One of the most impressing characteristics of Brazil is the sheer size of the country, which inevitably presents a challenge to any travel plan. Most tourists will arrive by plane in one of the international airports, the most important ones situtated in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. And obviously air travel is also a convenient and fast way to bridge the vast distances within Brazil.
However, as an alternative option that is often overlooked, we present here information on the well-developed brazilian bus network that hopefully will prove useful for tourists not yet familiar with overland travel in South America.
Bus travel not only suits lower travel budgets, it is sometimes even the more comfortable option. While taking a night bus and travelling for 20 hours or so may seem threatening at first, the more experienced travellers will agree that the level of comfort in the more luxurious buses often exceeds the expectations of newcomers.
Buses for long-distance travel should not be confused with urban buses circulating within cities. If you are looking for information on how to get around by bus within Sao Paulo, check out the following interactive map: Linhas de ônibus em Sao Paulo.
It is important to realize that overland buses in Brazil have little in common with long-distance buses in Europe or North America, where even a short trip of a few hours may be tedious. We recommend to just try it out and take one of these luxurious night buses, since after all such a trip represents a typical South American travel experience.