10th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics 2006 (ISER '06)

Travel Information

Beach


Brazilians only carry a towel, sun tan oil or sun block and a small amount of money to the beach. We suggest you to do the same. Avoid swimming far from the shore and be careful with overexposure to the sun. If your skin is sensitive, you should avoid the beach from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Remember, you are in a tropical country.

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Business Hours


Most offices and stores are open from 9:00 am to 6:00 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 and Sunday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Banks are open from Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

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Climate


Most of Brazil lies on the South of the Equator. As a result there is very little seasonal variation. The climate is comfortably temperate in most of the country, and refreshing sea breezes often blow along the coast almost all year round. With the temperatures usually ranging from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 30 degrees Centigrade), casual spring and summer clothes are appropriate for almost every region and occasion. In Rio, Summer runs from December though March with temperatures ranging from 25º C (77º F) to 42º C (108º F) while winter runs from June though to August when temperatures can drop to around 20º C (68ºF) in the day and cool 16º C (60ºF) at night.

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Clothing


Dress Casually. For men, slacks and sports shirts are sufficient; for women, casual attire is fine. Women may appreciate having a shawl or cardigan to handle the more heavily air conditioned buildings while a light sweater is all the necessary for winter nights.

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Credit Cards


They are welcome in shopping centers as well as in large stores, restaurants and night clubs.

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Communications


The International Direct Dial (IDD) code for Brazil is 55 and the city code for Rio de Janeiro 21.

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Entry Requirement


Depending on your citizenship, a VISA may be required for visiting Brazil. Tourist or transit VISA's are often processed within two week-days and are obtained through the nearest Brazilian Consulate. One passport-size photograph, along with the round-trip ticket and a duly completed and signed application form are required to apply for your VISA, valid for 90 days (for tourists) or 10 days (transit). Nations who do not need a VISA to enter Brazil on a tourist status include those from: Andorra, Argentina; Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, UK, Vatican and Venezuela.

U.S. residents can obtain their visas to Brazil by mail by contacting
CIBT, Inc. (New York)
60 East 42nd Street
Suite 1250
New York, NY 10165
(800) 929-2428

It takes 5 business days. A business visa costs $170 account fee. A tourist visa costs a bit less - $110. If you are planning any sightseeing activities, this can be used. In addition, CIBT charges a $45 handling fee and a $21 UPS overnight fee.

Check the VISA requirements page.

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Flying into Brazil


Two airports allow access to Rio. The Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport of Rio de Janeiro (“Galeão”), at 20 km from downtown, receives flights from all the largest Brazilian and foreign cities. The Santos Dumont Airport, located at the Guanabara Bay and near downtown, is used only for domestic flights. The other main hub for flying into Brazil is Sao Paulo. Both Rio and Sao Paulo are served by major airlines with flights from several cities in US and Europe.

Visitors who are intending to travel on from their point of entry to explore the rest of Brazil should consider investing in a Brazilian Airpass before arriving in the country. The Airpass can only be sold outside of Brazil and to non-residents with a return air ticket. It can be purchased for the flights of Varig Airlines. The price of the Airpass varies, but considering the size of Brazil and the cost of internal Brazilian air travel. Currently the cost of the basic Airpass is $530* for up to five internal flights. The pass is valid for 21 days from the first internal flight. There is also a South American Airpass which allows the holder to travel economically throughout Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. The cost of the South American Airpass is based on the number of miles flown. For more information please consult your local travel agent.

* Prices are estimated and subject to change.

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Geographic Location


Brazil covers almost half of South America and the coastline runs along the Atlantic Ocean for over 7.408 kilometers (11.919 miles) of white sandy beaches. Rio is situated on Brazil's Southeast Region, inside a state also called "Rio de Janeiro".

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Government


Brazil is a democratic Federal Republic where the President is elected for a 4 years term with the right to reelection.

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Hotel Safes


Hotels offer safety deposit boxes in their rooms, It is recommended that jewelry, air tickets, documents and money are kept in them. Keep only what is necessary for your daily use with you.

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Land Area


8.511.865 square kilometers (3.319.666 square miles).

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Language and Religion


Portuguese is the national language, although the Brazilian people give different accents and semantics to the Portuguese language spoken in Portugal. English and Spanish are the foreign languages spoken in most areas, especially in hotels, shops, restaurants and other tourist places. English and Spanish are part of the school curriculum.

Roman Catholic is the predominant religion all over Brazil. The rituals of Protestant church are also followed. Rituals and ceremonies brought from Africa by slaves in previous centuries are also found regularly in the "terreiros" of Candomblé, Macumba and Umbanda.

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Money


The currency in Brazil is the Real (R$). You can change Dollars at exchange shops or hotels front desk. However other currencies are not wildly available, so you are advised to bring U$ Dollars or travelers checks. There are three usual exchange rates - commercial, tourist and free. There are coins of one, five, ten, twenty-five, fifty centavos, and one Real and there are bills of one, five, ten, fifty and one hundred Reais. Foreign currencies and travelers checks can be exchanged at hotels, banks and tourist agencies. Most international credit cards are accepted.

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Population


Brazil has more than 160 million inhabitants. Rio is the second largest city with about 6 million people.

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Time Zone


In most of the country and in the main cities, the time is three hours earlier than Greenwich (London) Meridian Time.

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Transportation service


Airport transfers
 

 
Copacabana
Ipanema
Sheraton
Intercontinental
Barra da Tijuca
Yellow Cab (1)
U$ 14
U$ 14
U$ 19
U$ 19
U$ 22
Radio Taxis (2)
U$ 22
U$ 22
U$ 25
U$ 25
U$ 31
Bus (3)
U$ 2 per person

Approximated Amounts, considering hotels in Copacabana and Ipanema:

Privet Transfer provided by Grahn Operator (Approximated U$ 40). In this case Grahn Operator will send a bilingual driver guide to pick up passenger at the airport. Maximum of 2 passengers. Pre payment with credit card is requested. The advantage of this service is that they will receive a personalized service and primary information about the city, useful tips, etc.

1 - Yellow Cab (Approximated U$ 14) Amount is charged according to the taximeter. Grahn Oprator does not recommend this service for foreigners arriving at airport who are not able to speak Portuguese (taxi driver will probably not be able to speak English). In case of using this service, we recommend to use the official Yellow Cab company of the airport.

2 - Radio Taxis (Approximated U$ 22) Radio Taxi vouchers can be purchased at the arriving hall outside customs. Payment with credit card is accepted and hostesses are bilingual. In some Radio Táxis companies the driver can also charge directly to passenger. Grahn Operator advises "Cootramo Radio Taxi" (55 21 2560.5442) and "Transcoopass Radio Táxi" (2560.4888) services, which are registered with the tourist board

3 - Regular Shuttle Bus (Approximated U$ 2) Bus itinerary goes from the airport, passing downtown, Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon beaches along the coast and ends at the Intercontinental Hotel. Ask for assistance according to your hotel address. This bus company offers a VIP lounge in one of the airport terminal.

Taxis
Avoid tours or excursions from taxi drivers. You may be disappointed. If you can, avoid yellow cabs. Use the Cootramo and Transcoopass services, which are registered with the tourist board or ask for help at hotel concierge. In general, we suggest you contact your guide or our office for tours and transfers.  

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Tipping


Restaurants, taxis and hotel tips are 10% - 15% over your bill. Most restaurants include 10% on their bills. It is up to you to leave an extra tip.

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Voltage


Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have 110 or 120 Volt 60 cycles alternate current (AC). Salvador and Manaus have 127 Volts. Recife, Brasilia and a number of other cities have 220-Volt Service. Most Hotels, however, provide both services and/or adapters for guests.

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Water


It is suggested you drink mineral water, soft drinks and beer if you are thirsty. Avoid tap water in Brazil.

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