Me and two friends are travelling for the first time to South america next January - we are there for a total of just over three weeks and are trying to plan things to do for our trip.. Problem is, we want to try and see as much as possible without going for any (if possible as they are $$) internal flights or really long bus rides..
we fly into buenos aires first and spend 7 nights here, we are thinking of possibly catching a boat to uruguay in the middle of this but could possibly get a bus trip to iguaza falls then straight to rio?
otherwise we have a flight from buenos to rio where we will be there for around 2 wks. towards the end of this Carnaval starts so looking for things to do for the first wk.
Thanks in advance and happy travelling
Not really that much of Buenos Aries. Most find a few days is ample there. I took a flight to Montevideo. Not cheap but I was in town just after 8am and didn't leave till 6pm, back to BA. I saw all I wanted to see, and more.
Carnival in Rio is the big event. Many rooms are full already and others will go for ridiculous prices. A seat where you can see the Carnival go by is VERY expensive, if you can get one but it saves standing for maybe ten hours in a densely packed crowd of very noisy people. I was in Las Palmas (Gran Canary) 26 years ago and on my TV saw the Carnival: People in costumes going by to very loud music. Four hours later, people in costumes going by to very loud music. Another four hours and more of the same. I'd find that incredibly boring after about half an hour. I suppose the big thing is at night when everyone celebrates.
Rio without the Carnival has little to offer the tourist, unless you like beaches.
Iguaza Falls. Very expensive tourist trap.
I don't mean to put you off. If you've never been to SA before, you could instead try Peru which has quite a lot to see (Lima, Machu Picchu, Nazca Lines, Cusco and a fair number of trips from there, etc).
BA is expensive accommodation wise, can't imagine what would keep you busy for a week?
The ferry to Uruguay is really expensive, check their website
We also took overnight bus from BA to Iguazu with Baraloche Bus Co, came coche (sleeping seat), it was excellent, included meals and wine! From Iguazu we took local bus to Foz (brazil side) cheaper to do it this way. We then went overnight (bus) to Curitiba (has the lovely scenic rail trip) for few days and then another bus (overnight again) to Rio.
Rio is down at the heels and very scruffy after all its hey day was 1930's to 1950's, it doesn't look like much maintenence has been done since (except for teh cobbled pavements).
hope this helps