Celebrated for its dazzling beaches, ecstatic people and flavorful fruits, Brazil is the joyful sister of the more nostalgic Argentina. Though the languages spoken are different, it is not too hard to get by and talk to locals if you know some Spanish. From Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro is a 41 hours bus trip away, or three hours in a plane. If you have five to seven days to experience a tiny bit of the enormous Brazil, this place are highly recommended to go and enjoy.
Rio de Janeiro
The amazing city of Rio is located between tropic mountains, white beaches and the sea. With carnival, samba and bossa nova, you can not stay too long in this city. While you are here you need to take the cablecar up to Sugarloaf Mountain for a panoramic view and visit the 30 meters high Art Deco stature Corcovado Christ the Redeemer. You can rent a bike and go eat prawns on the restaurants at Copacabana Beach and see the sunset at the romantic place Pedra do Arpoador, between Copacabana and Ipanema. A free walking tour, where you pay the guides what you would like at the end, is highly recommended and you get to see the historic part of the city, including climbing the stairs Selarón Staircase. Try find a hostel in the neigboordhood of fancy Ipanema or bohemian Santa Teresa, one of Rio’s oldest on the hill with amazing views. Remember to be aware of pickpockets, do not walk along the beaches at night and take care.
Some hours in a mini bus and then a bout trip from Rio de Janeiro, you find the rainforest island of Ihla Grande. The former pirat’s paradise offer one of Brazils absolutely most beautiful virgin beaches, which you can reach by foot walking three hours through a jungel of monkeys. There are no cars allowed on the island which makes it a perfect retreat. The main fishing village is called Vila do Abraão, home to restaurants, hostels and hotels. Several tour operators offers boat trips with snorkel activities to go explore the crystal clear waters, colorful fish and sea turtles. There are plenty of hiking trips to do, among them to Pico do Papagaio, the highest peak on the island with a beautiful view. Remember to bring cash when going.
The historic, colonial town of Paraty was once a wealthy gold port after the world’s most richest gold mines was discovered in 1696 in Minas Gerais. Transporting the gold out of the mines, a Gold Trail was made passing costal Paraty on the way to Rio de Janeiro before shipping the gold to Portugal. Along the cobblestone streets, many of the historic houses, painted in white with jolly colored borders, have not been changed the last 250 years. Go for a free walking tour around town, relax at the beaches and try the beautiful sea food while glinting the tropical forest mountains at 1300 meters behind the house roofs. It is easy to get there from Ihla Grande with boat and bus connection as the village is located on the Bay of Ihla Grande. The town is full of artists, chefs and writers that all have fallen in love with the beauty of the place.
Not far from Paraty you can go visit one of the worlds few tropical fjords or wonderful waterfalls.