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Two full days: Rio, Iguazu or more time in Bahia?

Two full days: Rio, Iguazu or more time in Bahia?

Old Mar 17, 15, 6:43 am
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Two full days: Rio, Iguazu or more time in Bahia?

Hi, everyone. First time in Brazil, and I'm obviously very excited.

I'm arriving Saturday morning at GRU and see friends in SP that night. On Sunday I fly to Salvador where my niece is on a year long programme with her university. I need to be in Buenos Aires by Sunday evening, but since it seems impossible to fly to BA on Easter, it looks like I'll have to travel there Saturday.

I'm thinking of the following itenerary. Start with four full days in Salvador and Bahia. I would then have two extra full days to spend. Flight costs/convenience being equal, should I:

- stay on and explore more of Bahia (which looks like it has a lot of surrounding beauty but, I don't drive, making it harder to see the good stuff)
- fly to Rio for two days (where some friends are going to be)
- quick fly in visit to Iquazu (which becomes more appealing if I can get in the

If Rio, are there any places in Impanema you'd recommend to stay?
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Old Mar 17, 15, 8:26 am
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Well, generally I'd say more time in and around Salvador, since there is so much to do and see. (btw, buses get you around fine; no need to feel the lack of a car) However, if you won't have another opportunity to spend time in Rio, that is probably preferable in your case. Hopefully, you'd have good, clear weather to go up to the Cristo and/or Sugarloaf. The falls are spectacular, but Rio has more to offer. Too bad you can't extend your time a bit to see both.
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Old Mar 17, 15, 10:59 am
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It will depend on how much you like nature. I've been to the falls. They were cool, but at the end of the day you are looking at waterfalls. I've seen the Niagara Falls twice so to me this wasn't that big of a deal, still cool though. Of course if you don't plan on being in that area ever again it might be worth it to go to the falls. You can go to Rio any time.... As far as having a good time though, I would head to Rio.


For hotels, look into:
Copacabana Rio Hotel
Tulip Inn Copacabana
Rio Othon Palace Hotel
Royal Rio Palace Hotel

None of them are in Ipanema but close enough. If you like walking it would be a 15 minute walk, or a 4 minute cab ride.
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Old Mar 19, 15, 4:17 am
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Originally Posted by SCSA View Post

If Rio, are there any places in Impanema you'd recommend to stay?
Caesar Park hotel
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Old Mar 19, 15, 7:19 am
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Two full days: Rio, Iguazu or more time in Bahia?

Without any doubt, spend the time at Iguazu Falls. It is simply spectacular and something you should not miss in your lifetime. This is a world-class attraction!
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Old Mar 19, 15, 11:11 am
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Cheers for the all advice. I decided against Iguazu primarily because I'd be travelling from Salvador to get there. Lack of direct flights meant I'd spend the good part of precious day flying there.

I also decided four days in Bahia was too rushed. So am now looking at either flying SSA to EZE on Saturday (via 3.5 hours in GRU) or flying to Rio late Friday afternoon, doing 24 hours there and flying GIG to EZE on Saturday night.

The motivation behind the Rio stopover would be that if I fly via GRU I'd spend all day Saturday in airports, where as Rio would give me more time of actual holidaying.

Thoughts on 24 hours in Rio? Obviously I won't see much, but will I spend the whole time getting to and from GIG? Will clubs and bars shut down on Good Friday night? Will attractions be open Easter Saturday?
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Old Mar 19, 15, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by SCSA View Post
I also decided four days in Bahia was too rushed. So am now looking at either flying SSA to EZE on Saturday (via 3.5 hours in GRU) or flying to Rio late Friday afternoon, doing 24 hours there and flying GIG to EZE on Saturday night.
...............
Thoughts on 24 hours in Rio? Obviously I won't see much, but will I spend the whole time getting to and from GIG? Will clubs and bars shut down on Good Friday night? Will attractions be open Easter Saturday?
There will be cariocas leaving Rio, but other Brazilians traveling in for the Semana Santa holiday, so things should still be lively. The usual weekday rush hour traffic won't occur during the holiday, so getting from the airport might take about an hour. I've not visited at that time of year, but I'd assume the attractions (the Cristo, Sugarloaf) would be open on Friday and Saturday. I am quite sure there would be live samba music at Carioca da Gema club or the larger Scenarium in Lapa on Friday night. Take a taxi over and back and enjoy yourself. If Saturday morning is clear, you can visit one of the aforementioned heights; get there when they open. (If cloudy, it's not worth it.) The downtown historical buildings are probably not a good idea on a non-work day, but you could go to the Botanical Gardens or the Lagoa, go up to Santa Teresa, or just wander around in Copacabana or Ipanema or Leblon to get an idea of a neighborhood. You could take the ferry ride over to Niteroi to see the museum and eat lunch at the fish market. And there's always the beach or one of the malls. Take a look at www dot ipanema dot com for more ideas.
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Old Mar 19, 15, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by SCSA View Post
Thoughts on 24 hours in Rio? Obviously I won't see much, but will I spend the whole time getting to and from GIG? Will clubs and bars shut down on Good Friday night? Will attractions be open Easter Saturday?
With only 24 hours, time is not on your side, but if you get a local guide, he/she can make the most of what precious time you do have without you trying to figure out where to go and the quickest way to get there.
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Old Mar 19, 15, 3:57 pm
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Check out this up to 70% off deal for the for the 5* Sheraton da Bahia Hotel in Salvador. I never stayed there so I can't personally recommend it, however, the voyage prive website hotels are pretty good.

http://www.voyage-prive.com.br/vendas/index/3572 -
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Old Mar 19, 15, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by boboqui View Post
Check out this up to 70% off deal for the for the 5* Sheraton da Bahia Hotel in Salvador. I never stayed there so I can't personally recommend it, however, the voyage prive website hotels are pretty good.

http://www.voyage-prive.com.br/vendas/index/3572 -
I'm sure her niece she is visiting in Salvador is familiar with some local choices for accomodations and can find something convenient for visiting by local transportation from where she lives, if not hosting the OP at home herself.

That hotel was taken over by Sheraton, maybe 7 years ago, and probably done over at that time. It's considered a business hotel, and it's doubtful if it is a real (as in US or Europe) 5 star. It's located on a busy square/park, on which the well-known Teatro Castro Alves also faces, between the Pelourinho historic district and the Porto da Barra beach. Rack rate starts about U$80/R$260 which isn't bad for that quality in Salvador (and given that the distinctly more modest place I'm most familiar with is currently at R$229, although it's across from the beach).
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Old Mar 20, 15, 12:34 am
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If possible try to fly into SDU. It will cut down on your transportation time considerably.
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Old Mar 20, 15, 5:05 am
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Originally Posted by nsummy View Post
If possible try to fly into SDU. It will cut down on your transportation time considerably.
Maybe not.

GOL flights from SSA to SDU make one stop and are 3+ hours.
GOL flights from SSA to GIG are direct and take about 2hours.
There is of course the travel time (1 hr) and cost (R$40+) to get into the city from GIG.
However, flights to SDU are about R$100-200 more expensive.

(Didn't check other airlines.)
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Old Mar 20, 15, 5:28 am
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Thanks again - this is super advice. I'll look at SDU again, but it seemed like the connection time made it less desirable. That was before I factored in taxi journeys, though. How far is SDU from Ipanema, etc?
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Old Mar 20, 15, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by SCSA View Post
How far is SDU from Ipanema, etc?
To Ipanema, maybe about 15 minutes, with little traffic. To Copacabana, a bit less.
You should look at a map to get oriented. SDU is pretty clearly shown on most of them; it juts out into Guanabara Bay, above a little curl of greenspace in Flamengo.
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Old Mar 20, 15, 9:38 am
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I've flown into SDU and its definitely not more expensive. During certain times and from certain cities? Sure, its not the end all. But I have flown into it from VCP and and CGH and it was either the same price or cheaper than flying into GIG. Not to mention quicker.

If you can only get a non-stop into GIG, take it as it will still be quicker than a connection. On a perfect day with no traffic it will be about 30 minutes (about 15 miles) to get from GIG to Ipanema. SDU is a little under 20 and half the distance (8 miles). Taxi to/from GIG is definitely more expensive but taxis are so cheap in Rio that its always been more about the time than the money for me.

A word of advice when coming from GIG. When you get your bags do not make the rookie mistake of walking out the arrivals door and getting in a cab. Instead go up the escalator to the departures area and walk outside to grab a taxi that is dropping someone off. The driver will be happy he doesn't have to drive back to Zona Sul for free and will be less likely to give you the tour of the city.
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