Land of a thousand smiles
Brazil is a very beautiful country and the Brazilian people are warm and friendly, they smile a lot, welcome visitors, and are normally as helpful as possible.
Being poor doesn't mean being miserable, and they illustrate this point perfectly. A great place to visit, and a 'have to see before I die' destination for everyone. Brazil is a third world country so things are cheap, and you will find lots of great food and beautiful people here.
Rio De Janeiro is one of the most popular destination to experience carnival, Sao Paulo is a more southern destination and gateway to Iguassu falls, Florianopolis is a small island paradise and Brazil remains one of the worlds most popular sex tourism destinations. To help plan your trip, from the accommodation pages you will find over 300 hotels and apartments.
People from most Western countries have made brazil their home including Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Arabs and others and as a visitor you will see the ethnic diversity. Within Brazil, poverty exists on a massive scale giving rise to widespread crime.
Brazilians speak Portuguese, so learning a few important phrases before you arrive will be helpful. They appreciate people who make an effort, but are used to people who don't, so you will find any tourist operator will speak at least some English. You will find many who don't speak any. It is similar to Spanish, but there are some sounds in Portuguese that Spanish doesn't have, so if you speak to them in Spanish, they will generally understand you, but will answer in Portuguese, which you will not understand!
On the beach Brazil uses the Reais (pronounced Hay-eyes) and it is generally not worth very much. Things are very cheap in Brazil, and the economy here is terrible. They have many social and government issues that have been going on for centuries and don't look any closer to being fixed anytime soon. This country is desperately poor and to get things onto more stable ground they would all need to follow the rules, but this is impossible because nobody wants to be poor, or to pass up an opportunity for financial gain, legal or illegal. Rules just don't get followed, so are therefore useless. A general guide is R$1 is worth NZ&AUS$0.50. You double your money here which is excellent.
Brazil is a generally safe place to visit however, travellers should nevertheless be aware that Brazil is a country dealing with severe poverty and social tensions, the symptoms of which may affect travel in the country. By taking the usual common-sense precautions and especially avoiding displays of wealth. Remaining well-informed of current events should ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.