If you’re going to Brazil, especially if you’re going to be there during Carnival, expect to exceed your normal backpacking budget. Life is generally more expensive in this massive country but, in our opinion, the attractions are worth the added cost. This post covers how much it costs to backpack Brazil and go to Carnival by breaking down our all of our expenses for the month we spent there!
Let’s cut right to the chase. Here’s how long we stayed, where we visited and what we spent. Keep in mind, costs below are the total costs for a couple in their 20s traveling together.
Days Spent Traveling in Brazil: 30
Places Visited: Curitiba, Florianopolis, Paraty, Rio de Janeiro, Ouro Preto, Salvador, Morro do Sao Paolo
Total Amount Spent: $4,200
Cost per day (couple traveling together): $140
Brazil Backpacking Cost Details
Looking for a little more info? Curious if/where you can cut some costs? For every country we visited, we broke up our expenses into the following buckets: Food & Drink (including groceries), Transportation, Accommodation, Entertainment, Shopping, Laundry, and Other. For Brazil, here’s how much we spent in each category:
- Food & Drink: $1020
- Transportation: $1000
- Accommodation: $1330
- Entertainment: $510
- Shopping: $80
- Laundry: $20
- Other: $80 (SIM Card, Hair Cuts, Pharmacy, etc.)
How To Travel For Less In Brazil
Brazil is one the only countries on our trip where Accommodations was our largest cost bucket. Yes, accommodations are expensive in Brazil but this is also partly on us. After spending 6+ months traveling at this point, we treated ourselves a couple times to nice private rooms and even one hotel (the only one we stayed in all trip!).
Going to Carnival events in Salvador and Carnival also inflated this budget. This involved flying to/from Salvador in northern Brazil, the costs to attend block parties (“blocos”) in Salvador and the Sambodromo parade in Rio, and the exorbitant prices for low quality hostels the entire time. These 9 days were the most expensive time of our entire trip. Not including transportation to and from Rio, it cost us ~$1,800USD to attend Carnival (nearly double the price of our other days in Brazil).
Also, our $20 for a month’s worth of laundry is misleading. Brazil is the proud owner of the title of “Most Expensive Laundry in South America.” Expect to pay ~$15USD every time you go to the laundromat. We volunteered at a Otter Conservatory in Florianopolis for a couple weeks (our time and expenses while volunteering are not included in this analysis) and utilized their laundry as much as possible. Just take a note to hand wash underwear and socks whenever possible to minimize your trips to the laundromat.
Highlights from the Entertainment bucket include:
- Sandboarding (Florianopolis)
- Island Tour (Paraty)
- Sugar Loaf Mountain Tram Ride (Rio de Janiero)
- Christ the Redeemer Statue Train Ride (Rio de Janiero)
- Samba City Tour (Rio de Janiero)
- Carnival Bloco (Salvador)
- Sambodromo (Rio Carnival)
- Zip Line (Morro de Sao Paolo)
More Helpful Stuff
Looking to learn more about how much it costs to travel South America? Check out how much we spent in each of the following countries.
- Colombia Backpacking Cost
- Peru Backpacking Cost
- Chile Backpacking Cost
- Argentina Backpacking Cost (Coming Soon)
Nick and Michelle Travel Guides
Whenever there’s a city with a hyperlink in these posts, you’ll open up a link to one of our travel guides!
All costs are current as of March 2020. The exchange rate while we were in Brazil was roughly 4.2 Brazilian Reales to $1 USD.
Although we tried our best to catch every expense, it’s likely some slipped through the cracks. We’d estimate our numbers are within 5% of our actual total.