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25 Top Brazil Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
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One thing is for sure: Brazil is an extremely welcoming country. No matter which part of the huge country you visit, you’ll experience Brazilian hospitality at its finest and plenty of local culture. From the stunning natural landscapes, to having the most diverse wildlife on earth, to the vibrant energy that will capture you from the start – there is no place like Brazil.

Since this Amazonian region is so varied in landscapes, weather, and activities – packing for Brazil isn’t the most intuitive thing. To ensure your trip is stress-free, I’ve put together this list to help! You’ll learn what to wear in Brazil, what NOT to bring, seasonal tips, and the answers to top Brazil FAQs.

Open hearts and open minds are key to travel here – you’ll be welcomed with smiles and fun!

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Rio is truly a "Marvelous City" aka Cidade Maravilhosa!
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What to Pack for Brazil – 25 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    These are great to have for the sake of organization and easy access while traveling. If you are going to carry your phone, credit cards, or cash, I would highly suggest using a neck wallet like this one. You don’t have to advertise you are wearing it, simply tuck it beneath your clothes and thieves will never even lock eyes with your valuables. We never travel without it and love the RFID-blocking material that ensures modern thieves can’t scan our financial data.

    Available on with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    neck wallet

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  • 2. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    You can’t go wrong with a portable phone charger while traveling! The last thing you want is to be stuck in the rainforest or far from any outlets with a dead phone battery – you may need a device for GPS or to call for help in an emergency. This charger is great because it is small, compact, and easy to bring for on-the-go charging. These are especially helpful if you are using your phone to take a lot of pictures and videos while in Brazil.

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    According to Forbes, Brazil ranks #2 in the world’s most vulnerable countries to cyberattacks. With a record-breaking 23 billion attempts in 2023, it is not a place you want to gamble with your cybersecurity or privacy. Brazil is a global hub and epicenter for the wave of online crime – which is not meant to scare you, but to empower you with knowledge so you can make the best decisions for yourself.

    Defend your private data with a reliable VPN like NordVPN. It will add a layer of encryption to your connection at public places like cafes, airports, hotels, and Airbnbs. You don’t want to wake up with a stolen credit card number (like I did while on vacation in France) or a hijacked identity. Brazil’s hackers commonly use malware and banking frauds to steal your money, but a VPN will make you untraceable (this also means you get cheap flights since airlines can’t geo-locate you!) It’s an affordable and invaluable service that you shouldn’t travel without.

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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  • 4. Electrolytes

    Brazil can be very hot and humid and you may find yourself sweating a lot! Bringing electrolyte powder that you can put in water will not only help replenish the electrolytes you lose when you sweat but will also make you feel a million times better if you find yourself with a hangover after a night of Caipirinhas.


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  • 5. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Especially if you plan to travel during the summer, you can expect at least a few rainy days during your trip to Brazil. Be prepared with a windproof travel umbrella so you and your belongings stay dry, regardless of the rain! This umbrella is convenient because you can fit two people underneath. It even comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee.


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  • 6. Travel Insurance for Brazil

    South America isn’t the safest place in the world, so travel insurance is an absolute must for traveling in Brazil. If something bad happens on your trip – theft, accident, baggage loss, medical emergency – you will need a plan. And since your domestic provider does not generally follow you over the border (this includes Medicare and Medicaid), you’ll need to ensure you’re not paying preventable bills out-of-pocket.

    Faye offers easy coverage and claims that can be handled through their mobile app. When I needed help, I talked to a real human and felt more supported than any other time I’ve dealt with a provider (since usually they’re pushing paperwork, delaying the process, and being less than helpful!) Faye is the opposite – they helped me video chat with my doctor and then wired us the funds when we needed it most. It’s an affordable way to relieve any stress and you’ll thank yourself for the security net.

    Travel Insurance for Brazil

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Grayl Filtered Water Bottle

    Despite having a plethora of the world’s freshwater supply, nearly 35 million people in Brazil do not have access to fresh water. The CDC recommends avoiding Brazil’s tap water and although major cities will have potable options, it can be inconsistent throughout the country.

    Use this Grayl bottle to have autonomy over your water. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth the investment to prevent the consumption of harmful bacteria infections, e. Coli, viruses, and dangerous particles like lead, pesticides, and microplastics.

    Grayl Filtered Water Bottle

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  • 8. Activated Charcoal

    Traveling to other countries often results in an upset stomach, whether it’s caused by the traveling itself or by eating something that doesn’t agree with you. Either way, activated charcoal is an absolute must-have. The charcoal absorbs toxins in your system and helps you carry on with the many fun parts of traveling.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 9. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    There are a lot of different bathroom situations you will come across in Brazil – a squat hole, a camping site, a luxury hotel, a boat, etc. Regardless of the accommodation, this hanging toiletry bag is a genius addition to your packing list. It has 4 giant pockets that hold all of your self-care products and 3 external compartments for smaller items that you may need to grab without unzipping the whole thing.

    The elastic bands hold everything in place – from your expensive serums to delicate makeup brushes – and the leakproof pockets prevent any liquid from spilling into your luggage. Simply hook it to any door, hook, or shower pole and it will unfold to expose tons of storage in a shelf-like system. We’re absolutely enamored with it!

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  • 10. Brazil Power Adapter

    Don’t risk damaging your cherished devices. You will need to bring a universal power adapter when traveling to Brazil. In Brazil, the standard voltage is 127 / 220V, and the frequency is 60 Hz. The power sockets are type N and round. Different regions of the country will use different voltages, so keep in mind that you cannot plug in your devices if the local voltage exceeds the maximum voltage that is listed on your electronics. This one works in 100+ countries so you can use it for all future travel!

    Brazil Power Adapter

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  • 11. Swimsuit Cover-Up

    A trendy and comfortable swimsuit cover-up is a necessary part of your packing list for Brazil. Be aware that Brazilians like to show a lot of skin on the beach, and if you opt for a Brazilian-style swimsuit without much coverage, you may feel more comfortable covering up occasionally. This option is the perfect blend of carefree and elegant.


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  • 12. Packing Cubes

    Packing cubes will revolutionize the way you pack for vacation! These brightly colored cubes vary in size and will help you to keep your belongings organized and avoid overpacking. This particular set is awesome because it comes with separate bags for dirty laundry and shoes. Each cube has a label so you can keep track of pants, shirts, socks, essentials, and more. You can even get a different color for each family member to keep everyone’s items distinct. Gone are the days of suitcase explosions all over the hotel room! You’re welcome 🙂

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  • 13. Mosquito-Repellent Wristbands

    There is still some risk of mosquito-related illnesses in this region, including Dengue, Malaria, Zika, and Chikungunya. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Protect yourself with these bracelets that are toxin-free, family-friendly, and wearable (way less annoying and stinky than respraying chemical fumes all day). But if you prefer a spray option to reinforce your layer of defense, just opt for a deet-free brand.

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  • 14. Cooling Towel

    This is one of the coolest things on any packing list! Between visiting Brazil’s beautiful beaches and tropical jungles, a cooling towel will definitely come in handy. They can be a real lifesaver on hot days because they can cool down to 20-30 degrees below air temperature and stay fresh for up to an hour. Want more luxurious relief? Just add more water and wring it out. Enjoy the cool sensation on your head, neck, shoulders, or wherever you need it. Once you try one of these, you’re never going to travel without one.

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  • 15. Sturdy Sandals

    Bring a pair of comfortable, waterproof sandals that are versatile and can be worn in diverse terrains (beach, rainforest, city sightseeing, etc.) Many Brazilian cities are best enjoyed on foot, so make sure the footwear you bring is comfortable enough to walk in for long periods of time. This pair is sturdy, reliable, and perfect for any trip to South America.

    Sturdy Sandals

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  • 16. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    As an incredibly versatile item, you can’t go wrong with bringing a quick-dry towel with you to Brazil. Perfect for a day at the beach, a boat ride, or a hike through the rainforest – this microfiber towel is lightweight, dries 10x faster than cotton, and can easily be tossed in your beach bag or daypack. This will also come in handy as a bath towel should you find yourself in need of one.

    HERO Travel Towel - Blue

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  • 17. Discounted Tickets on Brazil Attractions

    Your trip is the sum of your experiences so build a killer itinerary with Get Your Guide. See the highlights of Rio de Janeiro, take a daytrip through the Caribbean waters of Arraial do Cabo, and boat through the Iguazu Waterfalls. GYG offers flexible cancellation and the most authentic tours in the world at a discounted rate.

    Discounted Tickets on Brazil Attractions

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  • 18. Gorgeous Dress

    For evenings out, Brazilians like to dress to impress. You’ll want to look the part when you spend a night on the town, whether you’re dancing samba and drinking a Brazilian Sunrise, or enjoying the flavors of traditional Brazilian cuisine. This dress is gorgeous and compliments many body types, my wife has it in several colors!


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  • 19. Lightweight Daypack

    A daypack is nice to have if you know you are venturing out from your hotel for most of the day. Frankly, theft is common in Brazil. So always be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables locked in your hotel safe. We would advise not to bring them with you while touring around. This daypack is ideal for bringing just the essentials on a full-day excursion or carrying your must-haves on city explorations.

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  • 20. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    You should always fly with luggage locks since your bags are out-of-sight for long durations. A couple of sets are necessary to secure all of your bags, including your checked suitcases, carry-on, and even a daybag. They are extremely durable and offer peace of mind. We love this TSA-approved set because they ensure that only security staff can look through your bags, and no sticky fingers will go rummaging through!

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  • 21. Brazilian Portuguese Phrasebook

    Having a phrasebook like this one by Lonely Planet is extremely useful while traveling in Brazil. In large cities like Rio and São Paulo, you will find many English speakers and be able to communicate easily. However, in the more rural towns of Brazil, it can be very hard to find English speakers. Having a few phrases under your belt goes a long way in Brazil and even if you get the pronunciation wrong, locals will be very happy that you at least tried to speak Portuguese!

    Brazilian Portuguese Phrasebook

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  • 22. Waterproof Phone Pouch

    From beaches and lakes to rivers and streams – in Brazil, you will likely constantly find yourself near water. There are 12 hydrographical regions with every body of water you could imagine. Make sure you protect your phone by investing in a high-quality waterproof phone case! Having this type of reliable case will not only protect your phone from water but sand and dirt as well. We also recommend bringing a trusty flotation strap to ensure everything floats and doesn’t sink before you can retrieve it!

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  • 23. Hiking Shoes

    Bring a pair of comfortable hiking shoes for day-trips and hikes. Many cities in Brazil have old cobblestone streets and pavement, so having a good pair of shoes is a necessity. Whether you’re hiking Sugarloaf Mountain or trekking through the epic Amazon, you’ll be glad you brought a pair of good hiking shoes with you.

    Hiking Shoes

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  • 24. Biodegradable Toilet Paper

    When business calls, you have to be prepared. Whether you’re in the Amazon, the middle of nowhere, or just out of toilet paper at a restaurant or bar – it’s wise to have your own toilet paper. This brand is compact and biodegradable so it will work for no-waste campsites.

    Biodegradable Toilet Paper

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  • 25. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    The souvenirs in Brazil are top-notch and you should absolutely bring some home (for yourself and loved ones!) Use this lightweight bag to tote your Brazilian coffee, meta yerba tae, Cachaça liquor, Havaianas, ceramics, art, guarana products, and more. It’s that “just in case” bag that you always wish you had while traveling, but always forget to bring. We like this one in particular because it can count as your personal item for the flight home, which means you can skip the carry-on fees!

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

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What Should I Wear in Brazil?

Overall, Brazil is a casual country, and you won’t need to dress to impress unless you are going out at night or are staying in a large, urban city such as São Pauloor or Rio de Janeiro. Brazilians dress their best when they go out on the town at night or for formal business meetings. Everyday wear can consist of shorts, a tank or tee, and some sandals – you won’t look out of place. Brazil is a large country and it is very biodiverse, which means you should plan your wardrobe based on the region you are visiting. Some parts of Brazil can reach cooler temperatures (especially at night), so you will want to keep this in mind when planning your trip.

What Should WOMEN Wear on Brazil? – (Click to expand)

Overall, Brazilians dress casually but like to dress up at night. During the summer months, the heat and humidity are very intense so you’ll want to make sure you pack comfortable clothes- think breathable fabrics like cotton.

As a woman, I found that shorts, tanks, dresses, comfortable pants, and sandals were what I wore for the most part while in Brazil. I also would recommend bringing a few dressier blouses that can be paired with shorts or pants. Remember, Brazil is a large country and the geography is very diverse so depending on which part you are traveling to you will need to pack accordingly. There are parts of the country that get cold! I highly suggest bringing a rain jacket and one sweater, especially if you will be in any mountainous region. Bring a few fancy outfits for nightlife in cities like Rio and São Paulo. Brazilian women show a lot of skin, especially on the beach, and you may find yourself feeling a little out of place wearing a full-length maxi dress or Capri shorts.

What Should MEN Wear on Brazil?– (Click to expand)

During the day the majority of Brazilian men wear either pants or shorts and a casual shirt, preferably button-down paired with tennis shoes or sandals. In cities such as Brasilia, São Paulo, or Rio you will find that most men dress business casual, but since you are just visiting there is no need to dress the part. It is perfectly acceptable to wear casual, comfortable, clothing during the day and save nicer outfits for nighttime. For your packing list, you should bring several pairs of shorts and a few casual tees and tanks and then pack some dress shirts for going out at night. If you will be conducting any sort of business while in Brazil, bring a nice pair of slacks too instead of jeans. Also, keep in mind that the climate does vary from region to region and there are parts of Brazil that can get rather cold so bringing a lightweight jacket and some extra layers is always a good idea.

What NOT to Wear in Brazil

For the most part, Brazil is very hot and humid! There is no need to wear heavy fabrics or boots unless you will be doing some trekking in the mountains. Stick to casual clothing for the daytime and wear your dressier apparel when going out at night or in more metropolitan cities.

DO NOT wear anything made from polyester – this is not a good material for Brazil’s warm climate.

DO NOT wear heavy boots – unless your trip will consist of a lot of hiking there is no need to bring any boots. Evaluate where you will be traveling and the types of activities you will be engaging in. A comfortable pair of tennis shoes should be appropriate in most scenarios.

DO NOT wear expensive jewelry or watches – if you want to accessorize make sure the items you wear are cheap and things that you won’t be too upset about if they are lost or stolen.

What to wear to the beach

With beaches in Brazil comes culture shock for most westerners. The local swimwear consists of tiny bikinis for women and sunglasses for men. In Brazil, it is very common to show a lot of skin, regardless of body type. Brazilians are much more comfortable with their bodies and it is reflected in their beachwear. When going to a beach in Brazil you can wear what you feel most comfortable in but be aware that most people around you will be wearing very little. Don shorts and a tank top or dress when going to the beach. Also, do not bring a towel, most locals simply bring a sarong to the beach or let the sun dry them off, bringing a huge beach towel screams tourist.

Women, wear a swimsuit you feel most comfortable in but if you are feeling adventurous give the famous Brazilian bikini a try! There are lots of local shops that sell them! Also, keep in mind that women do not go topless at the beach and tan lines are to be praised.
Meanwhile, you will see a lot of sunglasses and shorter swim trunks, boardshorts are also popular and acceptable to wear, it is all a matter of preference and comfort. The sun can be intense so make sure to wear a hat and sunglasses and lots of sunscreen!

What to wear in São Paulo

São Paulo is Brazil’s vibrant financial center and it is one of the world’s most populous cities. It is a city filled with stunning architecture, vibrant art, and an amazing food scene. It is also a very fashionable city! The streets of São Paulo often look like a fashion runway show. Since it is a financial hub, you will see many people dressed in business attire. When visiting São Paulo, you’ll want to don your trendier pieces or you might feel out of place. Most cities in Brazil are very casual and a tank top with shorts will suffice but in the larger cities, you will want to dress to impress.

What NOT to Bring to Brazil

  • 1. DO NOT bring expensive jewelry

    Bringing expensive jewelry is never a good idea when you travel. The risk of losing items or having them stolen is too high! There is no need to wear expensive items in Brazil, doing so will make you a target of street theft.

  • 2. DO NOT bring lots of cash

    There is no need to carry large amounts of cash on you. Take what you need with you and leave the rest in your hotel room safe or simply withdraw from the ATM in small increments. In Brazil, it is easiest to pay in cash but Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in major cities.

  • 3.DO NOT bring any valuables

    In addition to expensive jewelry, any highly valuable items should really be left at home or locked in your hotel room safe. The larger cities in Brazil are known for high rates of theft so think twice before bringing all those electronics and other valuables. If you are bringing a camera make sure you have a backpack or case that you can wear securely.

  • 4.DO NOT carry your passport with you when you go out

    Bring photocopies of ID instead and keep your passport in a safe place at your hotel or guest house.

FAQs About a Trip to Brazil

  • 1. Do I need a visa to visit Brazil?

    If you are visiting from the United States you do need a visa. Visit the U.S. Department of State website for travel information and Visa requirements. You can obtain a Brazilian visa either online or in-person at a Brazilian consulate in the United States. If you are traveling to Brazil from another country be sure to check your country’s government website for visa requirements.

  • 2. What vaccines/medication do I need before traveling to Brazil?

    Vaccines and medication are not always necessary when traveling to Brazil but can be an important precaution to take. When I traveled to Brazil, I knew I would be staying there for a year so it was recommended to me that I get vaccinated for Yellow Fever and Typhoid. I was also given Malaria medication to take with me. For short visits, all these vaccinations may be overkill, but it depends on which region of Brazil you will be visiting. Malaria is a huge concern in Brazil. So do your research before you go and make an informed decision. You can use this link from the CDC on Brazilian Travel Notices and Vaccine Requirements.

  • 3. What language is spoken in Brazil?

    Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. It is a Latin-based language, like Spanish, Italian, and French. If you speak Spanish you will have an easier time picking up words and phrases. Brazil is the only country in South America that speaks Portuguese. In large cities, you will find English is quite common but be aware in rural areas you may not run into any English speakers.

  • 4. Is the water safe to drink?

    While the water quality in Brazil has increased in many urban areas, it is still not recommended to drink from the tap. Most Brazilians have a water filter system in their house and many hotels and guest houses will have a filtration system you can get water from. It is best to buy bottled water when out and about, ask for aqua sem gas for normal water and agua com gas for carbonated water. We always recommend traveling to less developed countries with a Grayl Filtered Water Bottle that will remove harmful toxins and bacteria. It’s literally a lifesaver!

  • 5. Do I need to tip in restaurants?

    A 10% service charge is automatically included on most restaurant and hotel bills and you are not expected to tip additionally on top of this amount. You do not have to tip taxi drivers but it is smart to round up the amount to make getting change easier. If you are staying at a hotel and get help bringing your bags to your room it is good etiquette to tip R$1 to R$2 per bag.

  • 6. What is a typical Brazilian meal?

    A typical authentic Brazilian meal will consist of rice, beans, meat, and a salad. At many bars you will find sides of barbequed meat on the menu as a snack, Brazil is famous for its delicious meat. Don’t leave Brazil without trying pão de queijo, a gluten-free cheese bread that is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

  • 7. What is cachaça?

    Dating back to the 1500s, cachaça is made from fermented sugarcane juice and is best known as the fiery kick in caipirinhas – Brazil’s national cocktail. Cachaça has a long history in Brazil and is very similar to rum, although once you taste it you will quickly notice the difference!

  • 8. Why is everyone late?

    Brazil is a polychronic culture, meaning time is thought of in a more cyclical, not linear way. Brazilians will often state one time for meeting and show up later than the proposed time, what I like to call “Brazilian time”. I learned this lesson early on in Brazil when my friends wanted to meet up for drinks at 9:00 what they really meant was 9:30! Most western cultures are monochronic, meaning they value a certain orderliness and sense of there being an appropriate time and place for everything. As an American, it took me a long time to get used to the Brazilian sense of time. You may encounter “Brazilian time” during your travels so be prepared.

  • 9. What is capoeira?

    Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It was developed in Brazil at the beginning of the 16th century. It has its roots in African slavery in Brazil, it was practiced as a form of self-defense that could be disguised as a dance. Capoeira is very much a part of the culture in Brazil, along with Jiu-Jitsu, you will often see crowds gather in the streets to watch it practiced.

  • 10. How safe is Brazil?

    It really depends on which parts of Brazil you visit. Many of the larger cities, such as Rio and Sao Paulo, have high rates of crime and theft, especially target tourists. As in any country, it is best to take precautions while traveling. Do not bring any valuables with you, wear a neck wallet, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry, or bringing lots of expensive electronics.