Nevertheless, Brazilians are reputedly one of the most hospitable people in the world and foreigners are usually treated with respect and often with true admiration.
Attitudes towards foreigners may also be subject to regional differences.
Brazilians spend the day on the beach drinking beer, eating nuts and melon and talking about football (soccer) or the latest telenovela.
In Rio in particular there must be a higher density of beauty salons and gyms than anywhere else in the world.
Everywhere you turn you see beauty salons or gymnasiums and it's all about looking good when they hit the beach.
It's one of the most democratic places as apart from the designer haircuts there are precious few clues as to the wealth of the individual.
No one can own the sands and so they're a free space for everyone in Brazil - something quite rare in a country that suffers from the worst distribution of wealth in the world.
The state of Santa Catarina for instance welcomes their Spanish-speaking tourists with bilingual signs and welcome committees.