Brazil is a country that had always been on my travel bucket list. I was desperate to see the white sandy beaches and lush green hills of Rio, the thundering Iguazu Falls, the concrete metropolis of Sao Paulo, the mysterious Amazon jungle. When the time came to plan our trip the hardest part was narrowing down where to visit within the mammoth country, the fifth biggest in the world in land mass.
Here is where we chose and exactly how much it cost to visit each place.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro was non negotiable; it was always going to be included on our itinerary. The second biggest city in Brazil and a major hub, many international flights arrive there – we opted to fly in on KLM from Glasgow via Amsterdam. As we were to arrive in the city after a very long flight we decided to keep the accommodation as reliable as possible so booked a chain hotel, the Ibis Copacabana Posto 2 (this was before we discovered airbnb). We had previously been told that the Copacabana area was dodgy, and it did feel slightly sketchy at night (like everywhere else in Rio to be honest) but I still really liked it; it had character, there were lots of bars and restaurants and the beach was stunning and offered probably the best people watching opportunities in the world. The hotel was good too, clean and modern with everything we needed.
RIO DE JANEIRO COSTS (FOR BOTH PAUL AND I)
Copacabana Hotel for five nights: £419
After Rio we flew north to Salvador in the Bahia region (most of our internal travel in Brazil was via flight due to the sheer size of the country). The epicentre of Salvador, and the location of the vast majority of the city’s sights is the Pelourinho, the historical centre of the city. We opted to stay in a guesthouse close to the Pelourinho called Pousada Barroco na Bahia which, to be honest, I would not recommend; it looked gorgeous in the pictures but in reality was more like Dracula’s lair with dark rooms and dilapidated furnishings. The German owner was also extremely rude.
Salvador accommodation for three nights: £131
Our next stage on the Brazil trip was a flight down to the famous Iguazu waterfalls. We booked Hostel Nature which was just fantastic – the rooms were basic but it had a lovely communal sitting room and garden with hammocks. They also made a mean caipirinha; one staff member jumped on his bike and cycled off to the lime trees to pick some fresh limes for the cocktail when I ordered one. Iguazu sits at a triangle at the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and as Paul and I lay in the hammocks one night we saw a storm in the distance; as we watched the lightning pierce the dark sky we tried to guess which of the three countries it was taking place in.
Iguazu accommodation for two nights: £66
Ilha do Mel
With so much rushing around in Brazil I wanted to set aside a few days for just sitting on a beach. After researching the country’s countless beach options, we settled on Ilha do Mel near Curitiba which turned out to be a revelation; it had stunning beaches and coastlines, lush green jungle and some lovely beachside bars. It was the perfect spot to relax in for a few days. We stayed in Pousada Coração da Ilha which was basic (the rooms were tiny and walls paper thin – we could hear the guy in the room us’s hangover vomiting each morning like it was in our very own room) but good enough for us. The staff were very friendly and it had a great location right on the beach.
Ilha do Mel accommodation for three nights: £132
Serra Verde Express and Curitiba
After leaving Ilha do Mel we joined the Serra Verde Express train journey from Morretes to Curitiba, an awesome journey over clifftops and through lush green jungle. We spent one night in the Curitiba Ibis Hotel when we arrived.
Curitiba accommodation for one night: £40
We then flew to Sao Paulo, the last destination on our trip and one that was always going to be included as our good friend Tom lived there. Tom kindly put us up for a few nights then we tried our first ever airbnb in the lively Vila Madalena. We then flew our from Sao Paulo back to Glasgow (via Amsterdam), once again on KLM.
Sao Paulo airbnb for two nights: £144
Prices Of Internal Flights Within Brazil
Rio to Salvador, Salvador to Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo to Foz Do Iguacu: £385 for both me and Paul.
Entire cost of our trip around Brazil both flights and accommodation for both me and Paul: £3122