/ Brazil

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Quad on 27 Feb 2013
Hi Folks, I'm going to Brazil with my wife in May and I'm looking for some advice on the areas we're thinking of going to. Our plan is to stay in Rio for a couple of nights then head north to the Salvador area for about 10 days, then back to Rio for the last couple of nights. Does anyone have info on how to get maps/climbing guides/walking guides for both Rio and the Salvador area? We're thinking Lencois, West of Salvadr would be good as it's on the edge of the national park and there appears to be climbing there, but can't find much info.

We were supposed to be staying with family in Rio, but they've been moved to the UK by their employer, so I'm looking for cheap places to stay if anyone knows of any.

Any help much appreciated.
Andes - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Quad:
Rio is the place to climb, though I´ve never been up to Salvador. Also some excellent walks & scrambles in Rio, e.g. Sugar Loaf (short day) or Pedro do Gavea (longer) and Escalavrado (long day, out of town). Check out some photos on my website.
You don´t need maps - there is ony one path through the forest! There is a good climbing guide avaialable called "Urca" http://www.guiadaurca.com/livraria/livraria.htm
I am currently away from my office in Argentina, but email me in a week or two and I can send more details, especially if you have specific questions.
ah - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Quad: I spent about 6 weeks there 3 or 4 years ago in the 2 locations and had a fantastic time.

Rio is incredible and the climbing just tops it off. There's all sorts from single pitch through to multipitch. We climbed a ten pitch or so route up the back of Sugarloaf. It's essentially a scramble with one pitch of bolted v-diff climbing. If you climb up then the cable car back down is free, and the tourists on the top are really impressed

I spent minimal time in Salvador itself and would do the same again. Lencois is a very friendly little town in comparison, and as with most places in Brazil there's never a shortage of a 'guide' trying to take you places you could probably get to yourself.

Tons of travel agencies in Lencois all offering more or less the same excursions, some multi-day. The best one I did was snorkeling in an underwater cave - truly special and twenty quid for the day tour that included a few other places as well.

Climbing in Lencois is tricky to find - when I was there at least there was no guidebook as they want you to hire their guides for the day, if you're happy to pay then fair enough. If you want to find it yourself then most of the stuff is along the river heading leftwards out of town (ie away from Salvador). There's obvious bits of bouldering and if you're willing to head of and explore the trails then you'll come across bolted routes, i did some great easy stuff up a 50 foot boulder in the middle of the river - no bolts other than belays on that one though.

The guide for Rio is called Urca - it costs about 25 quid from a little newsagent by the cable car base. I have one with minimal use (other than being carted round S America for 3 months) if you want to make me an offer and plan your climbing in advance...

Have fun!
Quad on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Andes: Thanks for the response and nice pics by the way. I'll drop you an email if I think of any specific questions. Cheers.
Quad on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to ah: Thanks for that, the long easy route up sugarloaf sounds exactly like the sort of thing we'd like.

Really like the sound of snorkeling in a cave too.

I'll send you an email about the guide book.

Alun - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Quad:
I have been to Brazil multiple times (have family there), have been to all the all the places you mention, and just want to confirm pretty much everything that ah said above. My tuppence:

- Rio is one of the most magical and intoxicating places in the world, I've been there three times and can't wait to go back. 'A couple of nights' is nowhere near enough time. It is the real climbing hotspot of Brazil, along with the mountain towns to the north, Teresopolis and Petropolis. There is a shop in the arcade at Arpoador with friendly staff who sell guides and gear.

- Accomodation in Rio is ridiculously expensive for what it is. I'd steer clear of Copacabana. Ipanema and Leblon are amazing where I always try to stay, but they are expensive. Places like Botafogo and Flamengo are much cheaper and quite nice in their own right, but they naturally lack the 'magic' of Ipanema/Leblon.

- Salvador is dangerous and depressing in equal measure, I am in no rush to go back. The only reason to visit is as a transport hub. The only area that I found was 'okay' was Barra, but even then it felt dangerous and edgy at night. Rio Vermelho has a fun nightlife and nice open air food court. Buses are okay during the day, but better to take taxis everywhere (at night it's essential).

- Lençóis is a cute little tourist town in the Chapada Diamantina, which has a very nice laid back vibe. It's a 6 hour bus ride from the bus station in Salvador. Accomodation is reasonable and plentiful. The only downside is that the whole park is very heavily 'controlled' by a large number of guiding companies - you pretty much have to use one of them. We used a smaller agency which had a climbing wall in their office, they were all climbing-nuts and very friendly. You have to give them an expectation of your ability as most of their clients are beginners who are happy top-roping, but they cater for more experienced climbers (if you pay!).

Enjoy your trip!
PaulC - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Quad: Can agree climbing in Rio is good. I just walked up to some people at the bottom of the crag and they were friendly and let me climb with them.

Lencois is a great place. Not sure what kind of accomm you are looking for but if you go to Posada Dos Duendes, the owner is great and is friends with all the local climbers, who will be able to help you. They climb pretty hard and party similar. Have fun

I actually quite enjoyed Salvador, but I was there for Mardi gras. Having said that some people did try to mug me... unsuccessfully.

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