Travel plan for 20 days in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Sep 14, 2012 2:24 PM Last Post By: kirstp85
Sep 9, 2012 9:24 AM
I´m flying in to Buenos Aires in the beginning of january next year and I´ll be staying in 20 days before my flight home from Rio. Hence my plan is to make my way up from Buenos Aires to Rio during this period. I´m now trying to decide were I shall go and for how long and this is where I want some tips. My rough plan is Buenos Aires - Colonia - Buenos Aires - Iguazu - Paraty - Ilha Grande - Rio. As far as I´ve seen is this a pretty standard tourist route. My question is if there´s something on the way I absolutely should not miss (besides the places mentioned above)? How would you arrange this trip as far as where to go and for how long? I´m thinking about something like this:
First I´ll stay five nights in Buenos Aires and then take the ferry to Colonia. Stay there one night and then return to Buenos Aires and take the night bus to Iguazu. There i plan to stay one night. After Iguazu I´ll take a night bus to Paraty, where I stay two nights. After Paraty I´ll go to Ilha Grande where I stay three nights and thereafter five nights in Rio.
What do you reckon about this? Is it too stressful or is it manageable? Do I need more time in Iguazu? Is Paraty and Ilha Grande worth five nights?
I´m thankful for all tips and advices regarding my trip.
Sep 9, 2012 2:11 PM
1I would skip the idea of Uruguay. 20 days just isn't long enough.
I'd keep it simple like BA - Iguazu - Paraty - Ilha Grande - Rio.
I would stay at least 5 days in Rio and BA. So that leaves 10 days for the rest. Iguazu needs 2 days. So that leaves 8 for those two places. Note this doesn't include travel time.
Bus from BA to Iguazu is 18 Hours. Iguazu to Sao Paulo is about the same plus 6 hours to Paraty. I would invest in flights.
Sep 9, 2012 11:11 PM
2Okey. Thanks for your reply!
Regarding taking a flight instead of bus my budget simply doesn´t allow to, so bus it is. But i figure that if I take the night bus from BA to Iguazu I´ll arrive early in the morning (right?), and if I manage to find a bus to Paraty departing late afternoon the day after then I´ll get almost two full days in Iguazu, one on both sides. Don´t you think this is enough? Is a trip to Paraguay worth doing and hence a reason for staying further in Iguazu?
Sep 10, 2012 12:26 AM
3A bus from BA to Iguazu is 600+ pesos (over 100 dollars). You can get a flight for cheaper.
In Brazil, flights are reasonably cheap due to the fact they have a variety of 'cheap budget airlines'.
If you take the night bus from BA to Iguazu, you'll arrive in the middle of the day.
To get to Paraty, you will have to go to Sao Paulo first, and then onwards from there. Buses leave to Rio/Sao Paulo on the Brasil side. So you will have to take into account getting across the border and back, You really do need 2 full days to enjoy it.
Sep 10, 2012 12:02 PM
4We did almost exactly the same trip earlier this year. We had 3 weeks and visited the same places as you plan to, except for Paraty. We just visited Colonia for a day, taking the ferry from BA in the morning and returning in the evening. We found that we had more than enough time to wander round without being rushed as Colonia is a pretty small place.
We took the bus from BA to Iguazu and found it to be cheaper than flying, as well as really comfortable and luxurious (get the fully reclining seats!). However, don't expect to see any interesting scenery!
If you did want to cut some time out then maybe you could lose a day in BA rather than Iguazu. You'd need a full day to see the Argentinian side of the falls and a couple of hours/morning to see the Brazilian side.
Or you could choose one place out of Ilha Grande and Paraty. Ilha Grande was amazing, and we loved the walks, beaches, scenery and atmosphere of the place, however I've heard that there is more culture in Paraty, so I guess it depends what you're looking for.
Sep 10, 2012 2:28 PM
5Be aware that Buses are always late. And after a 20 hour bus ride, you won't be wanting to do a great deal. And you wont see much countryside at night.....
Colonial can be done as a day trip as #5 states. But it needs to be booked in advanced or can cost a bit to get over and back (it was looking at over 100 for a trip there and back over xmas last year).
Sep 10, 2012 7:07 PM
6Nevermind skipping Uruguay, skip Argentina, lol. The Argentine gov/economy is a disaster probly unlike anything you've ever seen in your life. Crime has skyrocketed, and prices of everything have too, especially anything related to tourism, as it's Argentina's last form of acquiring foreign money.
Uruguay's lovely, if a bit slow, and the people are amazing. Brazil's very lively and exciting.
Sep 10, 2012 8:29 PM
Sep 10, 2012 11:17 PM
8Thanks for all the replies! After thinking about it it seems like a good idea to go to Colonia just for the day. But I will definitely not skip Argentina :) I also believe I´m taking two nights in Iguazu. So where to skip one night? I think I cut one of the days in Paraty/Ilha Grande. Four days there in total seems quite okay.
Still anyone who knows any good bus company between Iguazu and Sao Paolo/Paraty?
Sep 11, 2012 8:54 AM
9"The Argentine gov/economy is a disaster probly unlike anything you've ever seen in your life. Crime has skyrocketed, and prices of everything have too, especially anything related to tourism, as it's Argentina's last form of acquiring foreign money."
Sep 11, 2012 10:57 AM
Sep 11, 2012 2:04 PM
Sep 12, 2012 10:58 AM
12On our first day in BA (in April 2012) my husband got pickpocketed on the underground (Subte). Yes, of course this can happen in any large city in the world but we've been to many (Moscow, Barcelona, London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing etc) and this was the first time something like this has been tried on us.
Basically a man was being sick all over the carriage, moving around madly, his accomplice distracted people, we were split up, everyone in the train was crushed tightly together, the train stopped, we were at a station, he noticed his phone was missing and the offenders legged it. This all happened within a matter of seconds, so it was difficult to take in until it was too late. My bag had also been undone but my valuables were stashed in pockets inside pockets so I was luckily ok. From having read online (after the event) it seems that this is a fairly common stunt on the underground, and specifically the line we were on. The police didn't seem to take it seriously and took minimal details about it.
Yes, this event did make us paranoid and wary the whole time we were in BA, but rightly so. It did seem unsafe compared to other cities we've visited, particularly after dark. No wonder all locals with any money take taxis everywhere! I would advise you to do the same. Having read horror stories about crime in Rio before we went, Rio seemed completely safe, including the underground and travelling by bus at night.
I agree with those saying don't let this put you off. However, like in any city, beware! Definitely don't miss out on Iguazu whatever you do!
Have a great time!
Sep 13, 2012 10:28 PM
13BTW, not trying to start an argument or anything. But Brazil USED to be more expensive than Argentina, like a year ago, now Argentina's more expensive, just barely.
And along with Kirstp85's experience, I've traveled the world, even Guatemala and Mexico, and I never saw as much thievery, casualties, hate against America/UK, and threats against my person as I did in Argentina. One person from our hostel in the centro of BA came back in just his boxers, robbed of EVERYTHING, including his clothes, another girl came back with her head cracked open. Some guys tried to rob my cousin and I on the way to the bus station, and I had to fend them off with a knife. And the entire time I was there, people couldn't help talk about how much they hate USA and UK, which is just plain offensive to Americans and Brits, when we weren't saying that we hate Argies, where does that even come from? I mean, what kind of person says to another person, "btw, i hate your country"?
And the day after I rode the metro there, it smashed and killed 49 people!
Edited by: SummerOfGeorge
Sep 14, 2012 12:11 AM
14George - I went to both recently, and found Brazil to be more expensive. But only just. I guess this is dependent on how you spend your money, but they were quite similar, though Hostels are more pricier in the tourist parts of Brazil.
And there is also a thing called 'freedom of speech' that Americans so rightly defend. I am not arguing about that. But if we all have this freedom of speech, than isn't every person entitled to their opinions? That being said, there should be no I hate x country. But sadly we live in a world where this occurs. And on a daily basis.
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