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-   -   8 days in Rio Nov - advice on fittin in trip to Iguazu Falls? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brazil/1714073-8-days-rio-nov-advice-fittin-trip-iguazu-falls.html)

rin1018 Oct 2, 15 11:43 am

8 days in Rio Nov - advice on fittin in trip to Iguazu Falls?
 
I'm taking advantage of the airfares to Brazil and am currently booked for 8 days in Rio in November (arrive Saturday mid-day, depart following Saturday late evening).

I'm pondering if I should fit in a trip to Iguazu to see the falls (I've been to Argentina previously but didn't have time then; not sure when I will return to SA).

It looks like direct flights RIO-IGU can be had that arrive IGU mid-day (noon) and departures that leave in the afternoon and evening (as late as 6:20pm).

Thing's I'm pondering that I would love some advice/help on:

1. Staying on Brazil side vs. Argentine side
- I'd love to stay at the Sheraton on the Argentine side as I've got plenty of starpoints (and could use the stay credit). I know I'd have to pay Argentine Reciprocity fee to go into Argentina, but would theoretically be offset by not having to pay $ for hotel in Brazil.
- If I do this, I'm assuming staying two nights would be advisable (so afternoon of first day is spent getting to Argentine side, have full second day to explore Argentine side, go back to Brazil size morning of third day, fly out evening of third day). Any thoughts to the contrary?
- Thoughts on this vs. just staying on Brazil side and potentially making it just a one night trip?

2. When to go - do I spend a few days in Rio, then go to the Falls the middle of the week (ie Tues-Thurs) and return for a few days in Rio before departing Saturday evening, or go to Falls Thurs-Saturday and effectively kick off my journey home from Iguazu? (I fly RIO-GRU-ORD on return so am flying out of Rio's domestic airport and I think this would work). Concerns on doing the latter would obviously be flight delays etc.

I don't yet have any real plans for Rio other than general sight seeing, relaxing, so have a clean slate to work from - would love advice/insight from those who have experience!

Thanks in advance!

VidaNaPraia Oct 2, 15 11:57 am

Here's what I would do:

I'd go to the falls either on arrival (if you can stand more hours of airport and planes) or in the middle/mid-week. Not at the end; too risky to miss int'l flight.

The first afternoon after arrival at the falls, I'd spend the time on the Brazilian side. You can leave your luggage either at the airport or at the park entrance. Both have lockers. I takes a few hours to walk the path and take photos.

Then get a taxi to Argentina. It's safe, even in the early evening. Get a late check in at the Sheraton. Spend day two there on that side of the park. Maybe taking a boat ride under the falls.

Day three, taxi or bus back to Brazil and see the Bird Park (near the park entrance) before your flight leaves. Again, you can leave luggage at the park entrance or at the airport, which also is not too far.

Ideas for Rio:
www.ipanema.com
That gives you two weekends to enjoy some of the famous Brazilian music rhythms in Rio. Try Carioca da Gema or Scenarium, and/or find a samba school rehearsal or feijoada lunch to attend.
And it gives you time for the weather to clear if it isn't cooperating at first to go up to the Christo or Sugarloaf.
If you want more ideas, post.

rin1018 Oct 4, 15 2:06 pm


Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia (Post 25508930)
Here's what I would do:

I'd go to the falls either on arrival (if you can stand more hours of airport and planes) or in the middle/mid-week. Not at the end; too risky to miss int'l flight.

The first afternoon after arrival at the falls, I'd spend the time on the Brazilian side. You can leave your luggage either at the airport or at the park entrance. Both have lockers. I takes a few hours to walk the path and take photos.

Then get a taxi to Argentina. It's safe, even in the early evening. Get a late check in at the Sheraton. Spend day two there on that side of the park. Maybe taking a boat ride under the falls.

Day three, taxi or bus back to Brazil and see the Bird Park (near the park entrance) before your flight leaves. Again, you can leave luggage at the park entrance or at the airport, which also is not too far.

Ideas for Rio:
www.ipanema.com
That gives you two weekends to enjoy some of the famous Brazilian music rhythms in Rio. Try Carioca da Gema or Scenarium, and/or find a samba school rehearsal or feijoada lunch to attend.
And it gives you time for the weather to clear if it isn't cooperating at first to go up to the Christo or Sugarloaf.
If you want more ideas, post.

Thanks @VidaNaPraia. It hadn't even occurred to me to go at the beginning of the trip! (brain is clearly not fully working)

The suggestions on Iguazu are quite helpful - I'll have to look at flights a bit more and determine what makes the most sense, but it does sound like 2 nights is the way to go (vs. only 1).

I read in a few places that renting a car might be easier than taxis - and provides a bit more flexibility to explore. Thoughts on this?

And thanks for the suggestions on Rio as well - I was mostly looking for advice around Iguazu as I'd found the website for rio and also have my trusty Lonely Planet, but the extra info and suggestions are quite helpful!

Esmjb Oct 17, 15 9:17 am

Oi amigo-
I'm from the chi and living in rio going on 3 years now. I suggest you plan your weekends to be at the beach in rio, specifically Ipanema or Leblon (even more specifically near post 9 or between 11 and 12). The beach is truly awesome here and IMO the only thing worth visiting in this country. if you see the weather is guaranteed to be crap for that first weekend, go ahead and book that foz trip last minute because this city is terrible when it rains, otherwise go mid-week.

If you are interested in "meeting" people, get on tndr if not already. I have friends absolutely cleaning up down here when they come into town.

the Jesus statue is kind of a must for the photo and to get a view of the city but no reason to double down and do sugarloaf too unless you want a photo from a different angle. For a better photo and more unique experience, I might suggest hiking up to pedra bonita. Or alternatively hang gliding. Both can be easily arranged by hotel and with real at 4-1 very very reasonable even at inflated tourist prices. Check out a soccer game too and know you can take the subway directly there on the cheap.

A couple nice restaurants are CT Boucherie and ZaZa Bistro and Gero which is Italian but better than any Italian I ever had in chi.

VidaNaPraia Oct 17, 15 11:28 am


Originally Posted by rin1018 (Post 25516997)

The suggestions on Iguazu are quite helpful - I'll have to look at flights a bit more and determine what makes the most sense, but it does sound like 2 nights is the way to go (vs. only 1).

I read in a few places that renting a car might be easier than taxis - and provides a bit more flexibility to explore. Thoughts on this?

I was mostly looking for advice around Iguazu ...!

Thoughts on renting a car at the falls:
Some car companies don't let you cross the border.
You can't drive through the park to see the falls.
The local buses are pretty efficient and frequent.
In the time you have, you can fit in some time on each side of the park, a visit to the bird park right next to the entrance to the Brazilian park, and maybe a boat ride under Devil's Throat falls, ditto (or from the Argentine side, not far either). Those are the major must sees and those you have time to fit in, and not much more (not because of time getting to and from, but actual time looking around). It is hot, humid and exhausting and you will probably be happy to head for the hotel swimming pool at the end of each day, and walk to somewhere very close and low key to eat just a little something afterwards.
The buses go to these sights, probably at about the same speed as a car/taxi. A taxi driver may be able to do your border crossing paperwork for you vs. getting off the bus to do it yourself.
What are you imagining you will have the time to need flexibility to explore by rented car other than the above?

dddc Oct 17, 15 6:31 pm

From my experience, 1/2 a day at the Brazilian side is fine. A whole day in the Argentinian side at a minimum.

We flew up from BA, stayed in a hotel Puerto Iguassu and had a Viator "tour" that took us over to the Brazilian side. It was just a lady in a car with only us two. It was midweek in the off season though. However, she handled the passports at customs for us and we got waived through on the way back. She was from the Brazilian side. Because it wasn't busy, we were able to do the walk in less than 2 hours.

For the Argentinian side we got a bus from outside our hotel which was before the main part of town. It was a great and cheap way to get to falls. Once in we headed straight to Devil's Throat and spent over an hour there. Those in tour groups were marched in and out in less than 15 mins. We spent the rest of the day exploring the park and would love to go back again and spend more time there. Maybe just 2 days.

Weekends in Rio are better. Midweek in the falls to avoid the weekend rush there.

Loved Ipanema. I felt it had a nicer feel than Copacobana and Leblon was very walkable. We walked to the botanic gardens and around the lake. We did a tour to get up to Christ the Redeemer which was an easy way to do it , but meant we only had around 30 mins up there. Do Sugarloaf Mountain at dusk and watch the sun go down. Follow the crowds back to the bus stop. I had no problems on the subway there either.


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