Brazil is one of the largest countries in the world and boasts the sixth-highest population while being the largest in all of South America. Brazil has some of the best natural beauty, but it doesn’t draw a massive tourism crowd compared to other large countries around the world. In the Americas, Brazil is the sixth most-visited country in the Americas with around 6.5 million yearly visitors.
One of the main reasons why tourism in Brazil is so much lower than its counterparts is that it’s still one of the more expensive countries to visit. If you’ve always wanted to visit Brazil but have been afraid to break the bank, there are plenty of ways that you can save big. Here are five essential tips for visiting Brazil on a budget.
Flying Into Brazil
As it is with any country, there are certain airports and times of year that you’ll want to aim for to save the most on your vacation. The same rule also applies that the busier airports tend to be the cheapest ones, and Brazil is no exception. There are two airports in Sao Paolo, and they happen to be the two largest airports in the country. Guarulhos International is going to be the cheapest option, though Congonhas isn’t much pricier.
There are a few other popular airports in Brazil that are cheap to travel to, including Brasilia International and Viracopos International in Campinas. It costs a bit more to fly into Rio de Janeiro, but not significantly more. As for the cheapest time of year to visit Brazil, you’ll want to visit between May and September, with the northern part of the country experiencing warmer weather than the south. You’ll also want to avoid any major holidays including Labour Day which kicks off the winter.
Stick To Mid-Range Hotels
In a lot of major countries, you can get away with visiting on a shoestring budget by staying the night in hostels for around $10 to $15 per night without a problem. Unfortunately, Brazil does have one of the highest crime rates in the world, coming in at the ninth most dangerous. With that said, you’ll probably want to avoid hostels, but you also don’t want to break the bank on a luxury hotel.
Mid-range hotels are a great option for staying in Brazil for cheap, and the prices are actually far lower than you’d find from mid-range hotels in other developed nations. From modern hotels for less than $30 per night to resort hotels for $70, your safety does come first, and you’re more likely to find that in a hotel that costs just a bit extra.
Find The Street Food
Restaurants in Brazil tend to be around the same price or at least a little cheaper than you would find in the United States. The biggest difference that you’ll find comes from eating street food instead of sit-down restaurants. Brazil has some amazing food, and you can find it for under $5 per meal on the streets. Visitors who have said that they’ve splurged on street food have still spent no more than $10 on a full meal, so try to stick with those options.
If you plan on staying for a while, you can also load up on groceries to take back to your hotel room. The cost of living in Brazil is much lower than in places like the United States or the United Kingdom, and grocery prices reflect that. Produce that is native to Brazil will end up being your best bet, as mangoes and bananas are typically next to nothing cost-wise.
Don’t Be Afraid To Rent A Car
For budget travelers, the idea of renting a car instead of taking public transportation is almost unheard of. However, Brazil is an entirely different animal. The cost of renting a car in Brazil is insanely cheap compared to most countries, with an average price of around $20 per day, which is only a quarter of the cost in the United States.
Some budget rental car companies can even rent out a car for under $10 per day. Not only will you be able to get around the country easier and quicker, but it will also be the safer option. The roads may not be in the best condition in some places, but sticking to the highways will feel extremely similar to driving in the United States.
Get Away From The Cities
All of the most expensive options are naturally going to be in the larger cities throughout Brazil. Most people will want to see the sights of Sao Paulo, Rio, and Brasilia, but don’t be afraid to visit some of the smaller areas, as well. It can be difficult with much of Brazil packed into a handful of large areas without much in between, but there are some great cheaper cities.
Cities like Natal, Porto Alegre, and Belo Horizonte are amazing tourist locations that won’t break the bank. You can even explore the Amazon Rainforest, though that’s suggested more for expert travelers.