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Brazil/Peru/Bolivia Itinerary Help

4 posts
Brazil/Peru/Bolivia Itinerary Help

Hi all!

In July, I'll be moving to Buenos Aires for about 5 months. Since this will be my first time on the continent, I'm planning a cross-continent trip to explore as much as I can before returning home. I'll be traveling from early December to early January.

I really, REALLY want to see Machu Picchu in Peru and São Paulo in Brazil. I'm hoping to take a tour of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia as well, and I'm interested in Lake Titicaca in Peru and Brasilia/Rio de Janeiro in Brazil--but I'm willing to cut what I need to for time/budget considerations.

Which destinations would you cross off the list? What order would you take, and how long would you spend in each place?

I'll be starting from Buenos Aires and my flight back to the US needs to leave from either Lima, Peru or São Paulo, Brazil.

Any other travel tips you could provide would be really helpful. Thanks!

PS - Which cities have the best holiday festivities? I'll be there for Christmas and New Year's, as well as my birthday. :)

4 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
26,652 posts
28 reviews
1. Re: Brazil/Peru/Bolivia Itinerary Help

"Which cities have the best holiday festivities? I'll be there for Christmas and New Year's, as well as my birthday. :)"

Rio de Janeiro:

Rio’s Ano Novo, also known in Brazilian-Portuguese by the French word Réveillon, is probably the most anticipated New Year's Eve celebration in the world.

Tradition is for New Year’s Eve revelers in Rio to wear white in honor of Iemanjá, the Goddess of the Sea. Revered by millions of people in Brazil, Iemanjá grants good luck and blessings for the New Year to those who offer her white flowers, perfume, champagne, shiny jewelry, or sweets.

Although most partygoers will be dressed in white, some will wear other symbolic colors: red or pink to attract romance, yellow for prosperity, green for good health, orange for professional success, blue for harmony, purple for inspiration.

Seven holds a special place in many of the different faith traditions of Brazil, and is considered a lucky number.

Among several New Year’s Eve rituals based on the lucky number seven are: eating seven grapes for abundance—or chewing seven pomegranate seeds to ensure that your wallet will be full of money in the upcoming year.

And jumping over seven waves in the ocean: for every wave you jump you make a wish for the New Year.

Over 1,500 policemen will provide security for the Copacabana extravaganza.

You can ring in 2019 for free on the beach, but if money is no problem, you can choose one of the many New Year's Eve parties, such as the one at the Copacabana Palace or the Réveillon on Sugarloaf.

Belo Horizonte, MG
Level Contributor
638 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: Brazil/Peru/Bolivia Itinerary Help

Yes, Machu Picchu is amazing, as would be Rio de Janeiro and the Iguaçu Falls. Brasilia and São Paulo fall fairly low on most tourists' priority lists. If you have any specific reasons you want to visit those two cities, it may be best to state up front, because otherwise everyone responding here will recommend you to skip those two.

4 posts
3. Re: Brazil/Peru/Bolivia Itinerary Help

Thanks for your replies! I have a trip planned for Iguazu Falls during the time I'll be living in Buenos Aires, so I know I'll get to see that from the Argentine side, at the very least.

I have family ties to Brazil (although I don't know anybody living there now), so I knew I wanted to end up somewhere in the country at some point. I suppose I don't have a strong reason for wanting to go to São Paulo specifically over Rio de Janeiro, but if I end my trip on the east side of the continent then I'll need to leave from São Paulo (my flight home is cheapest from there).

Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
7,290 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Brazil/Peru/Bolivia Itinerary Help

NYE in Rio means you have to have the budget for accomodation... a recent thread:


in fact, basically ANY tourist destination in Brazil will be a lot more expensive around NYE; it is one of the super peak periods for travel in the country... same goes for airfare on dates around it.

one common itinerary is BsAs-Iguaçu Falls-Lima (to take advantage of the Latam nonstop linking IGU and LIM; not daily though) to avoid too many connections....

assuming you speak/read Spanish, the Spanish version of TripAdvisor has a lot more traffic than here in the English version... very simple reason: Argentines are, by far, the number one travelers to Brazil... but they tend to focus heavily on sun-and-sand vacations.... but they leave a ton of comments about their trips; much more than here in English:


something else,,, check for requirements in re to yellow fever vaccine intl certificate... Brazil does not require it, but some South American countries do so for travelers coming from Brazil (believe Bolivia does)... Arg does not... and certificate is only valid if vaccine is taken at least 10 days prior to flight...


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