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ibiza_girl25 Jun 26th, 2007 06:32 PM

Help With Brazil Itinerary!
 
Hello-
My husband and I are planning a trip to Brazil in December/january and would like some help! After much reading the places that strike my interest the most are:
1. Rio
2. San Paulo
3. Iguacu Falls
4. Belem
5. Manaus
The last two especially because we want to take some Amazon cruises, not a cruise between the two cities since we won't have enough time. We have about 2 weeks for this trip!

Any advice on timing, how long should we spend in each city?
What is the best way to get from city to city?
Any good travel agents for setting up cruises in the Amazon?
What cruises or day trips from Belem or Manhaus are good for seeing the Amazon??
Any good hotels in any of these cities..price range under $200 a night??

Thanks so much! Any advice would be great!

blueline Jun 26th, 2007 10:12 PM

Hi, the best thing to do is go to your travel agent and see about buying a Brazilian sirpass for your Brazil domestic travel. December and January are high season, so book early.

blueline Jun 26th, 2007 10:13 PM

That should be Brazil Airpass.

Rio_Gal Jun 27th, 2007 12:25 AM

You should talk to a travel agent who is an expert in travel to Brazil. You should get on an organized tour that will take you to several different cities and locations. I do not recommend that you travel to Brazil by yourselves. It is one of the most dangerous locations to go to nowadays. I lived in Rio for 10 years and have traveled to Brazil over the last 30 but it is not as safe as it used to be. The Iguacu Falls is one of the safest areas you mention you would like to go to. Rio and Sao Paulo are very dangerous. Do not wear any jewlery while traveling in Brazil or take anything that looks like it is valuable. The best place to stay in Rio is a well-known hotel like the Copacabana Palace or one in Ipanema. I do not recommend the Sheraton because it is near a very dangerous slum in Rio. You can purchase a Brazil airpass for Tam Airlines and travel from city to city. Contact the Brazilian Consulate, in San Francisco or LA for example, to get the list of some travel agents who specialize in travel to Brazil. You can also check out www.brazzil.com for some more info.

gypsyluce Jun 27th, 2007 05:04 AM

hi, just wondering why the interest in going to Sao Paulo. It's a big city like any other, you could be anywhere in the world. It has good nightlife and shopping but that you can get anywhere. Dont waste time there. Dont forget Brasil is very big so you dont want to spend hours travelling and in airports. Its mid summer so will be hot too. Where are you flying from ?
I would recommend at least one night in iguazu, you'll need a day and a half or 2 to see completely, do boat trip up falls etc. In Rio 3 nights, it's realy not as bad as the press says, sure it has problems, but in the general tourist area if youre carefl shoudl be fine. Though its true you shouldnt wear anything that will attract attention. Get a guide to take you round for a day to see the main sites so you can take your camera etc and feel safe at all times about this, and then the other days go to beach, see botanical gardens etc, closer by.
In Manaus I recommend www.maiaexpeditions.com
I have worked with max various times and he apart from being well connected and from that area, has a lodge in the amazon, small, simple but lovely. Dont expect a safari, the animals and birds are shy and it's the middle of the jungle. Trees are very high. You will see wildlife but not all the time.
Give me an idea of your interests and Ill see how I can help you. A great tour operator that does specialized tours in South America is veloso tours:
www.velosotours.com
Have a look at their site.
Hope this helps. If I can help any more let me know. Best wishes,

ibiza_girl25 Jun 28th, 2007 12:29 PM

Thanks for your help! my other question is, how important is using a travel agent there? I have traveled many places and have never used a travel agents, I really prefer to do all the planning myself...so is a tour agent more helpful or is it needed?


ibiza_girl25 Jun 28th, 2007 12:37 PM

thanks gypysluce!
our main interests are definitly Rio, the falls, and the amazon, whether it be manhaus or belem or even both...we just want to be able to experience some of it...so if one is better than the other thats good to know! what about brasilia or salvador....i hear they are nice places to visit as well...especially if we should skip san paulo...

gypsyluce Jun 28th, 2007 01:14 PM

HIya again
right, Brasilia, you'll prob stop over there on way to manaus, worth stopping there only if you're fan of arquitecture, its a modern and planned city, you can ee the main sites in an afternoon, or morning.
As for Salvador, its good for nightlife, colonial arquitecture, churches, people watching, live music, especially on a tuesday or sunday. A lively town, but you do have to be aware of pickpockets and beggars etc.
But a great and interesting city.
You can do it without a travel agent but you need to get an airpass to make the prices better. Internal flights here are not really cheap, and distances are large. I wouldnt recommend arriving in manaus without things being booked previously. Lodges are small and fill quite quickly. Max from maia expeditions has boats apart from the lodge. He'll be able to help you out. Its worth spending a day or half in Manaus to see the sites there.
The folclore show in town at iguacu is meant to be very good too.
Let me know if I can help more.

gypsyluce Jun 29th, 2007 12:52 PM

hi, maybe you can fly straight to Manaus, then from there to salvador , if choose to go there, stay in historical part of town, possibly pousada del pilar( i'll check that for you ) especially if will be there overnight tuesday, or sunday, and then to Rio, or to iguacu, and then out from either back home. Try save flying time.

gypsyluce Jun 29th, 2007 01:10 PM

have a look at this for salvador
http://www.bahia-online.net/happenings.htm

will give you idea of entertainment, nightly, hotels, tours etc

msteacher Jun 29th, 2007 01:50 PM

As mentioned above, you will need to fly from one location to another, and most flights in Brazil seem not to be direct (they often stop in Brasilia or SP). So be sure to factor in a day of flying between each location as you plan your trip.

Iguazu is a definite must see. Be sure to get over to the Argentine side too. Rio and Salvador are both fabulous, fun cities that I highly reccommend. Manaus itself is not that exciting, but a great place to catch an Amazon cruise or boat ride to a jungle lodge. I really enjoyed Acajatuba lodge as well as the Amazon Clipper cruise. You will need to be sure to book the Amazon portion of your trip in advance, but shouldn't need a travel agent to do the whole trip. You can book most things on your own using the internet.

Brazil is wonderful... you'll have a blast!

tower Jun 29th, 2007 02:11 PM

Ibiza:

One of the most colorful and exciting journeys we have ever taken Started in Chile, driving for two weeks, ended up in Bariloche and flew to BA...a week later we did Iguazu (Brazilian side) and then flew to Rio for four days....enjoyed immensely...then had booked a four day trip from Manaus into the Rio Negro and the Amazon...great...did it with a local guide who arranged the boat...he usually works with 16 passenger riverboat, but only had three reserve this particular trip and we ended up with a motor launch that had two cabins. Indescribable experience.

If the Ouro Verde boutique type hotel across from the beach in Rio is still open, I highly recommend it. And in Iguacu (The Das Cataratas colonial gem of a hotel, with great views of the falls).

Stu T. (I have pics that i can scan and send..need e-mail) [email protected]


http://www.wotif.com/hotels/ouro-verde-hotel.html

ibiza_girl25 Jun 29th, 2007 09:38 PM

Thanks everyone for your help! I really appreciate it! So it looks like my itinerary will be Rio, Manhaus, Brasilia (maybe), salvador, and of course the falls! this will help because we will be flying much less and thus saving time! thanks for the hotel ideas and tower I would love to see your pics from your trip...my email is [email protected]

I have another question now...is flying down to BA worth it this trip or should that be saved for another trip to South America?

Thanks again everyone!

gypsyluce Jun 30th, 2007 04:55 AM

hi again, right re BA, it all depends on how long you have. BA could be done at a later date then you could do bariloche, the lakes etc, and possibly go south to patagonia, see the whales etc. Lots to do in argentina too and many days cn be spent in buenos aires.
The ouro verde hotel is still open, but im not sure what its like now, but I can let you know.
As time gets closer I can give you tips for rio etc, restaurants, things to see and do, guides etc. Feel free to ask. Come prepared for hot weather and humid in amazon.

msteacher Jun 30th, 2007 08:00 AM

BA ia a wonderful city that you would certainly enjoy. However, if you only have two weeks, I'd be concerned about trying to pack too much into one trip. You want to be sure you have enough time in each location to really enjoy it.

ibiza_girl25 Jul 1st, 2007 09:53 AM

Hi again! Another question! I have been looking into info for Manaus and am trying to figure out which is better..should we do one of the 3-4 day cruises on the clipper or another boat. Or should be do 3-4 days at a jungle lodge where they do different activities and smaller cruises easch day? Both seem great, but which one is going to be more fun and interesting?

thanks again

msteacher Jul 1st, 2007 11:23 AM

I did both last summer.. you'll have fun either way, but personally I preferred the jungle lodge. It seemed like a more "authentic" jungle experience for me. We stayed at Acajatuba lodge, which I highly reccommend. The guides were extremely knowlegeable and the lodge was well-run. For the cruise, we took the Clipper Premium... if you like your creature comforts, this is the way to go. The ship was definitly much more luxurious than the lodge. We also were more physically active at the lodge(hikes, etc.) so that may factor into your decision too.


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