Traveling to Brazil

Find all the information and FAQ's you need to know when traveling to Brazil

Brazil Money, Budgeting & Tips

Brazil Money, Budgeting & Tips

Brazil's economy is booming, as it is the economic leader of South America. As a consequence for international travelers, Brazil is not as affordable as it once was for North Americans and Europeans. But, it is still a great deal, especially considering the delicious Afro-Brazilian food you will find once you get there.

The currency is the Brazilian Real. Once you arrive in Brazil, exchange some US dollars into reais at a Banco do Brasil. It's always a good idea to arrive in South America with some cash in USD. This rings true for Australians and Europeans as well; the exchange rate is always better with USD than with the Euro or any other currency. It's also a good idea to bring at least 2 types of credit card in case one is not accepted.

Remember to notify your bank in advance that you will be traveling to Brazil. ATMS are easy to find throughout the major cities as well as in small towns. But make sure that your ATM card has a 4-digit PIN, and preferably a chip for protection. Credit cards accepted include Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress, and Diners Club, but some merchants and restaurants will add a credit card transaction fee.

For some restaurants or shopping, you may need to show a form of ID to the merchant. Leave your passport in the hotel safe, and an ID such as your driver’s license will work just fine. Always beware of ATM fraud and credit card skimming.

Meals and drinks will cost approximately two-thirds the price as you'd expect to see in North America. There is no sales tax, although restaurants will add a 10% service charge to the bill. If it's not included, a 10% tip is appreciated. You don't need to tip taxi drivers. Professional tour guides appreciate a US $5 tip per day, and drivers US $2-3 per day. For exceptional private guides, you may want to tip US $10.

During the peak travel season, from December-March, accommodations and prices for just about everything soar easily 25% above the value the rest of the year.


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