Buses from Rio: Since they never really built an extensive railroad system in Brazil you have a large network of long distance buses operated by various companies. The buses are good and the extreme distances are cut short by comfort and various pitstops. Even though nowadays you have som great options with some cheap airfares these buses still provide steady and affordable (not cheap) travel around the whole country.
Buying Ticket for Long Distance Buses From Rio
The first thing you need to know is what bus company goes where, on Socicam you can easily find out which companies operates where by clicking the bus symbol. Most of them have links and by simulating a purchase of tickets on their sites you can find out availability, timetables and prices. Unfortunately it is almost impossible for a tourist to buy a ticket so with this information you can either go to the bus station and buy straight from the companies there. You can also in some travel agents buy them in advance for a small booking fee (5 R$ per ticket as of Feb 2014), this is advisable if you intend to travel Fridays, Sundays or other high traffic days since buses fill up. Here are some addresses around town:
Riocopa – Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana 435, Copacabana map
Paxtur – Rua Visconde de Pirajá 303, lj 114, Ipanema map, tel 2523-1000
Guanatur – Rua Dias da Rocha 16 A, Copacabana map, tel 2548-3275
Dantur – Av. Rio Branco 156 subsolo, lj 134, Centro map, tel 2262-3624
Dantur – Largo do Machado 29, lj 47, Flamengo map, tel 2557-7144
Via Rio Turismo – Praia de Botafogo 400/255, Botafogo map, tel 2559-9555
In the cases where the companies don’t have a webpage or there is no information about timetables, you can either call them or go to the travel agents above.
Some Useful Tips
Here are some general tips regarding buses from Rio:
– Try to book a seat in the front of the bus, the toilet is in the back, I will say no more…
– If you are in for the longhaul, spending the extra money on a more expensive bus is a good idea, it makes a big difference.
– Don’t eat anything cooked on those bus stops, god knows how long that stuff has been there and those road restaurants are a big reason to why the seats in the front of the bus are to prefer (far from the toilet!).