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About Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the city of festivals in Brazil. With over 6 million residents, it is one of the largest in the country. Rio de Janeiro is famed for its soccer, its beaches and its celebratory spirit. Top attractions of the city include the Rio Carnival, Ipanema Beach and Parque Nacional da Tijuca.

Cheap flights to Rio de Janeiro are now available for a limited period, so take advantage of this opportunity and discover this gorgeous destination. The city is home to the Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport (GIG), which is a 30-minute drive from the city centre. This airport serves many airlines, including LATAM and TAAG Angola. Popular flights departing from Johannesburg to Rio de Janeiro are available. The flight duration between these two destinations is 14 hours and 5 minutes.

Why visit Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro Carnival Dancer

The Summer Festivals

The Rio Carnival is the main event, but it’s not the only celebration to join. Throughout the year, you will find parties going on all around Rio de Janeiro.

Cristo Redentor Rio de Janeiro

Tours and Excursions

You might not know where to start when you begin exploring this destination. Fortunately, many tours and excursions are available to treat you to all the sights.

Ipanema Beach Rio de Janeiro

Luscious Beaches

Rio de Janeiro offers you some of the most gorgeous strips of coastline in the world. Travellers from all across the world cannot resist the charm of these beautiful beaches.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Brazil
Currency Real
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.24 BRL
Language Portuguese
Hub Airport Rio de Janeiro-Galeãeo Airport
Airline LATAM Airlines
Time Zone GMT - 3
Travel Adaptor Type N

Best time to visit Rio de Janeiro

The most popular time to go to Rio de Janeiro is between December and March (summer). The destination’s world-renowned events take place in the summer, including New Year’s Eve and the Rio Carnival. This is during the peak tourist season though, when millions of visitors make their way to Rio de Janeiro for the carnival and hotel room prices are at their highest. Book accommodation a year in advance to ensure you get plenty of availability. From April to May, the crowds dwindle and the hot summer weather passes on, but the city’s infamous humidity stays. After Easter, you will find more affordable room rates. The cheapest time to book accommodation though is during Brazil’s winter season (June – September), when you can enjoy moderate weather.

Weather & Climate in Rio de Janeiro

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 23°C 24°C 23°C 22°C 20°C 19°C 18°C 19°C 19°C 20°C 21°C 22°C
High °C 30°C 30°C 29°C 28°C 26°C 25°C 25°C 26°C 25°C 26°C 27°C 29°C
Rainfall 114 105 103 137 86 80 56 51 87 88 96 169


Rio de Janeiro is where you can get a holiday experience filled with parties, tourist attractions and more. This destination has some of the world’s most picturesque beaches, which are only one reason why Rio de Janeiro is a sought-after location. The highlights of the summer include the New Year celebrations and the world’s biggest festival, the Rio Carnival.

Alternatively, take cable car rides up Corcovado Mountain, Christ Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Enjoy day tours around the city and through the favela (slums). Several shops, bars, clubs, restaurants and cafés are available throughout Rio de Janeiro. Or just experience the fun at one of this destination’s beaches, including the famous Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, and more. Have an unforgettable experience in this holiday city with Travelstart.

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders will not need a Visa for stays up to 90 days. Check that your passport will be valid for six months after your return and that you have three blank pages available for entry stamps.

South Africa Embassy in Brazil

Address: SES – Avenida das Nacoes, QD. 801, Lote 6, 70406-900, Brasilia – DF

Phone: + 55 61 3312 9500 Fax: + 55 61 3322 8491

Health & Safety

Tap water is not drinkable in Rio de Janeiro. Drink bottled water that is sealed. All ice has to be made with bottled or disinfected water. The only milk you buy must be pasteurised.

You will need to get vaccinations for numerous infections, including measles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, chickenpox, polio and flu. You should also guard against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Pregnant women should reconsider travelling to Brazil, as the country had an outbreak of the Zika virus in 2015.

When it comes to walking around, don’t wear any expensive looking jewellery, and take only the money you need for the day. Don’t take anything valuable with you when you go to the beach, and leave before it gets late at night. If you get robbed, don’t fight; robbers are willing to use their weapons at any sign of resistance.

Cost of Living

Meal inexpensive restaurant R 100.00 R 100.00 R 125.07
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R 25.00 R 25.00 R 30.19
Cappuccino (regular) R 22.33 R 22.34 R 26.78
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 10.00 R 9.92
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 37.50 R 37.50 R 34.50

Where to stay?

Rio offers you plenty of choices for accommodation. Whatever you’re looking for, be it an elegant hotel room or a casual hostel, you will find it in this party destination in Brazil.

If you choose to stay at a hostel, you will be paying between R 130 and R 400. At the hotels, you can expect to pay from as low as R 550 to as high as over R 5000. Some of the hostels you should consider staying at include Rio Surf N Stay, Tupiniquim Hostel and Village Potira. Among the 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels you can choose from, take a look at Porto Bay Rio Internacional, Marina All Suites and Hotel Praia Linda. Many of these establishments offer air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, cafés, restaurants, and bars.

Getting Around

Rio de Janeiro has an efficient metro system, a public bike-sharing system and a bus service. A faster mode of transport, minivans, are also available. You can find these vans many times in the day, and a ride with them costs between R 10 and R 20.

Car rental agencies are available at the airport, but be warned: Rio de Janeiro, like any tourist hub, experiences high traffic volumes, especially during peak tourist season.

The metro system offers you a clean, quick and safe travelling experience. They include air conditioning on all their lines. Prepaid cards are available at a minimum of R20, which you can recharge at any kiosk.

The city has plenty of bike paths along the beaches. Besides the bike-sharing option, you can rent bikes at the various bike shops for around R 65 per hour.

Main attractions in Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach

Parque Lage

Parque Lage

Escadaria Selarón

Escadaria Selarón

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