Porto Velho is a city in the central west of the country at the edge of the Amazon Rainforest. It is the capital of the Brazilian state of Rondonia, in the upper Amazon River basin. The population is estimated to be around 450,000.
Porto Velho features a tropical monsoon climate. The city features a short dry season that covers the months of June and July and a lengthy rainy season that covers the remaining ten months. September is also a relatively drier month, almost giving the city the appearance of having two separate wet seasons. However September is not quite a dry season month, seeing on average more than 60 mm of rain. Porto Velho is particularly wet from December through March, averaging roughly 300 mm of rain per month in each of these months. As with many cities with a tropical monsoon climate, Porto Velho temperatures tend to be relatively consistent throughout the course of the year, with average daily temperatures typically between 23 °C and 26 °C, highs being some degrees higher and lows a few degrees cooler.
Port Velho-Governador Jorge Teixeira de Oliveira International Airport (PVH) offers flights with about 5 airlines to/from Brasilia, Cuiabá, Porto Alegre, São Paulo, Campinas, Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, Belém, Campo Grande, Cruzeiro do Sul, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Rio Branco, Belo Horizonte, Cacoal, Ji-Paraná, and Vilhena.
From the Rodoviária (bus station) there are buses to most big cities in Brazil. Cuiabá is 24 hours away, Brasilia is 36-48 hours away, and São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro are both about 60 hours. To the west the nearest big city is Rio Branco, about 7-10 hours away, all depending on the type of bus service you buy. The town of Guajará-Mirim on the border with Bolivia is five hours away, and from the small airport across the border there are flights to anywhere and everywhere in Bolivia. Transacreana buses go all the way to Recife, along the Atlantic coast.
Slow boats ply the Rio Madeira between Port Velho and Manaus, typically taking about 4 days, sometimes longer. They go 2-3 times a week and costs as little as 100 reais for a hammock place, and 300-350 reais for a cabin.
Internet cafes (Lan houses) are increasingly common, and even small towns often have at least one spot with more or less decent connections.
An increasing number of hotels, airports and shopping malls also offer hotspots for Wi-Fi with your laptop computer or of course smartphone. Sometimes it is free, sometimes you need to register and there is a time limite and sometimes you need to pay a small amount for (day) use.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Brazil is: 55. To make an international call from , the code is: 0014. All cities use the following emergency numbers: 190 (police), 192 (medical) and 193 (fire department). However, if you dial 911 or 112 while in Brazil, you will be redirected to the police.
Brazil uses two-digit area codes, and phone numbers are eight digits long. Numbers beginning with digits 2 to 5 are land lines, while eight-digit numbers beginning with digits 6 to 9 are mobile phones.
Public payphones use disposable prepaid cards, which come with 20, 40, 60 or 75 credits. The discount for buying cards with larger denominations is marginal. Phone booths are nearly everywhere, and all cards can be used in all booths, regardless of the owner phone company. Cards can be bought from many small shops, and almost all news agents sell them.
Brazil has 4 national mobile operators: Vivo (Telefónica Group), Claro (Telmex/América Móvil Group), OI and TIM (Telecom Italia Group), all of them running GSM and HSDPA/HSPA+ networks. Pay-as-you-go (pré-pago) SIM cards for GSM phones are widely available in places like newsstands, drugstores, supermarkets, retail shops, etc.
Correios is the national postal service of Brazil. It is a government run postal service and overseen by the Brazilian Ministry of Communications. Post offices are generally open from Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 5:00pm, although post offices located in shopping malls have their own opening hours, usually from 10:00am to 10:00pm. There are no set opening hours at weekends and as post office owners can choose when to open and close. More and more post offices are open until 1:00pm on Saturdays though. You can check things at the nearest post office.
Sending postcards, letters and parcels is a rather straightforward process and services are reliable, though not overly fast when sending post internationally, mostly taking about a week to the USA and Europe, and there is a track-and-trace service for this as well. Domestically, there are both next day as well as more expensive same day delivery options. Stamps are available at post offices, as well as some kiosks or other places where they sell postcards.
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