Apr 08

How Much Does It Cost: Brazil

by in Budget, How To's & Lessons Learned, South & Central America, Travel

Since we’ve started traveling, at least after we left Peru, we have been keeping track of our expenses. We hope to not only keep track of our own expenses but to also give you a better idea of how much it would cost you to travel through Brazil. This is a budget breakdown for two, so if you want to get a rough estimate you can always just half it – though I’m not sure if that would be a perfect estimate. We visited Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Paranagua, Ilha do Mel, Florianopolis and Porto Alegre. Most of our time was in Rio and Sao Paulo- though there is one major flaw in our budget here – we didn’t pay for housing. In Rio we stayed with a friend of mine for 3 weeks and in Sao Paulo we stayed with Aiko’s cousin for 1 month. Truth be told, it was part of the reason we could afford to stay in Brazil for so long as it is a pricey place to live/visit.

One other thing to factor into our budget – we didn’t eat out a lot and only rarely went out for drinks at a night club. We did drink, but that is covered in our “Food & Beverage” total, we often bought beer or wine with our groceries so it became too troublesome to sort out. We also often splurged when we didn’t have to pay for housing – and in Sao Paulo we had an almost nightly tradition that involved a bottle of wine and playing cards with family. If you don’t drink and can live off of rice and ramen I’m sure you could do better with your food budget than us.

And here is the breakdown for Brazil


Rio De Janeiro
25 Days
0 Accommodations R$0.00
Food & Beverage R$1,258.39
Transportation R$335.75
Trips/Special R$126.00
Other R$451.75
Segment Total R$2,171.89
Exchange Rate $2.03
USD R$86.88
Local Average Table Cell
USD Average $42.80
Sao Paulo
30 Days
0 Accommodations R$0.00
Food & Beverage R$979.69
Transportation R$236
Trips/Special R$370
Other R$266.94
Segment Total R$1852.63
Exchange Rate $1.98
USD $935.67
Local Average R$61.75
USD Average $31.19
4 Days
Accommodations R$0.00
Food & Beverage R$236.83
Transportation R$53.22
Trips/Special R$4.00
Other R$0.00
Segment Total R$294.05
Exchange Rate $1.98
USD $148.51
Local Average R$73.51
USD Average $37.13
Ilha Do mel
3 Days
2 Accommodations R$100.00
Food & Beverage R$114.92
Transportation R$202.84
Trips/Special R$0.00
Other R$0.00
Segment Total R$417.76
Exchange Rate $1.97
USD $212.06
Local Average R$139.25
USD Average $70.69
4 Days
3 Accommodations R$168.00
Food & Beverage R$145.14
Transportation R$163.40
Trips/Special R$0.00
Other R$14.99
Segment Total R$491.53
Exchange Rate $1.97
USD $249.51
Local Average R$122.88
USD Average R$62.38
Porto Alegre
2 Days
1 Accommodations R$40.00
Food & Beverage R$99.71
Transportation R$351.70
Trips/Special R$0.00
Other R$0.00
Segment Total R$491.41
Exchange Rate $1.96
USD $250.72
Local Average R$245.71
USD Average $125.36

Our “Special” events included getting into a Samba school, Pao de Acucar (R$106), and Carnival (R$370).

If you see any other indicators where there is R$0.00 for accommodations it is because we used Couchsurfing – which I’ll be writing a post on that soon.

Our “Other” slot was a catch all so when we bought havaianas, bathroom stuff, sun tan lotion (which is expensive in Rio), or the first and last time we bought cigarettes it is all included here.

“Transportation” not only includes local transportation but our tickets for each destination. Brazil has a really great website that lists bus routes from most bus companies called Busca Omnibus. To give you an idea of what we paid for each leg (this is the total for both our tickets):

Rio -> Sao Paulo R$151
Sao Paulo – > Curitiba R$135
Curitiba -> Paranagua R$44.82
Paranagua -> Ilha do Mel (Ferry) R$32
Ilha do Mel -> Paranagua R$32
Paranagua ->Curitiba R$38.78
Curitiba -> Florianopolis R$100.06
Florianopolis -> Porto Alegre R$139.80
Porto Alegre -> Punta del Este (Uruguay) R$329.50

68 Days
6 Accommodations R$308
Food & Beverage R$2834.68
Transportation R$1342.91
Trips/Special R$500.00
Other R$733.68
AVG. Exchange Rate $1.98
Local Average R$84.11
USD Average $42.15



After reading a comment inquiring for a bit more information, I wanted to add a little more useful information.

Here is a break down of a few items you may be interested in purchasing


Juice R$5-7, there are ‘Suco’ stands all over Rio de Janeiro and you will likely purchase an Acai or some other exotic fruit.

Caiparinha – R$5-10

Cocoanut –  R$5 on the beaches of Rio

Beer – R$8-14 for 1 liter

Lunch at dine-in restaurant R$40-60 for two people (may be more expensive depending on drinks.

Public Transportation

Bus R$2.35 per-person (non A.C. bus) in Rio, R$2.9 in Florianopolis

Metro R$3.20 per-person in Rio , R$3 per person in Sao Paulo


Sunblock – R$16-30 (It is expensive here so bring your own)



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2 Responses to “How Much Does It Cost: Brazil”

  1. From Cris:


    I’m Brazilian!

    What did you think of their travel costs to Brazil? You do not report all very much was found expensive or cheap. For us, it is difficult to know the pattern of the “expensive” for the foreign tourist.

    By the looks of you traveled during the Carnival in Brazil. If so, this is one of the most expensive times to travel the country. All price increases – hotels, service on the beach, restaurants, price rides, especially in Rio de Janeiro. Hosting has a higher price in São Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro. Glad you did not have to pay for hosting these cities!

    Were you staying in that neighborhood? I ask this because it makes all the difference to find food and cheaper drinks, for example.

    I was very curious about your trip! It is always good to understand the perception of a foreign tourist on the practice of tourism in Brazil.


    Cris´s last blog post ..Roteiro Chile: Santiago – Deserto do Atacama – Valparaíso – Casablanca {todos os posts}

    Posted on 2013/04/25 at 9:29 am #
    • From Cornelius:

      Brazil, in general is a very expensive place to visit. The Real is strong which makes the cost of many things comparable to the US. We were in Sao Paulo for Carnival, and shopped at a local grocery store away from the downtown area. In Rio we stayed in Flamengo and in Sao Paulo we were near the Metro exit for Santos Immigrantes, though it was a 20 min. walk to the metro. The main reason we could stay so long in Brazil was because of the fact that we often didn’t have to pay for housing and could cook at home. To get a realistic view of costs, using a hostel booking site you could average in the cost for housing. A Caiparinha could cost anywhere from R$5 to R$15, our cheapest was in Buzios but if you go to Lapa in Rio de Janeiro you could get one for about R$7. A beer would cost around R$8 at a bar for a liter, a chopp would cost between R$5-7. Dinner could range from R$10 for a cheap basic meal to go, on upwards to $R30 per person for nicer places.

      If you have any more specific questions on costs feel free to respond here or email me at Cornelius@MonkeyBrewster.com, Aiko and I have our budget book which breaks down what we spent each day on items and we can give you a more exact figure. My hopes with this budget is to give you all an idea on general costs of traveling. I will be posting more soon for other countries we’ve visited.

      Posted on 2013/05/01 at 1:01 pm #

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