Currency and Money

Currency information

Real/Reais (BRL; symbol R$) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of R$100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2. Coins are in denominations of R$1, and 50, 25, 10 and 5 centavos.

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Credit cards

Most major international credit cards are accepted (Visa more so than other cards), though not universally; it is easier to pay by card in hotels, shops and restaurants located within the major cities.


There is an extensive network of ATMs around the country. Occasionally, getting cash from ATMs can be problematic with machines producing a sem comunicação error, which means they won’t give out any cash. Some may find they have still been debited for the sum. Check your bank statement and get in touch with the ATM operator and your bank back home if you are having trouble withdrawing money.

Travellers cheques

Traveller’s cheques are becoming increasingly difficult to cash and visitors will find that they often lose money when doing so. Withdrawing cash directly from ATMs is preferable. Banks will not cash traveller’s cheques into foreign currency, (including US Dollars) but some hotels will accept payment in traveller’s cheques.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 1000-1600.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import and export of foreign and local currency, but amounts higher than R$10,000 must be declared.

Currency exchange

All banks, casas de cambio, travel agencies and authorised hotels exchange recognised traveller’s cheques and foreign currency. The US Dollar is the most widely accepted foreign currency.

If you wish to change back any left over reais, it is advised that you keep the initial receipt issued at the time of their purchase.