- Tour vibrant Rio de Janeiro
- Visit the majestic Iguazu Falls National Park
- Trek along the tropical coast and discover secluded beaches
- Explore Ilha Grande by boat
- See wildlife like monkeys, toucans, and other rare birds
|Arrive in Rio de Janeiro
|Rio de Janeiro
|Corcovado & Sugarloaf Mountain
|Rio de Janeiro
|Rio by bike
|Rio de Janeiro
|Rio to Ilha Grande
|Hiking in Ilha Grande
|Free day Ilha Grande
|Ilha Grande to Paraty
|Paraty by boat
|Ponta Negra hike
|Saco do Mamangua hike
|Paraty to Iguazu Falls
|Iguazu Falls (Argentinian side)
|Iguazu Falls (Brazilian side) to Rio de Janeiro
|Rio de Janeiro
|Depart from Rio de Janeiro
Day 1: Arrive in Rio de Janeiro
Welcome to Brazil! You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Take this chance to unpack, pick up last-minute necessities, and do a bit of sightseeing.
Day 2: Corcovado & Sugarloaf Mountain
Your tour this morning starts with a trip up to the Corcovado mountain, a world-renowned symbol of Rio. Take some time to soak in the beautiful panoramic views before heading back down via the Santa Teresa neighborhood. Take a walk through this quaint, historic area to get a sense of its current-day diversity. Make sure to pay a visit to the Escadaria do Convento da Santa Teresa, brightly colored stairs designed by Jorge Selarón.
Later today, visit another symbol of Rio when you take a ride on the cable cart to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, which marks the entrance to the Guanabara Bay.
Day 3: Rio by Bike
Your English-speaking guide will meet you at the hotel this morning for a bike tour of the Rio beaches. Take a short subway trip to the iconic Ipanema, where you will rent your bikes and continue south. The first segment of your tour follows a bike path along the banks of the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas for 4.6 miles, with an optional detour to Catacumba Park, a lovely oasis famous for its modern sculptures.
From there, follow the coast to the Leblon and Ipanema beaches, which are crowded in the summer but quieter during the offseason. Take a break from biking to swim in the sea and then continue to the viewpoint in Arpoador, where a rock marks the end of the beach. From here, it's a short distance to Copacabana and the Copacabana Fort, which is well worth a visit.
Day 4: Rio to Ilha Grande
A private driver will meet you at the hotel in the morning to drive you to Conceição de Jacarei, a two-hour drive along the Costa Verde (Green Coast). Enjoy the lush tropical vegetation as you drive on the road today between the ocean and the mountains.
Once you arrive, board a ferry for the 20-minute crossing to the island of Ilha Grande, where you will be met by your hosts and your luggage brought up to your pousada, or guesthouse, for you.
Day 5: Hiking in Ilha Grande
There are many options for sightseeing today, and your English-speaking guide will accompany you on whichever you choose. Depending on the weather and your desire for physical activity, choose one of the following options: explore the waterfall at Feiticeira, roam the picturesque beach at Dois Rios, or climb the Pico do Papagaio — the highest point of the island.
For those who enjoy being on the water, you may choose to go on a kayaking or boat excursion to the Lagoa Azul or Lagoa Verde instead of trekking today.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Free Day Ilha Grande
Today you have a free day to enjoy everything that Ilha Grande has to offer. Relax on the beach, go kayaking, take a boat trip to different spots on the island, or go diving in the beautiful blue water—the day is yours!
Day 7: Ilha Grande to Paraty
In the morning, board the ferry for the 20-minute crossing to the mainland and Angra dos Reis. Your driver will meet you at the pier and drive you to Paraty, a 1.5-hour trip south down the coast.
Paraty is a small Portuguese colonial town on Brazil's Costa Verde, and its cobbled streets and 17th- and 18th-century buildings date back to its time as a port. Enjoy exploring the pretty streets and stop in at Capela de Santa Rita, a whitewashed church built in the 18th century.
Day 8: Paraty by Boat
In the morning, the captain will drive you down to the pier to board a private tour boat, which will be your home for the day. Originally a fishing boat, this craft has been adapted for travelers—benches and cushions, a cooler, and a sunshade make this boat a comfortable place to spend the day.
Sail around the Bay of Paraty, traveling between islands and from one beach to the next. There are several stops planned at different sites—Ilha Comprida, Saco da Velha, and Praia Vermelha. All of these destinations are great places to swim or snorkel among tropical fish.
Day 9: Ponta Negra Hike
Today you will take a local bus in the morning from Paraty to the village of Laranjeiras, a short 30-minute trip. Your hike will start with a short, easy climb before entering the Mata Atlantica (the Atlantic Forest), located in the heart of the ecological preserve of Joatinga. After an hour and a half of pleasant hiking, you will reach the hamlet of Sono just in time for lunch. This town is located on the border of one of the loveliest beaches in the area — Praia Do Sono.
After lunch, you'll face the only difficult section of the trail: a steep hill, after which the hike becomes much less demanding. Pass through Praia Da Velha and Praia Dos Antigos before arriving an hour and a half later to the small fishing village of Ponta Negra. Tucked into the recesses of a cove, this hamlet is completely secluded from the rest of the world. Listen to the waves crashing on the white sand beach as you enjoy the isolation of this lovely place. Later, return by boat to Laranjeiras and by local bus to Paraty.
Day 10: Saco do Mamangua Hike
Today, like yesterday, take the local bus from Paraty. This time, to the village of Paraty Mirim, a 40-minute trip. Paraty Mirim is famous for its Portuguese-style church and gorgeous beaches. The village sits on the edge of an ecological preserve, which is where your hike to Saco do Mamangua starts.
The beginning of this hike is the hardest, with a significant ascent into the Joatinga reserve. The trek to Saco do Mamangua will take approximately 1.5 hours, and will take you deep into the forest. Keep an eye out for wildlife like tropical birds and monkeys. Continue down a 5-mile-long fjord alongside beaches with emerald green water. Stop for lunch at a small local restaurant in Regato, before walking back to Laranjeiros to catch the local bus back to Paraty.
Day 11: Paraty to Iguazu Falls
Head to the airport in Rio for your flight to Iguazu. There, you'll be met by your driver and transferred to the hotel, or, depending on arrival time, directly to the Iguazu Falls National Park for a day of sightseeing. These magnificent falls straddle the borders of three countries: Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Enjoy exploring the park and the falls, as well as the surrounding areas.
Day 12: Iguazu Falls (Argentinian Side)
Today you will visit the Argentinian side of the park. Your guide will meet you at the hotel for the drive, which is approximately 45 minutes. From the Argentinian side, you will be able to get closer to the water, as well as visit the impressive Devil’s Canyon, a breathtaking geological feature. In the afternoon, return to your hotel on the Brazilian side of the falls.
For the adventurous among you, take a boat tour into the middle of the falls to feel the spray of the water on your shoulders and feel the thundering water come down around you.
Day 13: Iguazu Falls (Brazilian Side) to Rio de Janeiro
Spend the morning exploring the Iguazu Falls National Park. Head to the Brazilian side of the park to admire wonderful panoramic views, more falls, and if the sun is out, rainbows!
The Iguazu Falls National Park covers 185,000 acres and was created in 1939. Its ecological beauty and biological reserve are classified as a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site. Today, pass by hundreds of smaller falls on your way to the last one: Floriano Falls.
On the return trip to Foz do Iguazu, stop and visit the aviary at Parque das Aves to see hundreds of different species of birds from Brazil and other tropical countries. There may be an optional trip for a short helicopter flight over the falls (check with your tour guide for availability). In the afternoon, catch a flight back to Rio de Janeiro.
Day 14: Depart Rio de Janeiro
Today is your last day in Brazil. Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Have a safe trip!
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