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ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting

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The Brazilian currency is called “real” (plural: reais). It is divided in cents (“centavos”) and represented as R$XX,YY. Notice that cents are separated from reais by a comma. Its value vis-à-vis foreign currency suffers large fluctuations. During 2015, the exchange rate oscillated between US$1 = R$2,60 and R$4,10, or 1 Euro = R$2,90 to R$4,60.

According to the Big Mac Index, in July 2015 the effective exchange rate was US$1 = R$2,80.

In July 2017 you may expect an exchange rate not far from R$3,00 for one American dollar. If you are lucky, one American dollar may correspond to R$4,00. That is unpredictable.  

For people coming from North America or Europe, the price of Brazilian goods and services is usually regarded as very cheap. The same quality of hotel room you can get in the United States by US$200 or in Europe by €200 can be obtained in Brazil by about R$200 to R$300 – that is, nearly half or one third of the value. You can find excellent inexpensive clothes and shoes. Food in Brazilian restaurants is also cheap for international standards, besides being plentiful.

Most payments, in Brazil, should be made with Brazilian money. However, you do not need to bring Brazilian cash with you. It is easy to exchange Euros, American Dollars and British Pounds in Brazil. Check the current exchange rate a few days before you travel to Brazil. Banks are the best place to exchange money.

Brazilian airport money exchanges usually have a bad exchange rate and they charge a fee to exchange money.  For amounts less than US$100, this fee might be 10% of the amount you are exchanging.  For larger amounts of money (say over US$500), this fee will only be a fairly small percentage of the amount exchanged. The only time you might want to consider using an airport money exchange in Brazil is if you do not have an ATM card, and you need money for a taxi or bus. If you do desperately need to exchange money at a Brazilian airport, ask the help desk where you can find “Banco do Brasil (a public Brazilian bank).

Alternatively, you can withdraw Brazilian money from cash machines (ATMs) using your international bank card. Never use ATMs on the streets: use those inside banks, shops or shopping malls, for safety reasons. One important thing to note is that for security reasons most bank ATMs stop dispensing cash after 8pm, although Banco 24 Horas in large supermarkets will dispense until 10pm. Airport ATMs are the only ones that dispense cash all hours.

Credit cards are usually accepted at shops, restaurants and hotels, without any additional charge. It’s a good idea to inform your credit-card issuer about your trip before you leave so that the card isn’t stopped for uncharacteristic use.

Tipping rules: at some places – especially restaurants – a 10% tip is a rule. The restaurant bill will usually include this tip. Keep in mind two things: firstly, you are expected to pay this and if you don’t it will cause enormous offence; secondly, you are not expected to pay any more than this.

Brazilian people seldom give tips to hotel personnel, but foreign travelers are sometimes expected to do so. You might be willing to give a R$10 to R$20 tip to hotel people who carry your luggage or who do some other special service. Taxi drivers do not usually expect tips, and the price is shown at the taximeter. However, it is usual to round off the value (for instance: you could pay R$20 if the taximeter indicates R$18). In the case of other services, such as hairdresser, cosmetology, manicures and pedicures, a 10% tip to employees (not to the owner!) will be fine.

ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting   
International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB)   
Associação Brasileira de Filosofia e História da Biologia (ABFHiB)   
São Paulo, Brazil, 16 to 21 July, 2017   

São Paulo, Brazil
16 to 21 July, 2017

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