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Need help in Planning South American Honeymoon Argentina + Brazil

Need help in Planning South American Honeymoon Argentina + Brazil

Jul 13th, 2013, 04:04 AM
  #1  
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Need help in Planning South American Honeymoon Argentina + Brazil

Hi Guys, I'm planning a honeymoon to South America, leaving India on the 26th of December and hopefully staying there for 2 weeks then going on to London for another week. My questions are : -

1) Which place should I visit first? This is important, because I'll be spending the new years there.

2) Apart from Rio and Sao Paulo, what places should I visit in Brazil, while keeping it as relaxed as possible.

3) What places should I visit in Argentina?

4) Will a week in each place suffice? I could always extend the trip by a few days or even cut short my London visit.

I think 3 cities in each country should be enough, also looking for mainly 4* hotels. My budget is $10-12k for 2 people all inclusive. I've been looking on lonely planet and stuff, but totally getting lost in it... lol. My Fiance isn't being too helpful either, by leaving all the planning on me. We want a beachy kind of trip, but how much of the beach can you handle in one trip? Need to break it up a bit with some nature and city visits too.

Please help,
Lost and confused.
hansveerc is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 08:48 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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I wouldn't want to spend my honeymoon in Sao Paulo, especially if you mention the word "relax". If you want beach and have those budgets, I would consider Buzios or Arraial D'ajuda in addition to Rio. Also be prepared, its going to be HOT.

For Argentina, I would recommend going to Bariloche or deeper into Patagonia. Of course you want to spend at least a few days in BA as well. Another alternative for Argentina would be to head up north to the Salta region. Also very beautiful and its nature like you have never seen!

As far as all-inclusive 4 start hotels, I wouldn't waste my money on that, I would hop on airbnb and rent a luxury apartment or really pimped out house / cabin (for Patagonia). You are going to be eating out at restaurants anyways (you would be a fool not to with the culinary options at your disposal). I just think all-inclusive is a waste - if you want that, go to Mexico or some place similar.

Make sure to bring plenty of US dollars to Argentina and enjoy your honeymoon!
posty is offline  
Jul 13th, 2013, 02:15 PM
  #3  
 
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I pretty much agree with what posts has said. I have visited Brazil only briefly so can't really comment. As far as Argentina is concerned, it is not really a beach place. IMHO a week in each place is not nearly enough. I would spend the two weeks in one country which, for me, would be Argentina. Patagonia is magnificent but is really all about scenery and nature. Salta in the NW is one of my all time favourite places in the world, but, again, is all about scenery, food and wine.. There are some great places to stay and eat so I agree with posts, don't waste your time and money 4 * places there are some great places to eat and stay that just need a little research.

Here is a link to my 2008 blog. It is getting a bit old now but should provide a few ideas if nothing else.

Argentina starts at # 70

If you are from India then you are no doubt used to the heat but do check out the weather in South America as it can be fierce and vary widely from place to place
crellston is offline  
Jul 14th, 2013, 11:32 PM
  #4  
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Thanks fr your replies. I'll try looking on airbnb if I find anything I like, but I don't want to give up on the luxury a hotel has to offer like room service, pools, club facilities, etc... Also, I'll limit myself to one country for 2 weeks and take a cruise from there if possible. I'll look at all the cruises leaving from Rio and see if anything catches my fancy. Can you please elaborate more on which Brazilian cities I should consider? I'm pretty concerned about safety issues.
hansveerc is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 01:53 AM
  #5  
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So..... After a "LOT" of research, I've decided... I'm gonna do Rio and Salvador. Spend 10 days in each place. From rio I'll drive to Paraty and Bzios and I'm still dicey about Salvador. I believe there's a 3 day cruise I can go on from there and I could have a look at the falls too. Then back to rio and flight to London.
hansveerc is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 05:43 AM
  #6  
 
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"1) Which place should I visit first? This is important, because I'll be spending the new years there."
The most exciting place in Brazil to spend Reveillon (NYE) is Rio with its huge fireworks display onthe beach in Copacabana.
http://ayrton.com/360/fs/pages/reveillon2009.html
If you can still find hotel speace, this might be very exciting.
Also keep in mind that many Brazilians travel during this time and most any popular place (read: anyplace ever mentioned in a guidebook in any language)book multi-night pacakges, quickly and at about this time of year ahead.

2) Apart from Rio and Sao Paulo, what places should I visit in Brazil, while keeping it as relaxed as possible.
I would not linger in Sao Paulo one minute more than necessary.
Do a side trip to Iguacu falls (flying from Rio or S.P.) if that is a priority.
If you want to set aside 5 days (2 to travel, 3 to tour), you could see some animals in the Pantanal from a fazenda (ranch).
The other particularly historically and artistically rich area to recommend includes the many Colonial towns in the beautiful mountains of Minas Gerais state.

Spend 4-5 days exploring Rio (perhaps with day trips to Petropolis, over to Niteroi by ferry, to one of the beaches on the southern edge--Joa, Prainha, etc--, maybe go over to Paqueta island) and then start up the coast, leaving about 4-5 days for Salvador itself and the bay area (inc. rural Itaparica island or one of the others in the bay, Colonial river port Cachoeira, Praia do Forte/Guarajuba).

I think Salvador is an excellent choice. Rather than Paraty/Ilha Grande (Salvador and Cachoeira have plenty of Colonial architecture to see), you might explore the beautiful coastline between Rio and Salvador, including Abrolhos marine park, Porto Seguro/Arraial D'Ajuda/Trancoso, Ilheus/Itacare, Barra Grande on Marau peninsula, Boipeba and Morro do Sao Paulo (which can also be an overnight excursion from Salvador). Do some online research and ask for travel and sightseeing details if this interests you.

As for Salvador, don't be "dicey". I recently wrote on another thread:

Salvador is an exciting city with lots to see---and hear (the world-famous local music styles and star bands/singers that contribute to Salvador's exciting Carnaval are great fun). There are lots of opportunities to hear music, from the weekly "bencao" in Pelourinho to the small clubs in the Rio Vermelho neighborhood, where you can mix with the gracious locals and drink an ice-cold beer on the praca.

The pastel Colonial architecture in the Pelourinho historic district is lovely. The neighborhood has gold-encrusted church interiors, many lively bars and restaurants, museums that show off the rich culture and history of the area, many music venues, great shops and good people watching. A short day trip away is the charming Colonial river port of Cachoeira/Sao Felix, with traditional architecture of the era and festivals that attract thousands of international visitors yearly, and the traditional town of Santo Amaro with its Saturday outdoor market (a riot of food choices), and its traditional architecture and ambience.

The food of the Bahia region is unique, including delicious coconut milk based seafood stews (moqueca) that use the fresh local catch (which you can see being brought ashore at Porto da Barra), and the signature acaraje (a type of African bean fritter topped with sauces and shrimp). There are two well-known ice cream shops whose rich tropical-fruit "sorvette" may be the best you ever taste, and the locally made Capelinha brand popscicles in mouth-watering flavors.

Local markets in Salvador include the colorful Sao Joaquim market where food and all sorts of interesting related (cooking) items are found, the huge Mercado Modelo with local craft products and souvenirs, many shops in Pelourinho with interesting goods (including the gorgeous African based designs for hand-made clothing by the gifted Goya Lopes at her shop Didara in Pelourinho), a museum quality craft shop in the Barra neighborhood near the urban beach, a leather market with hand-made items of excellent quality, as well as many other interesting local shops.

And the beaches !!!!!!!!!!! From the lively urban beach at Porto da Barra, to the gorgeous Guarajuba or Jacuipe a short way to the north of the city, to the calm beaches of rural and traditional Itaparica island a ferry ride away, to some of those for an overnight like Morro do Sao Paulo, Boipeba, or Barra Grande........

But Salvador's most wonderful "feature" is her people--smiling, helpful, open folks who can make your trip a delight.

I highly recommend Salvador as a destination.
IsabelaS is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 09:10 AM
  #7  
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Hi Isabela, Thank you for your most detailed reply. When I say "dicey" I actually mean I have no clue of what I'll do there. Really appreciate your input.
hansveerc is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 09:50 AM
  #8  
 
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Well, a good start, in addition to what I just posted, to inform yourself about neighborhoods, sights, islands in the bay, day and overnight trips, music, etc is:
www.salvaadorcentral.com
If you specify your interests, I can help more accurately to suggest some activities for you.
IsabelaS is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 09:51 AM
  #9  
 
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Oops! Only one "a".
www.salvadorcentral.com
IsabelaS is offline  
Jul 18th, 2013, 01:11 PM
  #10  
 
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I agree that Rio and Salvador are great choices! If you want to get away from the beach and see some beautiful natural scenery, head to Iguazu falls for 2 days. You'd need to fly there, but it is absolutely spectacular!
msteacher is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2013, 01:23 AM
  #11  
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Hi guys, just to update y'all. This is how the itinerary is shaping up so far.

Rio - 7 nights(may drive to bzuois for 2
Paraty - 3 nights including travel.
Iguazu falls - 3 nights
Salvador - 7 nights
Dubai - 4-7 nights
Home completely and utterly broke... lol
hansveerc is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2013, 01:24 AM
  #12  
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I'm shying away from star hotels and booking apartments wherever I can.
hansveerc is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2013, 04:04 AM
  #13  
 
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Sounds like a great trip. Enjoy!
msteacher is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2013, 04:26 AM
  #14  
 
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Unless you want to see the dam and buy Chinese junk in Paraguay, you need 2 half days and a full day (i.e. 2 nights) in Iguacu to see the Brazilian side of the park (~ 3 hours), the Argentine side (a full day, maybe with boat ride too), and the Bird Park (~ 3 hours, near Brazil side park entrance).
I'd put the extra night toward Paraty area, but trim down Paraty itself (Colonial center, remembering you will see same or better in Pelourinho in Salvador, and maybe a beach visit to Trindade) and add Ilha Grande.
7 days in Salvador should include some day trips and at least one overnight outside the city proper, as in my suggestions above.
Have a great trip.
IsabelaS is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2013, 02:02 AM
  #15  
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Point taken. Thanks Isabella. I'll make sure I don't stay in Iguaza for more than 2 nights. I'm a bit worried about the weather though. It seems January can be REALLY hot? Yeah, I'll make sure I don't stay put in Salvador. I might try a cruise out of there or something depending on availability. I believe there is a 3 day cruise from Salvador?
hansveerc is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2013, 05:59 AM
  #16  
 
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Yes, it is probably going to be hot and humid in Foz do Iguacu (FAWS doo eee-gwah-SOO). Drink lots of water, easily purchased ice cold. Do a boat ride under the falls where you get wet. Spend some time to take a dip in the shady little river on the Argentine side, and defend your cooling popscicle from the coatis. The modest hotel I stayed in had a small plunge pool, nice at the end of a long, hot day. I'm very sensitive to heat, but I did fine there.
-----
Where does a 3-day cruise sail to?
Personally, I wouldn't do a cruise; I would do more activities locally in the Salvador area.

examples (do some online research and look at YouTube videos to see what appeals):
*one or two nights in Morro do Sao Paulo (by catamaran, 2 hours)
*a night in Guarajuba with visit to Praia do Forte (or stay in PdF, but I like the beach in G. better, both about 2 hours by bus)
*day trip (2 hrs by bus) to Cachoeira
*day trip to beach on Itaparica island (45 min by ferry and then van to beach), try Ponta de Areia beach OR do a motorized schooner (escuna) tour to Frades island and Itaparica with a big lunch buffet ot typical Bahiano food
*day or part-day trip out to Itapoa beach at the farol/lighthouse (about 45 minutes by bus to the northern edge of the city)

A typical day IN Salvador itself might be some sightseeing in the morning overcast cool, the afternoon at a local beach like very nearby Porto da Barra, and when the afternoon breeze comes up, dinner al fresco and some music.

You could also think about a couple of days in the Chapada Diamantina for outdoor activities (hiking, waterfalls). You could take an over night bus (6-7 hours) there and back or fly by small plane to the town of Lencois.
IsabelaS is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 01:59 AM
  #17  
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Hi Guys, this is how my current itinerary has planned out.

8th Jan - Leave Bombay
9th Jan - Reach Rio, head directly to Buzois
12th Jan - back to Rio
17th Jan - Off to Paraty
20th Jan - back to rio to fly to Foz de Iguaca
22nd Jan - Fly to Salvador
27th Jan - Back to rio
28th Jan - Fly to Dubai
1st Feb - Fly to Bombay.
hansveerc is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 02:04 AM
  #18  
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Can you guys please suggest a good place to stay in Paraty and iguaca? Also, in Salvador, should I book my entire stay before leaving or make the arrangements there itself?
hansveerc is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 05:18 AM
  #19  
 
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Well, that is high season in Salvador. I suggest booking ahead. What do you plan to spend night in Reais? (for a double ensuite I assume) Prices in Salvador are approaching those in Rio.
But you have 4 full days and probably 2 half days there, so you have time for an overnight trip (in which case you would be staying elsewhere) or a couple of day trips outside the city sights.
----
(Again) Note: IguacU (eee-gwah-SOOO)
Brazilians are going to have a hard enough time understanding you, so at least try to pronounce things correctly. No one much speaks any English, including in the tourist sector, so why make things harder for yourselves in getting around the country?
Do remember to get your reciprocity fee paid online (and print receipt to carry) if needed to visit the Argentine side of the park.
What is your accomodation budget in Reais while at the falls?
In the town of Foz, a modest but clean and comfortable place close to the bus depot is Hotel del Rey:
http://www.hoteldelreyfoz.com.br/
Others have mentioned Marica B&B favorably, also near the bus route to the park:
http://www.maricabedbreakfast.com/
IsabelaS is offline  
Aug 20th, 2013, 10:43 PM
  #20  
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Hi Isabela, Thanks once again for your wonderful advice. I need to bother you again for an important question... Costs... How much money should I budget for expenses, other than air fares and accommodation. This would include food, traveling expenses, sight seeing and hopefully some shopping for the misses... I'm currently thinking of 250$ a day, but I'm not too sure. What would you suggest?
hansveerc is offline  

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