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Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

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San Ramon...
posts: 35
reviews: 2
Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

Hey TA experts :)

I am in midst of planning a trip with 4-6 of guy friends to celebrate a buddies 50th birthday.

Thinking of last week in Feb 18th through 25th.

A few questions I would appreciate some help on.

1) Where to stay ?

2) Is it too late to partake in Carnaval ?

3) Is this too much time at one location. ?

We are not looking for golfing or such. We are looking for nightlife and eating and drinking and massages and anything we can do that involves cars. Racing school or circuits, etc. Other water activities are fine, jet skiing, etc.

Thank you.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
posts: 2,979
reviews: 67
1. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

First of all, if you are a US citzen, you are required to apply for a tourist visa in order to visit Brazil. In case you hold a passport from another country, you may be exempt from such requirements. There are two Brazilian consulates in California - one in SF and the other one is in LA, and each one covers a specific area (a range of counties) in California. Here are my answers to your questions:

1) I would choose a hotel located in the South Zone of Rio. This area is where most hotels and attractions are concentrated. Several neighborhoods make part of this area and three of them have plenty of hotels, services and restaurants: Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon.

a) Copacabana is like a "mini-city" inside Rio. It's very dense, full of 1950s apartment blocks, very busy during the day, but also has a larger variety of hotels, which means you can find better deals. There are also many restaurants and services at a reasonable price.

b) Ipanema is regarded as being trendier, and mostly more expensive than Ipanema. If I had to choose, I would pick Ipanema as I find it better to stroll there (many pleasant streets) versus Copacabana. However, restaurants and services are more expensive there. Ipanema is just next to Copacabana, so you could even walk there.

c) Leblon is an "extension" of Ipanema, but it's way more expensive in general. I like it there, but I think that the proximity of Ipanema and Copacabana is something that makes Leblon less attractive. For instance, someone staying in Ipanema could easily walk to Copacabana and have both worlds (and vice-versa). Anyway, it's a very pleasant neighborhood, very nice to stroll around (nicer strolls if compared to Ipanema, in my opinion) and there is a mall which might be a good option for a rainy day.

I've selected a few threads for you to read:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g303506-i1199-k588…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g303506-i1199-k573…

tripadvisor.com/…43896926

tripadvisor.com/…42956114

tripadvisor.com/…42714423

2) Well, it is, indeed, kind of late. You may find high prices, so I suggest you research or come before or after carnival in order to save (if that's an issue for you).

3) We usually recommend at least 4 or 5 days for a Rio trip: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g303506-i1199-k228…

We tend to suggest side trips for those willing to see a smaller beach town (remember that Rio is a huge city) such as Búzios or Paraty when someone has got more time to spend in Brazil. You could also include the Iguaçu/Iguazu Falls in your trip (you'd need to catch a plane, but it's worth it).

Edited: 1:31 pm, November 10, 2012
San Ramon...
posts: 35
reviews: 2
2. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

Thank you. This is good information and links I will read up on.

I was thinking of Iguazu Falls as well.

My other interest is going to Amazon river - I know its huge but is there an area that would be good for possibly seeing a Panther or Jaguar and/or piranha and possibly any other jungle life. while traveling the Amazon?

London
posts: 951
reviews: 1
3. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

You're probably far more likely to see wildlife in the Panatanal rather than the Amazon, and it's not so far, worth checking out.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
posts: 2,979
reviews: 67
4. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

I agree with Cachaceiro. The Pantanal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is not so further away as the Amazon. Have a look at it: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g303369-d3…

San Ramon...
posts: 35
reviews: 2
5. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

This is great info. I am finalizing dates to be just after Carnaval. Unfortunately will not able to attend the main event.

We will be getting there on 19th morning for 6 nights.

1) Would we still be able to see some of the carnival or too late for 2013.?

2) Any particular areas of Ipanema or Copocabana that is more or less to better nightlife.?

3) Sugarloaf trips need any advance tickets ?

Thanks

Vatican City, Italy
posts: 651
6. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

1. No, except for the winners parade.

2. Depends on what you mean by nightlife.

3. No.

London
posts: 951
reviews: 1
7. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

"Would we still be able to see some of the carnival or too late for 2013.?"

As Jorge mentioned in passing the Saturday night after the main weekend there's an "edited highlights" version when the five top-rated schools parade again, known as the Desfile das Campeãs (Parade of the Chamions).

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
posts: 2,979
reviews: 67
8. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

1) You could still attend the Parade of the Champions, as stated above;

2) I prefer Ipanema over Copacabana, but they are just next to each other, so you'll be fine. Rio's nightlife varies a lot, so it really depends on what you're looking for.

3) Sugar Loaf is usually organized. Just avoid it on week days and holidays, and you won't face long lines. It's OK to go there and go up. I would do it in the sunset and visit Corcovado in the morning (the earliest as possible).

Edited: 12:46 pm, November 14, 2012
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
posts: 717
reviews: 4
9. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

"planning a trip with 4-6 of guy friends "

You should consider renting a large apartment vs staying in a hotel. There are many 4+ bedroom penthouse apartments available that overlook the beaches. An average hotel room in high season February is USD $400 a night. You can get a large luxury apartment for $1000 -$2000 a night, such as this place:

http://www.vrbo.com/335932

This rental agency, Rio Upscale, is co-owned by a Brazilian and an American.

San Ramon...
posts: 35
reviews: 2
10. Re: Mancation trip to Rio in Feb

You guys are great. Thank you so much. I don't have questions now. Will write in more later.