The trip was very good indeed, and we definitely plan to go back.
Firstly I want to highlight someone who absolutely shone out for us from Rio Life, Alexandre. He was the driver we had throughout (except one leg from Paraty to Rio). Alex has extremely good English language skills, frankly as good and sometimes better than the guides, and is an excellent and interesting conversationalist. He built a very strong and caring relationship with us, was very informative, sharing all sorts of unique and thoughtful insights into life in Brazil, about the journeys we undertook and the places we visited. I had some real problems throughout the trip resulting from an early episode of food poisoning, including bad dehydration and related high blood pressure issues, he was extraordinarily caring, helpful, and attentive in dealing with these, including helping getting me medicine, getting medical help and so forth. He was always there for us, always early, always cheerful and engaging. He always insisted on helping. He is an absolute gem and a real talent. A lovely man. He should be a guide himself.
We enjoyed Flandrio who did not have good weather on his side for either of our Rio visits, he too was flexible and helpful re my medical problems, and always checking up on me. Julie in Paraty was excellent and very engaging, in Salvador my health problems rather cut short what Carlos was able to do for us but it was all well run.
Everything ran like clockwork from beginning to end thanks to your work Nick, thank you for that. We enjoyed Rio very much and would like to see more. Paraty was very unique, loved the old town and a day trip to the ‘fjord’ was also a highlight, the Poussada arranged a boat and captain at a very economic price (much much cheaper than the price quoted to you by the guide company) and was an excellent private trip in all respects. The food in Paraty is a highlight also. The state of the ‘cobbled’ streets is amusing at first but gets in the way of one’s enjoyment because you cannot walk and look around at the same time! We also got caught by the high tide which enters the town at full moon and meant we had to literally wade to the hotel one day, but that was part of the fun of it.
Ibitipoca was a simply amazing place. Stunning and the people lovely. Its full of extraordinary surprises and is a real paradise. The only downside for us was the food, the breakfast and lunches varied from okay to good but dinner not so good on two out of the three times. It was also at times difficult to find anybody when we needed a drink or other help. The guides were outstanding.
Salvador was intriguing, I think the right amount of time spent, loved the music, the old town, the museums we visited and found some very good food. Also were there in a time of some political protest and demonstrations which added a fascinating dimension to the visit.
Buzios, well what can you say? Utterly delightful one of the best beach holiday locations we’ve experienced with the Casa Blancas as a perfect base. So many coves and beaches to explore and enjoy. A definite repeat and for longer, yes we should have been there longer anyway. That's about it, happy for you to use / share our feedback as you dream appropriate but INSIST a huge shout out for Alex!
We will do another South America trip in the next year so keep in touch!
Very best Mike and Ilene