Sixteen days in Brazil is an excellent amount of time to get to know the country's culturally rich cities and pristine natural wonders. First-time visitors eager to keep on the move can embark on a well-rounded highlights tour, while those who prefer the less-trodden trail visit Amazon River communities and Salvador's hidden gems. Other options include an itinerary crafted around the Route of Emotions, a wildlife-focused excursion, and an active adventure featuring unspoiled islands and waterfalls.

Itinerary #1: Brazil's Diverse Highlights: Cities, Waterfalls, Rainforest, Wetlands & Coast

Perfect for first-time travelers to Brazil seeking a well-rounded adventure, this 16-day highlights tour features an exciting blend of nature, culture, and history. From the vibrant cityscapes of Rio de Janeiro and the colorful architecture of Salvador to the diverse wildlife of South Pantanal and the Amazon rainforest, each day promises new and exciting experiences. Throughout, domestic flights help reduce travel time, while guided tours ensure you leave with a thorough introduction to Brazil's wonders.

Stand at the edge of Iguaçu Falls, then take a boat trip to its base
Stand at the edge of Iguaçu Falls, then take a boat trip to its base
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Sample Brazilian Appetizers & Drinks Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 Visit Christ the Redeemer, Take a Cable Car Up Sugarloaf Mountain Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 Hang Glide Over Rio, Hike the Two Brothers Trail & Tijuca National Park Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 Tour Santa Teresa & Rio's Municipal Theater, Fly to Foz do Iguaçu  Foz do Iguaçu 
Day 5 Visit the Argentine Side of Iguaçu Falls  Foz do Iguaçu 
Day 6 Explore the Brazilian Side of Iguaçu Falls, Fly to Campo Grande Campo Grande
Day 7 Transfer to South Pantanal, Nocturnal Wildlife Tour South Pantanal
Day 8 Hike in South Pantanal, Kayak Down the Rio Aquidauana South Pantanal
Day 9 South Pantanal Photo Safari, Piranha Fishing Excursion South Pantanal
Day 10 Fly to Manaus, Guided Tour of the City Manaus
Day 11 Transfer to Your Amazon Lodge, Nocturnal Safari The Amazon
Day 12 Hike in the Amazon Rainforest, Fish for Piranha in the River The Amazon
Day 13 Amazon Canoe Tour, Optional Overnight Jungle Camp The Amazon
Day 14 Fly to Salvador, Evening Boteco Tour Salvador
Day 15 Full-Day Guided Tour of Salvador Salvador
Day 16 Guided Tour of Praia do Forte, Depart Salvador  

Welcome to Brazil! Your adventure begins in the charming seaside city of Rio de Janeiro, where, over three days, you'll experience the city's highlights from all angles. Join a guide for a traditional appetizers and drinks tour, visit the towering Christ the Redeemer statue, hang glide over São Conrado Beach, and conquer a hike in Tijuca National Park. Afterward, fly to Foz do Iguaçu and spend a day and a half exploring its famous Iguaçu Falls by boat, train, helicopter, and on foot. Your next destination, reachable by a 3.5-hour flight and scenic drive, is Pousada Aguapé—an inn tucked within South Pantanal

With three days set aside to explore the flood plains of South Pantanal, you'll find unhurried time to embark on multiple wildlife-watching safaris, kayak down the Rio Aquidauana, and even join a piranha fishing excursion. Next, settle in for a flight to Manaus, where you'll overnight before continuing to a lodge tucked in the Amazon rainforest. Numerous adventures greet your arrival here, including a canoe trip and a visit to a remote jungle camp. Then, with your trip winding down, fly to Salvador and spend your final days touring the city's highlights and relaxing on the nearby beaches in Praia do Forte. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Brazil's Coastal Cities & Route of Emotions Tour

Brazil's Route of Emotions is renowned for its contrasting natural wonders, from far-reaching dunes to crystal-clear lagoons, and this adventurous itinerary gets you out actively exploring them. Throughout, you'll boat through mangrove forests, buggy between hidden beaches, and swim in pristine natural pools. In addition, multiday stays in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador make this itinerary ideal for travelers seeking a mix of cultural and wilderness excursions.

Discover the sand dunes and turquoise lagoons in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
Discover the sand dunes and turquoise lagoons in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Guided Tour of Santa Teresa & Rio Antigo Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 Full-Day Guided Tour of Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 Helicopter Tour, Visit Tijuca National Park & the Botanical Garden Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 Visit Cidade do Samba, Transfer to Armacao dos Búzios Búzios
Day 5 Boat Tour to Arraial do Cabo & the Brazilian Caribbean Búzios
Day 6 Transfer to Rio de Janeiro, Half-Day Guided Favela Tour Rio de Janeiro
Day 7 Fly to Barreirinhas, Gateway to Lencois Maranhenses National Park Barreirinhas
Day 8 Full-Day Guided Tour of Lencois Maranhenses National Park Barreirinhas
Day 9 Boat Tour Along the Rio Preguicas Barreirinhas
Day 10 Transfer to Parnaiba, Cruise Down the Parnaiba Delta Parnaíba
Day 11 Transfer to Jericoacoara via Camocim & Tatajuba Lagoon Jericoacoara
Day 12 Dune Buggy Adventure in Jericoacoara National Park Jericoacoara
Day 13 Transfer to Salvador, Enjoy a Free Afternoon Salvador
Day 14 Full-Day Guided Tour of Salvador Salvador
Day 15 Relax on Praia de Guarajuba, Explore Praia Do Forte Salvador
Day 16 Olodum Band Performance, Axé Music Workshop, Depart Salvador  

Upon arriving in Rio de Janeiro, your trip kicks off with two days of guided cultural tours, including an insightful meander through the historical Rio Antigo and a visit to the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. Then, experience the city's natural wonders during a helicopter ride and a hike in Tijuca National Park before transferring to Armação dos Búzios. Here, drawn by the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean, you'll spend a day boating between dramatic caves and white-sand beaches. A return trip to Rio de Janeiro is next on your itinerary, but only for a brief pause, as soon, you'll be flying to Barreirinhas.

Located beside Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Barreirinhas is the perfect base to explore the region's expansive dunes and freshwater lagoons, and you'll experience both with the help of expert guides. Afterward, transfer to Parnaíba, where you'll cruise down the Parnaíba Delta in search of exotic birds before continuing west to Jericoacoara. Here, you'll split your time between a lazy afternoon of beach hopping and a thrilling buggy tour through Jericoacoara National Park. Then, fly to Salvador, and over four days, delve into the city's Afro-Brazilian culture through guided tours and a percussion workshop until the time arrives to catch your onward flight. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Discover Brazil's Jungles, Coasts & Wetlands

Crafted especially for wildlife and nature enthusiasts, this outdoor-oriented trip features rugged volcanic islands and the lush Brazilian Amazon. Seek out colorful toucans, jaguars, sloths, and capybaras alongside expert guides, and get to know the culture and traditions of local communities. In between, crisscross your way around Brazil, pausing for city tours and overnights in welcoming colonial towns.

Enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from Ponta da Sapata
Enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from Ponta da Sapata
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sao Paulo, Explore Brazil's Largest City São Paulo
Day 2 Fly to Manaus, Half-Day Guided City Tour Manaus
Day 3 Transfer to the Amazon, Guided Canoe Tour The Amazon
Day 4 Sunrise Bird-Watching Tour, Jungle Trek, Canoe Tour The Amazon
Day 5 Visit a Caboclo Village, Fish for Piranhas, Canoe Tour The Amazon
Day 6 Transfer to Manaus, Fly to Recife, Explore the Venice of Brazil Recife
Day 7 Fly to Fernando de Noronha, Sunset Boat Tour Fernando de Noronha
Day 8 Boat Tour to Praia do Sancho or 4WD Island Tour Fernando de Noronha
Day 9 Hike the Emerald Coast Fernando de Noronha
Day 10 Fly to Recife, Transfer to Olinda Olinda
Day 11 Half-Day Guided Tour of Olinda, Fly to Cuiaba Cuiabá
Day 12 Free Day in Cuiabá, Transfer to North Pantanal North Pantanal
Day 13 Full-Day Wildlife Tour in the Panatal North Pantanal
Day 14 Full-Day Jaguar Safari Tour in Porto Jofre North Pantanal
Day 15 Transfer to Cuiaba, Fly to Sao Paulo, Farewell Dinner São Paulo
Day 16 Street Art Tour, Depart Sao Paulo   

After spending a day shaking out plane legs in São Paulo, it's straight back to the airport, where you'll catch a flight north to Manaus. Deemed the gateway to the Brazilian Amazon, pause just for a night here before continuing by boat to Amazon Turtle Lodge. Devote the following three days to delving into your lush surroundings through canoe tours, jungle treks, and a piranha fishing excursions led by local Caboclo people. Then, trade the jungle for the coastal city of Recife, which is your jumping-off point to explore the volcanic archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.

Over three days based in Fernando de Noronha, you'll fully immerse yourself in its fascinating underwater world and rugged coastlines. Join a sunset cruise, 4WD between beaches and towering cliffs, and conquer a hike along the Emerald Coast. Then, after a night each in the colonial towns of Olinda and Cuiabá, you'll set your sights on the tropical wetlands of North Pantanal. Spend your first evening relaxing, which will ensure you're ready for two full days of seeking out jaguars, river otters, and capybaras on jungle safaris before wrapping up your adventure in Sao Paulo. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Explore Brazil's Vibrant Cities & Natural Landscapes

Pack your hiking shoes and swimsuit and dive into this scenic journey between Brazil's unspoiled islands, golden beaches, and thundering waterfalls. Perfect for those eager to spend their time surrounded by nature, you'll hop between Foz do Iguaçu, the car-free Ilha Grande, and Brazil's only tropical fjord. In addition, time in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador gives you the opportunity to take in the city's culture and urban gardens.

See the wonders of the Emerald Coast near Paraty—home to Brazil's only fjord
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Free Time at Copacabana Beach Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 Full-Day Guided Tour of Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 Visit Tijuca National Park & the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 Fly to Foz do Iguaçu, Tour Iguaçu Falls & Parque das Aves Foz do Iguaçu
Day 5 Visit the Argentine Side of Iguaçu Falls Foz do Iguaçu
Day 6 Fly to Salvador, Half-Day Guided Tour of the City Salvador
Day 7 Full-Day Guided Tour of Cachoeira Salvador
Day 8 Transfer to Praia do Forte, Guided Tour of the Village Praia do Forte
Day 9 Relax on Praia do Forte's Many Beaches Praia do Forte
Day 10 Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Transfer to Ilha Grande Ilha Grande
Day 11 Guided Beach Hopping Around Ilha Grande Ilha Grande
Day 12 Hike to Praia de Lopes Mendes Ilha Grande
Day 13 Cruise to Lagoa Azul & Lagoa Verde, Transfer to Paraty Paraty
Day 14 Enjoy a Boat Tour Around Paraty Bay Paraty
Day 15 Jeep Tour in Serra da Bocaina National Park Paraty
Day 16 Visit Saco do Mamanguá, Transfer to Rio de Janeiro, Depart  

Your Brazilian adventure begins in Rio de Janeiro, where you'll be introduced to the country's pristine beauty and lively culture through a guided highlights tour and visits to Tijuaca National Park and the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden. Next, fly to Foz do Iguaçu and dedicate two days to experiencing the mighty Iguaçu Falls from all angles. Another flight then brings you to Salvador, and upon arrival, follow a guide's lead through the city's iconic stadiums, beaches, and churches. Near Salvador is the UNESCO-listed town of Cachoeira, and during a day trip here, you'll learn the secrets of crafting premium cigars. 

Next, transfer north to Praia do Forte and delve into the region's coastal beauty while beach hopping and snorkeling. Afterward, fly back to Rio de Janeiro, but this time, continue on to Ilha Grande and settle in for a three-night stay. As this island is car-free, you'll explore its secluded coves, lovely beaches, enchanting lagoons, and dense Atlantic rainforests by boat and on foot. Then, return to the mainland and transfer down the coast to Paraty, where a dreamy boat cruise, a Jeep tour through Serra da Bocaina National Park, and a trip to Brazil's only tropical fjord round off your adventure. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Explore Brazil's Hidden Gems

Discover the hidden treasures of Brazil on this off-the-beaten-path itinerary, packed with unique cultural experiences and lush natural landscapes. Local-led cultural workshops, time in tucked-away villages, and the opportunity to witness pink dolphins and turtle nesting grounds make this itinerary ideal for travelers seeking an immersive, slower-paced trip—especially as the adventure wraps up with three days in the laid-back beach town of Trancoso.

Admire the crystal-clear waters of Praia do Espelho
Immerse yourself in Brazil's beach culture in Trancoso, known as the "Tulum of Brazil"
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belém, Explore the City Belém
Day 2 Full-Day City Tour of Belém Belém
Day 3 Meet the Ribeirinhos in Baixo Acara Belém
Day 4 Visit Ilha do Combu, Fly to Santarem Santarém
Day 5 City Tour, Boat to the Meeting of the Waters, Transfer to Alter do Chao Alter do Chão
Day 6 Visit Lago Verde & Cruise to the Surrounding Flooded Forests Alter do Chão
Day 7 Visit Urucurea, Ponta Grande Beach, Carocas & Tucuma Alter do Chão
Day 8 Fly to Salvador, Join a Bahian Percussion Workshop Salvador
Day 9 Full-Day City Tour, Enjoy a Performance by the Bahia Folklore Company Salvador
Day 10 Visit the Sao Joaquim Fair, Fundacao Casa de Jorge Amado & Sao Diogo Fort Salvador
Day 11 Full-Day Cultural Tour of Cachoeira Salvador
Day 12 Cruise to Ilha dos Frades & Ilha de Itaparica Salvador
Day 13 Fly to Trancoso in Porto Seguro Trancoso
Day 14 Enjoy a Free Day on Praia dos Coqueiros Trancoso
Day 15 Relax on the Sands of Praia do Espelho Trancoso
Day 16 Depart Transcoso  

This 16-day itinerary is all about discovering Brazil's hidden gems, and there's no better place to start than the vibrant city of Belém. Spend your first days exploring historic fortresses and bustling markets, then head into the Amazon for an afternoon learning about the Ribeirinhos' way of river life. You'll also delve into the secrets of cocoa cultivation before catching a flight inland to Santarém. An overnight here gives you the opportunity to witness pink dolphins, then you're off to the laid-back beach town of Alter do Chão, where you'll enjoy blissful days exploring its flooded forests and remote villages.

The second half of your adventure begins with an extended stay in Salvador, which allows you to take a deep dive into the city's rich culture. Kick things off with a Bahian percussion workshop and a Miguel Santana Theatre show, then spend a day each learning about the city's traditional foods and cigar production process. While in Salvador, you'll also sail between Ilha dos Frades and Ilha de Itaparica before continuing to Trancoso. This quaint beach town is the perfect place to wrap up your trip, especially with leisurely days awaiting on the beaches of Praia dos Coqueiros and Praia do Espelho. Learn more

More Great 16-Day Brazil Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Brazil? Check out these other 16-day Brazil itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 16 Days in Brazil - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 16 Days in Brazil - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas