Going to Brazil in march, training tips?

This became quite long... Please bear with me.

I will travel to Brazil for a much-needed holiday in the beginning of march (missing the carnival by hours, will land on the 10th probably). I am a martial arts fan and will make sure to watch a UFC event in Natal on the 23rd but apart from that I thought I might spend time in the south going to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and those falls on the Argentinian border. There are plenty opportunities for MMA/grappling training when there so that should be fun. The north of Brazil I don't know much about but I was thinking about flying up for the event and spend no more than a couple of days there.

I want to be gone for 3-4 weeks and my budget is roughly 6000 USD, that is for living expenses/activities only as I kind of have the flights planned, flights to and from Brazil and a TAM airpass for 500-1000 USD with flights within south america. I was thinking about landing in Sao Paulo on the 9-10th and over 3-4 weeks visiting the Iguazu falls, Rio, curitiba and Natal on the 23rd. I have no special preference about where to spend time and how much but I would like to use the airpass to travel to either Argentina or Paraguay in order to have a week of total relaxation with cheap food, drink and stuff as it seems Brazil is kinda pricey in comparison. Then fly out home again from Sao Paulo.

So a few questions, do you have any tips regarding the TAM airpass? There are a couple of options, such as the GOL airpass but the TAM website is the only one I can even comprehend. It seems flights to Buenos Aires are difficult to find on the airpass which is why I am thinking about Asuncion in paraguay instead.

What should I do in the month of march in the cities I mentioned? Should I simply spend more time in the north of south america?

Is bus transfer a realistic option for going between Rio/Sao Paulo/curitiba/Iguazu falls?

As for the training: I am a newbie who want to train MMA-related stuff and I enjoy the grappling aspect the most, I also prefer no-gi as I never really trained with a gi and when I tried it I thought it felt kinda artificial with how you could hold on to it. I'm not going there primarily for training but while I'm there I might as well go to different clubs and get some training in (and hopefully meet guys like Wand and Shogun, that's right, I'm a nerd). What cities, clubs would you recommend? I have heard some places can be kind of rough and located in dangerous areas so that's nothing for me, no being jumped and robbed in dark favelas for me....

Ok, that was a lot but if anyone has a tip or two I am very thankful. Happy training.

Wow. Can't say that I have any advice or tips for you as I've never been to Brazil, but that sounds like a hell of a trip! Post a follow-up with how it went. I'm jealous!

I went to Brazil for one month earlier this year. My wife is brazilian so I had no trouble getting around. If you can learn some basic Portuguese it will help you out.

One thing I noticed on the mats is that the guys there are not out for blood. They play the game. Takedown, pass, and look for a submission. Its a 180 degree difference from here in the states. I personally did not have one guy Spaz out and try to fall back for a submission. As you know that is a daily occurance here in the states.

To say that BJJ is everywhere, it is. If youre like me youll be bright eyed and wont be able to take it all in.

Also, Acai is everything and more from what you have heard. You can eat it before or after training. Its awesome, so much so when I got back to the states I bought a Vitamix and found a supply of Acai.

When you go out to eat the tip is already included in the bill. Learn to say "Agua sem gas" (water without gas/not sparkling) and youll be good to go.

If possible only wear flip-flops in Rio, anything else will mark you as a tourist. Trust me here. Also dont bring any more money than you will need for the day. Dont have your phone out on crowded beaches because the Mulekes (poor kids) will snatch it and run.

I had the best experience of my life there. The people in the gyms are awesome. They will see you and respect the shit out of you for going that far to train, regardless of your skill. I even had several guys asks to take a picture with the 'Gringo'.

Have fun E-homie.