aware of your surroundings, especially in busy tourist areas
  • don’t carry large sums of cash or valuables unnecessarily
  • don’t show signs of affluence or wear expensive jewellery
  • avoid using your cell phone in public
  • don't resist an attack

Spiked food and drinks

Spiked food and drink incidents are increasing in Brazil, particularly in Rio de Janeiro.

Incidents of spiked food and drinks to force victims to use their debit or credit card to withdraw money from ATMs have been reported, including on beaches in Rio de Janeiro and crowded restaurants in São Paulo.

The use of drugs to facilitate sexual assault and robbery against foreigners has also been reported. Assaults frequently occur in unofficial taxis.

Incidents are most likely to occur:

  • in bars and restaurants
  • in hotels
  • in nightclubs
  • at public beaches

While you’re in Brazil:

  • be wary of accepting items from new acquaintances
  • never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers
  • ask for drinks coming from sealed bottles or cans instead of in plastic cups

Express kidnappings

The number of kidnappings in the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan area has significantly increased since 2022.

Criminals may kidnap a victim for a few hours and force them to withdraw funds at an ATM for their release. Thieves may put drugs into food and drinks, temporarily incapacitating victims, who become quickly disoriented and are vulnerable to kidnapping.

  • Only use reputable cab companies or ride-sharing apps
  • Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as using cell phones, headphones and wearing jewelry


Carjacking is common in cities, especially at night in remote areas. Theft often occurs at intersections and in tunnels. Perpetrators usually carry weapons.

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times
  • Pay attention to your surroundings while waiting at traffic lights
  • Avoid poorly lit areas
  • Avoid stopping on the side of highways
  • Be wary of strangers offering to help you  

Women’s safety

Sexual assault has been committed, including against foreign women.  

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment or verbal abuse.

  • Avoid walking alone at night
  • Keep your hotel doors and windows locked
  • Do not accept offers of transportation from strangers

Advice for women travellers

Home invasions

Home invasions by armed gangs occur, especially in December and January, when many people take summer or Christmas holidays. Affluent neighbourhoods and foreigners’ homes have been targeted by criminals due to perceived wealth.

Be aware that police response often takes time.

Organized crime

Organized crime associated with international drug trafficking occurs in Brazil, as it is situated along transit routes. This is most common in the north and northeastern regions.

Drug trafficking

An increasing number of travellers, particularly senior citizens, report having been used as unwitting drug couriers.

Penalties for drug-related criminal activities are severe. Even unsuspecting individuals transporting packages containing narcotics can be criminally charged and face long jail sentences.

Be wary of individuals, even those you know, who ask you to carry a suitcase from Brazil on their behalf.

Useful links

Vulnerable neighborhoods

Vulnerable neighborhoods, commonly referred to as “favelas” or “comunidades”, are characterized by informal housing developments, crowded quarters, poorer conditions, and/or irregular construction.

Gang-related violence and organized crime is prevalent in these areas.  Access and assistance from emergency services is very limited.

Avoid renting accommodations in vulnerable neighborhoods, and travelling to these areas, even on a guided tour.

Police operations

Armed clashes and shootouts between security forces and alleged criminals regularly occur in vulnerable neighbourhoods. Police operations have led to retaliation by criminal gangs. Vulnerable neighbourhoods are located across major cities. As a result, there is risk of violence spilling over to neighbouring areas, including affluent neighbourhoods and tourist destinations. There have been casualties as a result of stray bullets in and near vulnerable neighbourhoods.


Common tourist scams include:

  • carrying unsuspected drug packages
  • online romance scams

Brazil is a drug trafficking hub. An increasing number of travellers have fallen victim to scams in which illegal drugs are hidden inside luggage that an acquaintance asked them to take with them when departing Brazil. Websites targeting senior citizens are reportedly a source of such scams.

Romance scams on dating sites or through social media have occurred. If you fall victim to a scam, you may be:

  • a drug courier
  • kidnapped
  • forced to transfer and withdraw money

Before travelling to Brazil to visit someone you met online:

  • be wary of individuals who ask you to carry a package from Brazil on their behalf
  • beware of people who show a keen interest in you online 

Useful links:


Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occur frequently. Criminals have used proximity card readers to charge the credit cards of unsuspecting persons.

When using your debit or credit card:

  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
  • consider disabling the tap function of your credit card


Cybercrime, malware attacks and online extortion occur in Brazil. Criminals can compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal personal data or credit information.

  • Be cautious when posting information or photos on social media
  • Use your own USB adaptor or carry an extra battery pack
  • Use secure public Wi-Fi networks
  • Beware of people who show a keen interest in you online


Demonstrations occur frequently. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

2SLGBTQI+ persons

2SLGBTQI+ persons in Brazil have been victims of violence based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. Violent incidents include physical assault resulting in severe injury. Public displays of affection are more socially acceptable in larger cities, but they are not normally acceptable in most of the country.   

Public displays of affection are more socially acceptable in larger cities, but they are not normally acceptable in most of the country.   

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics 

Soccer matches and sports events

Sports events sometimes lead to rowdy behaviour and violent incidents.

  • Avoid wearing team colours during soccer game days
  • Be vigilant if you attend soccer matches and sports rallies
  • Leave as soon as possible if violence breaks out


Coastal waters can be dangerous as riptides are common. Public beaches in major cities are often polluted and unfit for swimming.

  • Respect the areas reserved for swimming  
  • Always respect warning flags advising of dangerous conditions  
  • Be wary of sharks, especially in Brazil’s northeast near Recife
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

Water safety abroad

Adventure tourism

Outdoor activities, such as hiking, can be dangerous in remote areas as trails may become impassable due to flash floods.

If you intend to participate in adventure tourism activities:  

  • share your itinerary with a friend or family member if hiking alone
  • stay on marked trails and consider hiring an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • obtain detailed information on your activity and on the environment in which you will be setting out   

Visit Brazil- Tourism Committee of Brazil

Electricity outages

Power shortages occur regularly in major cities. Transport and business services can be disrupted. Most large hotels are equipped with a generator.

Road safety

Fatal accidents are frequent.

Roadside assistance is not widely available. If you need roadside assistance, call your vehicle insurance provider, or choose a commercial service available in your area.

Road conditions

Road conditions are generally good in large cities and on federal highways, especially those linking large cities. Regional highways are generally adequate but state and municipal roads in rural areas are often poorly maintained.

Driving can also be dangerous due to:

  • lack of traffic signs
  • potholes
  • unpaved roads  
  • insufficient lighting  
  •  landslides
  • driving under the influence of alcohol

Driving habits

Drivers often disregard traffic laws, and Brazilian police do not strictly enforce them.

Drivers often speed and they can be aggressive and reckless. Motorcyclists often ride between lanes. Be careful when crossing the street, as drivers do not always give pedestrians the right of way.

Drinking and driving is common.

At night and in large cities, drivers commonly treat red lights as stop signs to protect against hold-ups at intersections.

If you choose to drive:

  • be careful of motorbikes when changing lanes
  • if you feel threatened at any time, do not stop
  • if you are in a traffic accident, call the police immediately
  • never confront the driver of another vehicle

Public transportation

Public transportation can be very crowded at peak transit times, and pickpocketing is common at bus and subway stations. Be extremely cautious when using public transportation at night.


Petty theft is common in the subway system, especially when crowded.

There are subway cars reserved for women and children in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.

Buses and coaches

There have been reports of theft and violence on city buses in Rio de Janeiro and near vulnerable neighbourhoods across the country, especially during rush hour.

Inter-city buses are generally reliable. Ensure that you use a reputable company before you book your travel.

Bus accidents occur regularly.

Major bus services charge fixed, pre-paid rates.

Do not use public vans.


Assaults, thefts, and scams often occur in unofficial taxis.

Registered taxis are identifiable and have a taxi meter to determine the legal fare. In Brasilia, most registered taxis are white with a green sign on the doors. In Rio de Janeiro, most registered taxis are yellow with a blue stripe and have a company’s name labelled near the blue stripe at the back. Malls and the airport often have their own registered taxis.

  • Only use officially marked taxis
  • Arrange your pickup with your hotel before arrival when travelling by air, or use authorized cabs at the airport
  • Avoid paying with credit cards

Ridesharing apps

Ridesharing apps are available in Brazil. If you use a ridesharing app, confirm the driver’s identity and the licence plate before getting in the car.


Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters in the north-east. Pirates have also attacked lodges along the Amazon River.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre

Air travel

We don’t make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards. 

Flying while in other countries  

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Brazilian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.


Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Brazil.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links


Tourist visa: not required for stays of up to 90 days until April 10, 2025
Business visa: not required for stays of up to 90 days 
Student visa: not required for stays of up to 90 days

Length of stay

If you intend to stay more than 90 days, you must obtain an extension from the Federal Police before your authorized stay expires. You may be required to authenticate your documents.

Useful links

Other entry requirements 

Customs officials may ask you to show them: 

  • a return or onward ticket 
  • proof that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay 

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.


  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.


About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.


Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.


Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.
There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. 
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 
• Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin. 
• Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
• Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area. 
• Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 
If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 


In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 


Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.


 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.


Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  


There is a risk of schistosomiasis in this destination. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by tiny worms (blood flukes) which can be found in freshwater (lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands). The worms can break the skin, and their eggs can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, or urinary problems. Schistosomiasis mostly affects underdeveloped and rural communities, particularly agricultural and fishing communities.

Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers should avoid contact with untreated freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and ponds (e.g., swimming, bathing, wading, ingesting). There is no vaccine or medication available to prevent infection.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.


There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

American trypanosomiasis

American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) is a risk in this country. It is caused by a parasite spread by infected triatomine bugs. The infection can be inactive for decades, but humans can eventually develop complications causing disability and even death.

Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from triatomine bugs, which are active at night, by using mosquito nets if staying in poorly-constructed housing. There is no vaccine available for Chagas disease.

Oropouche fever

Oropouche fever is a disease caused by the Oropouche virus, which is spread to humans through the bite of an infected midge or mosquito. Symptoms of Oropouche fever are similar to dengue, and usually include fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, chills, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. In some cases, aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain) may occur.  

Most travellers are at low risk. Individuals travelling in the Amazon rainforest, or travelling to work in agriculture or forestry are at higher risk.

Protect yourself from midge and mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against Oropouche fever.

Cutaneous and mucosal Leishmaniasis

Cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly.

Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.

Visceral Leishmaniasis

Visceral leishmaniasis (or kala azar) affects the bone marrow and internal organs. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly. It can also be transmitted by blood transfusion or sharing contaminated needles. If left untreated it can cause death. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.

  • In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Good health care is usually only available in urban areas. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.

You can access free health care at public hospitals and clinics. You will likely experience overcrowding, understaffing, longer wait times and medication shortages. Most doctors don’t speak English. Private hospitals generally don’t expect immediate cash payment.

Private hospitals and clinics located in cities are often better staffed and equipped than public or rural facilities. Some doctors speak English. Private hospitals provide expensive medical care, require proof of insurance, and may often request immediate payment.

Some medical facilities in the state of Rio de Janeiro have closed or are providing limited services due to a lack of funding. Private hospitals remain operational.

Emergency services can be slow outside of major cities. 

Medical evacuation can be very expensive, and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury. Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays. 

Health and safety outside Canada 

Medical tourism

Before leaving for medical travel, you should do your research, especially on:

  • the health and financial risks
  • the medical facility where the procedure will be performed
  • language barriers, which can lead to misunderstandings about your medical care and conditions
  • travel insurance that includes coverage for the type of medical procedure you will be undergoing

You should discuss your medical plans with your primary healthcare provider in Canada before travelling. Most provincial and territorial health care programs are extremely limited in their coverage offered abroad.

  • Make sure that the healthcare providers you choose are authorized by the  Brazilian health authorities
  • Ask to see the credentials of the healthcare providers
  • Obtain a written agreement detailing the proposed treatment or procedure

Useful links


Some prescription medications may not be available in Brazil. 

If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining their legality in the country. 

  • Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you  
  • Always keep your medication in the original container  
  • Pack them in your carry-on luggage  
  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions  

Travelling with medication

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Transfer to a Canadian prison

Canada and Brazil are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Brazil to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Brazilian authorities.

This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.


Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect a jail sentence and a heavy fine.

Travellers have fallen victim to scams in which illegal drugs are hidden inside luggage that an acquaintance has asked them to take away from Brazil.

  • Pack your own luggage and monitor it closely at all times
  • Never transport other people’s packages, bags, or suitcases

Useful links

2SLGBTQI+ persons

Brazilian law doesn’t criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex. 

However, 2SLGBTQI+ persons could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. 

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics 

Child sex tourism

Brazil is actively seeking to prevent child sex tourism. Several tourists have been convicted of offences relating to the exploitation of minors.

The legal age of sexual consent in Brazil is 18. Prison sentences are severe.

Child Sex Tourism: It’s a Crime

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Brazil.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Brazil, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Travellers with dual citizenship


The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.00% in Brazil. If the police suspect you of drinking and driving, they could confiscate your driver’s licence on the spot. If convicted, you can expect heavy fines and jail sentences. Brazilian police may conduct periodic controls during the day and night, often to check for drunk driving. If you approach a police control, slow down and co-operate with the officers.

You can drive in Brazil for up to 180 days with a valid Canadian driver’s licence.

You should carry an international driving permit. This official Portuguese translation of your Canadian driver’s licence will help when dealing with local authorities.

International driving permit


Authorities may request to see your ID at any time.

  • Carry valid identification or a photocopy of it at all times
  • Keep a photocopy, ideally notarised, of your passport in case it’s lost or seized
  • Keep a digital copy of your ID and travel documents

Imports and exports

There are very strict rules regarding the importation and exportation of:

  • antiquities
  • business and communication equipment
  • firearms
  • medications
  • tropical plants
  • wildlife       

Brazil’s Ministry of Health provides Information about food items that you can and cannot bring to Brazil.

Exporting to Brazil – Government of Brazil

Smoking and vaping

Smoking and vaping are prohibited in all enclosed public spaces.

It’s illegal to bring these items into Brazil:

  • electronic cigarettes
  • vaping devices
  • vaping solutions

If you have them in your possession upon arrival, customs officials could confiscate them, and you could receive a fine.

Electronic cigarette regulations - National Health Regulatory Agency (in Portuguese)

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Brazil.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Brazil, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Brazilian court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Brazil to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links


The currency of Brazil is the Brazilian real (BRL).

Canadian bank cards usually work in ATMs. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted. 

ATMs are scarcely available in rural areas.

Carry cash for small transactions and when visiting remote areas.

It’s difficult to exchange Canadian dollars in Brazil.

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Natural disasters and climate

Flooding in southern Brazil

On May 1, 2024, heavy rains caused severe flooding in southern Brazil, particularly in the following states:

  • Parana
  • Rio Grande do Sul
  • Santa Catarina

Rio Grande do Sul was the worst affected, especially Porto Alegre, resulting in several casualties. Major access routes to Porto Alegre have re-opened. There are reports of significant damage to buildings and infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced.

If you're in an affected area:

  • exercise caution
  • monitor local news and weather reports
  • follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders

If you are in Brazil, sign up for the Civil Defense SMS service to be notified of weather alerts in your region.

Useful links:

El Niño

The complex weather phenomenon called El Niño happens at irregular intervals of 2 to 7 years. El Niño generally generates droughts and heavy rainfalls for 6 to 9 months, which could cause flooding, landslides, and mudslides and could severely disrupt travel. Extreme droughts and heavy rains could limit access to food, drinking water, hygiene products, and medication. Severe weather could occur, such as:

  • below-average rainfall and droughts in the north and northeast
  • excessive rains in the south and southeast of the country
  • above-average temperatures in all regions

Keep informed of regional weather forecasts before and during your travels, and plan accordingly. Ensure you have adequate insurance to cover the consequences of such events, including the disruption of travel plans. 

Learn about El Niño

Rainy seasons

The rainy seasons extend from:

  • January to July in the north
  • October to April in the south and southeast
  • April to July in the northeast

Flash floods can occur outside of the rainy season.

They can hamper overland travel, especially in rural areas. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged. Travel conditions on mountain roads and on highways leading to beaches can be dangerous. Seasonal flooding can also reduce the provision of essential services. Power outages are frequent during the rainy season.

  • Avoid the affected areas
  • Keep informed of regional weather forecasts
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

Useful links


Landslides are becoming more common in Brazil and are the result of heavy rainfall.

Landslides — Get Prepared

Heat and humidity

Humidity and heat may be most severe during the hot season, from December to March.

Know the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke, which can both be fatal.

Dry season and droughts

Brasilia and the country's interior experience extreme dry periods between May and October. Humidity levels can drop below 10% and heat levels rise significantly.

Western Brazil can experience periods of prolonged drought, which can lead to water shortages. 

Stay informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.


Bush and forest fires are common during the dry season, between May to September, particularly in:

  • Brasilia
  • Amazonas
  • Cerrado region
  • Pantanal region

The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke. In case of a major fire:

  • stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police (military): 190
  • medical assistance: 192
  • firefighters: 193

Tourist police

  • Rio de Janeiro: (21) 2332 2924 or 2334 6802
  • São Paulo: (11) 3120 4447 or 3151 4167
  • Salvador: (71) 3116-6817
  • Recife: (81) 3322-4867

Consular assistance

Brasilia - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressSES - Av. das Nações, Quadra 803, Lote 16, 70410-900 Brasília, DF, BrazilTelephone+55 61 3424 5400Fax+55 61 3424 5490Emailbrsla-cs@international.gc.caInternet in BrazilTwitter@canadabrazilOther social mediaCanadá no Brasil
Appointment Book your appointment online
Rio De Janeiro - Consulate General of Canada
Street AddressAv. Atlântica 1130, 13º andar, Copacabana, 22021-000 Rio de Janeiro - RJ, BrazilTelephone+55 21 3444 0300Fax+55 21 3444 0319Emailrio-cs@international.gc.caInternet in BrazilTwitter@CanadaBrazilOther social mediaCanadá no Brasil
Appointment Book your appointment online
São Paulo - Consulate General of Canada
Street AddressCentro Empresarial Nações Unidas - Torre Norte, Av. das Nações Unidas, 12901, 16º andar, 04578-000 São Paulo - SP, BrazilTelephone+55 11 5509 4321Emailspalo-cs@international.gc.caInternet in BrazilTwitter@CanadaBrazilOther social mediaCanadá no Brasil
Appointment Book your appointment online

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Brazil, in Brasilia, or the Consulate General of Canada in São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

You may call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa toll-free at 0 800 891-6614.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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