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Three weeks around Brazil in February?

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alberta, canada
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Three weeks around Brazil in February?

I'm trying to pick a place for vacation this winter, I have three weeks at the start of February and Brazil is one of the countries that would work to fly to with airmiles.

I've heard it is summer vacation/high season so am I going to be too late with trying to book things already?

Is three weeks long enough to so a decent tour of the highlights?

I've only got the flight to Sao Paulo figured out so far, but was thinking of copying one of the tour companies itineraries.

Sao Paulo - 2days

fly to Igauzua falls (or is this better to do from Argentina on a later trip?) -2 days

Amazon jungle stop- 3-4 days

Rio- 3-4 days

beach towns on the way back to Sao Paulo- 15 days

Any suggestions what to differently or look at?

We are active, like to hike/scuba dive, and have enough cash to fly around between cities, but don't really like big cities/museums for more then a few days. Prefer to stay in low key sort of backpacker type places rather then hotels.

Thanks for reading!

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1. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

If you’re thinking about spending time 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:



How to get to there:




Angra dos Reis Info:


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



Clubs in Búzios:


How to get there:


Getting around in Búzios


Búzios Info:



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:


Paraty Info:




How to get there:



Intercity buses in Brazil:

There is no one bus company that serves the whole country. See “BuscaOnibus.”



Bus services are often sold in three classes: Regular, Executive and First-Class (Leito, in Portuguese). Regular may or may not have air conditioning. For long distances or overnight travels, Executive offers more space. First-Class has even more space and only three seats per row, making enough space to sleep comfortably.

All trips of more than four hours are covered by buses with bathrooms and the buses stop for food/bathrooms at least once every four hours of travel.

Brazilian bus stations, known as rodoviária or terminal rodoviário, are often in pretty sketchy areas, so if you travel at night be prepared to take a taxi to/from the station.

The Rodoviária Novo Rio long distance interstate bus terminal is located five minutes away from the downtown district (Centro) in a somewhat seedy part of town, so it’s best to take a taxi there.


Website: http://www.novorio.com.br/

Weather in Paraty:


Hostels in Paraty:


alberta, canada
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2. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

Thanks, Ilha Grande and Paraty were the two towns that I looked at stopping in.

Bonito and Pantenal were the two towns in the interior, and I can't even find Pantenal on a map.

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3. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

The Pantanal is located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul and is accessible through three major gateways: Campo Grande in the south, Cuiabá in the North, and Corumbá in the west.

Map of Brazil:


Map of major cities in Brazil:


Sao Paulo, Brazil
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4. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

fly to Igauzua falls (or is this better to do from Argentina on a later trip?) -2 days

- you can visit both sides, spending one day at each, just crossing the border by land. Make sure you have the necessary visas, if applicable.

Amazon jungle stop- 3-4 days

I'd extend this to 4 to 5 days to make the most out of the long flight from the south to Manaus. Amazon Ecopark is a jungle lodge with good value for money.

Rio- 3-4 days

Again I'd extend it a bit more. Rio is such a great place for people with outdoor lifestyle such as you seem to be.

beach towns on the way back to Sao Paulo- 15 days

Other stops worth considering: Ubatuba (Picinguaba beach is one of the most remote and nicest of all) and Ilhabela (great place for sailing, kitefsurfing, windsurfing & diving)

Pantanal would fit well to your plans, making the Rio/SP coastal trip a little shorter. You can't find it on the map because it's usually not marked as an specific reason: it's located between Cuiabá in the north and Campo Grande in the south.


Destination Expert
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5. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

Yes, I agree with RodrigoPinto: extend your stay in Rio. Lots to see and do in the Marvelous City. Five days is just about right. 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$46


Sugar Loaf Information:

Hours: 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



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

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas:



Video of Lagoa:


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.



Jardim Botânico: An Oasis of Calm in Rio:


Paquetá is a 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.


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.





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.

You might like Bar do Gomez (Armazém São Thiago) in Santa Teresa, one of the oldest bars in Rio de Janeiro as well as one of its finest botequins (neighborhood pubs). It was featured recently in Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations: Rio.”





After Santa Teresa you might want to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral



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.



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


Centro, the Heart of Rio:


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.


Also in Centro: Church of Our Lady of Montserrat, Mosteiro de São Bento, Rua Dom Gerardo 68.

The Benedictines founded this magnificent hilltop monastery and church in 1590. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Montserrat and boasts richly decorated interiors that date from the 18th century. The elaborate interior of the church took almost seventy years to complete and was the life work of a series of artists, notably the Benedictine monk Frei Domingos da Conceição.



Casa Daros, one of Rio’s newest museums, is housed in a neoclassical 1866 mansion in Botafogo and showcases one of the world's premier collections of contemporary Latin American art. Apart from its exhibition spaces, the building includes a library, an auditorium seating one hundred people, a restaurant, a café and a shop.

Opening hours:

Wednesday to Saturday--12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Sundays and holidays--12 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Main exhibition: R$ 12

Students and seniors half price with ID.



And don’t forget the Hippie Fair in General Osório Square in Ipanema. The Feira Hippie (“Hippie Fair”) in Ipanema is a street market that sets up stalls every Sunday on General Osório Square. The fair features items like clothing, leather goods, art and jewelry. If you want to buy something in Ipanema as a memento of your trip to Brazil then this is the place.




Insider Guide to Rio:


Top Places in Rio de Janeiro:


São Paulo, Brazil
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6. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

I would use Rio as your base and have some short day trips as follows:

1. Paraty and Angra dos Reis - 2 days (beach towns)

2. Petrópolis or Teresópolis - 1 day (historical towns)

3. Nova Friburgo and Santa Maria Madalena (where there is a famous Carnival, without the crowds seen in Rio, more of a family affair) - 3 days, distance is greater and buses to SMM are very infrequent, though I imagine this would be improved for the Carnival. (mountain resorts)

4. Ilha de Paquetá (a quiet island in the city of Rio de Janeiro)

Then take the bus back to SP (6 hours), along the inland road. If you want to break this journey, stay overnight in Lorena (spectacular views of Mantiqueira hills)

Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
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7. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

Petrópolis is 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:





Brasilia, DF
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8. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

Have you heard about Northeast beaches in Cities like Salvador ( first capital of Brazil) and Morro de São Paulo or Natal and Pipa.

Check them out.

Welcome to Brazil!

Brasilia, DF
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9. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

Have you heard about Northeast beaches (if you love beaches) in Cities like - Salvador ( first capital of Brazil- historical city) and Morro de São Paulo - or -Natal, Pipa and Fernando de Noronha island.

Check them out.

Welcome to Brazil!

10. Re: Three weeks around Brazil in February?

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