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Rio and Bahia Over the Christmas/New Years Holiday

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We are a family of three adults planning a last minute trip to Rio over the holidays. So far I am able to secure the fligths and hotels in Rio and Bahia ( or Buzios) Can anyone tell me what they know or think about this time of year in Rio? The hotels? Bahia or Buzios? Any guides, drivers etc. that might be helpful? Safety? Just a few questions :)

We can stay in Rio at the Sheraton Barra Hotel & Suites. The Fasano was booked and this we can do on starwood points which is always helpful. Any thoughts on this hotel? Location?

We are able to get something before New Years in Bahia at Ethnia Pousada & Boutique (not the Club de Mer ) which is reasonable but I am not sure if it is very nice? Or the Uxua Casa Hotel and Spa however this is pricey for five nights. They both can accomodate us before New Years....so what I thought is :
Fly into Rio and go straight to Bahia for a 4-5 nights and come back to Rio for 4-5 nights. Should we stay in Rio over New Years or get out of there? :) I am not such a crowds person and it sounds crazy to me! But someone did say you shouldn't miss it. Maybe I can just watch it from the balcony :)

I am concerned about safety and getting around Rio/Brazil. Wouldn't mind having a driver or guide of some sort if anyone knows of any. If someone could help with this itinerary I can than go on to researching the actual things to do! Fodorites as always thank you for your incredible help!!

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