What To Buy In Brazil

what to buy in brazil
| 5 min read

Brazil is the largest country in South America and is one of the biggest countries in the world in terms of landmass. It is known as “mega-diverse,” with biomes that stretch from the mountains to the low plains, the Amazon jungle, and the beach. The country was founded and settled in by Portuguese colonists, but native tribes have lived here for centuries beforehand. Immigration then gave the area a very diverse population. It has also become one of the most popular destinations for vacations as well. So, if you’re traveling to the country anytime soon and looking for some quintessentially Brazilan things, check out this list of what to buy in Brazil.

1. Cachaça

Caipirinha cachaca brazil
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Schermann used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Russia has vodka, Scotland has scotch, Mexico has tequila, and Brazil has cachaça. This spirit distilled from sugarcane juice is probably the most popular liquor in the entire country. Although it is similar to rum, the main difference is that rum is made from the molasses of sugarcane whereas cachaça is made from fermenting the sugarcane juice. Indeed it’s an ideal gift or souvenir for those looking for a taste of Brazil.

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2. Cangas

Source: Pixabay

Cangas are not towels, so don’t mistake them for one. Once you hit the beach in Brazil, you’ll notice that no one else has a towel and that the locals all use cangas. So what is it? A canga can be used as a towel, but unlike a towel, it is not heavy and won’t smell like a towel does after a day at the beach. It is air-dried, under the sun typically, and much larger than a standard beach towel, so it has multiple functions as well. Think of a blanket you can bring to the beach and dry off with.

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3. Brazilian wine

Source: Pixabay

Brazil is home to thousands of vineyards, and although the country produces a ton of grapes, only a few of those vineyards actually cultivate wine for grapes. Many of Brazil’s wine producers are located close to the equator, whose climate is the ultimate best for growing grapes. Wine was introduced to the country by European settlers—who even brought their own strains of grape when they came over.

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4. Swimwear

Source: Pixabay

Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi), and beach culture is such an important and big facet of local life. So why not indulge in some Brazilian swimwear before you hit the beaches of Rio. For women, the style is known to be a little skimpy, with the idea of “less is more,” especially for the bottoms. Brazilians spend the whole day at the beach, working on their tan, so the idea is that you want the least amount of lines as possible. For men, the iconic Speedo has recently fallen out of style, so unless you’re looking to stick out, above-the-knee trunks will be sufficient for swimwear.

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5. Havaianas

Havaianas selection
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Maasaak used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Havaianas is one of Brazil’s most popular brands. These iconic flipflops are the footwear of beachgoers from Copacabana to Florianopolis. As previously mentioned, Brazil is home to a thriving beach culture, and Brazilians go all out when it comes to seaside lounging. Going to the beach is not just a day out by the water but an event. It’s a place to meet people, be seen, and enjoy the day, so being stylish is important. Havaianas footwears are a crowd favorite, so pick up a pair and see for yourself why they’re so popular.

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6. Bottled butter

Manteiga de garrafa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Otávio Nogueira used under CC BY 2.0

Bottled butter makes for an interesting and unusual souvenir or gift, and it is emblematic of Brazilian cuisine—which is also, in itself, unique. Known locally as menteiga da garaffa, the product is similar to ghee and more popular in the northern parts of the country. It is usually made artisanally with a complex flavor profile, and because of its high fat content and low water activity, the bottle can be kept at room temperature. Spread it on some bread or use it as you would traditional butter.

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7. Traditional samba clothes

Source: Pixabay

Traditional samba clothes are complex. They’re sexy, elaborate, exciting, and often quite a sight to behold. Samba is an important national dance that has spread all throughout Latin America, so depending on where you go, you might observe variations in costumes and culture. The costumes are beautiful and often a little revealing, but because samba is an energetic dance that moves every part of your body, there is a purpose to the skimpy design.

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8. Hammock

Source: Pixabay

The hammock is a South American staple that has been part of the culture for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. What makes a Brazilian-style hammock unique is that there is a “gathered” design at both ends. A traditional Brazilian hammock is a great choice for a souvenir or gift as it is compact and easy to store—so you can take it with you wherever you go.

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9. Brazilian soapstone

Brazil-00948 - Christ the Redeemer (48978662563)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dennis Jarvis used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Brazilian soapstone is one of the country’s biggest exports, without most Brazilians even realizing it. In fact, one of the most iconic Brazilian landmarks—Christ the Redeemer in Rio—has an exterior made entirely of soapstone. Brazilian soapstone can get pretty expensive, and it’s used primarily in architectural designs—like countertops, sinks, or flooring. One of the best souvenirs you can buy made out of Brazilian soapstone is a set of little cubes that are used in cocktails in lieu of ice cubes. Just put them in the freezer, and because they retain cold, you can use a couple to chill your drinks—which won’t get watered down!

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10. Gemstones

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Robert M. Lavinsky used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Gemstones have been important to the growth of the country since the colonial days. Mining has been important in the Brazilian economy, and the country is one of the world’s leading producers of rare gems. If you’re looking to splurge a little, check out some local sellers and buy a piece of jewelry—or simply get the stones alone. Just always make sure that you’re getting the real thing.

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11. Brazilian Sweets

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Flickr used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re a sweet tooth, a great little box of happiness to take back home is Brazilian Sweets. Not only do they stand out in terms of desserts and treats, but as well as their one of a kind “pacoca”, a nut-based dessert that is is similar to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cips. Another great suggestion is “pao de mal” which is a sweet cake that comes in small sizes like a cupcake dozed with honey, a great treat right after a savory and saucey meal. “Brigadeiro” and “canjica” are other sweet dessert treats that have a base of condensed milk many locals like to snack on mid-day and bite into after a full dinner, truly something anyone from your friends and family back home would enjoy.

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12. Bath Products From Granado Pharmácias

Vitrine Loja Granado
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Granado Pharmácias used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Rio’s long-standing beauty brand, Granado Pharmacias is one that many people from various parts of Brazil and the world look for. This beloved local brand specializes in soap that people will most likely find in every establishment in Brazil. From houses, restaurants, to hotels and cafes, Granado Pharmacias is a household staple in the bathroom. Apart from its great quality, organic and sustainable scent, its brand also carries a variety of bath products like shampoos and conditioners, a great little token to take home to your friends and family.

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13. Traditional Samba Clothes

Samba Costume 2011
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Toglenn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you wish to remember your lovely little adventure to Brazil, a traditional piece of souvenir would be best to take home from your trip. Samba clothing is festive and loud with bustling colors that are great for halloween costumes if you will it. The traditional Samba costume would be a gag for your friends and family to see, along with a suave dance number of the Samba dance steps you learned from your travels; truly a unique keepsake from Brazil.

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Shopping in Brazil

Shopping in Brazil
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user flavioantunes used under CC BY 2.0

Brazil is a large country that has so many things to do and see that it would take a lifetime to truly experience everything it has to offer. And because the nation is so large and diverse, there are many amazing things that you can buy here—ranging from local goods to regional delicacies and everything else in between.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Alex is a Canadian university graduate with degrees in English literature and History. He was born in Montreal and when he's not traveling he enjoys movies, video games, playing the drums and...Read more

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