By Shalina Chatlani, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere fast approaching, and the dollar topping off at near US$4 to R$1, making a trip to Rio de Janeiro is back on many people’s minds as an affordable option. Those looking to trade in the snow for the beautiful beaches of the Cidade Maravilhosa can turn to Agência Heidelberg, a real estate firm that helps visitors find accommodations in the city.

An aerial view of beautiful Copacabana Beach, photo by Gustavo Facci/ Flickr Creative Commons License.
An aerial view of beautiful Copacabana Beach, photo by Gustavo Facci/ Flickr Creative Commons License.

German expatriate and CEO of real estate firm Agência Heidelberg, Sven dos Santos, agrees that the price of the Brazilian real (R$) makes for an ideal time to vacation in Brazil. “After the Brazilian currency lost around fifty percent compared to the U.S. dollar within one year, the prices of vacation rental properties and life costs in general are very low now for tourists from the U.S. or Europe,” said dos Santos.

In addition to the currency fluctuations, the FipeZap Index, which tracks the values ​​of new leasing contracts in nine cities across Brazil, is showing a record monthly decrease in actual rent prices. Showing a major reversal to recent years, in the last twelve months rental prices in Rio de Janeiro have dropped 7.72 percent, leading the country.

Despite adjustments in the real estate market, the price of residential property in Rio de Janeiro remains the highest in the country. The average price in the city is R$10,538 per square meter compared to a country average of R$7,604.

Given the current economic situation Mr. dos Santos has seen an increase in foreign investment in real estate and a drop in demand from Brazilians. However many Brazilians affected by the crisis are now choosing to travel and vacation within the country rather than abroad and so interest in holiday rentals remains stable.

Still, for travelers in Rio especially during the busy tourism season around Christmas and New Years – not to mention Carnival – vacation rentals can be more affordable and more private than hotels in the city. Zona Sul (South Zone) is home to some of Rio’s most attractive beach-side areas, and when planning a trip, visitors should look toward neighborhoods like Copacabana, which offers the most options and relatively inexpensive accommodations.

“The best place to stay for tourists is the Zona Sul of Rio de Janeiro, which includes the famous neighborhoods of Copacabana and Ipanema,” concurs dos Santos. “Both provide a perfect infrastructure for tourists and have a their own wonderful beach. But compared to Ipanema, accommodation prices in Copacabana are around twenty percent less expensive.”

* This is a Sponsored article by Agência Heidelberg.


  1. I agree – a vacation rental generally offers better value for money, more space, and allows tourists to live more like locals. One caveat, however, is that there are numerous vacation rental scams, even on the major trusted websites (fake listings, rogue hosts, among others).


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