Planning a Vacation in Brazil in March
February 27, 2009 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Rio-Paraty-Sao Paulo. March 11-21. Recommendations?

My wife just got a job as an Ivy League professor. I'm celebrating by taking her to Brazil for a well-deserved vacation. I have a few questions.

1) We want to buy a one-way flight from GRU to GIG on Gol airlines but I don't have a CPF or a CEP. How do I go about accomplishing this?

2) I've been to Rio, but I stayed at a friend's house in Botafogo. Should we stay in a Pousada in Ipanema or be closer to the Metro for the sake of sightseeing and going to Lapa at night?

3) How do we maximize our hammock time on the Costa Verde without getting bored? Should we stay in Paraty and take boats to beaches, or should we stay somewhere more remote?

4) Is there good Korean food in Sao Paulo?

Thanks for any help!
posted by billtron to Travel & Transportation around Brazil (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Paraty is gorgeous--my favorite stop during my visit to Brazil--and IMHO worthy of at least 2 or 3 nights. We hired a private boat owner (for short money) to shuttle us from secluded beach to secluded beach and laze in the sun just off the coast. A small group tour of the Gold Road was also informative and interesting.

I would also recommend Ilha Grande (The Big Island, not really big at all), which can be accessed by a public or private (negotiated on the pier) shuttle. The beaches on the less populated side of the island are stunning and accesible by hired boat or our preferred method, hiking through beautiful tropical rainforest . . .

Enjoy your trip!
posted by eggman at 11:25 AM on February 27, 2009

posted by umbú at 1:32 PM on February 27, 2009

Also, congratulations to Ms. billtron and enjoy the trip!
posted by umbú at 1:32 PM on February 27, 2009

Response by poster: umbú: I searched at, but the cheapest flight was $169 per person. Gol's flights are $45 per person. I found a solution to question #1, however: I purchased tickets at Gol's Argentinean website, which doesn't ask for a CPF or CEP. Thanks for the advice, though, and thanks for the warm wishes.
posted by billtron at 2:29 PM on February 27, 2009

Response by poster: eggman: how would you fit Ilha Grande into a 3 day trip to the area? Could we stay in Paraty and take a boat or a bus up to the island, or should we visit the island, even staying there one night, before making our way to Paraty? And did the boats that took you to the secluded beaches wait for you or set a time to return and pick you up?
posted by billtron at 2:31 PM on February 27, 2009

I think it would be hard to get bored in Paraty. I have spent weeks in Paraty without getting bored. You can take boats all over the region. A visit to nearby Trindade is worth the trip.
There is excellent Korean food in São Paulo, in the Paraíso neighborhood:

Lua Palace Restaurante Ltda
Av Armando Ferrentini, 182, Paraíso
São Paulo, SP, 04103-030
Phone: (11) 3277-7823

They don't have a website, as far as I can tell. This place is a very traditional Korean bbq joint in the neighborhood with the highest Korean residential population in the city. Delicious and deadly, in my opinion. Memail me if you are going to be in SP at the end of your stay. I will be getting into town on the 17th.
posted by msali at 3:05 PM on February 27, 2009

1) This was a major pain in the ass for me, too. In the end, you can't do it online, but by phone, when they deign to answer. They didn't speak English (in my experience, but I speak Portuguese). Oh, and the only foreign cards they will accept are (as of last year) American Express. Major, MAJOR pain in the ass. The ticketing and flights themselves, no problem, very smooth. Purchasing, well, holy hell.

2) Don't compromise! When I was staying there for work I stayed in a beautiful 70s era apartment in Copacabana about 3 blocks from the beach and 3 blocks from the metro (Rua duVivier) for about $50/night. I could send you the contact information if it's of interest. I found it through Craigslist, where surely you could find others, too.

x) Is there a particular reason you're going to SP? The city was never as awesome to me as anywhere else I went in Brazil. But if you're looking for relaxing... you might look at Ilhabela, about 2 car-hours from SP, where many locals spend their weekends. Nice beaches, waterfalls, all kinds of little places.
posted by whatzit at 4:26 PM on February 27, 2009

billtron, I would recommend Ilha Grande only if you have the time, i.e. I wouldn't sacrifice time in Paraty for IG. In my case we took a bus from Paraty to the port closest to IG (although I don't recall the name) on our way back towards Rio. The bus was cheap and surprisingly easy to negotiate considering the language barrier--and not scary/dangerous in the least. The hassle of getting out to the island (IMO) is only worth it if you stay more than one night--if I remember correctly the voyage was at least an hour each way. FYI we took a private hired boat TO Ilha Grande and took a public, much larger ferry BACK to the mainland. This was easier than trying to figure out the ferry schedule when we arrived at the port, although more expensive (maybe $30-$40 in local currency?) vs maybe $5-7 each for the ferry.

W/r/t hiring a boat in Paraty, it was cheap enough that the boat stayed with us all day, i.e. while we were on the beach the captain was visibly off shore . . .

Good luck and have a great trip!
posted by eggman at 3:11 PM on February 28, 2009

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