holidaying for one month

hi everyone

i'm coming to brazil  for one month i will land in rio on the 30th of october and leave on the 26th of november can  anyone suggest where to stay and things to do i want to go to sao paulo etc as well and iguazu falls etc

any suggestion would be much appreciated


Hi Paul

Get yourself over to Ilha Grande( Big Island) in Rio State in front of city Angra dos Reis
It's on the tourist route so it's accessible, but it truly is an unspoilt piece of Paradise, no cars there....and probably one of the safest places on earth.....from there you head an hour or two down to Paraty....take a boat tour around to some of the islands there.

Also check out brazils only Fjord "Saco do mamanguá" if you can ....great for hiking and Kayaking. From there if you are feeling more adventurous you can head a little further south to Ubatuba, and São Sebastião a cool Brazilian seaside town with a historic center and another big Island right in front called Ilhabela accessible by a free ferry service. This region below Paraty is more of a Brazilian holiday area and there are much less foreigners. the distances are very short and all connected easily by bus services From São Sebastião you can catch a bus into São Paulo (+-4 hours)
So Start in Rio de Janeiro, follow the Costa verde(Green Coast) south and end in São's a great route!

Also look for a cheap flight up to Salvador in the North East( $100- 150 return is a good price), hang out in Farrol de Barra neighborhood and check out the historic Pelorino  center for something totally different. If you like the beach vibe you can also go to another tropical Island Morro de São Paulo- a bit of a party place and from there head to the more unspoilt Boipeba island.  Costa verde is more green and rainforesty while the Morro de Sao Paulo region is more like typical desert island scenery, palms warm water and sand.

Rio is great - Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, Santa Tereza at night, The Maracana, Copa Cabana, Ipanema and Le Blanc. There's so much to do at night, I wouldn't even know where to start. You could kill a week there, but I'd say after a couple nights on the Copa Cabana or Santa Efigenia you might want to rent a car or take a bus down South a bit.

I couldn't agree more about Ilha Grande and the general area there. It's absolutely amazing, a nature reserve and you will see amazing wildlife there. There's a floating bar a beach over (on your way to one of the top beaches in SA) - when we were there there was even a turtle swimming around it. A lot of the land facing beaches have no real current, and so you can just chill in the water - and let the little fish come up and swim around your feet

The restaurants can be a little pricey, so be careful of that - especially if you are on a boat tour and you are basically a prison there at lunchtime. I wouldn't say it was the safest place on Earth, but it's safer than most of Brazil for sure.

The lakes "lagos" - blue and green I think, as amazing. You can jump off the little speed boat you can get on (about 30-40 pounds for the day trip) and swim in a SWARM of multi-coloured fish - I think that's the green lake.

Angra do Reis is also very beautiful, and just next door - though I've never been people say it is a similar level to Ilha Grande.

I don't really like Sao Paulo, the city, and I don't know any foreigners that really do either. The shopping there is pretty crappy, and overpriced, compared to the UK / US - and it's not exactly a cultural paradise.

Foz de Iguacu is pretty cool tho, there are a few set things you can do, so I don't think you can really go wrong there. Just make sure you take your passport on the trips which need to cross over to see the Brazilian side.

You can head up to Salvador - the small party-island of Morro do Sao Paulo (not anywhere near the state Sao Paulo) is amazing - and there are lots of cultural things to do, and night life / beaches.

Other notable places are Natal, Porto Seguro and the general Bahia coast, Vitoria ( it's a city, but it's pleasant and the state has amazing beach towns even if they don't rival Bahia in the main), Fernanda de Noronha is supposed to be an amazing island reserve as well, if you are heading down south you have Florianópolis, Caldas Novas for the hot springs and water parks - the list really does go on and on.

It really all depends on what you want from your holiday though, there is a lot of choice!

I've done most of the stuff on that list, and I'd say they are all worth doing. Some people do love Rio, but I prefer it for a few days at a time myself unless I'm just gonna sit by the beach all day with an unlimited budget.

Hey Steve,

Thanks very much for your suggestions I will  definitely have a good look at it as it sounds like the kind of thing I like to do!  And was thinking about going up to Salvador


Hi Dories, 

Thank you very much I will  definitely check out what you have mentioned and it's good getting  this advice as I want to make the  most of my time  there!  As four weeks is awhile and I don't want to waist the  opportunity.


About SP, go only there if this is for business. I mean there are a lot to do like in any big cities. But I won't recommand to waste any day there. It is like any megapole in the world: big, busy, poluted, expensive.

What are your interests, are you  looking for beaches ad Islands, adventure sports, Wilderness areas and and nature or are you more into arts and culture?

Depends what you like to do.

If you're into culture/art, I'd recommend you visit Inhotim, it's a privately-owned place which combines modern art installations with the most incredible botanic gardens. I was there for just one day but there is easily three days worth of things to see there and if you go there on a Wed (I think) you can get in for free. It's in the state of Minas Gerais, near Belo Horizante.

If you head south, you should hit Curitiba is nice as well - again, I only visited for a day but if you like museums and art galleries, it's a good bet, a  nice city. Further south, you will come to Florianopolis - I just moved here this year from the central part of the country and I love it. It's got everything: beaches, lots of beautiful beaches, mountain ranges, shopping, and a more European vibe. Very different to the rest of Brazil

I also really enjoyed Brasilia for art galleries/architecture and museums if you find yourself up that way).


I second stevefunk's suggestions:  Paraty and Ilha Grande are a must. You could probably do both in a week or spend an entire week on Ilha Grande just relaxing. They are both close to Rio, so you could head there after your time in Rio or save them for the tail end of your trip if you're going to be flying out of Rio when you leave.

In Paraty, you can rent a speedboat for a day for about R$ 400-500 and have it take you to Saco do Mamanguá, the fjord that stevefunk mentioned. I've been there twice, and it's a lovely little spot with calm, clean water and family-run beach shacks serving up cheap, delicious plates of grilled fish, shrimp, and fried calamari. In Paraty, if you're traveling with a companion, I'd recommend staying at Casa Colonial 12. Lovely little pousada in the Historic Centre with impeccable service and beautifully-decorated rooms. Rooms are R$ 500/night but well worth it. (Other places of similar quality and service charge more than double this. Not worth it.)

In Ilha Grande, definitely get yourself to Lopes Mendes beach. Amazing stretch of beach with beautiful, clear water that puts Rio's famous beaches, Ipanema and Copacabana, to shame.

Iguaçu! Both the Brazilian and Argentine sides are definitely worth visiting. Simply spectacular. You could definitely do both sides in 2 days.

I'd say skip São Paulo. I live an hour from SP, so I visit often, and my husband grew up there, but as far as big cities go, I don't think it's worth a trip on its own.

I haven't been to Salvador yet, but if time and budget allows, probably worth a visit as well. I also heard that the city of Florianópolis and its beaches in the state of Santa Catarina are worth a visit.

Four weeks can be a long time...or not enough, depending on your interests. What else interests you? Will you be traveling alone?

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