Money in the Amazon Rainforest
Money, Budgeting & Tipping
The currency of Brazil is the real. When traveling to the Amazon, it’s always a good idea to have some real and some cash in USD. This is true for Australians and Europeans as well. The exchange rate is always better with USD than with the Euro or any other currency. Pack two types of credit cards for your trip, just in case one isn’t accepted.
Let your bank know in advance the specific countries that you will be traveling to in South America. That way you won’t have to worry about your credit cards not working. You will be able to find ATMs in the main cities as well as some small towns, but make sure your ATM card has a 4-digit PIN. Be wary of ATM fraud and credit card skimming, where fraudsters copy your card information. For security and protection, try to change your credit cards to have the chip, that way your personal banking information cannot be stolen abroad. The major credit cards accepted include Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress, and Diners Club. Although, some merchants and restaurants will add a credit card transaction fee. You may need to show a form of ID such as a driver’s license at times of purchase. Make a copy of your passport, or take your driver’s license with you. Never carry your original passport around while exploring. Instead, leave it in the hotel safe.
If you have booked an Amazon cruise or a jungle lodge, your meals and drinks are included in the cost of your package. Nonetheless, make sure to budget for meals before or after your trip to the Amazon.
In regards to tipping, you can tip porters a real per bag. You do not need to tip taxi drivers. As for professional tour guides, they would appreciate a $5 tip per day, and drivers $2-3 per day. If you have exceptional service or private guides, you may consider tipping $10.