Welcome to the Travel Forums

Why join TravelBlog?

  • Membership is Free and Easy
  • Your travel questions answered in minutes!
  • Become part of the friendliest online travel community.
Join Now! Join TravelBlog* today and meet thousands of friendly travelers. Don't wait! Join today and make your adventures even more enjoyable.

* Blogging is not required to participate in the forums

Rio to Amazon River?

I'm going to Brazil in June 08, we need to get from Rio to the mouth of the Amazon river in 4 weeks, suggestions of where to/not to stop on the way up the coast please!
15 years ago, February 11th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #27240  
I'm going to Brazil in June 08, we need to get from Rio to the mouth of the Amazon river in 4 weeks, suggestions of where to/not to stop on the way up the coast please!

At first glance of the map main places on the way up the coast from Rio to Belem/the beginning of the Amazon river are...

Sao Luis

But I just wondered if anyone could suggest any small towns/places that are worth visiting along the way, we have 4 weeks to do the journey and are going by road.

Any help welcome!

Thanks Reply to this

15 years ago, February 13th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #27419  
Ok. Forget this “first glance”… Vitoria and Maceio don’t worth it. Although Maceio, as Recife is a way to visit some beautifuls beachs, but the cities are uninteresting.

Salvador, Natal and Fortaleza are a good choice, especially the last one. Once in Fortaleza you can go to Jericoacoara. Is the most incredible place I ever stay. And once in Natal or Recife you HAVE TO go to Fernando de Noronha, it’s a spectacular island where you can appreciate the wide life “in loco”.

From Salvador you can go to Itaparica (there’s a Club Med) or to Morro de São Paulo.

Once in Sao Luis go to Ilha de Marajó, with great historical center, as well, Olinda in Recife, and the neighborhood “Pelourinho” in Salvador.

There are too much to see in 4 weeks. So, if I were you, I wouldn’t spend time with big cities.

So, follows my tip:

Vitória - DON’T GO!
Salvador-Itaparica-Morro de São Paulo
Maceió - DON’T GO!
Recife - Olinda - Porto de Galinhas (2 days at least)
Natal - Praia da Pipa- Fernando de Noronha (3 days at least)
Fortaleza – Jericoacoara (3 days at least)
Sao Luis - Ilha de Marajó (3 days at least)

Be aware that the roadway are very awful and sometimes dangerous. If you go by car, the indication along the way can make you lost your way. Unfortunately it is true…

Last tip: The Brazilian language is Portuguese.

Hope to help. Have you a good trip!
Reply to this

15 years ago, February 14th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #27471  
Thanks for your help Braziliann this is really useful!

We wont be driving ourselves but hope to take buses or other public transport, so hopefully we wont get too lost along the way... Do you know how good the bus services are or would you recommend a better way to travel? Reply to this

15 years ago, February 14th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #27477  
Well, the bus service is efficient (in Brazil you can go by bus almost to everywhere) but you have to expect a lack of amenities traveling by that. The bus stops use to be very insecure and some times dirt, but if you take care and like adventure, you can have a good time, since in other hand the Brazilian people are very helpful.

It is a long trip. So, once I recommended skip Vitoria City (Espirito Santo State), if I were you I would fly straight to Salvador and them, mixing the trip between plane and bus. If you would be really interest in my opinion, I can make a root to you.
Reply to this

15 years ago, February 14th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #27491  
2 posts moved to this new topic: Spain and London Reply to this

15 years ago, February 14th 2008 No: 6 Msg: #27493  
Thanks again for your help, the buses sound a bit gross but I'm after an adventure so I will embrace them!

I live in a place called Yorkshire in the North of England, my sister lives in London so I've spent a lot of time there it's an amazing city. It is split into zones so that the London Underground train system can be easily navigated, you will definitely need to use the underground while you're there because it is the main form of transport so where ever you choose to stay getting around is fast and easy. It's really hard to explain it in writing but makes sense once you're there you'll be using it like a local after your first day!

In terms of where to stay, anywhere close to a train or underground station is good, areas that I like are:

Notting Hill - if you go here head for Portabello Road
Camden Town - try and go here and visit the market
Leicester Square - great for nightlife and where a lot of the theatres are
Muswell Hill

Spain. I have only ever visited the South coast of Spain which is beautiful if you get chance to travel around Andalucia is lovely and so is Granada. Plus if you visit the very Southern tip of Spain you can get a short ferry over to Marocco for the day!

Hope this helps Reply to this

15 years ago, February 14th 2008 No: 7 Msg: #27507  
Thank you a lot.
I might stay in Notting Hill, at the Ramada Hyde Park. 150 Bayswater Road, London W2 4RT. I really appreciate your tips. Lets keep in touch, ok? Best Rgds, Reply to this

15 years ago, March 18th 2008 No: 8 Msg: #30230  
B Posts: 43
Some of my favorites:

Ouro Preto -- well preserved gold mining town near Belo Horizonte.

Penedo -- in Alagoas near the mouth of the Rio Sao Francisco -- if you can get a riverview room in the Posada Colonial (hotel in a 17th century building, believe it was the customs house) go for it. Penedo can be a stop between Salvador and Recife.

Joao Pessoa -- my favorite coastal city (other than Salvador) -- more like two cities, with the 'new' city on the beach and the old colonial era core a few miles inland.

Juazeiro do Norte, Ceara. For something different -- a pilgrimage town in the semi-arid sertao, a region with a distinct culture. Could be a side trip from Fortaleza or a bus break if you skip Fortaleza and go directly from Recife or Joao Pessoa to Sao Luis or Belem.

Belem: If your budget allows a mid-to-upper range hotel the Regente is very nice (at least it was in 2004) and the Nazare neighborhood it is in is more relaxed than most of the city.

Up the Amazon: Santarem (two days upriver from Belem) is a good base for seeing some of the Amazon, not as hectic as Manaus. There is a several kilometer-long paved levee along the watefront and in the evening people walk up and down it. The smaller riverboats dock there. Walking along the dockfront in the evening is something you probably wouldn't want to do in Belem or Manaus.

The biggest cities in Brazil are certainly spectacular, but you need to be constantly on-guard against street crime (Rio, Salvador, Recife, Belem -- I won't comment on Sao Paulo as I've only changed planes there). The smaller cities are quite different and it is easier to relax while walking about.


Reply to this

15 years ago, March 18th 2008 No: 9 Msg: #30243  
B Posts: 43
I should add a note on Brazilian bus travel.

For the most part the companies that run busses on long trips -- from one major city to another -- use fairly new busses with air conditioning and bathrooms. The quality of the meal stops varies considerably. Stops on trips I've taken from Rio to Ouro Preto and from Salvador to Rio have been clean and pleasant. The farther into the Northeast and the North you go, the more basic they get.

Same is true of the roads. Road quality drops off the farther north you go. The highways I took (2004) between Belem, Teresina and Juazeiro do Norte were awful, what I call 'negative potholes' (rather than pavement with potholes there are little islands of pavement the size of potholes sticking up out of the dirt remnants of what was once (poorly) paved. The busses weave all over to avoid them. They still run good busses, but trying to use an onboard bathroom while the bus is navigating one of these roads is one of those adventures you will laugh about a couple of days later. Also I've found in the North/Northeast that the bus companies give you trip times that are overly optomistic -- they are based on what the trip will take when the road is repaired.

A great improvement between my 1989 trip and my 2004 trip -- smoking is no longer allowed on the busses.

Boa Viagem,
Reply to this

15 years ago, March 20th 2008 No: 10 Msg: #30434  
B Posts: 71
Currently in Ouro Preto having travelled down from the Amazon along the coast. Buses are okay but not a patch on Argentina and a lot more expensive. We are paying about 30 British Pounds each for most 10-12 hour journeys which is way more than we expected. There have been no leite (cama or bed) buses on any routes we have travelled so get used to sleeping in a semi-upright position with a crick in your neck!

Absolute highlights have been the beaches at Trancoso and Morros de Sao Paulo. Take a look at my recent blog entries to whet your appetite. Also found a great place to stay at Ponta Negra, Natal. See the blog for the link.

Have a great trip! Reply to this

Tot: 0.042s; Tpl: 0.006s; cc: 5; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0185s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1006.9kb