Brazil has so much more to offer than the beaches and hills of Rio. There are the beating drumbeats and dance steps of Salvador de Bahia, the haute couture and high-paced energy of Sao Paulo, and the wilds of the Amazon and inland Brazilian jungle. Don't forget the day trips from Rio to 300 year old coastal towns, the love for soccer, the girls from Ipanema, or the canals of Recife, Brazil's own version of Venice.
Go Today (tel. 800/227-3235; www.gotoday.com) has a special to Rio de Janeiro starting at $759 for an all-inclusive air/land trip. Good for travel from October 1 to December 7, 2006, the trip includes airfare out of Miami, airport transfers in Brazil, five nights' lodging, daily breakfast, all hotel taxes and fuel charges. Other U.S. departure cities are available for such as New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. for an additional $170 and Chicago for $240. Check the website for a price for a gateway near you. Accommodations at the tourist level are at the Savoy Othon Hotel near the famous Copacabana. For approximately $250 more per person, you can upgrade to the Ipanema Plaza Hotel. A similar three-night trip to Sao Paulo also costs $759 per person. Purchase deadlines for the above trips fall on October 12, 2006.
Once in Rio or Sao Paulo, travelers can add day trips or three-day excursions to their basic trip. Go Today has excursions available all over the country. A two-night/three-day trip to Paraty, an old port city now a beach town, costs just $219. Paraty was the old shipping village where the gold pouring out of the Brazilian gold mines was shipped back to Portugal. There are roughly forty-four beaches around Paraty including Trinidad, an old pirate haunt. A three-night land-only Salvador de Bahia stopover starts at just $179. The old capital of Brazil, Salvador de Bahia is a city split in two with a lower section of cobblestone and outdoor markets, and a more modern sophisticated upper city. Accommodations include the tourist level Bahiamar Hotel with a pool and sea views. It's just a fifteen minute walk from the center of the historic district.
Latin Destinations (tel. 866/645-2846; www.latindestinations.com) has a New Year's in Rio package starting at $1,153 per person out of Washington, D.C. for six days and four nights. You need to book by October 17, 2006 with travel good from December 28, 2006 until January 2, 2007. Rivaling Carnival in spirit, New Year's in Rio is famous for beachfront fireworks and serious drinking and dancing. The package includes round-trip airfare, all lodging, daily breakfast, all hotel transfers in Rio, and hotel and service charges. Prices from other departure cities include New York for $1,263; $1,374 out of Atlanta; and $1,543 out of Los Angeles. Other Brazil packages from Latin Destinations include a combination trip to Rio and Buzios, an ecological-minded beach resort and colonial fishing village adored by Brigitte Bardot and other international film stars. Prices for a six-day/five-night package start at $676 out of Miami and $772 out of New York.
Gate One Travel (tel. 800/682-3333; www.gateonetravel.com) is offering a seven-day trip to Rio de Janeiro for $699 good for travel from October to December 2006. With Wednesday departure, the trip includes airfare out of Miami and New York, daily breakfast, all lodging, and fuel charges. Using Rio as your starting point, Gate One also has "Brazil Flings", two-night trips to the country's popular tourist destinations and overall best sites. For $339, a trip into the Amazon and Manaus includes eco-park tours, views of riverside villages, and piranha fishing. A trip to Sao Paulo costs $339 and combines leisure time for shopping and fun with educational city tours.
For a combination trip that combines Rio de Janeiro with Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santiago, Chile, and the Iguazu Falls, Latin America For Less (tel. 800/480-0707; www.latinamerica4less.com) has a special fourteen-night "Four Countries" trip that costs $1,903 from Miami and $1,969 from New York. Based on double occupancy, this trip has a single supplement fare of $653 if you want to go at it alone. You need to book by September 30, 2006 for departures before the end of 2006. The price includes all city tours, daily breakfast and several cultural dinners.
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