Private Journeys

Self-drive Southern Brazil and Buenos Aires

16 days from £3,100pp

Brazil / Argentina

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Essentials

Transport

Two domestic flights; self-drive hire care – VW Fox or similar (compact, for up to 2 clients), Fiat Doblo or similar (3 clients or more) with air conditioning.

Accomodation

In Rio you are staying at a modern, professionally-run medium-class hotel one block from the beach in Copacabana. Your hotel in Florianopolis has a boutique ambience and a notable Portuguese flavour, while the homely wooden ecolodges in the interior of Santa Catarina are constructed with sensitivity to the environment, while offering comfort and modern amenities. Your hotel on the beach at Praia do Rosa is our favourite in the village, a smart and very attractive pousada.

Meals

Breakfast daily.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Summary Of Nights

16 days, 15 nights: Rio de Janeiro 2; Florianopolis 2; Urubici 3; Aparados da Serra 2; Praia do Rosa 3; Buenos Aires 3.

Currency

The unit of currency in Brazil is the ‘real’ (plural reais).

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in Rio, Florianopolis and Garopaba (not in Praia do Rosa itself), and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. Banco do Brasil, HSBC and Bradesco take international cards.

However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money. Casas de Cambio (exchange houses) proliferate in Rio, Florianopolis and there are a couple in Garopaba.

For our latest currency advice for Argentina please see our FAQs section.

Daily Spend

A budget of around US$50-$80 per person per day should cover the cost of not-included meals, drinks, car fuel and local transport, tips and the odd souvenir. Prices of meals and drinks in standard restaurants are more or less the same as in Britain, perhaps a bit cheaper.

Tipping

Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $10 per person for a half day and $20 for a full day for guides and half that for drivers.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. 

Details of our recommended policy can be found on the Travel Insurance page.

Your vehicle hire includes only limited CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) insurance with an excess in the event of loss or damage. Please contact us for further details. Excesses are relatively high in Brazil. It is not possible to buy full Excess Waiver Insurance locally, so we strongly recommend you consider a Car Hire Excess Reimbursement Insurance policy. Although we do not sell these policies, they are widely available in Europe/North America. Check the level of cover carefully.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

There are no really long days of travel on this trip. You may not be driving more than 3-4 hours travelling between destinations, with plenty of opportunities for stops. With its flexibility and leisurely pace, it is suitable for couples and families alike.

In the mountains you can choose walks or hikes to suit your capability and interests and there are plenty of other activities suitable for people of most ages and abilities. There’s also plenty of time just to relax, if you wish.

Should you have a disability or require special assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Climate

In the southern summer temperatures can reach 35°C or higher on the southern coast – where heat is tempered by sea breezes and it is not too oppressive – and in Rio and Buenos Aires, where it can be particularly humid between December and March, with rain falling in heavy tropical showers. October-November and April-May are cooler, with some showers to be expected, but usually it is still warm enough to go to the beach and the temperatures are congenial for coastal walks.

The mountainous interior can also be hot in summer, with temperatures reaching 30°C and the sun can feel strong if you are walking. When it is cloudy or raining, temperatures are lower. (It is only ever cold (single figures centigrade) in the high winter months, when snow is a possibility and driving can be hazardous so we do not recommend car hire at this time).

Clothing And Special Equipment

For day-to-day wear on the coast you are advised to take loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Footwear should be comfortable and sandals are appropriate for the beach areas. A sun hat, sun block and sunglasses are advisable and you might take a light fleece or jacket for cool nights and either an umbrella or rainwear (both is better) swimwear, insect repellent and sun block.

In the mountains, if you are going to hike you will need good walking shoes or boots, walking trousers (you can wear shorts but the undergrowth can be prickly), hat, wicking T shirts, long sleeved shirt and rainproof jacket.

If you plan to go to good restaurants or out for evening entertainment, you might bring something a bit smarter as well (although more formal attire will not be expected anywhere other than at the very top restaurants).

Bring beachwear for the beach resort.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

As of 2018, visitors to Brazil travelling on our holidays should be protected with a vaccination against yellow fever, and carry the corresponding certificate. In April 2013, the World Health Organisation Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation concluded that a single primary dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and lifelong protection against yellow fever disease, and that a booster dose is not needed.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Clients with a different nationality should refer to our Briefing Dossier and check with the Mexican Consulate.

 

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Country info

When's the best time to visit Brazil?

Brazil is an all-year destination, but it’s a vast country: when you go will depend on your chosen itinerary and interests. Late Dec-Mar are the hottest months – very hot (over 40°C) from Rio northwards – and the local holiday season, so attractions can be very busy. During the Amazon’s wet season (Jan - Jun) it’s easier to get round by boat, the dry season is sunnier and better for wildlife-spotting but very hot. The Pantanal may be best avoided during the wettest months (Nov - Mar) when there are many mosquitoes. However this is the best time to visit the beaches of the south where it’s cool outside this period.

What's the official language of Brazil?

Brazilian Portuguese, a more languid and musical version of Portugal’s mother tongue; indigenous languages in Amazonia.

How do I get local currency in Brazil?

Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs at airports and in larger towns and cities. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. Banco do Brasil, HSBC accept UK credit or debit cards allowing daily withdrawals of 1,000reais. Bradesco allows a lower limit. Other banks eg Banco 24horas do not accept foreign cards. Most towns have a Banco do Brasil. ATMs close at 10pm. Currency also obtainable in banks and money exchanges.

What's the time difference between Brazil and UK?

GMT -3 hours. There is daylight saving from Oct- end Feb (approx) when clocks are put forward one hour.

What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Brazil?

Carnival: 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable.  Live bands, costume balls, over -indulgence and general frivolity in towns and cities all over the country: the best parades are in Rio, Salvador and Olinda.

Olympic Games: 5 - 21 Aug 2016. Rio de Janeiro.

Which countries combine well with Brazil?

Argentina: The crossing at Iguazú Falls is convenient for many visitors.  

Peru: There is a direct flight from Lima to Rio de Janeiro (5 hours) and to São Paulo (4-5 hours with many connections to other cities).

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides, where stated
  • All air and land transfers
  • Car hire in Santa Catarina
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided hike to Naufragados beach with oyster tasting
  • Walking tour of Monserrat and San Telmo in Buenos Aires

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides, where stated
  • All air and land transfers
  • Car hire in Santa Catarina
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided hike to Naufragados beach with oyster tasting
  • Walking tour of Monserrat and San Telmo in Buenos Aires

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Optional excursions

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Jamie Swan
    Jamie Swan - Travel Consultant

    Jamie backpacked across Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil before joining us; he has a degree in politics and is also a keen sportsman..

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

Meet the team