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Trip to Brazil

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Hello -

A friend and I are planning a trip (first time) to Brazil (RIO) end of January 2012. We have been searching online and are talking to a travel agent as well, but I would like to see if anyone (veterans of brazil) have any tips or recommendations for us rookies. We are freshly 30 and want to experience the mecca known as Brazil before we become seriosuly involved with anyone. Obviously we are looking for the best beaches in Rio, along with culture and of course women. Any information would be helpful - especially tips on which hotels are good - obviously you cant really tell from what they put online, because they all say they are fantastic, when that is not the case. We will be there for 8 nights and would like to explore as much as possible, but not bankrupt ourselves. This has been a long time coming for myself and I.. WE want to make the best of it, but I have heard horror stories, as well as AMAZING stories... im trying to make this an amazing one.

Thanks in advance -
RPM

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