Daily Travel Costs in Brazil on a Shoestring Budget
US$50 | 170 Brazilian Real
Anyone heading to Brazil and expecting to find a budget travel paradise will be sadly mistaken. It is the most expensive country in South America and our Brazil backpacking budget of $50 puts it roughly in line with an average country in Europe. Given the country’s size and the massive inequality that exists, this figure is only really a rough guide though and. Spend an afternoon or evening in one of the posher areas of Rio or Sao Paulo and you could easily end up blowing this in a matter of hours. However by venturing into cheaper neighbourhoods not to mention cheaper parts of the country, prices tumble and your budget will stretch much further, especially if you have even a basic grasp of Portuguese.
Hostel beds and basic meals are relatively good value on the whole while there are lots of budget-friendly ways to enjoy a night out. What can really cost a lot in Brazil though is getting around the country. You’d need several months to get anywhere close to seeing most of the main travel regions and if you try to cram too much into a small space, you’ll be forking out a lot on internal flights and long-distance buses.
Therefore by focusing on just one part of the country or a couple of regions tops, you can get by on $50/day comfortably enough and perhaps even less. Anything much more ambitious and you might want to start thinking about the ‘more comfortable’ budget below.
See where Brazil ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.
More Comfortable Brazil Backpacker Budget
US$75 | 250 Brazilian Real
Upping your budget to $75 opens up a lot more opportunities. If you have say a month or less in Brazil but wish to visit Rio and a few places on the coast as well as heading to the famous Iguazu falls and into the Amazon then this might be more realistic. The cost of internal flights can be quite high and you won’t have time to take the more budget-friendly but incredibly time-consuming, multi-day boat journey into the Amazon.
If time is less of an issue and you’re willing to opt for slower but cheaper transport, then this budget will allow you to pay for a few more organised trips such as guided excursions deeper into the Amazon. It will also allow you stay in nicer accommodation and enjoy more meals/drinks in better restaurants/bars.
Sample Prices in Brazil
Bus journey from Rio to Sao Paulo (7 hours) – $30
Flight from Rio to Manaus (4 hours) – from $120
0.5 Litre local beer in a bar – $1.75
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant – $6
Dorm bed in Rio de Janeiro – from $9/night
Private double or twin room in Recife – from $18/night
These prices are as of December 2016.
Compare Brazil prices to the cost of travel in Peru
Currency – Brazilian Real
£1 = 4.25 BRL
€1 = 3.58 BRL
US$1 = 3.38 BRL
(All exchange rates are correct as of December 2016)
Check out the Walk on the Favela Hostel in Rio for an authentic Brazilian favela experience just a short walk from the iconic Copacabana Beach.
street art in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Share your Travel Costs!
If you’ve been to Brazil recently, help your fellow travellers out by sharing your typical daily costs in the comments section below 😉
This article was published in December 2016.
Get our Backpackers Guide to South America 2017-2018 for a full overview of budget travel in the region.