Brazil has several gateway airports and shares a border with every country in South America except Chile and Ecuador .
The busiest international airports are Aeroporto Galeao (formally known as Aeroporto Internacional Antonio Carlos Jobim) in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo 's Aeroporto Guarulhos. Connecting flights to cities around the country leave regularly from both these airports. The other principal gateways are Manaus , Macapa and Belem , all located in the North. Varig , Brazil 's largest airline, flies into Brazil from 11 South American cities.
For student fares, try the Student Travel Bureau (STB; Tel:0xx21-2512-8577; www.stb.com.br ; Rua Visconde de Piraja 550, Ipanema, Rio ), which has some 30 branches around the country. Andes Sol (Tel:0xx21-2275-4370; Av NS de Copacabana 209, Rio ) is a good agency for arranging economical itineraries. Discount agencies in Sao Paulo include US Tour (Tel:0xx11-3813-1308, www .ustour.com.br).
Another website to search for cheap flights is www.viajo.com.br .
Round-trip flights from Buenos Aires to Rio or Sao Paulo are available on Varig, Aerolineas Argentinas or Swissair. Other flights from Buenos Aires go to Foz do Iguacu , Porto Alegre , Curitiba , Florianopolis , Salvador and Recife , and to Puerto Iguazn in Argentina , a short cross-border hop from Foz do Iguacu .
Varig flies from La Paz to Rio or Sao Paulo . Lloyd Aereo Boliviano (LAB) flies to Manaus from Santa Cruz .
The Bolivian towns Cobija, Guayaramerin and Puerto Suarez, across the border from the Brazilian towns Brasileia, GuajaraMirim and Corumba, respectively, can all be reached by domestic flights from several cities inside Bolivia .
Varig, TAM, LanChile and Swissair fly from Santiago to Rio and Sao Paulo .
From Bogota you can fly to Leticia, and walk, taxi or take a combi across the border into Brazil . A Rio-Bogota round-trip flight on Varig or Avianca is costly.
Ecuatoriana flies to Manaus from Guayaquil and Quito .
Surinam Airways flies between Georgetown ( Guyana ), Paramaribo ( Suriname ),
Cayenne ( French Guiana ), and Belem . Penta, a Brazilian regional airline, flies into Macapa and Belem from Cayenne . If you get the connections right, it's cheaper to fly with Air Guyane between Cayenne and St Georges, on the French Guiana-Brazil border and then between Oiapoque, on the Brazilian side of the same border, and Macapa with Penta.
Varig flies between Asuncion and Rio or Sao Paulo . You can also fly from Asuncion to Ciudad del Este, a short cross-border hop from Fez do Igua~u, Brazil .
Varig flies round trips from Lima to Rio or Sao Paulo . From Iquitos , Peru , there's a seaplane to Santa Rosa on the Rio Amazonas on the Brazil-Peru-Colombia triple frontier. The carrier is Tans (Tel: 0xx92-412-2045 in Tabatinga , Brazil ), most easily contacted at the riverside Restaurante Blue Moon in Tabatinga.
Varig and Pluna fly from Montevideo to Rio and Sao Paulo .
The flight to Boa Vista and Manaus is no longer available. A Varig round-trip flight from Caracas to Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo is US$785.
From Trinidad in Bolivia boats take about five days to sail down the Rio Mamore to Guayaramerin ( Bolivia ), opposite GuajaraMirim ( Brazil ).
Fast passenger boats make the 400km trip along the Rio Amazonas between Iquitos ( Peru ) and Tabatinga ( Brazil ) in eight to 10 hours for US$40 to US$50. From Tabatinga you can continue to Manaus and Belem .
The main crossing used by travelers is Puerto Iguazti-Foz do Iguacu , a 20-hour bus ride from Buenos Aires . Further south, you can cross from Paso de los Libres (Argentina) to Uruguaiana (Brazil), also served by buses from Buenos Aires, and at San Javier-Porto Xavier or Santo Tome-Sao Borja on the Rio Uruguai.
Direct buses run between Buenos Aires and Porto Alegre (US$64, 20 hours) and Rio de Janeiro (US$141, 42 hours). Other destinations include Florianopolis , Curitiba and Sao Paulo .
Brazil 's longest border runs through remote wetlands and forests, and is much used by smugglers.
The busiest crossing is between Quijarro ( Bolivia ) and CorumbA ( Brazil ), which is a good access point for the Pantanal. Quijarro has a daily train link with Santa Cruz , Bolivia . Corumba has bus connections with Bonito, Campo Grande , Sao Paulo , Rio de Janeiro and southern Brazil .
Caceres , in Mato Grosso ( Brazil ) has a daily bus link with Santa Cruz ( Bolivia ) via the Bolivian border town of San Matias .
Guajara-Mirim ( Brazil ) is a short river crossing from Guayaramerin ( Bolivia ). Both towns have bus links into their respective countries, but from late December to late February rains can make the northern Bolivian roads very difficult.
Brasileia ( Brazil ), a 41/2-hour bus ride from Rio Branco, stands opposite Cobija ( Bolivia ), which has bus connections into Bolivia . This route is less direct than the Guayaramerin-Guajara-Mirim option, and Bolivian buses confront the same wet season difficulties.
Although there is no border with Chile, direct buses run between Santiago and Brazilian cities such as Porto Alegre (US$116, 36 hours), Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (US$130, 62 hours).
Leticia, on the Rio Amazonas in far southeast Colombia , is contiguous with Tabatinga ( Brazil ). You can cross the border on foot, combi or taxi, but river and air are the only ways out of either town.
The Brazilian town of Oiapoque, a rugged 560km bus ride (or a quick flight) from
Macapa, stands across the Rio Oiapoque from St Georges ( French Guiana ). An unpaved road from St Georges to Regina , about halfway to the French Guiana capital, Cayenne , was expected to open officially in 2004. At the time of writing it was possible to get a truck along the road for around US$35. Taxi-buses between Regina and Cayenne cost US$10. St Georges-Cayenne flights cost US$40.
Lethem (southwest Guyana ) and Bonfim ( Roraima , Brazil ) are a short boat ride apart. You can travel between Lethem and the Guyanese capital, Georgetown , by plane or truck. The latter takes between two days and two weeks, depending on weather conditions. Bonfim is a two-hour bus ride from Boa Vista, Roraima.
The two major border crossings are Ciudad del Este-Foz do Igua~u and Pedro Juan Caballero-Ponta Pora. The latter gives access to the Pantanal. Direct buses run between Asuncion and such Brazilian cities as Curitiba (US$40, 18 hours), Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (US$69, 28 hours).
The only available land route across the long Peru-Brazil border is via Inapari, a 10-hour minibus or truck ride north of Puerto Maldonado ( Peru ). You wade across the Rio Acre between Inapari and the small Brazilian town of Assis Brazil , a three- to four-hour bus or 4WD trip from Brasileia.
Overland travel between Suriname and Brazil involves first passing through either French Guiana or Guyana .
The crossing most used by travelers is at Chuy ( Uruguay )-Chuff ( Brazil ). Other crossings are Rio Branco-Jaguarao, Isidoro Noblia-Acegua, Rivera-Santana do Livramento, Artigas-Quarai and Bella Union-Barra do Quarai. Buses run between Montevideo and Brazilian cities such as Porto Alegre (US$58, 12 hours), Florianopolis , Curitiba , Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (US$130, 39 hours).