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Capitol City: Brasilia
Population: 209,101,109
Religion: Roman Catholic 80%
Language: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French
Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL)1 USD = 2.8300 BRL (October 2004)

Fixed Holidays:
January 1: New Year’s Day
April 21: Tiradentes Day
May 1: Labor Day
July 9: Civil Holiday (São Paulo State only)
September 7: Independence Day
October 12: Our Lady Aparecida
November 1: All Saints Day
November 2: All Souls
November 15: Proclamation of the Republic
December 8: Immaculate Conception
December 24: Christmas Eve (half day)
December 25: Christmas Day
December 31: New Year’s Eve (half day)

August to November Low season, less crowds.
December High season more crowds more expensive
February High seasons Carnival

Visas, Duty Free, Health
If you’re from the US, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, you need a visa to enter the country. If you’re from the UK, you don’t. Your visa is good up to 90 days before you leave and another 90 days after you get there. You can renew it for another 90 days if it expires while you’re there. Get your visa from either a Brazilian embassy or consulate.

If you get sick or hurt, remember that medical treatment is generally good, although very expensive. Better to buy traveler’s insurance before you travel.

Don’t trust the tap water drink bottled water.

Although Brazil can be a vacationer’s paradise, it’s also a third-world country, and the cities contain some unsafe elements. Brazen gangs of youths have been known to assault and rob tourists at knife or gunpoint. If your careful you should be fine. However you should understand the risks. Therefore when you’re in Rio and elsewhere take the following precautions:

  • Don’t make yourself more of a target then you already are. Dress down in public; don’t wear flashy clothes or jewelry. Don’t flash cash.
  • Take taxis after dark see Transportation below, even if your destination is only a few blocks. Do not walk.
  • If you have to walk somewhere, do so only during the day and in groups, if possible.
  • Shop during the day. Take only the money you need.
  • Consider carrying an old wallet with 10-20 dollars and perhaps an old watch to offer the mugger in case you’re robbed.
  • Take only one credit card, and use it prudently for example to pay the tariff at better hotels.
  • If you go to a disco or club to pick up women, watch your drink so no one drugs it. Never accept drinks from strangers.
  • Don’t take a freelancer back to her place. She may offer to pour you a drink into which she’ll put knock out drops. Once you fall asleep, she’ll rob you. Best to take her to a love hotel. The taxi drivers know where they are rather than your own hotel.
  • When visiting the beaches never leave your belongings unattended and make sure you leave before dark.
  • Leave your passport and other important documents in the hotel safe.
  • There are Tourist Police present on the streets to assist you, but it’s not unheard of for corrupt police to commit crimes.

Adult prevalence rate: 0.7% | People living with HIV/AIDS: 660,000 | Deaths: 15,000

Transportation Rio
Airport to City:
Take a flat-rate taxi from the airport to Ipanema or Copacabana. Cost: about US$20.

The Rio Metro is limited but efficient. There are two lines. You can take Line 1 from the city center to the Copacabana beaches in about 20 minutes. A single ride ticket is 2 BRL. A double-ride ticket is 4 BRL.

Rio taxi cabs are yellow with blue stripes. Hail them from the streets. Taxi cabs display flags that indicate the fare. A number 1 means a normal fare. A number 2 means a premium fare. You’ll pay more after 10 PM, on holidays (for example, Carnival) and Sundays, and during December, when crowds are at their worst. Ask the driver how much the fare is before you get in the cab. Tipping is not expected, but rounding up the bill and telling the driver to keep the change is appreciated.

If you need to call for a cab, remember that you’ll pay about 20 percent more. It’s worth it for the safety factor if you have to travel at night. In Rio, dial Transcoopass at 021/2560-4888 or Coopertramo at 021/2560-2022.

Buses are inexpensive you need exact change, but not air-conditioned and crowded. They’re havens for pickpockets and petty thieves, especially during rush hour. If you have to take one, avoid window seats and the back rows (so you don’t look like a tourist) and don’t travel alone.

Internet Cafés Rio and Sao Paolo

Cybercafe Internet Center Downtown
Rua da Alfandega, 80/401, Rio
(near Uruguaiana Subway Station (Metro)
Tel: (55) (21) 224 1743
Cost/Hour: US $5
Hours: M-F/8A – 9P; Sa/8A – 3P

Internet House
195, Nossa Senhora de Copacabana Avenue, shop 106, Rio
Tel/ Fax: (55) (21) 542 3348 / (55) (21) 542 3348
Cost/Hour: BRL 10
Hours: M-Sa/9A – 10P

Na Rede
R. Ministro Godoi 1169, Sao Paulo 05015-001
Tel/ Fax: (55) (11) 38651479 / (55) (11) 2805660
Cost/Hour: US $3
Hours: M-F/11A – 11P (Tu/3P – 11P)

Net Corner
Loja de Campinas, Rua Coronel Quirino, nº 1.252,
Bairro Cambui, Campinas, São Paulo
Tel: (55) (11) 3842-0072
Cost/Hour: BRL 6
Hours: M-F/9A – 10P; Sa/9A – 3P

Telephone numbers: 7 digits for land lines, 8 digits for cell phones
Long-distance country code: 55
In Rio: dial the number directly
Long-distance domestic calls: 021 + city code + phone number
International calls: 0021 + country code + area code + phone number
Collect calls: 9 before the numbers
City codes: Brasilia 61, Rio de Janeiro 21, São Paulo 11
Police: 190; Ambulance: 192; Fire: 193

110 volts or 220 volts; two round-pin plugs are standard. You’ll need an adapter.

Since Brazil is close to the ocean, you’ll have lots of fresh seafood to choose from. Also, try the Feijoada. It’s Rio’s signature dish. It’s made from pork and black beans, and comes with rice, kale, and flour of manioc, which is an indigenous tuber, similar to a potato.

When you’re really hungry, definitely visit a Churrasco restaurant. Waiters bring large slabs of grilled meats pork, beef, sausage, prime rib on skewers and cut slices for you. There’s also a buffet for salad items and side dishes. It’s all you can eat.

Budget to moderate-priced restaurants run from $5 to $15 per person. Ten percent is added to the bill for a service charge. Rio Restaurant List

Legal Status
Prostitution itself is not illegal, but pimping is. Legal prostitution here takes several forms:

Sauna Houses
Termas,your best bet for action during the day in Rio. These are full sex clubs with sauna, massage and bar or two. You pay an entry fee average 40 BRL. Bikini clad women see to your pleasure in private rooms typical fee: 100-130 BRL 40 minute session. Credit cards accepted.

You dress in a bathrobe and flip-flops. Spend some time (kissing, sharing drinks – drink prices are the same for you and her) with your selection before going to the cabine (room). Some women tend to be aggressive (initiate kissing, grabbing, etc.); the less attractive ones even more so. Rio Terma List

The most popular spots in Rio are at Help disco, the boites, or the cafes along Copacabana beach. Get to Help early, best action starts around midnight. Hour sessions: about 100 BRL. All night: US $100. Prices and talent level drops after 2 AM. Hit the cafes in the mid-afternoon (4 PM). Don’t pay up front. Pay after the fact.

If you can understand Portuguese, try the personals section of publications such as O Globo, O Dia, and Jornal do Brasil. More info here

Escort Agencies
Acompanhantes Rio outcall escorts are generally available from noon until early morning hours. Prices are normally 150 BRL for 1 hour and 200 BRL for two. It’s best to have some command of Portuguese, so you can give your preferences to the operator and to the lady when she arrives. Escorts tend to be slightly less attractive as the better Help or Termas workers. Of course, YMMV. Rio Escort List, more information

Massage Parlors
Clinica de Massagem
Massage parlors are popular in Sao Paolo. Try Antares, Cel Center, or Francebel.

The traditional brothel scene is stronger in Sao Paolo. The comfortable Bomboa is a popular place to go.

If you’re interested and in Rio, you’ll find them along Ave. Atlantico the main street along Copacabana after dark. They tend to be unattractive or strung out on drugs, and all too often, transvestites.

Weather: From June through August, the winter, temperatures hover between a comfortable 20°C by day and 16° C by night. The summer months of December through March heat up significantly, ranging from 25° to 45°C. The most rain occurs also during these months.

Before or after Carnaval is cheaper. Figure prices will be three times more during Carnaval for hotels, food and girls.
Hotel Availability: Good hotels in Rio are usually full December though February. Therefore, if you are planning to travel during this time you may want to make reservation in advance.

Aeroflot, Aeorlineas Argentinas, Aeroperu, Air France, ALITALIA, American, Avianca, British Airways, Delta, Iberia, KLM, Lan Chile, LAB, Lufthansa, SAA, Swissair, TAM, TAP, Transbrasil, UNITED, VARIG, Rio Sul, Vasp, Continental, and Spanair.

A passport is required to enter the country. Brazil has a “reciprocal visa policy,” which means that it requires visas of citizens from countries that require visas of Brazilians. Americans, Canadians, Australians, and New Zealand citizens all need visas (UK citizens do not) which can be obtained by applying at Brazilian embassies and consulates. Visas are valid up to 90 days before your arrival, then another 90 once you have arrived. If your visa expires while you are there, you can renew it for another 90 days.

Your plane will land at the International Airport, on the Governor’s Island (Ilha do Governador). You are about 20-25 minutes away from your South Side hotel, if traffic is good. Now that you have your transfer and your luggage, it is time to make it through Customs. Customs officers usually give foreign visitors a break. They prefer to prey upon Brazilian travelers, who love to bring back home loads of luggage. There is a green-light-red-light system, but everybody knows someone picks out who gets the red light. Customs officers obviously have all legal rights to search your luggage. You will gain more by cooperating, than by acting insulted. If you are picked out by a Customs officer by any chance, keep cool. Be helpful, friendly and firm. Your luggage is going to go through an X-ray, and possibly sniffing dogs. Do not bring anything illegal, or you may be caught. If you stopped at Bolivia, or other Andean country where people chew coca leaves, get rid of them, too. Before taking your pet on board, make sure you have updated information on what licenses and certificates you need. You don’t want to leave your best friend on quarantine, right? And since we are talking animals, don’t even think about taking back home that cute parrot or toucan you saw for sale. The trade of wild Brazilian animals is highly illegal, and you may even end up in jail. Don’t count on our sympathy either. Our wildlife belongs in our forests!

Right at the baggage claim area there are two taxi stands, and you can prepay your ride to town. From the airport to Ipanema or Copacabana they charge the flat rate, around $35. These taxis are comfortable, air-conditioned, and they always know the fastest way to reach their destination. It would be a good to have reservations made before you come to Rio. This way, you can just give the taxi driver the name of the hotel and he will take you there immediately. Check out the hotel lists we have below to make your plans.

How much money to bring will be entirely up to you and the budget you are on. Here is an idea of what things can cost, depending on your tastes. We recommend you to stay in the moderate range due to cleanliness and security. If you stay in the 40-60 dollar range, you’ll be fine, unless you’ve got money spend. Hotels are good for short stays like a week or less. Another choice of accommodations is renting an apartment along Copacabana Beach, overlooking the ocean. There are many to chose from in slow season. (See hotels)

Hotels: Budget room: US$5-20. Moderate hotel: US$20-70. Top-end hotel: US$70+
Food: Budget meal: under US$10. Moderate restaurant meal: US$10-20. Top-end restaurant meal: US$20+. (see food)
Women: Depending on the quality of the girl, looks, age, etc. you will be spending anywhere from $50 to 250 or more. The average cost is about $100 for a good looking girl and lots of sex for short time.
Estimated cost per day: $200-250 to have a great time.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are now accepted all over Brazil. Visa is the best card to carry for cash advances.
Traveler’s Cheques: Changing cash and travelers’ checks is simple – there are cambios in all but the tiniest towns. Unfortunately, it has become harder to exchange cash since the devaluation. It’s worth having enough cash to tide you over the weekend, when finding a change bureau, even in big cities, can be difficult. When buying cash, ask for lots of small bills as change is often unavailable for small transactions.

Tipping: Most services get tipped a mandatory 10%, often included in the bill. If a waiter is friendly and helpful, you may like to give more. Because of the massive amount of unemployment in Brazil, services that may seem superfluous are customarily tipped. Parking assistants are the most notable as they receive no wages, but petrol-station attendants, shoe shiners and barbers are also frequently tipped. Taxi drivers are an exception: most people round the price up, but a tip is not expected.

The first thing to know in choosing a hotel is knowing where you want to stay in Brazil. We suggest you stay in Rio De Janeiro around the Copacabana and Ipanema Beach Areas for the most fun and excitement.
Apartments: If you’re going with a big group and you plan to spend more than two weeks in Rio, it is more economical to rent an apartment for a month. Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema areas offer a lot of seasonal rentals. A two bedroom apartment (actually most of the two bedroom apartments also have an extra bedroom for the maid) with kitchen and two bathrooms could cost between US$ 50 to US$ 80 a day. If you plan to rent for less than a week, it can cost you around US $50 a day. It will depend on the season. The closer to the Carnaval you travel, the more expensive things get. Although Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema are more expensive due to their proximity to the beach, I think it is the best area to stay. There are many agencies that you can contact to find out more information. But before you rent, make sure you will be able to get your money back in case you don’t like the apartment.
Aparthotel: There is also the possibility to rent a full service aparthotel (residential hotels). Aparthotel is very popular in Rio due to the space (more space than the average hotel) and the services (they provide full service). Prices also vary substantially depending on the season and the location (As a rule of thumb, as closer to the beach the hotel or apartment is, the more expensive the rent will be). The aparthotel rooms come with living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Most of them have also swimming pool. The prices start around US$ 50 a night.

Hotel Tip: Location is everything in this town, meaning you want to be situated where you are walking distance from the best nightlife, shops, beach, and restaurants. We suggest you find an apartment (see below) to rent out as close as possible to the most popular disco in town, Help Disco (located on avenue Atlantica, along the beach). This is probably the safest area and is pretty much walking distance from all your favorite shops & restaurants, as well the beautiful beach.

Praia Lido Hotel: It is located about 5 blocks from Help Disco, walking distance from good restaurants, and a couple blocks away from the beach. We highly recommend the Praia Lido. High Season will cost about $83 per night but if you go in low season, you may be able to bargain them down to $50-60 per night. Note that you are permitted to bring girls to your room – only one at a time. They would not let us bring more than one girl in at a time.

Rio Roiss Hotel
The Rio Roiss has only a few rooms with partial ocean views (it’s a block off the beach, behind the Othon Palace Hotel), but the rooms are larger and the breakfast is better. Both allow “guests” but there is a surcharge for your female guest, about $12-18 per night.

Hotel Locator An on line hotel locator site that will find a hotel for you to suit your needs. Click on the city you want to stay in and any amenity you desire and it will find the hotel that fits your requests.

Good Hotel and Apartment List
Rio Flat Service: (5521) 274-7222 or Hotel Residencia at (5521) 256-2610 for rate and information.

The traditional Brazilian dish is a feijoada. The origin of Feijoada is a combination of culture (Brazilian Indians, Portuguese and the Africans). In fact, Africans, during the slavery period in Brazil, who had the idea of adding the pork that was not used by the slave owners to the black beans. Today, Feijoada is comprised of black beans (principal ingredient), with a lot of different types of meat all well seasoned with salt, garlic and onion. It is accompanied by white rice and collard green cut into fine strips, fried mandioc flour and pieces of orange. I know it might sound strange, but believe me, it is delicious. The Caesar Park Hotel offers an excellent feijoada every Saturday. It cost about US$ 28 per person. You must try this feijoada.

All feijoada must be accompanied by a Brazilian traditional drink called Caipirinha. Caipirinha is a very tasty and strong Brazilian drink. It made out of cachaca (sugar-cane alcohol), sugar, limes and ice.
For people that like red meat, there is nothing like Rio’s Churrascaria (barbecue house) rodizio. You sit at your table and then everything starts. Waiter keep coming to your table with meats such as filet mignon, alcatra, etc. They will only stop when you say “I think I got enough”. It cost about US $20 per person. It is a must.

Prices of a good meal in Rio range from reasonable to outrageous. You may easily spend over $100 on some pretentious restaurant if you order a couple of extra drinks, imported beer, and so on… Play it smart and check the menus outside before you go in. If the restaurant you go to does not have some window displaying the price list, go do your eating elsewhere – or get ready for a big Surprise. Also be suspicious of waiters that insist on serving you some fruit cocktail or schnapps – especially at steakhouses. They are not complimentary! Always ask if the food they are bringing to the table is free or costs money. Don’t assume that the bread you keep ordering is included in the price of the meal, or extra butter, or more soda, or coffee, etc. This is not the U.S.

The food in Rio is fantastic! It’s both fairly inexpensive (buffets running as little as $15 per person), incredibly tasty, high quality, clean and very presentable. The most popular restaurants are the Churrascaria or all-you-can-eat buffets, which include a salad bar that would put Sizzler to shame, gourmet meats (filet, prime rib, BBQ chicken, roast pork…it’s unbelievable!) served fresh cooked to your table, all kinds of side dishes that are incredibly scrumptious, and an array of deserts that will blow your mind. This is no place to come if you are on a diet (I must have gained a good 10 pounds in a 3 week trip) and it is the place to come if eating the world’s most delicious food has any meaning to you. For food, in terms of taste and quality, I give it an A+. Never in my life have I eaten such delicious meals.

Top 10
Steak House “Churrascaria”
Snacks & Sweets & FastFood

Churrascaria Mariu’s: It is located in front of Leme beach. It costs about US $20 per person. Trust me, it is a must. Avenida Atlantica 290, Leme (5521) 287-2552. This is the restaurant that is featured in “The Erotic Women of Rio De Janeiro.”

Restaurant Asparagus: They have some interesting dishes such as grill Javelin or Javelin leg prepared in the oven. It’s worth checking out. (5521) 220-9597, Rua Senador Dantas, 74, 17 andar, Centro.

Chapa e Chopp: This restaurant stays open until 6:00 in the morning. It is a simple place but the food is good and inexpensive. (5521) 259-2798, Rua prudent de Morais, 1838, Ipanema.

Although Brazil is surrounded by Spanish-speaking countries, the language here is Portuguese. Your Spanish will help a lot, though. Most Cariocas understand it, if spoken slowly. Anyone dealing directly with tourists will understand, and try hard to speak English. French and Italian are the other two languages that are likely to be at least understood.

The first thing to keep in mind while packing, is that Cariocas dress casual and light. The second is that if you forget anything, you will find something similar at local stores. Now let’s see what makes sense and what doesn’t. Bring your favorite pair of sneakers. You will be walking around a lot, and you need very comfortable walking shoes. A pair of casual shoes will do for the evening. You will need dress shoes only if you are coming on business, or planning to go to the more sophisticated nightclubs. If you forget the beach sandals, buy a pair of Havaianas at local shops. Comfortable clothes are a question of survival. Choose natural fabrics that breathe like cotton, and linen. Bermudas or cargo shorts with lots of pockets are great for the day. The latest trend are the longer ones, especially for men. In addition to the mandatory pair of jeans, bring casual pants like chinos or khakis for the evening. You don’t need anyone to tell you that you will need plenty of T-shirts. You may add a couple of tank tops as well, though they are not allowed at some restaurants. If you plan to go clubbing, this is basically all you need. Otherwise bring something dressier for the evening, like a Polo shirt, or a button-down. Remember again you may sweat, so pack something suitable (some colors are better than others). Bring a nice sweater if you are coming during the colder months. Bring a sweat suit even if you are coming in the summer, as you may want to sleep in it when you turn the air-conditioner full blast at night. A favorite casual jacket is a good addition, if you are coming in the winter or fall. A light rain jacket is always a good addition, as it does rain in Rio.

The Sugarloaf Tram competes with Corcovado for the position of Rio’s most famous postcard. Sugarloaf (Pão de Açúcar) is the name of a hill 369 meters high (about 1,100 feet). It stands around scenic Guanabara Bay, and is connected by cable car to another hill named Morro da Urca with 220 meters (about 650 feet). This is also where they filmed the James Bond Movie,
“Moonraker”. The cable ride takes two stages (3 minutes each), and it is definitely worthwhile. From the top you have a wonderful view of Rio, including historical downtown, and even Niterói – the city across the bay. Sugarloaf is in a neighborhood known as Urca. You can easily go on your own by taxi – and may even choose to stop at malls Rio Sul and Rio Off Shopping along the way, in Botafogo.

Corcovado & Christ the Redeemer Statue: The lesser-known brother to Sugarloaf might actually be the better bet: at almost twice Sugarloaf’s height, one has a view not only of Rio but of Sugarloaf. Here stands the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue, one of the world’s largest at 30 meters.

Botanical Gardens: Jardim Botânico, on Rua Jardim Botânico 1,008, is one of Rio’s most interesting parks. It has one square kilometer and features over 6,200 species of plants. The tall Imperial Palms lining up the street invite you to explore the inside, with quiet lanes and peaceful niches, breathing the purest air. Jardim Botânico is part of our heritage, and among the attractions are the Botanical Museum and Museum Casa dos Pilões, Brazil’s earliest gunpowder factory dating back to 1808. The location couldn’t be more convenient: you are around Lagoa only 5 minutes away from Leblon.

Copacabana Fort was built in 1914 to defend Guanabara Bay, the offers visitors many interesting attractions. Outstanding events are recorded for posterity at the Army Historical Museum through displays, video exhibitions, maquettes and even a hi-tech multi-media terminal that is a favorite with visitors to the Fort. All this is set against a panoramic view of one of the loveliest points on the Brazilian coastline.

Fireworks on Copacabana Beach
Carnival at Night
Copacabana Beach and Sidewalk
New Years Eve in Rio

Going To The Beach is a major program in Rio, appreciated by most “cariocas”. The beach is not only a place for swimming or sun-bathing: it’s a place for meeting friends and for practicing sports.
In Rio, people go to the beach even in winter and in cloudy days and several people stay there until the night comes. Many of our photos have been shot in winter and in heavily clouded days.
Practicing sports is important and stimulated by the government and by private companies. Several beaches have special illumination poles that allow football (American soccer) and volleyball matches in the sand at night. In Arpoador beach there’s special illumination towards the sea, for the practice of surf. The cycling lane offers an automobile-free space for cyclists and roller-bladers. Some companies have installed gymnastic equipment in the sand: advertising with social profit.
The use of beaches is free and restricting its use is not allowed: there’s no such thing as hotels with private beaches. Some places have facilities such as public phones (“orelhões” – “big ears”)in the sand. Along the shore there are numbered Life Guard stands, in which there are toilets and showers open from 08:00 to 20:00 h, for R$ 0,65, free to children up to 7 y.o. and adults over 65 y.o.

Cross the streets with extreme caution! No joke, the locales drive like maniacs and they do not stop for pedestrians. From the way they drive, one would get the impression there are rewards out for running over pedestrians. Public bus drivers would appear to be on cocaine, driving as fast as they possibly can, giving the impression if they don’t make the light at the next intersection, their life will suddenly end at that moment. Actually, it’s your life that will end if you dare to cross the street without looking both ways a dozen times – and then one more time – to make sure the next driver zooming around the corner is not aiming directly at you. Watch out! The streets are wild. Cross the road with extreme caution.

Do NOT take public buses. Buses are dangerous even for locals. A friend of mine had his passport and money stolen from his back pack in a bus. What was supposed to be a fun trip, became a nightmare. He spent his trip going to the embassy and the police station. Stay off the buses.

Do NOT wear jewelry (watch, necklaces, rings, etc.) around town as this will attract robbers. Fake jewelry can attract robbers as it may not appear fake from a distance. Appear somewhat poor and you will not stand out in the crowd.
Keep all your valuables in the hotel safe and carry only enough money to get by. For example, if you are going out to dinner, you won’t need more than $30 or $40, unless you plan to order expensive cocktails. Always keep your passport in the safe deposit box, except when exchanging TC’s (Traveler’s Checks) or doing a cash advance on your credit card (Visa & AMEX are widely accepted). Do NOT take any valuables to the beach, such an expensive camera, unless you have a friend who will watch it while you swim or walk along the sand.

Do NOT take women that you just met to your hotel room unless you have secured all your valuables away in a safe place. Some visitors have been known to be robbed by prostitutes in their hotel room.

If a beautiful woman is overly aggressive in wanting to come back with you to your hotel, watch out!!!. It might not be a woman. There a lot of transvestites in Rio, especially after dark along the streets. Pay attention to the voice. If you still are in doubt, you will have to apply the hand test. Or grab her between her legs and feel around for Mr. Lucky and the boys.

Before catching a cab, ask how much it is going to cost to go to your destination. Even if you have no idea of Cab price. The driver will think that you know how much it should cost. Therefore, he/she will not rip you off. Cabs fare around the city should be between US$ 5 (a few blocks) and US$ 20 (more than 10 minutes away).

Brazil may require all visitors to be vaccinated for yellow fever. Check with the Brazilian Embassy when you get you visa. Also, check with the Center of Disease Control for further information.

Rio has a strong public transportation composed mainly of subways, buses and cabs. In addition, there are many rental car companies established in Rio. For someone visiting Rio for the first time, we do NOT recommend taking a bus. This is due to the fact that many people (including locals) are mugged on the Bus.

We do NOT recommend renting a car either. Driving in Rio is very difficult for someone that had not been there before. It is not only a matter of knowing how to get around but the fact that the Cariocas drive like maniacs. The worse thing that can happen is getting involved in an accident in Rio with a rental car.

We do recommend taking a cab. In fact, many cab drivers speak English. Anytime before you take a cab ask how much it is going to cost to go from place A to place B. Even if you do not know how much it would actually cost. That makes them believe that you have an idea of cab prices. In addition, always memorize the license plate of the cab before you take it (just in case). Another thing that is safe and economical is making a deal with the cab driver to take you wherever you want to go at any time. Hence, rent the cab and the driver. It is cheaper and less troublesome than renting a car. It is best if the driver is recommended by someone from the hotel.

Help Disco: This is the hottest disco in South America. There is a R$13 cover charge for men, R$12 for women. On a Monday night Help can be a savior as normal bars/clubs are either empty or closed. By the way, you can exchange TC’s and US dollar here, at a very competitive rate. Help is hopping with available women, seven nights a week. Expect to pay between $125-$180 tip for any of the girls you meet and take back to your hotel. Yes, most of the girls, if not all, are of the working type, if you know what I mean.
When leaving Help for the evening, heed the advice on the signs at the door and do not take one of the cabs waiting out front. They are rip-off artists and will charge you quadruple the actual rate. Walk a block or so in either direction (it’s safe if you stay on the sidewalk) and then flag a cab. Note: when you arrive at your hotel with a female guest, they will ask your guest to fill out a card and show identification. This is for your own protection and is pretty standard. I actually find it comforting to know that the hotel will have the girls ID information in the unlikely event there are any problems.

They are basically bars with some entertainment being provided – some stripping – some Samba shows – some transvestite shows. Most of the girls who are in there do not strip, but just sit with customers and get up and dance with one another. Most of the clientele tends to be Brazilian as opposed to tourists. The drawback of these places is of course it is more expensive than just going to HELP. Its about a $20 cover charge that gets you 3 drinks – though some places (Barbarella) do not serve beer for some reason.
There are 7-10 of these all located around Princess Isabel Ave (way at the end of Copacabana toward Sugar Loaf). If you go to these places I would advise that you stick to the ones right on Isabel or the boite Barbarella which is right off Isabel. These places have the best girls and are safest in terms of not having to go on the back streets of Rio. There is also a take out charge for the girl – about $20 as well. And finally the girls tend to charge top of the market prices for themselves – $100 or more. So in total, the night can run you $150 or so, but some of these girls are absolute stunners.

Barbarella: Is probably the ‘top’ boite in town and charges accordingly. Inside there is a stage where women dance and surrounding this is a large collection of tables. Several persons who I’ve spoken with who’ve been there think there is an invisible tier system as they could never manage to sit in a good position as the best tables always had a reserved card for people who never showed up. Be aware there is a COVER CHARGE OF $35. Girls will ask up to $200 or more for an evening of pleasure. Many of the girls are quite busty and very sensual. This is by far the best entertainment (and possibly the most expensive) in town.

Maeia Pataca: The best (and most expensive) girls are to be found here before they go to the cafe in front of Help. They’re there pretty much from 12 noon till about 10 p.m., although during the day they’re more “hanging out” than working (but they WILL entertain offers). Maeia Pataca is located on Ave. Atlantica facing the beach. The tables and chairs are situated outside with big Cinzanno Umbrellas. A Great place to pick yourself up a “nooner” for the afternoon. The way it works is you sit down and order a drink or food. There may be girls sitting at other tables already and as soon as you sit down, you’ll have the girls flirting with you from their table. Then other girls will be walking by along the sidewalk and if you smile or stare at them they will sit down next to you. These girls are hookers and this is the way they make a living. By the way, when the working girls come off the beach, they tend to cross over at Maeia Pataca, a fun sight to behold all afternoon long. The food there is average at best, but with all the women there, who cares ???

Rio Sul Shopping Center: Found on Princess Isabella just through the tunnel from Copacabana. Gets busy from 12 o’clock and peaks around 6-7 o’clock. Four floors of shops and restaurants of all kinds together with a multi screen cinema and an internet cafe. Many of the shop girls here are close to super-model status. The standard of women in this shopping center has to be seen to be believed, in one eye there is more than a month back in the UK. On the 27th floor of Rio Sul is a discoteque called Maxims. Buses and taxis can easily be picked up outside including the bus to the airport.

MASSAGE (Thermas)
The words “terma” or “Therma” is a Brazilian term and is used to describe a place that is a combination spa/health club/massage center/ bar/brothel. There are dozens of termas in Rio, and they are to be found in all major cities in Brazil.
Here’s How it Works: The system at the termas is pretty standard: there is an entrance fee to use the facility. Additionally you will pay for any drinks, the girl, and the room. There are three room choices (standard cabina, deluxe, and suite). In the standard cabina you can spend 40 minutes with the girl; in the other rooms it’s an hour. If you go for an hour in the deluxe room your total bill, with a few drinks could be around $175. It is perfectly acceptable to talk with a number of women before settling on one. Once you find a good candidate, take a seat with her and get friendly. She’ll soon likely have her tongue down your throat and her hand on your cock. Take your time, and don’t rush back to the rooms…the Brazilian women are great at foreplay and love to get close. When you do decide it’s time to get to know her even better, let her know and she’ll arrange the rest. Like I said, they tend to be great at their work. You can expect oral and standard sex. The oral sex may or may not be bareback. More and more the girls propose using a condom for oral sex, although not all do. Condoms are always used for standard sex. After your time is up you can shower and leave, or shower and head back to the bar and have more fun. If the place isn’t crowded, the girl you’ve been with will often be content to just sit with you and play around. It’s a great way to spend an evening. You’ll pay your tab when you leave.

L’uomo: Located on the second floor of a shopping mall next to Rua Siqueira Campos. It can be difficult to find as the place is full of antique shops and the thermas is outside on a balcony with only a small door surrounded by window bricks. Entry is R$20, a beer is R$3 and they charge R$120 for 40 minutes with the girl in a standard room. Upon entering and registering you are given a wrist band which carries an ID number and locker key. You then proceed through into the locker area, the key opens a specific locker which contains a robe and sandals. You change into these then go through into the main area which is a darkened disco type arrangement. When buying a drink the barman records the number on your wrist strap ands its added to your tab for when you leave. At the other side of the disco is a room with sun loungers and cable TV. Adjoining this room are the toilets with shaving facilities and a steam room and sauna with hot showers and cold showers. After cleaning up and relaxing, you select a girl, then take her to one of the rooms. A lady oversees this and rings a telephone in the room when time is up. The girls at L’uomo are generally fairly attractive (there’s variability for sure) and are very good at their work. L’uomo is open 3pm-2am Mon-Sat. and this year (celebrating their 20th anniversary) is open Sundays.

Monte Carlo: also known as Club 19 (Rua Hilario de Gouveia, 19, in Copacabana). Monte Carlo is very convenient, just a block from the beach and Avenida Atlantica. The routine and set-up at Monte Carlo is nearly identical to L’uomo. You enter and change clothes on the ground floor, take the elevator to the showers/spa on the second (facilities are fairly similar to L’uomo’s) and take the elevator to the club on the 4th floor, where the girls are to be found. Prices at Monte Carlo are about the same as L’uomo. I have not found the girls at Monte Carlo to be as attractive on average as those at L’uomo, but there’s always a few beauties, and it only takes one (unless you want a “two-fer”, which is available at all the termas). Monte Carlo is open Mon.-Sat. from 4pm-2am.

Centaurus: (Rua Canning, 44, Ipanema). Centaurus is the most expensive of these termas, and it has some quirky drawbacks, but the women can’t be beat. The arrangements are somewhat different at Centaurus. As you enter you are asked to pay $210. This covers admission, and 40 minutes in a nice room with any girl. Drinks are additional and are paid for as you leave. You can also arrange to have two girls at once but will need to pay an additional $100 in advance. After you enter you will be escorted by a girl to the dressing room. She will help you out of your clothes and into a robe and sandals. This is one aspect of Centaurus that’s not good. The girls typically hangs around and expects that she will be your date for the evening. Always make it clear that you want to go somewhere to relax for awhile and then look around…they get the message. After a shower on the ground floor you head upstairs to the bar area. There is a small room with a TV and massage tables that is often crowded with guys and girls getting friendly while watching soccer (what else!). The bar area is fairly large and has seating at the bar and bench seating elsewhere where it is easier to get to know the girls. There is a small stage where they have live music on some nights and where the girls do striptease routines every evening. The great thing about Centaurus is the girls. There are a lot of them and most are stunning. As good as L’uomo is, there’s a substantial leap in the beauty of the girls. You will find a number of girls to your liking, and will likely find yourself paralyzed by indecision. When you find the one you like, just smile and wink and they’ll come over. Another advantage at Centaurus is that there are several girls who speak fairly good English. I spent an evening with one blonde lovely who was a law student and spoke perfect English. Many of the girls at Centaurus are college students (many from the local Catholic college!) and are better conversationalists than girls at the other termas. The sex at Centaurus has been excellent.

Termas Solarium: (Rua JJ Seabra, 21, Jardim Botanica), located in a nice neighborhood about 15 minutes from Copa or Ipanema. Solarium is more on the upscale end of the termas, although a bit less expensive than Centaurus. The tab at Solarium will run about $190 plus drinks. It has a nicer facility than Centaurus and the girls are almost up to the Centaurus gold standard. Solarium is a bit off the beaten path, but definitely worth the trip.

Termas Pedagio: (corner of Rua Siqueira Campos and Rua Barata Riberio, 2nd level) is very
inexpensive…you can get in and out for $70 Reals, but you get what you pay for. The facilities are pretty gross, the girls variable but less attractive than other places, and the sex is less enthusiastic. Some guys like it because it’s a good place for a little voyeurism: the girls often give the guys head in the communal steam bath. If this appeals to you, it’s an option.

TERMAS 4 X 4: RUA BUENOS AIRES, 44 CENTRO 283-1009/253-1009 . Cover for 4×4 was 20R and standard room/girl/40minute 110R – suite/girl/60min 130R. 4×4 is closed Saturday/Sunday

TERMAS 65: RUA DO ROSIRIO, 65 CENTRO 203-1338. Entrance fee is about 45R and about 110R for girl and 30R for room. 30-50 Girls on duty, depending on the day.

Once the sun sets in Rio, Ave. Atlantico – the main street along Copacabana – comes alive with hookers that basically do car service. Most of these are not too attractive; beware of the transvestites as they are intermixed. We strongly suggest you stay away from the women who work the streets due to higher risk of security. A lot of these girls are strung out on drugs, so use caution when bringing them to your room. Again, remember there are a mixture of transvestites, so be aware of that.

Another common place is the night club area, which is located around Ave. Princess Isabel in Leme. There are many nightclubs in this neighborhood (also sometimes referred to as the Lido). These clubs (or “Boites”) open relatively late and feature some exotic dance shows. The cover charges varies from $15-$40 Reals and sometimes includes the first drink or two. Drink prices tend to be VERY expensive, so keep an eye on your bar tab and check it each time you order something. I’ve talked with guys who were surprised to find at the end of the evening that their bar tab was well over $200 US. These clubs are filled with women, some who dance and some who are just there to keep you company, share your drinks, and maybe go home with you. The dancers are also available to head home with you. The house makes its money off the drinks and cover. I have not paid a “bar fine” in any of these clubs, but then again, I don’t frequent them. The best-known places are Barbarella, Frank’s, Erotica, and the New Scotch Bar. Barbarella’s is known to have the most attractive women, but an evening here can get pretty expensive. Most of the girls will ask for $200 reals for 2 hours but will negotiate from there. Many will not want to spend the night…they would prefer to make the quick money and then find another customer later.

Most of the Cariocas are very laid back people. The reason of life for the Cariocas is to have fun. Cariocas enjoy the Rio life style (party and go to bed late). Due to their laid back life style, a new visitor might wonder whether the Cariocas have time to work. Rio is a very informal city; dress is light showing of a lot of skin. Cariocas are known for being late for the appointments. For instance, if you are invited for a party and the invitation says that the party starts at 20:00 hours, people will only start to arrive at about 22:00 hours. You might be waiting by yourself for about two hours. Hence, do not try to be punctual in Rio. Cariocas in general are very receptive to meet new people. One thing that bothers me is that they will ask you any question they feel like they want to ask. So, keep in mind that is the way it is.
Another thing to bear in mind is that Cariocas (Brazilian in general) consider body contact a fundamental part of the conversation. For instance, if someone introduces you to a Carioca, and you are a woman, be prepared to be kissed in each side of you cheeks. It is part of the culture for men to kiss women on both cheeks during introduction. In most case, women also kiss other women. Cariocas like to talk very close to your face looking directly into your eyes. You might try to step back but he/she will continue to try to get closer. Another thing about Cariocas (Brazilian in general) is that they talk loud. If you go to a restaurant you might wonder if you ended up in a football stadium. Moving the arms and the body is also part of the communication process.
Cariocas like to spend time drinking Chopp (beer on draft) in front of the beach. In fact, they might spend the whole night drinking, laughing and talking.

110 V and 60 Hz is how electricity goes here. Few hotels have dual voltage in the bathroom. Make sure your electric razor, toothbrush, and hair-drier are suitable to our standards, or they will only take up precious space in your luggage. You may also need an adapter plug. The outlets will take round or flat plugs, but not the one where one is wider than the other. Computer outlets are standard around the world, but modem connections are only found at the most expensive hotels.

Telephone: Full IDD services are available for the whole country and abroad. Country code: 55. Outgoing international code: 00. Public telephones take telephone cards (cartoes telefônicos) which cost from R$2.5 to R$10. Some older telephones may require metal discs (fichas), which can be obtained from cash desks or newspaper kiosks. International calls from Brazil are expensive: to the UK, the rate is approximately US$3 per minute, to the USA and Canada it is approximately US$2.50 per minute.
Fax: Facilities are available in the main post offices of major cities and some 5-star hotels; as this technology is being introduced slowly it is advisable to check that this is available at the end destination. Fax transmissions cost approximately US$12 to the UK and US$10 to the USA and Canada.

Shops and most offices are open Monday through Friday from 9 am. to 6 p.m. and from 9 am to 1pm on Saturday. Banks are open on Monday through Friday from 10am to 4:00pm. Most shopping centers and malls remain open until 10pm. Many pharmacies and small stores are also open on Sunday.

1 January New Year’s Day
21 April Tiradentes Day (revolutionary hero)
1 May Labor Day
9 July Civil Holiday, São Paulo State only
7 September Independence Day
12 October Our Lady Aparecida
1 November All Saints Day*
2 November All Souls Day
15 November Proclamation of the Republic
8 December Immaculate Conception (some rural areas?)
24 December Christmas Eve (half day)
25 December Christmas Day
31 December New Year’s Eve (half day) (all about carnival)

A 10% tip is usually included – unless it’s a self-serve joint, obviously. Give a little more only if service was especially friendly.

Taxi drivers
Do not expect big tips, and may even round down the total to locals (?). Round up, or give an extra R$1 if you are feeling especially generous.

Bellboys and chamber maids
Expect to get at least R$1. Give less and you will be considered a mão-de-vaca (mown-djee-VA-ca) – Portuguese for cow’s hand, you know, the kind that never opens.

Barbers, hair stylists, masseurs, manicurists, pedicurists and the like expect at least a 10% tip (again never less than R$1).

At discos are not mandatory (but appreciated).

It is suggested to drink bottled water while traveling thoughout Brazil.

Maps-more (to buy)
The major cause of death in Brazil today is cardiovascular disease, followed by cancer, respiratory disease, and trauma. In general, patients in developed urban areas of southern Brazil suffer from lifestyle diseases similar to those in developed countries. Trauma from motor vehicle collisions and interpersonal violence is a major problem and the leading cause of death in persons aged 15-60 years.
Paramedics do not exist in Brazil because Brazilian law precludes nonphysicians from performing intubation, defibrillation, and other advanced life support (ALS) procedures. Brazilian law recognizes the public SAMU service as having the authority to set EMS standards and to coordinate all public and private services. No standards govern qualifications of EMS physicians, except that they must hold a valid state license to practice medicine.

Cafe Cybercafe
Av. das Americas 4666 lj 125/126
Barrashopping R. J.,
Tel: 55-21-431-9727

Internet House
195, Nossa Senhora de Copacabana Avenue,
shop 106 – Copacabana
Tel: 55 21 542-3348

Cybercafe Internet Center Downtown
Rua da Alfandega, 80/401 – Historical Downtown
Tel: (+5521) 224 1743

The women in Rio are not shy. They love the camera. In fact, don’t be surprised if one of them shows you naked pictures of herself that she carries around in her purse. Its sort of a selling feature they use to entice you to go with them. The pictures were taken by some guy she had sex with in the past and she was given a set of duplicates for a gift. Take lots of film for your still photo camera but don’t forget to bring a video camera as well. They’ll perform porn for you with you or their girlfriends. They are extremely wild and are not shocked at anything you ask them to do. If they don’t want to do it is becasue they are either holding out for more money or they are afraid their husband or boyfriend may see the pictures.

Nude Beaches
Pinho, Camboriú (Santa Catarina) — compulsory nudity, easy access
Pedras Altas, Florianópolis (Santa Catarina) — optional nudity, difficult access
Olho de Boi, Búzios (Rio de Janeiro) — optional nudity, difficult access
Barra Seca, Linhares (Espírito Santo) — compulsory nudity, easy access
Tambaba, Conde (Paraíba) — optional nudity, difficult access

Rio City Guide
Insider’s Guide to Rio

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