Brazil lifted its visa requirement from June to September, 2016 since they were hosting the Olympics. With this rare opportunity in place, I could not pass up the chance to go.
Here is my itinerary for this trip. There are two hotel stays that aren’t filled in since I didn’t pre-book those rooms. The prices quoted are for two people.
We started our trip in Rio. I wish we had planned more time to stay there because it really is a beautiful city.
One of the first things we noticed was that unlike the rest of South America, much of Brazil does NOT use the standard US outlets. We were taxed with going to hardware stores to find adaptors that fit outlets like the ones in Europe. Some rooms were equipped with both types of outlets, but be prepared and pack the European adaptors.
We could see workers putting the final preparations together for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
We spent a fair amount of time at the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. Since it was winter in South America in July, it was a bit windy and the beaches were essentially vacant.
No trip to Rio would be complete without a visit to Cristo Redentor/Corcovado. There are at least two ways to get there one is via tram and the other is mini bus. We chose the mini bus option. We purchased tickets at the kiosk in the park across from Copacabana Beach and proceeded to the street and handed the driver our tickets. When the van was full, we left.
The van slowly ascended the mountain and within an hour we were dropped off at the base of Cristo Redentor. Spend as much time there as you like. Crowds with selfie sticks are a pain as they take forever to take their pictures so patience is a must. Be sure to walk around to the back of the monument. A chapel has been built under the base which is worth a visit. When you are finished, there is a designated area for people to queue up for return transportation. There can be quite a wait to get back.
Other sites we enjoyed in Rio were: Sugarloaf, Escadaria Selaron, downtown, and the cathedral.
Thus the first two days of our trip were over and we set off to Manaus for a four day river cruise on the Rio Negro through the Amazon Rainforest.