Brazil by Bus

Travel Brazil by Bus and Coach.   Allow me to introduce myself to the blog.  I am Greg Williams and am from the United States.  I have been with Maggie and her family now for almost 2 weeks.  I have travelled to Brazil twice before once in 2002 and the second time in 2010.  I am back to work with Maggie’s family on their fruit farm to help them create a beautiful eco-campsite which Brazilian’s and international travellers alike can visit.   With the upcoming World Cup being held in Brazil, many hotels, hostels, and Pousada’s have increased their pricing exponentially.   Maggie and her family have decided to create an eco-camping area on their 170,000 km fruit farm in order to provide an option to travelers who like to spend time in nature camping.   There is a website in progress for the campsite which will be updated periodically as we create the area.

Camp in Brazil

On both previous visits to Brazil, I fell in love with the country, natural beauty, people, fruits, and foods.  I have travelled in the interior to Belo Horizonte, Caratinga, Piedade de Caratinga , Vitoria, Sao Paulo, and Rio.  My favorite trip was up the coastline from Caraguatatuba up to Paraty and back down to Ilhabela.  I absolutely FELL IN LOVE.  On my first trip, I rented a car in Belo Horizonte.  The second trip was spent with a very good friend who drove me up and down the coast.  As I spoke with other’s, they had very good things to say about travelling by bus.  Thus, I have put together information which provides some quick tips and information about travelling around this incredible country and continent by bus or coach.

Brazil by Bus A major source of transportation for Brazilian’s and tourist’s alike travelling throughout Brazil are buses.  Buses are the source of day to day travel in the municipal areas as the majority of Brazilian’s take the bus to and from work.  Bus services are excellent and schedules are strictly adhered to.  In fact, buses are so popular there are approximately 200 operators servicing over 150 million passengers each year.  Most buses in Brazil are clean, comfortable and well maintained Volvo’s, Scania’s or Mercedes. Brazil by BusBesides having an excellent municipal bus service, all of the major cities of Brazil are linked together by bus lines and are scheduled frequently, some every 15 minutes between cities such as Rio and Sao Paulo.  There are also a number of bus routes between the major capitals of  Buenos AiresAsunciónMontevideoSantiago de Chile, and Lima. Those typically go to São Paulo, although Pelotas has good connection as well.  When considering travel by bus, be aware that there are three (3)  categories of bus service –  Federal: this takes you across boarders and different states.  State: travel within a state.  Municipal: travel within individual towns and cities.  The website OniLinhas has a useful, if limited, list of some of the main bus service operators in Brazil which include: Pluma, Garcia, Transbrasiliana, Nacional Expresso. Travel in Brazil by bus Be aware that some services on the longer trips can be quite lengthy as Brazil is quite diverse and has many regions and road conditions.  The South has the most and the best roads. Coastal highways are usually good; while the roads of Amazonia and the backlands of the Northeast can be quite bad. A very useful road atlas for any traveler, The Quatro Rodas Atlas Rodoviário helpfully marks the worst stretches of road with lines of large Xs and classifies them as estradas precárias.  Depending upon length of trip, travelers have options to choose in regard to level of comfort and service.  These range from regular (convencional) to luxury (leito). Regular buses tend to be more crowded and are often without amenities, whereas luxury buses offer refreshments, reclining seats, and more space.  For a more complete listing of buses and what they offer please see the website OniLinhas. The National Land Transport Agency (ANTT) (in Portuguese) controls the running of all bus services across Brazil. See the Brazilian Government website for a list of contact details for the main bus terminals in each state of the country.  If travelling with children under six years of age that do not require their own seat, they will not  need a ticket. Pets are allowed to travel on buses or coaches but only with a recent health certificate form from a vet and a vaccination certificate.. An easy way to book tickets is a new company called Brasil by Bus, this link will take you to the English version of the site and makes booking very easy.Brazil by Bus Brasil by Bus  provides comparison shopping between the Brazilian operators: Cometa, Brasil Sul, Util, Andhorinha, 1001,   Catarinense, Guanabara, Garcia, Costa Verde, Pluma, Nacional Expresso, Itapemirim, Real Expresso, Rapido Ribeirao,   Rapido Federal, Gardenia, Expresso Araguari, Braganca, Ouro Branco, Brisa, Expresso Do Dul, Estrela, Macaense, Expresso Luxo, Rotas, Princesa Do Ivai. Brazil by Bus One of the most rewarding aspects of travelling by bus is the scenic nature.  A trip along the coast can offer spectacular views and photo opportunities as many of the buses stop every so often for breaks.   The Brazilian coastline boasts 7,491km (4,655 miles) of the Atlantic meeting mountains and beaches alike.  An area I fell in love with that offers some of the most magnificent views and beaches stretches from Cabo Frio south to Sao Sebastiao.   Once you have witnessed the Brazilian coastline, it’s possible that you might want to stay forever.

Brazil by Bus Coast

Beach north of Caraguatatuba


Brazil by Bus Coast

Beach at Caraguatatuba

Brazil by Bus Coast

Near Picinguaba

Brazil by Bus Coast

Doesn’t get much better

Brazil by Bus Coast

A glimpse

Sources of information included in this article are from: OniLinhasANTT, Lonely Planet, AngloInfo WorldwideBrasil by Bus, World Cup Latest, and the author.

Here is one very impressive coach for the upcoming Olympic games which will be hosted in Brazil.

Brazil by Bus or Coach


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  • December 18, 2013 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    Welcome back to Brazil! I wish I were there to take advantage of your info about buses. Your pictures are lovely! The eco-campsite idea is brilliant and it’s certain to be a success. Maggie and family are proving to be quite an asset to their adopted country.

    • December 18, 2013 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Hello Mary ! Thank you very much for your comments. I appreciate everything you say. I love photography and Brazil is an excellent place to practice the art. You would definitely love a tour of the Brazilian coast, especially from Cabo Frio south to Sao Sebastiao. I am sure it is beautiful all the way down to Florianopolis, but personally have only been to just south of Sao Sebastiao. Ilha Grande and Ilhabela are incredible ecosystems in their own rights. The pictures in the size they are, just do not do justice. If you would like to see more photo’s in higher definition, let me know, I would be happy to give you my facebook information and make you a friend there. I will eventually transfer everything over to Google + as I have time. Nice to meet you, by the way, I am from Indianapolis, IN – Maggie has told me that you spent some time there before your current location. Have a wonderful day !! – Greg :)

      • December 18, 2013 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Dear Greg, Small world!! I lived in Indy 1990-1998, worked in IT for IN Dept of Correction. One of my daughters has lived there 30 years. I planned Christmas there but had health problems so canceled. I am on Facebook and G+ so will friend you on FB and add you on G+. On both I’m Mary Rack. Looking forward to more of your pix and in HD.

  • January 5, 2014 - 6:38 am | Permalink

    Hi Maggie – thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a comment – great to see you … I come over here and get a little bewildered, which is why you don’t see me too often …

    Now I see Greg is working with you … it must be such an exciting place to live in .. and with all the sporting events happening in the next few years – it will be incredible to be around …

    I find G+ quite muddling, probably because I don’t do FB either .. but this year I may need to open up my doors! Happy New Year – and I’ll try and drop by more often .. but I am doing the A-Z .. so hopefully see you then …

    Cheers to one and all at Expat Brazil … Hilary

    • January 6, 2014 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Hello Hilary,

      I am so excited to be working with Maggie at this historic time in Brazils history. There is so much going on, Brazil is changing rapidly. I was first here in 2002, then again in 2010. The changes since 2002 are enormous and even since 2010 still quite large :) most all being positive (except for the inflation which comes with tremendous growth).

      Can you imagine all of the people visiting Rio this year? Carnival at the end of Feb – early March, then of course the 2014 World Cup in June and July. Rio is going to be incredibly busy and exciting.

      I too have just begun using Google + but am working my way through it. It is a very powerful social medium. I’ve been using FB for several years and have it understood pretty well, but again Google + is much more powerful. I’m sure I will try to get my friends over from FB after I get it all figured out.

      Thank you for the comment, and all of us here, Maggie, Geoff, Sebbie and I wish you the best year possible in 2014 !

      • May 14, 2014 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

        I am arriving into sao pAulo airport Guarulhos and want information on the bus to santos pleAse regards claire

        • May 15, 2014 - 1:26 am | Permalink

          I’m sorry I’m not great on Sao Paulo as I’ve never been there…if it’s like Rio there will be a bus right to the main bus station from the airport and it should be easy to organise. If you check the links in this post you’ll be able to book in English which makes it even easier and there are lots of services available. Brazil is great for bus travel.

          • claire proud
            May 15, 2014 - 6:41 am | Permalink

            Thank you I,m sure if it is well organised form of travel I will be OK do the staff in the airport speak fairly good English , I,m travelling alone and don,t want to get stressed out!!! Regards Claire

          • May 15, 2014 - 8:46 pm | Permalink

            Hi Claire, happy to help. You should find some of the staff speak basic English, probably at the info desks. I’ve had many females solo travellers and they’ve all have felt safe traveller. If sao Paulo is like Rio it will be quite easy and hopefully stress. Maybe write a couple of things down in Portuguese so you can show people…for instances “where do I go to get the bus to (then the address)” which is
            “onde eu vou para pegar o ônibus para… add address here. Add Obrigada which is the female way of saying thank you. Please is “por favor”. If you need anything else, please ask and if whilst in Brazil you need help…you know where we are.:)

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