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Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

Montreal, Canada
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Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

Hi,

I am planning to spend 3 weeks in Brazil from Dec 22nd through January 12th.

At this point (with little prep) I am thinking about visiting 4 places: Salvador, Uro Preto, Paratti (and Ilha Grande) and of course Rio.

What I am looking for is:

1) Great sceneray

2) Lots of relaxing time, beach etc (I think Paratti and environments covered that. Elsewhere recommended?)

3) Local culture, not necessarily meuseums but rather soaking the lifestyle through street contact, restaurants, cafés, etc

4) Not moving a lot!! Maybe the most important of all. I like to spend 4-6 days at the same place. Less if needed. But not move constantly.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Philadelphia...
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for Rio de Janeiro
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1. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

In addition to Rio, here are my recommendations for great scenery, beach time, and local culture:

1. Ilha Grande (Big Island) is 95 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro. The island is a largely undeveloped protected area and noted for its beautiful beaches and hillsides covered in lush tropical forests. There are no cars and no banks on Ilha Grande, so bring cash with you since not all hotels, shops, and restaurants accept credit cards. The largest village on the island is Vila do Abraão, where most of the visitor facilities are located, and can be reached from the mainland by local ferries and catamarans.

Ilha Grande Info:

http://bit.ly/oawyl

2. Búzios is a beach resort with an active nightlife 105 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro with over 20 beaches in the vicinity

.

http://bit.ly/tmgdUb

http://bit.ly/bsn4UB

How to get there:

http://bit.ly/1ml9io

Búzios Info:

http://bit.ly/xIVixb

3. Paraty (also Parati), a coastal historic town between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, is about 160 miles from Rio and replete with picturesque cobbled streets, forests, waterfalls, islands, and an emerald-green sea.

Slide Show of Paraty:

http://nyti.ms/A4VOl3

Paraty Info:

http://bit.ly/yJYOyn

4. If you are also interested in a daytrip, consider Petrópolis, a popular mountain resort town located 35 miles from Rio de Janeiro.

Petrópolis used to be the summer residence of the Brazilian emperors and aristocrats in the 19th century and was the official capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro between 1894 and 1903. The town was named after Emperor Pedro I, the nation's first monarch.

Buses from Rio to Petrópolis leave daily from the long-distance bus terminal, Rodoviário Novo Rio.

Petrópolis Info:

http://bit.ly/yjcSPn

http://bit.ly/w8E9W1

Montreal, Canada
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2. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

Thank you Monte for the detailed feedback. I sort of eliminated Buzios the assumption being I will get all the beach time in Paraty and Ilha Grande. Is my assumption correct or Ilha Granda and Paraty dont have nice beaches? The image I have of Buzios is for more upscale resort. More expensive but also more of a french Riviera than Brazilian culture?

And how about the other two places (Salvador and Ouro Pretto): Worth it? How much time to allocate to each?

Any other must see? BTW I have alsways been to Rio way back (19 years ago), so have seen some of Rio's highlights, but still thinking of spending a full 4 day there.

Thanks!

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

spartac—You will undoubtedly get plenty of high quality beach time at Paraty and Ilha Grande, so Búzios can easily be eliminated. Three or four days each in both Salvador and Ouro Pretto ought to do it, including travel time.

Keep in mind that you’ll be visiting Brazil during a very busy and expensive time of year, so book early and be prepared for huge crowds.

Hope you have a great trip!

Montreal, Canada
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4. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

Thanks MonteOK so Buzios is out. How about Pipa? I read the name and heard good comments. it's somewhat out of the way though. How do the beaches of Paraty and Ilha Grande and surroundings compare?

Beaches + quiet time. Not only after the best beach. And not into surfing:)

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

I'm not familiar with Pipa, but it's rather far from your other proposed destinations, so as alluring as it sounds, you might want to cross Pipa off your growing list of best beaches. Better to save it for your next trip to Brazil.

Besides, how much time do you really want to spend on the road or in the air getting to these various places? You won't find the peace and quiet you're looking for by constantly traveling on buses, boats, taxis, and planes during the busiest travel season of the year.

Montreal, Canada
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6. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

Monte: youre reading my mind (and my hesitation) well. So if I stay around Paraty/ilha grande any recommendations where and how long? I just realized that Ilha Grande has no hotel per say. So what place at (or around) Paraty should I chose? Or elsewhere?

I am also not clear if Salvador de Bahia provides a nice Beach experience. Opinions seem mixed on that.

Thanks for feedback. It's appreciated.

Philadelphia...
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for Rio de Janeiro
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7. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

Ilha Grande has B&Bs and pousadas, so it shouldn't be difficult to find a suitable place there.

http://bit.ly/y6DwX9

Salvador does have nice beaches, but security and dangerous currents may be a problem. (I wouldn’t travel to Salvador just to get in some beach time.)

http://bit.ly/d3Xt8M

I still think you should consider Búzios.

http://bit.ly/tmgdUb

As for hotels in Paraty, there are quite a few to choose from:

http://bit.ly/xWOw9t

Overall, I would say that Rio should be your home base when you decide to pick your beaches, all of which should be easily accessible from there without the need to fly.

Atlantic City, New...
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8. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

Since your dates will include Christmas and New Years be prepared for price shock... No matter where you go prices will be higher for the Holidays..

If you have your fill of beaches try the Mountains.. Teresopolis is where we stay.. If you would like the name of a great place PM me....

Dubai
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9. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

MAke sure you dont miss FOZ DU IGUASSU. They are amazing. Stay there for at least two nights. Hotel Das Cataratas would be the best over there.

Edited: 22 February 2012, 10:44
Montreal, Canada
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10. Re: Looking for recommendations for 3 week at the end of 2012

Thanks guys. I visited Iguazy in Dec 2010 when I was in Argentina, so that's covered.

Is Teresopolis worth a few days or more of a day trip from Rio?

Now back to hunting which beach to go to...

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