As with anywhere else, certain conditions need to be met and rules respected if you are to enter the country. Brazil is strict about preserving its natural and cultural heritage, meaning restrictions are in place.
Most European nationals do not need a visa to spend a vacation in Brazil, if it's for less than three months. Note - there are exceptions, so check it out first! Exempt nationals need to have a current passport, with an expiry date that is at least six months after their trip. Canadians need to apply for a tourist visa in advance. It's a good idea to scan and copy all of your important documents. Keep copies in your email inbox, incase you need to access them and print off copies of docments that you'll need to carry with you - that way the originals can be stored in a safe place in situ (hotel safe etc.).
Make sure you have adequate travel insurance that includes health cover. Medical services in Brazil are expensive and the last thing you need is a huge bill for treatment.
As with many countries, it's strictly forbidden to bring fresh fruits and vegetables into Brazil. The same goes for plants and plant products and dairy produce. Your baggage won't necessarily be searched and, for example, cheese that is vacuum packed may go unnoticed - but at your own risk...
In order to preserve the ecosystem, animals are forbidden entry, notably birds.
Finally, the amount of alcohol and tobacco is strictly limited. You can't exceed 400 cigarettes, 250 cigars and 2 liters of alcohol. Bear in mind, if you're traveling with cash, you can't bring in more than 10,000 Reals Anything above these limits needs to be declared at customs.
Once you've got in, at some point you'll need to leave Brazil and, again, there are rules. To protect Brazil's biodiversity, it's illegal to take seeds or any product made from a protected species. Don't even think about wildlife...trying to smuggle out iguanas, parrots, monkeys etc. will land you with a 1,700 Euros/USD fine and a year in jail! Have a great Brazilian vacation!