My wife and I are doing a 4 month RTW starting late January 2005 getting to Rio on Jan 30th and have booked room for 4 nights at Copacabana Hotel, AV NOSSA SENHORA DE COPACABANA 1256. RIO DE JANEIRO 22070-010.
We intend spending most of Carnaval in either Ihla Grande or Parati before returning to Rio on Feb 7th or 8th for one night of Carnaval before flying to Foz de Iguaza on the morning of Feb 8th or 9th. I'm talking bus back to Rio from ???, party till 4 a.m. then head for the airport.
Any info on that hotel/Copocabana would be good, and would Parati be better than Ihla Grande while the Rio carnaval is on?
All budget internet hotels are sold out, but would appreciate any info on the possibility of finding one night accomodation in Rio on Feb 7th or 8th. Cheap B & B, apartment???
Basically any info on Rio, Ihla Grande, Parati and Iguaza would help. Need budget/mid-priced ($30 - $50 USD) accomodation info for Brazil, not Youth Hostel/dormitory style.
Info on getting to Petropolis and back from Rio on same day early Feb would be good, or is it better to take some form of day tour?
People always say not to stay in Copacabana for various reasons, but I've found it an excellent place to stay. It is very central, the beach is very long (but always crowded) and it's full of fun and excitement.
I would be careful partying then planning on getting to the airport. I'd make sure you give yourself plenty of time as the traffic and events at theat time mean you could be stuck for hours on the road.
For the one night, have a look further south around the Barra da Tijuca area. I'm not sure what the transport is like to get there these days, but it's south of the zona sul and you are bound to find accommodation there.
Petropolis is well worth seeing. Again, I'm not sure of transport to get there so maybe a day tour is worthwhile. When you are there, go the house of Santos Dumont (aviator) - very interesting.
You probably know this already, but safety is a major concern in Rio; especially around Copba and in Carnival time. Do not wear a watch, any jewellry, and keep your money in your shoe. I am not exaggerating. Be aware of what is going on around you, and stay alert. Things can heppen to you very suddenly. There are no "tricks" or scams to get money form you, they will simply mug you if they see you as a target.
Iguazu is an excellent place. THere is only one hotel in the National park on the Argentianan side, and it is very expensive (I should know, I stayed there and ate stale bread for about 3 days!), but there are some cheap places in the towns, in both Argentina and Brazil. Also, there is a place where the river Iquazu meets another river, and from here you are standing at the border of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil!
Well, about safety in Rio, James is right, specially for foreigners who are often not allert and distracted... Anyway, in spite of this Rio is wonderful and definetely worth visiting...
I read you saying about Parati and Ilha Grande...well, in my opinion, Ilha Grande (the translation is Big Island) is very very nice!!! I think it's even better than Parati....no cars can drive around Ilha Grande, you have to take a boat...the people, the beauty, the atmosphere....every weekend I can I go there!!
About B&B, we in Brazil call "Pousadas" you say like "paul sadas"....but in Ilha Grande is better if you make reservations, try on the website
And have a good trip!