Overland Brazil Travel
Pan American Highway > Brazil
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- 1 Visiting Brazil
- 2 Entering Brazil with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Brazil
- 4 Gas and Diesel price in Brazil
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Brazil
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Brazil
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Give a brief overview of what it's like to visit. How easy is the border, how safe is the country, are there great things to see and do, etc.
Entering Brazil with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: Sep 2014
- None, just your passport.
Process at border
(For people, see Brazil Visa and Passport requirements at the World Travel Guide)
Go to migracion on the east side of rode and get your visa stamped then drive about 20 meters south to the aduana for the vehicle process, no inspection, fumigation or insurance required. A vehicle is automatically admitted when the owner is admitted with a valid visa.
Cost of entry
Free for vehicle but the Visa can cost around $200.00 USD for some countries including Americans and will need to be done before arriving
Permitted length of stay
As long as the legal owner can stay.
Extension of stay
The length of time a vehicle can be in Brazil is only based how long the owner can stay in Brazil. The information given below is about extending the stay for the owner, which by default extends the stay for the vehicle.
The number of days given to tourists when entering Brazil varies according to the whims of the federal police ofﬁcer who stamps your passport. Generally 90 days are given to most tourists. If you are from the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand you would have had to get your visa ahead of time which allows for 90 days upon entry with a maximum extension of 180 days total. From talking to different Europeans we have met in Brazil we get the impression most Europeans are also allowed 90 days with a maximum of 180 days without having to pay for a Visa however this information is not tested and you should check with the federal police for your specific country.
The ﬁrst time we entered Brazil we were given only 30 days and told we could extend later. The second time we entered we were given 90 days. Here is the process we went through as US passport holders, extending our visas in Rio de Janiero. My understanding is that it is the same for everybody but you should check the rules for your country just in case.
In Rio, the ofﬁce of the Policia Federal that deals with tourist visas is located at the International Airport-Galeao, terminal 1 on the third ﬂoor. The website says they only accept extension paperwork from 8 to 12 in the morning, and the lines get long so I recommend arriving as early as possible. The waiting takes awhile but once you are talking to somebody the process is very fast and you should receive your extension right then. If needed there is an internet cafe/copy place at the airport on the bottom ﬂoor.
You will need the following items to extend:
- Tourist visa extension request form (given to you at the ofﬁce and ﬁlled out by hand)
- Immigration paper given to you when entering
- Proof of departure from the country dated within the next 90 days (if traveling by car we took a copy of the title of our vehicle and explained we were driving our own vehicle through the country which was accepted without question)
- Proof of ﬁnancial independence-the paper we were given said a credit card would be acceptable but the ofﬁcer at the information desk asked for a copy of a bank statement. I would recommend having a copy of your bank statement handy just in case
- Copy of the payment form with receipt of payment attached-the fee is R$67.00 BRL (this should be done ahead of time) NOTE: If your are extending anywhere besides Rio de Janeiro the information for this form is going to be different. You will have to go to the ofﬁce ﬁrst and get the code and location information from them.
- Go to http://www.dpf.gov.br, click on the GRU link along the left hand side of the main page under Servicos.
- Click on 1-GRU-Funapol (estrangeiro, etc)
- Click on 3-Pessoas e entidades estrangeiras
- Fill in the form. Under Unidade Arrecadadora select: SUPERINTENDENCIA REGIONAL NO ESTADO DO RIO DE JANEIRO. The Codigo da Receita is 140090. Once this is entered the R$67.00 BRL fee should ﬁll in itself.
- Submit the form and print a copy of the receipt.
- Take this receipt to any bank and pay the fee. They will give you half the page back with the payment receipt stapled to it
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
As of 2013, there is no paperwork or stamp in your passport for your vehicle, so you are free to leave it in the country while you leave. As long as the vehicle owner is legal in the country, the vehicle is too. In 2014 many people have proved this - leaving their vehicle in Brazil for many months while they are not, the returning on a new visa and no issues with the vehicle.
Exiting with a vehicle
Describe the paperwork requirements and process at the border to exit.
Driving in Brazil
Yes or No if insurance is mandatory, and what kind is acceptable.
Cost of insurance
State the price of insurance and a time period.
Where to purchase insurance
Describe where insurance can be purchased.
An international driving permit is not required to drive in Brazil, only a recognized North or South American license and valid passport. The IDP is only recommended because the translation can solve problems during routine encounters with police (who may not be aware of the recent changes in Brazilian law dropping the requirement of an international driving permit).
Driving side of road
Brazilians drive on the right. In Brazil, the steering wheel is on the left.
RHD can be driven in Brazil without a problem.
Mandatory items in vehicle
A fire extinguisher and a safety triangle are mandatory items in a vehicle.
General Road quality
Roads in Brazil are generally adequate but improving. The quality of pavement is generally not an issue, but some major roads may only feature one lane in each direction, making travel difficult. Some villages are still only accessible via unpaved roads (Which may not be marked on a map). It is a good idea to ask a local guide for more information because the most efficient route may not always be the most obvious, and the best available maps / GPS may not always be up to date. One way roads are common in major cities.
Road signs are very standardized and most drivers will find them adequate and self-explanatory. Be aware that every 500-1000 meters of road in populated areas will have a (clearly marked) speed bump to force drivers to slow down when passing through cities and villages.
Most new high capacity roads in Brazil charge a minimal toll every 50-80 km of R$1.00 BRL-R$2.00 BRL, and tolls are clearly marked in advance. Generally you must pay the toll with a R$10 (Brazilian Real) note or smaller.
See the Online toll calculator.
Bribery in Brazil
Briefly describe how common bribery is and whether it should be expected, and the best way to deal with it.
describe the frequency of checkpoints (police or military and what to expect.
Traveling with pets
List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.
Gas and Diesel price in Brazil
Last updated: October 2012
Currency and unit to display:
|Unleaded||€1.06 EUR per Liter|
|Diesel||€0.83 EUR per Liter|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Gas shortages are not common in Brazil, diesel and gasoline are widely available. Even in small villages very rudimentary gas stations exist, even far from major cities. One should not have to drive more than 10-15 km to find a gas station. Be aware to not put accidentally ethanol as it is as common as gasoline and diesel at the gas stations. In big cities there is also the LPG option.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Gasoline and Diesel in Brazil are of very high quality, and the quality of gasoline is generally the same at all major chains and independent retailers. Don't be surprised to find very rudimentary gas stations in the areas far from major cities, as their gasoline is usually of the highest quality.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Some areas are not safe to drive at night, especially the state of Bahia. Express kidnappings and robberys are known to occur, and most Brazilian people will not stop for cars which appear to be 'broken down' as people have been known to ambush and rob the good Samaritans who come to their aid at gunpoint. Generally, most people do not encounter any problems during the daytime however and Brazilians are very courteous and helpful to travelers.
Brazil has a complicated system of parking on the street which involves color codes and different rates for different areas at different times. It is usually cheaper and safer (in most major cities) to park in private "Garages", especially overnight. Many hotels, restaurants, attractions, and places of business provide free parking to their customers. Beware in some areas of people who offer to "watch your car". They usually expect some small amount of money for this "service" and if you do not pay them they could damage your vehicle. This is somewhat common in free parking areas near major attractions.
Special driving considerations
A List of special things to be careful of (i.e. Unsigned speed bumps, abnormal road rules, people or animals on the road, etc.).
List any roads that are not recommended to drive for safety or other security reasons.
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Brazil - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Brazil
Organized campsites are very common in Brazil.
Expect to pay somewhere between $5.00 USD and <cost price="35" currency="USD" /> for two people per night. Pay campsites have facilities like bathrooms and hot showers.
It's legal to drive on beaches, and many Overlanders have mentioned they wild camped on beaches without incident.
Brazil also has very well equipped gas stations, where many overlanders sleep for the night, with showers and bathrooms, all for free.
Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping.
You can't always drink tap water in Brazil. Ask a local to be sure.
Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Brazil
The best paper maps for Brazil is "Guia Quatro Rodas which comes with a book, including gas stations, police checkpoints, toll roads, etc. The "Guia" itself contains most of brazilian cities and its attractions. It can be bought in any book shop or news stand.
GPS Maps of Brazil
Most GPS brands have Brazilian up to date maps at least for the big cities. You can get free updated maps for Garmin and Navitel GPS at: http://www.tracksource.org.br/index.php/downloads-mapas.html
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Brazil
In the GPS maps there are plenty of these points and a lot more.
Currently the best website with GPS co-ordinates (campsites, propane, etc.) in South and Central America is iOverlander.
There is a list of organized camp sites from BodesWell here: 
and boondocking camp sites from LandCruising Adventure here: 
Special Overland Travel interests
For shipping the vehicle on barges on the Amazon river: Macapa-Belem The info and schedule was very difficult to get without being there personally, talking to all the 'bausa' offices in person. I even asked a company for a schedule - they simply don't have anything written down. For the Macapa-Belem route, it takes 40-45 hours, R$1,000.00 BRL (2 people + a small car; or same price for 1 person + a van, including food, sleep in the car). Starts from Macapa M/W/F at 4-6pm. The other companies seem to be on the same schedule. I was told the reverse trip is the same schedule. Bausas can be cancelled if there isn't enough cargo.
The bausas are huge, with capacity for 35-40 truck trailers. There are smaller ones too.
Not all the shipping companies take passengers along with the car. Check around. TNA is a company that have been able to take passengers with the car.
It's also possible to ship from Manaus to Belem. Much longer and more expensive than Macapa-Belem.
Travel Guide Books
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Belém: JR Service Car (BOSCH), worked on our diesel engine (timing belt change), very professional shop and nice people.
They also work on Landcruisers (was working on one while we were there).
Address: Tv. Perebebui, 212 - Sacramenta - Belém - PA
Phone: +55 (91) 3264-5034
Mobile: +55 (91) 8138-6969 for Jaime, +55 (91) 8146-9899 for Diogo (Portuguese speaking only)
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Brazil
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.