Newsletter #1 Masters Age Rio tour
WEATHER… from LAST YEAR'S trip and what to expect
We experienced HOT temperatures 85-90 degrees everyday. Be sure to remember your sun-block.... and to use it. Remember the worst sunburn that you ever got..... and remember you swore you would never do that again... until the next time you did the same thing..... you WILL definitely burn your buns.... in RIO ... (and possibly ruin your trip) if you don't use your sun-block.
This is a "reminder" about not bringing too much luggage... Swim suits, shorts and workout gear are really all that are needed....
Covid tests are no long required for travelers to entry into Brazil.
Visas... Starting January 10th 2024 the Brazil Government will again require tourists from the USA Australia and Canada to have a Brazilian Visa. However the Brazil Congress does want to require the VISAS... The Congress will decide about this issue in mid February. It is expected that the Congress will remove the VISA requirement. We will wait until mid February to see what the Congress does. If the VISA is still required it will be available online (e-visa) the fee will be about $80.
Flight to RIO...
Most of us will have one domestic stop before making the final overnight flight to Rio. It is a long overnight flight try to get some sleep on the flight so you will enjoy your first day in RIO.
After clearing immigration, we will go to the luggage area to pick up our luggage. We will transfer to our hotel on Copacabana Beach in RIO (about a 1 hour drive).
We have asked for an early check in for our rooms.... We will not know if we will be able to do that until we arrive. If we are not able to check in early.... we can deposit our luggage at the hotel an take a short walk down the beach for an early lunch.
After we check into our Beach front hotel, freshen up after our long overnight flight and then go on a walk about to familiarize ourselves with the area.
Prior to departure you will be receiving a tour tee shirt, 2 luggage tags (one for your check in luggage and one for your carry on). Please wear your tour tee shirt when you arrive to RIO it will help everyone find each other upon arrival.
These are some of the "thoughts" from my first trip to RIO ...
We arrived into SAO PAULO, prior to arriving into RIO, (I must confess that this "stop" was quite a surprise to me the first time I flew to RIO.... It was not listed on my itinerary.... The plane landed, as we taxied up to the airport the pilot said "welcome to Sao Paulo, Brazil".... "all passengers must now depart" .... but ... but I want to go to RIO I though to myself.... I tried to ask the flight attendants "what do we do if we want to go to RIO"? .... they said "they did not know this was their first time to Brazil...." as I reluctantly de-boarded the security of the plane that was to take me to RIO... I encountered an official looking young man and asked he "what do we do if we want to go to RIO"?... in his best Portuguese .... he told me and pointed down the hallway where the other passengers were going.... So ... like a lemming marching to the sea..... I followed them. Fortunately we "lemmings" did not end up jumping off the cliff into the ocean .. we ended up walking into the Public area of the airport.... which meant that we had to go back through the security system once again.... After clearing security ....I started to look around for an airline departure monitor to find our my options to get to RIO.... as I was looking around, I started to recognize several of the same people that were on our Atlanta to RIO flight (actually it was quite easy ... they had the same "what the hell just happened to us" look on their face that I had). There we were, about 20 of us, non-Portuguese speaking, lost, tired travelers with a "what the hell just happened to us look on our face" standing with our necks craned back in front of the monitor trying to figure out what to do next. Just as we (collectively) figured out that the "continuation" of our flight was posted onto the monitor.... a voice came over the loudspeaker...... "United passengers on flight 93 to RIO are now boarding at gate 22". Once again .. lemming like ... we boarded our "continuation" flight to RIO.....
Drink lots of fluids, watch the first movie, talk with your new friends .. and then SLEEP ... We will have a full day ahead of us.
Being an experienced world traveler.... I want to spend less time looking for a place to exchange / cash travelers checks and more time sightseeing. Each time you exchange money... you will need to pay a small fee, and most of the time you do not get a good exchange rate. By using your ATM card you will get the best bank rate and there is an ATM on every street corner. No standing in lines, no walking around “looking for the BEST RATE”, no translation problems with the person working, no extra charges, (I think I was charged $1..50 for each of my transactions) and received a GREAT exchange rate by my bank. I would HIGHLY recommend using an ATM card while on tour (it will need to say Cirrus or Plus or Interlink on the back). These cards have a 4 number pin. Contact your bank to tell them you are going to Brazil... You should do this for two reasons... 1. they know you are out of the country and will be using your credit cards and ATM cards while away.... (If you do not do this.... sometimes they will suspend the use of it until they can contact you...) 2. to ask if your ATM card is good for use in foreign ATM machines.
PLEASE if you have not done so... Get your travel Insurance, fill out the Emergency contact information, include your Passport # and send us your photo.…
More later …..