Leaving São Paulo to get to our next destination, Iguazu Falls, only consisted of one very long and overly air conditioned bus ride, 18 hours to be exact. It all started with us nearly missing our bus but when we got to our destination, it was all worth it. Check out the bus – we had the lower level cabin with fully reclining seats!
The town of Foz do Iguaçu was a perfect 90 degrees. We enjoyed walking around the centro, but the main attraction and real reason why we were there was to see the famous Iguazu Falls.
The Iguaçu River acts as the border between Argentina and Brazil. The longest drop is about 269 ft and 1.7 miles wide, which makes it about 3 times the size of Niagara Falls! There are 275 waterfalls in total.
Seeing the waterfalls was nothing short of breathtaking. Pictures or videos don’t really do them justice. Walking through the park, there were several different views of the falls and the most up close and personal we got was the Garganta do Diabo (The Devils Throat). A pier-type walkway was built at the base of some of the biggest falls. Being so close, just the spray alone soaked our clothes! We can both agree, it is one of the most amazing sights we have ever seen.
Quick video we took at the falls ((CLICK on image below)):
The wildlife was spectacular too – we were often distracted from the falls trying to spot all the critters roaming around. Here’s a few we got on film!
So now we leave Brazil behind and begin a new chapter. Here we come, Argentina!
The last couple days have just been a whirlwind of sights to see here in São Paulo! For starters it’s the largest city in the whole Southern Hemisphere, with a population of 11.32 million. Compare that to little ol’ San Francisco with less than 1 million people! By the way, the photo above is from our apartment balcony!
Japan Town was a few blocks away from our apartment building and a visit to their weekly Sunday street fair was a must. Nothing like some good Asian food, even in Brazil! São Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan and also a large Chinese population. Interesting to see Asians speaking Portuguese….mind blown.
We visited the famous Avenida Paulista which is located in an area consisting of a blend of the financial district, mixed with the mission and sprinkled with some Berkeley. We even stumbled upon a protest right underneath a museum! Other photos we took include those of the alley “Beco do Batman” in Vila Madalena which is filled with some awesome street art.
And let’s not forget that “when in Brazil, do as the Brasileiros do”…..samba!! We had a great time meeting new friends, having buckets o’ beer, listening to great music and getting a little taste of the samba culture.
Although we had just a few short days here, we seemed to have covered some good points of interest. All this according to our awesome host Ligia who has graciously put up with our endless questions during our stay here 🙂
We’ll miss you São Paulo!! Check out our gallery below!
Our last days in Rio were all about chillin’ out and soaking in what we could while it lasted.
Last night we walked down to a nearby outdoor market called Cobal do Humaita for dinner. We ate at a really good restaurant called Joaquina’s. It was reminiscent of Brazilian/Mexican/Creole food. Yes, that’s cheese on a skewer.
We enjoyed our last cup of coffee this morning at our local favorite coffee spot – Boteco Cabidinho. We ordered two coffees “com leite” (with milk) and a fried egg sandwich. It cost less than $3.00.
We took a ferry across Guanabara Bay to Niteroi for a stroll and to see what Rio and Sugarloaf Mountain look like from the back side. We were going to stop at the MAC museum but unfortunately it was closed for construction.. It still looked pretty cool though. Maybe next time!
^back side of the famous Sugarloaf in the fog
And finally, we checked out of our little hostel home that kept us safe for the last 4 nights. It was a decent place; it provided us everything we needed at a good price. Staying in a hostel was a first for both of us but it was easy to get used to the shared bathrooms and living area.
We are looking forward to the next part of our adventure. Chapter 2: Sao Paolo!
The last few days in Rio have been fun but extremely challenging! The ease of which we do our chores every day is not to be taken for granted. One of our main goals is to buy artwork in each of the countries we visit and ship it home.
Yesterday we bought some beautiful canvas paintings depicting Rio’s famous favelas (Brazil’s “slums”). We thought shipping them back to CA would be easy enough but instead it became our biggest obstacle yet. After visiting two separate post offices, answering relentless questions and being given long forms to fill out, we got them shipped successfully. Here’s a pic we took walking to dinner that shows a colorful favela extending up a mountainside –
And then came the ordinary, mundane task of doing laundry. Most laundries here only do two day laundry service but since we were in desperate need of clean clothes immediately, we had to keep searching. We finally found a semi self service location that had actual washing machines and were able to pick up our fresh smelling clothes an hour later – right as they were closing. Here’s a picture of the laundry place – Tinturaria Imperial.
Our entire day was consumed with these few simple tasks so in order to make things right again, we decided to indulge in our favorite Brazilian dish – feijoada. It is the national dish of Brazil and consists of a bean stew with various meats accompanied by several side dishes like oranges, rice, farofa, chicharron, and greens.
We took the metro today from the Botafogo station near our hostel down to the station close to Ipanema beach – it was our first time using the Rio metro system and we managed to NOT get lost! It costs about 93 cents to ride the metro to any station on the line. We usually take cabs everywhere so this was a big step for us in terms of being a little more brave and venturing out into parts of the city we haven’t seen before.
We walked along the signature black and white patterned sidewalk that lines the coastline all the way from Ipanema to Copacabana beach. Although it was overcast, it was still hot and there were a ton of people out.
We’ve been to these beaches before in 2014 so we had a good time reminiscing about all the familiar sights. We stopped at one of the many food shacks along the beach and ordered our favorite drink in Rio – the caipirinha. Nothing is better than a real caipirinha in Brazil.