On my first visit to Brasil, I chose to visit the most imposing places: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguaçu and of course, Amazon forest. Let me share with you my itinerary and the experiences we had on this amazing tour. It’s easier to travel within the country via plane, you can find a lot of good deals at Latam or other low-cost companies.
- Accommodation: Ramada Encore by Wyndham Sao Paulo Tiradentes
Sao Paulo is Brazil’s vibrant financial center, with numerous cultural institutions and a rich architectural tradition. I was just for 48 h in the city but I will still try to get my vibe from the short experience.
What I saw is that Sao Paulo has the best restaurants in Brasil and also the best museums. Besides art museums, there are wonderful historical museums such as the Museu Afro Brasil in Ibirapuera, and you can also visit the football museum at the Pacaembu stadium. The nightlife is among the best in the world. The best architecture is not underrated. Sao Paulo, it’s also home to some breathtaking street art.
Foz do Iguaçu
- Accommodation: Maria Ricca Palace
- Schedule to the waterfalls: Open daily from 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.
- Tickets: R$ 53,00 (12 EUR)
The Iguazu Falls reside at the border of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. You should know that they are commonly known as Brazil falls or Argentina falls. The Iguazu falls are larger than Niagara and even wider as it has a span of falls throughout the area. The Iguazu Falls are in the middle of nowhere so once you see the falls you have to catch a bus back to the city of Iguazu. You will not be able to find casinos or other tourist traps at Iguazu 🙂
After you will enter the park, you can take an inside bus or walk for 40 minutes to the waterfalls. The buses arrive every 20 minutes. First stop of the bus is at the Safari Boat Trip site, the second stop is at the beginning of the observation trail (in front of the Hotel das Cataratas – Orient Express) which will take you to the largest of the falls and also to the Rappelling and Rafting stations, the area called Devil’s Throat, and thirdly at the restaurants, coffee and souvenir shops located at the end of the trail.
Another great thing you can visit in Iguacu is Itaipu Dam. This huge hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay it’s famous for being the largest hydroelectric plant in production in the world and the second biggest dam in the world. You can take an organized tour with English speaking guide. It’s famous.
Ciudad del Este
If you have extra time in the city, I advise you to take a taxi or bus and visit Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. Ciudad del Este is a well-known shopping destination not only for Paraguayans but also for Brazilian. You can find here anything you can think of, especially clothes and electronics.
Rio de Janeiro
- Accommodation: Grand Mercure Rio de Janeiro Copacabana
- Transportation: from the airport, you can taxi a bus or taxi (be careful as they can take you for a longer trip in order to make more money from you). You can use Metro or Uber in the city.
Five places you must see while you’re in Rio!
1. Copacabana Beach
This beach stretches for ages, with its iconic swirly sidewalk. As you walk along the street, you’ll see people building sandcastles, playing volleyball, and selling bikinis. Everybody sins on the street and I totally encourage you to at night when nightlife never stops!
2. Ipanema Beach
You can walk from Copacabana beach and in a little time, you will be there. From here you’ll see Morro Dous Irmaos, or Two Bothers Hill, considered one of the best spots to view the city of Rio from above.
3. Cristo Redentor
Or Christ the Redeemer is for sure the most famous icon of the city of Rio de Janeiro. To get here you need to take a train up the mountain and pay a fee of R$46 (15 EUR). The Tijuca Forest which surrounds the Corcovado mountain, where Cristo stands, is the last rain forest within the city limits. Tip: Christo Redentor is high up in the hills, meaning that often there is no visibility of the statue, check it before leaving.
4. Pão de Açúcar, Sugarloaf mountain
To get to the Sugarloaf mountain, you’ll have to take a cable car from the mainland. It’s also possible to hike if you prefer and have the time and energy. From the first stop, you’ll take a second cable car to reach the highest summit. At this point, you can walk around and will be able to see the Cristo Redentor from afar! It’s by far the most beautiful view I have ever see and the most romantic spot in the whole world.
5. Selaron Steps
Last but certainly not least is the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people”.
- Accommodation for the first night: Hotel do Largo Manaus
You will need to arrange online the tour before arriving. We were analyzing the companies before traveling and we decided to travel with Iguana Turismo that I totally loved. 🙂 We picked the tour for 3 days and we had included:
o Transfer from the airport to the jungle
o Two nights accommodation in the jungle – one in the hammock
o Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
o Transfer from the airport to the hotel
o English guide
o All canoes on amazon
o Piranha fishing
o Swim with dolphins
o Crocodile hunt at night
To sum up, Brasil’s experience in 3 weeks was amazing. I fall in love with Rio – the dancing on the street, how everybody was singing and dancing was totally amazing. There are so many places to visit in Brasil, so many things to do in that beautiful country that one life can’t be enough.
And I felt totally safe all the time, you just have to respect the advice from locals and stick with the touristic places and you will have no problem at all. Another thing that I have to mention, besides Rio, if you don’t speak Portuguese – well, you will have some trouble but again, there are official translation applications that you can download before traveling to Brasil.