2 Weeks in Rio in Nov End

Old Aug 9th, 2016, 12:56 PM
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2 Weeks in Rio in Nov End

Hello All,

Before I begin, let me say I've done a fair amount of homework and know the places I want to see - so not coming here with a blank slate [I know how much of a pet peeve it is for some ]
So, I plan on visiting Brazil in November (tentatively Nov 18-Dec3) and below are the categories of things I am most interested:
1. City Tours
2. Night Life
3. Beaches
4. Nearby Sights
That being said, here are the things I am planning to hit for each of the categories:
City Tours: Guided walking tours of Rio, Santa Teresa. Bike tours. Day trip to Sao Paulo
Beaches: Lablon, Copacabana, Ipanema (at least 2 days in a row - more walking/eating/drinking than playing in water)
Night Life: Bars, Clubs, Wine Bars, Salsa/Dance
Sights: Sugarloaf, Redeemer, Vista Chinesa

What else could I possibly fit in? I am 36/m/traveling solo. I don't mind a slightly packed schedule if it's worth it. Also, can you please suggest some safe nightlife districts - for dinner/drinks? I'll mostly likely be staying in downtown Rio - so places that are easily accessible (either cheap taxi rides or metro) would be nice.

I am debating whether to include Iguaca Falls since I've heard you need 2-3 days for it including travel time. Also, in general, can you please suggest some nice restaurants, bars etc in Rio?

Based on the weather reports, looks like it might be slightly on the warmer side - which I don't mind as long as there is not much rain. Any idea how busy the beaches will be during this time frame?

I know I asked too many Qs.

Thank you!
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 02:43 PM
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“….here are the things I am planning to hit for each of the categories:
City Tours: Guided walking tours of Rio, Santa Teresa.”

Santa Teresa IS Rio, a neighborhood of Rio. A tour of the Colonial architecture in the Centro might interest you too.

“Bike tours.” There is a popular bike path next to the beach. Riding in city traffic is not advised. One new bike path going further south from the Zona Sul beaches collapsed recently. Good luck.

“Day trip to Sao Paulo”
It’s NOT a touristic city. One day is too little to discover what it does have to offer. Use the time for the falls, which DO take 2 full days not including travel.

Beaches: Lablon, Copacabana, Ipanema (at least 2 days in a row - more walking/eating/drinking than playing in water)”
This is essentially one long stretch of beach. The fun is in discovering the character of each of the ‘Postos’.

“Night Life: Bars, Clubs, Wine Bars, Salsa/Dance

Lots of little bars, called ‘botecos’ everywhere.

Most Brazilians drink beer and/or ‘cachaca’; wine is only popular among a certain crowd.

Lapa is a great neighborhood for listening to live samba, and maybe dancing with the locals. There is a partnered samba called ‘samba gafiera’ that is danced in clubs (not what you see at Carnaval). Carioca da Gema is a nice little club, and Scenarium is bigger and flashier. Or try the BipBip Bar in Copacabana. There are also clubs
for "international" music (i.e. the stuff you can get at home), but I don’t know them ‘cause it’s not what I like to do in Brazil.

Salsa is not a Brazilian rhythm; there are so many unique to Brazil that you should concentrate on them, although you can probably find some studio that has salsa. (Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish, btw)

“Sights: Sugarloaf, Redeemer, Vista Chinesa”

You need clear weather. That's not always the case at that time of year. It's also likely to be more than "slightly" hot and humid.Also, don’t try to do more than one per day; they’re much the same, with slightly different views. IMO the train up to the Cristo is fun, more than the van. The Sugarloaf has monkeys and buzzards to watch too. You can take a taxi form your hotel to the base stations for the two heights, and get a taxi driver to take you up into the Tijuca forest to the vista points. You might see some spider monkeys near the road.

What else could you fit in? With 2 weeks? Quite a bit. Maybe a side trip to Salvador (2 hour flight) and that area of Bahia. Or a trip to Ilha Grande and Paraty. Day trip to Petropolis or Paqueta. Day trip to beaches like Prainha.
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 01:42 PM
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Thank you.

Can you please suggest a few more ideas for 'day trips' from Rio. Essentially, I want to be able to return to my hotel room for the night. If you could also suggest some economical transport options.
Also, the other change I am making to my itinerary (after reading a lot of posts here) is: dropping the waterfalls and instead making a trip to Salvador. I am planning on spending 2 days and 1 night in Salvador. Any suggestions?
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 06:37 PM
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I've suggested the day trips that are reasonable. Other than that the time/distance make for overnight trips.

Look for oval yellow taxis with their cooperative name and phone number on the back fender. Cheapish safe way to get around to the sights.

For Salvador, take a look at the site www.salvadorcentral.com

The main sights are in the historic district of Pelourinho. Add the Solar de Uniao (former sugar plantation, now modern art museum) by taxi and the Church of Bonfim. See the room of miracles there and get a ribbon on your wrist. Try some acaraje and a moqueca, typical Bahian food. Go hear some music or see the Bale Folclorico at night.
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 04:25 AM
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You might want to consider planning enough time to also experience dome of the spectacular beaches around Salvador, such as Morro do São Paulo, Boipeba, Barra Grande on Marau, Jacuipe, Praia do Forte, etc

Also, if you like the unique music styles of Bahia, one night in the city may not be sufficient. The "ensaios" (rehearsal concerts) for Salvador's Carnaval start in their full intensity at the end of November.
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 04:28 AM
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And that was "regular" yellow taxis (in the post above), not what the auto correct changed it to
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