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mop357
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Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:23 am

I will be flying to Brazil for my birthday the end of March. I have not started the visa process as yet but I will soon. I was told Rio is the place to visit. To tell the truth I do not know much about either city. Can people who visited tell me which city is preferred and which area to get a hotel. Hotel recommendations are also appreciated as well as things to do and see.

Thank You
 
123
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:26 pm

If you want to work and eat well, Sao Paulo is the recommendation!
If you want to sunbathe, enjoy lovely scenery and hikes, then, Rio is the place to go among your two choices.

If you plan properly you could actually visit both cities: There is no way to compare them or have them as choices, because the cities are totally different, their reasons for being cities too, are totally uncomparable.

Tripadvisor should be a good place to look up hotels that suit your needs, quality and budget expectations.

Have fun!
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:09 pm

Two totally different cities.

Sao Paulo = NYC of South America. Big business center, shopping, lots of food/entertainment and museums etc.

Rio = Closer to the Miami. More relaxed beach adjacent city.


Frankly how did you even decided to want to visit Brazil without knowing anything about what it offers?

Ether city though use some caution. Unfortunately Brazil is not the safest place on earth and things are getting worse.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Aeroflot001
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:12 am

Hi, I just got back from GRU this past Sunday after 5 days there for two meetings, time for sightseeing and practicing my Portuguese (I've been studying it for two and a half years). And as a plus to Av-geek side. I finally flew on the
777-300ER. AA MIA-GRU.

I traveled on my Argentine passport so I didn't go through the visa process, do you know through which consulate you are going to get your visa? I'm about to pass by the Brazilian consulate in Coral Gables on my way home from work this evening, they relocated there very recently into a new, very modern building. I've only transited through GIG so unfortunately I can't give you much input on that front except that both airports have free WiFi. AA flies into the new Terminal 3 at GRU which is modern and simple. I've heard the older terminals being described as very concrete like brutalist style architecture.

Many told me before I went to GRU that it is an ugly city with nothing to see and little to do. I however hate when people make these blunt conclusions. São Paulo is certainly a concrete jungle with nearly 20 million people in the metro area but saying that it has nothing to do is ridiculous. I found some very nice neighborhoods with green areas and restaurants to suit every budget, the strong dollar certainly helps, the exchange rate is 1USD = $R 4. I stayed in Higienópolis, Pinheiros and Jardim Paulista. I was there for only 5 days and only scratched the surface. I recommend visiting the Football Museum, Ibirapuera Park, MASP (SP Art Museum), Paulista Avenue etc. The São Paulo Metrô is quite nice and modern, I used it several times, along with UBER which provides pretty good service in the city. The city has a lot of business expats living there so it isn't too hard to find someone who speaks English, though knowing at least some basic Portuguese is a must in my opinion, saying Bom Dia (Bom Djee-ah) instead of Hello can go a long way. Brazilians are proud of their language and don't like when people say its a Spanish dialect or things of that nature. I found most people to be helpful, approachable and overall just very nice.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:46 pm

First of all, be careful in Brazil. Brazil has a high rate of robbery so be careful and stay in safe areas and in groups. Even the beaches have muggings after dark. Brazil has beautiful scenery and is a fascinating country so you don't want to spoil that.

I recommend against going to Sao Paulo. It is a big city. There is some great food and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, but in general it is not that great of a tourist city. The old historic part of town is run down and covered in graffitti and is not a good area to walk around at night. The nicer areas like the Jardims aren't that exciting for tourists. Avenida Paulista is interesting, but overall I would not spend my money and time visiting Sao Paulo.

Rio on the other hand is a fascinating city. No other beaches in the world are like Ipanema and Copacabana. The crowds and environment are electric. The scenery with Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf mountain are impressive.

As far as hotels, it all depends on the money. If you want a nice hotel, stay right on the beach. The JW Marriott is wonderful but very expensive. Be careful to make sure you are in a good area. Some areas are rather dangerous.

Quoting Aeroflot001 (Reply 3):
I was there for only 5 days and only scratched the surface. I recommend visiting the Football Museum, Ibirapuera Park, MASP (SP Art Museum), Paulista Avenue etc.

Yes there are some nice interesting parts, but I don't think Sao Paulo is worth the time and money.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
dfwjim1
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:23 pm

Quoting mop357 (Thread starter):

First, congratulations on taking a trip to Brasil as many who travel out of the United States overseas tend to go to Europe,
Asia and the South Pacific. Are you going to Brasil with family, friends and/or a tour group? I have traveled to Brasil many
times since the early 1990s as my wife is from Campinas (an hour north of Sao Paulo) and I have found that is safer to always
travel in groups in Brasil. In addition it is wise to travel with someone who is fluent in Portuguese as English is not widely spoken
outside of the major cities. When traveling around Brasil be sure not to flash your money, credit cards, watches and other valuables.
I have always been careful about not showing off personal items when in Brasil and hence I have never been robbed or threatened
in any way.

Personally I would recommend visiting Rio over Sao Paulo for the same reasons that others have mentioned. If you absolutely have
to see Sao Paulo a cool way to do so is to take the drive from Rio to Santos to Sao Paulo along the Atlantic Ocean. I am sure rental
cars are available in Rio but again you will want to have someone in the car who is fluent in Portuguese.

Best of luck and if you have further questions about Brasil just ask!
 
roseflyer
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:15 pm

I agree with the challenge not speaking English. In Rio there are lots of tourists so getting around speaking only English is easy enough. In São Paulo it is different. Professionals tend to speak some English along with those in the hotels but it is not common for waiters or taxi drivers to speak English. In general Brazilians are not as bilingual (unless you count Spanish) as those in other countries like Europe or Mexico.

São Paulo can be done with just English but it will not be as easy. Taxi drivers are almost always very honest. If you are traveling by yourself you are safest to sit up front next to the driver. Try to find a taxi driver with an address and always have it written down in Portuguese. Telling a taxi driver where to go in English is only going to get you lost and confused and potentially in a bad area.

Since this is an aviation website I might as well comment on flying. Remember that both Rio and São Paulo have domestic and international airports. The flight to the Rio domestic airport has the most impressive approach in the world. Sit in the right side and hope the winds bring you within a few thousand feet of sugarloaf mountain on a short mile for a thrilling stop on the 4300ft runway (currently shortest runway in the world hat a 737-800 lands at).

For your international flight, JFK and MIA tend to have the lowest fares since there is lots of competition. Avianca, cops, aerolineas often have cheaper fares. Rio and SP have similar fares.

[Edited 2016-01-22 15:19:28]
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
jetblue777
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:34 am

I was in Brazil for a semester last year for a study-abroad program and I had a fantastic experience in both Rio and Sao Paulo (as well as some other cities around the country)

If you're looking for a better international arrival experience - definitely go with GRU, especially Terminal 3. Great, airy and spacious terminal.

As far as what city is better to visit, definitely Rio. It's one of my favorite cities in the world. The view on top of Sugar Loaf Mountain is simply breathtaking and the laid-back, beach vibe is definitely great. The further away from the city center you go, the better the beach gets. I recommend Prainha Beach (albeit too far). I found Copacabana and Ipanema a little too crowded. If you're young and love to party, then it's definitely the place to go. The night life is rowdy and colorful, especially at Lapa (really cheap Caiprinhas and Pina Coladas). It might look really sketch and dangerous at first glance but there is a big police presence (but I recommend going in a big group). My friends and I stayed at the Windsor Florida hotel which was in a great and safe location. The rate was pretty good too with a somewhat decent breakfast buffet.

Sao Paulo on the other hand, as others have mentioned is similar to NYC. A totally different vibe but in my opinion, still worth a visit. The fares between the two cities are often very cheap so it's doable.

As far as safety goes, everyone will tell you: use caution in Brazil. At times, we felt like people just exaggerated but you can never be too safe. Better safe than sorry. I absolutely love Brazil and I hope you enjoy your time there. Eat a lot of pao de quiejo (cheese bread) and if you're a meat lover, it's paradise.

JB
It's a cultural thing.
 
jumpjets
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:58 pm

I support the view that Rio is the better city to visit than Sao Paolo for a holiday trip.

If time and money permit though you should try and get out of the city and see all the other great things Brasil has to offer - Iguassu Falls, the Pantanal, and Amazonia are just three areas to think about.
 
sw733
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:26 pm

Of your two, I prefer Sao Paulo. I just prefer the multiculturalism of it (largest Japanese city outside of Japan), and the feel. Rio is fun, but I am less in to the beach style. I believe the NYC vs Miami comparison is good, and I've always preferred NYC. I've also always felt a bit safer in Sao Paulo, but both have risks.

That being said, there are better places than either of those, without a doubt. I love Recife, Salvador, and Manaus myself.

All that being said, I love Brazil and have never been to a place I disliked. Great country, great people, great food and drink.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:40 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 9):

That being said, there are better places than either of those, without a doubt. I love Recife, Salvador, and Manaus myself

If you are new to international travel, be careful in Recife and Salvador. The northeast has some of the drug issues and lead to more violence than the south.

Quoting sw733 (Reply 9):
I've also always felt a bit safer in Sao Paulo, but both have risks.

I believe São Paulo is the safest of the big cities in Brazil. Even though it is, you will be shocked by the amount of barbed wire, electric fences and guard posts on many blocks.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
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LTU932
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:47 pm

If you got the time, you could fly to SP or to Rio from wherever you are, e.g. CGH-SDU.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
mop357
Topic Author
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:05 pm

RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:44 am

Thank everyone for the comments and the ideas. Now my biggest thing is where to stay and safety. Part of me is thinking of backing down and going for Argentina or Chile. I am trying to get my South America badge in. This will be my 5th continent out of 7.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Frankly how did you even decided to want to visit Brazil without knowing anything about what it offers?

I do know about Brasil but my knowledge is limit based on the fact that I never been there so I figured I would put it out here on the forum to get some feedback from everyone.

Quoting Aeroflot001 (Reply 3):
I traveled on my Argentine passport so I didn't go through the visa process, do you know through which consulate you are going to get your visa?

I am not sure. I went to the passport office and they said $160 for the visa, $95 for them to do it for me, and $44 for all the shipping

Quoting dfwjim1 (Reply 5):
First, congratulations on taking a trip to Brasil as many who travel out of the United States overseas tend to go to Europe,
Asia and the South Pacific. Are you going to Brasil with family, friends and/or a tour group?

Thanks. I am trying to get the 7 continents. I already have Asia, and Europe. I been to Japan alone 3X, Hong Kong, and Korea. I will be going to Brasil with my cousin.

Quoting dfwjim1 (Reply 5):
I have always been careful about not showing off personal items when in Brasil and hence I have never been robbed or threatened
in any way.

I always walk around with my camera. I guess I have to find a way to hide it

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 8):
If time and money permit though you should try and get out of the city and see all the other great things Brasil has to offer - Iguassu Falls, the Pantanal, and Amazonia are just three areas to think about.

I am willing to go places but more than anything I am concerned about the safety.
 
jumpjets
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:56 am

Quoting mop357 (Reply 12):
I am willing to go places but more than anything I am concerned about the safety

If you were to go to any of the places I mentioned I doubt there would be any particular danger from humans - but watch out for the alligators and the pirahnas ..and try not to fall off the wqlkways over the Iguassu falls into the abyss..   
 
IAHWorldflyer
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:41 pm

Regarding safety, you need to be cautious, but don't get too paranoid. It's likely you will be just fine. That said, wear an old or cheap watch, no expensive jewelry, and don't have a camera around your neck, except possibly at Sugar Loaf or Corcovado, where there are extra police around.
No one mentioned this, so I will. If you stay in a hotel in Rio, Ipanema and Leblon are much safer than Copacabana. Barra is even safer, but it is rather suburban and not much tourist things to do. Someone mentioned the Marriott. Just be aware that every criminal in Rio knows that the people staying at the Marriott have lots of money and have been known to target people who leave the hotel. I usually rent a short term apartment. Look around online, you'll find lots of listings. Also remember that little children are some of the biggest pickpockets in Brasil, so watch out if a group approaches you.
Brasil, and Rio, are some of my favorite places to visit, so go. Great scenery, people, and food. Enjoy!
 
B747forever
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:11 pm

Following this thread with great interest as I will go to Rio and Iguassu falls in June for the first time.


Some tips about Iguassu falls is appreciated!
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
delta-flyer
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:56 am



Quoting B747forever (Reply 15):
Some tips about Iguassu falls is appreciated!

I've been going to Brazil for about 10 years regularly on business, always to Sao Jose dos Campos, about 80 km from GRU on the Sao Paulo - Rio highway. On my last visit last August, we did go to Iguassu Falls (Foz do Iguaçu, in Portuguese).

Iguaçu Falls is at the point where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet, at the confluence of the Paraná and Iguaçu rivers. The falls are magnificent, and there's also a great dam that you can visit. We didn't have time for the dam. On the Brazil side of the Falls, there's a national park with a double decker bus service that takes you from the park entrance to the falls (about 3-4 miles), included in the admission price. From the town of Iguaçu, about 6-7 miles from the airport in the other direction, you can walk across the bridge to Paraguay, over the Paraná River. From just south of the town, you can walk across to Argentina over the Iguaçu River. There are public buses from the city to these bridges (actually, the one to Paraguay is in town), also to the airport and the national park entrance. When you enter these countries from Brazil, I believe you only need a passport, but you better check on that. I assume you know that you need a visa to enter Brazil, even as a tourist.

My colleagues and I stayed at a hotel right next to the airport (in Brazil) as we flew from GRU. There are a few flights a day on TAM and GOL. From the airport, you can walk to the park entrance in about 15-20 minutes. You can buy the admission ticket to the park ahead of time online, so you can then use an "express" wicket in the visitor center, so you can bypass the long ticket purchase line. When you're at the falls, there's a deck at the largest cataract that goes half way across the river, and you're right in the spray. You can buy a little disposable rain poncho, or just get a little wet, you'll quickly dry off.

Here are some pictures I took: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/00rulr60mot6kjr/AABCcfNgejucu5GAP9kSI7GRa?dl=0
Let me know if you can't open this link - it should work.

Speaking of a camera, I have a very nice Leica V-lux-40, with a 20:1 zoom lens that folds to almost the size of a smart phone, that I keep in my pocket (It's the same as some of the Panasonic models with the Leica lens.) The park is eminently safe, not too sure about the town though.

If you have questions, just email me.

[Edited 2016-02-12 19:58:51]

[Edited 2016-02-12 20:00:33]
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signol
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:14 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 15):
Some tips about Iguassu falls is appreciated!

I went to Iguacu a few years ago. Then, I was with friends, and we stayed in a hostel in the city centre. There were busses to the Falls every 15 mins or so. At the entrance to the falls on the Brazilian side, there was a visitor centre, museum, small zoo, and the starting point for double decker bus rides to the falls themselves, through the rainforest. At the falls, there were walks you could do, and a cafe. On our second day, I and one friend decided to visit the Itaipu dam (at the time the biggest hydroelectric dam in the world). Again, public bus to the entrance, was free tickets inside, for a guided bus tour around the complex. Now you have to pay a few R$ but not many and easily worth it, in my opinion. The tour also crossed into Paraguay briefly.
On that day, some friends decided to visit the Argentine side. They said it was much more expensive but you could get closer in to the falls (Brazilian side had the best overall views).
Enjoy, I'd love to return again, with my family this time!
Hope this helps
signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
B747forever
Posts: 13853
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:44 am

Quoting delta-flyer (Reply 16):
Quoting signol (Reply 17):

Thanks a lot guys. Really helpful first-hand information.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
IPFreely
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:28 am

Quoting mop357 (Thread starter):
To tell the truth I do not know much about either city

Zika virus is in both cities. It's best to be safe and stay far, far away.
 
danvs
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:34 am

RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:04 pm

Quoting mop357 (Reply 12):
but more than anything I am concerned about the safety.

If you're concerned about the safety, then you should forget Latin America (from Mexico to the southernmost tip of South America).
That said, my mother had her purse stolen in NYC, I was victim of a scam in Toronto (at Radioworld, believe it or not) and my aunt had 600 euros stolen in Paris' subway.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 19):
Zika virus is in both cities.

Not only in both cities but in all Latin America (perhaps Argentina and Chile are exceptions).

[Edited 2016-02-21 15:05:40]
 
Mortyman
Posts: 5871
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RE: Flying To Brazil. Rio Vs. Sao Paulo

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:06 pm

Simply put, Sao Paulo is for business and Rio is for tourism / relaxation. I would think that most foreigners would visit Rio first... with the Sugarloaf, Christ Redeemer, Copacabana, Ipanema, Maracana etc ...

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