Trip to Brazil – 3 weeks itinerary

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Christ The Redeemer Statue Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Christ The Redeemer Statue

1 Day

Frankfurt, Germany – Sao Paulo, Brazil

2 Day

Sao Paulo, Brazil – Iguassu Falls, Brazil

Iguazu Falls

On the Brazilian side (41R$) you get an excellent overview of Devil’s Throat.

The airport is on the bus route between Foz do Iguaçu and the National Park entrance. Bus is No. 120 to ‘Parque Nacional’Bus, every half hour (R$2.20). The stop is right outside the terminal building – board the front of the bus and pay the person sat at the turnstile (change is given) before passing through. The bus passes many of the main hotels on the way into the city (stops are frequent) and ends up at the bus terminal on the far side of the city where there’s a friendly tourist information office. In the other direction the bus will drop you off at the entrance to the park. Lockers at the falls entrance (buy token in the shop – R$9).

Parque das Aves (Birds Park) is very close to the entrance of the falls, you can take a self-guided tour of the park to come in close contact with all different types of exotic birds. R$25.

3 Day

Garganta del Diablo is the main attraction on the Argentine side. San Martin Island, where visitors have the best view of the Argentinean falls.Full day.

From Foz do Iguaçu to Puerto Iguazu: bus that leaves from just outside the bus terminal, at the corner of Rua Mem de Sá and Rua Tarobá (R$4). The bus may or may not stop at the Brazilian border checkpoint but typically will stop at the Argentine border checkpoint, where your passport will be stamped. The bus may leave without you if you take too long. Wait for the next bus. This bus terminates at the Puerto Iguazu bus station where you can catch the bus to the National Park. From Puerto Iguazu buses to the entrance of the falls every half hour. AR$15. From Puerto Iguazu to the Brazilian Iguaçu: take a public bus from the terminal (AR$10). The bus waits while everyone gets off at the Argentine Immigration for your exit stamp. It then drives onto the Brasilian immigration where it *wont* wait for you. No worries, get your Brasil entry stamp and then walk 150m to the main road. The town is to the left, 15 mins by bus. R$2.20.

4 Day

Foz do Iguaçu – SAO

Line 472 Guarulhos – Tiete (Av. Cruzeiro do Sul 1.800, Santana (Tietê metro station, Blue line))15:10, 16:00, 16:50, 17:50, 18:50, 19:40, 20:30, 35-45 mins. 35R$. All lines except Congonhas connect to the Metrô.

Urban bus every 20-30 min, which costs only R$4,30 and goes to and from Tatuapé Metro station (30-45 min, via Ayrton Senna, the other is slower) (line 3, red). Exit Terminal 1 Arrivals and head for the middle island. Look for buses 257 or 299. Less comfy than the shuttles, but can prove faster way to Paulista on days with dense traffic, as it goes for the closest Metro station. Be aware that you might be denied access with luggage that won’t fit on your lap. (Bus R$4,30 + Subway R$3 = total R$7,30). 257: AEROPORTO INTERNACIONAL DE SAO PAULO, RODOVIA HELIO SMIDT SP-019, RODOVIA AYRTON SENNA DA SILVA SP-070, RODOVIA AYRTON SENNA DA SILVA SP-070, AVENIDA MORVAN DIAS DE FIGUEIREDO, ACESSO A PONTE DO TATUAPE, PONTE TATUAPE. 299 more stops.

Bilhete Único  is a metro smartcard that is used for paying fares on buses, subways, and trains. A single billing of the card grants a person up to four trips in São Paulo’s public transportation system with free transfers between the subway system and buses within 3 hours. The card is issued at no cost at underground stations; charge them with the minimum amount required in newspaper stands, state-owned betting shops (known as “lotéricas”), supermarkets and other establishments – look for the red, round “Bilhete Único” logo. Use in the following manners. On buses: upon boarding a bus, you’ll be charged R$3,00 and can board up to three other buses in a three-hour period without being charged a second time. On the Metro or CPTM trains: for a single trip in the underground train system, you’ll be charged R$3,00. First Metro/CPTM train then bus: you’ll be charged R$2,90 when passing by a Metro or CPTM station’s turnstile. Once you board a bus, you’ll be charged an extra R$1,20 and will be able to board two other buses in a two-hour period – starting from the first validation at the train station – without any further payment. First bus then Metro/CPTM train: once you board a bus, R$3,00 is charged from your card. Upon entering the Metro or CPTM systems, you’ll be charged a further R$1,45. It’s possible, after leaving the Metro or CPTM system, to board up to two other buses without any further payment in the two-hour period that starts from the first validation, depending on whether you boarded one or two buses before entering a train.

Long-distance bus station, known as a rodoviária (pronounced ho-do-vi-ah-ri-ya). Pluma, Matto, Crucero del norte, Kaiowa. Empresa (company), guiche (ticket window), plataforma (platform), duracão (duration).

Reunidas Paulista bus, São Paulo to Angra dos Reis 08:00, 12:15, 16:00, 22:00, 60,67R$, 7:20hours. Sao Paulo – Paraty, 5:40hours, 47R$.

Sao Paulo – Rio, 6h, 75R$, Paraty – Rio de Janeiro, 4h, 59R$.

See: Avenida Paulista (Paulista Avenue) is one of São Paulo’s most popular postcards. Theatro Municipal and Sala São Paulo.

5 Day

Bus from Angra dos Reis to Mangaratiba. Ferries: Barcas SA. Terminal Santa Luzia is discouraged. Avoid illegal vessels in Conceiceição de Jacareí. Ferry, 1,5 hour, about 55R$. Monday to Thursday, Mangaratiba-Abraão 08.00, Abraão – Mangaratiba 17:30. Angra Dos Reis – Abraão 15:30, Abraão – Angra Dos Reis 10:00.

6 Day

Ilha Grande. There are no banks on the island!!!

See: Lopes Mendes Beach (a must, hike (long) one way and take boat back), Lagoa Azul (snorkeling), Dois Rios Village.

Hostel: Mata Virgem Hostel, Rua da Assembléia 155, Vila do Abraão 4 dorm, 16$USD/p. Studio Beach Hostel, Rua Da Praia, Casa 7, 10 dorm, 16.42$USD/p. Overnativa Green Hostel, Rua Getulio Vargas 517 Ilha Grande, double, 120LT, dorm4 45lt/p, GOOD. HI Holandes, Rua da Assembleia 162, dorm8 45LT/p, GOOD.

Costa Verde bus, Mangaratiba to Rio de Janeiro 05:45, 09:00, 14:30, 19:25 26,00R$, 2hours. Bus Costa Verde, Angra dos Reis to Rio de Janeiro, 04:00, 04:30, 05:00, 06:00, 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00, 20:40, 22:40, 40,50R$, 2:50hours.

7 Day

Rio de Janeiro

Safety: Never go to Copacabana beach at night, bigger streets in Copacabana are less safe after dark, stay off Avenue Atlantica. Avoid the downtown area, especially Saara, after dark. “Zona Sul”: Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Gávea, Jardim Botânico, Flamengo, Laranjeiras, Botafogo, Urca. On Sunday Centro is not safe in the daytime. The subway is fairly safe.

Hostels: Vidigal360º, rua Barão da Torre, 175, casa 1, Ipanema, 6dorm, 23$US/p. Ipanema Beach House, Rua Barao da Torre, 485, Ipanema, 6dorm, 27$US/p. Ocean Inn Rio Leblon, Av. Niemeyer, 187, Leblon, 11dorm 23$US, 6dorm 28$US. Lemon Spirit Hostel, Rua Cupertino Durão 56, Leblon, 6dorm, 31$US.

Rodoviária Novo Rio, is in the North Zone’s Santo Cristo neighborhood. Frescão coaches can be caught just outside the bus station. The coaches connect the station to the city centre and main hotel areas of Copacabana and Ipanema. Bus companies include Itapemirim, Penha, Cometa, 1001, Expresso Brasileiro. This area is not the greatest.

Official taxis – yellow with a blue stripe painted on the sides and have the cooperative’s name and phone number stamped on them. Make sure the taxi meter is zeroed when you get into the car. You should only pay what the meter shows when you get to your destination. But expect to pay more between 9pm and 6am, when the rate is the so-called “Bandeira 2”, or Flag 2. Major taxi companies: Central de Taxi, Ouro Taxi and Yellow Taxi. After getting into the taxi, check to see if the taximeter has been started, it charges R$4.40 (March 2011) for the minimum ride, called bandeirada), and R$1.60 per kilometer. Airport to Copacabana is around R$50. A typical journey in a taxi will cost between R$15 and R$35.

Beaches: Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Arpoador beach best for sunset.

8 Day

Rio de Janeiro

See: Sugarloaf Mountain – a visit to Pão de Açúcar is a must (52$R), but if you can, avoid it from about 10am to 11am and 2pm to 3pm, when most tourist buses arrive. Avoid cloudy days as well. Cristo Redentor (Corcovado) (43$R) the most memorable way to the top is by cog train (every 30 minutes). For the best view, sit on the right-hand side going up. Sambadrome.

9 Day

???? Bus 1001, Rio de Janeiro to Búzios, 06:04, 08:04, 10:04, 12:04, 14:04, 16:04, 18:04, 20:04, 42,06R$, 2:50hours.

10 Day

Real Auto Ônibus 2018, runs half-hourly (05:30 – 23:30), from the airport to the Central Bus Station, downtown, Santos Dumont Airport, southern parts of the city along the shore, with final stop at Alvorada Bus Terminal in Barra da Tijuca. Bus 2918 to Alvorada Bus Terminal more direct route. Bus 2145 is an express link between Galeão and Santos Dumont airports via the Central Bus Station and downtown. The ticket costs R$ 9,00 and must be paid directly to the bus driver. The microbuses are blue and are located at: Galeão: Terminal 1, Sector B, Departure Area.

Public Buses 324, 326: from Galeao airport to Centro.

RIO – Recife

Recife, trip to Porto de Galinhas, 2h

The bus company Cruzeiro operates busses (ônibus) from Recife center to Porto de Galinhas from 4.45am until 10.30pm (6.70$R). These busses stop at Recife Airport. 191 Recife–Camala–Porto de Galinhas bus from the southwest corner of Praça Salgado Filho in front of the airport.

The bus terminal in Porto de Galinhas is next to the gas station o posto at the end of the Rua de Esperança, the main street of Porto de Galinhas. At the other end of the Rua de Esperança is the praçinha (little plaza), the city center on the beach and near the tide pools.

From airport: MetroRec Subway has an Aeroporto stop on its southern line which will take you directly downtown.

Bus 033 (Aeroporto) goes every 20 minutes to Boa Viagem (15 min) and to the coty center (Av. Dantas Barreto, 30 min). You can also take the Aeroporto opcional which is a little bit faster. Stop in front of the airport building.

Bus 152 (Jordao Baixo) via Boa Viagem, Bus 153 (Jordao Alto), Bus 161 (Brigadeiro Ivo Borges) and Bus 163 (Cajueiro Seco) also go to the city center. Stop on the other side of the street opposite the airport building.

Taxis from the airport to Boa Viagem cost about R$10, to the city center R$20 to 25 and to Olinda R$ 40 (2011), airport taxis are more expensive.

11 Day

Porto de Galinhas. Do: Trip on a little boat in the lagoon and swim with the fish (take footwear as the rocks are sharp). Visit to the “piscinas naturais” in a jangada, a local raft tour to the nearby reefs. Do not miss nearby Maracaípe, watch the surfers. Food: Local “churrascarias” (barbecue) and good seafood. Don’t leave Porto de Galinhas before trying traditional tapioca.

Hostel: Pousada Areia do Mar Porto de Galinhas, Praca 9, 5, Porto de Galinhas, Double, 90LT.

12 Day

Recife. See: Boa Viagem, Teatro Santa Isabel

Trip to Olinda (Olinda is the reason many visitors travel to Recife). From Boa Viagem, the only direct bus is Piedade – Rio Doce. Take the bus at any bus stop along the Avenida Conselheiro Aguiar (this is the first parallel to the beach boulevard); in Olinda, ask the driver to get off in front of the Correios (Post Office), the best place to start walking around the Historic Center. From Recife downtown, the best bus is Princesa Isabel – Rio Doce. Take the bus in a stop across the street from the City Hall. In Olinda, again, ask to get off at the Post Office Station

Safety: Robberies on streets and buses are fairly common. While entering or leaving Olinda at dusk or dawn, you have a elevated risk of being ambushed. Taxis are recommended.

Rodoviaria: Terminal Integrado de Passageiros (TIP), Rod BR 232 – Coqueiral (way out in the suburbs). TIP is connected to the city by the MetroRec subway at the Rodoviária station on the Centro 1 line, around 15 minutes from downtown. Bus companies have booths at the Central MetroRec station in town.

Progresso bus Recife to Natal 4,5h, 60R$, 06:45 (42R$), 07:45, 09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:30 (42R$), 23:55.

Trip to Praia de Pipa, from Recife will drop off at Goianinha (tell the driver you are going to Pipa); there are usually taxi drivers hustling passengers, but if you can, use the local vans (R$3, 40 minutes) departing 5am to 11:30pm from behind the blue church, 250m off the main road.

Hostels: Sugar Cane Hostel, Rua Arara, 19, Praia da Pipa, Tibau do Sul, Twin 60R$, double 70R$. Zicatela Beach Hostel, Rua Praia do Amor, nº 48, Praia da Pipa, Tibau do Sul, double 25R$/p.

Eat: Restaurante X, Rua da Gameleira 36, Pipa. Tapas, Rua dos Bem te Vis, s/n, Pipa.

13 Day

Praia de Pipa

See: Baía dos Golfinhos -Dolphins Bay (dolphins), Praia do Madeiro, Praias do Amor e do Moleque (surfing), Chapadao Hill (spectacular view).

Trip to Natal (Rodoviária Nova), 2h, 85km, 10R$, 12:00 – 13:00 – 14:10 – 15:10 – 16:00 – 17:00 – 18:00.

14 Day


Hostel: Nautilus Apart Hotel, Rua Manuel Coringa de Lemos 11, Ponta Negra, Twin, 48LT/p. Agua Azul, Rua Praia de Touros 9167, Ponta Negra, Double, 104LT. Recanto Sul Flat, R. Poeta Jorge Fernandes, 2222, Ponta Negra, Deluxe 2 Bed Apartment, 43LT/p.

Safety: Official statistics show that Natal is the safest city among the Brazilian capitals. The area around Ponta Negra, with busy nightlife and lots of stores, has its share of thefts and robberies.

See: Forte dos Reis Magos, Farol de Mãe Luiza, Palácio Felipe Camarão, Theatro Alberto Maranhão, Morro do Careca

Trip to Parrachos de Maracajau (60 km from Natal, in city of Maxaranguape), snorkeling 70$R. Avoid weekends. Take your snorkell with you. Trip from Natal 100$US/p, 8 hours.

15 Day

Natal , Trip to Genipabu (camel rides and buggy tours). Two reputable operators are Top Buggy ( and Marazul ( A typical price for a trip to Genipabu from Natal is R$300 for up to four passengers. You can save a little money by arranging a Genipabu excursion directly in Genipabu with the buggy-drivers association (APCBA) in the center of town. From here, the ride costs R$180 for up to four passengers (plus a R$5 per-person entry fee).

Buses to Genipabu (R$2, 45 minutes) leave frequently from the corner of Av Rio Branco and Rua Auta de Souza in central Natal. From Ponta Negra take bus 73. Get off at Estrada da Redinha somewhat after crossing the bridge, then catch any Santa Rita-bus all the way to its terminus. At least 1 hour in total.

16 Day

Natal – Salvador

Safety: Barra harbour area, NEVER go to the beach at night! The long sloping road leading from the old town to the harbor should be avoided even during the day. ALWAYS take the elevator. The Flamengo and Stella Maris beaches are among the safest places to go during the day.

From airport: Executive air-con minibuses depart every 20 minutes to the Praça da Sé, in downtown near Pelourinho via the seaside, stopping at famous beaches like Ondina, Pituba, Amaralina and Itapuã, and Barra as well as stopping by Shopping Barra (R$4). Linha Verde executive buses go to Praia do Forte and depart often from the airport.

Urban buses for the tourist options are Lapa, Campo Grande and São Joaquim buses, the best thing is ask the driver before taking an urban bus, the fare is (R$2,50).

Rodoviaria: This area is not the greatest. Any bus that goes to Shopping Iguatemi will get you to the bus station.

Real Expresso buses ( Salvador to Lencois at 7h00, 16h30, 23h30h. (about 400km, 6 hrs), 54R$

Overnight bus comes at 5:30am, agencies open 7:30-8am, 8:30-9am departures.

Chapada Diamantina

Lentur. Zentur, Poco Azul/Poco Encantado trip, lots of driving, but worth the sites; 100 BR pp + taxes, not incl lunch. Cirtur, Roteiro 1, a must-do for anyone, esp the Morro de Pai Inacio 80 BR pp + taxes + lunch. Local walk starting in Lencois, and including Sala de Areia; had guides Nay and Nelson; 25BR pp.

17 Day

Chapada Diamantina

Hostel: Pousada Daime Sono, rua das pedras, 102, Lencois, Brazil, Twin, 90LT. Pousada Corona de Pedra, Rua Samuel Sales, 28 – centro, Twin, 82LT, GOOD. Sitio Curupira, Parque ribeirao Lencois, double, 75LT, CHECK.

18 Day

Chapada Diamantina – Salvador (6-7 hours), 7h30, 13h15, 23h30

19 Day

Hostel: Pelourinho, Barra. Hostel Amizade, Rua Portas do Carmo, 28, antiga Rua Alfredo de Brito, Pelourinho, 4dorm, 13$US/p. Hostel Cobreu, Laderia do Carmo 22, Pelourinho, 6dorm, 16$US/p. Alpha Hostel – Salvador, Rua Eduardo Diniz Gonçalves 128, Barra, 4dorm 17$US, 6dorm 14$US.

???? Salvador trip to Ilha de Tinharé, Morro de Sao Paulo 2 hours, very close island Boipeba

Catamarans leave from Salvador at 8:30 am, 9:00 am, 11:30 am. 1:30 pm, 2:00 pm. Catarmarans come back from Morro de São Paulo at 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 3:00 pm, 3:30 pm. 80R$.

From the maritime terminal (Portuguese, Terminal Maritimo) São Joaquim in Salvador take a ferry to the island of Itaparica. It takes one hour and costs R$ 3.95 (Feb 2012). From there, take a bus to Valença. The bus has air conditioning, takes around two hours and costs R$ 15 (Feb 2012). (The non-direct bus stops first in Nazaré, then in Valença and shortly after at the maritime terminal in Valença; ask someone to tell you where to get off if you are unsure). From the bus stop in Valença you will have to walk some 300 m to the maritime terminal in Valença, from which regular ferries head to Morro de São Paulo. Slow ferries take about an hour and a half and cost R$ 7.50; the faster ones take around 45 minutes, are not as smooth and cost R$ 15 (Feb 2012). Note that the slower ferry makes a first stop at the port in Gamboa (so you have to get off at the second stop). 27R$

You must pay a tourist tax when you first arrive 12R$.

20 Day

Most Pousada and travel agencies will offer a day trip from MSP to Boipeba for 65R$. 9:30 am. Hostel: Geographic Boipeba, Praça Santo Antonio 12 – Vila de Boipeba, Ilha de Boipeba, Brazil, double, 112LT. Pousada Farol das Estrelas, Terceira Praia, s/n., Morro de Sao Paulo, Brazil, double, 90LT. Villa Beija Flor, Rua da Lagoa, 480, Morro de Sao Paulo, double, 67LT.

21 Day

Salvador trip to Praia do Forte, 2h. Bus from Calçada (near the bottom of the Lacerda lift) or from the rodoviária. Buses leave from the airport at 10.30 and 14.30 for Praia do Forte. See: “Projeto Tamar” turtle sanctuary

22 Day

Salvador. See: Igreja Sao Francisco, Pelourinho is the Colonial historic district of Salvador, a UNESCO World Heritage site, located in the Cidade Alto. Porto da Barra, Portuguese forts dating back to the 17th century dot this popular beach area. Flamengo and Stella Maris are the most popular beaches among tourists and upper class locals.

Salvador, Brazil – Frankfurt, Germany

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1 Response

  1. Vacation Reviewer says:

    I’m planning a trip to Brazil and was planning on visiting Ilha Grande. So happy to have found your tidbit about there not being a bank on the island. Seems like a big problem if you don’t realize that ahead of time.