Brazil: A Country for Every Travel Budget
With over 2,000 beaches on the Brazilian coasts and natural wonders, such as the Amazon River and Iguaçu Falls, Brazil is a hot destination for tourists. Brazil has a rich cultural heritage, countrywide celebrations, locally sourced scrumptious cuisine and natural attractions that attract millions of travelers every year.
Brazil is a country that offers something for every traveler. Traveling to Brazil has become more costly since they hosted the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games (we were there). Those events caused an increase in travel expenses, hotel costs, meals, and activities. In addition, the current post-pandemic environment is presenting its own travel budgetary challenges.
However, we’ve found some unique free to low-cost options for entertainment, accommodations, activities and meals in some of Brazil’s popular cities and some lesser-known destinations.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
If art and culture are at the top of your list then Sao Paulo is the place to go. Sao Paulo has some of the best art collections in Brazil. See the São Paulo Museum of Art or dine at the Mercearia Sao Pedro, where local artists have their work on display. You may even run into writers, actors, fashion designers, or artists hanging out in the restaurant.
If you’re in the mood for music, check out Alberta #3, where you can enjoy drinks and artwork, then head to the basement for some rock ‘n roll music.
You can experience the best Brazilian music and culture every four nights a week at Studio SP. It is only open Wednesday through Saturday, from 8:00 pm – 2:00 am (or 3:00 am on Saturday). However, during other times you can find some amazing local cuisine on every corner of this lively city.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is not only a fantastic destination for tourists seeking adventure, it is also renowned for its awesome nightlife and natural beauty as well! For active travelers, there’s great hiking trails including the Dois Irmãos favela trail that gives hikers a way to experience a favela and also see the city from a different perspective. The panoramic views make for a photo opportunity at every turn.
Speaking of favelas, you can find affordable accommodations, music and extraordinary views at The Maze Inn B&B. Located in a Rio favela, the Maze is a family-owned hostel that is a jazz institution because of its world-renowned jazz bar [cited 7 years running as World Top Jazz Venue by Downbeat Magazine]. It is a multi-faceted cultural center that offers a permanent art exhibit and amazing views of the Sugar Loaf and Guanabara. At last check a double room was under $50/night (but prices are only available by contacting the hostel).
Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha is a great island travel destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway. This beach paradise has turquoise waters surrounded by mountains. Playful dolphins swim along the shoreline, and sea turtles can be spotted when snorkeling in the warm waters.
Circle the island in a car rental that costs about $50 a day and zip around the island discovering new and exciting things you can’t find in a brochure.
If you are a foodie looking for an experience, not just a meal, then make your way to Buzios, a quaint coastal village that sits 109 miles from Rio de Janeiro. Once a quiet village, a visit by French actress Bridget Bardo put Buzios on the map for the rich and famous.
The town hosts an annual Jazz Festival in July and culinary festivals, where visitors can get a real taste of Brazil and dance the night away. There are several beaches and plenty of water activities along with nightlife venues and shops. Whether you go all-out and bar hop in the best spots in Buzios or relax on the beaches – it will be memorable.
Located 93 miles from Rio’s city center, the island of Ilha Grande off the coast is a sight to see. Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, you must take a short boat ride to reach the white beaches and crystal clear waters. There is no driving on the island, so you can walk and hike on the makeshift trails.
Wake up to the sounds of exotic birds, hike through the thick forests, and snorkel around the beautiful island. The waters are so clear that you can spot fish and turtles in the water below you. It would be hard to spend any time indoors because the weather is gorgeous and the views are serene. You can even take a kayaking trip and see the island from a different perspective. In addition, shower under the cascading waters of the Cachoeira de Feiticeira waterfall.
Affordable Brazil is a Priceless Experience
Visiting Brazil doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many affordable excursions to experience that won’t thin your wallet. Brazil is filled with exquisite food, music, sports, and sights out of this world. There’s something for everyone is this jeweled country and the people are friendly and welcoming, making you feel right at home. So don’t wait to book your next trip to this phenomenal country.
Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esq. is a co-founder of World Footprints. A three-time TEDx presenter and international speaker, Tonya was appointed a Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (63rd Session). An almost “recovering attorney”, Tonya has found her purpose as a cultural connector. She loves spreading positive messages about the power of travel and the strength of the common humanity we share. Tonya holds a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics and memberships in the National Speakers Association, Society of American Travel Journalists, Women in Film and Video, Society of Professional Journalists and the North American Travel Journalist Association where she serves as a Board Member. Tonya enjoys a life full of adventure, dark chocolate and champagne with her husband and business partner, Ian, and their beloved cat, Irwin.