11 days in Brazil - Need Itinerary Suggestions

Old Nov 12th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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11 days in Brazil - Need Itinerary Suggestions

Folks

My son and I are going to Brazil for about 10-12 days. We’ll fly to Sao Palo and spend a few days with my cousin in Santos. We are thinking of spending a few days after that in Sao Paulo then go to Rio and finally to the waterfall area (Iguaçu). My son is 14 years old and has special needs. He likes to swim in the ocean and we tend to do a lot of walking around in the cities, and drive in the country between cities. Does the above itinerary make sense – are there other interesting places we could visit, and finally are 2-3 days in Rio or Sao Paulo, the right amount ( given that we will not be hitting all the typical tourist places). Thanks much for your help.

Safa
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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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I would spend less time in Sao Paulo as it is an incredibly congested city and can be daunting. If you do spend a night there and you rent a car, drive up the coast and spend a couple of nights in Parati. It is halfway between Sao Paulo and Rio. It is a quaint cobblestoned fishing village with wonderful little pousadas, galleries, boutiques, and a lot of charm. I stayed at the Pousada do Ouro in Parati years ago and it was wonderful. If you google Parati - it is sometimes spelled Paraty.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 06:59 AM
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I would agree with spending minimal time in Sao Paulo. I would recommend at least one week in Rio because there's so much to see and do that you will easily fill up your time and it will also meet your needs (swimming the ocean, walking in the city) and there's also the jungle right in Rio called Tijuca.

You only need 2 days for Foz do Iguaçu and you should cross over to Argentina because that side is so much better - one day for that because it's quite big.

Parati is also a good suggestion, I planned to go there but I loved Rio so much that I opted to stay there instead of going to Parati but with 2 weeks you should be able to do both at your leisure.

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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 07:00 AM
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Oops sorry you only have 10-12 days ...I would say you Foz do Iguaçu and Rio would be perfect for that time frame, especially if you are spending time with your cousin ...I wouldn't add anything else.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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hi, i hope you have a great time here. Re where to go, right, Iguacu is great, spend a couple of days, but dont forget a LOT of walking is involved and on argentine side there is a walk with lots of steps, the other 2 are long but all flat.
Right, re swimming, hum, I hate to say this but swimming in Rio is not so easy, there are very strong undercurrents and so you mostly see surfers in the water and few swimmers, only really strong ones, or right in the corners of the bays where you compete with surfers.
Parati is on the way between Sao Paulo and Rio on the coastal road, is a beautiful town and there yes there are lovely bays for swimming, walks, waterfalls etc, and the watrer is warm. Could be a great place for you both. Sao Paulo do a day or so at most. He or you both could try tandem hang gliding here, fab fun. Where are you stayiing in Rio, try Ipanema if you can. If you want any suggestions for rio, parati etc , to do, stay, eat etc please ask, or if you need help with transport, guides etc.
Have fun
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Thanks folks - these are wonderful suggestions. I had given up since I didn't see a response the first day (usually on Fodor's, I get responses within an hour!) Just cam back and saw your great suggestions. It's good to know about the Argentine side - I'll check to see if we need a visa. It's also useful to know that swimming is not that great in Rio maybe well try some other beaches. I am now also tempted to spend a day in the Amazon (not too deep) and the equator- any thoughts on that?

Thanks again

Safa
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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The Amazon is a wonderful place to visit, but you would definitely want to plan for more than a day there. If coming from Rio or SP, it will take half a day just to fly to the general area, then you'd probably need to take a boat to get into the jungle. The Amazon requires at least several days , so you'd do better to stick with Rio/Iguazu this trip.
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Old Nov 25th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Cmn you extend to 14 days including flight days? One full day touring Sao Paulo is really enough and 1 night.Then Iguacu Falls. One day is fine if all you want to do is see the falls but if you'd like to really explore (not excessive trekking) take 2 full days and stay on the Argentinian side. Take the speed air foil over the top of the Falls, exciting for your son, maybe a little scary for you but safe. Take a day trip into Argentina or Uraguary for something special. If you want to to be a little more conservative stay on Brazil side and take a room (a little expensive)at the Sheraton in a Falls View room (WORTH IT) you see the falls from your little balcony. You can spend 1 or 2 full days. Then Perati I think 1 full day & 1 night (maybe morning of a second day) but by noon take off for Rio. I really think 4 full days and 4 nights will do it.One day in Rio take a day trip to to Petropolis (90 minutes as I remember (2001) from Rio) very interesting and can be done leisurely in in 8 hours.
A real experience is to fly from Rio to Manaus and take a cruiser that carries 75-100 guests to Manaus to Belem with 2 stops and land tours (extra cost) but can be super exciting. You need 2 full days for this/3 nights then fly back to Sau Paulo to return home. I must admit The Amazon is hot and humid but a place you will see no where else. Also, you need 75% DEET applied 3 times a day while in the Amazon to keep mosquitos at bay.
Maybe a bit costly trip but we have done the trip twice and it is one of the best trips my wife and I have experienced.
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 11:17 PM
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Thanks StanKase and msteacher. I think I better postpone Amazon for a second trip. Any hotel recommendations on the Argentine side of the falls?

Also, I talked with my cousin today and I think our Itinerary is going to be : 3 days or so in Santos (where he lives) and surrounding areas, then we'll rent a car (or he may come with us, if he can) and go to Parati - I was planning to do a day trip there but it sounds like it makes sense to stay there one night - and then off to Rio for 2-3 days. Then fly from Rio to the falls and finally come in a day early to SP before flying back home. Does this make sense?
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Old Nov 28th, 2007, 02:04 AM
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hi, just to clarify, the sheraton hotel is actually in park on argentine side and the hotel das cataratas eco resort is on brasilian side. / Staying outside the park is cheaper but you're away from the falls, views, noise of water, the park etc. Stay on either side, you can do the trips from either but the walks on argentine side are longer.
Also, why do you want to spend last day in sao paulo ? Id recommend staying on extra day in Rio. There's so much to do. When are you travelling ? Book soon if it's early next year.
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Old Dec 1st, 2007, 04:00 PM
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Luciana, et al

First, I remember from your other posts that you know of a good guide in Rio. We may need one. My cousin has who lives in Santos said he'll come with us if he can, but he is not sure. If he can't make it, we will need a guide there. I understand the hotels offer guides too but I prefer someone who has been recommended. So please let me know if you can help with this (given that we are traveling on Christmas Eve, I am assuming my cousin will need to stay with his family!). Our itinerary is as follows:

Dec 21- Arrive in SP - Drive to Santos
Dec 21-23 Santos and surrounding areas - My cousin will take us around
Dec 24 - Drive to Parati - spend the night there
Dec 25- Take a half day tour of the islands with the boats
Dec 25- Drive on to Rio
Dec 25-28 Rio
Dec 28- Fly to Iguaçu in the morning
Dec 28-30 Iguaçu
Dec 30- Fly to Sao Paulo -
Dec 30-31 Sao Paulo
Dec 31 - Fly back home (11:30 PM)

At Parati, we are going to book www.hotelcoxixo.com.br based on my cousin's recommendation.
In Rio, I have booked Copacabana Palace - I understand that the Ipanema side is better but it seems like Copa is the real Brazilian experience. In Iguaçu I have booked Hotel Das Cataratas, on the Brazilian side, inside the park.

I would love to have feedback from you and others about these hotels and about the itinerary. Thanks much
Safa
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Sounds good but I don't think you have enough time for Rio though (less than 3 days)...it's one of the most amazing cities! I would perhaps skip Parati or go to Rio first to see and if time permits.

You also only need one day (your last day) for Sao Paulo.

I would do something like:

Dec 21- Arrive in SP - Drive to Santos
Dec 21-23 Santos and surrounding areas - My cousin will take us around
Dec 24- Drive on to Rio
Dec 25-28 Rio
Dec 28- Fly to Iguaçu in the evening
Dec 28-30 Iguaçu
Dec 30- Fly to Sao Paulo -in the evening
Dec 30-31 Sao Paulo
Dec 31 - Fly back home (11:30 PM)
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