Rio de Janeiro
Cashing money with Credit or Bank card
Visa card holders may withdraw cash from the Banco do Brasil and Banco Itaú. Card holders with a PIN number may obtain cash from the 24 hours machines; those without will have to await verification, available from 10 am to 4 pm.
Rio de Janeiro International Airport Exchange Department ("Seção de Câmbio") 3rd floor.
Tel.: (+55 21) 3398-3652
Hours for exchange: For U$ and Euros from 8 am to 10 pm, daily; for another money exchange: Monday to Fridays, from 10 am to 6 pm.
Credit Card and Check
American Express, VISA, Diner's Club and Master Card are accepted at the majority of shop, although is always a good idea to confirm this before buying. Occasionally a small discount is offered on cash sales. Personal Check drawn on overseas banks are not accepted.
Generally speaking, travellers' Check are welcome. Visitors are encouraged to ckeck the daily dollar rate at their hotels before going on a spree.
Exchange and Refunds
Check with the salesperson as to the store's policy on exchanges and refunds. In most shops, it may be possible to exchange goods, but refunds are rarely if ever made.
The voltage is 110 volts in Rio de Janeiro, 60 cycles. In most hotels bathrooms there is a 220 volts outlet.
Rio de Janeiro's subway is safe, efficient and easy to use. Tickets are for one, two or ten rides.
General Osório (Ipanema)/ Cantagalo (Copacabana)/ Siqueira Campos (Copacabana)/ Cardeal Arco Verde (Copacabana)/ Botafogo/ Flamengo/ Largo do Marchado/ Catete/ Glória/ Cinelândia/ Carioca/ Uruguaiana/ Pres. Vargas/ Central/ Praça Onze/ Estácio/ Afonso Pena/ São Francisco Xavier/ Saens Peña
Brazil is connected to all appropriate international telephone and satellite communications system, providing trouble-free connections to virtually anywhere in the world. Most hotels provide guest room international Direct Dial (IDD) services; some hotels have in-room internet hook-up and fax machines. Other offer this service throught their Concierge or Business Center.
Outside hotels, long-distance calls can be made from IDD payphones or cardphones in various locations.
Telemar also provides service at certain hours of the day at their Copacabana and Ipanema offices.
The push-button call-home sustem, providing immediate connection to the operator of the country required is also availible. For information about dial access and IDD phone locations, contact the hotels operator. Not all local calls from private phone are free. However, shops, restaurants and bars without payphones will usually permit free use of their phones.
Hours of Business
Office hours are usually from 9am to 6pm. Stores normally open at 9am and close at 7pm. Lunch is usually taken from 12pm to 2pm. Most offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Guarantees and Receipts
When buying expensive photographic, eletronic or eletrical goods, always ensure that the guantee card is filled in, stamped and returned to you. Check the manual accompanying the item in question to ascertain that the guarantee will be honored outside Brazil. In all transactions involving larger sums of money, ask for the official, detailed bill of sale; in all transactions, keep the customer copy of the credit card bill. Tax Free Shopping in Brazil is restricted to the airports.
Banks are open weekdays from 10am to 4pm; tehy are closed on weekends and public holidays. Before departure from home, visitors are encouraged to check the acceptability of their credit and/ or cash cards with their local bank. Automated teller machines (ATMs) can be found almost everywhere; some machines provide 24-hours cash withdrawal (R$) facilities for major credit cards.
The mais car rental companies have branches in Rio de Janeiro. Reservations should be made at the point of origin. Should the visitor require a rented car for a day or two during his stay, the Concierge of the hotel will be able to make the necessary arrangements.
The Brazilian currency is the Real (R$); there are 100 centavos in one Real. Coins issued by the government are either bronze-coloured for 1 centavo, silver for 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos and a nickel and bronze coin for R$ 1,00.
R$ 1 , R$ 2, R$ 5, R$ 10, R$ 20, R$ 50, R$ 100 are the denominations of the notes. The value of the real against the US dollar varies according to the daily rate. banks and exchange bureaux charge a commission on exchange transaction, which the visitor should checck beforehand. As elsewhere, the rates of exchange for chas and travellers' Check are marginally different, and coins are not exchangeable. Money changers are obliged by law to display net rates of exchange. Receipt notes must be issued by law; it is advisable to keep these until after departure.
Most hotels have immediate access to on-call 24-hour medical assistance. There are also many government and private hospitals with 24-hours emergency and out-patient departments. Many of Rio de Janeiro's doctors and dentists were trained or have undergone postgraduate training overseas. All hotels have list of recommended medical services.
The Brazilian postal services meet all international standards, and there are many post offices around the city. They are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Most hotels offer postal facilities for guests' letters and packages and a packing service.
Safety and Security
As in any city in the world of the size of Rio de Janeiro, the key to an uneventful stay is to protect yourself from pickpockets as little cash and as few valuables as possible. The Rio de Janeiro military policeand the municipal guard corps have stations and reporting centres. In case of need, do contact the hotel Fron Desk for guidance and assistance.
Rio de Janeiro's water supply conforms to international standards; due to the pronounced taste of chlorine in the water it is advisable to drink bottles mineral water.
Informality is the keynote in Rio de Janeiro in terms of dress. The use of jackets and ties for men is restricted almost exclusively to offices. A lightweight wrap or jacket is often needed as the major hotels, restaurants and bar, as well as the subway and most taxis are air-conditioned.