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Rio Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires in 9 days

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Sep 11th, 2013, 10:21 AM
  #1
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Rio Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires in 9 days

Hi,
I have a trip planned for me and DW for 9 days during the Thanksgiving break. We are 32 and 28 and vegetarians.
Below is the itinerary. I would really appreciate any guidance and suggestions on the plan.
1) We reach Rio on Nov 23rd at 11:20am from Houston. I have reserved the Windsor Martinique as suggested by indiancouple. It seems to be located between the Ipanema and Copacabana strips, so I think it will be a great location. We plan to spend 3 days in Rio checking the sights, enjoying the night life and getting some samba lessons. Might even catch a football game if we could score some tickets.
2) We leave Rio by TAM on Nov 27th at 10am and reach Foz Do Iguazu at noon. The plan is to go straight to the falls, leave our luggage in the lockers at the souvenier shop as siggested by indiancouple and see the brazilian side of the falls. We plan to take the bus to town in the evening and check in at the Best Western Taroba Hotel which is a quick walk from the bus stop.
3) On Nov 28th, we take the bus from Foz Do Iguazu to Puerto Iguazu to cross the border at 8am. I believe that we have go get stamping at both the Brazil and Argentine borders as we have Indian Passports. After reaching Puerto Iguazu bus stop, we plan to check in at Hotel Jardin De Iguazu and then catch a bus to the falls on the Argentine side for the rest of the day. We plan to return to the hotel in the evening.
4) On Nov 29th, we catch the 10am Aerolineas Argentinas flight from Iguazu, AR to AEP Airport at BA. Check in at Howard Johnson Hotel Boutique in Recoleta neighborhood. Spend the next 2.5 days enjoying BA.
5) Catch flight at 10pm from EZE on Dec 1 to return to Houston.
Questions:
1) Does this itinerary sound reasonable. 3.5 days in Rio, 2 days in Iguazu and 2.5 days in BA.
2) Are the hotels and locations good. All flights are non stop.
3) Crossing the border at Iguazu seems to be reasonable. Is there any gotcha that I should be aware of. We have Indian passports and Green Cards and will get visas for both Argentina and Brazil.
4) I plan to get the Eyewitness top 10 travel guide for BA and Rio to choose the top sites to visit. Outside the top sites, are there any must do that we should try? Are there any top sites not worth the time and effort?
5) Any suggestions for vegetarian restaurants.
6) We are quite adventurous but want to be safe. Do we need tour guides or can we go exploring on our own in BA and Rio at the main tourist sites.
7) What is a good place to get the blue exchange rate in Puerto Iguazu.
Thank you very much. Any suggestions are appreciated.
Also thansk to the trip report by indiancouple for a lot of helpful hints.
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Sep 11th, 2013, 10:49 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Not really qualified to answer the first 6 questions.

About # 7: Your hotel in Puerto Iguazú should be able to steer you to a safe place to get the "blue" rate for your dollars, but it will probably be worse than in BA.

Further to this, see my post dated Sep 9, 13 at 2:57pm in this thread: http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...-avrooster.cfm

Have a great time in our country.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 07:20 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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1) Does this itinerary sound reasonable. 3.5 days in Rio, 2 days in Iguazu and 2.5 days in BA.

Given that you only have a brief 9 days to cover a lot of area, it’s about all you can expect. Both Rio and BsAs could be destinations where you’d want to spend more time.

2) Are the hotels and locations good. All flights are non stop.

the Windsor Martinique ….. It seems to be located between the Ipanema and Copacabana strips, so I think it will be a great location
Windsor Martinique is good.….. It is not between anything. It is IN Copacabana.

I stayed at the Hotel Del Rey in Foz, just down the block from the Best Western and found it a very convenient base.

4) I plan to get the Eyewitness top 10 travel guide for BA and Rio to choose the top sites to visit. Outside the top sites, are there any must do that we should try? Are there any top sites not worth the time and effort?

Are we supposed to rush out and buy the book so we can see what it includes and advise you?

Do realize that the Cristo and Sugarloaf are not a good bet if the day is overcast.

5) Any suggestions for vegetarian restaurants.

Aside from dedicated places, any “por kilo” restaurant in Brazil usually has a variety of vegetable dishes on the buffet to choose from.

6) We are quite adventurous but want to be safe. Do we need tour guides or can we go exploring on our own in BA and Rio at the main tourist sites.

In Rio, you can do the main sights by taxi on your own. You need to BE VIGILANT AT ALL TIMES though, especially in deserted places which isolate you, even a side street in a “nice” neighborhood.
One advantage of a guide with a vehicle is that you can cover more territory in a short time, and perhaps see some off-the-beaten-path places you might not discover on your own.

Happy travels.
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Sep 12th, 2013, 07:20 AM
  #4
 
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1) Does this itinerary sound reasonable. 3.5 days in Rio, 2 days in Iguazu and 2.5 days in BA.

Given that you only have a brief 9 days to cover a lot of area, it’s about all you can expect. Both Rio and BsAs could be destinations where you’d want to spend more time.

2) Are the hotels and locations good. All flights are non stop.

the Windsor Martinique ….. It seems to be located between the Ipanema and Copacabana strips, so I think it will be a great location
Windsor Martinique is good.….. It is not between anything. It is IN Copacabana.

I stayed at the Hotel Del Rey in Foz, just down the block from the Best Western and found it a very convenient base.

4) I plan to get the Eyewitness top 10 travel guide for BA and Rio to choose the top sites to visit. Outside the top sites, are there any must do that we should try? Are there any top sites not worth the time and effort?

Are we supposed to rush out and buy the book so we can see what it includes and advise you?

Do realize that the Cristo and Sugarloaf are not a good bet if the day is overcast.

5) Any suggestions for vegetarian restaurants.

Aside from dedicated places, any “por kilo” restaurant in Brazil usually has a variety of vegetable dishes on the buffet to choose from.

6) We are quite adventurous but want to be safe. Do we need tour guides or can we go exploring on our own in BA and Rio at the main tourist sites.

In Rio, you can do the main sights by taxi on your own. You need to BE VIGILANT AT ALL TIMES though, especially in deserted places which isolate you, even a side street in a “nice” neighborhood.
One advantage of a guide with a vehicle is that you can cover more territory in a short time, and perhaps see some off-the-beaten-path places you might not discover on your own.

Happy travels.
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Sep 14th, 2013, 03:17 PM
  #5
 
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You really only have two hald days for the falls. Half a day is enough for the Brazilian side but you might find it short for the Argentinian.

Don't plan to cross the border by bus on a Sunday. My bus dropped me (and another foreigner) at the border and kept going with the locals still on board, and it was a long wait for the next. I think the wait would be shorter during the week.

I did a day tour in Rio and one in BsAs arranged by my hotels. I also did a great tour in BsAs with http://graffitimundo.com/
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Sep 16th, 2013, 10:17 AM
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"You really only have two hald days for the falls"
From what was posted (" 3.5 days in Rio, 2 days in Iguazu and 2.5 days in BA"), how do you figure that? I understood that they will, as many do, arrive in the morning and have a half day to tour the Brazilian side, then the next full day for Argentina, and the morning of the onward flight--total 2 days, and plenty of time to see the basics.
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Sep 16th, 2013, 11:14 AM
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Their flight to BsAs leaves at 10:00 am, no morning visit that day.
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Sep 16th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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Their original post suggests that they have time to see both the Brazilian side of the park on day of arrival from Rio, and the Argentine side of the park on the next full day, which could easily include a boat ride under the falls and walking the upper and lower trails. That is still plenty of time to do/see the basics, since it only takes an hour to get across from one side to the other and they state their intention to start out early; they could choose to cross a bit faster by taking a taxi rather than waiting for a bus. Just leaving the luggage for check-in later (or even moving across the border the previous night to stay at the hotel in Puerto Iguazu--nothing so magical about a night in Foz to not do this, directly from the Brazilian park lockers), and a taxi to the Argentine side of the park (which would be good value of $$ vs. time in this case) gives them the majority of the day in the park.
On the day of departure for BsAs, they will already be positioned on the Argentine side for ease of travel to the Argentine airport.
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Sep 16th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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I agree that it would make more sense to spend both nights on the Argentinian side.
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