Cheapest time to fly to Santos Dumont Airport (SDU)
Flights to Rio de Janeiro are often in high demand as it is a popular year-round destination. Prices of return flights to Santos Dumont airport in the rainier period of December to March tend to be cheaper. To experience the famous Mardi Gras, look for last-minute flights during February. If you don’t mind when you go but want cheap flights to Santos Dumont airport, search for flights departing at unsociable hours or midweek – you may stumble across a bargain. Try a “flexible on dates” search with Netflights to find the cheapest flights to Santos Dumont airport.
Flying to Santos Dumont Airport
As Rio’s second airport, Santos Dumont airport primarily caters for domestic flights, so finding direct flights here can be difficult. Search for indirect flights, however, and you may be gladly surprised at the prices! AirFrance offers indirect flights from UK airports via stopovers in Paris and Sao Paulo that are frequently very budget-friendly. Alternatively, KLM provides flights to Santos Dumont airport with stopovers in Amsterdam and Sao Paulo.
On arrival and getting around SDU
Santos Dumont is a small waterfront airport, with one terminal building for arrivals and one for departures. Despite the fact that no direct flights arrive here from international locations, it remains Brazil’s sixth busiest airport. This compact airport is very easy to get around. There are cafes and restaurants but be aware if your return flights are late that they close at 10pm. The information desk is in the arrivals hall, but again closes at 10pm.
Getting to the city from the airport
As the airport is located just over one mile away from the city, taking a taxi downtown is a good option – being both reasonably priced and quick, find them outside in the taxi stands or ask for a phone number at the information desk – this can be handy to keep for your return to the airport. Alternatively, you can walk ten minutes to the nearest metro station stop, Cinelândia, or catch the bus service line 2018 to the Alvorada bus terminal in Barra da Tijuca. There are a number of car rental companies that operate from the airport, and all have concessions within the terminal building, although we would advise pre-booking to get the best deals.
Don't forget before you fly
There is no need to get a visa to visit Rio de Janeiro as a tourist, as long as you have return flights or onwards flights booked. You will, however, need to ensure you will have at least six months left on your passport from your arrival date. Exchange your pounds for Brazilian reals before you leave, or withdraw cash with your debit/credit card when you arrive.