On this page you will find our estimated Brazil cost of travel. Read on for suggested shoestring and more comfortable backpacking budgets in South America’s largest country. We also have info on the local currency and typical prices.
Brazil Cost of Travel in 2023
Shoestring Backpacker Budget
- US$40/day | 205 Brazilian Real
Anyone heading to Brazil and expecting to find a budget travel paradise will be sadly mistaken. As far as the cost of travel in South America goes, it is among the most expensive destinations, however the good news for visitors is that the Brazilian Real has lost value against most major currencies over the past decade making it a more affordable country than it once was. A shoestring backpacking budget for Brazil may fall in the region of $40 per day. That puts costs roughly in line with an average to low-end country in Europe.
Given Brazil’s size and the massive inequality that exists, this figure is only really a rough guide though. 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 regions and if you try to cram too much into a small space, you’ll be forking out a lot on internal flights (which aren’t cheap) and long-distance buses.
More Comfortable Brazil Backpacking Budget
- US$60/day | 310 Brazilian Real
Upping your daily budget to $60 when attempting to follow a Brazil backpacking route, will open 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 in a country that caters for people on all kinds of different budgets.
This may also be a better budget around key festivals and holidays, particularly carnaval when prices do rise. We have a separate post on the best time to visit South America, which features info on the best and worst times to come to Brazil and how the time of year impacts on your likely expenditure.
You may also want to factor in the cost of travel insurance as it’s generally advisable to have pretty decent cover for backpacking around Brazil and South America as a whole.
How much do things cost in Brazil?
|Approximate Price (in US Dollars)|
|Flight from Rio De Janeiro to Recife (2 hours 45 minutes)||From $100 + Baggage Fees|
|Bus journey from Rio De Janeiro to Sao Paulo (6-7 hours)||$25-35|
|Meal in an affordable local restaurant||$4-7|
|Local beer in bar/restaurant||$1.50-2.50|
|Dorm bed in a hostel||From $7/night|
|Budget private room||From $12/night|
|Christ the Redeemer Ticket (including train ride)||$18|
|Travel insurance for backpacking Brazil||Varies according to length of trip, your age & some other factors – Get a quick quote from Heymondo in 60 seconds!|
These prices may not seem high if you’re from an expensive region like North America or Western Europe, but they do represent a notable hike when compared to the cost of travel in Peru for example. We also have a separate article on the cheapest cities to live in Brazil which includes some more info on typical costs here while demonstrating which regions are cheaper and more expensive.
A smart idea for budget minded backpackers may be to take the chance to volunteer or work in exchange for benefits such as free food and a bed for the night. Brazil is the home of Worldpackers, a platform which allows travellers to search for hosts and take part in a work exchange. This can not only be a rewarding thing to do but it really can help cut down your travel costs and make your trip last longer.
Money – Brazilian Real
£1 = 6.39 BRL
€1 = 5.61 BRL
US$1 = 5.20 BRL
All exchange rates are correct as of March 2023. The Brazilian Real has been quite volatile in recent years so it’s worth checking again when you travel as it will have a big impact on the overall cost of your trip. By law, the only currency accepted is the Brazilian Real so you won’t be able to use Euros or Dollars here.
This Brazil backpacking budget was last updated in March 2023.