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  • TooPoorToBeHere 259 posts

    Any suggestions whatsoever for stuff people have enjoyed in Brazil, please. Paying cash for accommodation (amex plat hotel status only, no hotel points to our names).

    Also, what do people find good for payments out there? I’m told that Pix (domestic FPS-type service using QR codes + phone numbers) and contactless are almost universal, with no need for cash, but that even “good” card providers like Wise or Monzo might be subject to poor exchange rates on BRL transactions?

    redlilly 120 posts

    Where are you travelling in to and for how long are you in the country? Do you want to travel around much by internal flights/buses, or stay close to the international arrival point? Do you want rainforest, beach, or nature?

    Like Australia, Brazil is the size of Europe. It is simply massive!

    Re. Payments, as you say debit and credit cards are widely accepted. Cash is king for street sellers, tour guides etc. Though again, this completely depends where you want to go as in more rural locations, cash is also king. I have never had a problem with the exchange rates using the Barclaycard Rewards FOREX credit card and also withdrawing cash using the same card. Generally it is very favourable. Also, the Real is struggling somewhat – good value for western tourists using the £, $ and €.

    mzb 59 posts

    Brazil is very forwards when it comes to non-cash payments, and debit/credit cards are very widely accepted. The FX rate you’ll get on any int’l card is very reasonable (of course best to use an FX fee-free card).
    I very rarely every had a reason to use cash in Brazil. The exception may indeed be street vendors (some do accept cards though). PIX has grown to be a very popular payment method but don’t think you will be able to use it unless you have a Brazilian bank account.
    Try withdrawing cash from bank own ATMs (not the multi-bank ones that charge a fee – annoyingly that’s the only kind when you land in GRU for example).

    The classics in Brazil (and as someone stated, the country is massive, so you will need to take into consideration)
    1. Rio and surroundings: I’d stay 3-4 nights in the city (base yourself in Ipanema or Leblon, Copa is a bit dodgy at night), and then head out to either Buzios or Ilha Grande.
    2. Iguazu falls (can easily be done in 2 days/1 night: fly to Iguazu, the brazilian side of the park is next to the airport and can be done relatively quickly. Find transport across the border to Argentina, overnight and head to the Argentinian side of the park which takes a bit more time. Return across the border and fly out again – or alternatively continue to Buenos Aires from the airport on the argentinian side)
    3. Salvador: colonial town in the heart of Bahia. Churches, Beaches, Northeastern culture
    4. Brasilia: bit niche, but really enjoyed the 50s/60s architecture and interior design (2 days/1 night) found there.
    5. Lancois Maranhenses (dune system with hundreds of fresh water lakes. visit in June-August after the wet season) Unique and impressive, but hard to get to.
    6. Jeri and surroundings: has developped quite a bit in recent years, but still enjoyable especially if you have interest in kite surfing (windy season is I think July – but I’d double check).


    Good luck!

    TooPoorToBeHere 259 posts

    Thanks for these.

    Arrive in to GRU, leave out of GIG (that’s what the available redemptions in J were). After a bad experience years ago on arrival in another country late at night when phone roaming didn’t work and all British bank cards were declined, I’ll probably get a little bit of cash from a travel money place before leaving – or at least take USD.

    Regarding Pix – my young Brazilian friends report not touching any physical cash for months on end.

    There’s at least one app which provides a PAYG top-up-able Pix account, but it’s region-locked to the Brazilian app store only. Still looking in to this.

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