Can anyone suggest a plan with the length of time I should spend in each city? For the Rio segment I am very open to ideas and can visit other cities if you think it makes sense logistically. This is what I have in mind so far based on my research but very open to suggestions.
-I will arrive on a weekend in Sao Paulo. According to Google, 2 days in enough here so there goes the weekend.
-From Sao Paulo, I want to visit the Iguana Falls. Time is precious so I am thinking to take a domestic flight. No bus as it takes too long. February is peak period in Brazil so flights are going to cost more but I don't have a choice. My research suggests to spend 2 days in Iguana Falls if visiting just 1 side. 3-4 days if visiting from both Argentina and Brazilian sides. I am more leaning on visiting both sides since it's out of the way in both countries. Would be nice to cross off the list of things to do in life. So let's say 4 days here. Any tips for doing this? I should fly from Sao Paulo to Argentina side first? Then how do I cross back into the Brazil side? I imagine it's cheaper if I fly to Rio from the Brazil side since it's domestic flights. Trying to wrap my head around this Argentina/Brazil border crossing.
-If visiting from both sides is excessively complicated, I can limit the Falls to just 2 days and spend more time elsewhere. Please suggest.
-From Iguazu I fly to Rio to spend maybe 5-6 days here. Base the rest of my trip here. I heard Rio itself takes about 4 days at least. Accurate? I probably don't want to go through the hassle of booking another domestic flight or dragging my belongings to another city. What day trips or neighboring cities can I visit near Rio within a day's reach to kill these 5-6 days?
Haven't booked any hotels. Any suggestions for Sao Paulo and Rio in terms of areas to book hotels?
Any general travel, safety and money tips about Brazil? Please share. Areas to stay away from? I know Brazil kind of has a bad reputation for safety but I am sure it is overblown.
I know I am going at the peak times. February is the month of carnivals. Everything is going to be expensive.
Recommended restaurants and must try dishes?
I think 1.5 weeks is definitely not enough. I still want to do an Amazon experience but that's go to be another trip later on in life. Perhaps combine in a future South American trip.
Like my Jordan/Egypt trip, I'll also do a write up when I return in March. Would be good to get a combined info from the community.