Climate Brazil is located in the Southern Hemisphere. Thus, its seasons are opposite to those of the Northern Hemisphere: * Spring: from September 22, to December 21; * Summer: from December 22 to March 21; * Fall: from March 22 to June 21; * Winter: from June 22 to September 21 Only the extreme north of the country, above the line of the equator, is located in the Northern Hemisphere; The climate varies according to the altitude and the latitude of each location. Since Brazil is of continental proportions, there are substantial variations and contrasts between its different regions; Regulations For Entry Into The Country Tourists and visitors of Mercosul nations - do not need to present a passport. They just need to show an identity card. Tourists and visitors of other nationalities - must present a passport that is valid for the next six months. The maximum stay conceded to a tourist initially is 90 days. This period may be renewed for another 90 days through authorization of the Federal Police. Tourists are not permitted to work during the period they are in Brazil. Check with the nearest Brazilian consulate or embassy in your country to the obtain information regarding work visas. Upon arriving in Brazil, all documents are checked and verified to see if the proper formalities have been observed, including entry visas for visitors from some countries and vaccination certificates. Entry Visas No entry visa is required for tourists from Europe or South America. For tourists from Canada or United States, visas are required as a question of reciprocity. Tourist visas may be renewed for a period of 180 days each year. For more information regarding the necessary documentation and for visitors from other countries, please contact the nearest Brazilian consulate or embassy in your country of origin. Vaccination An international vaccination certificate against polio for children between the ages of three months to six years must be presented; An international vaccination certificate against Yellow Fever must be presented by tourists who, in the three months prior to the trip to Brazil, have visited, have been in transit or are coming from the following countries: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guiné Bissau, French Guyana Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Venezuela and Zaire; It is recommended that vaccination against Yellow Fever be obtained by all persons, domestic or foreign, who are going to the following Brazilian states: Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Federal District, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins. Don\\\'t forget: vaccination against Yellow Fever should be taken a minimum of 10 days before trip departure. In the event of doubt, and for information about other vaccinations, please contact the Brazilian consulate or embassy nearest to you in your country of origin.
Communications Brazil has an excellent telecommunications system. Direct dial and collect calls can be placed from any telephone. Pay phones are located throughout the city and operate with telephone cards. Portable cellular telephones are available to visitors for a small rental charge. The International Direct Dial (IDD) code for Brazil is 55 . Foreign Exchange The Brazilian monetary unit is the Real (R$). The exchange rate available to visitors is published daily in the newspaper along with the commercial dollar rate of the day used in official international business transactions. Cash and traveler checks, especially 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. Language The language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese. English is the predominant foreign language taught in schools, and Spanish, if spoken slowly, is understood by a good percentage of the population. Medical Services Brazil has a number of internationally respected hospitals, clinics and doctors, but treatment is expensive so visitors are strongly advised to take out medical trip insurance before traveling to Brazil. Tipping Hotels: hotels generally include any service charge on the bill. Restaurants: tips are discretionary but are often found on the final bills as a \\\"suggestion\\\". In Brazil the norm remains 10 per cent. Taxis: tips are not expected by taxi drivers although most passengers will round the fare up if satisfied with the service. Airport and hotel porters: the Real equivalent of U$1.00 per suitcase. Customs Besides accompanying clothing and personal belongings (which may include radio, CD players, laptops, movie and still cameras), tourists entering Brazil are allowed to buy merchandise at the airport duty free shop.