Good news for Filipinos! It is visa-free to go to Brazil.
HOW TO GET THERE: We took a flight from Suriname to Brazil that costs us about 350 US to 400 US per person (return). It includes a connecting flight of about 1 to 2 hours to Belem and another one-hour flight to Brasilia.
CURRENCY: You can exchange US Dollars to Brazilian Real (BRL) at the airport, but the exchange rate is lower compared to the malls. We changed 20 US to pay for the taxi going to our hotel because they only accept BRL. 1 US = 3.50 BRL
LANGUAGE: Before traveling to Brazil, make sure to download a language translator on your phone because most Brazilians ONLY speak Portuguese. Sim! (One of the advantages of being a Filipino is that our language is somewhat similar to Spanish, so I can actually understand a little bit. Yes, just a little bit, plus some sign language!)
WHERE TO STAY: We booked a room at St. Moritz Hotel for 100 US per night with discount. You can check Decolar for other great deals. Reservations are done online. You can pay by either credit card or cash as soon as you arrived. Their free breakfast was amazing.
St. Mortiz Hotel is located near most of the landmarks and attractions in Brasilia. In front of it is the Conjunto Nacional Mall and a few blocks away is the Brasilia Mall.
TRANSPORTATION: Taxi cost from the airport to the hotel is more or less 50 BRL. Driving around the city starts at 12 to 20 BRL. The rate is doubled in the evening. Buses are also available at 8 to 10 BRL.
WEATHER: Brasilia has a tropical savanna climate. Dry season is from May to September and rainy season is from October to April. Temperature around the month of May is at 25°C in the morning and 16°C around evening time.
FOOD: The food in Brasilia has an extraordinary taste and is affordable. They are famous for their churrasco meat and Pão de Queijos. A single meal would cost you 20 to 30 BRL. They also offer lots of eat-all-you-can buffet starting from 6 to 10 BRL per gram.
IS IT SAFE TO WALK AROUND THE CITY?
Brasilia is known as a safe place, but we still need to be cautious at all times. The city’s attractions are close to our hotel, so almost everything is within walking distance. We took a short walk to some of Brasilia’s landmarks around noon. We had no problem going there.
It is best to avoid the crowded bus terminal below the Conjunto Nacional Mall. It is known to be unsafe and we saw the police arresting a group of guys in that area. Pickpockets always target tourists, so just be extra careful.
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