Brazil travel guide



Santarém Travel Guide

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Banks & Currency Exchange Banks and hotels will exchange U.S. Dollars into real (R$) at the official rate (fewer reais per dollar) but do not usually exchange traveler's checks and cannot change any leftover reais back into dollars at the end of your stay. Money exchangers at special shops (casas de câmbio) or at tourist agencies will give you the parallel exchange rate for both buying and selling currency.

Customs You will be given a declaration form to fill out in the airplane before arrival.

Culture & Religions While handshaking is a common practice, here it is customary to greet not only friends and relatives but also complete strangers to whom you are being introduced with hugs and kisses. The "social" form of kissing consists usually of a kiss on each cheek except between man, for those, a handshake with a smile is sufficient. There is a spread out superstition that adding a 3rd kiss on the cheek improves one's change to get married soon. Between the second and third kiss you should say "treis pra casar" meaning: three to get married.

Electricity Electric voltage is not standardized throughout Brazil, but most cities have a 127-volt current as is the case of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Belém, Belo Horizonte, Corumbá and Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fóz do Iguassú, Porto Alegre, Salvador and Santarém. The electric current usage is 220 volts in Brasilia, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Recife and São Luis. Manaus uses 110-volt electricity.

Business Hours Business hours for offices in most cities are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Lunch "hours" may last literally hours. Banks open from 10 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The "Casas de Câmbio" currency exchanges operate usually from 9 am. - 5p.m. or 5.30 pm. In the Amazon, most businesses close for lunch from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

Postal Services Post offices generally are open from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - noon on Saturday and are closed on Sunday and holidays.

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