Travel in Latin America
Gorgeous beaches, breathtaking sunsets, virgin rainforests, and a thrilling nightlife make Brazil a wonderful tourist destination for couples. But what if you're going to Brazil with kids? Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro feature zoos, museums, shows, and parks that will entertain kids and parents alike. To escape the city, you can enjoy camping, hiking, and educational rainforest tours geared for families.
Before You Go
Check with your pediatrician to ensure your children's vaccinations are up to date, and get a yellow fever vaccination for everyone in the family older than 6 months old. You will need a record of your child's polio vaccination to get a Brazilian visa for your child, and other vaccinations that are routine in the U.S. are strongly recommended for children travelling to Brazil.
Make sure your children's passports are current and valid for at least 6 months beyond the time of your planned trip.
Get a Brazilian tourist visa for everyone in the family. Check with the Brazilian embassy or consulate nearest you to learn how to apply for the visa. For each visa application, you will need vaccination records, a 2" x2" photograph, and photocopies of your plane tickets and itineraries. Allow at least two weeks for the visa to be processed.
While In Brazil
Take advantage of what Brazil has to offer families. In Rio de Janeiro, you'll find a botanical garden, stunning views from Corcovado Mountain, and Tijuca Forest, the world's largest urban rainforest. The sunset on Ipanema beach is unforgettable and Barra da Tijuca beach is a good, safe beach for kids.
Check out Sao Paolo's snake study center, let the kids play with body paint at the Indian Museum, or rent toys by the hour at the Parque do Catete. For a swim in calm, clean, warm waters, take the kids to Praia do Pulso beach.
Be sure to take the kids on an Amazon tour. Manaus sports a wide variety of family-friendly lodges and jungle tours that will be enjoyable and appropriate even for small children.
Bring lots of high SPF sunscreen (15 or higher) and use it liberally and often. The sun is much more intense near the equator, and children's sensitive skin can start to burn within minutes if left unprotected.