Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Buying reservations in Foz do Iguaçu

this website is has good prices for a lot of stuff: - including car rentals.
If you don't pick up the car at the airport, you save money. But it also sells packages (passport style) to attractions around Foz. They actually had something that fit my needs!!!! has some interesting information in English about Foz.

And to visit and buy tickets for Itaipu, the best bet is to go to their website:
They also give other kinds of information.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

renting a car or taking public transportation to Puerto Iguazu

It is so hard to find information about bus from Foz to Puerto Iguazu.

I finally found out that it is necessary to have something called carta verde to drive legally in Argentina (because of so many demands they have on that side).

Avis and Hertz are the safest places to rent if you want to drive to Puerto.

In case you want to take public transportation the bus from Foz is Crucero del Norte, and you catch in across the street from the Hotel Bourbon, and from the Puerto Iguazu bus terminal you catch a buz called El Prático.

If you can read portuguese, this blog is great for little tips on how to visit Puerto Iguazu:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Getting around in Foz do Iguaçu

So, I am getting the feeling that Foz do Iguaçu is slightly bigger a city than Gramado, so It will be more of a challenge to get from place to place.

We are not renting a car bc we are going to argentina one day (and driving a rental in argentina gets tricky), and we are going to be near our hotel on another day. The airport is a few minutes walk from the hotel as well.

So we figured we are not renting a car for one day and having to worry about parking, etc.

Of course this could all change in a few days. We still have a good 55 days till vacation.

Anyway, this is a good site:   - it gives you some information on public transportation at the very bottom of the page.
and so is this:
 this one gives some transportation info

there's also:!buses-from-foz-do-iguacu/c1zy6 


 which give you the address to the bus terminal and their phone number.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

check out other options

so I am checking out other turism companies, because there is always a chance that we might be getting a bad deal.

one example is the Grape and Wine tour.
One company offers is for R$120 without including the Choo-choo train trip ticket. Another includes it and it costs R$195. Well, it turns out that the train ticket is R$86 (
 ), so yeah, pay for the more expensive trip and save money. These trips are available at

Now, there is an even more expensive one that includes one extra stop it's R$235, so 40 extra reais, to stop in one more place. I have emailed them and asked if their price includes the same items as all the others. This one is done by VentoSul. I sent them an email asking about the specifics of their tour. The funny thing is their website doesn't advertise that particular tour. Gramadosite (which is a legitimate intermediary) does. Still, I sent the email to VentoSul.

Another example is the Rural Tour. The gramadosite has them for anywhere between R$95 and R$115 a person. However they do include everything.

There is a much smaller place called Jardineira das Hortênsias that does the trip for only R$44 a person, but they include no fees. When I can't find fees on my own, I email them and ask. (or call them, but I have not been lucky with the phone today).

Finally, gramadosite also does dinner trips. I wanted to pay for the Gaucho dinner (Gaucho is what we call something or someone from the state of Rio Grande do Sul). Well, I emailed the restaurant and found out they actually charge less for the dinner, but more than turism companies if they also include your transfer in/out. Well, a quick search on distance (about 30 Km round trip) , car fuel economy (about 11km/l), and current gas prices (about R$3,39/l), I figured it was a better deal to get dinner with a turism company. However, because I am afraid we will be late from an afternoon trip, I chose to make the reservation directly at the restaurant, without transportation.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

transfer in/out or rental car?

When I checked the price of the transfer and compared to the price of the rental car, it was definitely cheaper to rent.
Even if we don't use the car when we are in Gramado, we will still save money for renting to get there.

Here's why:
Rental: U$ 117 (using

Transfer out using private car - U$98 (R$280)
Transfer in using inter-city bus U$ 13 each (R$ 35each)

However it could have been cheaper if we could get a transfer out with VMC Turismo, at R$55 each (That's U$20 each - 20+20+13+13=U$66) it could have been a better idea.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Grape and Wine tours

There are a number of different tours offered by several different companies in the website

You can buy the tours right there on the site, without having to go to each individual company.

I put the ones I liked the most in a chart and chose the one that was not the cheapest, but it visited more places, and did not include the Epopeia Italiana show.

Here is what my chart looks like:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Parque do Caracol ou Parques da Serra?

I have opted for Parque do Caracol.  Here's a chart showing why:

Parques da Serra
  Parque do Caracol
cost: R$36/each   cost: R$18/each
hours: 9-17:30

gondolas to view the falls

lookout point to view the falls


360 observatory

  stairs to the bottom of the waterfall

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bus Tour of Gramado/Canela

Here is a description of the Bus Tour provided by

Time: 8:15-18:30
Cost: R$49,00
Phone: (54) 3282-5400, (54) 3286-5405, (51) 3358-2254
Address: Av. das Hortênsias, 1845, Centro, 95680-000, Gramado/RS
áudio em português, inglês e espanhol com as principais informações histórico-culturais das cidades de Canela e Gramado, espaço para cadeirantes, bicicletas e além de monitores treinados e capacitados para informar e acolher nossos clientes com dois roteiros regulares.
Brocker Turismo Canela e Gramado
Para passageiros BusTour 5% de desconto nos passeios opcionais e ingressos para os espetáculos
Alpen Park
Para passageiros BusTour 10% de desconto nas atividades
Terra Mágica Florybal
Para passageiros BusTour 10% de desconto no ingresso do parque
Parque Vale dos Dinossauros - Grupo Dreams
Passaporte 'Grupo Dreams" com 5 museus por R$ 60,00 para passageiros Bustour comprando na bilheteria. Valor normal do passaporte:R$ 150,00
Bondinhos Aéreos
Apresente o ticket BusTour e ganhe 10% de desconto no ingresso do parque
Castelinho Caracol
Para passageiros Bustour 30% de desconto no ingresso
Play House Florybal
Para passageiros BusTour 10% de desconto em compras na loja
Café Colonial Gramado
Apresente o ticket BusTour e ganhe 10% de desconto no Café Colonial, o único do roteiro!
Museu de Cera e Harley Motor Show - Grupo Dreams
Passaporte 'Grupo Dreams" com 5 museus por R$ 60,00 para passageiros Bustour comprando na bilheteria. Valor normal do passaporte: R$ 150,00
Super Carros - Grupo Dreams
Passaporte 'Grupo Dreams" com 5 museus por R$ 60,00 para passageiros Bustour comprando na bilheteria. Valor normal do passaporte: R$ 150,00
Museu do Automóvel - Grupo Dreams
Passaporte 'Grupo Dreams" com 5 museus por R$ 60,00 para passageiros Bustour comprando na bilheteria. Valor normal do passaporte: R$ 150,00
Mini Mundo
Para passageiros BusTour um presente especial
Para passageiros BusTour 5% de desconto no valor do ingresso
Cristais de Gramado
Para passageiros BusTour um presente especial
Le Jardin Parque da Lavanda
Para passageiros BusTour 5% de desconto em compras
Mundo Encantado
Pasa passageiros BusTour 10% desconto no ingresso
Artesanato Noel
Para passageiros Bustour 10% de desconto em compras
Reino do Chocolate Caracol
Para passageiros BusTour ingresso GRATUITO
Mundo a Vapor
Para passageiros BusTour um presente especial
Aproveite para almoçar nos melhores restaurantes da região, apresente o ticket BusTour e peça seu desconto!!!
Passaporte Gastronômico
Solicite em uma das lojas Caracol Chocolates em Gramado ou Canela seu passaporte gastronômico com até 50% de desconto nos restabelecimentos abaixo:
Caracol Gourmet; Galeto Mamma Mia; El Fuego Restaurante; Mamma Pasta
Olimpia Restaurante - Canela e Gramado
Ganhe 5% de desconto no almoço apresentando o ticket BusTour
La Famille de Gazon - Gramado
Ganhe 10% na sequencia do fondue apresentando o ticket BusTour
Restaurante Carazal - Gramado
Ganhe 10% de desconto no almoço colonial apresentando o ticket BusTour
Ratatoulle - Gramado
Buffet livre no almoço e Sequencia de fondue no jantar, ganhe 5% de desconto apresentando o ticket BusTour
Subway - Gramado
Apresente o ticket BusTour e ganhe um cookie!

Os ônibus circulam o dia todo, desta forma, cada ônibus, nos pontos centrais (centro de Gramado e Canela e Avenida das Hortênsias) passará várias vezes ao dia a cada hora aproximadamente. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bike in Gramado

So, it turns out you can also rent a bike to go around. They say the rental is R$37,00/day and that you can reserve it online. The only problem is, at least in my computer, you can not pick the dates from their calendar. So I guess you're better off calling, or just going there. bike-center

Sunday, February 1, 2015

transportation in Gramado

Okay, so we might not rent the car that would cost us $117 for 5 days and instead get a few alternate transportation modes.

To get from the airport in Porto Alegre to Gramado we will take an inter-city bus from the company citral.

I've been watching to get a decent hotel downtown or within walking distance to minimize our need of long distance transportation

Then to get to the places that are further away, hop-on hop-off bus with brocker turismo:

This page has a link to the map of all the stops. One day ticket costs R$49.00

And to go back to the airport, since it is an early flight, we will have to schedule a shuttle. There are a number of companies that do that:
brocker, vmc, liga, jusepe ...
here are some links:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

websites I like from Gramado

I really liked some websites that give ideas of what to do in Gramado and Canela:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

driving in Brazil

I was deciding whether or not to drive.
What did I have to consider:
  • traffic volume
  • parking
  • documentation
  • easiness of getting around in public transportation or chartered vans
  • independence
For the traffic volume, I figured, since we will be arriving in one airport and getting on the highway to another city, how bad could traffic be? I did some reading, and there seems to be a consensus that if you are going to gramado and canela, driving is a good bet because of the distances.
You could take a bus from POA airport to Gramado for about R$30, but that could affect your independence once you get there. I am sure there is public transportation, which I have not investigated yet. Gramado major attrations are mostly within walking distance, but not Canela, or the places on the way to Canela.

Parking in a Gramado can be a problem. I found a website that says they are now using parking meters.
But if you just leave your car at the hotel lot, you can mostly walk to most of the major points in Gramado.

Anyway, I went ahead and booked a car. My next concern was the documentation. Well, thanks to this site I found out that today all you need to drive in Brazil for up to 180 days is your driver's license and your passport.

We chose to rent a car in gramado mostly because of the distance to airport.

I am still investigating public transportation, and depending on what I find, I will look into canceling my car rental.

For Foz do Iguaçu, we chose to not rent a car. Our hotel will be really close to the airport and the falls, and it seems as public transportation is easily available, even to argentina.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

best place to buy flights to Brazil

The best website to buy flights to Brazil is not Kayak, Expedia, or even the airlines themselves.
The best place to buy flights to Brazil is BACC travel. They have the best deals. You can also work with them to combine specific flights that are not coming together in the website search.
They also have decent costumer service in Portuguese and in English. As with most costumer service, it greatly depends on who you get on the other end of the line. I had much better experiences in previous years, but this time it was not bad.
They canceled my troubled flight free of charge because of that crazy connection in different airports.

Now if you are flying inside Brazil, try going straight to the airlines -, and - or even kayak.
The reason for that is that bacc doesn't show all the airlines that do flights in Brazil.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

careful - different connecting airports

My agency booked my return flight with a connection.
So far, nothing new.
Problem was - the connection was booked leaving from a different airport, located in a different city, 2 hours away from each other.
Between one flight and the other there are only 6 1/2. Since you have to be at the airport 3hours before an international flight, that leaves was only 3 hours to get to the airport, if there are no delays.

Worst thing - the agency didn't even bother alerting me that this flight had connection in different airports. I only found out because I was reading the itinerary to my mom to check if my brother could come see us.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

ideas of itinerary

I found this awesome itinerary that can give me some ideas:

but there are also some websites that gives me sightseeing and activities.

This last one is the Quatro Rodas guide, which also helps in the choice of routes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


trying to figure out how to get from Porto Alegre to Foz.
plain, or bus? or car?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Northeast or southwest

Natal or Foz?
Here are websites about each: