Visas: Required for visits of a maximum 90 days, with one extension possible. Public holidays: New Year’s Day; Independence Hero Tiradentes (21 April); Labor Day (1 May); Independence (7 September); Memorial (2 November); Proclamation of the Republic (15 November); Christmas Day Good buys: Coffee; drunk strong, sweet and dark and bought in local markets. Typical food: Diverse, with lots of seafood (including the badejo, a delicious sea bass), fresh fish from the Amazon and beefsteaks straight off the southern plains. The more staple diet consists of rice and beans and a variety of stews, including feijoada and moqueca, made of seafood flavoured with coconut milk. Interesting fact: Brazil is the only country to be named after a tree. Good reading: Street Café Brazil by Michael Bateman. A guide to the country’s melting-pot cuisine.