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For the currenty exchange rate, visit this site.
The have an idea about the exchange rate in the past years, visit this page.

Brazilian Currency

Brazilian currency is the real (R$), divided in 100 centavos.
There are bills of R$1, R$2, R$5, R$10, R$20, R$50 and R$100; avoid the R$100 and R$50, as they are hard to get change for. Coins come in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 real. Read more about the Brazilian currency and follow the links to take a look at the the Brazilian bills and coins.
Unlike other countries, the dollar is not used in daily transactions. All shops and restaurants will take only cash in Reais, cheques in Reais or credit cards (which are debited on your own currency).

Dollar X Euros X Other Currencies
You can easily cash dollar and euro bills at the Money Changers. Traveller checks are also accepted (read below), but at a lower rate (you will get less reais for your checks than you would for cash). Some places accept personal checks, but that depends much on personal trusting. Britsh pounds and Swiss francs are also easy to change, but the rate is terribly unfavourable. All other currencies are not so easy to change, and the rate will be certainly bad; Banco do Brasil accepts any currency, but only at certain branches, and at a bad rate.

Cash X Checks X Credit Cards
The best way to get cash in Brazil is by using a credit card which allows cash withdrawals.
Cash has a better rate than traveller checks, but checks are obviously safer. Dollar cash is easily changeable, so it would be a good idea to have some US$100 in US$20 bills with you. If you must use traveller checks, ask the issuer if, in case of need, you can use Banco do Brasil to get your replacement checks; there are Banco do Brasil anywhere in the country, and they seem to be the quickest in turning checks to you.
If you have a VISA card, there are several Banco do Brasil ATM machines where you can get cash. The rate is usually better than at Money Exchangers. You can get cash as you need it, but there is a limit (imposed by Banco do Brasil) of R$ 1,000 per day. Also, notice that not every ATM accepts VISA; only those ATMs with VISA logos accept the cards, and the majority of them do not accept (pay attention to not waste time on the wrong queues or even the wrong branches). Some places to get cash: Shopping Natal, Banco do Brasil branch, has two ATMs; Ponta Negra BB branch (it's at Av. Eng. Roberto Freire, distant from the beach) has also two ATMs; the bus station has one ATM.

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