Proposed itinerary for Peru and Brazil

Dec 31st, 2013, 05:04 AM
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Proposed itinerary for Peru and Brazil

Greetings! I've started on research and planning for my upcoming trip to South America in 2014 (late July / early August), and have my eyes set on Peru and Brazil. This will be my first trip to the continent, and I hope to get a good taste of what the lands have to offer. I enjoy history, culture, hiking, nature, etc. Please comment on the proposed itinerary below and offer any suggestions, tips, advice you may have.

Lima - 3 nights
Sacred Valley (based out of Ollantaytambo) - 3 nights
Aguas Calientes - 2 nights (will do a one-day Inca Trail hike starting at KM 104, followed by a full day at Machu Picchu the next day)
Cuzco - 3 nights
Iguazu Falls (based on the Argentine side) - 3 nights
Rio de Janeiro - 5 to 7 nights
Paraty or Buzios - 2 or 3 nights

Which of the locations in Peru would it make the most sense to add an extra night if I have it? In Rio, I'm thinking about renting an apartment in Ipanema rather than at a hotel, mainly due to costs; any suggestions here? And between Paraty and Buzios, which would you choose and why?

Other than working with a travel agency to reserve tickets for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, I've not done much by the way of purchases but hope to do so in the coming weeks / couple of months.

Thank you in advance for your help.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 08:58 AM
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If I were you, I'd go south of Lima and visit the Islas Ballestas and the Paracas Peninsula for my extra day. I stayed and toured from Pisco (buying a tour that covered both from a travel agency in Pisco the day before). Pisco was hit very hard by an earthquake a few years ago, so don't know what tourist facilities there are like now. From, looks like there are a lot of hotels around Paracas, which is sort of a suburb of Pisco. You could take the bus from Lima, stay overnight, take the tour and return to Lima by bus.

BTW--In my opinion, once you have your tickets for the Inca Trail and MP, and your airline tickets, I'd wait and shop for everything else once I got to Peru. I've found things are much less expensive in country.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 01:46 PM
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Dwdvagamundo, thank you for your suggestion. While Ballestas / Paracas seem interesting, I think including it on this trip will require more moving around than my liking. It will have to go on my list for a second trip to Peru.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2014, 01:07 PM
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I agree that renting an apartment is a better idea than staying in hotels. You may take a look at

búzios and paraty are very different experiences. The former has more beautiful beaches, with better structure and good nightlife. The region is good for divers (Arraial do Cabo). The latter is better in terms of culture and history. Nearby Trindade has wild beaches, hiking trails and waterfalls. some beaches are accessible only by hiking trails. Do not miss cachadaco natural pool. Rainfall in Paraty area is higher than in the rest of the state. Paraty is farther from Rio than Búzios. Búzios is usually more rxpensive than Paraty.

Cannot choose which one is the Best, i like them both. All i can say is búzios is an easier trip from rio, all you have to do is stay close to beaches and enjoy it.
luademochila is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 04:19 AM
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Luademochila, thank you for your advice. I'm not so much a beach person but enjoy history, culture, and hiking, so it sounds like Paraty is the way to go. What are some good half-day hikes in or near Paraty?
tripplanner001 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 02:12 PM
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Forgot to add: I suggest you stay on the brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls. Puerto Iguazu (base for argentinian side) is a cute town with great people, polite and warm, the best we've met in Argentina. However, you'll need to cross the border many times to go everywhere, with passports checks, which IMO is a pain. You'll get lots of stamps on your passport.


The best hikes are in Trindade, where the good beaches are:

The following three can be done together in a day or half-day, including time to enjoy these places:

Praia do meio - Praia do Cachadaço (easy, well marked - 300m)
Praia do Cachadaço - Piscina do Cachadaço (easy, well marked - 1600m)
Pedra que engole (moderated, 700m, well marked)

This is how does it look like (not my website):

Bus terminal - Praia do Sono (moderated, well marked, 1h walk)


This is the most famous beach of the region.

Do not forget insect repellents. I suggest Exposis Extreme.

In Paraty:
historic trail Caminho do Ouro (moderated, 5h walk, well marked).

Do not miss the waterfalls and other natural pools around Paraty - my favorite is "Cachoeira do Tobogã":

Highly recommend a boat trip as well.

Where to stay - you'll be fine in or close to the historic city center, which is very beautiful, with cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. Just try to avoid Ilha das Cobras neighboorhood.
luademochila is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 05:17 PM
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Muito obrigado, Luademochila. Are the areas you're mentioning relatively safe to walk around?

For accommodations in Paraty, I'm looking at possible pousadas. Any particular ones you would recommend?
tripplanner001 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 03:55 AM
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De nada, disponha. Speaking of the language, be warned that not everybody here speak english, or the english is just bad, even worse than mine. Same is true about Peru and everywhere else in South America, because we learn the theory in high school (or english course) and almost never need to practice it in real life. If you need to ask something, look for young people, from 20 to 35 years old, there is a higher chance they speak english, since the need for a second (english) or third language (in our case, spanish) has been increasing in the last years. I suggest you buy a portuguese phrase book as well, so all you have to do is to show a local your question in the book and have a pen and paper with you.

Yes, all areas are safe. However, like everywhere else, you have to follow some safety policies.

The only area that is not safe at all is Ilha das Cobras neighboorhood, but it is outside of the tourist track. When you book your accomodation, just ask if it is in Ilha das Cobras and avoid it. Usually the cheapest accomodations are there, while the most expensive ones are in historic center.

I'm sorry, we do not have any recommendations. We always rent a house in Paraty-Mirim, the area close to some waterfalls (rental or own car needed here). I do not have the contact now, that's my sister who always takes care of the bookings in Paraty.

You may take a look at and try something with 7.7 or higher, or (always read all reviews). It always work for me everywhere.
luademochila is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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Thank you again, Luademochila. I hope to be able to get by with my elementary Portuguese, and perhaps decipher a little more with my knowledge of French.
tripplanner001 is offline  
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