Three weeks in Brazil - yes, an itinerary question!
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jan 26, 2013 7:57 PM Last Post By: dagaspar
Jan 24, 2013 9:09 PM
Three weeks in Brazil - yes, an itinerary question!Hello
Yes, I'm going to Brazil!
I arrive in Rio on February 8, and fly out of Rio on March 3, for a total stay of 23 nights. I have booked a hostel in Rio (The Mango Tree), and have already paid for 7 nights (this was required, although I may only stay 6 nights, still to be determined). My final night (March 2) I understandably want to be back in Rio for my flight the next day. Aside from that, I haven't yet finalised an itinerary.
In Rio I will want to attend the Sambadrone one night; if possible, attend a football game (I haven't yet looked up any schedule); maybe do a day trip to Petropolis (if I have time, and if it's worthwhile); enjoy Ipanema beach; do the usual sightseeing.
I was thinking, after Rio, of perhaps spending a couple of nights on Ilha Grande. Better than Paraty? Then, maybe arrange for a flight from Sao Paulo for two nights in Iguacu Falls (an absolute must for me). After that...well, I'm not sure.
I don't think I need to visit Brasilia. I suspect Florianopolis is too out of the way. And it seems as though the Amazon is not going to happen, what with distances and weather (and this is fine, as I have previously visited the Amazon in Peru). Instead, I think I might try to get a flight back northeast to Salvador (another must-see), and spend at least a few nights there. I would still then have about a week to see and do more. My own interests are mainly cultural. I'm going to Brazil to experience a completely different country; to take photos of picturesque towns; eat some different food; go to bars and watch live music.
I was wondering about Ouro Preto for a couple of nights; perhaps see the Jesuit missions of the Guaranis? That sounds good for me. Anything else that you could suggest?
I want to be able to experience as much as I can, but I'm more than willing to stay put and enjoy a particular location.
Thank you for responses.
Jan 25, 2013 4:04 AM
1OK - food and picturesque towns? Culture? Give Minas Gerais some thought! It's a huge state due north of Rio and São Paulo states, and has some truly gorgeous historical towns related to mining. The most famous of all is Ouro Preto, which is as gorgeous as everyone says, although Tiradentes and Sã João del Reo could be worth a look. It's slightly out of the way, about 7 hours.
This may or may not appeal - but it's worth taking a look online, seeing if that sort of place would interest you. Minas is also a wonderful place to stuff yourself full of delicious food. Mineiros are famously welcoming and friendly. Highly recommended.
Everyone goes on and on about Salvador. Yes, the Pelourinho is impressive but while I enjoyed the city I was left a little underwhelmed. São Paulo is a concrete metropolis but with plenty of good food and some great culture (museums, galleries, theatres). Many diss it but I love it - spent two weeks there brushing up on my Portuguese.
Whatever you do, take time to savour Brazil and try not to cram too much in. It's a fabulous country best enjoyed "devagar" (slowly)! Below is a link to the blog entry I wrote after visiting Minas Gerais. There are also entries on Salvador, Rio etc. if you want inspiration.
Very happy travels!!
Jan 25, 2013 5:24 AM
2Florianopolis if you want to enjoy beautiful beaches and discover the Azorean culture of the first settlers that colonized the island. While in Santa Catarina, you can also visit other cities that were colonized by Germans and Italians. But I'm not sure if this kind of culture would interest you, because it's mainly European, it's different from the culture that you can see in the Northeast (Salvador) or Rio, for example.
Jan 25, 2013 5:53 AM
3How old are you?
Don't loose time going to Petrópolis... it's really not worth it. Instead, enjoy the street carnival in Rio! If you're are interested in brazilian music, you won't be disapointed. Rio's carnival is not only the Sambodrome.
Ilha Grande and Paraty are on the way to São Paulo... you should check it out. Than you can fly from São Paulo to Iguazu.
Food + Music + Culture = Salvador. I would spend a couple of days there. After it, you can travel to Rio, passing thru Ouro Preto or other city in Minas Gerais.
I think it's a doable itinerary for three weeks.
Jan 25, 2013 6:00 AM
4There will be a good game to watch on February 9th. Two very traditional teams from Rio, Fluminense and Vasco, are going to play.
Fluminense was the last national champion. If you really like football, you should check it out. However, don't expect it to be crowded, like you might have seen on TV or on Youtube. Things are still slow in the beggining of the year.
Fluminense x Vasco
5 PM on Engenhão Station. (Take the metro until Central Station, and from there, take the train until Engenho de Dentro Station. The stadium is across the street.)
Jan 25, 2013 7:59 AM
5I'd either keep Salvador for the end of the trip, giving time for the city in whose streets millions party during Carnaval to recover and clean up, or go right after Carnaval directly to Morro do Sao Paulo for Ressaca if you are still in the mood to party at the beach after Rio and come back through Salvador to see the city.
I concur with #1 about Minas.
If you go to Ilha Grande on your way to S.P. for Iguacu, at least stop in Paraty long enough to see the Colonial center.
While in Rio, take the ferry across to Niteroi and hit up one of the beaches (Itacoatiara maybe) over there. Likely a bit quieter. Take your camera--great views of Rio form the other side of the bay.
Jan 26, 2013 7:57 PM
6Thanks, everyone, for your responses!
I'm 44, single, and consider myself an experienced traveler.
I'm looking forward to Rio, and will try to find out more about available football matches. Thanks for the tip!
Last night I was trying to find places to stay in Ilha Grande and they're so expensive! I'd rather not have to stay in a dorm room after leaving Rio; I want my own room! I may need to skip it and check out Paraty.
I'm not sure about Sao Paulo. I think I may just use its airport to head south. And from the Falls I do want to then head to Salvador. But I am looking into heading from Salvador to a place like Ouro Preto. And then from there return to Rio for my final night. Again, thanks for the recommendations.
I'm going to continue going through guidebooks and coming back here for ideas.
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