Photos - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile

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Photos - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile

Postby Bencito » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:36 pm

http://travel.webshots.com/album/560219069HJJFDh - Brazil and Iguazu Falls, Argentina - July 2007.
http://travel.webshots.com/album/559723304fkWDVR - Argentina, Uruguay, Chile - Dec 2003.

Please have a look at my two albums featuring Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile. I joined the independent GAP Iguazu Falls Independent 4 day tour during my July 2007 trip. I did other parts of these trips either by myself or with another tour company, but I would still like to share my experience with you.

The itinerary for Brazil and Iguazu Falls, Argentina July 2007 trip was as follows:

1. Sao Paulo – Sao Paulo was the first stop of my Brazil journey and I backpacked in this mega city. Although Sao Paulo may give visitors a gritty and grim feel, there are many interesting things that are worth visiting. At the end, I enjoyed my time in Sao Paulo and love the following sights:
· the beautiful Museu do Ipiranga,
· the huge Se Cathedral
· historic buildings in centre of Sao Paulo,
· the stunning view from Edificio Italia and
· the Japanese Brazilian neighbourhood of Liberdade
· the modern financial centre of Avenida Paulista.

Sao Paulo was way more expensive than I thought. As I did not have a lot of time, I used both the efficient metro and the taxi to get around the city.

2. Iguazu Falls – simply stunning and way bigger than I thought! I joined an independent tour with Gap Adventure. The tour operator made the transportation easy and I did not have to worry about dealing with Argentine and Brazilian customs. Just visiting the Argentine side took one full day. The rugged nature of the park enhanced the experience. The Brazilian side gave a good overview of the falls. The town of Puerto Iguazu, although not pretty per se, has quite a few good restaurants and some interesting museums and sights to fill time. I love the steaks in Argentina!

3. Rio de Janeiro – Rio was the first stop for my Amazon experience tour. I spent three wonderful days with great weather in Rio. The city tour gave a good overview of all classic sights of this beautiful city – Christ the Redeemer, Corcovado, Sugar Loaf, the shocking Metropolitan Cathedral etc. The beaches of Rio are beautiful and the small historic centre is well worth a visit to give a different perspective of the city.

And yes I can spend some extra days in Rio to explore more of its history and natural beauty.

4. The Amazon – we flew to Manaus and spent two days in the Jungle Lodge. Overall a very interesting experience. The visit to the jungle and the native village were highlights. The tour guide gave a good introduction of the medicinal use of the plants.

5. For Manaus – the Teatro Amazonas is stunning, very opulent interior with beautiful colonial buildings surrounding the main square of the city. Well worth a visit if you have a free afternoon in the city.

6. The Boat ride from Manaus to Santarem was uneventful in my opinion. It was interesting to sleep in a hammock for two days though!

7. Alter do Chao – after arriving in Santarem, we were transferred to the charming small town of Alter do Chao. Alter do Chao is very pretty with beautiful beaches and native inspired architecture.

8. Olinda and Recife – after Alter do Chao, our next destination was Olinda. What a beautiful Portuguese colonial city! It is a UNESCO world heritage site and rightly so. I also visited some beautiful historic sites in nearby Recife.

9. Maceio – it was a beach destination for us but it was raining most of the time when we were there, not good weather to spend time on a beach. I chose to visit the small but pretty historic centre.

10. Salvador – my top favourite destination of these three weeks! The weather was much better than Maceio and the historic centre is fantastic! Another Brazilian world heritage site. The Igreja de Sao Francisco is especially stunning! The folklore show is great – it showed Candomble dances, Samba and Capoeira.

Argentina, Uruguay and Chile in December 2003 -

Argentina – I finally visited Buenos Aires, simply one of my top favourite cities. I spent around 5 days there. The prices were very reasonable when I was there, and I could practise my Spanish there.

The only problem I experienced was when two women tried to rob me by spraying mustard at me and “helped” me clean up. Fortunately a policeman came by and got rid of the two women. This did scare me a bit but I did not suffer any losses and I enjoyed my time in the city. I would love to return sometime to see more of the city and the country.

I love the following:
· General beautiful atmosphere,
· the surviving elegant French style architecture in the city, the Casa Rosada, the Cathedral, the Galeria Pacifico. When I visited Paris afterwards, certain streets of Paris reminded me of Buenos Aires and that put a smile on my face!
· the tango show, very touching!
· the steaks
· beautiful neighbourhoods like San Telmo and Retiro
· Tour of Teatro Colon

Uruguay – I visited the world heritage Colonia del Sacramento from Buenos Aires as a day trip. Colonia was quaint, quiet and peaceful – good for a day trip from Buenos Aires.

Chile – I spent around four days there visiting Santiago, Valparaiso, Vina del Mar and Maipo Canyon. The Santiago metro makes getting around easy and fast. I really enjoyed the following
· the colourful architecture of Valparaiso stunning!
· the historic buildings in Santiago, the Plaza de Armas, Paris-Londres neighbourhood, Bellavista, the beautiful fountain at Cerro Santa Lucia and Palacio de la Moneda
· Central Market with its fresh seafood. I went there for lunch almost every day! Love the seafood empanadas.
· the beautiful coastline from Vina del Mar.
· a quiet walk in the Maipo Canyon.

I hope that you enjoy the albums and this little trip report!

Thanks

Ben
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Re: Photos - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile

Postby JaliscoJudy » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:08 pm

Nice photos. Looks like a fantastic trip. The Amazon spider is interesting looking. It looks like it is on your leg (yikes!).
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Re: Photos - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile

Postby Bencito » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:50 pm

Thanks Jalisco Judy for all your lovely comments! Much appreciated.

The spider was on my tour guide's arm, not on me... :D
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Re: Photos - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile

Postby rara » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:20 pm

hi, i'm actually off for a whole year travelling in about a week starting in brazil and spending 6 months within south america.

i'm getting to the stage where i'm quite nervous especially as i will be doing most of it independently of organised tours but excited as well of course. i've got one GAP trip booked and i'm pleased to see it looks like you had such a gd time; there gorg photos by the way. so any tips? (from you or others really)

thanks rx
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Re: Photos - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile

Postby Bencito » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:58 pm

Hi Rara,

Thanks for your comments on my albums. I love Latin America and have a great time there.

Anyway, I do find joining a tour with a company like Gap Adventure makes things much easier when travelling in Latin America. My general advice is to learn a bit of the language, especially Spanish. It really helps and enhances my experience in Latin America. Be a bit careful with surroundings. Average tourists don’t tend to have problems in Latin America, but do be aware of surroundings and your belongings. I recommend doing research for things you want to do, even when joining a tour with Gap Adventure. Although the tour leaders are generally very helpful, time is still limited in each place and some research will go a long way to ensure that you can experience what you want on your tour. Please let me know if there are any further questions.

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Re: Photos - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile

Postby TravelFun » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:26 pm

rara wrote:so any tips? (from you or others really)

thanks rx


Sounds great and you'll have a real fun time!

Going around South America independently is fine but do check certain countries when crossing borders. Some can be difficult so choose carefully between going overland or flying between countries. Like Brazil to Argentina to Chile is pretty easy. Borders with Colombia can be hard so flying is the better option.

I used a group tour to get me through Chile to Bolivia to Peru over 5 weeks...the rest I did myself with a couple in country tours.

Do learn some basic Spanish if you intend to use alot of local transport alone...will help you alot. Key thing is to always look as if you know what you're doing and where you're going, look confident and you'll be fine.

If you need specifics then do drop me a mail and I'll be happy to help.

Happy Travels!
DO THE RIGHT THING ...all the time, every time!
http://www.gadventures.com/about-us/gadventures/


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