Learn a few basic words and phrases prior to your departure. For example ‘desculpe’ is to get someone’s attention, whereas ‘pardon’ would be used to excuse yourself.
When packing, less is more. Pack light, breathable, loose fitting clothing. The weather is hot and humid, and almost anytime is a good time to cool off in a pool or the ocean, which either will likely be close by, so bathing suits become essential to have at hand. High heels are inconvenient for walking on gravel or uneven terrain, and ceramic is slippery when wet, so plan ahead for what will go on your feet.
To be independent, a vehicle is good to have. A 4×4 vehicle is great for some of our jungle backroads, and many people opt to rent a GPS. Since there is not much road signage or street addresses it comes in handy quite often. A good local app for directions is ‘Waze’. Try to avoid driving to new places at night. Fallen trees, heavy rain, lack of signs and addresses make it hard to find something in the dark of the night. A good idea if you are in an area for a while, ask a local to show you some landmarks. Be sure to ask if there are different names of calling the same area or building, as is sometimes the case.
Make friends with locals. Locals are glad to help. Many restaurants have a bar area or live music some night of the week and its where some locals regularly congregate.
Be open minded, customs are different. Sit back, observe, you’ll learn a lot.
Be careful at the beach, be informed about rip tides and rivers mouths near shorelines. And once you get your feet wet, enjoy! Have an adventure, have fun, take a day to yourself, do what makes YOU feel happy!