Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An Affordable Way to Hop Around Brazil (and the Rest of South America)

Photo by Simona Colombo
If you're like me, seeing the recent samba-soaked, animated film "Rio" made you want to take off tomorrow for that splendid city. But with the cost of the Brazilian visa so high, it makes much more sense for Americans to hop around Brazil for several weeks rather than just visiting Rio. (Or at least that's what this travel writer would do, as I think there are few countries anywhere as richly deserving a long stay as this multi-faceted, friendly, sometimes heartbreaking, always stimulating country).

Brazil is, of course, HUGE, but its possible to hop from city to city inexpensively thanks to air passes. Currently, the website, one of the leading online specialists to South America, is offering the following passes not only to Brazil, but to other countries in the region:
  • TAM Brazil Air Pass: From $532, plus tax,  for flights to 33 Brazilian cities—including Rio,  Sao Paulo, Iguassu Falls,  Salvador and Manaus.  Up to nine flights can be booked with this pass.
  • GOL Brazil Air Pass: From $532,  plus  tax, for  flights on that airline. An even better 34 Brazilian cities are being offerred, but again just nine flights can be booked.
  • GOL Northeast Brazil Air Pass: Starts at $390, plus tax, for flights to 13 cities in Northeast Brazil, including Salvador and Recife.  Up to six flights can be booked on this cheaper option.
  • South America Air Passes (from both carriers): Head outside of Brazil with these to up to 37 cities, including Asuncion, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Montevideo, Punta del Este, Santiago and major cities in Brazil.  The TAM price is based on mileage, the GOL price on the number of flights.
  • Argentina Air Pass: From $390, plus tax, for flights on Aerolineas Argentinas to 37 cities in Argentina and Uruguay, including Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Mendoza, Bariloche, Salta and Punta del Este. Six flights is the maximum with this pass.
Head to the website linked above for more information. If you add up the cost of several flights, you'll find that the passes can save travelers hundreds of dollars (the more you fly, the more you save).

And hey, you don't have to worry about Icelandic volcano ash when you travel south!


  1. More for central America, but gives a great cheap way to do Cabo. Just thought it could go with this article.

  2. LAN Airlines offers the best way to fly to Buenos Aires and experience the best of the city and country. LAN offers information on where to stay, what to eat, and things to do in Buenos Aires. For more information on Buenos Aires, go to'en/us'