I was just hoping for some help. A friend and i are trying to plan our route from Buenos Aires up to Rio de Janeiro. We know we want to go by bus but seeing as we have about 14-16 days to make our way up i was hoping that you might be able to recommend some places to visit or some bus companies to use. Also we don't want to go via the Iguassu falls because we are going to them on a tour from Rio, and we dont want to visit them twice seeing as we have such a short time in South America. Any advice would be great and we'll both be really grateful. We would also like to follow the coast!
Thankyou so much
Since I dont know what time of the year you are going, Im going to assume its summer (now). My choices for you maybe bias to beaches, but most people would agree with me. The name of the bus company isnt so important as there are plenty of buses from one place to another ( maybe 8 per day between cities I mention ). I dont know all the names of the companies but certainly here in Brasil getting a bus is no problem. From BA, they have buses to Montevideo, Urugaui which take the Busuque ferry from BA center. There is a duty free on the ferry to stock up on the goodies. The ferry is 1 hour. But when they announce the duty free open, better run as everyone has only one hour to buy. The bus gets off of the ferry and goes to Montevideo. Montevideo is relatively cheap ( Ibis hotel and is across the river with a nice seawall ). Then I would go to Punta Del Leste. Its about 2 or 3 hours east. Alot of rich people live there. The houses along the beaches are amazing and the beaches themselves are fantastic. Its a great resort town if you dont mind seeing cruiseships around. Then I would go back to Montevideo and catch a bus to Porto Alegre. Fourth biggest city in Brasil. The city is ordinary at best but its not the city thats important. An hour and a half west of POA (Porto Alegre) in the mountains are Gramado and Canela. Gramado is a german looking resort and has fantastic chocolate. Its probably the cleanest city in Brasil ( you'll know what I mean when you see the rest of Brasil ). About 10 mins farther is Canela. There is a tall waterfall there and you can walk down it( about 900+ steps). Expect to be exhausted after walking down, then back up. Also in the town is a rollercoaster of sorts. Its a 2 person coaster which YOU control the speed. Its not long but worth every minute! Theres also a long zipline next to it. Stopping anywhere between POA and Joinville, SC is a great choice. You could have a beach to yourself. Finding hotels/hostels maybe the harder search but can be done. North of POA is Torres. Finding a place to sleep should be easy and they have alot of sand dunes along the beaches. North of there is Florianopolis. Big beach city with fantastic beaches and parties. NW of Floripa is Blumenau. Its another very clean city along a river. Known for beer parties and its scenery. Straight east is Balneario-Camboriú. Another beach city with a teleferico (gondola along the beach). But can get very crowded on a sunny day due to its beauty. Going farther north is Curitiba. Curitiba is beautiful. Botanical gardens, coffeeshops and best city transit in Brasil. There is a train from Curitiba to Paranagua (another beach resort) but Ive never been there. The train ride alone is worth it, going through gorges and lush rainforests. I live in Sao Paulo so my suggestion is to skip SP altogether. Its a financial city only but most likely you have to go to change buses. Between SP and RJ, is Campos de Jordao. Another mountain resort but doesnt even compare to Gramado as CJ is a bit dirty but has a great park. If I can make a suggestion, forget the tour to Foz and go there yourself. Its so much cheaper to go on your own. Just take the bus there from Curitiba and make Rio you last place to go, but if you already paid for it then never mind.
Thank god you're visiting Iguassu on a tour. The falls are absolutely stunning!
You should also visit Ilha Grande, which is just a few hours away from Rio. It's a really beautiful island and the hike from Abrâo to Lopes Mendes beach is a must do. It's exhausting and it takes a couple of hours but it's worth it!