São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the international gateway cities to Brazil and are served by major international air carriers.

The São Paulo International airport, Guarulhos, is located in the outskirts of São Paulo and it takes between 40 and 60 minutes by car to reach the main areas of the city.

If you arrive between 7.00am-9.30am and 4.00pm–8.30pm in São Paulo, be aware of long traffic delays where it could take up to two hours to reach the city.

The Rio de Janeiro International airport, Galeão, is located in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and it takes between 40 and 60 minutes by car to reach the main areas of the city.

The national flag carriers are Gol and TAM.

The shuttle service between the domestic airports of Rio de Janeiro (Santos-Dumont) and São Paulo (Congonhas) takes around 50 minutes. In both cities, the domestic airports are close to the commercial area.

Ground transport

All taxis in Brazil are legally required to have meters. At São Paulo international airport, taxis charge set fares to the city (approximately US$50). The client pays what they see on the meter, except for some cities such as Curitiba, where a ‘table of prices’ is used based on what is shown on the meter. It is not recommended to rent cars or to take buses.

Due to the great number of vehicles on the streets, bottlenecks occur frequently in São Paulo. Allow extra time if you need to catch a plane, attend a meeting or have an appointment.


Major domestic and international chains operating throughout Brazil include:

  • Hilton
  • Hyatt
  • Intercontinental
  • Marriot
  • Mercure
  • Sheraton


Tips/gorjetas are not mandatory. At restaurants, tips are about 10 per cent and are already included in the bill. Don’t tip taxis, only round up the fare charge.