Getting Around in Brazil, Visiting Brazil - Allo' Expat Brazil
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Getting Around in Brazil

By Air

There is a shuttle service between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, a regular service from São Paulo to Brasília, and a shuttle service from Brasília to Belo Horizonte. There are air services between all Brazilian cities, Brazil having one of the largest internal air networks in the world. At weekends it is advisable to book seats as the services are much used. The monthly magazine Panrotas (website: gives all timetables and fares for internal air travel. No-frills airlines include GOL Linhas (website: and OceanAir (website: Air taxis are available between all major centres.

Domestic Airports

São Paulo (VCP) (Viracopos), 96km (60 miles) southwest of the city. Facilities: Banking, a duty free shop and a restaurant.

São Paulo (CGH) (Congonhas), 14km (8 miles) from the city.

Manaus (Internacional Eduardo Gomes) (MAO), 14km (9 miles) from the city. To/from the airport: There are coach services into the city and to other destinations.

Salvador (SSA) (Dois de Julho), 36km (22 miles) from the city. To/from the airport: 24-hour taxi facilities are available. Facilities: Banking, a duty free shop and a restaurant.

The Brazil Airpass

The Brazil Airpass is available through VARIG and can be purchased only outside of Brazil. Any IATA international carrier may be used. The pass costs US$560 for one to five coupons. Extra coupons cost US$100 each, up to a maximum of nine coupons; validity is for 21 days from first day of travel. The same route cannot be traveled twice. The similar Star Alliance VARIG Brazil Airpass must be used in conjunction with a Star Alliance or Pluna international carrier ticket. The pass costs US$399 for one to four coupons; extra coupons cost US$100. The Star Alliance Northeast Airpass is valid in the northeastern region of Brazil only and costs US$299 for one to four coupons. It is also possible to by an airpass with TAM, using any international carrier.

Departure tax: None.

By Sea/ River

Ferries serve all coastal ports. River transport is the most efficient method of travel in the Amazon Delta. The government-owned Empresa de Navegação de Amazônia (ENASA) has now virtually suspended its passenger-boat services, but private companies have stepped in and provide constantly improving services on rivers throughout the country. Boat trips from the mainland to the popular and beautiful islands of Ilha Grande, Ilhabela and Ilha de Santa Catarina are also possible.

By Rail

Limited rail connections exist to most major cities and towns, but there has been a substantial decline in the provision of long-distance services from the 18 major regional networks. Most (95 per cent) of Brazil’s 22,000km (13,640 miles) of rail lines are located within 480km (300 miles) of its Atlantic coastline. Because of the great distances and the climate, some of these journeys can be uncomfortable. Daytime and overnight trains with restaurant and sleeping-cars link São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s most scenic rail routes are from Curitiba to Paranagua (originating in São Paulo) and from São Paulo to Santos. Other major rail routes include Belo Horizonte– Itabira–Vitoria (with buffet car), Campo Grande–Ponte Pora (with restaurant car), Porto Santana–Serra do Navio (second-class only), Santos Ana Costa–Juquia (second-class only), São Luis A Guarda–Parauapebas (with buffet car), Curitiba–Foz do Iguacu, São Paulo–Panorama (second-class only), São Paulo–Presidente Prudente (first-class, air conditioned, buffet and sleeping cars available), Araguari– Campinas (restaurant or buffet car) and Santa Maria–Pôrto Alegre (with restaurant car). Children under three travel free. Children from three to nine pay half fare.

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