Solo Travel in Brazil

Types of Girls about the Globe (GatG) – Beach GatG, Island GatG, Jungle GatG, Nature GatG, Party GatG

Brazil is an amazing country to discover. The country is huge and has so much to see. Below is our guide on how to travel solo in Brazil. Find out what to do in the evenings, how to get around, and a solo girl's itinerary in Brazil for a month. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.

* Before you travel, check what paperwork or visas are required for Brazil. 

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Solo travel in Brazil

Contents

About Brazil

Brazil is known for: Iguazu Falls, the world’s largest inland wetlands, carnivals, the Amazon, wildlife, flora and fauna, beaches, and one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

If you've ever wanted to see some of the Seven Wonders of the World then Brazil should definitely be on your solo bucket list. Brazil has two of the wonders: the Harbour of Rio de Janeiro, and Christ the Redeemer Statue but there are so many other natural attractions that are worthy of the title.

Take a cable car across Sugarloaf Mountain or witness the stunning Iguazu Falls, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world. Other popular destinations apart from Copacabana Beach in Rio are the beach destinations of Bahia & Salvador, Fortaleza and the tropical beaches of Recife.

What To Do in Rio as a Solo

Solo Travel in Brazil

In a country the size of Brazil, you may not find many other travellers outside the main tourist destinations and cities. You do need to be careful here, as it has a high crime rate, so don’t walk around with any valuables on show and be careful at ATMs.

Take caution if you go off the beaten track, especially if you take a jungle tour with a male guide. Look for larger groups or team up with fellow travellers if you want to explore lesser-trodden routes. Brazilians are really friendly, but having some phrases of Portuguese will help you to get by.

How To Travel Within South America

Brazil Tours

If you feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your trip or the whole duration, G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters towards budget travellers. Most tours have an average of 12 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.

G Adventures Brazil

G Adventures trips to Brazil range from a 4 day Iguassu Falls Independent Adventure, a 15 day Wonders of Brazil tour starting and ending in Rio de Janeiro uncovering the best of Brazil, to an epic 65 day Great South American Journey: Quito to Rio Adventure encompassing Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador.

There are plenty of adventures in Brazil whether you have a week or a month to travel. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company. 

Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Intrepid Travel Brazil

Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more costly than G Adventures. Read our Intrepid Travel Reviews

Their trips are carbon offset and their Intrepid Brazil trips range from a 6 day Rio Carnival experience, an 8 day Best of Brazil trip travelling from Rio to Ilha Grande, to an epic 51 day Best of South America, beginning in Lima and ending in Rio, seeing the best of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.

Click here for the full itineraries, prices, and start dates

Day Tours in Brazil – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and day tours in worldwide destinations including tours in Brazil. Choose from a Sugarloaf cable car ticket in Rio, to an official cog train ticket to Christ the Redeemer statue. Explore the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls or travel to Praia do Forte and Guarajuba from Salvador. There are so many to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online.

* Check all tours, prices and availability for Brazil

Expert Interview - Brazil with Stephanie

Brazil With Stephanie

Stephanie Marie Kempker is originally from the States and lived in Brazil for one year. Stephanie gives us an insight into solo travel in Brazil and visiting Brazil as a woman traveller. She describes Brazil in three words: beautiful, laidback, and talkative.

What Drew You to Brazil?

I have degrees in religion and in psychology, and worked in marketing and business development for a few years before moving to Thailand, where I worked in medical tourism. Now in Brazil, I am concentrating on freelance writing and volunteering.

I wanted to try something different from living in Bangkok (where I was for 2 years), and I longed for fresh air, and to be out of a concrete jungle and near to real trees! I also dreamed of a city with a beach (I’ve never lived in one).

So I started looking for new cities to try, and my fiancé and I both applied for different positions around the world. When my fiancé received an offer to work for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, it was impossible to say no. So he works there full time, and I write and travel throughout Brazil.

What To Do in Rio as a Solo

What is Brazil’s Attraction For Solo Females?

Many women come here to learn the language (Portuguese), especially those from French and Spanish speaking countries, since the language is easy to pick up for them. Also, the beaches of Brazil are amazing, and for nature-lovers it is almost unbeatable.

Rio de Janeiro is a city that has EVERYTHING – cultural attractions, amazing beaches, mountains, hiking, forests, all those things within walking distance of Zona Sul (the main and most popular tourist area) And, for solo SINGLE females, Brazilian men are GORGEOUS! 😉

Iguazu Falls - Brazil

Iguazu Falls at the border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay

Have You Met Many Other Women Travelling Solo?

Yes, but I meet more women living here alone than travelling alone. Most of my friends in Rio de Janeiro are solo women who live and work or study here.

Hidden Gems in Brazil

Everyone skips over Sao Paulo, but if you’re in Brazil for a long time, I think it is definitely worth a visit! I think it is the heart of culture in Brazil, with so many cool museums, and parks. It is very sophisticated, and has the best international food in Brazil.

What To Do in Rio as a Solo

A Month's Itinerary For Brazil

Brazil IS seriously huge! You’ve got to prioritize by what’s important. Do you like nature, or beaches, or culture? A few of my tips (and any must-dos). Probably arrive to Sao Paulo because that tends to be the cheapest airport. Spend a few days there before continuing to Rio (either by plane or bus). At least 5 days in Rio de Janeiro, especially if you like beaches.

You’ve got to check out some samba, whether at a bar or in lessons. Take a responsible, respectable favela tour as well, to see how many of Rio’s citizens live. Of course, the classics of Christ the Redeemer and Pao de Acucar are must-sees.

If you have time, a walking tour of Central and a hike in the forest (or Morro do Leme or Morro da Urca) are amazing. Here's my itinerary for a month in Brazil:

  • Bahia
  • Iguazu Falls – amazing waterfalls that put Niagara to shame! See the Argentina side as well
  • Santa Catarina
  • Pantanal or Amazon (or both if you really love nature) – rainforest, perfect for someone who wants to see the wild side of Brazil
  • Recife/Olinda
  • If you like beaches, a stop in Buzios is great too. Make sure to rent a car or a go-kart, as the beaches are best explored by private transportation.

Brazil

Travelling Around Brazil 

Knowing a bit of Portuguese is almost essential for travel to Brazil. Very, very few people speak English outside of the big cities, and even those that do are shy to speak it. In the cities, there is excellent public transportation (in Sao Paulo and Rio, a great metro). In between the cities, long distance buses link them.

Taxis tend to be fair and inexpensive especially if you are used to a USD currency. As a woman, only take metered, registered taxis. There is an app, EasyTaxi, that I would recommend for ANY woman, as the taxis are registered and safe.

Brazil offers air passes to make the most of flying around the country. You can buy tickets within the airport or even shopping malls with Latam. Trains offer a more scenic route than some of the bus journeys, which can be up to 36 hours in some places, but you can get different classes on buses. If you’re on a budget, take an economy bus or a deluxe bus if you prefer more comfort.

What To Do in Rio as a Solo

What To Do in The Evenings As a Solo

I’ll talk about Rio de Janeiro in specific, as I think this is the most common and popular destination for women. Definitely, if you feel nervous about going out at night alone, choose a hotel/hostel near the nightlife scene you want to check out, or stay at a hostel and go with a group.

Or make friends during the day and go out with them at night! Also, language schools (like Casa do Caminho) often organise group events, and this is a fun and safe opportunity for solo women.

Many women go out alone in Rio and have no problems, but it is important not to get too drunk (like in any unknown place) and to remain aware of your surroundings. Sexual attacks in Rio are not uncommon, including against foreigners. Don’t take the minibuses late at night, as these are especially problematic. Use EasyTaxi for an assured safe taxi.

Learning the samba in Rio

Is It Easy To Meet Others?

Yes, if you stay in the tourist region, in a hostel, or attend a week at a language school (which I would recommend, even just to meet other travelers). Otherwise, it is also very easy if you speak Portuguese, as most of the tourists are domestic.

What To Avoid in The Country

Being flashy with phones, cameras, jewellery or money. Theft is very common, and it is always best to just hand the valuables over… as nothing is worth your life.

What would you say to someone who is looking to go to Brazil alone for the first time and is unsure about it?

Brazil is a beautiful country and has so much to offer. The vast majority of the people are so warm, friendly, and kind. If you are scared to travel alone, know that you are never truly alone. The first day you are in Brazil, I guarantee you will make a friend, whether another traveler at the hostel, or just a random person on the beach.

Brazilians are seriously the friendliest people I have ever met. Try to go to activities and events, that is a great way to meet other people.

Expert Interview - Brazil with Stephanie

Being a Foreign Women in Brazil

The “macho” culture is very strong here, as in other places in South America, and many men are very forward (please note: not ALL guys here are like that, I have many awesome friends that are super respectful and polite to women). You’ll likely have to deal with unwanted grabbing, obscenities, and rude gestures, especially in Rio when you are alone.

Sometimes, it is scary. Women who look noticeably foreign (very blonde or red hair, blue or light eyes) attract a lot of attention when alone, and more of the above unpleasantness.

Brazil Accommodation

In Brazil you’ll find all types of accommodation from cabins, hostels and guest houses (called pousadas) to resorts and historical and luxury hotels within the cities. Hotels in Manaus (the gateway to the Amazon) are generally cheap or you can stay in an eco or jungle lodge within the rainforest.

Rio de Janeiro is generally the most expensive city but there are several hostels within the city as well as apartments and 3-star hotels. Botafogo is a safe area with plenty of places to drink and eat in the area.

For solo travellers, the most sociable accommodation is hostels especially the party hostels but you can find quieter ones too. Share a dorm room with others if you’re on a budget or you can choose a private room for your own space.

Plus there’s Airbnb which offers rooms, cabins and cottages in Brazil with a local and rental accommodation on a short-term basis. You can stay in a private room in a local's house or rent their whole property. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.

These budget accommodations have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. For comfort options, check out the hotels below. For all other accommodation, click on the link below. 

* Check all dates, prices and availability for all Brazil accommodation

Foz do Iguaçu – Concept Design Hostel & Suites

I loved my stay at this hostel with its pool, bar and terrace. It’s a 15 minute walk from the centre and close to a bus stop to Iguazu Falls. They have female-only dorms too! There’s a reason it’s been elected the best hotel in Brazil. * Prices from £11/ $16 per night

Rio – Bamboo Rio Hostel

Situated in a quiet neighbourhood near Copacabana Beach, this friendly, welcoming hostel is a great budget option for Rio. There’s a spa, a pool and an outdoor lounge where you can spot monkeys in the trees!  * Prices from £5 / $7 per night

Sao Paulo – WE Hostel Design

Located near Ibirapuera Park in Sao Paulo in a safe and quiet area, this former mansion is walking distance to restaurants, bars and clubs. Meet others in the communal games room and enjoy a cheap buffet breakfast. * Prices from £8 / $11 per night

Iguazu Falls – La Maison Brasiliana B&B

This colourful B&B is cosy and spotlessly clean and only a 5-minute walk to the bus stop that takes you to the Falls, the Bird Park and the airport. The owners are really friendly and helpful and the front desk is open 24 hours so they are on hand for whatever you need at any time. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, a kitchen to cook your own food and breakfast is included in the price. There are residential cats and dogs too. Rooms are fitted with air conditioning and you can choose from a twin room with a pool view or a double room with a private bathroom. 

Manaus – Hotel Villa Amazonia

This 5-star hotel in Manaus feels like an Amazonian oasis. Located near the Opera house, this historical building in lush surroundings has everything you need for a stay in Downtown Manaus. There’s a gorgeous pool area and garden, a restaurant serving great food and even a gym to burn off those extra calories. Rooms are comfortable and come with a coffee machine and a desk and the bathrooms are big. Choose from a superior king or twin room, or a premium king.

Rio – Hotel Arpoador

Hotel Arpoador is a 4-star hotel on Ipanema beach. With a modern design, rooms are soundproofed and come with a minibar, coffee machine and bathrobe. Breakfast is included and you can see Rio’s coastline from the restaurant’s terrace that serves up Brazilian specialities. Enjoy a Caipirinha at the rooftop bar, relax at the pool, partake in some yoga or watch the sunset from Arpoador Rock. It’s the perfect place for beach lovers. Choose from a double or twin room with a city view or sea view.

Rio – Injoy Suites & Aparts 

If you prefer your own apartment for your stay in Rio, Enjoy Suites & Aparts are 650 yards from Botafogo Beach and close to the metro. You’ll find shops, cafes and restaurants within the area and there’s a garden and shared lounge onsite as well as individual lockers to store your valuables. In addition to studios and apartments, you can also stay in a standard or superior queen or twin room. 

Sao Paulo – CasApp Centro: Luz SP

For those looking for self-catering options, situated in the heart of Sao Paulo, this 3-star property offers studio apartments complete with kitchenettes. The staff are friendly, there’s good Wifi and a gym onsite to keep up with your fitness schedule. It’s a great low-cost option for the city and is close to the attractions, shops and bars too. 

Map of Brazil

Planning a Trip To Brazil

If you are ready to plan a trip and solo travel to Brazil, here are some useful links to help you plan your trip including airlines which fly there, vaccinations required and events and festivals.

Budget – £50 a day ($60 USD)

Current Time in Brasilia

Capital – Brasilia

Population – 209.3 million

Language spoken – Portuguese. Brazil is the only Portuguese speaking country in South America

Local CurrencyBrazilian Real 

Do I need a visa? 

Vaccinations Required 

Did you know? Brazil is the fifth largest nation in the world. 

 

Lingo – Useful Portuguese phrases 

 

Useful Info

Airlines to Brazil 

The Best Time to GoFebruary for Rio de Janeiro 

Which Plug Do I Need? 

UNESCO Sites in Brazil

Events and Festivals in Brazil

Local Cost Guide

Local Customs & Etiquette 

Brazil’s Sacred Sites 

Vulnerable Girls in Brazil

With our vision to empower women and girls, here are the the issues that women face in Brazil. Read more here 

  • Brazil has one of the world’s highest rates of femicide, especially in regions with a predominantly Afro-Brazilian and indigenous population.
  • There is a high wage gap between men and women. A World Bank study in 2010 reported that a woman’s wage equaled 71% of that of a man.
  • Less participation in the labor market, limited representation on a government-scale, and a high rate of early pregnancies are other issues women are faced with.
  • In Brazil, one woman is killed every 2 hours. Watch here
  • What it means to be Black in Brazil. Watch here

Stay Eco in Brazil

Araras Eco lodge – This ecolodge is located in one of Brazil’s most important wildlife sanctuaries, the Pantanal. It was sustainably constructed to minimise impact on the surrounding land. The lodge offers lovely furnished apartments, a pool and restaurant, as well as some adventure packages. * Check prices, dates and availability 

Expert Interview - Brazil with Stephanie

About The Author

Stephanie believes in travel as a catalyst for change, and for someone who is very open and wants a positive, life-changing experience – travel is the best way to do it (in my opinion). Her philosophy is “open heart, open mind”, and I feel that when you approach travel in that way, you gain new knowledge and greater understanding, not only of the place you are visiting but of yourself and your beliefs as well. Find out more about Stephanie at her blog: Joy and Journey.

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