2 weeks of travel: what to see and do?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 13, 2012 6:10 PM Last Post By: mstep
Nov 10, 2012 7:25 AM
2 weeks of travel: what to see and do?Hi,
I just moved to Porto Alegre from living in Spain. My girlfriend is coming for Christmas and we want to spend ~2 weeks traveling.
I am dead set on ~1 week in/around Rio (including New Year) and 1 week somewhere else. I would really appreciate suggestions for our stay in Rio (what to see, where to go, what to skip) and also for the other week.
I think that 1 other destination is about all we can manage, and I was thinking of Salvador de Bahia. Ideas or alternatives are great. Maybe Florianopolis? Manaus or the north coast just seems too far for a week trip and it seems better to leave that for a longer visit.
We like outdoors activities, but also interesting cultural sights and architecture.
Nov 10, 2012 11:29 AM
1outdoors activities, but also interesting cultural sights and architecture = Salvador
Have you already booked your accomodation for the NYE in Rio? You should do it as soon as possible.
Nov 10, 2012 2:54 PM
Nov 10, 2012 2:59 PM
3Salvador fits the bill (you have a few great areas nearby like Itacare if you want to get away from it).
However, if you wanted to, you could stay in RJ and go to Ilha Grande and Paraty. Or even Trindade.
Book your accom for RIo now. And be prepared for a hefty price. I booked my accom not long ago, cost 500USD for 5 nights in a hostel. So do it asap.
Nov 10, 2012 7:12 PM
4I agree, a combo trip to Paraty and Isla Grande would make a great 1 week itinerary; that includes history, beaches and hiking opportunities. Alternatively go to Salvador, then take a boat to Morro de São Paulo. That gives you a lot of history, wonderful food, and a memorable trip across the ocean to the island.
And yes, New Years reservations for Rio are essential and accomodations are very expensive that week.
Nov 11, 2012 1:11 PM
5I think 1 week in/around Rio during the NYE isn´t much...
First of all you need to have in mind that you´re going to reserve almost two complete days for your NYE celebration. In December 31st the entire city will stop to welcome the new year and in January 1st you won´t see much going on.
Therefore, you would have only five days to get to know Rio and the surroundings... I would consider choosing between Ilha Grande and Paraty, instead of going to both of them.
Nov 11, 2012 2:47 PM
Nov 11, 2012 3:37 PM
Nov 13, 2012 2:25 AM
8Florianópolis definitely, I'm from Manaus if you lucky you can find good prices to fly there...It's rare but not impossible
Nov 13, 2012 8:11 AM
9Oh, I thought I had replied already, but the system must have eaten it, or I never pressed post or something.
Thank you for all the replies. I will definitely book the hotel asap, I had not realized Rio was such a popular destination for NYE. Most affordable accomodation already seems to be full. I contacted some of the hostels and also B&Bs, and the Maze Inn says they still have a room. It sounds like a great B&B, but I am worried about the location. Despite my searches all indicating that Favela Tavares Bastos is safe, I was wondering how safe that means it is. Will taxis go there (at any time)? It is far from the beaches and other tourist attractions, meaning we will probably only come back there after dark, is that okay, or should we rather search for something else?
If I understand you correctly, then it would be rushed to try to combine Rio with Paraty and Ilha Grande in a single week. We'll arrive the 23rd late at night, giving us the 24th til the 30th to sightsee. Would it be advisable to try to get a day trip to Ouro Preto or some other interesting place in this trip? I am having a hard time filling all the days with things to see in Rio:
1 day for Copacabana beach and neighbourhood.
1 day for Ipanema beach and neighbourhood.
1 day for Pao de Açucar (we plan to hike + climb up).
1 day for Tijuca park + Corcovada.
1 day in the old center.
It seems to leave time to visit something else. Maybe Petropolis? However, we like the look of Ouro Preto and if it's possible to get there in a day it would be nice.
After talking it over, we decided that traveling down the coast the second week sounds like a really great idea. Is there any point in planning to spend some days in Sao Paolo at the end? Or is it just a big noisy city with nothing much to recommend staying there if you don't have a reason to?
Thanks again for all the advice :)
Nov 13, 2012 8:31 AM
10Tavares Bastos is a small favela, however, The HQ of the BOPE (Special Operations Battalion of Rio's Militar Police) is there, so that's one of the safest places in town, if not THE safest. lol
Taxis will go there and there are two metro stations near it (around 20 minutes walking), Catete Station and Largo do Machado Station. Both are like 5/6 stations from Ipanema Beach. It's also close to Lapa, the Sugar Loaf and the Christ Statue.
Paraty in one day is doable, but you will face a 4 hours bus ride to get there. Ilha Grande isn't... only one day there is nothing.
I would just stay and enjoy Rio the entire week. This time of the year is full of events to keep you occupied. For example, there will be a Stevie Wonder concert for free in Copacabana Beach in December 25th. Moreover, there are lots of Samba Schools rehearsals, probably some "blocos" as well.
Any doubst, just ask.
Nov 13, 2012 6:10 PM
11Sao Paulo is not a really good idea for someone with only 2 weeks for Brazil. The city has a lot to offer, and many green spots, but you could never crack the code and be able to enjoy it with only 2 days. And I think, like a lot of people not familiar with Brazil, you're still underestimating the distances involved. Ouro Preto is a 5-6 hour bus ride one way from Rio, maybe longer if encountering rush hour traffic.
But after Rio, one week is a good time frame to do both Paraty and Isla Grande along the south coast. That would allow adequate time to get back to the Rio airport.
As for Rio, tourists generally go up to Pao de Açucar by cable car. I'm sure technical climbers sometimes go up with the proper equiptment, but there is no hiking. And as for the B&B in Favela Tavares Bastos, do you understand what a favela is? It's a hilltop slum, established by the urban poor squatting on public land. I know that many areas of Rio are considered much safer than they were 10 years ago, but historically favelas have been extraordinarily unsafe.
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