Should you visit Sao Paulo or Ilha Grande?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sao Paulo or Ilha Grande, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
With a population of around 11 million, and 20 million in the metropolitan area, Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It's also one of the wealthiest cities in the southern hemisphere, although you don't have to look far to see the income disparities and inequalities that exist. The city is diverse and culturally rich, with excellent food, music, and entertainment.
Ilha Grande is a large, beautiful, island located off the southeast coast of Brazil. The island has few inhabitants, resulting in mostly unadulterated beaches and landscapes. There are over a dozen trails and beaches to explore, some of which have been called the best beaches in Brazil. Due to the limited number of inhabitants, ATMs are sparse on the island, so be sure to have cash with you before getting there.
Which city is cheaper, Ilha Grande or Sao Paulo?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Sao Paulo is $40, while the average daily cost in Ilha Grande is $52. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Sao Paulo and Ilha Grande in more detail.
The prices for places to stay in Sao Paulo can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $23, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $46.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $56 in Ilha Grande For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average traveler spends about $11 per day in Sao Paulo for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Ilha Grande food costs typically run travelers around $16 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
Meals for one day
Sao Paulo $11
Ilha Grande $16
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sao Paulo
For Sao Paulo, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Sao Paulo - Pinheiros Gourmet Food Tour (4 hours tour + 3 dishes included):
Brazilian Cooking Class:
Cooking Class in São Paulo:
Private Food Tour in São Paulo:
Sao Paulo's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $4.50 per person, per day on transportation in Sao Paulo.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Ilha Grande than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $14 on transportation in Ilha Grande on average per day.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo
Also for Sao Paulo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Transfer: Guarulhos International Airport to Sâo Paulo Hotels:
Transfer in Private Vehicle from Sao Paulo City to Airport:
São Paulo x Paraty x São Paulo - Package Transfer IN + OUT:
São Paulo Hotel Private Minibus Transfer to Guarulhos Airport:
Private transfer: Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) to Sao Paulo:
Private Transfer: São Paulo to Congonhas-São Paulo Airport (CGH):
Private Transfer: Congonhas-São Paulo Airport (CGH) to São Paulo:
Private Transfer from Vila Olímpia to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport:
Private Transfer from Vila Mariana to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport:
Private Transfer from Vila Leopoldina to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport:
Private Transfer from Vila Andrade to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport:
Private Transfer from São Paulo airport to Hotels + quick City tour:
Is it cheaper to fly into Sao Paulo or Ilha Grande?
Prices for flights to both Ilha Grande and Sao Paulo change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Sao Paulo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $3.09 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Sightseeing expenses in Ilha Grande, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $5.05 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in Sao Paulo
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sao Paulo.
2-Hour Boat and Stand Up Paddle Board Adventure in São Paulo, Brazil:
3 Beaches Hiking Santo Amaro Island - Paradise Route Tour from São Paulo:
4 Hour Customized "Private Tour" Drinking, Dining and Entertainment:
4-Day Private Guided Tour From São Paulo To Rio de Janeiro – Coastal Trip:
4-hour Private Tour - Hidden Gems and Top Sights of São Paulo:
4-hour Sum-up Private Tour Of São Paulo Including Its Major Attractions:
4WD One Day Tour visiting Water Fall and the Big Stone from Sao Paulo:
5-hour Private Street Art Tour Of São Paulo – The Coolest Urban Art Scenes:
5-hour Private Tour Of São Paulo With Its Main Sights – Optional Airport Pickup:
5h City Tour (pick up & delivery within SaoPaulo city):
7-hour Private Tour Overview Of São Paulo – Optional For GRU Airport Pickup:
8-Day São Paulo Tour: From City to Beaches, Waterfalls & Caves:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Sao Paulo, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $2.69.
Typically, people visiting Ilha Grande spend on average $8.09 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Sample the Local Flavors in Sao Paulo
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Sao Paulo:
4 Hours Pub Crawl in Vila Madalena:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sao Paulo and Ilha Grande, we can see that Ilha Grande is more expensive. And not only is Sao Paulo much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sao Paulo would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sao Paulo and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Ilha Grande would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Ilha Grande than you might in Sao Paulo.
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