*Obviously things have changed since this was posted. The current exchange rate is even better.
The latest USD > BRL exchange:
If you haven't been following the latest financial news about Brazil, you might be surprised to hear the US Dollar is once again, king of the land here in Brazil. After YEARS in the gutter, it is now trading at record highs against the real.
Know one knows how long this will last. I moved here when the dollar was 3 to 1 and lived like a king. But that was short-lived. Brazil is suffering from several BIG issues that are pushing the economy down. There is a corruption scandal, a detrimental economic policy of president Dilma, and a bad drought all occurring at the same time.
But Brazil is still Brazil, and always will be. There is no better time to come here if you're bringing in US Dollars. PLUS: Carnival is over so there aren't many tourists here and the weather is just great!
Don't book a hotel or hostel reservation if they only accept USD. There are many that have simply maintained their USD pricing and have not made any adjustments to the current reality. Find accommodations that are priced in the local currency. If you offer USD you are in a position to bargain for even lower rates.
You can bring down dollars with you on the plane. Customs officials will not notice anything under $10,000 USD. It is safe to travel carrying cash as long as you only use one of the official-looking taxis from the airport. Do not exchange dollars in the airport! Do not exchange dollars at a hotel. Exchange your dollars at a local câmbio using google to find it and you will get a decent rate.