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Money, Insurance, Security, Ecology questions before leaving for Brazil


You are planning your trip to Brazil, but have you thought of everything before packing? Several questions must be asked in order to prepare your stay and take full advantage of it without surprises! We give you some tips.



ABOUT MONEY



The currency of Brazil is the real, its symbol is BR or R $

It is a currency which is worth on average 6 times less than the euro, which leaves you a fairly interesting purchasing power, especially for food and drinks.

All slightly sophisticated products are subject to very high taxes which often makes them more expensive than in Europe. Construction costs can also be high depending on the village where you are staying. Hard-to-find materials and unskilled local labor often make it difficult to set up a hotel. So do not be surprised at prices close to European prices or approximate finishes.

Just as it will be difficult to find basic foods for a European, like butter, balsamic vinegar, good wine, chocolate, good bread, jams, good quality soaps and shampoos and even cotton sheets.

If you want to have access to a minimum of quality, the prices will be affected.

In principle, the prices are displayed in the shops, you do not have to negotiate. In restaurants, service is included unless it is indicated on the menu that it is extra.

There is usually no invoice, an annotated paper often serving as a ticket.


HOW TO PAY


1 / Withdraw money from ATMs:


In the Nordeste, it is not necessarily easy to find distributors. In small villages, they are rare. We therefore advise you to withdraw money from the ATMs of Fortaleza airport when you arrive.

You have the possibility to withdraw in increments of R $ 1000, three in principle go very well with the same card. Try anyway before withdrawing a larger amount, sometimes it will work. Your bank charges you a fee for each withdrawal and uses the current exchange rate for the day.

You will need cash as not all traders have a CB terminal and in small villages even less.


2/ Pay by credit card


The most convenient way, it avoids traveling with cash.

However, few traders have them, even the pousadas in which you will be staying.

It is a means of payment which is very expensive for merchants: Purchase of the terminal, subscription to services plus transaction fees of up to 5% of the amount. This explains why they must have a lot of debit on the one hand and on the other hand, increase their prices by the amount of transaction fees.

Your bank will also charge you transaction fees which vary from bank to bank. This means of payment remains however interesting for large amounts.


3/ Pay by an application


Il existe maintenant plusieurs services en ligne ou via des applications mobiles qui permettent de faire des transferts d'argent de compte à compte.

Elles ne fonctionnent cependant que pour les comptes de particuliers à particuliers. Les entreprises en sont exclues au Brésil.

Le Brésil est très pointilleux sur le sujet et bloque systématiquement tous les transferts effectués à titre professionnel ou via un professionnel ou pour un professionnel.

Nous vous recommandons donc de bien faire attention en les utilisant afin de ne pas bloquer le compte où vous allez virer cet argent.

Les pousadas où vous allez séjourner les utilisent afin de vous faciliter la vie et vous faire supporter le moins de frais possibles. Votre argent arrivera donc sur un compte de particulier, ne vous en étonnez pas, ils transfèreront ensuite l'argent sur leur compte professionnel.


The most known


1/ Azimo

It is a super efficient application, easy to access and fast.

You can make your payments there by bank transfer or credit card.

No complicated justification of documents to do, except for large amounts or by drawing lots: sometimes, it happens that they carry out identity checks to avoid money laundering.

Please note, the maximum amounts are limited to R $ 3000 per transfer to Brazil. Beyond that, the procedures become more complicated and you risk being blocked.

The exchange rates are very interesting, you enter the amount to be paid in the currency you are interested in and the application does the calculation in euros directly. Then just follow the directions. You will need to have your recipient's banking information in advance.

Be careful, once again, these are person-to-person payments: do not enter on the grounds that you are paying an invoice at a merchant or the bill from your hotel: you will be refused! Check the "travel" box for example.

Personally, it is this application that we can no longer use following a misuse by one of our customers. However, we give you the link here, your first transfer will be free with this link.


2/ Transferwise


This is the one I offered to my guests and which seemed to me the most appropriate:

This internet interface offers the best exchange rates on the market, their commission fees are reduced and it is rather easy to use.

It works, moreover almost everywhere in the world.

You just have to register once and for all and then you can make transfers or CB payments to establishments where you go via their site, in advance or on site, by just sending them a link or by requesting a link. if they are already registered.

I no longer use it, unfortunately, because Brazil does not accept transfers between professional accounts. It was enough, once, for me to be refused access to this application.


Brazil is, indeed, a rather bizarre country when it comes to international money transfers. Only individuals can issue these transfers quickly and easily. Going through a professional account requires patience and the acceptance of exorbitant fees.


3/ Sendvalu


The third, the one we still have, is exactly the same as the previous two, you just have to follow and respect the recommendations given above and by your host.





4/ Pay via a classic bank transfer to a business account



An IBAN or a SWIFF is the operation seems simple, it is not!

From your bank in Europe this is no problem, although sometimes it uses a bank forwarder to deliver the money to the Brazilian business account.

In fact, the transfer can take several months to arrive: It first goes through the Banco do Brasil which will change the money and verify the source, destination and purpose of the money. Then, the remote bank will often play on the immobilization of this money via their central bank to finally deliver this transfer cut off many costs and an exchange rate that will suit them. Not to mention that your recipient will have to spend an infinite amount of time negotiating with his banker to activate the process.

This means of payment is therefore used very little in Brazil.

However, some establishments offer you to pay via an account based in Europe.


5 / Pay via a classic bank transfer to a European account


A simple and effective method for the client, but which requires the owner of the pousada to return regularly to Europe wherever he needs this money in Europe.

Because withdrawing this money then in Brazil, as you saw above requires a little patience:

  • Go to ATMs (not always available in the village) which therefore requires time and travel costs,

  • Withdraw in increments of R $ 1000 (see less for some banks) limited to the weekly ceiling of the European bank (for example 800 € / week with the Credit Coopératif with a basic CB),

  • So that also requires not needing this money quickly.

  • Pay withdrawal fees and possibly lose in exchange fees if one of the currencies goes down or up.

If we offer it to you, remember that for the pousada, it can be hell.


6/ Pay via Paypal


Secure operation, if you already have an account it's extremely fast otherwise you can pay via your credit card quite easily too.

The only problem, PayPal retains an average of 6 to 8% fees on each transaction to Brazil.

This solution is therefore no longer used by hoteliers for payments via countries that do not have other solutions such as the USA or Australia.

If you want this formula, you will have to agree to pay these fees in addition to your bill.


7 / Pay via a mobile bank



Several mobile banks have appeared recently, such as N26 and Revolut.

We chose Revolut for its simplicity:

there are no commissions or fees on foreign currency payments.


You will be able to pay online or directly in countries at the current exchange rate, at no additional cost.

Everything is done from a mobile application.

The fees are transparent

These applications also make it possible to manage expenses in real time: you are alerted directly on your mobile to current payments, as you will see below.


Finally, they also allow you to block your card or change the PIN code from the application, all in real time. Finally, they simplify money transfers, such as money transfers.



In conclusion


At Castelo Vendom, we have retained SENVALU for down payments, which has the merit of being fast. Then an R$ cash payment on site or a new transaction via SENDVALU.

We also offer Revolut for small amounts.

A new way out of the traditional banking system.



You choose which payment method is best for you and the costs associated with that choice.



SPORT INSURANCES


7 / Pay via a mobile bank




Several mobile banks have appeared recently, such as N26 and Revolut.

We chose Revolut for its simplicity:

there are no commissions or fees on foreign currency payments.


You will be able to pay online or directly in countries at the current exchange rate, at no additional cost.

Everything is done from a mobile application.

The fees are transparent

These applications also make it possible to manage expenses in real time: you are alerted directly on your mobile to current payments, as you will see below.


Finally, they also allow you to block your card or change the PIN code from the application, all in real time. Finally, they simplify money transfers, such as money transfers.



In conclusion


At Castelo Vendom, we have retained SENVALU for down payments, which has the merit of being fast. Then an R $ cash payment on site or a new transaction via SENDVALU.

We also offer Revolut for small amounts.

A new way out of the traditional banking system.



You choose which payment method is best for you and the costs associated with that choice.



SPORTS INSURANCE



Insurance for high-risk sports or sports considered to be extreme, whether they are practiced on land (car racing, caving, etc.), in the air (parachuting, etc.) or at sea (kitesurfing, etc.) is not an insurance like any other .

To be fully covered, in France or abroad, you absolutely must take a good look at your contracts ...


Warning: Most schools offer kite insurance, but this only covers you for Civil Liability (ie if you injure another person) and Individual Assistance. Breakage or theft are not included.


Some countries do not offer insurance because there is none. This is the case of Brazil, for example. Some international centers offer them, but attached to the holding company, they cannot intervene abroad: their local centers are mostly independent.


Two types of essential guarantees:


As with any other sporting activity, you must be protected both by accident insurance which covers bodily injury that you may suffer yourself (invalidity and consequences of your death), and by a private life liability guarantee which covers bodily injury or material damage that you may unintentionally cause to third parties.

These two guarantees are essential in all individual accidents, multi-risk leisure, and life accident cover (GAV). They are especially effective for common sports activities (cycling, hiking, swimming, etc.).

Check the terms of your insurance contracts carefully


For higher risk sports, you should first check the terms of any contract (s) you may have outstanding. Some activities may not be covered: this is often the case for kitesurfing and horse riding. On this point, do not hesitate to read the general conditions of your contracts or to seek advice from your insurer.

If the activity you want to practice is not covered by your contract, it may be possible to take out an extended warranty. Here again, check with your insurer: this will allow you, for example, to be compensated more widely in the event of an accident, or to be covered during your vacation abroad, with payment of medical repatriation and reimbursement of medical expenses where applicable.


Take out a specific insurance contract


If you cannot subscribe to an extended guarantee, you must opt ​​for an individual contract, specific to high-risk sports, temporary or annual. This precaution is essential, even if you exercise a risky sport from time to time. It is especially so since the activity is practiced abroad.

On the other hand, if you practice your sport not only during your vacation, but also during the year, it is very likely that you have a contract offered by the sports federation or club to which you have joined.

To leave with peace of mind, check the levels of guarantee for which you originally opted, and how you will be covered (repatriation assistance benefits included or not ...) if you go abroad.


Where to get treatment in an emergency


Before you leave, ask your insurance company which hospitals in the nearest town you are going to have agreements with your insurer. This will prevent you from having to advance hospital costs.



WHERE DO YOU INSURE?


Home Insurance


You can already ask your home insurer, some cover extreme sports such as kitesurfing when it is practiced as a leisure activity as part of a trip of less than 180 days.

Please note that RC only covers damage caused to others, it does not cover you.


Some French Kitesurf insurances


- AFKite / FFLV

Third party liability and individual insurance and repatriation, only.

Warning: no insurance for the breakage or theft of your equipment


- Assurancekitesurf.fr

The almost most complete:

Civil liability: in the event of damage caused to property or persons.

Individual accident guarantee to be covered in the event of damage suffered.

Repatriation assistance: to be repatriated if necessary to a hospital close to home.

Material insurance: to be compensated in the event of breakage or theft. Does not work for rental.

Disability death insurance: to cover the amount of a loan still to be repaid from your bank, for example.


Bank insurance


Your bank can also offer you specific insurance. Do not hesitate to ask him the question.

Your Premier or Gold Blue Card already has quite a few guarantees, check with your bank to see if it covers the damage caused to the rented goods.


Travel insurance


Several travel insurances are set up by insurers. They have the merit of offering an often complete range compared to other insurances.

Voyageo for example at AXA offers:

Reimbursement of search and rescue costs incurred at sea, in the mountains.

Emergency medical assistance and costs up to € 160,000 per insured abroad.

Trip cancellation insurance

Up to € 8,000 in compensation per insured in the event of an early termination of your stay

Luggage insurance up to € 2,000 per insured

Sports leisure option to cover interruptions to training courses and breakage of sports equipment. Does not work for rental.


International Insurance


The one we prefer because the most complete:


Europe Assistance

Multisport insurance Evasio sports & leisure

From 31 €

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Covers all your sports activities: surfing, diving, kitesurfing, wakeboarding, trekking, golf, tennis, skiing ...

Support for search and rescue costs at sea, in the mountains and in the desert

Sports equipment insured in case of destruction, loss or theft, rented or personal

Temporary or annual formula

Do you practice one or more sports during your holidays in France or abroad?

Their guarantees offer you the ideal protection to secure your activities during your holidays: accident, theft of equipment, costs of business interruption or even costs of search and rescue at sea abroad in peace!


Sports & leisure insurance guarantees:

  • BUSINESS INTERRUPTION COSTS

  • RESEARCH AND RESCUE COSTS

  • SPORTS AND LEISURE CIVIL LIABILITY

  • ASSISTANCE IN CASE OF HOSPITALIZATION

  • REIMBURSEMENT OF MEDICAL EXPENSES

  • SPORTS EQUIPMENT INSURANCE

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.


You also have another international Sport Cover Direct which covers the Swiss and all Europeans which is also quite comprehensive


Also note that the hospital is a free service even if you are not Brazilian and that foreigners are very well taken care of. We still recommend that you refer to clinics for serious injuries.

Clinics in Fortaleza: Hospital São Carlos or Hospital Monte Klinicum


Insurance included with Castelo Vendom


The Castelo insurance covers in addition small repairs for partial damage and up to € 60 for repairs during your stay if you rent or take lessons with our equipment. It also covers the discount of the equipment in the event of minor breakage.

In the event of greater damage or theft of equipment rented from Castelo, your Sport Evasio insurance may cover replacement costs upon presentation of the invoice that Castelo will provide you.

In all cases, there is only one rule: whoever breaks pays the price of replacement.




SECURITY




Brazil is renowned for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world and especially its big cities like Rio, Sao Paulo and Fortaleza.

But you should know that the main problems occur in the favelas or between gangs. In the small villages far from the big cities, everything is very peaceful.

That said, as everywhere where living standards are very low, it is not advisable to display external signs of wealth, for the respect of these populations who often live with little, sometimes even without water or electricity, and other to avoid creating want or need.


Your personal belongings


Leave your jewelry at home, don't take out bundles of cash (you risk paying more for your purchases) and keep your iPhone out of sight. Don't price your kitesurfing gear or your latest gadget, either.

In short, stay discreet.

On the beaches in small villages during the week, there are often only European tourists and kitesurfers. You can leave your equipment there under discreet surveillance. On weekends, the beaches are often taken over by Brazilian tourists: don't leave your belongings unattended.


Never take your passport and all your credit cards with you. Leave them in your hotel room in the safe or hidden away. In your rooms, tidy up your belongings, don't leave everything lying around. Don't make you want to. Even if the Brazilians are very honest, it is the occasion that can make the thief.


On the road


When driving in large cities, drive the doors locked, do not leave anything visible in your cars.

Do not count on the Brazilians to know the rules of the road, be vigilant and adapt.

The traffic lights are on the other side of the crossroads.

To turn left, always stand on the side aisle on the right and wait until there is no more car behind you to turn.

Turn on your dipped headlights even during the day, it is mandatory.

Obey the speed limits, the roads are full of speed cameras and often well hidden.

In the event of an accident, call the police on 191.

If you are renting a car, there will be no GPS in it most of the time. We advise you to take a Brazilian SIM card at the airport when you arrive in order to have access to 191 and a GPS.

In some cases, GPS just promises to be essential.



ECOLOGY



​Become aware of where we travel


As in all developing countries, even if Brazil is the 8th economic power in the world, the fact remains that awareness of ecology is very late, or even non-existent.

In small villages, plastic bags are part of the consumer goods that allow their inhabitants to have the illusion of having access to the consumer society that has been denied them until now.

Bags will therefore be offered to you even for the purchase of a pack of matches.

Always refuse them or bring them back after use.


In small villages, there is no running water and no public sewage system.

Remember to bring your ecological reef free soaps, shampoos and sunscreens, so as not to ruin the water tables which are only 10 m deep.

This is the same water that you will use to wash yourself and that will rinse your fruits and vegetables. This water is scarce.

The Nordeste is the poorest region in Brazil given the droughts that have raged for ten years.


Consider saving water when taking showers. Some villages find themselves without water at the end of the season. The consequence is that the animals die first, the crops dry up, the inhabitants are left without food and the children get sick.




Like everywhere in the world, beaches are increasingly invaded by plastic waste. Make a small gesture by collecting at least three garbage a day. It is by setting an example that Brazilians will become aware of the preservation of their territory and that you will continue to enjoy terrestrial paradises.

Small gestures that do a lot.








PASSEPORT & VISA


Make sure that your passport is valid for 6 months from the time you enter Brazilian territory. Remember to do it again in the opposite case.

You do not need a visa to enter Brazil.

The maximum duration of your stay in Brazilian territory is 90 days, beyond that, a fine of RS 100 per day will be charged to you at customs during your next trip to Brazil.




MOSQUITOES, VACCINES & DISEASES


You don't have to do any compulsory vaccinations if you stay in the Nordeste.


Mosquitoes in the Northeast of Brazil can possibly be carriers of Dengue in unsanitary environments. There has been no case of Zika in Parajuru, to our knowledge.

We provide mosquito nets in the bedrooms. However, we recommend that you take ecological repellents for the soil.



Thanks to you for reading.

We wish you a great vacation in Brazil !!

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