South america, Travel diary

8 days to start discovering Brazil

tio de janeiro - dancer with a backpack

Here we are, our first destination of South America, Brazil! When we planned our trip we add to make some choices, because even when you are traveling for a long time you cannot see everything. We chose to still go to Brazil but only for 8 days. We spent 4 days in Rio and 3 days in Ilha Grande.

Rio de Janeiro

The capital of Brazil is huge, vibrant and messy. As soon as we get out of the airport it started to overwhelm us. We don’t speak Portuguese and Brazilian are saying that they speak Spanishbut really they just manage to understand you and then answer really fast in their language… (not helpful!)

So what did we do in Rio?

walking in Urca, we follow the tour details in the lonely planet guide. It was really nice, out of the usual tourist place so very peaceful

hiking to the sugar loaf mountain. For the sugar loaf mountain, you can reach the middle point either by the cable car or by foot we chose the second option (low budget traveler…), and in fact, we did it twice! Twice because the first time we arrived at the top we were in the cloud and couldn’t see a thing. The second time the view was perfect! we didn’t go to the top because it is very expensive and we have been told that we don’t see anything more than at the middle point.

the Corcovado. The famous Christ on the top of Rio, too famous. As I said on Instagram, I didn’t like because there are way too many people you cannot move, it’s difficult to take a picture and you wait a lot. My advice is either to go really early to avoid the crowd or to skip it and go to the Mirador Santa Marta to have a nice view.

the botanical garden. A really nice place to walk around, I always love to visit this places when I visit a big city to get a peaceful moment.

A walking tour in the downtown. For some time now I usually do a free walking in the city, to get some historical information and not just simply see the city. This one was again really great, finishing to the Selaròn stairs that I really wanted to see (to have a picture alone you just need to walk to the top of the stairs)

Ipanema and Copacabana. The two famous beaches, we sadly haven’t been able to enjoy them in Bikini because the sun wasn’t with us. Still a good walk, even saw some good surfer in Copacabana.

If I’m being completely honest I don’t feel like I had a complete view of the city, the weather wasn’t with us and I didn’t do something that I wanted (a walking tour in one favela, Santa Marta and going out dancing) but it will be for the next time.

Another thing about Rio, the local bus, we didn’t manage to get even in one of us! There is no information at the stop, no map, no timetable. Everytime that we asked local they told us (and help us) to take an Uber because even them couldn’t give us some direction… For the story, before our plane, we wait for an hour to get our bus to the airport. There was 3 different bus stop in the right direction, we didn’t where to wait and when the bus finally came he didn’t stop or look if someone was waiting… I had to ask for someone to share his connection to order an Uber…

Warning, I don’t know where or how but my credit card has been scanned. So tried to be as safe as possible get cash inside a bank and check regularly your bank statement to prevent to lose any money.

where to sleep? Tupiniquim hostel was great and cheap if you want a hostel with more activities I heard !!! was perfect
where to eat? we mainly cooked our meal (low budget hello!)
how much does it cost? for us 26€ per day on average in Brazil (all included hostel, food, tourist attraction)

 

Rio de janeiro - dancer with a backpack

Rio de janeiro - dancer with a backpack

Rio de janeiro - dancer with a backpack

Rio de janeiro - dancer with a backpack

Rio de janeiro - dancer with a backpack

Rio de janeiro - dancer with a backpack

Rio de janeiro - dancer with a backpack

Rio de janeiro - dancer with a backpack

Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande is an island at 3 hours from Rio. You need to take a bus than a boat to get there. This is a heavenly island as people said, under the rainy or at best cloudy weather, it’s a great destination to do some awesome hike. We did around 5h hike per day, they are not easy but completely worth the effort.

Watch out with the caipirinha, they are not the same than in France. Let’s just say that with just 2 cocktails on the night before, the morning was not easy but a coke later, we manage to hike anyway.

where to sleep? oficina de peixes atelie & hostel super cheap and cute
where to eat? just one address for a good burger Rocky burger (R. Alice Kuri)
how much does it cost? for us 26€ per day on average in Brazil (all included hostel, food, tourist attraction)

 

Ilha grande - dancer with a backpack

Ilha grande - dancer with a backpack

Ilha grande - dancer with a backpack

Ilha grande - dancer with a backpack

Ilha grande - dancer with a backpack