General Information

Visa Information

The first step, before even thinking of packing your suitcases, is to find out from the nearest Brazilian Consulate which documents are necessary for your authorized entry into Brazil. See more information.


The Brazilian monetary unit is the Real. The exchange rate available to visitors is published daily in the newspapers. Cash and traveler checks, specially US$ dollars, can be exchanged at most banks or exchange houses as well as the major hotels. All major credit cards are accepted in Brazil, and some stores even accept foreign currency.


The climate in Rio de Janeiro is predominantly tropical with average temperatures varying between 20 C (72 F) to 30 C (82 F) in this part of the year. A light jacket for the evening is suggested, as temperatures can drop slightly.

Electrical Appliances

Electrical appliances in Rio de Janeiro, operate on 105-120 volts. The frequency is 60 cycles (Hz) and most of the sockets are two-pin sockets.


Rio is -3 hours of GMT

Business Hours

Most offices and stores are open from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Stores are also open on Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm while most of the large shopping centers open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Banks are open from Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Some shops inside the malls open also on Sundays, after 2:00pm.


The International Direct Dial (IDD) code for Brazil is 55


The official language is Portuguese. Some English is spoken, particularly in the main cities, but the nearest thing to a second language is Spanish, with which you will generally be able to make yourself understood.

Brazilian Food and Drink

Brazilian Food is rich in flavors that please the most demanding sense of taste. Fruits are everywhere and one will find excellent fruit juices including several vitamin-rich fruits never heard of. Coffee is served everywhere. The "caipirinha" is the most famous liquor drink and anyone coming from abroad has to try it, at least once.

Buses and Cabs

There are two bus lines running near the Institute: line 409 (Tijuca -- Jardim Botanico) and line 416 (Tijuca -- Jardim Botanico, via Reboucas Tunel). Pay as you enter, using the front door to get on and the rear door to get off the bus. The current bus fare is R$ 3,80 and the maximum change given is for a R$ 20,00 bill.