Practical Information

Visa and Passports
Holders of passports from European and South American countries do not need visas to enter Brazil. However, attendees holding passports from most other countries, including the United States, do need an entry visa. We recommend that these attendees make their visa arrangements as soon as possible, as the process can take some time. Kindly note that passports must be valid for at least six months after the planned date of arrival in Brazil. If you need a letter of invitation in order to get a visa to attend the conference please contact the ISSM Office.

Flights
Intercontinental travelers will fly into Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport also known as GRU Airport, which is Brazil's most important and major hub airport. Currently 46 airlines fly directly into GRU airport from 92 different cities. Continental and national travelers may also fly into Congonhas Airport (CGH).

Ground transportation to hotel
The distance from GRU airport to the Transamerica Hotel Sao Paulo is approx. 35 miles (56 km) and it will take approximately 45 minutes to get there. If you fly into CGH airport it will take about 20 minutes (15 miles, 23 km). Note that travel time increases during peak hours due to traffic jams. Private transfers can be arranged through our meeting's travel agent Travel A La Carte. Alternatively, you can take one of the many cabs available at both airports.

Car rentals
Rental cars, with or without a driver, are available for tourists at the main airports and in city centers. Tourists with a foreign driver’s license are authorized to drive in Brazil when their stay is less than 180 days.

Currency
The currency in Brazil is the Real (R$). (US$ 1.00 is about R$2,20). Dollars and Euros can easily be exchanged at hotels, authorized banks, and travel agencies. International credit cards are very well accepted.

Language
Portuguese is the national language. English and Spanish are widely spoken at tourist areas.

Time zone
The official time in Brazil is 3 hours behind GMT (London).

Tipping
Most restaurants and bars include a 10% service charge in the bill. When it is not included in the bill, the general rule is a tip of between 10% and 15%. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped.

Tours and Trips
Explore the city of Sao Paulo and book one of the city trips through our meeting's travel agent Travel A La Carte. We hope you can also extend your stay in Brazil and kick back on exotic beaches, stroll along the cobbled streets of historic colonial towns, trek thro ugh the Amazon and explore the Pantanal by boat. Add Iguazu Falls and Salvador de Bahia to the mix and your Brazil experience is complete.