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Brazil itinerary advice please

Brazil itinerary advice please

Old Apr 19, 19, 5:47 pm
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Brazil itinerary advice please

MrsEssexNYC and I have a full week in South America this June/July. We are arrive EZE early morning day 1 and depart GRU late evening of day 8. So far I have planned:
Days 1-2 - Buenos Aires
Day 3 - fly early AM to Iguacu Falls, spend the day and overnight on the Argentina side
Day 4 - tour Brazilian side then fly in afternoon to Rio
Day 5 - explore Rio
Day 6 - drive to Paraty
Day 7 - around Paraty
Day 8 - drive in afternoon to GRU

My wife thinks that the last few days are not “interesting enough” - we have traveled to a lot of really unique places around the world, and her view is that this experience would be too much like Costa Rica, etc.
We like culture (but experiences, not museums) and especially visiting places that are as 180-degree different from New York as possible.
Does this itinerary seem like it will fit the bill, or is there anyplace else we can slot in between Buenos Aires and São Paulo that would better serve our interests? I looked into BA - La Paz - Rio, but we would need to spend most of two of our days flying. Is there anyplace I’m missing?
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Old Apr 20, 19, 7:25 am
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You will probably want more time in Rio.
Paraty is not worth the long drive, just to get back in a vehicle to continue on another long drive to S.P. It is a very small example of the architecture. The joy of the area is in taking schooner rides to beaches and the lush islands in the surrounding area.
The fastest route Rio to SP is not very scenic and the coastal route can be slooooow and even unpredictable.
I would fly between Rio and SP.
Also I don't recommend driving a long distance to an exit airport on the day of an international flight. ("I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto.")

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Apr 20, 19 at 7:31 am
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Old Apr 20, 19, 5:04 pm
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Thank you and makes sense, especially the driving time. Is there anyplace else that we can stop that would offer a really unique experience? We went to Peru a couple of years ago, and we had great experiences exploring Cusco (beautiful and authentic place) and Lake Titicaca. Anyplace with an experience like these that we can stop either before or after Iguacu?
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:30 am
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Originally Posted by essexnyc View Post
. Anyplace with an experience like these that we can stop either before or after Iguacu?





Not without considerably more time to devote.

And to repeat, you will likely want more time in Rio.

I don't know what you imagine you might do in Rio,
but in addition to the iconic sights (which take a few days in and of themselves; also, the view from heights is subject to weather),
you could include
:
a visit to a wetland
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserv...io_de_Janeiro)

a visit to a royal city
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petr%C3%B3polis

a visit to an island with no cars
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paquet%C3%A1_Island

a visit to outlying beaches
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...e_Janeiro.html

So:
Days 1-2 - Buenos Aires
Day 3 - fly early AM to Iguacu Falls, spend the day on Argentina side, and overnight on the Brazil side (to avoid border traffic delays next day)
Day 4 - tour Brazilian side (park, 3 hours, and bird park, 2-3 hours), then fly in late afternoon (latest flight you can get) to Rio
Day 5 - explore Rio
Day 6 - explore Rio
Day 7 - explore Rio, fly to SP in evening
Day 8 - explore SP and fly out home in late pm

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Apr 21, 19 at 10:18 am
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:40 am
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I think you're trying to do too much in eight days. I would totally skip the car in Brazil. Depending on your interests, it might not be enough time at the falls, especially if you stay in the park to enable you to have early morning and late afternoon/evening access away from the crowds and to see sunrise and sunset at the falls. [There's also a huge dam and electric power plant that I wish I had been able to see.]

If you're committed to flying into EZE and out from GRU, you might want to skip either Rio or the Falls. Otherwise, I'd consider skipping SP.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 11:22 am
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Cuzco and the Inca valley are unique, there’s nothing like it. I’d say EZE, IGU and RIO in 8 days is kinda hurried but doable. While Rio is experiencing a crisis, its people are still the most fun to be with and the sights are breathtakingly beautiful. I recently took the cable car up the Sugarloaf Mountain and was impressed with its first class operation. My daughter took the train through the forest up to the Statue of Christ the Redeemer and had a wonderful experience. The beach was a bit polluted because of the recent rains but nobody seems to care, I ventured into the ocean (I couldn’t resist), bodysurfed a few waves and came home happy. Forget GRU, there’s nothing there.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 4:24 pm
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We hit up the atacama dessert in Chile a few years ago and thought it was pretty awesome. Lots of tours and activities you can do and just very interesting geology/terrain in general. The additional travel time might be a deal killer but just throwing it out there.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 10:28 pm
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OK - so revised itinerary potentially is:
Days 1-3- Buenos Aires (most of one day ferry to and from Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay)
Day 4 - fly early AM to Iguacu Falls, spend the day and overnight on the Argentina side
Day 5 - tour Brazilian side (side trip to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay), overnight on the Brazilian side
Day 6 - fly AM to Rio, explore Rio
Day 7 - explore Rio area
Day 8 - explore Rio, fly in afternoon to GRU

make more sense? Thank you all!
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Old Apr 22, 19, 4:42 am
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Do you want to have an enjoyable trip with time to explore, or do you want to just tick countries off a list? If the former:

1 - Lose the day trip to Colonia: it's going to be long and tiring. It's better to take your time and enjoy Buenos Aires, especially if you'll spend day 1 recovering from your flight.

2 - There's ABSOLUTELY nothing to see or do at Ciudad del Este unless you plan to buy fake Chinese electronics, and get mugged in the process. It's a hot, dirty, messy, dangerous border city: think Tijuana with none of the glamour! Hell, you don't even get a passport stamp for your troubles!

Last edited by RafKa; Apr 22, 19 at 4:49 am
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Old Apr 22, 19, 4:08 pm
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To give some additional context 1) we will be flying overnight from the US in business class so will “hit the ground running” our first day in BA; 2) our pace during trips is much more rushed than most - we are much more “see everything we can” than “slow down and absorb” people; and 3) one of the things we really enjoy on trips is going to local markets to see people as they are taking care of their day-to-day needs.
It is in this context that I was not discounting the feedback of those saying that we are trying to do too much - for us, 3-4 destinations in 8 days is just fine. In thinking of the two side trips - “hot, dirty, and messy” is for us appealing if it gives a window into how Brazilians and Argentinians stock their homes (being mugged is of course less appealing).
The above would give us some more time at the falls as well as an extra day around Rio for a couple of the great suggestions from VidaNaPraia. I was thinking of the two part-days to Uruguay and Paraguay as a quick fix of something different from the three main stops (trying to work in a stop in Chile or Bolivia involves too much travel time), so any other ideas or thoughts appreciated!
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Old Apr 22, 19, 5:03 pm
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I totally understand your traveling style, since it's quite similar to mine... However, sometimes I regret some of my decisions and wish I'd given myself some extra time...

Besides, in South America you often have to plan for the unplanned: you may well have arrived rested from your business class flight, only to find that in EZE priority baggage tags are routinely ignored and you can waste 1h waiting at the carousel, and another hour to hop through customs, since all US flights arrive at the same time full of Argentinean families and their 8-10 pieces of luggage filled with shopping. Add to that some traffic and a decent part of your first morning is gone.
​​​​​​
By all means, go to Colonia which is a beautiful little town. But again, bear in mind the fast boat may be late (last time in Nov it was 90 mins late), and a lot of the town starts to come alive around dusk.

I stand my ground when it comes to Ciudad del Este, however: no average Brazilian is doing their shopping there. It is a place where middle men buy cheap trinkets by the bagload to resell in informal markets across Brazil. Paraguay has a few interesting spots (like the Chaco), but this ain't one of them. Would you recommend a first time traveler to NY visit Newark city? I'm sure a lot of "local stuff" happens there... If you want to have a local experience, just visit a street market one morning in Rio (ask your hotel where is the nearest "feira" on that day or the next day - they mostly pack up by noon) and sample some of the local fruit and finish off with a pastel (fried empanada) and sugar cane juice. That's a quintessential Brazilian experience.
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Old Apr 23, 19, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by RafKa View Post
If you want to have a local experience, just visit a street market one morning in Rio (ask your hotel where is the nearest "feira" on that day or the next day - they mostly pack up by noon) and sample some of the local fruit and finish off with a pastel (fried empanada) and sugar cane juice. That's a quintessential Brazilian experience.
FEIRAS LIVRES in Rio:
http://www.rio.rj.gov.br/documents/9...4-6b93a046b57e
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Last edited by boboqui; Apr 23, 19 at 4:51 pm
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Old Apr 24, 19, 5:16 am
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You should be making your schedule around very limited flights from Foz to Rio that will not take up most of a day, instead of a couple of hours. There are only a few direct flights and a couple more with a connection that does not drag out. Flying into the in-town airport SDU saves an hour of travel into the city over GIG.
GOL 5:55 am arrive 7:50 (GIG)
GOL 13:40 arrive 17:10 (SDU)
Latam 16:25 arrive 18:25 (GIG)
GOL 18:35 arrive 20:30 (GIG)
Also I do not recommend flying domestically in Brazil on the same day of your international flight.
Also, I agree that CIuded del Este is an utter waste of time. If you want to get a window into how Brazilians stock their homes, sit on the bus with small store owners (like my friend"s father) for 20 some hours, sitting up, while they wait to see if the bus is going to be stopped by armed thieves and they are going to lose the cash savings they have brought to take care of their families day to day needs. Or on the way back when they might be stopped and boarded, guns pointed, and bus disabled and left in the middle of nowhere, and their merchandise stolen. Is that hot, dirty and messy enough for you?

So:
Days 1-3- Buenos Aires (most of one day ferry to and from Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay) or whatever
Day 4 - fly early AM to Iguacu Falls, spend the day in the Argentine park, and overnight on the Brazil side to avoid any traffic backup at the border the next day
Day 5 - tour Brazilian side (stay IN the Brazil park to get an early start, see Belmond Hotel das Cataratas), see the bird park and fly to Rio
Day 6 - explore Rio
Day 7 - explore Rio, fly to SP
Day 8 - explore SP, fly home in evening
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Old Apr 25, 19, 7:15 pm
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So this is what I now have planned (hotels booked but not domestic flights yet):
Days 1-3- Buenos Aires (most of one day ferry to and from Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay), stay at InterContinental
Day 4 - fly early AM to Iguacu Falls, spend the day in the Argentine park, and overnight at the Belmond
Day 5 - tour Brazilian side, see the bird park, and fly 4PM to Rio, stay at Sofitel Impanema
Day 6 - explore Rio
Day 7 - explore greater Rio
Day 8 - explore Rio, fly 4PM from SDU to GRU, 4-hour layover until 9:15PM flight to NY

Sound better? I know there is some concern about a domestic flight before our flight home, but I get the feeling that we wouldn't get a rewarding experience out of trying to go into Sao Paulo on a 8- or 9-hour layover, and a 4-hour layover seems like an ample cushion.

Thoughts?
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Old Apr 25, 19, 8:35 pm
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If you are not committed, look at Manaus on the Amazon. You can pack a city tour, a boat ride for flora & fauna including nighttime, see how the black & white river meet and flow without mixing for miles etc. I tis well served by GOL a LCC. I am glad you dropped Paraty. Nothing much.....
Just remember in places like Rio the crimes are crimes of opportunity meaning if you are an easy target you are advertising as IT and one who may not have planned it, can still be tempeted to...So no expensive looking jwelry, touristic clothing, cameras, maps or going down dark streets etc. But yes even beaches can be a prolem when lonely.
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