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Travelling to Rio



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 4th, 2004, 09:42 PM
Jason Martz
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Default Travelling to Rio

I'm travelling to Rio in a month AFTER Carnival and wanted to know
whether anyone has good info on where to stay in Copa -- im
considering California Othon and Debret -- and what their "guest
policies" are. Since it's my first trip out there I'm also wondering
whether it's safe; whether i need guide to show me around.

Does anyone have any links for the hotels with the biggest suites and
rooms?

pretty much anything people can tell me would be helpful.

thanks,
jay
  #2  
Old February 5th, 2004, 01:37 AM
JohnM
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Default Travelling to Rio

In article , Jason
Martz writes
I'm travelling to Rio in a month AFTER Carnival and wanted to know
whether anyone has good info on where to stay in Copa -- im
considering California Othon and Debret -- and what their "guest
policies" are. Since it's my first trip out there I'm also wondering
whether it's safe; whether i need guide to show me around.


The advice you'll get from this ng is to stay in Ipanema. Copa is too
touristy and it attracts the hustlers.

--
JohnM
Author of Brazil: Life, Blood, Soul
http://www.scroll.demon.co.uk/spaver.htm




  #3  
Old February 5th, 2004, 01:49 AM
clint
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Default Travelling to Rio

I've been to Rio, three times, and will never return! The government hates
Americans, and it's very dangerous on public transport, and after dark! Why
not go to Buenos Aires?
"Jason Martz" wrote in message
om...
I'm travelling to Rio in a month AFTER Carnival and wanted to know
whether anyone has good info on where to stay in Copa -- im
considering California Othon and Debret -- and what their "guest
policies" are. Since it's my first trip out there I'm also wondering
whether it's safe; whether i need guide to show me around.

Does anyone have any links for the hotels with the biggest suites and
rooms?

pretty much anything people can tell me would be helpful.

thanks,
jay



  #4  
Old February 5th, 2004, 02:16 AM
Mark T. Evert
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Posts: n/a
Default Travelling to Rio

We stayed at the Debret a year ago and it was a very good value with simple,
tasteful rooms. It is near the south end of Copacobana Beach and an easy
walk to Impanema. Spring for the oceanfront room....the view is great.
Don't know about the "guest" policies, but suspect it isn't a problem. The
desk clerk can arrange sightseeing tours.

Rio isn't the safest place in the world, but if you use common sense you
should be OK. The tourist areas seem pretty well patrolled in the daytime
anyway. Be careful at night on Copa. Impanema is a safer bet.
"Jason Martz" wrote in message
om...
I'm travelling to Rio in a month AFTER Carnival and wanted to know
whether anyone has good info on where to stay in Copa -- im
considering California Othon and Debret -- and what their "guest
policies" are. Since it's my first trip out there I'm also wondering
whether it's safe; whether i need guide to show me around.

Does anyone have any links for the hotels with the biggest suites and
rooms?

pretty much anything people can tell me would be helpful.

thanks,
jay



  #5  
Old February 5th, 2004, 01:25 PM
David
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Posts: n/a
Default Travelling to Rio

The Debret Hotel has changed their guest policy over the last few
months to.
Not Allowed..

I would not stay in any of the Othon Hotels as they have a NO guest
policy or a Restricted guest policy (in after 11PM out by 7am)

why not look into renting an apartment??
I always do. try ---- www.ez-riorentals.com



(Jason Martz) wrote in message . com...
I'm travelling to Rio in a month AFTER Carnival and wanted to know
whether anyone has good info on where to stay in Copa -- im
considering California Othon and Debret -- and what their "guest
policies" are. Since it's my first trip out there I'm also wondering
whether it's safe; whether i need guide to show me around.

Does anyone have any links for the hotels with the biggest suites and
rooms?

pretty much anything people can tell me would be helpful.

thanks,
jay

  #6  
Old February 5th, 2004, 03:37 PM
Yaofeng
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Posts: n/a
Default Travelling to Rio

"clint" wrote in message .. .
I've been to Rio, three times, and will never return! The government hates
Americans, and it's very dangerous on public transport, and after dark! Why
not go to Buenos Aires?


That's just too bad. Don't think Brazilians miss people like you.
Been to Brazil three times also. Will keep going, finger print and
$100 Visa fees notwithstanding.
  #7  
Old March 4th, 2004, 07:30 PM
P E T E R P A N
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Posts: n/a
Default Travelling to Rio

The hassles by Brazil's government for Americans to apply in person,
and to pay US$100 fee, for 3-month multiple entry visa, is very
inconvenient and annoying. One basically has to waste at least half a
day showing up, waiting in the counsulate office to turn in the
application, then another half a day to pick up the visa.

I almost skipped the visit to Brazil because of the nonsense
requirement to apply for visa in person with an intinerary, which is
dependent upon when the visa is approved, and the fact that VARIG's
quote for my intinerary kept increasing from US$620, to $980, to $1100
then US$1400, as I waited for the visa. I went through with the visa
procedures because I already booked with VARIG. As I waited to pick
up the visa at the LA counselate, the old bald-headed man was very
rude, throwing the appointment paper back at me before I could explain
my problems with VARIG. Luckily a young woman on staff picked up the
paper and helped me picked up the visa.

As I waited for the visa, I had to delay the flight confirmation with
VARIG a few times. VARIG kept confirming then erasing my reservations,
therefore the ever increasing fares. As I was talking to VARIG's
sales manager, she resentfully complained about the US$100 visa fee
which the US is charging everyone in the rest of the world, except 8
countries. She said the US$100 visa fee is very high relative to
Brazilians' earning and she, like many other Brazilians, would not
like to visit the US. Her office has 5 employees, doing all the
booking in Sao Paolo, 2 hours ahead of EST, so be careful of their
deadlines!

After picking up the visa, I went through a travel agent in LA and
booked a much more direct intinerary on roughly the same dates via
United Airlines for US$1100.

I met some Italian tourists in Argentina who claimed they were charged
US$140 for the visa, which they promptly skipped! These Italian
tourists are wealthy and they could easily afford the visa fee. They
could easily spend US$3000 per person or more, 20 times the visa fees
on Brazilian products and services if they visit Brazil! However,
these Italians did not think highly of the Brazilian government by its
visa requirements, so they decide not to bother visiting Brazil. This
is the case where the false pride, arrogance and greed of Brazilian
government officials are showing glaringly in front of the world, and
they definite damage the people of Brazil in their good wills as well
as their pocket books!

I wanted to go to Rio to see the Carnaval, but it turns out to be a
big disappointment. This festival is now organized in a staged
location downtown Rio, called the Sambadromo, near the favela slum
areas. The tickets for the first competition week is very expensive,
minimum US$90. The second week was cheaper, about $US50. I understand
the real prices are much lower, but the scalpers bought and hoarded
the tickets then resold them at much higher prices. The event had a
lot of empty seats in the expensive areas, like 50% vacancies, so some
of these scalpers must have been burned!

Besides the organized carnaval downtown, various neighborhoods had
their own carnavals on a few streets and parks in Copacabana and
Ipanema, small scale events like any block party, where there are more
street vendors than carousers!

I was told by a few Brazilians at higher socio-economic strata, that
Carnaval is primarily a fantasy for the lower classes. During
Carnaval, schools and shops in Rio are closed. The people with means
in Rio just pack up their families and go out of town on vacation.

It rains heavily just about every other day while I was in Rio. There
were homeless people, mostly blacks and mullatos families with babies,
sleeping on sidewalk everywhere, even in the rain! There were constant
begging and selling on the streets and on the beaches!

There are very few policemen patrolling the streets in Copacabana even
during the Carnaval, the ratio is more like 1 in 10, if compared to
the tourist areas in Buenos Aires. On rainy nights, one could never
find a policeman in Copacabana. That was when I was faced with a few
potential robbers on Rua Dantas, in front of the hotel Mirasol, half a
block behind the famous and ritzy Copacabana Palace hotel on the
beach.

I had gotten out of the internet store late at night and stopped to
buy cigarettes at a small coffee shop next door, which still had a
dozen people, customers and waiters. As I walked out of the shop, I
stopped on the sidewalk to lit a cigarette. That was when this dark,
scruffy guy, wearing a white shirt, came out of nowhere, talking to me
in Portugeese. I thought he wanted a cigarette so I offered him the
pack. He ignored my offer, kept talking firmly and threateiningly in
Portugeeze, repeating the phrase "No problem...". I moved out to the
street. He blocked my way, grabbing and holding my shirt firmly with
both hands. I pulled away, he refused to let go. At the same time,
out of the corner of my eyes, I saw a few other guys running toward us
from the dark street corners. The street was dark, wet and deserted.
Suddenly there was noone on the street but the thugs.

I suddenly feel a deep regret that I had let myself ambushed by a
bunch of thugs, then the horrible fear of fighting 4 guys, getting
stabbed and lying in a pool of blood on a dark, wet street in Rio!
Then I feel very angry at these thugs. I am ready to battle these
dumb *******s! I started screaming " HELP, HELP, HELP..." There was
no response. The thug still hang on to my shirt with all his might,
as I dragged him into the middle of the street! As the 3 other thugs
moved closer, I screamed again " POLICIA, POLICIA, POLICIA...." The
thug hesitated. I knocked his hands off my shirt and ran towards Ave.
Rebata Riveiro, where I saw some cars running. The thugs chased me
half a block before they disappeared into the darkness.

I ran passed the metro station on Rebata Reveiro and got to the
Copacabana Hotel Residencia which was open and lit. I asked the hotel
clerk to call the police but he refused, on ground I am not a guest.
After much discussion, one of the clerk took me back 1.5 blocks to the
metro station where there is a small police booth. A policeman sat
there watching with a few pieces of bread, bottles of water and a
radio on hs small desk. As I explained in broken Spanish the attempted
robbery by a thug wearing " chemise branca..." he got on the radio and
soon there was a few patrol cars flashing lights in the area. They
called on a military policeman who can speak English. He arrived and
turned out to be the young MP guy who is always guarding the corner of
Ave. Copacabana on the Northwest West side of the Copacabana Palace
Hotel! Later an old police seargent arrived in a patrol car with
sandwiches and cokes for the guy on watch.

The police found noone matching my descriptions in the area and
offered to take me back to the alleged crime scene in their patrol car
for further searches. I declined. They must have run away. I wanted to
file a police report of the attempted robery but the police seargent
declined since no property was lost. An ambulance screamed past with
sirene and light on Rua Rebata Reveira. The seargent joked drily
(interpreted to me by the young MP) that they were probably driving
Japanese tourists, looking for their geishas. They all laughed. He
offered me coffee from his thermo. I graciously declined. It must be
past 1AM. I ran one block back to my hotel with the police patrol
cars following slowly behind.

The next morning, I walked back to the same areas, now full of people,
walking, shopping, even in a light rain. There was a police patrol
car parked, flashing red light at the corner of Rua Rebata Reveiro and
Rua Dantas where I was running for my life the night before. There was
a policeman talking with a Brazilian the corner. The Brazilian speaks
English with ease. His friend moved to Las Vegas, working for the
casinos, watching sattelite TV...I explained to him the incident. He
talked to the police. The policeman knows the alledged crimes. He was
in one of the patrol car that searched the areas the night before. The
Brazilians were very casual about the incident. They were laughing
and suggested that I should pray and thank my God that nothing
happened to me in this perfect ambush, one rainy night in Copacabana.

I walked towards the Copacabana beach. It's now about 11AM. The same
young MP is standing guard behind the Copacabana Palace hotel. The
scruffy old seargent drove past in his patrol car. When do they
sleep? The police force in Rio must be stretched very thin....


"clint" wrote in message .. .
I've been to Rio, three times, and will never return! The government hates
Americans, and it's very dangerous on public transport, and after dark! Why
not go to Buenos Aires?
"Jason Martz" wrote in message
om...
I'm travelling to Rio in a month AFTER Carnival and wanted to know
whether anyone has good info on where to stay in Copa -- im
considering California Othon and Debret -- and what their "guest
policies" are. Since it's my first trip out there I'm also wondering
whether it's safe; whether i need guide to show me around.

Does anyone have any links for the hotels with the biggest suites and
rooms?

pretty much anything people can tell me would be helpful.

thanks,
jay

  #8  
Old March 4th, 2004, 09:04 PM
Joćo Luiz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Travelling to Rio



P E T E R P A N schrieb:

The hassles by Brazil's government for Americans to apply in person,
and to pay US$100 fee, for 3-month multiple entry visa, is very
inconvenient and annoying. One basically has to waste at least half a
day showing up, waiting in the counsulate office to turn in the
application, then another half a day to pick up the visa.


If you have spent just two half days, you are better off than most
Brazilians who want to travel to the USA.

For decades there used to be no need for US-Americans to apply for
a visa to travel to Brazil, while Brazilians had and still have to
prove they have a job, income and are not trying to enter the USA
to work clandestinely cleaning your toillets your mowing your lawns.


I almost skipped the visit to Brazil because of the nonsense
requirement to apply for visa in person with an intinerary, which is
dependent upon when the visa is approved, and the fact that VARIG's
quote for my intinerary kept increasing from US$620, to $980, to $1100
then US$1400, as I waited for the visa.


There is a strong seasonal variation. Prices rise as Carnival
approaches, and not only with Varig.



I met some Italian tourists in Argentina who claimed they were charged
US$140 for the visa, which they promptly skipped! These Italian
tourists are wealthy and they could easily afford the visa fee. They
could easily spend US$3000 per person or more, 20 times the visa fees
on Brazilian products and services if they visit Brazil! However,
these Italians did not think highly of the Brazilian government by its
visa requirements, so they decide not to bother visiting Brazil.


Sorry to say, but this information is as false as it can be.
No citizen from the European Union needs a tourist visa for Brazil,
the same way no Brazilians need any tourist visa for any country
in the EU.

I understand your logic, and to be sincere I do not get why some
Brazilians go through the humiliation of getting a visa for the
USA, when they could be spending their hard earned money in a
place that treats them with a lot more dignity like Europe.


I wanted to go to Rio to see the Carnaval, but it turns out to be a
big disappointment. This festival is now organized in a staged
location downtown Rio, called the Sambadromo, near the favela slum
areas.


If you had asked before, we could have warned you about the tourist
trap Rio's Carnival has turned into.
Any place e.g. in the Northeastern coast beats it by far.


Sorry to read about your bad experience, but if you ever think of
visiting Brazil again, my counsel is: just skip Rio.

JL

  #9  
Old March 4th, 2004, 10:04 PM
clint
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Travelling to Rio

Skip Rio, and go to Buenos Aires!
"Joćo Luiz" wrote in message
...


P E T E R P A N schrieb:

The hassles by Brazil's government for Americans to apply in person,
and to pay US$100 fee, for 3-month multiple entry visa, is very
inconvenient and annoying. One basically has to waste at least half a
day showing up, waiting in the counsulate office to turn in the
application, then another half a day to pick up the visa.


If you have spent just two half days, you are better off than most
Brazilians who want to travel to the USA.

For decades there used to be no need for US-Americans to apply for
a visa to travel to Brazil, while Brazilians had and still have to
prove they have a job, income and are not trying to enter the USA
to work clandestinely cleaning your toillets your mowing your lawns.


I almost skipped the visit to Brazil because of the nonsense
requirement to apply for visa in person with an intinerary, which is
dependent upon when the visa is approved, and the fact that VARIG's
quote for my intinerary kept increasing from US$620, to $980, to $1100
then US$1400, as I waited for the visa.


There is a strong seasonal variation. Prices rise as Carnival
approaches, and not only with Varig.



I met some Italian tourists in Argentina who claimed they were charged
US$140 for the visa, which they promptly skipped! These Italian
tourists are wealthy and they could easily afford the visa fee. They
could easily spend US$3000 per person or more, 20 times the visa fees
on Brazilian products and services if they visit Brazil! However,
these Italians did not think highly of the Brazilian government by its
visa requirements, so they decide not to bother visiting Brazil.


Sorry to say, but this information is as false as it can be.
No citizen from the European Union needs a tourist visa for Brazil,
the same way no Brazilians need any tourist visa for any country
in the EU.

I understand your logic, and to be sincere I do not get why some
Brazilians go through the humiliation of getting a visa for the
USA, when they could be spending their hard earned money in a
place that treats them with a lot more dignity like Europe.


I wanted to go to Rio to see the Carnaval, but it turns out to be a
big disappointment. This festival is now organized in a staged
location downtown Rio, called the Sambadromo, near the favela slum
areas.


If you had asked before, we could have warned you about the tourist
trap Rio's Carnival has turned into.
Any place e.g. in the Northeastern coast beats it by far.


Sorry to read about your bad experience, but if you ever think of
visiting Brazil again, my counsel is: just skip Rio.

JL



  #10  
Old March 4th, 2004, 10:33 PM
Joćo Luiz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Travelling to Rio



Joćo Luiz schrieb:

I met some Italian tourists in Argentina who claimed they were charged
US$140 for the visa, which they promptly skipped! These Italian
tourists are wealthy and they could easily afford the visa fee. They
could easily spend US$3000 per person or more, 20 times the visa fees
on Brazilian products and services if they visit Brazil! However,
these Italians did not think highly of the Brazilian government by its
visa requirements, so they decide not to bother visiting Brazil.


Sorry to say, but this information is as false as it can be.
No citizen from the European Union needs a tourist visa for Brazil,
the same way no Brazilians need any tourist visa for any country
in the EU.


Just completing, these are presently the countries whose citizens
don't need a visa for Brazil and vice-versa:

Andorra Iceland The Philippines
Argentina Ireland Poland
Austria Israel Portugal
Bahamas Italy San Marino
Barbados Liechtenstein Slovenia
Belgium Luxembourg South Africa
Bolivia Malaysia South Korea
Chile Malta Spain
Colombia Mexico Surinam
Costa Rica Monaco Sweden
Denmark Morocco Switzerland
Ecuador Namibia Thailand
Finland The Netherlands Trinidad and Tobago
France Norway United Kingdom
Germany Panama Uruguay
Greece Paraguay Vatican
Hungary Peru Venezuela


Soon to be expanded as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania,
Latvia, Estonia and Cyprus join the European Union on the 1st
of May (the other 4 new members where already in the list).

JL

 




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