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A Cry for Help!

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A Cry for Help!

Dear Travellers.

On an impulse I booked a trip to Brazil for three weeks in April 2013. The date is getting closer and closer and I am nowhere near in deciding what I want to do. I have had great success in the past by fellow travellers on tripadvisor and am confident I will get the best suggestions on here. We are Travelling on the 14th of April and coming back on the 4th of May. I wanted to incorporate Argentina in this trip too.

We fly into and out of Rio. I really need assistance on

• The ‘must do’s’ in Brazil.

• How long I should stay at each place

• Is it safe to hire a car and drive there?

• The best places to stay?

• How do I get to Argentina from Brazil (preferably to save time I would like to fly, so any flight operator details would be appreciated)

• Best things to do in Argentina?

• Obviously I want to see the Iguazu Falls, how many days would you recommend staying there?

• Is it better to get a flight from Rio to Iguazu and then a bus to Buenos Aires? Or a flight?

As you guys can tell, I am in a major panic and really don’t know where to start, I want to plan an itinerary, so then I can look at hotels and divide my time there. I am so excited, but overwhelmed.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance.

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1. Re: A Cry for Help!

Brazil is a very large country.

What are your interests and how much is your budget?

Unless you state a precise amount, you are guaranteed to receive mostly irrelevant—and no doubt pricey—recommendations.

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2. Re: A Cry for Help!

The ‘must do’s’ in Brazil.

• How long I should stay at each place. I will try to make an itinerary for you, wait a moment...

• Is it safe to hire a car and drive there? Not that safe. Violent drivers and bad roads are issues to be considered. The only scenic drive (from Rio to Paraty and the way back) can be enjoyed by bus.

• The best places to stay? Wait the itinerary advice.

• How do I get to Argentina from Brazil (preferably to save time I would like to fly, so any flight operator details would be appreciated)... straight at tam, Gol or aerolineas websites or at www.decolar.com excellent to compare the fares.

• Best things to do in Argentina? That time just the handiest destinations like BsAs and Puerto Iguazu. But there is much more to do (southern) at Patagonia (El Calafate), Rio Negro (Bariloche), extreme south (Ushuaia)...

• Obviously I want to see the Iguazu Falls, how many days would you recommend staying there? 3 full days for both argentinean and brazilian national parks, the Birds Park, the Itaipu powerplant, Foz do Iguazu brazilian town (livelier) Puerto Iguazu argentinean town (cute and better if you wanna relax), Duty Free Puerto Iguazu, Ciudad del Este weird paraguayan town crossing the border bridge with Brazil.

• Is it better to get a flight from Rio to Iguazu and then a bus to Buenos Aires? Or a flight? Both legs by air.

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3. Re: A Cry for Help!

Thanks for this. Sorry I should have mentioned budget and interest. We are on a 'mid range' budget and would like to do things more or less on the cheap. We both like a bit of history (not too much), nices beaches, lovely scenary, good food.

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4. Re: A Cry for Help!

Some things and places to consider in Rio:

Corcovado Information:

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., the train leaving every half hour.

Ticket price for adults: R$45

http://bit.ly/qjj3lp

Sugar Loaf Information:

Hours: the ticket office opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 7:50 p.m.

The park always closes one hour after the ticket office.

The cable cars depart every 20 minutes or whenever full capacity is reached (65 passengers).

Ticket price for adults: R$53

http://bit.ly/VVfKPf

http://bit.ly/AhvOtS

Lagoa is the neighborhood around the lagoon Rodrigo de Freitas. It is one of Rio's nicer areas for walking or biking.

http://bit.ly/HcCoz7

Video of Lagoa:

http://bit.ly/HKJGqS

Rio’s Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico) is a nature park containing more than 6,000 different species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees and 140 species of birds.

http://bit.ly/HBHuFs

http://bit.ly/HBFNb5

Paquetá is district of Rio de Janeiro situated on an island in the middle of the Guanabara Bay. The island is an auto-free zone, so travel is limited to bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. You should schedule at least half a day to spend strolling around the island.

You can get to Ilha de Paquetá by ferry, departing in the mornings from Praça XV in downtown (Centro) Rio. The ferry trip takes about one hour. You can also take the speedboat, leaving from a dock adjacent to the ferry.

Most of Paquetá’s houses date from the beginning of the 20th century, but there are some older buildings dating from the early 1700's, all of them well preserved. The whole island is beautifully landscaped, and because of its size and the fact that it is accessible only by boat, Paquetá is one of the safest places in Rio, with virtually no crime. It’s charming, laid-back, and a favorite spot for working-class Cariocas.

http://bit.ly/X3s1nz

Think about having Brazil’s famous national dish, feijoada, a savory stew of black beans and various meats, at Casa da Feijoada, which is reputed to have the best-tasting feijoada in Ipanema. The restaurant is located right near General Osório Square (Rua Prudente de Morais 10).

Video view of Casa da Feijoada Restaurant:

http://bit.ly/tkBQ2b

Visit Santa Teresa. This is something you can easily, safely, and inexpensively do on your own via the Metro from the Zona Sul, which is also a wonderful way to meet everyday Cariocas, many of whom speak some English and seem eager to chat with visitors.

Santa Teresa, in the Lapa/Centro area, is replete with charming colonial houses, little shops, fruit and vegetable markets, galleries, and restaurants.

http://bit.ly/JxzjXs

http://bit.ly/IJTLLt

http://ipanema.com/rio/basics/e/transport.htm

http://www.metrorio.com.br/mapas.htm

Get off at Carioca Metro Station, walk to a nearby bus stop for a bus that will take you to Santa Teresa in ten minutes.

After Santa Teresa you might want to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral

http://bit.ly/H5n5Wb

http://bit.ly/MujPsA

and the Confeitaria Colombo in nearby Centro. This elegant Victorian tearoom hasn't changed much since it opened in 1894 and is a good example of Rio’s café culture reminiscent of 19th Century Europe.

http://www.confeitariacolombo.com.br/siteen/

Confeitaria Colombo now has a location in Copacabana, Café do Forte, located at Copacabana Fort, facing Copacabana Beach.

http://bit.ly/H6zTvi

Centro, the Heart of Rio:

http://bit.ly/VIoSre

The beautifully restored neoclassical building housing Rio’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil is itself a work of art and definitely worth a visit. One of the city's most important cultural centers, the CCBB is located at Rua Primeiro de Março, 66, in the Centro (downtown) district. (Subway: Uruguaiana.)

The building includes an art gallery, three theatres, a cinema showing art films, and a large exhibit of fine arts and photography, with some permanent exhibitions like the collection of Brazilian money. With a bookstore, café, and tea salon, it is a favorite meeting point for both tourists and Cariocas.

Exhibits are always free and many of the programs are also free, although some theaters or events may charge a small fee. Check local newspapers for entertainment listings before you go. Phone: (21) 3808-2020. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Guided tours in English by appointment.

http://bit.ly/ArL5SG

Walking Tour: Lapa, Cinelândia, and Largo da Carioca:

http://on.natgeo.com/gsEZFN

And don’t forget the Hippie Fair in General Osório Square in Ipanema on Sundays:

http://bit.ly/cKCR0J

Video:

http://bit.ly/pRXHUb

Insider Guide to Rio:

http://bit.ly/x6BHkj

Towns near Rio worth visiting.

If you’re thinking about spending a few days away from Rio de Janeiro, you might want to consider nearby Ilha Grande, Búzios, or Paraty.

1. Ilha Grande (Big Island) is 95 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro. The island is a largely undeveloped protected area and noted for its beautiful beaches and hillsides covered in lush tropical forests. There are no cars and no banks on Ilha Grande, so bring cash with you since not all hotels, shops, and restaurants accept credit cards. The largest village on the island is Vila do Abraão, where most of the visitor facilities are located, and can be reached from the mainland by local ferries and catamarans.

Ilha Grande Info:

http://bit.ly/oawyl

How to get to there:

http://bit.ly/Rq3vLX

http://bit.ly/Rq1zmt

http://bit.ly/TgQ3d9

Angra dos Reis Info:

http://bit.ly/R6xVRc

2. Búzios is a beach resort with an active nightlife 105 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro with over 20 beaches in the vicinity.

http://bit.ly/tmgdUb

http://bit.ly/bsn4UB

How to get there:

http://bit.ly/1ml9io

Búzios Info:

http://aol.it/AyiuYD

3. Paraty (also Parati), a coastal historic town between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, is about 160 miles from Rio and replete with picturesque cobbled streets, forests, waterfalls, islands, and an emerald-green sea.

Slide Show of Paraty:

http://nyti.ms/A4VOl3

Paraty Info:

http://bit.ly/yJYOyn

http://aol.it/HldYX6

http://bit.ly/MFC2FH

How to get there:

http://bit.ly/S86ndG

http://bit.ly/OQqE6V

Weather in Paraty:

http://bit.ly/NGyZIs

Hostels in Paraty:

http://bit.ly/VZ3tj8

4. Petrópolis. If you are also interested in a daytrip, consider Petrópolis, a popular mountain resort town located about 40 miles from Rio de Janeiro.

Petrópolis used to be the summer residence of the Brazilian emperors and aristocrats in the 19th century and was the official capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro between 1894 and 1903. The town was named after Emperor Pedro I, the nation's first monarch.

Buses from Rio to Petrópolis leave daily from the long-distance bus terminal, Rodoviário Novo Rio.

Petrópolis Info:

http://bit.ly/yjcSPn

http://bit.ly/w8E9W1

http://bit.ly/KVLMY7

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5. Re: A Cry for Help!

A suggestion of itinerary for a 3 weeks trip by here:

Buzios: 4 days (1 to Arraial do Cabo sidetrip)

Paraty: 3 days;

Iguacu and the falls area: 3 days

BsAs: 4 or 5 days (1 to Tigres sidetrip)

Rio de Janeiro: 5 days.

Since you jand in Rio, take the opportunity you are already at the airport and head straight to Buzios by a private transfer www.mistertours.com.br www.maliziatour.com.br www.trixrentacar.com.br www.venturiniviagens.com or take a bus from GIG to the bus terminal and than an other regular bus to there www.autoviacao1001.com.br

Stay 3 full days in that charming and very trandy seaside resort town, an old fishermen village beloved by both locals and mostly french and argentinean tourists.

Back from Buzios to Rio´s bus terminal, there, take a regular bus to Paraty www.viacaocostaverde.com.br and enjoy 3 full days between the green bay and the hills at this romantic and historical town. Private transfers to Paraty can also be done with www.paratytours,com.br or www.greentoadbus.com

Back to Rio´s airport, take a flight from Rio to Foz do Iguacu and than, spend 3 days at the falls area enjoying the attraction mentioned above in the post #2.

Cross the border to Argentine, spend at least one night in Puerto Iguazu and take a flight from there to BsAs. Spend 4 or 5 full days in BsAs... you can dedicate one to a side boat trip to Tigres.

Take a flight back to Rio and get the cake´s cherry, I mean: the final and best leg of your trip in the marvellous city.

Enjoy our land!

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6. Re: A Cry for Help!

If you’re interested in booking a hostel in Rio, here are three links with plenty of options:

Read the reviews to see if any of them might suit your budget and your needs. Look for hostels in Ipanema or Leblon with scores of 85 or better.

http://bit.ly/cZqdu0

http://bit.ly/cUdz2F

http://bit.ly/yjNa19

For first-timers to Rio not particularly familiar with Brazilian food, a good option is having a meal at one of the por kilo buffet-style restaurants. There are quite a few of them in the city.

Temperarte, for example, has several locations in Copacabana.

http://www.temperarte.com.br/

For about $20 U.S. (somewhat more for the larger tourist-oriented por kilos), it’s possible to sample a great variety of Brazilian specialties, including feijoada, codfish, beef, duck, shrimp, and numerous vegetable dishes, along with more familiar salads and desserts.

Usually the food is all the same cost per weight, but occasionally por kilos will charge a bit more for churrasco (barbeque) and fancy desserts.

While the fare is not quite gourmet cooking, it is reasonably priced. In case you’re wondering, it’s perfectly acceptable to enter a por kilo restaurant to scrutinize the offerings at the buffet tables before deciding to stay.

Street food: Churrasquinhos, “little barbecues” in Portuguese, can be found on almost any corner of the city.

http://aol.it/xg5CtE

http://bit.ly/NbIjFg

Juice Bars:

http://nyti.ms/rsNVI5

Sucos (Juice) Bars Map:

http://bit.ly/pRYXzv

Acarajé, a bite of Bahia on the streets of Rio. Acarajé is a dish from the Northeastern state of Bahia, deeply rooted in Nigeria, where it is called Akara. One of the easiest places to find it is at the Feira Hippie (Hippie Fair).

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7. Re: A Cry for Help!

There are many great hotstels in Rio (Mango Tree Ipanema, Lemon Spirit Hostel at Leblon), Buzios (Mango Tree) and Paraty.

In Foz do Iguaçu, prefer a central location. There hotels are not expensive. Rafain Centro is a good value for money.

In BsAs, stay at the surroundings of Florida street (the highest part, close to Retiro sqquare is better) and Howard Johnson Buenos Aires good be a nice choice.

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8. Re: A Cry for Help!

WOW! You guys are the Best. There is such valuable advice on this forum and I will always be grateful. Gusdali and MonteCD Thank you so so much. I hope one day I can be of the same assistance.

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9. Re: A Cry for Help!

• The ‘must do’s’ in Brazil.

Most of times you talk about "Brazil" you mean Rio de Janeiro.

If this is correct, Corcovado, Sugarloaf and Copacabana & Ipanema beaches are the absolutely musts. You can add Tijuca Forest and Engenhão (Soccer match).

Now, if you really mean "Brazil", you should visit northeast beaches, Amazon forest and Iguaçu falls, to have a wider view from the country.

• How long I should stay at each place

In Rio: 5 days are enough 7 days are the ideal.

• Is it safe to hire a car and drive there?

No. It can be safe, but it is not recommended

• The best places to stay?

In Rio: Ipanema, Leblon and Copacabana (in this order)

• How do I get to Argentina from Brazil (preferably to save time I would like to fly, so any flight operator details would be appreciated)

Fly. There are a lot of companies. It is not a long flight, so, it doesn't matter, choose by the price.

• Best things to do in Argentina?

I just know Cataratas, Buenos Aires and Bariloche. I like all of them. Aks in the Argentina forum.

• Obviously I want to see the Iguazu Falls, how many days would you recommend staying there?

3 days maximum. 2 is the ideal.

• Is it better to get a flight from Rio to Iguazu and then a bus to Buenos Aires? Or a flight?

forget about buses. fly.

BR

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10. Re: A Cry for Help!

No more tears, Saint!

Get answers to your questions about Rio de Janeiro