Brazil for Digital Nomads: 17 Best Travel Tips for 2024 and Beyond

In this article, you’ll learn 17 expertly crafted travel tips for a productive and relaxing stay in Brazil as a digital nomad.

Flavio Amiel

Flavio Amiel

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Published in Travel on 1/8/2024
Brazil for Digital Nomads: 17 Best Travel Tips for 2024 and Beyond

Festive carnivals, football fanatics, and electrifying samba dance—travelers’ hearts always have a soft spot for Brazil.

But in recent years, the largest South American country has become a favorite destination among digital nomads. Many of its cities, like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Recife, and Brasília, brim with nomad-dedicated workspaces near breathtaking attractions.

On top of that, Brazil has an affordable cost of living but a high quality of life, as reflected by its high-speed Internet, modern architecture, peaceful communities, and rapid economic growth. Its rich culture and history will also fascinate you with its colonial buildings, museums, theaters, and churches.

So, are you ready to fly to Brazil? Check out these 17 travel tips for a productive and relaxing Brazilian escapade.

Top 17 Travel Tips for a Great Stay in Brazil

1. Plan Your Trip in Advance

For first-time travelers, it’s a no-brainer that a good travel plan is a must. Brazil is a non-English country with different laws, traditions, and customs. It’ll be a nightmare to just go here without any knowledge of the country.

For long-time explorers, a plan is still necessary. You might have visited France, Italy, Colombia, or Panama, but Brazil is different.

But before we start crafting your plan, you must be sure that Brazil fits you as a digital nomad. Research the country’s culture and lifestyle and see if they’ll work for you. Otherwise, there’s no sense traveling here.

After that, check if your passport is valid (for the next six months). Then, start applying for a digital nomad visa (more of this later) if you plan to stay for at least a year or a tourist visa if you plan a short-term stay.

Next is to decide if you want to travel alone or avail of an all-inclusive package. Solo trips are recommended since you have to stay in Brazil for a long time.

After that, you have to deal with your trip’s nitty-gritty. Check for cheap flights (you can use Google Flights), search for possible accommodation (i.e., hostel, hotel, or apartment), and create your travel itinerary.

We’ll go into the details of your travel plan in the following tips.

2. Consider the Cost of Traveling to Brazil.

Brazil is a considerably pricier destination than other Latin American countries like Colombia or Argentina.

But it’s still affordable for digital nomads earning USD, Pounds, or Euros. According to Wise, US prices are around 98% higher than in Brazil. In addition, Brazil’s cost of living is around 1.45 less pricey than the world’s average. So, this country is still an ideal destination budget-wise.

Many travelers said that at least a daily budget of $40 to $70 is recommended. With this budget, you can afford a hostel room, eat in cheap restaurants, and ride public transportation. You can increase your budget from $80 to $150 if you plan to drink, take flights between cities, stay in a hotel, and try outdoor adventures.

However, it’s easy to overspend when you’re unaware of cheaper options in the country. So, check out my budget-friendly Brazil travel tips below:

  • Accommodations: For digital nomads, a private hostel dorm room is advisable. These rooms usually start at $20 to $30 per night. However, hostel prices can be higher in major cities like Rio or São Paulo. Hotels are quite costly; the low-cost ones cost $40 per night. Most Brazilian hostels and hotels typically provide free Wi-Fi and breakfast for their guests.

If you want a place for yourself, a one-bedroom apartment costs around $170 to $450 per month, depending on location.

  • Food: Local family-owned restaurants offer rice and bean meals for as low as $5 per serving. For a three-course meal in mid-range restaurants, expect to spend at least $15. The cheapest option is to buy groceries from the local markets and cook your food. A week’s groceries might cost you $100.
  • Transportation: Public buses are cheap, usually costing around $1 for a one-way trip. For a 7-hour intercity trip, a bus fare might cost only $35 to $40. There are also subway systems in cities like Rio, Brasilia, Fortaleza, and São Paulo that cost only $1 per trip.

You may rent a car for $150 monthly for more flexibility. But I don’t recommend this because carjacking is common in most cities.

  • Attractions and Activities: Many museums and public spaces have free (or cheap) admission, like the House of Roses in São Paulo and the Royal Portuguese Reading Room in Rio. The famous Christ the Redeemer Statue has an entrance fee of around $20. Meanwhile, a week-long wildlife tour typically costs $270.

3. Choose the Best Time to Visit Brazil

The best time to visit Brazil depends on your priorities. February or March are best for experiencing the fun-filled carnival celebrations. These months are typically warm, with temperatures around 30°C to 33°C, and tourism is high. Expect sky-high prices during this season.

Amazon is an all-year-round destination because of its warm weather. But many suggest exploring the forest (as well as Manaus city) during the dry season (June to December) when most wildlife is more visible and flooding is less frequent.

If you want a cheaper trip, the cold months of May to September are advisable. Tourism is low during these months, and prices are relatively low.

4. Explore the Must-Visit Destinations in Brazil

In 2023, a staggering 2.7 million travelers worldwide visited Brazil. This is a wondrous feat despite the adverse impact of a global pandemic since 2019.

There’s a reason why many people add Brazil to their bucket lists. And honestly, it’s not hard to see why. This country boasts many splendid attractions—glittering beaches, picturesque landscapes, thick rainforests, colorful metropolises, and more.

Check out my top Brazilian destinations and discover why this country captures the hearts of thousands.

  • Rio de Janeiro: In 1928, Brazilian writer Coelho Neto gave this city an eternal moniker, “cidade maravilhosa” (marvelous city). Almost a century later, the city still lives up to its title.

Rio de Janeiro showcases a perfect blend of breathtaking nature, vibrant culture, and bustling urban life. It’s home to the colossal 98-foot-high Christ the Redeemer statue, the majestic Copacabana beach stretching along the side of the city’s downtown, and the massive, green forest of Tijuca National Park.

Don’t miss the city’s carnival at the start of the Lent period. It’s a massive party with a festive parade, spectacular costumes, grandiose floats, samba dancers, and blocos (bands), followed by people partying in wacky costumes.

  • Amazon Rainforest: Covering almost 40% of Brazil’s land area, the Amazon is a mega-biodiverse place covered by towering emerald trees with hundreds of plant, bird, mammal, and insect species.

The city of Manaus is one of the top tourist destinations in the Brazilian Amazon. It is a gateway to the lush rainforest, but the city is also worth exploring. There’s the 19th-century Teatro Amazonas standing with its majestic French architecture, the historical church of San Sebastian, and the riveting “meeting of the waters” of the dark Rio Negro and muddy Rio Solimões rivers.

  • Brasília: The capital city of Brasília feels like a bizarre place from a mid-20th-century sci-fi novel. Designed by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, the city boasts modernist architecture, mostly in shiny white. For instance, the city’s iconic metropolitan cathedral is famous for its 16 white-colored column structures resembling two hands wide-open toward the sky.
  • São Paulo: São Paulo is a bustling city with soaring skyscrapers and cultural spots like museums, art galleries, and colonial-era structures. Many considered it the center of Brazilian gastronomy with its multicultural culinary scene inspired by Italian, Japanese, Amazonian, and Mexican flavors.

5. Pack Appropriately for Brazil

After you've glimpsed Brazil’s top destinations, it’s time to think about what to put in your suitcase.

The saying “less is more” won’t apply to your backpack, as you're a digital nomad who will stay here for months. So take a look at my complete list of must-bring essentials so as not to miss anything:

  • Documents and cash: Your passport, visa, driver’s license, airline tickets, health insurance card, and other documents must be secured in a waterproof bag. Bring physical cash, both in Brazilian real and US dollar denominations.
  • Electronic devices: This includes your laptop, phone, camera, chargers, power bank, portable Wi-Fi router, flashlights, etc.
  • Light Clothes: Brazil’s weather is generally hot, so bring clothes you typically wear during the summer. Light cotton clothes like T-shirts, tanks, shorts, and skirts are recommended.
  • Warm Clothes: Nighttime can be chilly in Brazil, especially in some regions like Urupema and São Joaquim. Even Rio de Janeiro can be as cold as 20°C during winter. So bring jackets and sweaters with you.
  • Formal clothes: Some places, like churches or museums, require formal attire like long-sleeve shirts and pants.
  • Shoes: Bring all types of shoes for your target destinations. Sneakers or walking shoes for a casual stroll around towns and cities. Flip-flops or sandals for the beach. Hiking shoes (or boots) for mountains or jungles.
  • Swimsuits: Bring at least two pairs (or more), so you always have a dry one ready.
  • Sun Protection: Bring sunscreen lotion (with SPF 30 at least), brimmed hats, and sunglasses.
  • First-aid kit: Include some antibiotics, antiseptics, vitamins, anti-dizzy pills, antihistamine, cotton gauze, bandage, disinfectant, and scissors.
  • Insulated water bottle: This bottle can keep your water cold for hours.

6. Stay Safe in Brazil

No sugarcoating—Brazil has had notoriously high homicide rates in the past few years. However, there has been a noticeable decline in violent crimes since 2018, thanks to the more stringent policies that enhanced the country’s police coordination, investigative prowess, and crime deterrence.

Currently, Brazil is safe for travelers. But every excursionist must be vigilant, as petty crimes like theft, mugging, pickpocketing, and snatching are prevalent in most cities like Brasília, Rio, São Paulo, and Salvador.

Carnapping is common, but this is less of a concern since you will most likely explore cities on foot.

Here are more Brazil travel safety tips for digital nomads:

  • Avoid walking alone at night, especially in places far from tourist spots.
  • Avoid leaving your valuables unattended in cafes, restaurants, shops, etc.
  • Don’t use your phone/iPad while walking along the streets. Snatchers can grab them in an instant.
  • Never accept drinks from strangers.
  • Don’t wear fancy, flashy outfits; doing so makes you a hot target for pickpockets and thefts.

7. Learn the Visa Requirements for Brazil

You can apply for Brazil's digital nomad visa which allows remote workers to stay and work in the country for one year. This visa also allows you to extend your stay for another year.

To qualify for the digital nomad visa, you must be at least 18 years old and a remote worker for a company outside Brazil. You must also have a minimum monthly income of $1,500 or a savings account deposit of $18,000.

The visa costs $130, with additional charges depending on the consulate you’ll apply to.

Prepare the following requirements to get a Brazil digital nomad visa:

  • Valid passport (minimum validity of 6 months)
  • Passport-size photo
  • Completed electronic visa application form
  • Proof of Income (e.g., Tax return, bank statement)
  • Proof of remote work (e.g., work contract, signed letter by the employer)
  • Health insurance card (Brazil must be included in the coverage)
  • Proof of clean criminal record

Visit this webpage for the online processing of your visa. Complete the online form, print it, and submit it along with other requirements to the nearest Brazilian embassy or consulate.

8. Consider All-Inclusive Vacation Packages

Going to Brazil is exciting, right? But let’s be honest—we all dread that “planning” phase. Can you imagine how stressful it is to figure out where to stay, where to eat, and how to get around, all while dealing with your work stuff?

If you want to skip the hassle of planning and enjoy carefree travel, I recommend an all-inclusive vacation package. With this option, you have to pay a fixed amount for a package that covers your flight, accommodation, daily meals (with snacks and drinks), travel itinerary, and outdoor activities.

For example, one of the affordable Brazil vacation packages is from Latin Discoveries. One of their packages is a 5-day Rio Carnival Tour that will guide you around the famous sites in the city like Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Maracanã Stadium, and more.

9. Make the Most of Brazil Itinerary

Brazil is a massive country (with a land area of over 8.5 million square kilometers), and it overflows with mesmerizing attractions. It’s completely impossible to visit all these destinations in a trip of a year or two.

Therefore, your Brazil travel itinerary must include the country’s top tourist spots to immerse you in its vibrant culture and show you its marvelous nature.

Here are some tips to make a well-rounded itinerary plan:

  • Your destinations must highlight the country’s nature, culture, and adventure:
  • For culture: pick museums, theaters, old towns, art galleries, etc.
  • For nature: hiking trails, rainforests, beaches, etc.
  • For adventure: surfing spots, hang gliding destinations, etc.
  • Research the available accommodations, transportation, and eateries near your chosen destination. Check out their prices and make sure they align with your budget. Determine also if your selected attractions have entry requirements (e.g., vaccination certificate, entrance fee, etc.)
  • Indicate realistic arrival and departure times for each destination in your itinerary.

10. Experience the Local Cuisine

Besides its football-loving folks and jaw-dropping sights, travelers love Brazil for its delectable cuisine. The country’s gastronomy is shaped by decades of Portuguese colonization and indigenous traditions, leading to many rich-flavored meals.

Root vegetables (e.g., cassava and yuca) and fruits (e.g., pineapple, guava, orange, and mango) are commonly used in many dishes, giving them earthly, fresh flavors. Coconut milk, cilantro, lime, and dende oil are also well-known ingredients among Brazilians. You can also expect pork, chicken, and fish to be included in most meals.

Check out some of Brazil’s must-try dishes below:

  • Feijoada: Known as Brazil’s national dish, Feijoada is a slow-cooked stew made of black beans, meat (pork or beef), herbs, and spices. This dish is usually served with fried plantains, rice, or fried cassava flour.
  • Churrasco: Churrasco is a Brazilian barbeque similar to the Argentinian asado. This food is grilled meat (pork, lamb, beef, or chicken) seasoned with herbs and spices. Churrasco usually comes with chimichurri sauce made of parsley, olive oil, salt, garlic, and chili.
  • Tutu de Feijão: Ground, puréed, or mashed black or carioca beans thickened with cassava flour. Most serve this dish with white rice, fried eggs, or beef stew.
  • Pão de Queijo: Brazil’s famous cheese bread made of tapioca dough baked with a creamy, cheesy interior.
  • Farofa: Farofa is a Brazilian side dish usually sprinkled with chicken, meat, or fish. It is made of toasted/fried manioc or cassava flour, nuts, onions, garlic, and other herbs.
  • Acarajé: Acarajé are spicy, street-food dumplings with crunchy exteriors made of onions, garlic, and black-eyed peas/string beans fried in palm oil. This snack is best served with shrimp or chili sauce.

11. Engage in Sustainable Tourism Practices

For the past 5 years, a whopping average of 6 million tourists per year have arrived in Brazil. Fortunately, the country is sufficiently large to accommodate this massive influx of travelers. But since Brazil is a charming destination, it’s just a matter of time for it to become tourist-saturated.

We all know that overtourism preludes environmental degradation, pollution, and wildlife destruction. So, every tourist must be conscious of their actions to maintain the natural beauty of this country.

When visiting Brazil, you can be an eco-conscious traveler by:

  • Not littering when trekking mountains or jungles.
  • Staying on marked trails when hiking to avoid disturbing wildlife’s natural habitat.
  • Minimizing carbon footprint by using public transportation.
  • Supporting local businesses and accommodations that commit to environmental preservation and sustainable tourism.

12. Stay Connected

Brazil’s current Internet infrastructure is suitable for remote work. Mobile Internet in Rio (and some cities) has an average download speed of 35 Mbps and an upload speed of 11 Mbps.Okay, Brazil's net is good, but where do you connect?

Your best bet is the coworking spaces dedicated to digital nomads. For instance, WeCompany Coworking and Plug N’ Work in Rio have comfortable, idyllic rooms, ergonomic chairs, and high-speed internet.

There are also free Wi-Fi spaces in restaurants, coffee shops, and malls, but they can be as slow as a turtle if many people are connected. On top of that, you can buy a local SIM card to access the Internet at any time. You can buy one from telecom stalls in malls, convenience stores, or airports.

I highly advise a Claro SIM card, which has the fastest connection and widest coverage in most Brazilian cities. For remote areas, a Vivo SIM card is best. Vivo or Oi Sim cards are recommended if you want budget-friendly data bundles.

Unfortunately, some stores require buyers to present a CPF (tax registry identification) to purchase a local SIM card. The Brazilian government allows foreigners to just show their passport for a SIM card, but some stores might still be unaware. It’s a hassle, but I advise you to look for an official telecom store if this happens.

13. Learn Basic Portuguese

Around 98% of Brazilians speak Portuguese, and locals do not commonly use English. So, for a digital nomad like you who will spend months here, learning basic Portuguese will be a huge relief.

Here are some common Portuguese phrases that can be helpful during your stay.

  • Oi/Olá (Hi/Hello)
  • Obrigado/a (Thank you)
  • De nada (Your Welcome)
  • Bom Dia (Good Morning)
  • Boa Tarde (Good Afternoon)
  • Boa Noite (Good Night)
  • Tchau (Goodbye)
  • Por Favor (Please)
  • Sim (Yes)
  • Não (No)
  • Você fala inglês? (Do you speak English?)
  • Onde está... (Where is…)

You can use an English-Portuguese dictionary or a language-learning application like Duolingo to discover basic Portuguese words and phrases.

14. Be Prepared for Outdoor Adventures

Brazil’s scenic destinations offer adventures for both curious newbies and adrenaline junkies alike. So, after hours of remote work, it’s time to take a breath, step outside, and create authentic memories with these activities:

  • Surfing: With a staggering 7,490-kilometer-long coastline, surfing is huge in Brazil. The country has recently been recognized as a surfing superpower, with its surfers dominating almost every competition.

There are countless surfing sites in Brazil. Rio has the Barra da Tijuca coast and the Arpoador adjacent to Copacabana Beach. Meanwhile, Florianópolis, an all-time favorite among tourists, has over 42 beaches with varying waves perfect for beginners and long-time surfers.

  • Hiking: Explore Adore Brazil’s charming jungles, mountains, volcanoes, and rivers on foot. Some of the best hiking trails in the country are the Ilha Grande Trail of Rio. A week-long trek on this island leads you to majestic rainforests, beaches, and waterfalls. There’s also the Pico da Bandeira of the Caparaó Mountains, with a breathtaking view of the sunrise that awaits hikers after a 5-hour trek.
  • Hang Gliding: Rio de Janeiro is a well-known hang-gliding destination. This adventure lets you fly (together with a guide) using a non-motor, lightweight aircraft. Get ready for your nerves as you dash down a hill, allowing the wind to flow through the aircraft’s wings and lift you off the ground.
  • Tree Climbing: The Amazon teems with sky-high trees, some reaching up to 70 meters tall. An astonishing view of the vast forest awaits you once you reach the top. Feel like a real-life ninja by lounging in the hammocks hanging at the treetops.
  • Diving: The wide coastline of Brazil offers crystal-clear waters perfect for diving. Some of the top diving sites are in Fernando de Noronha, a small archipelago with many dolphins, manta rays, fish, and turtles underwater. There’s also the village of Arraial do Cabo in Rio, with the famous shipwreck of Dona Paula, an 18th-century ship that you can witness underwater.

15. Capture the Moment

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to capture Brazil’s beauty. Bring your DSLR or mirrorless camera to obtain high-quality images of cities, mountains, forests, and wildlife. You may bring a tripod, polarizer, and lens cloth, but they’re optional.

Of course, you can also capture photos of your destination with your smartphone. They’re easier to carry and less noticeable, which is better for more comfortable travel photography. The quality may not be as good as the one from a DSLR, but you'll surely get crisp, beautiful photos since most phone cameras now have multiple lenses and RAW image compatibility.

16. Protect Against the Sun

Most of Brazil is in the tropics, so expect hot and humid weather. (Rio’s temperature can rise to 50 degrees Celsius during summer!)

Sun rays in cities like Rio and São Paulo can be extremely harsh, especially at noon. Prolonged sun exposure without skin protection will make you susceptible to UV rays, leading to sunburn or skin cancer. So, applying sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 to your entire body is recommended.

You can also wear long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats for extra protection. Stay in the shade of an umbrella or trees to limit exposure.

17. Embrace the Brazilian Lifestyle

It’s easy to see why Brazil stands out among other South American destinations. The country’s splendid carnival is a testament to how Brazilians value happiness, optimism, family, and friendship. As you explore Brazil’s breathtaking attractions and enchanting cities, cast aside your worries and embrace the locals' fun, energetic, and positive outlook.

Make the Most of Brazil

You’re now ready to set foot in Brazil with my 17 travel tips. I’m sure that the country’s allure will compel you to return and see more of its beauty. Don’t let your fears stop the fun, and avail yourself of protection from Nomad Insurance.

People Also Ask Questions

What I wish I knew before traveling to Brazil?

I wish I had known about Brazil's unique culture, beliefs, and customs before traveling there. I also wish I’d studied Portuguese well to have more fun with other locals.

What do you need before traveling to Brazil?

Before traveling to Brazil, you need a digital nomad visa to stay there for up to one year.

What are some things tourists should be careful about in Brazil?

Mugging, pickpocketing, snatching, and carnapping are some things tourists should be cautious of in Brazil.

Do I need malaria pills for Brazil?

No, Brazil has a low malaria risk, so there is no need to take prescription pills.