Three budgets for a trip to Brazil

September 13, 2007 | By More

Ariel, a reader of De Viaje a Brasil, suggested the idea of an entry with the draft of three different budgets for the traveller preparing a trip to Brazil. In spite of the difficulties inherent to a entry of this kind, I have accepted the challenge. I won’t bore you with lengthy explanations on why it is very difficult to make general statements on a country the size of Brazil or why those generalizations are made even more difficult by the simple fact that different travellers have different needs and tastes. What you will find here is just an approximate idea of costs. Yes, there are cheaper places than the ones quoted here. And yes, there are (much) more expensive places as well. And yes, within Brazil there are places where everything is quite cheap and places where everything is quite expensive.

Prices on this entry are in Brazilian reais. On the right sidebar of the blog, under the Categories section, you will find the current exchange rate of the dollar and the euro.

Before we start, a necessary clarification. Hyperinflation is a thing of the past. For the last few years inflation rates in Brazil have been kept on hold, well below 10%. However, Brazil is a much more expensive country for tourists of many countries due to the increased value of the real against other currencies. Someone who visited Brazil in 2002 might thing that prices have spiralled in Brazil – the truth is that they remain under control, it is the Brazilian real that is much more expensive now.


CHEAP BUDGET

Food. In most cases breakfast is included in the room rate. Both for lunch and dinner you can survive on R$10 meals per person, including a drink.

Accommodation. Between R$40 and R$60 will get you a private room with bathroom. For less than that, a room in a hostel dormitory. In places like Rio de Janeiro or Fernando de Noronha you will have a hard time finding accommodation for as little as that.

MID-RANGE BUDGET

Food. An amount between R$10 and R$30 per person will land you on the territory of a reasonable meal – it might include a large pizza for two, baked fish at the beach or ethnic food in the large cities. For each caipirinha you drink during the meal, add a further R$8 to R$15.

Accommodation. Pay between R$70 and R$175 for a room for two and you are thinking of a pousada with some comfort, air-conditioning and television for sure, as well as a certain taste in the décor of the place. A swimming pool as well. In Rio de Janeiro, that money will only get you into a basic hotel.

EXPENSIVE BUDGET

Food. From R$40 onwards we are talking business: a decent meal at a churrascaria, a Japanese restaurant or a seafood restaurant. There are restaurants where a meal will set you back R$100 and R$200 (even more if you order wine), but in our opinion you don’t need to pay more than R$70 for an excellent and abundant meal.

Accommodation. For an amount betwen R$180 and R$300 per room you might stay at some wonderful places. From R$400 onwards, you must demand luxury. We have never paid more R$300 in the most wonderful pousadas where we have stayed. They didn’t have plasma TVs, though. Many of the Rio hotels fall within this range of prices.

Up to here, the prices to cover the two main basic needs: food and lodging. The remaining expenses do not discriminate between cheap and expensive budgets. A água de coco (coconut water) costs the same for everyone). Then you have to add other expenses, a boat trip, a bottle of mineral water, a caipirinha here and there, souvernirs for friends and family…

To help you find out more about prices in Brazil, this blog offers several tools:

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