International Medical Olympiad

ABOUT RIO DE JANEIRO

Rio de Janeiro

Known as Cidade Maravilhosa (Wonderful City) in Portuguese, Rio de Janeiro, promotes direct contact with its natural beauty. Amazing mountains, lagoons, and historical neighborhoods, combined with the rich sounds of Samba and the joy of its people, justify Rio’s reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful and interesting urban centers.

There is no lack of attractions in Rio. Situated at the top of the Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca National Park, Christ the Redeemer, nominated in 2007 as one of the new “seven wonders of the world”, is one of the city’s icons. Other famous touristic spots are the Sugarloaf Mountain, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, the Botanical Garden, the beaches at Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon, and Rio’s most famous sports landmark, the Maracanã stadium.

Capital of Brazil from 1763 to 1960, Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in the country, with a population of 6.5 million inhabitants, and the second largest financial center. The city also has numerous universities, cultural and scientific centers, research labs, and museums. 

During the past few years, Rio de Janeiro has invested in new infrastructure. This includes increased housing, better accommodations, more efficient public transportation systems, renovated sports centers, modernized airports, a revitalization of the area around the port, and investments in social and environmental projects. 

Considered one of the main tourist destinations in Latin America, the city receives at least 2.8 million tourists from all over the world each year. Find out more about Rio de Janeiro on the Visit Rio website.

NICE TO KNOW

Getting to Rio de Janeiro

Galeão – Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) is the main airport serving Rio de Janeiro. IMO participants can also fly to São Paulo/Guarulhos-Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport (GRU) and take a connecting flight from there to Santos Dumont Domestic Airport (SDU) in Rio de Janeiro. Buses will be arranged, on the scheduled dates, to transfer all registered IMO participants from these airports to their accommodations. 

Additional accommodations

IMO teams who need to book additional accommodation for early arrival or late departure are responsible for their own lodging.

Local time

Rio de Janeiro’s time zone is GMT -3:00.

Weather 

July falls within Brazil’s winter season. The temperature in Rio is particularly pleasant, with an average temperature of around 21ºC (70ºF) during the day and 18ºC (64ºF) at night. The sea temperature reaches its annual minimum and averages 22ºC (72ºF). July is one of the driest months of the year with a total rainfall of no more than 56mm, which is considered very low for the region. 

Insect bites

We recommend participants try to avoid being bitten by applying a suitable insect repellent. Please read the information about mosquito bite prevention for travelers.

Tap water

Brazil’s tap water is potable by international standards. However, water is usually not drunk from the tap. Filtered or bottled mineral water will be provided by the organization at IMO sites. 

Exposure to the sun

During outdoors activities, we suggest that you use sunscreen with a solar protection factor of 15 or higher, even on cloudy days.

Electricity  

Electricity patterns in Brazil varies from 100 to 127 volts or 220 to 240 volts, and is either 50 Hz or 60 Hz. Rio de Janeiro’s electricity is 110 V, 60 Hz. Equipment designed to operate on 220V needs adapters and voltage regulators, however it is strongly recommended to check the power adapter of your laptop, power supply or other appliance before use. 

Power sockets and plugs

See below a picture of a Brazilian power socket and corresponding plug.

Official Language

Portuguese is the official language in Brazil. English is widely understood at airports, hotels, restaurants, tour companies, shopping centers and travel agencies.

Currency

The real is the currency of Brazil. The currency code for the real is BRL, and the currency symbol is R$. Real coins are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 real. Real notes are issued in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 reais. Foreign currency should be exchanged only at airports, hotels, banks and money exchange offices. Online Currency Converter

Credit Cards

Standard credit cards and debit cards are accepted in most banks, hotels, restaurants and shopping centers. They are also accepted by ATMs.

Internet service

Internet service is widely available in Brazil. Many hotels in Rio de Janeiro include (or offer for an additional fee) high speed Internet access.   

International calls

Brazil has an extensive landline and cell phone systems which allow you to call anywhere in the world. The country code for Brazil is +55. To make international calls from Rio de Janeiro, dial 00 21 + country code + area code + phone number.

Public Safety 

In recent years, Rio de Janeiro has significantly improved its police presence, both in the city and on the beaches. Even though violence in the city has diminished, visitors should always exercise caution.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

General travel information

Travel document

An original passport in good condition, valid for at least six months (from the date of arrival), with at least two blank pages, is required to enter Brazil. For citizens of Mercosur, an original, valid, identity card in good condition is accepted instead of a passport.

Note: Damaged, soiled, blurred, torn or expired travel documents will not be accepted to enter Brazil. In addition, the photograph included in the document must allow identification of the bearer. 

We strongly recommend that you verify that your travel document is in order before your trip.

Visa

Depending on your nationality, you may need to request and obtain a visa before travelling to Brazil (visas cannot be obtained at the airport or port of entry). Brazil maintains a fully reciprocal visa policy and has visa waiver agreements with certain countries. Please check well in advance whether you need a visa to enter Brazil at the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations website.

For further information on visa application requirements, please contact the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate General that holds jurisdiction over your specific area of residence. A list of Brazilian diplomatic and consular missions abroad is available at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

For those who need a visa, a 90-day tourist visa is sufficient to attend the IMO.

Travel authorization for minors

When entering or leaving Brazil with a minor (anyone under 18 years old), without the presence of both parents or legal guardians, you might be required by the Brazilian Immigration Authorities to have a letter of consent or travel authorization. This authorization must be obtained in advance, signed by both parents or legal guardians, and notarized and legalized by the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate General in your country. 

Lodging for minors 

According to the Statute of Children and Adolescent (Law 8.069/1990), minors under 18 years old cannot check-in at hotels, hostels, resorts or any similar accommodations unless they are authorized or accompanied by their parents or a designated adult. If a minor is accompanied by an adult other than their parents, it is necessary to present a written authorization for the minor to check-in at the hotel. This authorization must be signed by both parents or legal guardians, notarized and presented along with copies of their passport or ID. See a model in English. See a model in Portuguese.

For additional information and guidance, please contact the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate General that holds jurisdiction over your specific area of residence.

Vaccination

The Brazilian Immigration Authorities do not require any International Vaccination Certificate or prophylaxis to allow entry into the country. However, as the requirements for immunization differ between countries, we recommend that you to check in advance with your immigration authorities about the need for vaccinations or other preventive measures before your trip to Brazil and any other countries you intend to enter, or pass through, en route to Brazil. Some airlines may require passengers to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate before boarding. 

In Brazil, yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all visitors who plan to visit the following areas: Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia, Roraima, Amapá, Pará, Tocantins, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás, Distrito Federal, Maranhão and Minas Gerais, in addition to the south of Piauí, the west and south of Bahia, the north of Espírito Santo, the northwest of São Paulo and the west of the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Vaccination is also recommended for travelers visiting Iguaçu Falls. 

Keep in mind that the yellow fever vaccine should be taken at least 10 days prior to your departure. 

Travel insurance 

Some medical support will be available for participants during the event; however, the IMO 2017 organization will not provide travel insurance for participants. Please be sure to obtain adequate international travel insurance to cover all overseas medical costs before you depart.


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Photos Riotur: Alexandre Macieira, Fernando Maia, Gabriel Santos, Guto Costa, J.P. Engelbrecht e Pedro Kirilos