Brazil is a country on the rise. In 2014, it played host to the football World Cup. And 2 years later, the capital city Rio de Janeiro will welcome the Summer Olympics. Demand for visiting the country has never been higher, but this is still a place that’s friendly to budget travellers as well as those splashing out.
The vast Amazon jungle takes up a vast swathe of the country, and tours along its winding river attract holidaymakers from all around the world. Along the coast, there’s a mix of old colonial towns like Salvador and modern, vibrant cities like the world-famous Rio. Then there are tropical islands just a short boat ride from the mainland, such as Ilha Grande.
The cities are getting more expensive, but hostel dormitories with self-catering facilities are a good way of living cheaply. Or, you might want to head to more rural areas, where the cost of food and accommodation is generally lower. Daily spend: £15-30
Budget hotels in the cities mean you can get a room to yourself quite cheaply. Eating out at one of the diner-style lanchonetes won’t break the bank. Daily spend: £30-70
You can get fully-reclining, bed-style seats on long-distance buses. Or you could take domestic flights which go between the major cities. Rio and Sao Paolo are also home to many 4 and 5-star hotels.
Daily spend: £100-150
Prices are approximate and subject to change.
Money saving tips for Brazil
Miss out the Carnival. It’s one of Rio’s biggest events – but if you’re looking for cheaper accommodation, avoid the city during this week.
Avoid the school holidays. Like everywhere, prices are higher when children are off school. In Brazil, that’s during January and June.
Agree on taxi fares. Many drivers won’t turn their metres on at all, so to avoid being ripped off, settle on a price before you set off.
Try the Pantanal instead of the Amazon. It’s possible to see all kinds of wildlife on a short 1-day trip, including caimans, macaws and toucans.
Want to keep track of your spending?
Keep track of your holiday spending and instantly convert local prices into pounds with our free smartphone apps. There are three handy apps to download for iOS and Android, including Travel Essentials, Travel Money Card & Currency Converter. You can also download an instant currency converter for your Apple Watch.
Brazil’s currency – the basics
The currency of Brazil is the Brazilian Real
Real is pronounced hay-ow
The modern real was introduced in 1994, and since 2006 the exchange rate to the pound has been about 3:1.
Brazilian real banknotes come in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 denominations. The 1-real note was discontinued back in 2006.
One real is subdivided into 100 centavo. Coins are minted in 5, 10, 25, 50 centavo denominations. There’s also a 1 real coin.
Banknotes are easy to tell apart – they come in a range of colours and each one features a different animal.
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