|Hitchability:||<rating country='br' />|
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Brazil is a country in South America. It has a border with every country on the continent except Chile and Ecuador. Brazil is a huge country and hitchhiking depends a lot on the area as to how receptive people will be and your chances in getting rides. Some Brazilians consider their country violent and dangerous, in part due to the media's love of seizing stories and exaggerating them.
In Brazil, hitchhiking is referred to as pegar uma carona, which means taking a ride. On roadsides, care must be taken because of the erratic ways of Brazilian motorists. Many use the slip lanes to overtake traffic or swerve to allow others past. Hitchhiking on motorways is not illegal, but if you just follow the common rules, like hitchhiking in a place where the cars can stop, you'll be fine.
Having a sign with the city that you are heading is a great idea and will definitely increase your chances of getting a ride.
One of the best things about Brazil are the truck tax offices (Postos fiscais). These are buildings along a highway, usually in a city or town which is a border with another Brazilian state, but sometimes along the route. Truckers who use that route generally have to stop and get their papers stamped at a window. The staff are generally hitchhiker-friendly, so you can stand outside the window with a sign or ask the drivers for rides.
You can get rides easily by asking drivers at Gas stations (Postos de gasolina). Attendants are usually friendly and let you sleep behind them. In the north, they tend to have free coffee, cold water, and free showers too! Many of them will have restaurants that might gift food if you ask.
Some cities have federal police stations alongside with the road, they are called PRF (Polícia Rodoviária Federal). Every car that passes by those stations (which are always yellow and blue) reduce the speed, so it's a great place to hitchhike. You can also talk with the police officers, which are usually friendly and help you getting a ride. (warning: it is not advisable to talk to cops, in any country)
Brazil needs to be taken with caution but hitchhiking is doable in every area except within greater São Paulo, as you are overshadowed by the volumes of traffic.
In the south (Rio Grande Do Sul) drivers hardly stop on the roadside if you are only using your thumb (even if it seems to be a perfect hitching spot). Balazs would suggest to always use a sign on roadsides (but generally, don't hitch there, try as hard as possible to get to the petrol stations.). At the stations, he was almost always taken if the driver was going in his direction and the car was not full.
In general Brazi is a huge country and hitchhiking in on region can be totally different from another. if you have some exprience in a specific region please feel welcome to add your thoughts about this region.
In general hitchhiking in Acre is not so easy, but it’s possible. You should be ready for the possibility of waiting long in one place. The roads are breaking apart and many people drive really wildly.
Most locals think that people with big bags that hitchhike are refugees. Which might lead for people offering food and money, But will also make many people fear that you might want to steal something.
Around the big city of Rio Branco they are gas station a bit out site of the city which are quite good for hitchhiking. Inside the city hitchhiking can be difficult.
Signing for trucks that you want to ride in the back can work. But also many trucks have cameras from the company in them, and they are afraid to get in trouble.
Camping in the region varies. If you are in the country side you’ll probably be good to camp anywhere, just be careful not to camp too close to the road because some cars drive on the side of the roads. In the fields you should pay attention to cows and ants, because both of them can destroy your tent. If you see a house in the country side you can ask them in Portuguese if you can pitch your tent next to their house or in the back, many people are very kind and might even offer you a meal.
Inside little towns or cities it’s better to ask the locals where they think it’s best to camp. They might offer you a place at their homes, or will tell you of some park, bus terminal or a gas station that will be quite decent for camping.
Rondônia is a little bit harder to hitchhike than Acre, and Acre is already not so easy. In general many perceive Rodonia as dangerous, with guns in the street and so on. Which makes the tasks of getting rides even harder.
Still it is possible to hitchhike in Rondônia. But you might get stuck for awhile.
Gas stations will usually allow you to camp behind them if you ask nicely. You can also get cold water in most gas station.
Note that vehicles license plates are different, depending on where the car was issued. It starts with the state abbreviation and follows with numbers. This way you can also somehow figure out where the vehicle is going to. Usually the name of the state is written in small letters at the top, but this is harder to see.
|AC||Acre||MA||Maranhão||RJ||Rio de Janeiro|
|AL||Alagoas||MG||Minas Gerais||RN||Rio Grande do Norte|
|AM||Amazonas||MS||Mato Grosso do Sul||RO||Rondônia|
|BA||Bahia||PA||Pará||RS||Rio Grande do Sul|
|ES||Espírito Santo||PI||Piauí||SP||São Paolo|
- Belo Horizonte
- Boa Vista
- Foz do Iguaçu
- Joao Pessoa
- Porto Alegre
- Rio de Janeiro
- São Luis
- São Paulo
User MOAH hitchhiked over the Guaíra/Salto del Guaíra border to Paraguay, but as it is a major shopping area for Brazilians to buy cheap Chinese products in the noman's land, you won't get a stamp at the actual border. Instead, you have to go to the office of the Brazilian Policia Federal in Guaíra town, at the roundabout (Address: Praça Castelo Branco, s/n - Centro, Guaíra - PR, 85980-000, Brazil. Telephone: +55 44 3642-9100), which has super irregular opening times. If you press the bell, someone might open the gate and you can start the check-out process. The people here speak good English (!!!). From there it's a short walk to the 3600m bridge crossing from Paraná state to Mato Grosso state, where there's a semi-functional police control from where one can hitch the 12km to the actual Paraguayan border. A sign saying "PY" will do the trick. The noman's land is about 6km long, but you can catch a ride in between with friendly Paraguayans to Salto del Guaíra, where you again have to find some office to get your check-in stamp. This is a tiny shitty office with a well-hidden "Migracion" sign located on Avenida Bernardino Caballero c/ La Paz, Ciudad de Salto del Guairá (Telephone: (595) 046 - 243 536) with a permanently bored employee who will ask you how long you'll stay. Again, there's very irregular opening times, so you might have to stay the night to get your stamp. Don't cross this border on a Sunday. Enjoy the amazing kebab-like streetfood (about €0.90) on the Paraguayan side!
- Cobija – Brasileia
Hitchhiking in Bolivia to the border is quite easy. Just be careful from muddy roads. If it gets rainy many vehicles will struggle to cross the way. Hitchhiking in Brazil to the border is a bit more difficult but possible. If you came from Peru hitchhiking usually takes a very short time. But if you coming from other places it can be a bit more challenging, but certainly possible.
The crossing between this two cities is very easy. They are separated by a river that have many bridge crossings. You will almost never be asked anything when you cross. You can go from Brazil to Bolivia with barely anybody talking to you. As the rumors say, You can spend the day in the other side for the day, But at the evening legally you should go back to the side where you are stamped. Usually nobody will check either way.
If you wish to cross the border and get stamped you should search for the Immigration on both side. There are set in Brazil at -11.029337,-68.740088 (Google Maps) and in Bolivia at -11.026769,-68.752186 (Google Maps). It’s important to get stamped also in the country that you are leaving in order to avoid fines in case you ever come back. Theoretically if you leave a country without getting stamped they consider it like you never left. And when you wish to enter again the country in the future they will charge you for any other day pass your visa time until the date you re-entered. The fine in Bolivia for example is 28 Bolivianos (about 4 US Dollars 2022) a day of over staying. If you came back to the country before your visa expired you shouldn’t have any problem.
- Guaraja-mirim – Guayaramerin
Hitchhiking in Bolivia to the border is quite easy. Just be careful from muddy roads. If it gets rainy many vehicles will struggle to cross the way. Hitchhiking in Brazil to the border is a bit more difficult but possible.
You can freely cross between the two cities, Guaraja mirim and Guayaramerin. The crossing costs 13 Brazilian reals or 20 Bolivian Bolivianos (true for July 2022). It takes only few short minutes to cross when the boat leaves. People say that there is some boats on the river that will charge even less.
If you wish to continue your travels legally beyond the city in the other country you crossed to you should get your passport stamped.
For exiting Brazil you should go to the immigration office which is located not so close to the port, In "Justiça Federal Subsecção De Guajará Mirim" (-10.783061,-65.317563 Google maps). They are open from 8:00 -18:00 but not every day. I came on a sunday and had to wait for another day. I'm not sure if it's every sunday or that I just had bad luck. The proccess over there was quite easy. No papers or documents were asked beside my passport. In about 15 minutes got my exit stamp and continued.
For entering Brazil I'm assuming you'll have to go the same place, but maybe good you ask the people in the Brazilian port. The taxi drivers usually know.
In Bolivia the immigration office is just where the boat drops you. They ask for photo copies of your passport and the stamp of leaving Brazil. They also want your covid vaccination passport two dosages or a negative Covid test from the last days in paper (on your phone does not count). You need just one of the two. (Again true for July 2022) There is a photo copy in the coffee place next by. It costs 1 Boliviano per page. But they don't have a printer, in case you want to print some documents from your phone. I paid a motor taxi to take me to a place with a printer. Passed them the Covid passport with Bluetooth and came back. Cost me 11 Bolivianos in total, 10 for the taxi 1 for the paper. Later they asked me for my phone and where do i go. Told "La Paz" and my number and got 30 days visa which i can extend in other migration offices when time comes.
- important: it is recommended to check the entering process to Bolivia in the Bolivia page
- Puerto Maldonado – Assis Brazil
Hitchhiking in this area towards Brazil is very easy. Many people offer rides and try to help even if you don’t ask. Of course there is always the chance to fall on a bad spot where nobody stops. But in general it is easy to hitchhike.
The Peruvian side is a classical jungle. Tends to be hot and humid. Many parts of the road is not shaded so you should be prepared in case of a hot day. Many people come to work in the mines here, which some times brings shady people that came just for finding gold. The locals warn SonOfaHitch from the town Pampas, which is on the way. Puerto Maldonado is quite a big city, but once you are close to the exist points of it it is quite easy to get rides, But also inside the city sometimes people offer rides if they see you walking.
On the Brazilian side you should know that there is barely any jungle left next to the road. It is all flat grass. It is also less populated and there are big distances between villages, with some houses along side the road.
The crossing itself is kind of weird. The two cities Iñapari and Asiss are kind of a buffer zone between Peru and Brazil. You can move between those little towns like you are not really crossing a border. In the entrance to both towns from both sides there is immigration police. But they are not the official Immigration offices. They might check you to see if you are legal, but also many times they don’t.
The immigration office in Iñapari is open 24 hours they told me, but I wouldn’t recommend coming really late or early. It is located inside the town (-10.955238,-69.577738 Google Maps). If you don’t manage to find it ask the mototaxis, most of them know where it is. You will probably won’t notice it if you just walk through the town. The process is kind of normal. They ask you questions if you want to leave or enter Peru, And if you are vaccinated to which they only want to see some papers but barely check them. Not very friendly and speaks mainly Spanish but in general not too difficult.
On the Brazilian side the immigration office is on the road towards the rest of Brazil. It is the first window to your left when you try to walk towards Brazil crossing the big gate. They are open from 8:00 – 12:00 and from 14:00 – 18:00 but maybe better not coming towards the end or begging of shifts. Also kind of normal crossing process, They were really kind and gave 90 days like nothing. They might even give you access to Brazil before you officially left Peru. So if you don’t want to have a fine when you come back don’t forget to visit the Peruvian office first. They didn’t ask for any Covid papers.
Areas like the Amazon and Pantanal backlands are much easier when asking on road sides and at petrol stations. Areas with just one national highway are much easier for reaching your destination. Put your mind to it and it's very possible to cover a little over 300 kilometer daily or more depending on area. North East may be trickier as there are less cars and peoples fear of bandidos but when you get someone they will be talkative and friendly.
The transamazonian highway (transamazônica) - a long stretch of potholes and mud through the amazon jungle - is one of the most incredible hitchhiking experiences and highly recommendable!
Hitchhiking on the interstate highway is even easier. Interstates highway have different names, depending on the state you are in. For example, if you are in the state of Santa Catarina, the interstate highways are read as SC-###. They are called "Rodovia do Estado" (state highways) in Portugese. There is less traffic on these highways, so hitchhiking is easier. You get more rides on private vehicles, rather then trucks.
The national highways are shown as BR-###. Hitchhiking here is pretty hard according to some, fairly easy according to others (guaka (talk) on BR-101 in RJ and ES). The best way to get rides, is to talk to truck drivers at the Petrol Station or the Posto BR as locals would call them.
map24 was a useful online route planner for Brazil and the rest of South America. GuiaMais is another great website with maps and route planning for Brazil only. As of 2012 Google maps is pretty decent for Brazil. (One should know that many things that marked on Google maps in Brazil simply don’t exist. From parks, restaurants to even gas station that are simple not anywhere close to where there are marked)
Guia Quatro Rodas publishes a great road map of Brazil. Available at some gas stations for R$13.
If you look like a foreigner you might consider going to a hostel or stay with a local host. There are lots of homeless crackheads in major cities these days. In rural areas, if you say you have nowhere to stay they will often offer you a spot in their house and good hearty Brazilian food (which is often rice, beans and corn porridge in some areas, or roasted cassava flour to eat with the beans, very energetic and delicious, and sometimes chicken or meat - if you are a vegetarian say you don't like meat, if you just say you don't want they will think you're shy and put on your plate anyways, and if you don't want the food say you are very full and they will stop insisting). Small villages are great for camping and police will rarely bother you, unless it is a touristic area. Avoid setting up a tent in big cities; if you have no money and don't know a concealed spot, sleep in bus stations or in the open air.
Gas stations can be good places to sleep. In the north, truckers usually set up their hammocks behind the station and you can sleep next to them (there are usually free showers too). Further to the south, people are not using hammocks much, and Sebastienhh and his travel companion often found themselves the only ones sleeping there, but security would ask if they intended on spending the night and then regularly come to check that they were OK.
As in many countries in Latin America, firemen (bombeiros) will often put you up on a bunk or sofa for a night if you ask nicely.
On the road you might see many signs for motels, but a motel doesn't have the same meaning as in other countries, as they are strictly used for pre-marital sex/cheating. They are rented per x hours, which is an indicator that this is a sketchy place. When you're hitchhiking alone as a woman and your driver asks you if you want to stay at a motel, he's propositioning you for sex so its better to get the hell out of there. There's also plenty of roadside hotels that function more like a regular motel and are paid per full night. If you're hitchhiking as a male-female duo, the receptionist might ask you if you two are married and if you say no they will probably push separate rooms on you, as experienced by MOAH
- Short anlyses of hitchhiking in Brazil - warmroads.
- If you are friendly and avoid drunk drives, along with avoid showing that you have valuable things you will be fine. Once it got dark with me on the roadside with nothing close by, and people took some time to give me a ride. When the car stopped it was with 4 somewhat drunk guys with loud music. I felt it was going to be okay so I went with them (keep in mind it is a tiny city!) and nothing happened, not even sex proposals. In a couple of occasions there was unauthorized groping, but a firm yet polite response kept them from trying anything else. In some days there was a lot of sex proposals, some even offering money. They insist once or twice but when they see there is no chance they will (at least in my experience) respect you. Twice truck drivers that kept insisting heard from me a "so let me get down anywhere, I am not hitchhiking for that". Well, they said "ok, sorry, no need to get down, I am not going to insist anymore". With one of them we even changed subject and got quite a nice conversation. Most, a least for Portuguese speakers, just start talking about themselves and their personal life. One of them even let me sleep on his truck while he went home. They often offer to buy meals at barbecue diners in roadsites, with rice, bean, meat, salad and possible other options (I often just drink an orange juice, since I am a raw foodist and take food with me all the time, like nuts and specially bananas - this one is a good idea for cheap energetic food, which often you can get for free in small markets if they are overripe, if you ask the price it will often be half or free. I lived on bananas and avocados for several days once before I was raw, not very fun but with a stronger kick than fast food...). -A personal story of a Brazilian 20 year old girl hitchhiking alone
- I was hitchhiking during 3 months in Brazil both alone and with friends, it was easy in the tourist states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, in Parana I never waited more than 15 min...the only time I got stuck was 40 km from Sao Paulo in not so nice area with prostitutes, it was gettting dark and the drivers scared so close to the city but finally one car brought me to the bus station in few km from where I took the bus. The people are quite friendly and helpful despite the paranoia around and the main difficulty in the beginning was my poor Portuguese and being guided many times towards the bus station instead the road I needed to hh :) - Nadita, March 2014
- Something I learned as a woman hitchhiking through Brazil alone is that certain highways (I heard it was mostly on the BR 116, Rio-Salvador, for example) have women that are highway prostitutes that wait to be picked up on the side of the road. Traveling with truck drivers alone I also learned that many of them pick up hitchhikers that also become lovers, mostly locals from smaller towns who wait on the highways to leave town and go on an adventure. But it is usually easier to tell the difference between hitchhikers and women wanting rides for sex, and of course communication is important. I think it's important to know that these incidents are common because you understand where people are coming from when the subject arises. I never had problems with males drivers and truck drivers but I have definitely had them ask for sex, the program ("not even with a condom?" yuck...), what not. I think being clear with drivers before is important and making sure you feel safe is important too. But again, I hitched almost 5000 km alone in Brazil, no problem, it is incredibly liberating and easy! Go adventure! :) -Yaya
- User "Miriam hitched around the south of Brazil for several weeks on her own in 2017 without running into major problems, met only super nice and friendly people, got rides easily and was never confused for a prostitute or treated without respect, as the above contributors sadly experienced. Two minor problems were: 1.) People automatically assuming hitchhikers are Argentinian and staying clear because of the rivalry between both countries (sadly). If you're a non-argentinian foreigner, consider carrying your country's flag! 2.) Lots and lots of traffic on giant, unstoppable highways. If possible, stick to nice and cozy interior roads which makes for amazing experiences on it's own! :)"
- “I was hitchhiking for a month in Brazil July 2022. I had a problem to enter from Peru to Bolivia and managed to solve it by entering Brazil. I had a plan to do a route in Brazil around Bolivia and enter it from the east. In general the experience was quite rough and I decided to cut the route shorter and enter Bolivia from the east. Although I had many good experiences with people in Brazil, The overall feeling in many places I was in The regions of Rodonia and Acre was quite tense. A lot of people warned me from robbers and hitmans. Hitchhiking was also very slow. Which eventually made me make my decision to cut the trip short. I would also like to mention that although it was hard, many times people offered me places to stay, free food, and were very friendly. Once a guy saw me hitchhiking for many hours in the same spot, so he went with his motorbike and got me a meal and a cold coke. I still plan to check other regions of Brazil in the future.” - SonOfaHitch
- Caroneiros de beira de estrada - hitchhikers FB group
- Brazilian hitchhikers/tramps on the map
- Brazilian hitchhikers mailing list
Acre • Alagoas • Amapá • Amazonas • Bahia • Ceará • Espírito Santo • Goiás • Maranhão • Mato Grosso • Mato Grosso do Sul • Minas Gerais • Pará • Paraíba • Paraná • Pernambuco • Piauí • Rio de Janeiro • Rio Grande do Norte • Rio Grande do Sul • Rondônia • Roraima • Santa Catarina • São Paulo • Sergipe • Tocantins