I often hear this question: “I am going to Brazil. What gifts should I bring to family and friends there?”
It is easy to choose gifts that are valuable to Brazilians when you are visiting from abroad. This is because things in Brazil tend to be much more expensive than they are almost anywhere else in the world. Below I share my personal experience in getting gifts that my friends and family in Brazil really appreciate.
Important things to consider: Internet connection is not equally available and accessible everywhere in Brazil. Not all foreign cell phones work well in Brazil. Before choosing your gifts, check with friends and family what is appropriate and what is not. I am offering suggestions, but the responsibility to make sure you are getting something that works in Brazil is yours. The usefulness of my suggestions will vary greatly depending on where in Brazil you are going and the living situation of the people you are visiting.
Additionally, please consult Brazilian customs policies. There are limits to how much you can bring into the country in shopping and cash.
Now to the fun part!
Technology in Brazil costs many times as much as it does in the US. Prices in Brazil are unbelievably high. Here are a few gift ideas, from fancy to simple yet very useful.
Brazilians love everything Apple. iPad, iPhone, and iPod are all great gifts to bring to Brazil. Please double check if you need to purchase unlocked equipment.
Other tables and phones: In my last visit to Brazil, three family members asked me for a Samsung Galaxy tablet. The item seems to be pretty popular in Brazil. For fear of trouble with the Brazilian customs, I only got one.
A Kindle is also a great gift (if you know the person likes to read, of course). Again, please check the appropriate specs.
An ultrabook or a laptop are the ultimate gift that will make anyone ecstatic.
Point and shoot photo cameras are highly appreciated. If you get a camera that is a little more sophisticated, you will be a rock star. In each of my last two trips I brought this Canon by request.
Phone and Ipod Accessories
Each time I go home, my nieces ask for iPod and Iphone covers. While here in the US I order them on Amazon.com for about $1 or so, in Brazil they can cost up to R$100. Here is the cover my 13-year-old niece asked for and here is the one requested by my 19-year-old nice.
Cables and chargers are also very appreciated. I get them super cheap at Amazon.com. In Brazil they are expensive. Here is the charger my niece asked for before my last two trips to Brazil.
Shoes and Clothing
Each time I travel home, I need to bring a pair of Asics running shoes to my brother. He can get his sneakers in Brazil too, but the difference in price is stupid. Nike and Puma shoes and clothing will also be highly appreciated.
Brand name clothing is sure to be a hit because they cost way too much in Brazil. Brands that are highly valued in Brazil by both mean and women are: Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch, Oakley, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Diesel.
When I went home earlier this year, my nieces asked for makeup. Any nice makeup set will be a good gift. Or you can pick a known brand like Revlon or a luxury, trendy brand.
Wallets for men and women and purses for the ladies are also appreciated.
Watches are a great gift for men and women, especially if you pick a brand name.
Perfume and Body Lotion
Brand name perfume for men and women and body lotion for the ladies are great gifts. Victoria’s Secret is very popular in Brazil for fragrances and lotions for women.
I hope this makes your shopping list easier to manage!
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I am going to Brazil soon to meet my partners family. I am struggling to find a suitable gift for his mother and grandmother who I have never met. I wonder if jewellery is appropriate. Any other ideas? Thank you!
The first thing that came to my mind is that not everyone wears jewelry. My mom, for instance, does not. Can you ask your partner if they like jewelry?
It is hard to buy a gift for someone we don’t know, right? I’d ask your partner for suggestions of things they enjoy. Good luck!
I am visiting a woman for the 2nd time. I want to get he a gift that says I take our relationship seriously. Any ideas?
I guess this depends on how serious you want the relationship to be. We use a commitment ring to represent a committed relationship before the stage of getting engagement. This would be a ring with precious or semi-precious stone, but not an engagement ring. In Portuguese we call it anel de compromisso. Other than that I really am not sure. I guess if you choose something she appreciates and get a good quality version of it, with a nice card, it will show you care. But that can be really different from one person to another. I wish all the best 🙂
My step daughter that I am adopting as my own is turning 15. I understand that a piece of jewelry is a good gift, her mom is already giving her a ring, I want to buy something special but don’t want over shadow her moms gift/ any ideas?
Congratulations on the adoption ♥ It is different to answer your question. I can tell you that turning 15 is a big deal for Brazilians, as you probably know. The ring is a classical gift for the occasion. If she likes necklaces, I would consider one that matches the ring. Or earrings. Her mom may be the best source of advice. Good luck 🙂
Hi, Luciana. I am visiting a Brazilian male friend and meeting his family: a daughter, who is in her forties, his grandson who is 11 years old, and my friend’s sister, who is in her sixties. I live in the Washington DC metro area. Can you recommend gifts that are appropriate for these Brazilians? Thank you for your help.
Hi, Diane, it hard to say without knowing them. It also depends on your price range. Brand names are important, I’d say. Ideas are t-shirts, athletic shoes, perfume. I don’t really know much about 11-year-olds.
Oi! Eu estou visitando familiares no Brasil, e eu não sei o que para começar meu 14 anos, sexo masculino, primo…algum conselho?
Oi Anajulia, eu não tenho muita experiência com adolescente. Um camiseta de marca famosa, um tênis de marca. São minhas sugestões.
Oi. Um amigo quer trazer um smart phone para dar dr presente. Mas esta preocupado porque tambem trara o proprio celular. Como deve proceder?
I am going to be sending a Christmas package to my friend in Brazil. Can you recommend any sweets or candies that Brazilians really like here in the US?
One thing to keep in mind is that if your gift is worth US$50 or more, Brazilian postal service will charge importation taxes from the recipient. This will require the person to go get the package and pay the taxes somewhere at a postal agency, instead of getting it at home. These taxes are expensive.
Most US brands are sold in Brazil. There we have Hershey’s and Ferrero Rocher, for example. We also have Lindt. We have the big, mass brands. When I visit from Oakland, CA, where I live, I like to bring them either Ghirardely or See’s Candies because they are both local. I’d go for a local brand or a gift box from your favorite candy store. But in any case, they will love the gesture 🙂
Great article. Any major changes in the last three years. I am buying gifts for my fiancé and her mom, dad, best friend.
Oi, Matt! The article is still current. Brazil is going through a recession, so things are even harder to get there. The exchange rate is very unfavorable to Brazilians, which makes things pricier to purchase in Brazil. Have fun shopping for the family 🙂 They will appreciate it!
My wife is from Brazil. But lives here in the states. I want to get her something that honors her culture and reminds her of home. Any suggestions?
That is a tough question. It will vary so much from one person to another. Do you have a Brazilian store or market in your city? You could make a little surprise bag with lots of Brazilian goodies. This could be besides the main Christmas gift, just a Brazilian touch. Feliz Natal!