Carnival in Salvador da Bahía, Brazil
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Brazil: Getting There

From North America

The main gateways to Brazil in the USA and Canada are Atlanta, LA, Miami, New York and Toronto, and it is possible to fly direct from these cities on a number of airlines to various destinations in Brazil. Varig is the main carrier and offers the most flights from the USA, with the majority going to either Rio or São Paulo, though it is possible to fly into Brasília, Recife, Manaus and Belém from Miami.

The other carriers serving Brazil are American, Canadian, Continental, Delta, Japan Airlines (JAL) and United, and the domestic airlines VASP and Transbrasil, which offer some of the lowest fares.

From Britain

There are plenty of choices of carriers to Brazil, with Rio and São Paulo being the most usual points of arrival. Since direct flights can be booked up well in advance and are also generally more expensive, you may want to consider a flight via another country. You will almost always get the cheapest fares by booking through an agent rather than direct with the airlines. When buying your ticket to Brazil, you should consider the possibility of adding an air pass for travel within Brazil, or one that takes in its neighboring Southern countries.

To find the best deal, look in the travel classified pages of national newspapers such as the Guardian or Observer, or, for London departures, in the London listings magazine, Time Out. It is also worthwhile checking out any of the hundreds of agents who advertise flights on the Internet. Finally, you'll want to investigate using agents and operators, who offer a wide range of flights at competitive prices. If you plan on purchasing some kind of air pass or want to book a hotel room for your first few days in Brazil, it is certainly easier to go through a specialist agent. The independent travel specialist STA Travel offers some special discount flights, while students and anyone under 26 can also try Campus Travel. Student union travel bureaux can usually fix you up with flights through one of these operators.

Depending on the airline, children pay between 50 and 70 percent of the discounted fares, while infants under the age of two generally pay 10 percent of the airline's cheapest official, non-discounted fare. All fares quoted below include tax.

From Ireland

There are no direct flights from Ireland to Brazil, but there are good connections via London or other European capitals. The best deals are available from budget or student travel agents in Ireland, but it is also worth contacting specialist agents in England for cheap fares, an unusual route or a package.

Flying out of Dublin, the cheapest discount fare is currently with Lufthansa (IR£410 low season, IR£499 high season) via Frankfurt, though other airlines also offer competitive fares. Alternatively, it is worth checking out fares from London or Manchester, although there's unlikely to be any saving after paying for the connecting flight to Britain.

From Australia and New Zealand

The best deals to Brazil are offered by South American airlines in conjunction with Qantas and Air New Zealand. There are fewer options flying via the USA - only United Airlines are scheduled through to Rio - and fares are generally more expensive. Round-the-World fares that include South America tend to cost more than other RTW options, but can be worthwhile if you have the time to make the most of a few stopovers.

From Australia, most flights to Brazil leave from Sydney, though there are also a couple of flights a week out of Brisbane and Melbourne. The most direct route is shared between Aerolíneas Argentinas and Qantas, which fly to Rio and São Paulo via Auckland and Buenos Aires. Air New Zealand/Lan-Chile's route is a little more long-winded, flying via Auckland, Papeete, Easter Island and Santiago. Traveling via the USA, United Airlines can fly you to Rio via either Los Angeles or San Francisco and Miami. From New Zealand, you can pick up one of the Qantas/Aerolíneas Argentinas or Air New Zealand/Lan-Chile flights in Auckland.

If you plan to do a fair amount of traveling within Brazil (or to other South American countries), think about buying an air pass with your main ticket. These passes offer substantial savings, but can only be bought outside South America with your international ticket.

Source: TravelNow Destination Guides

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