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Requesting input for trip to Rio in October

Requesting input for trip to Rio in October

Old Aug 18, 15, 6:19 pm
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Requesting input for trip to Rio in October

Bom dia! My wife and I are planning a trip to Rio at the end of October and I have a few thoughts/questions about which I’m hoping you experts will provide some input:

• We arrive in GRU at 11:05 AM on AA. I understand that anything under 2 hours for a domestic connection is courting disaster. Is 2.5 hours enough to transit customs and connect to a (separately booked) 1:35 PM TAM flight to GIG?

• We are staying the first couple of nights at the Sheraton Rio in Leblon. I’m aware of its limitations, but we can use SPG points for those nights and it allows us to just relax for the first couple of days without feeling any hurry to get anywhere/see anything particular.

• After that I have 3 nights booked at the Miramar Hotel by Windsor on Copacabana under a buy 2, get 1 free rate. Anyone have any experience at that hotel?

• We will then have 3 remaining nights in Rio. What are your collective thoughts on moving to another hotel, such as the Caesar Park on Ipanema for those nights? We are not averse to changing hotels mid-stay, or in this case, even twice during our stay so it is not the issue to us that it may be to others. In fact, I almost prefer to move after a few nights at a hotel. If we do move I think I'd prefer to move to something on Ipanema rather than something else on Copacabana.

I think that’s it for now. Thanks for any input or suggestions.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 8:15 pm
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You will have a great time in Rio!

Regarding your questions: we have transferred in GRU for a domestic flight in well under 2 hours, no problem. There is a "connection desk" right outside customs.

Many years ago we stayed at that Sheraton. Yes, the location stinks. Yet, on the upside the pool is very large and it has its own sort of private beach. Good buffet bkfst and views from the bkfst room. I believe the hotel is undergoing or has completed very badly needed renovations. For taxis, avoid the over priced hotel taxis waiting out front.

I believe the Cesar Park has fallen very far in the past few years and is in desperate need of renovations. It has a teeny tiny (near bathtub size) pool on the roof. Yet, if the price is right....

For the additional days you may want to look into heading to Buzios. About a two hour drive away. Great beaches and very different from Rio.

Have fun.
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Old Aug 20, 15, 3:56 am
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The Sheraton is actually in not such a bad location: just 5 min cab ride from the hip restaurants and bars of Dias Ferreira Street, in Leblon.

Windsor is a reliable chain, and the Miramar is in a good location in Copa, so should be fine. For your 3 remaining nights, I second flyr16's suggestion to explore further afield. Buzios does have beautiful beaches and good nightlife (only on weekends during low season). Look no further than Casas Brancas hotel. However, Paraty is a lot more charming and unique IMHO: boat trips to secluded beaches and islands by day (converted private fishing boats for hire at U$30 per hour, very comfy with sun deck, ice box...) and colonial architecture, and good regional cachaça by night. I reccommend Casa Colonial 12 here.

Enjoy!
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Old Aug 22, 15, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by Windward Side of Life View Post

• After that I have 3 nights booked at the Miramar Hotel by Windsor on Copacabana under a buy 2, get 1 free rate.
I'm curious where you found the buy 2 get 1 deal? Is it better than Jetsetter's $205?
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Old Aug 24, 15, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by boboqui View Post
I'm curious where you found the buy 2 get 1 deal? Is it better than Jetsetter's $205?
It's an Amex offer available on the hotel's website via the iPrefer Hotels program. It looks to be a bit cheaper than the Jetsetter, though Jetsetter appears to include the breakfast buffet with their rate.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by RafKa View Post
The Sheraton is actually in not such a bad location: just 5 min cab ride from the hip restaurants and bars of Dias Ferreira Street, in Leblon.

Windsor is a reliable chain, and the Miramar is in a good location in Copa, so should be fine. For your 3 remaining nights, I second flyr16's suggestion to explore further afield. Buzios does have beautiful beaches and good nightlife (only on weekends during low season). Look no further than Casas Brancas hotel. However, Paraty is a lot more charming and unique IMHO: boat trips to secluded beaches and islands by day (converted private fishing boats for hire at U$30 per hour, very comfy with sun deck, ice box...) and colonial architecture, and good regional cachaça by night. I reccommend Casa Colonial 12 here.

Enjoy!
Thanks RafKa and flyr16 for your suggestions, both Paraty and Buzios look quite nice and we are considering a side trip to one of them. A couple of follow-up questions: it appears that Buzios is a couple of hours from Rio and Paraty maybe 4ish hours away? What are the options/benefits for transportation to each? I know I can hire a private car, which appears will run ~100USD each way to Buzios. I imagine Paraty is maybe 50% more. Does that sound correct? How complicated is the bus trip, and how much longer would that realistically take?

Also, I would love to see a futebol game at Maracana. Unfortunately it appears that my favorite team Flamengo is playing in Sao Paulo that weekend, but there should be a game at Maracana (Fluminense or Vasco?). Is it advisable to just go thru the hotel to secure tickets and transportation to/from the game? Or just taxi and buy at the stadium on game day?

Thanks again for your valuable input.
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Old Sep 3, 15, 1:39 pm
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Praia do Sono, that's where I'd like to go for a few days.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...e_Janeiro.html
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Old Sep 3, 15, 4:20 pm
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My first trip to Rio we spent the first 5 days at the Intercontinental in Rio Barra (now I believe the Royal Tulip) and then moved to Copacabana for 3 nights. This was mainly due to the Copa and Ipanema hotels being sold out for New Year's and we could only get in starting on January 1st, but it actually ended up being a great split between the two. And we really enjoyed being a little removed from everything and had no problem hiring drivers/guides to take us around to all the sites we wanted to see (things were a little cheaper back then).

On a later trip stayed at the Sheraton Leblon and while there are nicer hotels we could not pass up a great cash and points rate and having direct access to the beach was worth the trade-offs. We actually met several of the Brazilian team players out on the beach (they were staying there for a match). And while it is a little removed we did do a long walk along the water then all the way to Ipanema for the Sunday market and then after that around to Copacabana.

The guide who arranged our favela tour suggested a day trip to the Sítio Roberto Burle Marx and that was something we really enjoyed and I would recommend.
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Old Sep 9, 15, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Windward Side of Life View Post
Thanks RafKa and flyr16 for your suggestions, both Paraty and Buzios look quite nice and we are considering a side trip to one of them. A couple of follow-up questions: it appears that Buzios is a couple of hours from Rio and Paraty maybe 4ish hours away? What are the options/benefits for transportation to each? I know I can hire a private car, which appears will run ~100USD each way to Buzios. I imagine Paraty is maybe 50% more. Does that sound correct? How complicated is the bus trip, and how much longer would that realistically take?
Re Buzios, I took a bus there a couple years ago (maybe $30-$40USD rt, super easy, convenient and comfortable ride). Here's the company: http://www.autoviacao1001.com.br/en/

The bus ride is closer to 3 hours and if you're staying in Zona Sul, then it will take you closer to 4 hours total travel time - by the time you factor in taking a taxi to the bus station, waiting for the bus and going from the station in Buzios to your hotel/pousada. I'm guessing a car service could knock an hour off of that. I've heard traffic on the weekends can be bad (I went during the week.)

Had a great time in Buzios. Stayed at Villa D'Este. Recommended. YOu gotta rent a beach buggy if you go. It's the best/quickest and most fun way to go from beach to beach. I think Buzios has 20+ beaches.

I'm gonna hit Rio again in a few months, but this time I'm gonna head south to Ilha Grande for a couple days. You may want to check out that as another option. Much more low key than Buzios from what I've heard, and about the same distance from Rio as Buzios.
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Old Sep 9, 15, 8:00 pm
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Originally Posted by XLR26 View Post

I'm gonna hit Rio again in a few months, but this time I'm gonna head south to Ilha Grande for a couple days. You may want to check out that as another option. Much more low key than Buzios from what I've heard, and about the same distance from Rio as Buzios.
On paper it looks about the same distance, but it's a winding single lane road, so takes much longer. There's also a 1h+ infrequent boat crossing, and no infrastructure once you get there. It's one of my favourite places in all of Brazil, but not so doable for a "couple of days" since the island has 100+ beaches and the only way to get to them is by boat or trekking.
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Old Sep 9, 15, 9:26 pm
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I'm staying at the Windsor Miramar at the moment. Executive room with view of the beach. Marvelous. Great service and extensive breakfast. Dining is 5*. For outdoors dining I suggest Rua Bolivar.
Good location, but back side neighborhood is a bit dingy (Ipanema). Would definitely stay here again when in Rio.
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Old Sep 9, 15, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by RafKa View Post
On paper it looks about the same distance, but it's a winding single lane road, so takes much longer. There's also a 1h+ infrequent boat crossing, and no infrastructure once you get there. It's one of my favourite places in all of Brazil, but not so doable for a "couple of days" since the island has 100+ beaches and the only way to get to them is by boat or trekking.
What's your estimate on how long it'd take to go from Zona Sul to Vila do Abraão? I was figuring around 4 hours from what I've read.

I was planning on two nights - maybe three if rain gets in the way. Figured I'd spend one day hiking to Lopes Mendes and hanging out there. Then I wasn't sure what I'd do with the other day (or two)? Any specific beaches you'd recommend?
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Old Sep 10, 15, 8:00 am
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Originally Posted by XLR26 View Post
What's your estimate on how long it'd take to go from Zona Sul to Vila do Abraão? I was figuring around 4 hours from what I've read.

I was planning on two nights - maybe three if rain gets in the way. Figured I'd spend one day hiking to Lopes Mendes and hanging out there. Then I wasn't sure what I'd do with the other day (or two)? Any specific beaches you'd recommend?
From Rio’s bus terminal to Angra dos Reis, the published travel time is 2:45
http://www.costaverdetransportes.com...gina=horarios#

Then you’ll need to make your way from the bus station to the pier (by taxi or bus – add 15 mins with wait times)

The boat ride is about 1:30. Careful as there’s only one “official” boat per day!
http://www.ilhagrande.com.br/como-ch...s-para-abraao/

There’s no beach at Abrãao. Hiking to Lopes Mendes is a must (1:30 hike, or take a boat to Palmas and it’s a 30 min walk from there). The ocean facing beaches are the best: Cachadaço is an amazing tiny cove (can hike from Abrãao, prob in 2hrs, via Dois Rios). Then there’s Parnaioca, with its creek and natural pools, the wild Leste and Sul beaches, and Aventureiro, with its very white sand and iconic “horizontal” palm tree. During the high season there will be little fishermen’s boats doing these as a day-tour.

As much as I do love Ilha Grande, depending on how much time you have (and how much infrastructure you need), I would encourage you to take a look at Paraty, which is 1h further from Angra, on the same bus. You can hire little boats at the pier for R$60/hour, put some drinks in their ice-box, and just chill while you cruise to loads of beautiful unspoilt beaches. And at night you can enjoy the beautiful colonial town, and sample the local cachaças. In one day trip you can head to north to Ilha da Sapeca, and Ilha Comprida, and another day, head to Saco do Mamanguá, a tropical fjord (where one of the “Twilight” movies was shot). Each of these will take about 4 hours.

It rains a lot in this region, any time of the year! But it’s one of the most beautiful places ever (looks much better live than in pictures, for some reason).
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Old Sep 10, 15, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Dieuwer View Post
I'm staying at the Windsor Miramar at the moment. Executive room with view of the beach. Marvelous. Great service and extensive breakfast. Dining is 5*. For outdoors dining I suggest Rua Bolivar.
Good location, but back side neighborhood is a bit dingy (Ipanema). Would definitely stay here again when in Rio.
Thanks much for the review, sounds like a great place to be for a few days. I'll keep the restaurant in mind.

Anyone else have any input regarding going to a match at Maracana? I was just in Panama City last weekend and happened to be there for the Panama vs. Uruguay friendly last Friday. Wife and I, along with a friend, all went to it and had a good time, even if the match itself was a tad slow for the most part. The crowd around us was quite entertaining.
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Old Sep 10, 15, 6:11 pm
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I would like to advice against spending more than 4 days in Rio. I am here for almost a week now and I am becoming annoyed with the bad service and quality of the Ipanema/Copa restaurants (apart from Rua Bolivar). Gay nightlife is extremely boring as well.

Sightseeing you can do in 4 days:

1) Morning visit to Corcovado (on a clear day) + late afternoon/evening visit to Sugarloaf.
2) Walking/shopping at Ipanema
3) Jardim Botanico
4) Downtown
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