Brazil & Argentina Itinerary

The Perfect Brazil & Argentina Itinerary [From Rio To Patagonia]

From the beautiful beaches in Rio, to the rugged glacial mountains of Patagonia, this Brazil & Argentina itinerary is one of the best ways to see South America.

Contents

How Long Do You Need To See Brazil And Argentina?

I recommend six to eight weeks to see both countries together, with roughly a month in Brazil and a month in Argentina.

 

One month in Brazil is more than enough to travel down from Rio to Iguazu, stopping at the best sights on the way. However, you could shorten this to three weeks if you wanted.

 

A month in Argentina is also ideal if you want to see the Buenos Aires, the wine region and Patagonia.

 

However, you can also cut this down to three weeks if you wanted, skip over the wine region and just focus on Patagonia.

Brazil & Argentina Itinerary

The Perfect Brazil & Argentina Itinerary

Part 1: Brazil

Stop 1 - Rio de Janeiro

This Brazil and Argentina adventure starts in Rio de Janeiro. With its vibrant culture, iconic landmarks, and lively atmosphere, is a city where the magic of Brazil comes alive.

 

 

I recommend 3 days to see the highlights:

 

 

  • Famous Landmarks – Start off your time in Rio by visiting two of its most iconic places. You can either trek or take the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain to marvel at Rio’s famous skyline. Then after, Christ the Redeemer. Stand in awe before the colossal statue and get another fantastic view of this incredible city.

 

  • Copacabana and Ipanema Beach – Sink your toes into the golden sands and spend the day catching some rays. If you want to get active, challenge some locals to a game of beach volleyball or football. Then sit on the boardwalk and sip on caipirinhas until the sun goes down.

Make sure you drop by Books Hostel in Centro. This is one of my favourite party hostels in South America. You don’t need to be staying there, just rock up outside and you’ll everyone drinking and getting ready for a big night out.

 

 

For more of my favourite party hostels:

 

 

Rio De Janeiro (View From Christ The Redeemer)
Flights To Rio De Janiero

As your starting of this itinerary in Rio, check out the best prices below.

 

Return flights to Rio can often be one of the cheapest ways to reach the South American continent. Return flights to Rio from London can cost anywhere between £500-750 if you’re lucky.

 

I’ve been using WayAway Plus to book almost everything whilst travelling around South America.

 

You get cashback on:

 

  • Flights – finds the cheapeast flights and gives you 5% cashback on all flights booked
  • Accommodation – up to 20% cashback on selected deals with Booking.com and 6% with HostelWorld
  • Tours – up to 8% cashback with GetYourGuide and 6% with Viator

Stop 2: Ilha Grande

This secluded island paradise boasts pristine beaches, lush jungle landscapes, and one of the most relaxed atmospheres in Brazil.

 

3-4 days is a good option but extend to 5-6 days if you love hikes and nature as this island has a lot to offer:

 

 

  • Beaches – Ilha Grande doesn’t have any roads, so you have to hop over it by boat. Spend your first two days enjoying it’s incredible beaches. Head to Lopes Mendes Beach to unwind on one of Brazil’s most pristine beaches and check out Aventureiro Beach for the best snorkelling in crystal-clear waters.
  • Hiking – Hike to the island’s highest peak Pico do Papagaio – for panoramic views. This is one of the best things to do on the island.
Ilha Grande (Brazil)
What’s The Best Way To Get Around Brazil?

My go to website for booking buses in South America is Busbud.

 

It’s a single website that aggregates all the bus companies and their schedules, allowing me to easily book buses and not have to worry.

Stop 3 – Paraty

Paraty is a nice stopping off point between Ihla Grande and your next stop, Itamambuca.

 

Nestled between lush mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, this coastal town offers a perfect blend of culture and beauty.

 

 

I recommend you spend 2-3 days here like this:

 

 

  • Colonial Town – Explore Paraty’s cobbled streets and colonial architecture, visit the Paraty Historical Museum, and try Brazilian cuisine at a local restaurant.

 

  • Boat Tours – Take a boat tour to nearby islands or to Saco do Mamanguá.
Paraty Colonial Town (Brazil)

Stop 4 - Ubatuba / Itamambuca

Itamambuca is a surfer’s paradise – long stretches of beach backed by lush rainforests.

 

This is an easy journey, just an hour along the coast by bus from Paraty and you’ll be in another coastal paradise.

 

Time to slow down with the activities and just focus on surfing. Spend as long here as you want but usually a week is ideal for beginners to get the fundamentals of surfing locked down.

 

Catch your first wave in this renowned surf spot. BAI BAI surf hostel is my favourite. The beach front location means you can wake up and be in the water in seconds.

 

Then in the evening enjoy oceanfront yoga sessions to help keep your body nimble for another day of surfing!

Stop 5: Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is a sprawling metropolis that offers a dynamic cultural scene, from world-class art museums to vibrant street markets.

 

I’m not the biggest fan of Brazil’s megacities and prefer to spend time at the beach. So I usually recommend 2-3 days max in Sao Paulo.

 

 

  • Museum hopPinacoteca do Estado and Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP) both have great collections. Then visit Vila Madalena where you can wander through the colourful streets adorned with street art.

 

  • Parks – head to Ibirapuera Park. Relax in this urban oasis, complete with lakes and cultural spaces or go hiking in Estadual Jaraguá State Park. Trek to Jaragua Peek at 1,135 meters, where you’ll get a view of the entire city
Sao Paulo (Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge), Brazil

Stop 6: Florianopolis

Whether you’re into water sports, hiking, or simply relaxing on the beach, Florianopolis has it all.

 

This island city boasts a stunning coastline with over 40 pristine beaches, each with its own unique charm.

 

I recommend a minimum of 5 days as it’s such a huge island, but I think you need at least a week to see it properly.

 

 

  • Surf – Florianopolis has too many beaches to choose from and after your time in Itamambuca, you should be feeling pretty confident. Either take some more lessons or grab your own board and head out. Praia Mole or Joaquina Beach are two of the best or if you don’t want to surf just nwind on the soft sands of these beautiful beaches.

 

  • Island Tours – Visit Campeche Island where you can snorkel in turquoise waters and discover hidden caves.

 

  • Lagoinha do Leste Hike – Trek through lush landscapes to a secluded beach.

Make sure you stay at The Search House Hostel. They have private access to the beach, great dorms, and regular events. This is one of my favourite hostels in South America:

 

 

Lagoinha do Leste, Florianopolis (Brazil)

Stop 7: Iguazu Falls

This is your final stop in Brazil before heading into Argentina.

 

As one of the world’s natural wonders, the falls offer a spectacular finale to your Brazilian adventure.

 

Spend one day on the Brazillian side of the border, then cross the border the next day to reach Argentina!

Iguazu Falls (Brazil)

How Many Days Do You Need In Brazil?

If you want to travel the standard route from Rio down to Iguazu, then you can do this easily in about two weeks.

 

However, if you really want to enjoy yourself then I recommend three to four weeks.

 

Here are some suggestions for what you can get done in Brazil with the amount of days you have spare:

Is A Week Enough In Brazil?

A week is enough to see Rio and then one other popular highlight or city like Sao Paulo.

If it’s your first time in Brazil, I would recommend visiting Rio and then flying down to Iguazu.

 

Spend a week in Brazil like this:

 

  • Day 1-4 – Rio
  • Day 5-6 – Iguazu
  • Day 7 – Rio
Is Two Weeks Enough In Brazil?

Two weeks is a great amount of time to see 3-4 of the highlights of Brazil’s southern coast.

 

You could spend a few days in Rio before heading to Ilha Grande. Then you could fly down to the island paradise of Florianopolis and then to Iguazu.

 

For example, here’s what I would do with two weeks in Brazil:

 

  • Day 1-3 – Rio
  • Day 4-6 – Ihla Grande
  • Day 7-8 – Sao Paulo
  • Day 9-12 – Florianopolis
  • Day 13-14 – Iguazu
Is Three Weeks Enough In Brazil?

With three weeks in Brazil, you can visit all the best stops.

 

 

Rio > Ihla Grande > Paraty > Itamambuca > Sao Paulo > Florianopolis > Iguazu

 

However, you may want to slow down a little and cut out one or two stops to spend more time in each place.

 

I would recommend skipping Itamambuca if you aren’t a surf lover or skipping Sao Paulo as it’s just a big city.

 

I would spend three weeks in Brazil like this:

 

  • Day 1-4 – Rio
  • Day 5-8 – Ihla Grande
  • Day 9-12 – Paraty
  • Day 13-14 – Sao Paulo
  • Day 15-19 – Florianopolis
  • Day 20-21 – Iguazu
Is A Month Enough In Brazil?

A month is more than enough to follow this route:

 

Rio > Ihla Grande > Paraty > Itamambuca > Sao Paulo > Florianopolis > Iguazu

 

You’ll get 4-5 days in each place, maximise your time at the beach and overall have a fantastic time.

Check out this month long itinerary for Brazil:

 

 

Copacabana and Ipanema Beach - Rio (Brazil)

Part 2: Argentina

Stop 8: Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is known as the “Paris of South America,” as it feels like you’re visiting a European capital only on South American soil. 

 

I recommend 3 days to see the highlights, but a week is necessary to enjoy everything from Tango shows to nights out.

 

Here are some things to do here:

 

 

  • Centro – Take a leisurely stroll through the historic Plaza de Mayo, surrounded by iconic buildings like the Casa Rosada where the president lives.

 

  • San Telmo – Explore the charming San Telmo neighbourhood, known for its cobblestone streets, bustling market, and vibrant street art.

 

  • Steak and Pizza – Enjoy a traditional Argentine dinner at one of the local parrillas (steak restaurants) or try Argentine pizza, a much thicker and cheesier pizza.
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Stop 9: Mendoza

Mendoza is Argentina’s number one wine producing region with over 1,200 wineries and vineyards in the surrounding area.

 

2-3 days here is more than enough but extend to 4 or 5 if you want to do some trekking in Aconcagua National Park.

 

Here are my two favourite things to do here:

 

 

  • Maipu Wine Route – Just outside of Mendoza, in the town of Maipu, visitors can tour some of the best wineries in the world. Here you can visit the bodegas, taste wines, and learn about the wine-making process from some of the best winemakers in Argentina.

 

  • Aconcagua National Park hike to the base camp of the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere.
Mendoza Argentina, a sign in the mountains

Stop 10: Bariloche

With its snow-capped peaks, blue lakes, and endless amounts of adventure activities, Bariloche is a must-visit for travellers looking for a thrill.

 

I usually recommend 5-7 days here as there so much to do!

 

Here are some great things to do In Bariloche:

 

 

  • Explore the town – A walking tour will take you on a wander through its charming streets where you can sample Bariloche famous chocolate stores, admire Swiss-style architecture, and learn more about the history of the town.

 

  • Refugio Frey – For hikers seeking a challenging adventure, the hike to Refugio Frey is an excellent choice. This 5km trail takes you through dense forests, rugged terrain, and glacial valleys, and should take between 5-6 hours total.

 

  • Circuito Chico – Circuito Chico is 17-mile (27 km) scenic bike route that loops around the Llao Llao peninsula. You’ll ride alongside the shoreline of Lake Nahuel Huapi and witness stunning vistas of the Andes Mountains all the way around.
Joe From Shall We Go Home Travel at Refugio Frey (Bariloche)

Stop 11: El Calafate

El Calafate is more than just a starting point for your Patagonian leg of this journey – it’s a must-visit destination that will leave you with one of your best travel memories.

 

All you need is 2 days here. One to settle into the town, and then the other to visit the glacier:

 

 

  • Perito Moreno Glacier – one of the largest glaciers in the world. Taking the bus and seeing it from the boardwalks is a popular choice but you can also get up close via boat or go trekking on top. You can catch huge chunks of ice falling into the turquoise waters of the pristine Lake Argentino and the glacier’s thunderous roars will leave you speechless.
Joe from Shall We Go Home Travel on the boardwalks behind Perito Moreno Glacier

Stop 12: El Chalten

El Chalten is the trekking capital of Argentina.

 

Whether you’re sipping coffee at a local café or embarking on a thrilling outdoor adventure, Mt. Fitzroy can be seen from anywhere  in town and is a constant reminder of the beauty of this part of Argentina.

 

I suggest 4-5 days here which gives you time to do the two best treks and then have some rest days in between:

 

 

  • Laguna De Los Tres – Strap on your hiking boots and get ready for a journey to one of Patagonia’s best hikes—the Laguna De Los Tres. This challenging yet rewarding trek takes you through pristine forests, across babbling brooks, and finally, to the breathtaking Laguna De Los Tres. As you reach the summit, the panoramic views of Mt. Fitzroy reflected in the crystal-clear waters below will take your breath away.

 

  • Cerro Torre – Another hiking marvel awaits you with the Laguna Torre Trek. This trail grants you an up-close encounter with the awe-inspiring Cerro Torre, offering breathtaking vistas of its majestic peak and surrounding landscapes.

 

After your time in El Chalten, return to El Calafate where you can take a flight back to Buenos Aires and then fly home!

 

Your epic adventure in Brazil and Argentina is over!

Joe at Laguna De Los Tres, El Chalten (Argentina) - Shall We Go Home Travel

How Many Days Do You Need In Argentina?

I recommend a minimum of two weeks to see the highlights which include Buenos Aires, Bariloche and Patagonia.

 

However, if you want to slow down and really enjoy yourself then I recommend three to four weeks.

 

 

Here are some suggestions for what you can get done in Argentina with the amount of days you have spare:

Is A Week Enough In Argentina?

A week is enough time in Argentina to see Buenos Aires and then one other highlight such as Mendoza, Bariloche or Perito Moreno Glacier.

 

I wouldn’t recommend trying to visit more than two places as you’ll spend more on flights and lose a lot of time to travel.

 

This is how I would spend a week in Argentina:

 

  • Day 1-4 – Buenos Aires
  • Day 5-6 – El Calafate
  • Day 7 – Buenos Aires
Is Two Weeks Enough In Argentina?

Two weeks is a solid amount of time to see 3-4 places in Argentina.

 

I always believe less equals more so I’d just focus on Patagonia. Here’s how I would spend two weeks in Argentina:

 

  • Day 1-3 – Buenos Aires
  • Day 4-7 – Bariloche
  • Day 8-9 – El Calafate
  • Day 10-13 – El Chalten
  • Day 14 – Buenos Aires
Is Three Weeks Enough In Argentina?

With three weeks you can see the highlights of Argentina without rushing.

 

Here’s my suggested three-week itinerary:

 

  • Day 1-4 – Buenos Aires
  • Day 5-7 – Mendoza
  • Day 8-11 – Bariloche
  • Day 12-14 – El Calafate
  • Day 15-19 – El Chalten
  • Day 20-21 – Buenos Aires

If three weeks isn’t enough for you then check out this 1-month itinerary for Argentina instead:

 

 

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Brazil & Argentina Suggested Itineraries

As mentioned, three weeks to a month in each country is great to see them both properly but not everyone can afford the time or the money.

 

Anything less than a month and you aren’t really seeing either countries in detail, but you can do a whilst-stop tour to see the highlights if that’s your vibe.

 

 

Here are some shortened itineraries for Brazil and Argentina that work:

Brazil & Argentina 1-Month Itinerary

A full month to visit Brazil and Argentina is still a good amount of time and whilst you’ll be on the move a lot, you’ll also see so much.

 

 

Here’s how I would spend a month in Brazil and Argentina:

 

  • Day 1-3 – Rio
  • Day 4-6 – Ilha Grande
  • Day 7-8 – Sao Paulo
  • Day 9-12 – Florianopolis
  • Day 13-14 – Iguazu
  • Day 15-18 – Buenos Aires
  • Day 19-23 – Bariloche
  • Day 24-25 – El Calafate
  • Day 26-29 – El Chalten
  • Day 30 – El Calafate > Buenos Aires

 

If you want to save some time, then I always recommend skipping Sao Paulo. It’s a big city with great culture, but if you’re like me, I prefer being by the beach.

Brazil & Argentina Two Week Itinerary

If you only have two weeks to see Brazil and Argentina, you’ll need take more flights which means this will be an expensive itinerary.

 

Here’s my recommendation for a two-week itinerary covering Brazil and Argentina:

 

  • Day 1-2 – Rio
  • Day 3-5 – Florianopolis
  • Day 6-7 – Iguazu
  • Day 8-9 – Buenos Aires
  • Day 10-11 – El Calafate
  • Day 12-13 – El Chalten
  • Day 14 – Buenos Aires

Brazil & Argentina One Week Itinerary

With only one week, you’ll only be able to see the capitals of both Brazil and Argentina and the beautiful Iguazu falls.

 

Here’s how I would do it:

 

  • Day 1-3 – Rio
  • Day 4-5 – Iguazu
  • Day 6-7 – Buenos Aires

 

However, I don’t know why anyone would want to do this. Just stay in Rio for a week and enjoy yourself!

Joe at Laguna De Los Tres, El Chalten (Argentina) - Shall We Go Home Travel

What To Pack For Brazil And Argentina?

Following the coast down from Rio to Iguazu, you’ll have beautiful weather in Brazil. So pack for the beach – shorts, vests, sandals etc.

 

When you get to Argentina, the north will still be warm unless your visiting in winter (June-August).

 

However, you’ll need to pack warm weather clothes and hiking gear for Patagonia. 

 

Here’s my hiking loadout that’s perfect for Patagonia:

  • Hiking boots – fully waterproof and ankle high are essential for trekking in the Andes. I went into my local Mountain Warehouse and picked up a pair of these and they haven’t let me down since. 
Best Hiking Boots For South America: Mountain Warehouse Hiking Boots
  • Mid-layer fleece – a fleece is lightweight but warm, perfect for whipping on and off when trekking to regulate your temperature. Great in the evenings as well when it’s much colder. I go with R1 Zip-Neck from Patagonia. Mens | Womens
Best Mid-layer Fleece For South America: Patagonia R1 Fleece Pullover
  • Waterproof windbreaker – much needed when trekking in the Andes to deal with the biting winds and rapidly changing weather. I like to use the Patagonia TorrentShell 3L. Its lightweight, warm and packable. The jacket self-stuffs into one of the handwarmer pockets with carabiner clip-in loop. Mens | Womens
Best Waterproof for South America: Patagonia 3L Torrentshell Waterproof
  • Hiking Socks – a few pairs of sturdy merino wool socks that don’t rub. There’s nothing worse than getting a blister whilst hiking. If you are from the UK, try these on Amazon.
Best Hiking Socks For South America
  • Hydroflask Trail Series Water Bottle – I always take this water bottle with me when I travel to South America. It’s 20% lighter than their other bottles and my back appreciates it when I’m on a long hike! It’s also durable, easy to clean and keeps drinks cold for 24 hours!
Best Water Bottle For South America: Hydroflask Trail Series

What's The Best Sim Card For Brazil And Argentina?

I stopped using physical SIM cards a few years ago when reliable e-SIMs hit the market.

 

Airalo is my favourite eSIM for travelling around Argentina and Brazil, and South America in general.

 

  • Save money and avoid high roaming bills
  • Zero stress as you can download the e-SIM instantly and be connected as soon as you land

You could download seperate e-SIMs for Brazil and Argentina, but they also offer regional ones if you want to get one that works in both countries.

What's The Best Month To Visit Argentina & Brazil

Here are some of the best times to visit Brazil and Argentina:

 

 

  • December to February – these are the summer months in Brazil and Argentina. These are the hottest months and also the busiest as it’s also summer holidays in both countries. 

 

  • October-November – this is the spring in Brazil and Argentina (also referred to as the shoulder season). The weather is still going to be nice, but not sweltering hot. You’ll also avoid most of the big crowds and may get better deals on accommodation and tours. This is when I would personally plan this Brazil & Argentina itinerary.

 

  • March-April – these are the Autumn months and again this is shoulder season. You’ll catch the end of the nice weather in March. Patagonia will be less busy too. 
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