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Driving in South Brazil?

Oslo, Norway
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Driving in South Brazil?

Hi! :-)

I'm going to Brazil 2 months this summer(June-August). I'm going to staying with my friend who live there. We are planning to take the flight to Floripa(Florianopolis) then rent a car and drive around, and drive back up to Sao Paulo where she live.

So my questions is do you think it's safe to drive around in South Brazil? I have done some roadtrips in USA and Norway, and I almost drive everyday since I got my driver license for five years ago.

And if it's safe to drive at night or should we only drive during the daytime?

Sao Paulo, SP
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1. Re: Driving in South Brazil?

one initial comment:

if you plan to rent a car in Florianopolis and drop it off in Sao Paulo, be aware that you will be hit with a drop off charge between R$700 and R$1050. that is on top of any daily rental fees.

rental companies charge between R$1 and R$1.50 per km distance between pickup and dropoff locations. and it is about 700km between Florianopolis and SP.

second comment: June-August is winter in southern hemisphere. Florianopolis is mostly a summer beach destination; which will not be the case. take a look at these threads for comments on that:



Oslo, Norway
4 posts
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2. Re: Driving in South Brazil?

Okay, thanks :)

Yeah I know its winter time there, and we are not planning to have a beach vacation.. We want to drive up to Balneario Camboriu, Blumenau, Joinville, curitiba and then Sao paulo.

Fortaleza, CE
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3. Re: Driving in South Brazil?

I'm in the Northeast. I've heard the roads are better in the South. Rain could be a factor. Depends on exactly where you'll be. Main highways should be good. However, driving in Brazil is nothing like driving in the U.S. or Norway (in Norway I've just been a passenger). I've driven in many countries. I've been in Brazil for years but still find driving there harrow. Good idea to learn some Portuguese in case of emergency or even getting lost. Brazilians may have a reputation for being laid back and not in a hurry, but this changes when they get behind the wheel of a car. When I worked in Rio, one friend said driving in Brazil, with the changes people undergo when driving, reminded me of this classic Disney cartoon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZAZ_xu0DCg

I'm sure your friend will give you valuable driving tips.

Edited: 06 February 2014, 21:31
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
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21,676 posts
25 reviews
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4. Re: Driving in South Brazil?

Brazil's chaotic roads: up to 40,000 people a year die on Brazil's roads—a toll blamed on poor driving conditions, inexperienced motorists and high levels of drunk-driving. Brazil needs to improve road signs, poor-quality roads and poorly designed motorways. And emergency services are currently only available in larger cities.


The 20 most dangerous highways in Brazil:


Driving in Brazil:


Brick, New Jersey
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11 posts
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5. Re: Driving in South Brazil?

I've driven in RS SC PR and SP many times. Never drive at night on the highways, stay in cities or towns at night. Most highways are great in daytime specially if its a toll road, usually very well kept but not cheap, tolls are high but worth it. Rentals are high if dropped at different location so fly to SP and drop off at same locatio. Movida rent a car is great save much R$$ over US based rentals!!

Sao Paulo, SP
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6. Re: Driving in South Brazil?

the Curitiba to SP road (called Regis Bittencourt) has a particularly complicated 20-km stretch in the area known as Serra do Cafezal, near the towns of Miracatu and Juquitiba. It is a hilly area where road has not been enlarged (due to problems in getting environmental permits), so it remains a two-way road with only two lanes, one for each direction.

As Curitiba-SP road is full of trucks (which may not pay too much attention to other vehicles on the road), that is a dangerous area and certainly should be avoided at night.

7. Re: Driving in South Brazil?

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