This adventurous tour of Brazil showcases the country's vibrant cities, historic culture, and incredible nature. Start in Rio de Janeiro, where you'll visit the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and take a high-flying helicopter ride across the city. From here, head to Manaus, gateway to the Amazon. Travel deep into the rainforest for jungle treks, piranha fishing, and wildlife watching, then depart for coastal Paraty. End your travels with a 4WD Jeep tour of the Bocaina Mountains and boating in the picturesque Paraty Bay.


  • Ride a cable car up Rio's historic Sugarloaf Mountain for expansive city views
  • Canoe through the Amazon while watching birds and monkeys overhead
  • Trek the Atlantic Forest and to the top of the impressive Pico de Pão de Açúcar 
  • Walk cobblestone streets and admire colorful houses in the colonial town of Paraty

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Explore Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 Rio City Tour: Christ the Redeemer, Selarón Steps & Maracanã Stadium Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 Sugarloaf Mountain Cable Car, Santa Teresa District, See Rio by Helicopter  Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 Fly to Manaus, Historic City Tour Manaus
Day 5 Boat to the Amazon, Arrive at Amazon Turtle Lodge The Amazon
Day 6 Amazon Turtle Lodge: Sunrise Bird-Watching & Canoe Tour The Amazon
Day 7 Amazon Turtle Lodge: Caboclo Visit, Pirahna Fishing & Nocturnal Wildlife Tour The Amazon
Day 8 Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Transfer to Paraty  Paraty
Day 9 Trekking Tour of Pico de Pão de Açúcar  Paraty
Day 10 Discover Historic Paraty, Jeep Tour into the Bocaina Mountains Paraty
Day 11 Boating Excursion in Paraty Bay, Transfer to São Paulo, Depart  
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Explore

Relax on the white sands of beautiful Copacabana Beach 

Welcome to Brazil! Your flight lands in Rio de Janeiro, or "Cidade Maravilhosa" (Marvelous City), a bustling metropolis known for its beaches, festive culture, and lively entertainment. Your driver will collect you from the airport and transfer you to your hotel, after which you're free to explore some of the city on your own.

If you want to stretch your legs after the long flight, visit Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, a gorgeous lagoon along the waterfront. Surrounded by lush greenery and bordered by upscale neighborhoods, the lake is a popular recreation spot for both locals and visitors. Stroll along the scenic paths, rent bikes to cruise along the waterway, or rent a kitschy plastic swan-shaped paddle boat and set sail! The lagoon area features parks, playgrounds, and open spaces, making it an ideal spot to get active. 

For beach time, check out world-famous Copacabana or Ipanema beaches. Copacabana, which stretches for 2.5 miles (4 km) along the southern coast, is lively, with plenty of amenities and many restaurants and bars. Ipanema, which is usually less crowded than Copa, is also quite popular. If you prefer something quieter, visit Jardim Botânico. This botanical garden serves as a lovely, serene oasis within the bustling city. Otherwise, stroll through the Parque Lage, which has lakes, a castle tower, artificial caves, and plenty of walking paths. Tonight, have dinner at a local restaurant, then relax at your hotel. 

Day 2: Rio City Tour: Christ the Redeemer, Selarón Steps & Maracanã Stadium

Enjoy incredible views from Rio's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue

Today's guided tour covers some of Rio's most celebrated landmarks. Meet your guide in the morning and head to the top of Mount Corcovado, home to Christ the Redeemer, a 98-foot (30 m) Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ overlooking the city. Commissioned by a local Catholic group in 1920, it was built to symbolize the welcoming spirit of Brazil. The statue took almost 10 years to complete, and it remains an iconic symbol of Brazil and Rio. Arrive at the summit of the 2,310-foot (704 m) Corcovado and the base of the statue, taking in panoramic views of the city and Guanabara Bay

From here, continue to the Metropolitan Cathedral, otherwise known as the Cathedral of St. Sebastian. The cathedral is unusual in that rather than the expected traditional design, it was built in a modern style based on Maya pyramids. Stop by the colorful Selaron Staircase, built by Chilean artist Jorge Selaron and an excellent spot for photos, then stroll by the Sambadrome, built specifically to host parades during Rio's annual Carnaval.

Finish the day at Maracanã Stadium, the heart and soul of Brazilian soccer fans everywhere. Learn about the history of Brazilian futball, soaking in the echoes of historic matches and the vibrant energy of passionate fans as you marvel at the grandeur of an arena that has hosted World Cup finals and is a huge part of soccer history. After the tour, enjoy some downtime at your hotel. 

Day 3: Sugarloaf Mountain Cable Car, Santa Teresa District, See Rio by Helicopter 

Take a high-flying cable car ride up Sugarloaf Mountain 

See more of Rio's highlights with help from an expert guide, starting with a visit to the Urca neighborhood and the mouth of Guanabara Bay. Here, you'll hop on a cable car to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). This nearly 1,300-foot (396 m) mountain peak unsurprisingly gets its name because it resembles a mound of sugar. Enjoy the bird's-eye view as the car ascends, and at the top, you'll get 360-degree vistas of the rainforest, beaches, cityscape, and local monuments.

Next up is the historic Santa Teresa district. Located in the hills of Rio, this charming neighborhood has narrow, winding streets lined with elegant old mansions, many of which have been converted to hotels, bars, and restaurants. Stop by one of the many local artists' studios for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, or visit Ruins Park, an art gallery built among the ruins of a mansion.

Later, return to your hotel or see more of the city on your own, then get ready to take to the skies on a thrilling helicopter ride across the city! See sites such as Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the historic Fortaleza de Santa Cruz from a different perspective as the sun goes down across the brightly lit landscapes. Fly over Ipanema and Copacabana, as well as the lagoons and beaches of Barra and São Conrado, before making a final pass along the coast of Avenida Niemeyer.

Day 4: Fly to Manaus, Historic City Tour

See the Amazon Theater's elegant pink facade and colorful dome in Manaus

Check out of your Rio hotel today and transfer to the airport for your four-hour flight to Manaus. Located in northwestern Brazil, on the banks of the Rio Negro, Manaus is considered the primary departure point for expeditions into the Amazon rainforest. Upon arrival, you'll be met by a driver and transported to your accommodations. Once you've had a chance to get settled, discover the ins and outs of the city with a guided tour. 

Start at the Black River Palace, an architectural masterpiece built in the early 20th century by Italian architect Antonio Jannuzzi. Originally named Scholz Palace, it was once the private residence of German rubber merchant Waldemar Scholz and, in later years, the residence of the governor of the Amazonas. Stop at the Museu do Índio to see exhibits on the history, traditions, and artwork of the country's native peoples, then visit the 19th-century Customs House. This neoclassical building once played a crucial role in controlling the flow of goods in and out of the Amazonas.

Visit the neoclassical Palace of Justice, with its elegant columns and intricate stonework, then conclude your tour at the Amazon Theater, a stunning opera house with a colorful dome and pink facade built during the rubber boom. Head back to your hotel with a deeper appreciation for the region's rich history and diverse culture, and rest up for tomorrow when your Amazon rainforest adventure begins!

Day 5: Boat to the Amazon, Arrive at Amazon Turtle Lodge

Journey deep into the Amazon rainforest

The day starts early as you depart Manaus and head to the river port of Ceasa. From here, you'll board a speedboat and travel to the village of Careiro da Varzea. Pass by the Meeting of the Waters, where the Rio Solimões and Rio Negro meet, creating a junction point between the rivers that run side by side for quite a distance without actually mixing until they join to form the great Rio Amazonas. Keep your eyes on the water because you're also likely to see a few curious river dolphins. 

After visiting the village's fruit market, you'll continue by bus or van to the Rio Araça, traveling on the Manaus-Porto Velho highway. Arrive and board another boat, which takes you deep into the Amazon rainforest. The 50-minute ride traverses lakes and creeks filled with wildlife, all accompanied by views of the enormous floating waterlilies of the Amazon. See the floating houses of the Indigenous Caboclo people, small local villages, and, of course, birds, alligators, sloths, and lively monkeys.

Arrive at Amazon Turtle Lodge and get checked into your bungalow, which has options for lake or forest views and features traditionally styled furnishings, comfortable bedding, and air-conditioning. The lodge's deep jungle location makes it the perfect showcase for the region's biodiversity, and its focus on ecotourism ensures a natural experience that doesn't impact the jungle floor or its inhabitants. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the lodge, then spend your afternoon unwinding and taking in the serene greenery of their on-site gardens and grounds. 

Day 6: Amazon Turtle Lodge: Sunrise Bird-Watching & Canoe Tour

See the flora and fauna of the Amazon on a guided canoe tour

There's nothing quite like a sunrise in the Amazon; this morning, you'll get to experience it firsthand. Depart with your guide in the early hours, watching the sky change color and the birds awaken. Spot different tropical birds with the binoculars provided, and keep your camera ready for some great shots! 

Afterward, enjoy an educational jungle walk accompanied by an expert guide who will introduce you to the area's flora and fauna and teach you some basic jungle survival skills. Learn about the uses of the plants that grow here, which are edible or medicinal, how to find water, and how to use natural-growing vines to climb trees. Spot monkeys and birds in the trees as your guide shares information about their daily habits and see how this essential ecosystem functions.

If you'd like to get out on the water later today, consider a canoe tour of the igarapés (Amazonian creeks) and the igapós (flooded forest), only accessible by paddle canoes. See more tropical birds, sloths, monkeys, and other wildlife as you glide slowly downstream, listening to the relaxing sounds of the forest. Return to the lodge in time for dinner and conversation with your hosts and other guests. 

Day 7: Amazon Turtle Lodge: Caboclo Visit, Pirahna Fishing & Nocturnal Wildlife Tour

Try fishing for tasty piranha while in the Amazon

Learn more about life in the Amazon with a visit to the home of a Caboclo. This traditional population, whose name translates to "inhabitant of the forest," lives primarily in the most rural areas of the Amazon, working as rubber tappers, fishermen, and farmers. You'll be introduced to their traditions and customs, see how they harvest the jungle's fruits, nuts, and herbs, and learn how their food is prepared. Watch them make a regional lunch, and end your visit by sharing a delicious meal together. 

Later, take a fishing excursion to a bay on a nearby river, where instead of bass or catfish, you'll be angling for the carnivorous piranha! Meet your guide, and after a safety briefing, head out on the water, dropping your lines in the areas where the piranhas like to hide. While it's true that these fish do like to bite, there's no risk, as your guide will be handling any piranha you reel in. Visitors might also be surprised to know that this isn't mere sport fishing—piranha is considered a delicacy and has star billing in a delicious regional soup, caldo de piranha.

At sunset, take an evening wildlife expedition. This two-hour tour takes you into the forest at night—the best time to see the region's nocturnal animals. Your guide will stop at various points along the way, using a flashlight to aid in the search as you spot frogs, owls, anteaters, and more. You may also be excited to see an alligator, which your guide can catch with their bare hands for a closer view—best not tried at home!

Day 8: Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Transfer to Paraty 

Welcome to the colorful streets of Paraty

Your next destination is the city of Paraty. This beautifully preserved colonial town is located along Brazil's southeastern coast, backed by the imposing Bocaino Mountains. Transfer from the lock to Manaus, then catch a flight back to Rio, where you'll meet your driver for the 4.5-hour, scenic journey. 

Arrive and get settled at your hotel, and then you're free to explore. Paraty was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the reasons why are immediately evident as you stroll the cobblestone streets and impressive architecture. The city is packed with galleries, shops, and restaurants, so be sure to get in some shopping or head to one of the area's beaches, known for pristine white sands and gentle waves. Rest and recover tonight, as the adventure continues tomorrow. 

Day 9: Trekking Tour of Pico de Pão de Açúcar 

Take a guided hike up the Pico do Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Peak) trail

Get outside today for a hike in Saco do Mamanguá (Mamanguá Bay), located in the State Ecological Reserve of Juatinga and considered one of the most beautiful places in Brazil. Sheltered by the hills of the Serra do Mar, the bay consists of 33 small beaches and rocky coves. The highlight is the Pico do Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Peak) trail, a moderately challenging trek through the Atlantic Forest and to the mountain peak. 

In the morning, meet your guide at Paraty Pier and board a speedboat that takes you to Praia do Cruzeiro, where you'll begin your hike up the trail. The ascent takes you along approximately 1.6 miles (2.57 km) of the forest, arriving at breathtaking views of mountains meeting the sea. Hike back down to Praia do Cruzeiro, refreshing with a swim and lunch, then return by speedboat to Paraty.

Day 10: Discover Historic Paraty, Jeep Tour into the Bocaina Mountains

Take a Jeep tour into the hilly landscape of the Serra da Bocaina National Park

This morning, take a tour to see more of Paraty. Meet your guide at your hotel and start in the city's historic center. Walk the cobblestone streets and admire the brightly colored 17th-century buildings. Then, stop by the Casa da Cultura to learn more about the region's history. Visit the Paraty Religious Arts Museum and see various religious icons on display, then end with lunch at one of the many local cafés and restaurants. 

Those seeking a more adventurous afternoon can embark on an exciting private Jeep tour. Meet your guide at your hotel and drive deep into Serra da Bocaina National Park, passing through the forest greenery and arriving at Pinga Waterfalls, home to cachaça (fermented cane sugar) distilleries. You can sample some delicious aged cachaças, then continue along the Caminho do Ouro (Gold Path) to Toboga Falls, a scenic waterfall where daredevils can take a thrilling ride down its natural waterslides.

See Poço do Tarzan (Tarzan's Pit), a natural pool formed between the rocks of the falls, and the Pedra Branca (White Stones) waterfall, then end the day at Engenho D'Ouro restaurant, where you'll feast on regional dishes amid the sounds of the falls and surrounding jungle. On the way back to your hotel, you'll also have the opportunity to stop at Ouro Branco Flour House and learn about the manufacturing of manioc flour. Try some of their delicious coffee and sample rapadura, a Brazilian sweet made from sugar cane juice. 

Day 11: Boating Excursion in Paraty Bay, Transfer to São Paulo, Depart

See more of the beauty of Paraty with a boat tour around the bay

Make the most of your final morning in Brazil with a boat tour around Paraty Bay. Head out on a small converted fishing boat with your guide, visiting some of the area's most beautiful beaches and islands while making stops for sunbathing and snorkeling. You'll also have free time to explore the surrounding villages, and there's an option to include lunch if you'd like.

Afterward, your adventures in Brazil come to a close as you take a private transfer to the São Paolo airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Brazil Discovery Tour: Rio de Janeiro, Amazon Rainforest & Paraty - 11 Days
Map of Brazil Discovery Tour: Rio de Janeiro, Amazon Rainforest & Paraty - 11 Days