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Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

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Boston...
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Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

I land in Sao Paulo (GRU) early in th emorning and will jump on a flight to Rio that morning. I will spend 2 nights in Rio having to return to Sao Paulo work business. With such a limited schedule, I have a few questiions:

1, Ipanema or Copacabana?

I have a budget between $250 - $400 per night. I would like to stay somewhere overlookig the water and in a safe area.

I've read that Ipanema is the area to be for restaurants and sightseeing. Since I will be traveling alone my biggest concern is my safety. Where do you suggest.

2. What sights should I visit?

3. Restaurants. I am vegeterian. Do no eat any meat or fish products. I do eat cheese. Any restaurants in that area that anyone can suggest?

4. Nightlife. Since I'm by myself, I have no plans to go to any clubs but would like to have a glass of wine after dinner before heading back to my hotel. Can I walk outside by myself safely? Any lounges or other places anyone can suggest for a drink or should I just go from the hotel to the restaurant and back.

One last question... how long does it take to go through customs at GRU? I don't check bags and would have a little over 2 hours from the time I land to make my connecting flight to Rio (though I believe I arrive at Terminal 2 but my Rio flight departs from Terminal 1)

Thanks!!!

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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1. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

1. Ipanema for sure. The Sol Ipanema is a nice ocean front hotel within your budget.

2. Sights: Christ Redeemer Statue. Arrange the tour from your hotel. Go in the morning and consider some of the other 1/2 day tours that are offered, including Sugar Loaf.

Also, walk the length of Ipanema beach to Leblon and back (sidewalk) or go up to Arpoador Beach and up to the rocks around sunset.

3. Restaurants: not a lot of Veggie restaurants in Rio, but ZaZa Bistro Tropical is a great place, close to your hotel, and has some vegatarian meals. Great atmosphere and good wine. Also, nearby is Delirio Tropical, an upscale sandwiche and salad place .

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g303506-d7…

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g303506-d1…

4. Nightlife: it's a pretty safe area , just avoid walking around late at night by yourself. Walk up Rua (street) Garcia D' Avila past Rua Visconde de Piraja where all the trendy cafes and Bistros are located. Also Rua Farme de Amoedo has a number of nice outdoor bars and restaurants.

GRU: customs. can't help you with that, sorry.

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurants in Rio:

http://bit.ly/Y6Fqvn

http://bit.ly/XiOrmN

http://bit.ly/13aiOLQ

http://bit.ly/XmXArm

Fortaleza, CE
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3. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

What are the specific dates? Carnaval kicks off on Feb. 28 (officially; some activities start far earlier), so around that time dates can go up. Also rates can go up as hotels fill up due to conventions. I personally like the Hotel Praia Ipanema, but you should find a few hotels within your budget (at least the upper range).

You're going to book your flight to Rio at the same time as the flight to SP? If not, leave lots of time (ideally a good 3 hours or more) between flights, as you'll need to go through Immigration, get your bags, go through Customs, then go upstairs and check in for your onward flight (if you're on just one itinerary-- tickets purchased together-- you should be able to use the transit desk downstairs, though the time difference isn't much if anything). An advantage of having both flights together is that you wouldn't be under the very low baggage weight limits (for both checked and carry-on bags) for purely domestic flights (you will be on your return to SP).

Since you're likely to fly into the international airport (GRU, in the city of Guarulhos), best to fly out of that, too. For your flight from Rio to SP, since you'll presumably be going to downtown SP for your job, try to fly into the downtown SP airport Congonhas (CGH). Ideally you'd fly out of Rio's downtown airport, Santos Dumont (SDU).

Fortaleza, CE
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4. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

p.s. it's Immigration that can take time, if several other international flights have landed at the same time (can't give an estimated time as it widely varies), but going through Customs is just a matter of walking through. If you have nothing to declare, you don't even have to fill out a form. Since you've bought your tickets together, you go to the transit desk a bit outside of security (at least assuming you're flying TAM or Gol), and they'll give you your boarding pass for that flight. You should be under the carry-on baggage weight limits for international flights, not the 5 kg normally allowed for domestic flights (that will come into play when you fly Rio to SP), though sometimes the staff get confused.

Is 2 hours enough? Well, since you're apparently bought your tickets, it's a moot point, isn't it? You will have to rush but may make it. If by the time you get to the transit desk it seems too late, they should help you get on a later flight.

Edited: 06 September 2013, 22:20
Boston...
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5. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

Thank you for your replies. I will be going in November 2013.

I can spend more on a hotel. I just want to make sure is a safe area. A nice pool would be nice as well!

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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6. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

I really recommend you hire a private tour guide so that you can see lots of sights in just one day, considering your limited time. Have a look at "Things to Do" > "Attractions" > "Sightseeing Tours". Rio tour guides have very high ratings here on TA.

La Jolla, CA
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7. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

Hey, guess we'll miss one another as I just noticed you're going in NOV...

I stay at the Copacabana Palace as it's simply "THE BEST"!! and has the largest Pool, circa 1923, and was totally recently renovated..... I'm going alone, later this month....

Moncton, Canada
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8. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

Hey LyeAnn, my friend and I are going to Rio this November (14-29). If ever you would like to meet once there don't be shy. It's our first time in Brazil so we could meet up wherever if ever you are there the same dates.

Helene

london
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9. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

Both areas are good. Went on my own too and going back soon

10. Re: Copacabana or Ipanema for a lady traveling alone?

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