Backpacking Brazil

Today we are travelling to one of the most diverse countries on our planet – Brazil! When you hear of Brazil, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the traditional carnival’s colourful hustle and bustle. However, backpacking in Brazil is much more than just carnival and parties at the Copacabana. Backpackers can find a little heaven here as well, so go find out why so many people travel to Brazil every year.

One thing can be said about this paradise: it is incredibly varied. In fact, it is so diverse that it is difficult to decide what to do and see first: A trip to the Amazon, the most famous rainforest in the world, a road trip through the seemingly endless landscape, a day at the beach under the Brazilian sun or a hike to a phenomenal observation tower. In Brazil, you don’t have to choose only one. Discover all these things and more!

On an area larger than the continent of Europe, the country offers an incredible geographical, climatic and also cultural diversity. There is so much to discover in South America’s largest country: from cultural and historical heritage from the Portuguese colonial period to the Amazon rainforest, dream beaches and exciting cities.

Thanks to its mild climate, low cost of living and great atmosphere, Brazil is a perfect backpacking country. Covering long distances is not a problem as the infrastructure is well developed and domestic flights are low-priced. Brazil has much more in store than just Carnival and Copacabana.

Apart from the country’s nature and landscape, it is the general atmosphere and locals that make travellers come back again. The inviting samba music emanating from the city streets and the locals’ laid-back attitude will make you feel at home right away. And isn’t that charming homely-feeling in foreign countries exactly what backpacking adventures are all about?

Brazil is fascinating, different, multifaceted, lively, and yet also relaxing; it is the embodiment of delicious coffee, hot samba, passion and football, happiness, the joy of life and an unforgettable adventure. Go discover a country full of contrasts and surprises!

See below for the perfect Brazil itinerary for an unforgettable trip:


Important Basics

Official language: Portuguese
EnglishPortuguese
HelloOi/Olá
GoodbyeAdeus
Thank youObrigada/o
Yessim
NoNão
Capital city

Brasilia

Form of government

Presidential republic

Best time to travel

November to March

Currency

Real (BRL)

Telephone area code

+55

Climate

Annual average temperate: 22 to 26°C

Fun facts
  • Capital: Brasília, the capital of Brazil, was built within 41 months (1956 – 1960).
  • Oranges: Brazil is the leading producer of oranges, accounting for 30% of total production.
  • Hospitality: Brazilians are some of the most hospitable people in the world.
  • Size: Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world.
  • Biodiversity: Brazil is one of the most diverse countries with about four million different species according to estimations. There are also more different monkey species here than anywhere else.

Cities

Fortaleza

Your first stop in Brazil is Fortaleza. 

The coastal city is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations with over 34 kilometres of beaches. The Praia de Jericoacoara Beach definitely encompasses that holiday atmosphere and is also considered Brazil’s most beautiful beach. 

If you are interested in culture, take a stroll through Dragão do Mar Centre of Art and Culture, and visit the art museum, the planetarium, or an amusement park. You will find ancient buildings, the Cathedral Metropolitano and many other architectural highlights in the city centre.

The Refugio Hostel offers good accommodation near the beach for €9 in an eight-bed dorm.

Manaus

Continue your trip by plane to Manaus for approximately €80. The city on the Rio Negro is also called the gateway to the rainforest because it is a popular starting point for jungle tours.

A visit to the largest rainforest in the world is an absolute must on your Brazil trip. To vividly experience the fascinating jungle, it is best to book a tour for several days.

We recommend the following jungle tour, where you spend five exciting days in the primary rainforest:

You’ll get to know the impressive flora and fauna with huge trees, medicinal plants, monkeys, sloths and many other exotic animals and plants while hiking. Taste spearfishing, visit a native jungle village, go on a night hike and watch the rare pink and grey river dolphins on an Amazon canoe trip.

This unforgettable adventure costs €310 per person and includes four nights in the Juma Eco Reserve located directly on the river with bathing facilities, hostel transfer, a full board and a guide.

São Paulo

Next stop: São Paulo. Flights from Manaus to Brazil's largest city start from only €90.

São Paulo offers numerous attractions that help create a lively atmosphere: The colourful street markets, a creative street art scene, modern skyscrapers, shopping malls and the vibrant nightlife. Our insider tip is the Altino Arantes Building. The 161-metre-high office building in São Paulo’s centre offers a magnificent panoramic view of the city from its viewing platform.

An oasis in the big city is Ibirapuera Park, the city’s largest park, which is perfect for a walk in the greenery and has a great skyline view. Praça da Sé square and the 92-metre tall Catedral da Sé, the fourth largest neo-Gothic cathedral in the world, are also worth seeing.

An overnight stay in a four-bed dorm costs €13 in the centrally located O de Casa Hostel.

Iguazu

The next stop is Iguazu, which means “Big Water” – it can be reached by bus for about €30.

The world’s largest waterfalls are in the region, where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet. Iguazu waterfalls are an absolute must-see on any trip to South America. They comprise 20 gigantic waterfalls and hundreds of smaller ones and extend over more than 2.5 kilometres.

A bus will bring you from the city centre directly to the national park’s entry from where you can explore the unique landscape on various circular walks. Its main attraction, Garganta del Diablo, is also called the Devil's Throat. Experience the incredible power of the water falling from an 80-metre height first-hand – a fascinating natural spectacle.

Watch coatis and many other indigenous species in the jungle thicket or take a refreshing bath in one of the many smaller waterfalls along the way. Not far from the national park you can stay at the Hostel Bambu for €13 in a six-bed dorm.

Rio de Janeiro

You cannot miss Rio de Janeiro while in Brazil. Fly to it from Iguazu for about €60. 

Rio is located at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain and is well-known for samba, carnival, temperament, joie de vivre and dream beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana. The latter is probably the most famous beach in the world! The city's landmark is the 38-meter-high statue of Christ the Redeemer, which is located at the peak of Corcovado Mountain, overlooking the city.

With this day city tour you won't miss any attraction: visit, among other things, São Conrado beach, the Tijuca National Park, Christ the Redeemer, the traditional Santa Teresa quarter and the legendary lapa steps from Snoop Dogs' music video 'Beautiful'. The day’s crowning glory is the beautiful sunset over the ocean, which you can watch from Sugar Loaf Mountain, 394 meters above sea level.

This exciting day only costs €50: It includes entrance fees, transportation and a guide. Overnight at the Lemon Spirit Hostel for €16 per night in a six-bed dorm during your time in Rio.

Fortaleza

Take the plane for about €90 to Fortaleza.

Back in the coastal city, reminisce over your trip during a relaxed beach day, let the sun shine on your stomach and enjoy a refreshing Água de Coco in the stress-free atmosphere of the beach bars.

In the city centre, you can also shop for souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones or enjoy the vibrant nightlife before it's time to catch the plane back home.

Although you have already seen quite a bit of South America in a short time, be sure to come back since there is much more to discover on this exciting continent. So, until your next trip, Até a proxima!


Fortaleza

Fortaleza

Your first stop in Brazil is Fortaleza. 

The coastal city is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations with over 34 kilometres of beaches. The Praia de Jericoacoara Beach definitely encompasses that holiday atmosphere and is also considered Brazil’s most beautiful beach. 

If you are interested in culture, take a stroll through Dragão do Mar Centre of Art and Culture, and visit the art museum, the planetarium, or an amusement park. You will find ancient buildings, the Cathedral Metropolitano and many other architectural highlights in the city centre.

The Refugio Hostel offers good accommodation near the beach for €9 in an eight-bed dorm.

Manaus

Manaus

Continue your trip by plane to Manaus for approximately €80. The city on the Rio Negro is also called the gateway to the rainforest because it is a popular starting point for jungle tours.

A visit to the largest rainforest in the world is an absolute must on your Brazil trip. To vividly experience the fascinating jungle, it is best to book a tour for several days.

We recommend the following jungle tour, where you spend five exciting days in the primary rainforest:

You’ll get to know the impressive flora and fauna with huge trees, medicinal plants, monkeys, sloths and many other exotic animals and plants while hiking. Taste spearfishing, visit a native jungle village, go on a night hike and watch the rare pink and grey river dolphins on an Amazon canoe trip.

This unforgettable adventure costs €310 per person and includes four nights in the Juma Eco Reserve located directly on the river with bathing facilities, hostel transfer, a full board and a guide.

São Paulo

São Paulo

Next stop: São Paulo. Flights from Manaus to Brazil's largest city start from only €90.

São Paulo offers numerous attractions that help create a lively atmosphere: The colourful street markets, a creative street art scene, modern skyscrapers, shopping malls and the vibrant nightlife. Our insider tip is the Altino Arantes Building. The 161-metre-high office building in São Paulo’s centre offers a magnificent panoramic view of the city from its viewing platform.

An oasis in the big city is Ibirapuera Park, the city’s largest park, which is perfect for a walk in the greenery and has a great skyline view. Praça da Sé square and the 92-metre tall Catedral da Sé, the fourth largest neo-Gothic cathedral in the world, are also worth seeing.

An overnight stay in a four-bed dorm costs €13 in the centrally located O de Casa Hostel.

Iguazu

Iguazu

The next stop is Iguazu, which means “Big Water” – it can be reached by bus for about €30.

The world’s largest waterfalls are in the region, where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet. Iguazu waterfalls are an absolute must-see on any trip to South America. They comprise 20 gigantic waterfalls and hundreds of smaller ones and extend over more than 2.5 kilometres.

A bus will bring you from the city centre directly to the national park’s entry from where you can explore the unique landscape on various circular walks. Its main attraction, Garganta del Diablo, is also called the Devil's Throat. Experience the incredible power of the water falling from an 80-metre height first-hand – a fascinating natural spectacle.

Watch coatis and many other indigenous species in the jungle thicket or take a refreshing bath in one of the many smaller waterfalls along the way. Not far from the national park you can stay at the Hostel Bambu for €13 in a six-bed dorm.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

You cannot miss Rio de Janeiro while in Brazil. Fly to it from Iguazu for about €60. 

Rio is located at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain and is well-known for samba, carnival, temperament, joie de vivre and dream beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana. The latter is probably the most famous beach in the world! The city's landmark is the 38-meter-high statue of Christ the Redeemer, which is located at the peak of Corcovado Mountain, overlooking the city.

With this day city tour you won't miss any attraction: visit, among other things, São Conrado beach, the Tijuca National Park, Christ the Redeemer, the traditional Santa Teresa quarter and the legendary lapa steps from Snoop Dogs' music video 'Beautiful'. The day’s crowning glory is the beautiful sunset over the ocean, which you can watch from Sugar Loaf Mountain, 394 meters above sea level.

This exciting day only costs €50: It includes entrance fees, transportation and a guide. Overnight at the Lemon Spirit Hostel for €16 per night in a six-bed dorm during your time in Rio.

Fortaleza

Fortaleza

Take the plane for about €90 to Fortaleza.

Back in the coastal city, reminisce over your trip during a relaxed beach day, let the sun shine on your stomach and enjoy a refreshing Água de Coco in the stress-free atmosphere of the beach bars.

In the city centre, you can also shop for souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones or enjoy the vibrant nightlife before it's time to catch the plane back home.

Although you have already seen quite a bit of South America in a short time, be sure to come back since there is much more to discover on this exciting continent. So, until your next trip, Até a proxima!

Brazil Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home - Fortaleza
Home - Fortaleza
Flight
225
Refugio Hostel eight-bed dorm
9
2. Fortaleza
Fortaleza
-
Refugio Hostel eight-bed dorm
9
3. Fortaleza
Fortaleza
-
Refugio Hostel eight-bed dorm
9
4. Fortaleza- Manaus
Fortaleza- Manaus
Flight
80
Hanuman Hostel four-bed dorm
11
5. Manaus
Manaus
Tour
Tour accommodation
6. Manaus
Manaus
-
Tour accommodation
7. Manaus
Manaus
-
Tour accommodation
8. Manaus
Manaus
-
Tour accommodation
9. Manaus- Sao Paulo
Manaus- Sao Paulo
Flight
90
O de Casa four-bed dorm
13
10. Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo
-
O de Casa four-bed dorm
13
11. Sao Paulo - Iguazu
Sao Paulo - Iguazu
Night bus
30
Night bus
12. Iguazu
Iguazu
-
Hostel Bambu six-bed dorm
13
13. Iguazu
Iguazu
-
Hostel Bambu six-bed dorm
13
14. Iguazu- Rio de Janeiro
Iguazu- Rio de Janeiro
Flight
60
Lemon Spirit Hostel six-bed dorm
16
15. Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
-
Lemon Spirit Hostel six-bed dorm
16
16. Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
-
Lemon Spirit Hostel six-bed dorm
16
17. Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
-
Lemon Spirit Hostel six-bed dorm
16
18. Rio de Janeiro- Fortaleza
Rio de Janeiro- Fortaleza
Flight
90
Refugio Hostel eight-bed dorm
9
19. Fortaleza
Fortaleza
-
Refugio Hostel eight-bed dorm
9
20. Fortaleza
Fortaleza
-
Refugio Hostel eight-bed dorm
9
21. Fortaleza – Home
Fortaleza – Home
Flight
225

Total price.

Flights 770,00
Transportation 30,00
Tours 359,00
Accommodation 181,00
Total1340,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Pão de queijo: gluten-free rolls made from tapioca flour, eggs and grated cheese.

Stew

Moqueca: A seafood stew with tomatoes, onions and coriander. You can find two types of Moqueca, from the Baianos and the Capixabas, two tribes that claim to be the inventors of this dish.

Feijoada: A stew of black beans used as a base for all other foods such as pork or sausages.

Vatapá: A thick stew made from bread, shrimp, finely ground nuts, coconut milk, dendê or palm oil and herbs.

Main courses

Grilled meat:  Although the Argentines say they have the best-grilled meat, Brazil is a big competitor. Pieces of meat only seasoned with coarse salt and grilled over charcoal are simply delicious. One of the most valuable pieces of meat is picanha, a piece of beef known in the United States as beef loin. Sausages, chicken hearts, pork, lamb and wild boar are also frequently consumed.

Quindim: A delicacy made from eggs, sugar and coconut. It is yellow and sweet.

Bacalhao: Salted codfish, usually baked with olives, onions, potatoes and tomatoes and served with olive oil and white rice.

Cuscuz Branco: Ground tapioca with coconut milk and sugar.

Drinks

Cachaça:  Fermented sugar cane juice. There are different varieties.

Caipirinha: A cachaça-based cocktail with lemon and sugar.

Batida: Cachaça mixed with fruit juice.

Guaraná: An energy drink made from an Amazonian plant.

Brazil

The exchange rate for one Brazilian Real = €0.16 (as of 2020). See prices for certain products and the cost of living below.

Cost of living 

Food

Free time

Dos

Make eye contact: Like many Latin Americans, Brazilians are very friendly. It is just polite to make eye contact.

Be careful: Brazil is beautiful but has a high poverty rate, which leads to bribes among some residents.

Be careful when crossing the streets. The traffic in Brazil is a bit chaotic, so don't expect the cars to stop when they see you. Only take things with you that you really need. That way you won't lose anything or get robbed.

If you have been subject to a crime, immediately report it to the authorities and tell them as much information as possible.

Carry your backpack in front so that you can see it when walking through a crowded street, thereby minimizing the possibility of becoming a theft victim.

Before you start your day make sure the areas you want to visit are safe by asking the staff at the hotel reception. Also, tell them where you will be and what time you will likely be back.

Take a taxi: They are safer and less expensive.

If you need to withdraw money, do it at a mall or another type of establishment – avoid withdrawing money on the street.

Wear the same or similar clothes as the locals, to avoid drawing attention to yourself.

Don'ts

The price is more important than safety.

Be careful with hand gestures, they might mean something different to Brazilians.

Avoid discussing topics such as politics, poverty or religion. Some people are not very open-minded when it comes to these issues.

Don't try to compare Brazil with Argentina; these two countries are in competition with each other.

Avoid sarcasm, as Brazilians find it rude.

Avoid cursing, as it is considered an insult.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

No

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert-Koch-Instituts

Additional Remarks.

Your travel documents must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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