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Wanting tips for trip to Brazil

Hi, My husband and I are planning a 2+week trip to Brazil in august and would love any tips. We will be going to Rio, Salvador and Fernando de Noronha. We are interested in any suggestions for lovely but not highest end hotels, things to do and travel between the places. Also interested in a possible 4th place along the coast.
Thanks in advance,

Posted by
6377 posts

In Salvador, I would highly recommend hotel Villa Bahia. My stay there was a long time ago but reviews are still very good. Location is exceptional, right in the middle of the "action", and amenities are good. It is on the higher end, around the $200/night mark - not sure if that's above your range!

What is "2+" weeks? 2 weeks and a few days?
An easy 4th place for a day or two would be Party, 4 hrs from Rio by road. Weather in August can be cool and wet, but it is a very charming place with well-preserved historical buildings. The most convenient way to include it in your trip would be to start there, arranging a transfer from Rio airport (you would then take the bus to Rio afterwards).

Or, reachable from Salvador and with better weather, Mangue Seco has an incredible wild beach, great place to 'chill' for a few days.
Morro de São Paulo is also an option, but I have never been there and I hear the boat crossing from Salvador is rough.

Edited to add that I'm not a Brazil expert at all, just been a couple of times myself and have a good friend who goes regularly. Not sure there will be many Brazil experts on these forums!

Posted by
74 posts

Hey Nancy, I was just in Rio for 6 days back in April. Fantastic city with stunning scenery. (Top of Sugarloaf mountain at sunset is a must!) As a solo backpacker, I stayed at a hostel near Copacabana beach. So can’t really help you out with hotel suggestions. I will say, I thought Rio in general was pretty inexpensive compared to American standards so I’m sure you can find a quality hotel at a decent price. For example, I did a traditional Brazilian steakhouse that included an all you can eat buffet and it ended up being $28 after the exchange rate. I would think something similar in the US would be at least $100 per person. Carretao was the restaurant if I remember. My favorite things to do in Rio:

  • take the tram to the top of Sugarloaf mountain
  • Visit Christ the redeemer statue
  • You can spend all day at the different beaches (Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon are popular ones and are all right next to each other). Botafogo and Vermela beaches were other popular ones I checked out
  • If you enjoy sports, I got to go to a soccer game at the famous Maracana
  • Escadaria Selaron steps
  • I got to see the Sambadrome as they were preparing it for Carnival
  • Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião
  • Get some exercise and walk around the lagoon near the beaches. Awesome views!

I was fortunate that a lot of what I did was set up through my hostel and they do guided tours for a lot of the above. I also do a ton of walking when traveling. I will also advise DO NOT use regular taxis. I had two incidents using them. Take Ubers.

Let me know if you need any further or more in depth info on anything.