What are the advantages for me to travel with alter-nativ Brazil as compared to taking a trip on my own or with a regular travel agent?
Our job consists of turning your trip into a unique, unforgettable experience, filled with emotional highs and exciting encounters. Our thorough knowledge of the land helps us to offer you the best destinations which live up to your expectations. As we are based in Brazil, we can personally verify the quality of the hotels and all services. Through the Internet we are in touch with you directly and so bypass intermediaries. We can thus offer you hard-to-beat prices.
Is it possible to contact a person who has already travelled with alter-nativ Brazil and ask him to share his experience with me?
Of course, on your simple request, we put you in touch with one of our old clients who will inform you about the quality of our services.
What kind of lodging facilities can I expect?
You may specify the category of lodging you require so that we can propose the best options available for each part of your trip. Needless to say, the further you go «off the beaten track», the fewer the options.
Since the official classification set up by the Embratur (national tourist bureau) is not based on strict and uniform criteria, it is impossible to rely on the stars allotted locally. So every year our job is to select hotels and pousadas* which we divide into the following three categories.
- Standard = clean and comfortable but not particularly charming. r.
- Superior = clean and comfortable with a certain character or a pleasant view or a nice garden...
- Luxury = first class comfort and services.
* Pousadas, which are a highly sought after option in Brazil, are a more typical type of lodging, friendlier, less impersonal than a hotel, with similar facilities (room service, breakfast...). Like hotels, they too are of different categories – from the simple and rustic to the most luxurious.
What kind of food should I expect?
Brazil has excellent food. Grilled fish, seafood, succulent meats, a wide variety of fruits... Discovering the varied tastes of Brazilian cuisine is definitely a part of the trips we offer – for each destination we will suggest the best places to eat.
Are flight tickets included in your tours?
As we are based in Brazil, it is not possible for us to sell international tickets. For that, you are requested to log on to the websites of different airlines which have regular flights to Brazil (www.tam.com.br, www.flytap.com, etc.) or websites for cheap flights like Opodo, www.expedia.com or www.lastminute.com, etc...
For internal flights in Brazil, Tam airlines offer a Brazil Air Pass. It is a lump-sum airfare which enables you to visit up to 10 Brazilian cities. The lump-sum fare comprising 4 to 9 flight coupons costs around 100 US$ for each flight coupon. However, remember it is sold only outside Brazil, to foreigners or Brazilians residing outside South America and holding an international return ticket. It is valid for 21 days from the date of using the first flight coupon and you have to reserve the dates of your flights before leaving for Brazil.
How much time in advance should I confirm my reservation?
We ask you confirm your reservation with payment of 30% advance at least one month before arrival.
Can I still make changes in my itinerary after confirming my reservation?
After confirmation of your reservation, we can allow slight changes in your tour up to a maximum of 20 days before arrival
Should I take a medical and repatriation insurance?
We highly recommend you to take a full travel insurance which includes medical emergency, repatriation, etc. before travelling to Brazil. In some instances, if you pay us or for your flight ticket with a Gold or Premium credit card, several types of insurance will be given free. So the cost of the card is soon recovered. Check with your bank for details
Is any kind of vaccination or medical treatment recommended for Brazil?
No vaccinations are compulsory except against yellow fever if you are travelling to the Amazon and Pantanal or if you are coming from infected regions (particularly Black Africa, Peru and Bolivia). For these two regions, taking anti-malaria medication is advised.
Do I need a visa?
If you are a national of the European Union or Switzerland, a tourist visa valid for 90 days will be issued to you on your arrival in Brazil, just on presentation of your passport. Be careful, your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of your return to your country. If you are a US citizen, you do need a visa. If you are a national of any other country, please check with the services of the Brazilian Embassy in the capital of your country.
Is it easy to withdraw money or pay with my credit card?
In most cities, yes. However, once you leave the main urban areas, and particularly in the North and Northeast regions, it is rare to find ATMs and establishments which accept international credit cards. So when you stop in the state capitals and especially in the airports, make use of the opportunity to change money or to withdraw cash at the Banco do Brasil, Citibank, HSBC and Bradesco.
Is it dangerous to travel to Brazil?
As in other parts of the world, the metropolitan cities like Rio or São Paulo are dangerous and tourists could be easy targets for thieves and crooks. To avoid unpleasant experiences which could ruin your holiday, have a look at the list of simple dos and don’ts which we ask you to follow (menu Getting ready, heading Safety). As you will see, most of them are just common sense rules and hold for all your travel abroad.