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Suggestions for 9 days for repeat visitor

Suggestions for 9 days for repeat visitor

Old Dec 15, 15, 9:38 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: DL SM; IHG PlatAmb; Hilton Dia; Marriott/SPG Plat; Radisson Gold; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 4,466
Suggestions for 9 days for repeat visitor

Hi all
I could use some assistance planning a trip I have coming up in late - Feb / early - March.
As background, I was in Brazil in November and did a very cursory stay in Rio (2 nights, 36 hours) and a longer visit to Iguassu.
I got a very good price on a flight that has me arriving at GIG at 630 am on Thursday, and flying out of BSB the following Friday at 11pm.
I'm a solo, mid budget, 32 year old traveler, interested in history and nerdy stuff, and pretty stuff, and relaxing.
My initial plan is
Thurs: morning flight to Salvador
Thurs-Sunday: Salvador
Sunday: Fly to either Rio or Sao Paulo, 2 nts
Tuesday: Fly to either Sao Paulo or Curitiba (or somewhere else?), 2 nights
Thursday: Fly to Brasilia, day and a half

I'm not sure if Rio is worth doing again, or if I should explore new places. Is Curitiba really that different from Brasilia? I feel like I should do SP at some point, even if to just eat and explore for a day.

Expert advice welcome! Thanks
Adam1222 is offline  
Old Dec 16, 15, 9:09 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,654
Your plan:
arriving at GIG at 630 am on Thursday
Thurs: morning flight to Salvador
Thurs-Sunday 4 days: Salvador
Sunday: Fly to either Rio or Sao Paulo, 2 nts
Tuesday: Fly to either Sao Paulo or Curitiba (or somewhere else?), 2 nights
Thursday: Fly to Brasilia, day and a half
Friday at 11pm flight home

My ideas:

Curitiba is boring for a tourist, albeit a fairly tranquil place to live. I wouldn’t bother.

I am a huge architecture fan. I am not a fan of the dated concrete of Neimeyer. The best piece of design in town IMO is the JK Bridge by Alexandre Chan. There is also one mall whose structure is fairly interesting. I spend time in Brasilia with friends who live there; otherwise I would avoid the place, no regrets. Also, it is hard to get around without a car. The most fun IMO are the two big swimming pools in the National Park at the tip of the Asa Norte. Occasionally the art museum has a show worth visiting. There is usually music at night in some of the bars on the shopping streets of the superquadros. The expensive restaurants I have been to are pretentious and pretty bad, esp. for the price. At night the area next to Lagoa Paranoa is lively, but expensive, and during the day, the lake has water sports.

The “must-see” you are missing are the Colonial towns in the mountains of Minas Gerais. You can fly to Belo Horizonte and take a 2 hr bus to Ouro Preto, Or you can bus from Rio (overnight?) to Tiradentes. The other significant ones in that area are Mariana, Sao Joao del Rei, and the magnificently dramatic sculptures in Congonhas. I would see these before I thought of including S.P., Curitiba, or Brasilia.

A potential schedule:
You could get to Minas from Rio, then fly on to Salvador, and finish in Brasilia just before your flight (that same day).

The site www.salvadorcentral dot com is a wonderful, information filled site written by a long term expat musician. A good plan IMO is to sightsee in the overcast mornings (Pelourinho, Solar de Uniao, Bomfim church, Mercado Modelo), go to the beach in the scorching afternoons, and find some music in the evenings after dining al fresco in the breeze that comes up. Tuesday nights are the “bencao” with lots of music and movement in Pelourinho. Rio Vermelho has a fun night scene on the plaza with acaraje and beer, and music clubs (Casa da Mae). Itapua also has a night scene on its plaza with acaraje and beer. There are beaches all along th city coast line from porto da Barra to Itapua, accessible by local bus. You could go to the beach villages of Morro do Sao Paulo/Boipeba or Guarajuba/Praia do Forte for a night or two.

Need more? Just ask.
VidaNaPraia is offline  
Old Dec 16, 15, 7:06 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington, DC
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Posts: 4,466
Thanks. I considered Minas but thought it might be too much of a hassle to get around as a solo non-driver. Is it worth staying in Belo Horizonte and day tripping?
As an urban planning nerd, both Brasilia and Curitiba are fascinating to me, so I definitely want to do at least 1, even if it's arrive inBrasilia Thurs evening and depart Friday evening.
Adam1222 is offline  
Old Dec 17, 15, 10:54 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,654
You can get to Ouro Preto from Belo Horizonte by bus (2 hours), and from there see Mariana. There is a steam train. But Mariana recently had troubles with rain, so do check. There is also a gold mine to visit nearby.
Sabara is a Colonial town that has become a suburb of BH and can be visited by local bus (about 20 minutes). There are some lovely buildings, but it is not OP which has almost no modern buildings marring its vista of tiled roofs.
Tiradentes is charming. We were there for the day, but I have wanted to go back to spend more time strolling around and riding a charette (horse carriage). Congonhas is worth half a day if you can get there to see the sculptures looking out over the mountains. However, I was with friends who have a car when we went to these two destinations.
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