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My Brazil Itinerary

Here is my Brazil itinerary. I am posting it because when we were planning our trip a lack of good, simple, one-weekish itineraries was hard to find. You can thank me later 🙂

Background: This itinerary is most suitable for those who have less than 10 days to spend in Brazil. Ideally, you should enjoy the club/bar scene inordinately more so than other cultural pursuits (museum visits, theatrical performances, etc.) to derive max value out of this list:

Day One, 1pm: Land in Sao Paulo Airport. 

Day One, 230pm: Check into Maksoud Plaza Hotel on Avenue Paulista in Sao Paulo. I honestly CANNOT recommend it unless you have a weird fondness for the 70s. 

Day One, 7pm: Dinner at Vente Harregano Churrascaria. The food is fantastic and costs 80 reais. We got carried away with the drinks and ended up dropping 75 dollars US (yikes!) on dinner each. The funniest thing is that the restaurant will send a van to your hotel to chauffeur you to dinner. So basically even though you drop 80 dollars, you can’t be a high roller whilst stepping out of a meat van with a giant logo on the side. LOL. 

Day One, 11pm: Headed to the Skye Bar at the Unique Hotel in Jardim Paulista. I picked it because it came highly recommended by the NYTimes Travel section. The Skye bar is FANTASTIC! The views of the city are pretty damn nice and the weather was wonderful. We ordered expensive-ish drinks (10 dollars US each). Our entry into the bar/hotel was less than suave, given that we got there by convincing the meat van to drop us off. Great story, though. 

Day Two, 7am: Fly to Foz de Iguacu, home of the wonderful Iguacu waterfalls. Waking up at 5am to catch the flight was a royal bitch, of course. 

Day Two, 9am: Get on a flight to Foz de Iguacu, home of the Iguacu waterfalls. 

Day Two, 1pm: Visit the falls and realize that there are very few (or nearly none, actually) American tourists at the falls. The 500 dollar plane ticket starts to not look like the smartest idea. 

Day Three, 10am: Get back on a flight to Rio

Day Three, 2pm: Check into Copacabana Premier hotel in Rio in the Copacabana district. The hotel concierges speak English which is a joy and a relief. 

Day Three: Realize that nobody is around on Christmas day. Spend the afternoon drinking caipirinhas. 

Day Four, 10am: Do a full day city tour of Rio. Visit Christo Redentor, the famous chapel and Pao de Acucar. 

Day Four, 11pm: Head to Club 00 in Leblon. Pay 20 dollars US as cover and remark once again that Brazil is NOT cheap at all. Not at all, even if you are used to San Francisco prices. 

Day Five, 6am: Return home from Club 00. A long night filled with booze and cigars and great hip hop top 40 shit courtesy of the DJ. 

Day Five, 11am: Pack up and get ready for a trip to Buzios. 

Day Five, 1pm: End up at Rio airport to rent a car since all other rental shops were sold out. The lack of planning is evident once again. 

Day Five, 2pm: Head out for Buzios. We don’t speak the language and have never driven in Rio, so this is a bit foolhardy to be kind. Hell, we don’t even have cellphones or a calling card. 

Day Five, 6pm: Get to Buzios after getting lost a couple of times courtesy of shitty GPS directions. 

Day Five, 7pm; Check into Bon Bini resort at Buzios, drink a coffee and head out for dinner. 

Day Five, 8pm: Walk in Rua das Pedras. This street is highly upscale and is bursting at the seams with extremely attractive Brazilian people. Think Santa Monica, I guess, for lack of a better comparison. 

Day Five 830pm: Walk into Patio Havana. Fantastic food, good mojitos and Cuban cigars to boot. The bill is 400 reais at the end of the night – fuck. 

Day Five 11pm: Bribe our way into Anexo Lounge. 

Day Five 1am: Be a little bit miffed that even kids our age who went to private schools speak zero English. What the fuck? Some of these guys claimed to have flown in from Brasilia on a chartered jet. 

Day Five, 4am: Head back to the hotel.

Day Six, noon: Head to Geriba Beach. Fantastic beach, very clean, lots of attractive people and the weather was nice.

Day Six, 3pm: Leave for Rio. Back in Rio by 530pm this time given the lack of mishaps.

Day Six: 6pm: Check back into Copacabana Premier.

Day Six: Roll into Mud Bug, a local watering hole in Copa. Also try Shenanigans, a popular tourist bar (Irish, of course) and change our minds given that it was dead.

Day Seven: A day finally spent in Rio hanging out and just taking in the city. The weather is nice and the beach is packed. Head to the beach and visit Barra da Tijuca and Ipanema beaches. Make headway through the beach reads.

Day Seven evening: Watch a Bossa Nova show in Vinicius bar in Ipanema. Excellent music.

Day Eight: Try to take a chopper ride up to Christo Redentor. Fail miserably on account of logistical mishaps. Take a bus to the Christo train base and find that the place has turned into a COMPLETE TOURIST ZOO. We abandon the idea and cab it back to the hotel.

Day Eight, 10pm: Head to Baronnetti in Ipanema. The club is jumping but unfortunately plays techno which I’m not a big fan of. My fedora is a HUGE HIT, much to my pleasure.

Day Nine, 5am: Find a cab and head back to Copacabana. Eventful, fun night, nuff said.

Day Nine, 11am: Wake up, shower, pack a bit, head to the beach and hang on Copa beach for a few hours. Beers on the beach along with a bunch of other tourists.

Day Nine: 6pm: Pick up last set of Cuban cigars. My friend P haggles and we pay 40 reais a pop. Our most expensive acquisition but these are Cohibas after all.

Day Nine, 9pm: Start drinking at the hotel bar. 2 rounds of Caipivodkas get the night going.

Day Nine, 1030pm: Pick up 3 champagne bottles and head over to the beach. Copa is a ZOO at this point and everybody is dressed in white.

Day Nine, 11pm: We pop our champagne bottles and start drinking out of each, no glass. Ghetto but fun.

Day Nine, 1115pm: Run into a couple of American girls on the beach. They’re cool and we spend the rest of the night with them at the beach.

Day Ten, 330am: Happy new year! The place is still jumping but we’re dead tired. Head back to the hotel room.

Day Ten, 2pm: Get on a flight to Sao Paulo, followed by a flight to JFK, followed by a flight to SFO (don’t ask).

Day Eleven, 2pm (PST): Get home!!!

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  1. Shveta
    January 3, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Had fun reading this post! Welcome back. Post some pics dude, don’t tell me u didnt take ne! 🙂

  2. Nikki
    October 27, 2009 at 6:41 am

    thanks for posting! Its going to be very helpful..i’m planning on going this winter.. how much would you say your trip came out to including flights? thanks

  3. Gayathri
    March 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Hey I was so impressed reading this, I was looking exactly for some fun itinerary than a prototype. Its amazing, I am going there in 2 weeks! and thanks a ton.

  4. March 16, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Hey thanks! Glad you liked it, Brazil is awesome!

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