I'm taking a last minute trip to Rio with my partner for his birthday and I'm only just starting to do research now so would really appreciate some help! We arrive on 20th February for just under two weeks and looking for some help in making the most our time in Brazil. I would appreciate some advice on where to stay in Rio that would allow us to feel safe walking to bars and restaurants on a night if possible and any hotel or b&b recommendations would be appreciated.
While in Rio we plan on seeing the main sights that I've picked up from the other forums so the main thing is where we base ourselves along with any other info people want to share.
After spending a bit of time in Rio we would like to go somewhere else in Brazil (or South America) that would allow us to spend some time relaxing (it does not have to be a beach) and taking in some surrounding sites. It would be good to have suggestions on where we should go and how best to get there and we would be happy to use train, flights or private car depending on the location and safest mode of travel.
We are flying out of Sao Paulo so will be heading there to return home but if our travels don't take us anywhere close to Sao Paulo we can arrange a connecting flight from Rio.
If the holiday goes well we hope to visit again in November to take in some other areas or perhaps fly to another part of South America so please don't feel restricted by suggestions as if we can't use them this time we could incorporate them into the future holiday.
I'd appreciate hearing from anyone that can help.