Brazilians travel by bus from the South to the far North in the Amazon and all points in-between. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that 95% of travel in Brazil is by bus. The exception is the Amazon where transportation is via boats.
The buses range from the type Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner rode down in Columbia (actually filmed in Mexico) in the movie Romancing the Stone, to super double decker bus with beds. The vast majority of the buses are nothing like those depicted in the movie as Columbian buses. I presume the Columbian buses are more similar to the photo above, which by the way, are manufactured in Brazil.
The downside to traveling by bus in Brazil are the distances. If you have to go from Rio to Natal ( in the Northeast), this can take three, long hard, days. In this case you should consider air travel. For trips less than 12 hrs, take a bus.
Another option to long-haul travel, would be to break it up into a series of short daytime trips. The Rio to Natal example would take longer, but you will get to see a lot of country and arrive in much better condition. The other negative is those long overnight trips in the interior sometimes get held up….. by no means common along the coastal routes, but it can happen on trips going through the vast hinterland.
- 140 million passengers per year, 95% of Brazilians travel by bus.
- Peak periods are from mid-December to the first of March (summer), July (winter vacation) and national holidays.
- 1,666 interstate bus lines.