Brazilian banks are open from 10:00 to 16:00 five days a week. The largest is Banco do Brasil. You will also find HSBC, CitiBank and Bank of Boston in addition to the other Brazilian high street banks. To avoid the long queues to cash travelers cheques we recommend taking your visa card as all of the above banks will dispense money to you from their ATM's. Your maximum daily ATM withdrawal is R$1000. After 22:00 you can withdraw only up to R$100. Once you have withdrawn the maximum from an ATM you will not be able to withdraw any more money until the next business day. Your daily spending limit in shops is R$2000. If you exceed your daily spending limit (which includes any ATM withdrawals) your card will deactivate and you will have to contact your issuing bank in your home country to have it re-activated.
The currency is named Real (hey-al) or Reais (hey-ice) in plural. Each Real is worth 100 centavos. Shops denote R$ in front of prices, financial markets use BRL. With the exchange rate and domestic pricing both in the favour of the foreign currency holder you will find Brazil very good value for money. Please see the economy section for more information on the Real.