Deluxe buses are sometimes very comfortable, but obviously pricier.

The cost of bus travel can however really add up and a hire car is an option if you have the money or are in a group. Many companies offer difference classes on longer routes, but the distances just go on forever!

About 70,000 people cheer from the grandstands, with tourists paying from US0 to US,000 to watch the spectacle.

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From a traveller perspective, South America splits into roughly three regions.

South America on the whole lacks difficult border crossings and visa headaches (although Americas will occasionally run into hefty charges).

Bus transport is easy to arrange and there is a very established trail of attractions (often known as the '' in terms of distances to be covered overland, not finding the time or the energy to discover out of the way gems and (although good value on a world level) spending too much [money] in the Southern developed countries and/or (especially) Brazil.

Worth staying away if you are not seeing the carnival.

The main parade (on Sunday and Monday) consists of 6 samba schools per night with 4,500 people each, in colourful costumes and on floats; great for photos and video.

At the same time, in Rio and the rest of the south the humidity is nasty.

Summer is also the most festive time of year, as Brazilians escape their apartments and take to the beaches and streets.

Take for example the journey from Rio to Recife - 38 hours by bus. Air: To really cover Brazil, those that can afford it may want to consider an air pass or much easier use this countries excellent budget airline network. You can check all their websites to get an idea of routes, times and prices. Six hours on a bus, Rio to Sao Paulo can be flown for less than 70US$ (not to mention that Rio's Santos Dumont and Sao Paulo's Congonhas airports are spectacular to take-off/land in).

Booking on-line proves far more difficult, due to recognising or security checking non-Brazilian credit cards (this should change in the future), but these airlines have desks that can be found in shopping malls or airports where you can book.

Getting to Patagonia is somewhat problematic, as there is no direct road link. A flight is the easiest solution and not too costly if done with a budget carrier rather than LAN Chile.