Brazil For Digital Nomads And Remote Workers. My Top 5 Digital Nomad Spots In Brazil

Brazil is a big, big country. It’s double the size of Europe and almost as big as the United States. And every area has something different to offer. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Although from experience I think a lot of Digital Nomads are looking for similar things, which are all described in an earlier blog post I wrote.  

After being in Brazil five times, every time for a few weeks or months, I have my favourite spots which I would recommend you to check out when you would like to discover Brazil as a Digital Nomad, keeping in mind what most Digital Nomads are looking for: Cost of living, safety, a Digital Nomad / Entrepreneurial community, some nightlife and most important, wifi to get some shit done!

Florianopolis for Digital Nomads

Florianópolis, or Floripa as it’s know by locals is paradise on earth, the one city that has it all. Beautiful white sandy beaches, scenic mountains, the active, outdoorsy lifestyle and a great nightlife. Often described as a mini and much safer version of Rio but it also reminds me of Cape Town in South Africa. It has one of the highest quality of life in Brazil, which isn’t surprising with this holiday feeling you get when you’re here. No wonder Floripa is highly rated by Digital Nomads.

Floripa is home to a lot of international startups, freelancers and entrepreneurs. It has an abundance of co-working spaces. You get around with English a lot more than in the rest of Brazil. The municipal officials call it the Silicon Valley with beaches. Although great and one of the best spots to be as a Digital Nomad in Brazil, it’s still far from that in my opinion.

When To Go

The best time to go is Brazilian summer (November to March). It is hot and humid in summer what makes it close to a tropical climate.

Although the locals prefer the winter, when tourist are gone and they get a chance to enjoy their city. It doesn’t get wintery cold like in Europe or the States. The average temperature in winter is about 18 degrees celsius, which in some countries could almost be called summer. It does get pretty windy in winter. It could make it feel a bit more cold, but also makes it perfect to go surfing and kitesurfing.

In low season you get much more for your money. The Real (Brazilian currency) has been weak for a long time now, and in low season housing is very affordable. Don’t expect Asian prices, but for a Brazilian hotspot it’s very good.

Climate Florianópolis

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Where To Go

Where you would see gated or fenced houses in most of Brazil, Florianopolis has open gardens. It’s like you left Brazil and enter a more American or European city. The safest neighbourhood you can be is Jurere. Not necessarily the best location if you want to be right at the beach, or in the middle of the center, but definitely the safest place in the country.

Even though Florianopolis is an island, it is still pretty big. The public transport isn’t the best and getting around without a car can be quite difficult. There are buses, but your best bet is to take a taxi or Uber. Don’t just flag a taxi on the road, make sure you stay safe and order a taxi with “Rádio taxis” or Uber in advance. Better safe than sorry.

Wifi And Internet Connection

The Internet is often the biggest issue for Digital Nomads when they want to explore a new place. Internet in Brazil in general isn’t always the best. You’re in a third world country, and Florianopolis is still an island. Internet on the island is a hit or miss.

There are places with internet slower than a pigeon, and there are places with great internet connection, you just have to look for it. The best chances you have in Lagoa en Centro and of course in one of the coworking spaces on the island.

Cost Of Living

Don’t expect to be living as cheap as you do in Asian countries, but if you’re looking for something more long term or willing to go off season, you can easily keep your expenses below €1000 a month. Of course it all depends on your lifestyle, but I think this is quite average. Make sure you bring all technology things with you, imported goods can be twice the regular European or American price due to the extremely high import taxes Brazil has.

Nightlife

Florianopolis is very well known by travellers, backpackers and other kind of tourism, and the nightlife is one of those reasons. Brazilians know how to party, and Floripa is often compared to places like Miami or Ibiza.

If outdoors is your cup of tea, Florianopolis is where you have to be!

Jericoacoara for Digital Nomads

Jericoacoara is heaven on Earth. This little kite and windsurfers hub in the middle of the desert has grown from a small fisherman’s village in the 1980’s to a very touristy as well as a Digital Nomad destination. Although kiting isn’t right off the beach in Jeri, it is so incredible as it has so much more to offer than kitesurfing only. It’s this vibe and small town atmosphere what makes it so incredible.

Jeri is famous for it’s sunsets. It’s one of the few places on earth where you can see an Emerald Sunset. A sunset whereby the edge of the sun sinks below the horizon and turns into a bright green color for a second. One of the many reasons to visit Jericoacoara.

When To Go

Jericoacoara is great all year long, depending on what you’re looking for. It’s sunny, warm and windy from July to February. Which makes it perfect for kite and windsurfing. The wind makes even the hot temperatures in Northern Brazil enjoyable.

In winter, or let’s say in rainy season (March to July)  it’s still very warm, but with some clouds and an occasional tropical rain. They don’t last long, so even in winter, a great place to go.

The busiest season is from December to February, when the local Brazilians from the south head up north to enjoy their beautiful beaches. If you’re planning to come in this period it’s good to book ahead as accommodation in Jeri can fill up quickly. Sleeping on the sandy streets might not be your preference 😉

Climate Jericoacoara

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Where To Go

Jericoacoara is a very small town, which means you can walk pretty much from one side to the other in a heartbeat. Anywhere around the center and close to the beach is great, that’s where it’s all happening.

You won’t be able to drive around in Jeri yourself, there are special 4×4 taxi’s who can bring you outside of town, but be prepared to walk around yourself. The streets, even the floors of some shops are from sand, so it’s a good exercise to walk around in Jericoacoara.

Jeri doesn’t have a lot of street names, it’s recommendable to get familiar with a few landmarks, shop or restaurant names which are often mentioned.

Wifi And Internet Connection

A big thumbs up for the fiber installation in Jeri recently. It improved from 5mb to 30mb, which is incredible if you consider that this place is in the middle of the desert. Of course it still all depends on the amount of users as well. But when you’re one of the few users, video calls won’t be a problem. Not every hotel or restaurant uses the fiber connection, so a speed test before you settle yourself is recommendable.

There are no coworking spaces but plenty of cafes and kite centers with internet access to work from. The typical Digital Nomad work pictures from the beach can actually be taken in Jeri!

Vivo or TIM are your best bets when you want to get a sim card with 3 and even 4G! Jeri even has an internet center in the main street (across the gym). They cut the SIM cards to nano, handle phone and notebook repairs and have a small internet cafe with good connection.

Cost Of Living

In general in Brazil it’s the more north you go, the cheaper it gets. But there are exceptions, as the further north you go after Fortaleza, the more expensive it gets again. This simply has to do with the fact it’s so far away from basically everything.

Off season in Jeri it’s all quite affordable, but be prepared to pay decent pricing for accommodation in December when high season really kicks in.

My biggest expense being in Jeri is transfer from and to a nice kitespot. Kiting in Jeri is great, but you can’t kite straight from the beach. The wind direction isn’t good and therefore you will need to rent a 4×4 buggy every day to go kiting in Prea or one of the lagoons around Jeri.

Nightlife

When I think about Jericoacoara, the first thing what pops up in my mind is the famous sunset on the dunes, and the caipi street cocktail stands at night. A must do to check out when you’re there.

Jeri is all about food, drinks and live music. It has a lot of nightlife to offer, every day of the week you will find something you like. The main street to the beach transforms every day in the early evening to a street with stalls who sell all kinds of cocktails, especially caipirinhas. The perfect place to start your night out is at the caipi street.

You read this well: to start your night. Brazilians know how to party, and they go on forever. Catching up on sleep isn’t why you come to Jeri for. Maybe a nap before going out isn’t a bad idea. We all get slightly older and we need our beauty sleep 😉

Don’t forget to dance Forró, the Brazilian dance if you want to have the real Brazil experience. Some people say it’s more intense and sexy hotter than salsa.

If kitesurfing is your cup of tea, Jericoacoara is where you have to be!

Belo Horizonte for Digital Nomads

Belo Horizonte has the big city comfort without the craziness of Rio or São Paulo. It has a high population of programmers and software entrepreneurs and is home to many tech multinationals, such as Google. The start up scene in Belo Horizonte, also called San Pedro Valley, wants to put Belo Horizonte on the map as the Silicon Valley of Brazil.

Belo Horizonte gives you the perfect balance to be productive, get work done and live the real Brazilian laid back lifestyle. This, in combination with the low cost of living make it a great spot for Digital Nomads.

When To Go

In Belo Horizonte, the summer (December to March) is also the wet season with the highest humidity and therefore not the best period to go. The best time to be in Belo Horizonte is April to September, when the weather is cooler and the humidity lower.

In April and May there are lots of festivities going on, so this period, together with Carnival are the busiest and most expensive but also the best periods to be here.

Climate Belo Horizonte

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Where To Go

If you want to be in the best Digital Nomad area with great nightlife, a lot of business and coworking places, place yourself in Savassi/Funcionarios/Lourdes. Not the cheapest area, but in my opinion the best to be.

If you don’t mind a commute you can go to either Gutierrez, Santa Tereza or Floresta. Slightly more upper class with decent house pricing and a local vibe.

I won’t advice you to be in Centro. It’s a lot cheaper but there’s a lot of homeless, and an area I wouldn’t feel to save to walk alone at night. And I think I’m used to quite a bit..

Wifi And Internet Connection

Unfortunately Belo Horizonte doesn’t have a culture of working from a coffee shop or restaurant. Easiest will be to make friends with a local start up what has an extra desk for you to rent.

Cost Of Living

Living in Belo Horizonte is a lot more affordable than all other places in this list. You will spend at least €250 per month for a decent apartment in a nicer area, but that’s still a lot less than in most places in the world. Of course you can get something more affordable, but you don’t want to find yourself in the skirt-backs. In Brazil that isn’t recommendable anywhere. In my opinion you can live comfortably with around €1000 a month in Belo Horizonte.

Nightlife

Belo Horizonte is the national capital of bars with around 14.000(!) bars spread out in the city. You will find any kind of bar you like, including cafes, restaurants, outdoor bars, beer halls, olive music clubs, sports bars and pubs open every night of the year. Bar hopping is the way to go in Belo Horizonte.  

There are a few areas in Belo Horizonte you should check out if you’re looking for a good night out. Savassi is the best place to be for a shopping and a night of fun. It has possibilities for all budgets. If you’re looking to go clubbing, Barro Preto will be the place to go as most nightclubs are located in this area.

Go to Comida di Buteco Contest in April, where over forty bars compete for the best “tira-gosto” (an original bar appetizer made of traditional ingredients). If you’re looking for other events in Belo Horizonte, check out this website: Guia BH

If drinking in bars is your cup of tea, Belo Horizonte is where you have to be!

Rio de Janeiro for Digital Nomads

You can’t go to Brazil and not go to Rio. When you think about Brazil, talk about Brazil, dream about Brazil, Rio comes to mind first. Or am I wrong? Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the world, there is so much to do, to see, to explore. You won’t get bored, ever!

Being in Rio will give you unforgettable experiences and is a great place to start out as a Digital Nomad. Rio has a numerous co-working spaces, coffee shops with decent wifi and a large international community to network with. Because of all the tourism locals are used to foreigners and you will find people who speak English. A plus if you don’t speak any Portuguese yet.

When To Go

Rio is great, no matter what, no matter when. High season is from December to March. The Brazilian summer and the time when most festivities are happening. New Years, Carnival, and so on. The weather is great, but Rio can be very pricey in this time of year. Especially when the festivities are happening.

When you’re planning to stay a short time, don’t miss out on those events. But when you’re planning to stay a little longer and you want to escape the craziness Rio turns into and the extreme prices what comes with it. Although weather can be a bit unpredictable, May to September would be a better option for you.

Climate Rio de Janeiro

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Where To Go

I stayed in quite a few different places when I visited Rio, and it depends what you’re looking for. I loved living at the beach at Copacabana and Ipanema. Near the beach, great restaurants and bars everywhere. Prices here are slightly more expensive than in other areas areas of this metropool, which are great too.

Botafogo and Lapa have a great nightlife with a lot of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It’s not close to the beach but if you come to Rio for some great evenings, Botafogo or Lapa area is your place to be.

If you’re on a budget, living in a favela is also an option. There are many in and around Rio and although the name has a really bad reputation, not every favela is bad. Check out places in Vidigal favela and you might even be safer then Lapa or Copacabana at night.

Rio has a few entrepreneur houses which are great to check out if you’re looking for a place to stay as a Digital Nomad and want to surround yourself with other Digital Nomads. Have a look at theentrepreneurhouse.com and http://startuphouserio.com.

Rio has a very poor infrastructure so if you don’t live in the right area you will spend a lot of time waiting for busses.

Wifi And Internet Connection

Internet in Brazil has improved over the years, but it’s still not as how you like to see it as a Digital Nomad. You might not want to take your expensive Macbook to all corners of town, but internet in coworking places tend to be the best. You can always ask your apartment owner for better internet in exchange for extra rent of course. And make sure you have a local sim card as a backup.

Cost Of Living

You will pay for paradise. Rio is a great place to be, but expect to pay for it. If you want to live in one of the nicer areas in Rio, you will end up paying just as much as most European rentals. Apartments around €750 / €1000 a month is no exception. Of course you can live a lot cheaper, but you will end up more north with a commute of 2 to maybe 4 hours each way if you want to go somewhere central. Not ideal if you’re in this incredible city only temporary.

Going out for food or drinks can be the same prices as in Europe as well, and therefore even more expensive than in a lot of American places. The exchange rate often works in our favour, but this fluctuates a lot too.

Cost of living all depends on how you spend your money, but if you want to live comfortably, take a taxi now and then, go out for dinner and so on, you will need around €1500 a month in my opinion. Be prepared to spend more money than you budgeted for if you’re staying in Rio. The price to pay when you would like to live in paradise 😉

Don’t be offended to be ripped of as a foreigner, you’re in South America..

Nightlife

Rio has it all. High end clubs for the upper class in Gávea and Barra and great Brazilian nightlife in Botafogo and Lapa with a much more variety of people. Brazil has a great nightlife culture. Nightlife in Brazil tend to go till 4 / 5 or 6 am.

Rio has great local beach parties at night whereby battle and show off their dancing skills while everyone else stands around in a circle and watches them. Go check it out and see for yourself.

No matter where you go, don’t worry about a dress code, you’re in Brazil. Shorts and sneakers will be fine. They might draw the line at swimsuits only. Although they can be picky when it comes to flip flops in some places. For men it’s advices to get in a place when they have a women by their side, it all makes it slightly easier.

It doesn’t matter what’s your cup of tea, Rio de Janeiro is where you have to be!

São Paulo for Digital Nomads

If you’re the Digital Nomad who likes big city infrastructure, São Paulo it is. It is the business capital, the economic powerhouse of South America. You will find a strong local start up community and many multinational corporations who have their South American headquarters based in São Paulo. Finding a place to work won’t be a problem. There’s a high work ethic in this city with 20 million people, which makes this city bigger than  my home country, The Netherlands.

Where in the Netherlands it takes me two hours to cross borders to another country, São Paulo will give you 2 hours from one place in the city to the other. It has the best flight connections to any other Latin American Airport and once you know your way around it won’t feel so overwhelmed anymore, and you start appreciating all São Paulo has to offer. Business opportunities, a great nightlife, galleries, theatres, museums and amazing food.

Last but not least, you will actually be able to get around in English in São Paulo, which is important to most of us Digital Nomads.

When To Go

The best time to visit São Paulo is September. Just before summer starts. Warm enough to hit the beach but without the crazy busy and overpriced high season.

High season is during Brazilian summer, from September through March. After March the rainy season (winter) starts and you can expect a lot of rain with temperatures around 15 degrees celsius.

Climate São Paulo

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Where To Go

São Paulo has a few areas I would recommend to stay. Vila Madelena is most recommendable but also Centro, Itaim Bibi, Vila Olímpia, Jardims and Parque Ibirapuera are great pics. All quite central with some of the best bars and restaurants but without 24/7 craziness. They are a bit touristy, but great places to be.

São Paulo is big, so when you’re not in the right place, it can take hours to get where you have to be. Traffic is bad, really bad. Don’t plan to go anywhere around rush hour. Public transport is well arranged in São Paulo, so if you want to get around, public transport is your best bet.

Vila Madelena is my favourite. It’s a more alternative neighbourhood with a lot of great bars, cafes, hotels, and hostels. This arty area is worth staying at. It’s very traveller friendly and a bit safer than other areas. The best are in Centro is as central as possible, stick to Praça da República and you will be fine.

Try to avoid the cheaper areas, Belém, Mooca, Parada Inglesa, North and East. This might not be the safest or a long haul from everywhere you would like to be.

Wifi And Internet Connection

What every Digital Nomad is looking for, is what you will find in Sao Paulo, high speed internet! You won’t have problems finding internet in restaurants, bars and cafes. Your new office is on every corner of the street. São Paulo even has free public wifi spots all over the city.

Cost Of Living

Welcome to the most expensive city in South America! If you want to live comfortably in São Paulo, calculate about €1500 / €2000 a month. You can do it cheaper, if you find a good place to rent without Airbnb or Booking.com and if you cut out on your coffee’s and fancy dinners.

Local food, supermarkets and street food is relatively cheap. It’s the accommodation and the going out what makes it expensive.

Ps, an uber is much cheaper than a regular taxi, so if want to save some money, go uber!

Nightlife

Welcome to Amsterdam, New York or Sydney. Take enough money when you’re going out, it will empty your pockets. Going out in São Paulo is expensive.

Vila Madalena isn’t only a good place for accommodation, it’s also a great place if you’re looking for a nice rooftop bar to have a drink. Especially the Baixo Augusta, Pinheiros Rua Mario Ferraz in Itaim Bibi is where you would like to be if you want to mingle with hipsters, artists and the upper middle class.

If you really want to go clubbing, go to Vila Olímpia and Barra Funda/Baixo Augusta areas. Going out in Sao Paulo starts after midnight. Clubs will be dead before 1am but keep on going till the early morning with a lot of after party possibilities.

If hard core business is your cup of tea, São is where you have to be!

Where Do You Want To Go In Brazil As A Digital Nomad?

Is going to Brazil is good place for a Digital Nomad? That’s up to you to decide. Brazil has a lot to offer, but it comes with it’s challenges too. I will be in Brazil again. With Active Workation we have one week of exploring the North East side of Brazil with an incredible kitesurf workation for all kinds of remote workers, entrepreneurs and digital Nomads. If you feel like you would love to explore more this part of Brazil with us, check out our workation here.

You have any questions or comments, let me know, I’m happy to answer them 🙂

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