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Melissa Jul 14th, 1999 01:49 PM

Must See in Brazil
I am going to be flying into Rio soon and I have two weeks for travel. I was wondering what I absolutely MUST see/do while I am in Brazil (in that time frame). <BR> <BR>Are there any suggestions for great/special hotels, restaurants, towns that I shouldn't miss? <BR> <BR>I am traveling with a friend and we are on moderate budgets, but we love to splurge on exotic adventures or incredible meals... <BR> <BR>As I am flying in and out of Rio, should I attempt to go to the Amazon? <BR> <BR>Thanks!!!

Jill Jul 14th, 1999 06:08 PM

Yes, by all means go to the Amazon. I was a tour director in Brazil for over 4 years and got to travel all over Brazil. Best places to visit are Salvador da Bahia, Ouro Preto, Buzios, Parati, the Amazon (Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel), Rio (of course), and don't miss Iguacu Falls. You also might consider the largest wildlife area in the western hemisphere...the Pantanal. <BR>If you need more info on any of the above places, please feel free to email me. Jill

Martha Jul 15th, 1999 12:03 PM

Melissa, I think it depends in large part on whether you want to travel by air or on the ground, since Brazil is such a big country, you really can't get all over it in two weeks on a bus. But Varig has an air pass that you have to buy in this country that would be perfect if you want to go to the Amazon, the falls, etc. I had one several years ago and we did a two week trip from Sao Paulo south to Iguacu falls, then further south to some cities whose names escape me, then all the way up to Bahia (wonderful city, lovely beaches nearby) and then in to Manaus and Amazonia. We could never have done that by bus. But now, if you want to stay within driving distance of Rio, you can also fill up two weeks easily. Parati, a nice coastal city, Ouro Preto in the state of Belo Horizonte has incredible churches and statuary, Itatiaia(a national park with good hiking, good wildlife like monkeys and nice scenery - waterfalls). Either way, you'll have lots of fun.

martha Jul 16th, 1999 07:16 PM

Melissa -- I second the recommendation for the Iguacu falls. We stayed in the Hotel das cataratas, which is right in the national park on the Brazilian side, a short walk to the falls, and the hotel itself is quite nice. Worth a splurge -- we were there in 90 and my kids still talk about the "pink hotel." <BR>

cb Jul 19th, 1999 09:36 AM

Olinda, a UNESCO world heritage site, is near Recife, if you're into that sort of thing. By the way, the beaches in Recife/Boa Viagem is so much better than in Rio and not as touristy. <BR>We were in Brazil in October and Recife was already preparing for their carnival with a pre-carnival celebration. It's a very different kind of celebration- more native, not many tourists.

Marilia Jul 19th, 1999 12:55 PM

Melissa: <BR> <BR>You will begin your trip for the whright place. Rio is wonderfull. It is the Brazilian's post card. If you dont have only two weeds, my suggestion is to enjoy the cities around. There are many marvelous places to visit - like Parati, a historic city, Teresópolis, Petrópolis, Nova Friburgo, Mauá, Lumiar etc. You can also go to Ilha Grande e Ilha Bela (this one at the north litoral of São Paulo). These two islands are the most beautiful places I've ever seen. But it's important to enjoy the main Rio de Janeiro - your beaches, the biggest urban forest of the world - The Tijuca Forest - your night life and beautifull people etc.

Marilia Jul 19th, 1999 01:02 PM

A correction (my english is not very good): in may response above I wanted to say: If you have only two weeks it is better to enjoy the others cities around Rio. Brazil is very big. If you have money enough to travel by plane you can cross the country - no problem. Otherwise I suggest you to elect priorities.

allison Jul 29th, 1999 11:53 AM

you must go to the hippie fair. it is unbelievable if you don't have much money, but love to shop. i am going back to rio for my b-day in feb and i am planning my trip AROUND the hippie fair!

daniel lee Jul 30th, 1999 01:31 PM

hey, <BR> <BR>i fully agree with cb's recommendation of recife/olinda. the beaches of boa viagem are much better than copacabana (flatter and longer). recife and olinda are cultural havens and you will find just about anything here. in olinda you will feel like you are in a time centuries in the past. recife will give you big-city bustle but small-town friendliness. <BR> <BR>although if you have only 2 weeks i recommend spending a good 3 or 4 of them in rio de janeiro itself. you must see the "marvelous city" fully. see my article on it on on august 1st. you can also see my article on recife on <BR> <BR>and learn some portuguese. it is a beautiful language and will help you out immensely if you know some key phrases! <BR> <BR>daniel <BR> <BR>obs brasil e' o melhor!

mario vignaroli Sep 2nd, 1999 09:12 AM

Dear Daniel, <BR> <BR>please can you tell me some more about Recife? Have you any suggestion about a good hotel in Olinda or in some other nice place ? <BR>

cb Sep 9th, 1999 09:13 AM

Mario, <BR>I agree with Daniel that Boa Viagem beaches are preferable to the ones in Rio. Brazilians go to Boa Viagem; in Rio, I saw mostly elderly tourists in string bikinis. In Recife/Boa Viagem, whole families spend Sundays on the beaches and it is very interesting how they spend their Sundays. <BR> We went there in October also; they have this pre-carnival celebration Recifolia with parades, lots of singing, dancing, audience participation - different from the one in Rio, but quite fun. <BR> Do not miss the Golden Chapel in Recife; it's quite a sight. There is also a crafts market (can't remember the name), where you can watch folk dancing like the prevo in the evening. <BR> We stayed at the Atlante Plaza in Boa Viagem but it's not a small hotel. It's right at the beach where we were able to watch fisherman and their jangadas go out to fish.

Diane Sep 11th, 1999 12:09 AM

I have to agree on going to Iguacu Falls. It is one of the most beautiful places we have been to in S.A. However, check first to see if it is the right time of year. When not in rainy season, many of the falls dry up. (We were there in Febr.) In order to see all of the falls and the area, it is also best go to both the Brazilian and Argentian sides.

allison Sep 21st, 1999 01:43 PM

martha: can you give me any info on the air pass with varig? i am going back in feb and would like to go to bahia, but it seems so expensive.

bruce Sep 27th, 1999 11:10 AM

In Rio, you must visit one of the Samba <BR>schools- Manguiera is a good one. <BR>Also if you like to party, Try Ilhe dos <BR>Pescadores on Thursday nights or Sunday <BR>nights.

Sonia Nov 24th, 1999 07:58 PM

Melissa I'm Braziliam!! <BR>My sugestion for you is: <BR>Fly to São Paulo rent a car and go to <BR>Litoral Norte to Maresias beach! <BR>If you want see the most beautyfull beach you can go to Rio across the same road to Maresias. You can find many cottages or rooms. <BR>Enjoy my Country!! <BR>

lola Nov 27th, 1999 01:04 PM

First, you must,must must get an airpass. Speak to a travel agent. You will waste precious time over huge distances any other way--a false economy. Agree with Jill's assessment completely. Can't convey to you how spectacular Iguazu Falls are!! Do not miss this, no matter what.

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