If you’re heading to Brazil for business, you’re likely heading to Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Sao Paulo is the country’s richest city that’s actually been dubbed the New York of South America. Rio de Janeiro is the country’s largest city that doubles as its financial center.
What you can expect to pay for a business trip to Brazil depends on a number of factors, like where and how long you’ll be staying, when you’re going, and how fast you need your Brazilian business visa processed for the trip. We checked out the business travel cost of a trip to Brazil in January, with a stay lasting six nights in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, and a departure from three of the busiest U.S. airports. Here’s what we found.
Overall Business Travel Cost to Brazil
Heading overseas for business travel usually costs $2,600 per person, according to the expense management company of Certify, although Certify didn’t note the length of the stay. Since the flight alone is eating up at least half of that amount for traveling to Brazil, you may end up spending a bit more than the Certify estimate.
Brazil Business Travel Cost: Average Flight Fees
Certify estimated the average cost of an international flight with round-trip, coach airfare to be $1,217, generally lower than we found for flights to Brazil. We reviewed flight costs from three major international airports in the U.S., flying to both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The prices we came up with ranged from $1,215 to more than $2,000.
We only looked at the “best flights,” which are defined as flights with one or two stops and the most reasonable travel times and airfares. Airlines ranged from LATAM to Delta, with Aeromexico and myriad others in between.
Flights out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Flights out of LAX to Brazil ranged from 17 hours 30 minutes to a shade higher than 20 hours.
The average cost of the best flights is listed below.
LAX to Sao Paulo: $1,398
LAX to Rio de Janeiro: $1,607
Flights out of Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
Flying out of Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport gets you there faster, with flights ranging between 9 hours 50 minutes and 14 hours 22. Average business travel cost of the best flights is shown below.
- IAH to Sao Paulo: $1,685
- IAH to Rio de Janeiro: $1,717
Flights out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Departing from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport gives you travel times that span from 9 hours 25 minutes to about 15 hours. Ticket prices increase to more than the $2,000 mark.
- ATL to Sao Paulo: $2,103
- ATL to Rio de Janeiro: $2,011
Brazil Business Travel Cost: Hotels
Certify’s report puts the average per-night rate of international hotels at $275. While hotels in both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro came close to or even exceeded that range, many offered less expensive nightly rates. We kept our hotel choices limited to those rated at four or above from Trip Adviser reviewers.
- Sao Paulo hotel rate range: $59 to $202
- Rio de Janeiro hotel rate range: $50 to $328
Brazil Business Travel Cost: Visa Fees
Depending on the speed of processing for your Brazil business visa, it can cost you anywhere from $255 to $660. Costs include a service fee for assistance obtaining the visa and the consulate fee. Get a Brazilian visa now.
Brazil Business Travel Cost: Per Diem Expenses
Brazil’s currency is the real, written as R$ and pronounced “hay-ow.” The plural is reais, pronounced “hay-ice.” Currency exchange rates fluctuate regularly, but the exchange rate on Dec. 8, 2016, put $1 in U.S. currency worth R$3.4.
Daily costs in Brazil can run you from R$200 to more than R$400, depending how much you splurge. Tipping is encouraged for parking attendants and jungle guides, optional for hotel staff, and alerady included at a rate of 10 percent for restaurant meals. Lonely Planet gave an overview of per diem costs in Brazil.
You can divide the real amount by 3.4 to get an estimate of U.S. dollars at the aforementioned exchange rate.
Up to R$200 per day (about $58)
- Sandwich and drink at juice bar: R$14 to R$20
- One-hour local bus ride: R$15
Between R$200 and R$400 per day (about $58 to $116)
- Dinner for one at average restaurant: R$40 to R$80
- Jungle trip: R$250 per day
- Night club or live music venue admission: R$20 to R$50
R$400 or more per day (about $116 and up)
- Dinner for one at gourmet restaurant: R$100 to R$200
- Nightly rate for upscale jungle lodges: R$500 to R$1000
While you may not get your boss to spring for a stay at an upscale jungle lodge or daylong jungle excursion, you at least get the general idea of how much various items cost in Brazil. Even if you skip the jungle trips and upscale lodging, you may be somewhat hard-pressed to stay within the international business trip cost of $2,600 per employee. And if you’re going over the estimate anyway, you may as well just book the jungle trip.