About Rio de Janeiro
One of the major economic and cultural hubs of South America, Rio de Janeiro is a cosmopolitan metropolis, known worldwide for its scenic beauty and its natural resources. The city receives more than 2 million international tourists each year. The official and most widely spoken language is Portuguese.
With its ample infrastructure of tourism services, Rio de Janeiro ranks among the top destinations in the world for cultural, commercial, technical, and scientific events. Its exuberant natural resources include 90km of beaches, the Tijuca National Park including the largest urban forest in the world, three state parks, and many beautiful lakes and lagoons.
One of the key components to the success of OTC Brasil is the safety of our delegates, exhibitors, and presenters.
When traveling, as in any major city, take certain precautions. Always keep your valuables such as jewelry, airline tickets, money, and any important documents, out of sight and safely stored in a hotel safety deposit box. In the event of a lost or stolen room key, notify hotel management as soon as possible. Travel in a group and plan your itinerary before leaving the hotel to ensure you arrive to your destination smoothly. Link to more tips.
Due to the popularity of some session topics, it is possible for overcrowding to occur in a session or meeting room. Should this occur, we must comply with the Fire Commander’s policies regarding room capacity and limit admittance to a room that is at capacity. Please make plans to arrive early for sessions that you have a strong interest in attending.
In the event of an emergency at Riocentro, OTC Brasil staff and/or the convention center staff will provide conference delegates with any necessary information and instructions. An emergency procedures video is presented before each session with details for escape routes.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Riocentro: +55 21 3035 9399
Fire Department: 193
SAMU (Medical Emergency): 192
DEAT (Tourist Police): +55 21 2332-2924
The Brazilian currency is the Real (R$); there are 100 centavos in one Real. Coins issued by the government are either bronze-colored for 1 centavo, silver for 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos and a nickel and bronze coin for R$ 1,00.
R$ 2, R$ 5, R$ 10, R$ 20, R$ 50, R$ 100 are the denominations of the notes. The value of the real against the US dollar varies according to the daily rate. Banks and exchange bureau charge a commission on exchange transaction, which the visitor should check beforehand.
As elsewhere, the rates of exchange for cash and travelers’ check are marginally different, and coins are not exchangeable. Money changers are obliged by law to display net rates of exchange. Receipt notes must be issued by law; it is advisable to keep these until after departure.
Banks are open weekdays from 10am to 4pm; they are closed on weekends and public holidays. Before departure from home, visitors are encouraged to check the acceptability of their credit and/or cash cards with their local bank. Automated teller machines (ATMs) can be found almost everywhere; some machines provide 24-hours cash withdrawal (R$) facilities for major credit cards.
Cashing money with Credit or Bank card
Visa card holders may withdraw cash from the Banco do Brasil and Banco Itaú. Card holders with a PIN number may obtain cash from the 24 hours machines; those without will have to await verification, available from 10 am to 4 pm.
Rio de Janeiro International Airport Exchange Department ("Seção de Câmbio") 3rd floor.
Tel.: (+55 21) 3398.3652
Hours for exchange: For U$ and Euros from 8 am to 10 pm, daily; for another money exchange: Monday to Fridays, from 10 am to 6 pm.
Shopping—Credit Card and Check
American Express, VISA, Diner's Club and Master Card are accepted at the majority of shops, although is always a good idea to confirm this before buying. Occasionally a small discount is offered on cash sales. Personal Check drawn on overseas banks are not accepted.
Generally speaking, Travelers’ Check is welcome. Visitors are encouraged to check the daily dollar rate at their hotels before going on a spree.
Guarantees and Receipts
When buying expensive photographic, electronic or electrical goods always ensure that the guarantee card is filled in, stamped and returned to you. Check the manual accompanying the item in question to ascertain that the guarantee will be honored outside Brazil. In all transactions involving larger sums of money, ask for the official, detailed bill of sale; in all transactions, keep the customer copy of the credit card bill. Tax-free shopping in Brazil is restricted to the airports.
Exchange and Refunds
Check with the salesperson as to the store's policy on exchanges and refunds. In most shops, it may be possible to exchange goods, but refunds are rarely, if ever, made.
Additional Travel Information
The voltage is 110 volts in Rio de Janeiro, 60 cycles. In most hotels bathrooms there is a 220 volts outlet.
Set the time when you arrive—Rio de Janeiro is 3 hours behind in Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT).
Brazil is connected to all appropriate international telephone and satellite communications system, providing trouble-free connections to virtually anywhere in the world. Most hotels provide guest room international Direct Dial (IDD) services; some hotels have in-room internet hook-up and fax machines. Other offers this service through their Concierge or Business Center.
Outside hotels, long-distance calls can be made from IDD payphones or card phones in various locations.
The push-button call-home system, providing immediate connection to the operator of the country required is also available. For information about dial access and IDD phone locations, contact the hotels operator. Not all local calls from private phone are free. However, shops, restaurants and bars without payphones will usually permit free use of their phones.
Most hotels have immediate access to on-call 24-hour medical assistance. There are also many government and private hospitals with 24-hour emergency and out-patient departments. Many of Rio de Janeiro's doctors and dentists were trained or have undergone postgraduate training overseas. All hotels have list of recommended medical services.
When dining out, most establishments include a 10% service charge on the bill. However, it is customary to leave a little extra for good service.
Rio de Janeiro's water supply conforms to international standards; due to the pronounced taste of chlorine in the water it is advisable to drink bottles mineral water.
General Hours of Business
Office hours are usually from 9am to 6pm. Stores normally open at 9am and close at 7pm. Lunch is usually taken from 12pm to 2pm. Most offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Informality is the keynote in Rio de Janeiro in terms of dress. The use of jackets and ties for men is restricted almost exclusively to offices. A lightweight wrap or jacket is often needed as the major hotels, restaurants and bar, as well as the subway and most taxis are air-conditioned.
The Brazilian postal services meet all international standards, and there are many post offices around the city. They are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Most hotels offer postal facilities for guests' letters and packages and a packing service.