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Brazil and Argentina in 2 Weeks

Brazil and Argentina in 2 Weeks

Old Dec 23, 12, 10:09 am
  #1  
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Brazil and Argentina in 2 Weeks

My friend and I are going to Brazil and Argentina arriving Sao Paulo March 21 at 10 AM departing April 3 in the evening.

Given our limited time I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on what is worth seeing and potentially leaving out. We're not big on visiting museums or churches (although a few are interesting), instead we tend to prefer exploring the cities as well as natural attractions.

I have a tentative itinerary that puts us at:

Buenos Aires 2 days
Manaus - 3.5 days
Rio - 4 days
Sao Paulo - last 4 days (but probably we'll take 1-2 to see the Iguaçu Falls)

Is Manaus worth a trip up? We'd love to see the Amazon but would a 3 day tour be enough?

I've heard that Sao Paulo isn't exactly a city with much to do for tourists so I would imagine 2 days there would be more than enough?

Any input or recommendations would be most appreciated!!

Mike
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Old Dec 23, 12, 7:27 pm
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Well, if you like natural attractions, definitely see the Iguaçu Falls. I'd go back there anytime instead of Sao Paulo. You can fly to Foz do Iguaçu from Sao Paulo on a domestic flight, cross the border to Argentina and continue from Puerto Iguazu to Buenos Aires again on domestic flight, it may be cheaper this way.
Going to Manaus from Sao Paulo is a long trip and backtracking, if you come from the north. It's worth it, but if you go to a hotel in the jungle (which are usually reachable by boat, so adds to the time). 2 nights at the hotel will be OK, if you don't have enough time. Definitely see the meeting of the waters if you are interested in the Amazon. If you want to see wildlife, I'd suggest the Pantanal instead of the Amazon.
If you see Rio and Buenos Aires, you can totally skip Sao Paulo without losing anything IMO (you have to connect there, but can use an airport hotel to avoid going into the city and the traffic associated with it).
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Old Dec 23, 12, 9:39 pm
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"Manuas 3.5 days" of which 2 full days will be travel to and from Rio or Sao Paulo. Not a good idea.

day 1 arrive Sao Paulo, rest, sightsee
day 2 morning fly Sao Paulo to Foz do Iguacu,
afternoon Brazilian side of park and Bird Park
day 3 Iguazu, Argentine side of park
day 4 morning boat ride under Devil's Throat,
afternoon Puerto Iguazu to Buenos Aires
day 5-8 Buenos Aires
day 9 fly Buenos Aires to Rio
day 10-13 Rio, including day trip to Petropolis or Niteroi
day 14 morning flight Rio to Sao Paulo and evening flight home
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Old Dec 24, 12, 10:07 am
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I am making the same trip

Great minds think alike. We are making the exact same trip. I am looking for cheap flights and accommodation in Rio.

Last edited by nickknock1; Dec 24, 12 at 10:14 am
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Old Dec 24, 12, 10:13 am
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Thanks for the tips guys. We're going to Lollapalooza in Sao Paulo one day which is difficult to plan around. So far it looks like:

Day 1: Arrive Sao Paulo but get on a plane immediately to Buenos Aires (arrive 5 pm)

Day 2: Buenos Aires

Day 3: Buenos Aires and depart for Manaus around 2 PM

Day 4 & 5: Manaus - probably will arrange something with a tour guide

Day 7: Manaus all day and depart for Rio at 5 pm

Day 7 - 10: Rio de Janeiro, depart for Sao Paulo 9 PM on 10th day

Day 11: Lollapalooza

Day 12: Early morning flight to Foz, see the falls

Day 13: Iguaçu Falls and return to Sao Paulo late flight

Day 14: Sao Paulo all day then flight home at 10 PM

I would have preferred to do Foz immediately and go to Buenos Aires through the border there but unfortunately I couldn't get any flights that would work (assuming 1:20 Intl to domestic connection GRU wouldn't be enough).

Definitely will look into day trips to Petropolis or Niteroi.
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Old Dec 24, 12, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by nickknock1 View Post
Great minds think alike. We are making the exact same trip. I am looking for cheap flights and accommodation in Rio.
That's great your also doing the same type of thing. When are you going? We'll have to keep in touch with some info whoever ends up going first.

I have to say I'm not sure there is much in the way of cheap in Brazil. I just got back from Peru and Ecuador and expected prices to be at least in the same ball park but Rio and Sao Paulo in particular have incredibly expensive hotel rates.
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Old Dec 24, 12, 2:41 pm
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More time in Buenos Aires and skip Manaus. It is a hot, ugly city. You need several days from there to visit the jungle properly. Don't try to see the whole country in 10 days. Imagine trying to see the USA in that time. Concentrate on a region and get to know it and relax. As it is you will come back absolutely exhausted.
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Old Dec 24, 12, 5:16 pm
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Heading to Brazil

Hey Mike, I and the family are leaving May 1. We got 3 tickets on US Air from Boston for 30,000 (35,000 minus 5,000 for having the US Air Bank Card). I have not yet gotten the inter travel tickets to Buenos Aires. We plan on going there and a Montevideo excursion. Maybe the falls if we can find decent tickets. The Hotel prices in Rio are crazy, so we are looking into points or AirBNB.
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Old Dec 25, 12, 9:17 am
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ADD me and my friends too!
Buenos Aires and then Rio for us

Mar 23 to Buenos Aires EZE x 3 days
Mar 26 to Sao Paulo only to transit, straight to Rio x 4days

Itinerary still being planned

But yup we are also looking at AirBNB, any suggestions for a location?

We considered Manaus and Sao Paulo but everyone recommended to skip it, especially for newbies, there are lots to see in Buenos Aires and Rio

they said its a waste of time and money (flights) to Manaus

a friend who is originally from Sao Paulo will be with us in Rio - il share his inputs
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Old Dec 25, 12, 9:18 am
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FYI it is Lent Holy week during the last week of March in both countries - there are national holidays in their calendar
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Old Dec 27, 12, 10:40 am
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Now I'm kind of torn on whether the time in Manaus might better be allocated to additional time in Buenos Aires or potentially to go and see Salvador. We'd probably skip Sao Paulo as well if we didn't have our flights and the concert there.

I was looking into points for hotels as well but my Starpoints are pretty much depleted and all I really have right now is American Express Membership Rewards Points (which don't appear to be very useful except to transfer to other programs). The hotels in Buenos Aires aren't so bad but Sao Paulo is just ridiculous and Rio isn't far behind.

flynew, thanks for the heads up about the holidays. Do you know how that affects anything? Will things be busy or closed, etc.?
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Old Dec 27, 12, 5:44 pm
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Amex reward points are the best, for some reason they often give you nice bonus for transferring to various programs.

You can open a new card with a bonus ;-)
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Old Dec 28, 12, 6:48 pm
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Whether to go to Manaus depends on what you plan to see and do there. Do you have time to go to a jungle lodge? Do you want to see the meeting of the Amazon and Rio Negro? If not, there is no need to spend a lot of time to go to Manaus.
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Old Dec 30, 12, 8:30 am
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We just got the last of my tickets. We got tickets from Rio to Iguacu Falls (brazil side). They are only 153 RT on Tam. I then used miles or a ticket from Argentina side to Buenos Aires, Skyteam 20,000. The tickets where very pricey with out points. The whole cross border is a pain, but going to be interesting, plus we will go on a Paraguay outing.
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Old Dec 30, 12, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by neuromancer View Post
Whether to go to Manaus depends on what you plan to see and do there. Do you have time to go to a jungle lodge? Do you want to see the meeting of the Amazon and Rio Negro? If not, there is no need to spend a lot of time to go to Manaus.
I am split between doing a tour with a recommended company like Amazon Gero Tours or simply going to jungle lodge and seeing whats on offer from the hotel. With Gero we wouldn't spend any time in Manaus we'd get on the river right away, see the meeting of the waters and then continue on to mamori basin and probably spend the night in the jungle. We could also do a mini fishing trip and jungle trek with him...it's up to us apparently.

Camping out in the jungle something I'd regret? I nearly froze to death when I slept on the Great Wall of China with a summer sleeping bag a few years back but I'm sure the weather in Brazil will be much warmer.

Originally Posted by nickknock1 View Post
We just got the last of my tickets. We got tickets from Rio to Iguacu Falls (brazil side). They are only 153 RT on Tam. I then used miles or a ticket from Argentina side to Buenos Aires, Skyteam 20,000. The tickets where very pricey with out points. The whole cross border is a pain, but going to be interesting, plus we will go on a Paraguay outing.
We actually ended up paying for our intra-Brazil tickets with a TAM flightpass. It was around $2000 for two people including flights to Buenos Aires, Manaus, Rio and then back to Sao Paulo. The Iguacu Falls is the only part I don't have figured out yet...I may try to add to the flight pass if its not too expensive or just book tickets outright.
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