Experience the diversity of Brazil's east coast as you visit three distinct regions in 11 days. Start amid the sweeping sands and turquoise lagoons of Jericocoara National Park, then fly south to Salvador, the center of Brazil's vibrant Bahian culture. Eat and drink your way through local botecos, find your rhythm with a percussion workshop, and learn to cook regional dishes. Your trip wraps up in Rio, where you'll learn about the art of Carnival in Samba City and take a sailing trip to nearby islands.


  • Explore breathtaking lagoons near Jericoacoara by dune buggy
  • Discover the center of Brazil's Afro-Caribbean culture in colorful Salvador
  • Learn about Bahian percussion music and authentic Salvadoran dishes
  • Dive into Rio's famous nightlife with a tour of its local botecos (neighborhood bars)
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Carnival and practice the samba in Samba City

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Fortaleza, Transfer to Jericoacoara  Jericoacoara
Day 2 Lagoons & Buraco Azul Dune Buggy Adventure Jericoacoara
Day 3 Free Day in Jericoacoara Jericoacoara
Day 4 Fly to Salvador, Evening in Rio Vermelho Salvador
Day 5 Pelourinho Walking Tour, Bahian Percussion Workshop Salvador
Day 6 Salvador Market Tour, Brazillian Cooking Class & Panoramic City Tour Salvador
Day 7 Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Evening Boteco Tour  Rio de Janeiro
Day 8 Sugarloaf Mountain & Rio City Tour, Carnival Experience Rio de Janeiro
Day 9 Corcovado & Christ the Redeemer Tour, Rio Botanical Gardens & Tijuca Forest Rio de Janeiro
Day 10 Sailing Day Trip to Ilha de Itacuruçá  Rio de Janeiro
Day 11 Embrace the Carioca Lifestyle, Depart Rio  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Fortaleza, Transfer to Jericoacoara

Welcome to Jericoacoara
You'll soak up Jericoacoara's vibe as soon as you arrive

Welcome to Brazil! Upon arrival at the airport in Fortaleza, a driver will be waiting to transfer you by private 4WD vehicle northwest to the remote fishing village and beach community of Jericoacoara (or Jeri, as it's known to locals). Enjoy the scenic 4.5-hour ride that passes coastal dunes through incredible desert landscapes until you reach your pousada (guesthouse) in town.

Nestled between a vast national park and the Atlantic, Jericoacoara is one of Brazil's best-kept secrets, with wind-swept sand dunes, shallow turquoise waters, and a charming resort teeming with excellent pousadas, restaurants, and nightlife.  

Day 2: Lagoons & Buraco Azul Buggy Adventure

Buggy Tour Lagoons & Buraco Azul (Blue Hole)
Take a buggy tour to lagoons and the Buraco Azul (Blue Hole)

After breakfast, set out on one of Jericoacoara's most popular excursions—a 4WD dune buggy adventure through Jericoacoara National Park. You'll traverse wind-swept sand dunes to reach pristine freshwater lagoons like Lagoa do Paraiso, Lagoa Azul, and Buraco Azul (Blue Hole), all formed with rainwater in the midst of this arid landscape.

Next, head to Preá Beach for a swim in the warm, shallow waters, then take a leisurely walk to the beach at Pedra Furada, which is far more secluded and worth the 50-minute effort. After enjoying the water and the heavenly backdrop, you'll return to your accommodation with a lunch stop en route. 

Day 3: Free Day in Jericoacoara

Grab a hammock in Jeri
See Pedra Furada as you comb the beaches at Jeri

Today is yours to enjoy the vast beaches and sandy cliffs of this unique fishing village at your own rhythm. Just know that Jeri moves at a relaxed pace. Until a couple of decades ago, phones and electricity didn't even exist in this tranquil beach town. Even today, Jeri is still relatively removed from the modern world, with streets paved with sand and most places closing relatively early. For these reasons, the best activities to engage in here are of the laid-back variety.

Enjoy a morning yoga session on the beach, or head to Paradise Lagoon and stake out a hammock in the crystalline waters at the shoreline. Try your hand at offshore kite surfing, and visit the beachside rock formation Pedra Furadal. At lunchtime, you have to have the fresh seafood hauled in by local fishermen daily. Don't miss a sunset over the water atop Sunset Dune to watch the last light of the golden sun dip behind the horizon. Afterward, head to the beach to watch capoeiristas practice their unique dance and martial arts blend.

Day 4: Fly to Salvador, Evening in Rio Vermelho

Hear some live music on the streets of Rio Vermelho
Hear live music on the streets of Rio Vermelho

Bid farewell to the dunes as you hop in a 4WD vehicle and make the 4.5-hour transfer southeast to the airport in Fortaleza. From there, you'll catch a two-hour flight south to Salvador, the capital of Brazil's Bahia state and a center of Afro-Brazilian culture, cuisine, music, and architecture. Salvador was founded in 1549 as the first capital of colonial Brazil, making it one of the oldest cities in the Americas and one of the first planned cities in the world. Get settled into your hotel, and ensure you're rested for this evening's festivities.

Tonight is your chance to party like a Bahian. In the evenings, locals head to the southern beach neighborhood of Rio Vermelho, which is affectionately referred to as the Bairro Boemio (Bohemian Quarter). This lively area is home to bars, restaurants, and botecos, informal spots to meet for drinks. There are also countless places to enjoy great Bahian street food and many bars with live music. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a four-hour celebration where you'll try local street food, visit a boteco, enjoy the live music, and dance along the waterfront. 

Day 5: Pelourinho Walking Tour, Bahian Percussion Workshop

View of the São Francisco Church
See São Francisco Church as you stroll the Pelourinho District
Plan your trip to Brazil
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Meet your guide bright and early and take a walking tour of Salvador's historic downtown and the Pelourinho district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to Latin America's most extensive collection of colonial buildings. Walk along cobblestone streets surrounded by houses in pastel colors. Visit the exuberant São Francisco Church, and see the Cathedral of Salvador's Rococo refinement. Then, continue to the Lacerda Elevator, which transports passengers to the Lower Town below, where the tour ends. You'll have time to continue exploring for the perfect place to have lunch.

This afternoon, discover the percussive heart of Bahia with an authentic Bahian percussion workshop. The rhythmic soul of this region is African, and the distinctive syncopations created by Bahians have inspired many international musicians such as Paul Simon, Wayne Shorter, and Michael Jackson. Along with a local percussionist as your guide, you'll participate in an interactive and engaging musical workshop to learn about Bahia's rhythms and Capoeira hand percussion instruments.

Day 6: Salvador Market Tour, Brazilian Cooking Class & Panoramic City Tour

São Joaquim Fair
Have tasty Brazilian food for lunch

In Salvador, there are few better ways to immerse yourself in the city than by visiting its municipal markets. The São Joaquim Fair is the largest such market in the town, and you'll have an opportunity to tour this massive labyrinth of merchant stalls, produce vendors, and food purveyors. Rub shoulders with locals doing their daily shopping, try a fresh fruit suco (juice), or purchase authentic Bahian souvenirs. The market is also where you can find all the ingredients necessary to prepare Bahia's signature dish—moqueca—a rich seafood stew made with cilantro, lime, garlic, coconut milk, and dendê (red palm) oil.

After the market, you'll visit a local restaurant for a cooking demonstration in which the chef prepares this dish right before you. After enjoying this authentic meal, you'll take a tour leading from the city center to the quiet waters of the Itapagipe Peninsula, where life moves slowly. Witness fishermen fishing from dugout canoes, locals collecting shellfish at low tide, and schooners docked at the pier. Stop at Sorveteria da Ribeira ice cream parlor for a dip of fruit sorbet. Continue to the Monserrat district with its panoramic view of the bay and then on to the Mercado Modelo, a local artifacts market.

Day 7: Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Evening Boteco Tour 

The night starts in Lapa
Partake in Rio's famous nightlife with a tour of local botecos

It's time to say goodbye to Salvador as you transfer to the airport for a two-hour flight to Rio de Janeiro. You'll soon understand why Rio has been called the "Magnificent City" for over a century and inspired artists and composers from all over the world. The city's unique beauty, rich culture, and geographical diversity with mountains, tropical forests, and stunning beaches provide the perfect setting for adventurous travelers. 

During the day, Rio is all about beaches, but at night it's time for the botecos. Locals meet after work at these bars to socialize while enjoying some bar snacks and ice-cold beers. You'll embark on a guided tour of these watering holes this evening. Visit two bars in the areas of Ipanema and Copacabana. The first is Pavão Azul, a heritage bar whose specialty is a cod fish cake known as patanisc. Next, to find an excellent samba bar, continue to the Lapa neighborhood, popular for its nightlife. You'll discover different customs and sample local snacks and drinks as you explore. By night's end, you'll feel like a real Carioca (Rio local)!

Day 8: Sugarloaf Mountain & Rio City Tour, Carnival Experience

Sugar Loaf
Take the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain

Today starts with a cable car ride up to the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) lookout, where the best views in the city await. Afterward, your city tour continues with a visit to the Maracana, the most popular soccer stadium in the world, and the Sambadrome, an area specially built for the parade of samba schools that participate every year during Carnival. Pass by the financial center of Rio, where modern and colonial styles are mixed, and make a short stop to see the famous Cathedral of San Sebastián

After lunch, head to Cidade do Samba (Samba City), a complex of warehouses home to samba schools where locals prepare all year for Carnival celebrations. Here, your guide will lead you on a tour of Pimpolhos, a youth samba school that seeks to promote social interaction and education through Carnival culture. It's an exclusive opportunity to go backstage at Brazil's biggest party and learn about the history of samba music, see dancers practicing routines, and watch how the parades are organized. Later, try on some actual Carnival outfits and learn a bit of percussion to get the feel of Brazilian samba.

This tour also includes visiting the historical site Pedra do Sal, where the samba started, familiarizing you with the African-Brazilian culture, the period of slavery, and all the pillars supporting the modern-day Carnival. Afterward, enjoy a caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane liquor) and lime. Then, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 9: Corcovado & Christ the Redeemer Tour, Rio Botanical Gardens & Tijuca Forest

Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)
Marvel at the spectacular views from Christ the Redeemer

Your tour begins this morning with a transfer to Tijuca National Park, the largest urban park in the world. Once you reach the base of Mount Corcovado, a train will take you up through the lush forest to the peak. You'll find Christ the Redeemer, the largest Art Deco statue ever built at 98 feet (30 m) high. From here, you'll see Guanabara Bay, the south beaches, and, far north, the adjacent city of Duque de Caxias. Across the bay, you'll see the towns of Niterói and São Gonçalo. 

After lunch, visit the Rio Botanical Garden, a magnificent 338-acre (137 ha) garden over 200 years old featuring a wide avenue of 134 impressive royal palms and more than 7,000 types of plants. You can see orchids, bromeliads, cacti, colossal bamboo, and carnivorous plants, among many others. Don't miss the famous Victoria amazonica, a giant floating water lily capable of sustaining the weight of a 5-year-old child. Monkeys are sometimes visible during the visit, and there are always plenty of birds flying over the trees, especially toucans.

Return to Tijuca National Park to see Vista Chinesa Gazebo, one of the city's best panoramic views. From there, you'll observe more views of Mount Corcovado with Christ the Redeemer, Guanabara Bay, and Sugarloaf Mountain. Stop at the Taunay Waterfall to cool off amid subtropical Brazilian vegetation before returning to your hotel for a free evening.

Day 10: Sailing Day Trip to Ilha de Itacuruçá 

A day of swimming and sailing awaits on today's tour of Sepetiba Bay

Today's full-day adventure takes you 1.5 hours west of Rio to Sepetiba Bay, where you'll board a traditional saveiro schooner and set sail. Discover clusters of forest-laden islands, spot dolphins, turtles, and stingrays in the turquoise waters, and stop for swims along the way. You'll break for lunch on the idyllic island of Itacuruçá, located well off the tourist trail and home to quaint fishing villages and unspoiled beaches. Spend some time exploring the island, continue your cruise to secluded beaches and sheltered coves, then chart a course back to the mainland and return to Rio in time for dinner.

Day 11: Embrace the Carioca Lifestyle, Depart Rio

See the magic of Carnival
Until we meet again, Brazil!

After breakfast, spend your final morning in Rio experiencing the city like a true Carioca. Your walking tour starts in the historic center, and takes you off the beaten path to favorite local haunts like the Saara Shopping District, a lively hub for bargain hunters. Make sure to take a break at one of the many street vendors to try fresh fruit juice—you can find everything from orange and pineapple to passion fruit and guaraná.

You'll end the morning with lunch at the Cais do Oriente restaurant, a charming mansion in the heart of the historic center. After lunch, it's time to say your goodbyes as you transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Brazil Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Brazil? Check out these other Brazil itineraries, explore different ways to spend 11 days in Brazil, or discover the best time to visit Brazil.


Map of Brazil East Coast Adventure: Jericoacoara, Salvador & Rio de Janeiro - 11 Days
Map of Brazil East Coast Adventure: Jericoacoara, Salvador & Rio de Janeiro - 11 Days