In just nine days, this exciting itinerary introduces you to some of Brazil's most awe-inspiring landscapes, from massive waterfalls to pristine beaches. The itinerary starts in Argentina — Iguazú Falls span the border between Argentina and Brazil — with a few days of hiking and boating around the spectacular cascades. Then you'll catch a flight to Rio de Janeiro, where world-famous sights like Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Mountain await. Detour to Búzios for a few days of sailing, sunbathing, and fun on the beach. Then wrap up the itinerary with one more full day in Rio before catching a flight out.


  • Marvel at the spectacular cascades of Iguazú Falls 
  • Enjoy a thrilling boating adventure to the base of the cascade
  • Ascend to the heights of Rio de Janeiro's Corcovado and Sugar Loaf 
  • Soak up some sun on Ipanema and Copacabana
  • Chill out on the beaches of Búzios and cruise along the coast

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Iguazú National Park  Puerto Iguazu
Day 2 Discover the Brazilian Side of the Falls Puerto Iguazu
Day 3 Boat on the Iguazú River Puerto Iguazu
Day 4 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro & Explore Rio de Janeiro
Day 5 Explore Corcovado & Sugar Loaf Rio de Janeiro
Day 6 Relax on the Beach in Búzios Búzios
Day 7 Enjoy a Cruise Along the Coast Búzios
Day 8 Sightsee in Rio Rio de Janeiro
Day 9 Depart Brazil - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Iguazú National Park 

Bossetti Jump at Iguazú Falls

Welcome to Argentina! You'll arrive in Puerto Iguazú, the gateway to Iguazú Falls. The massive cascade straddles the border of two countries – Argentina and Brazil – and is part of one of the largest natural protected areas in South America. After checking in at your hotel, you'll take some time in the afternoon to orient yourself in Argentina's Iguazú National Park. Well-marked paths lead you to different viewpoints around the waterfalls, including the spectacular thundering torrent known as Garganta del Diablo (The Devil's Throat). You'll leave the park at dusk and enjoy a traditional Argentine dinner of empanadas, grilled meats and vegetables, and red wine, followed by a dessert of alfajores (Argentine sandwich cookies made with dulce de leche).

Day 2: Discover the Brazilian Side of the Falls

Morning light on the falls

Today you'll cross the border to explore the falls on the Brazilian side. The tour starts at the visitor's center and leads you across various paths and footbridges to see designed to see spectacular panoramic views of the 275 waterfalls that make up Iguazú. The most important falls on the Brazilian side are Floriano, Deodoro, Benjamín Constant, and Salto Unión. Next, you'll head to the Bird Park to see rare and colorful birds, as well as alligators, anacondas, pythons, marmosets, and butterflies.

Day 3: Boat on the Iguazú River

Boating near the base of Iguazú Falls

Back on the Argentine side of the falls, an adventure awaits. In the morning, you'll go hiking through the rainforest, enjoying more outstanding views of the falls from different viewpoints. After lunch, you'll embark on an adventure tour that departs from the visitor's center. Travel in a 4x4 vehicle into the heart of the jungle until you reach the river port of Puerto Macuco. At the dock, you'll board a boat to sail on the Lower Iguazú River towards the waterfalls. Upon reaching Three Musketeers Fall, you'll be able to see the falls of both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides crowned by the towering Garganta del Diablo. Next, you'll face the incomparable San Martín waterfall, the second largest in the series of cascades. Once back on dry land, you'll have time to hike more in the park or head back to your hotel to relax.

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Day 4: Arrive in Rio de Janeiro & Explore

Copacabana Beach

Welcome to Brazil! When you arrive at the airport in Rio de Janeiro, your guide will be waiting to take you to your hotel in Copacabana. You'll soon start to understand why Rio de Janeiro has been called the "Wonderful City" or "Magnificent City" for over a century. The city's unique beauty, rich culture, and geographical diversity — characterized by dramatic mountains, tropical forests, and stunning beaches — provide the perfect setting for adventurous travelers. In the afternoon, you'll go on a tour around the commercial and historic center of the city. With a guide, explore urban highlights on foot, including the Metropolitan Cathedral of São Sebastião and the Saara neighborhood. Stop to try delicious juices made from fresh tropical fruit. You'll also stop for something to eat at Confeitaria Colombo, one of the oldest and most historic restaurants in Brazil, before getting some rest at your hotel. 

Day 5: Explore Corcovado & Sugarloaf 

Christ the Redeemer 

Today a full-day city tour will take you to visit Rio's main attractions and natural monuments. Start with a trip up to Corcovado, where the statue of Christ the Redeemer — it's considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. The tour will continue towards lush Tijuca Forest, then to Maracanã Stadium to learn about the history of the World Cup finals in 1950 and 2014. Next, you'll see the Sambadrome, which is the stage of the Samba School Parades performances during Rio de Janeiro's Carnival. Have lunch at a renowned steakhouse. Then you'll ride to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain on a cable car. You will visit Morro da Urca, then end the tour by visiting the most famous beaches in the city: Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon.

Day 7: Relax on the Beach in Búzios 

 Ferradura Beach in Búzios

Enjoy the scenic drive to the coastal resort of Búzios. You'll have a few days to relax and explore here, with the option to try activities like snorkeling and kayaking. Stroll along the charming Orla Bardot Boardwalk, sunbathe on lovely Armação Beach, sample fresh seafood, and enjoy the crowded bars, galleries, and shops of Rua das Pedras after dark. You'll head back to your beachfront hotel to get some rest before a cruise on day seven. 

Day 7: Enjoy a Cruise Along the Coast

A colorful view of Búzios from the water

Today you'll have the option of going on a schooner cruise. Sail around Búzios’ most beautiful beaches and two islands on the north side of the peninsula, stopping at beaches like João Fernandes Beach and Feia Island to swim and relax. Enjoy another evening of laid-back pleasures in Búzios before circling back to Rio the next day.

 Day 8: Sightsee in Rio de Janeiro

The view of Rio and Sugarloaf Mountain from Pico da Tijuca 

Leave behind the relaxed streets of Búzios and head back to Rio de Janeiro. Today you will explore Tijuca National Park in the middle of Rio, the largest urban forest in the world. Pass through the Vista Chinesa and Mesa do Imperador, both of which offer fantastic views of the city. If you are feeling energetic, you can hike to the summit of Pico da Tijuca (2.5 hours) at 3,350 feet (1,021 meters) above sea level. 

Alternatively, visit Rio's beautiful Botanical Gardens or admire the 19th-century manor and gardens of Parque Lage. Or do what the locals do best — relax! Chill out on the sand in Copacabana, walk along the waterfront promenade to Ipanema, watch Brazilians playing beach volleyball, go for a swim in the ocean, and try grilled corn and fresh-squeezed lemonade from vendors on the beach. Dine in a seafood restaurant near the coast for your last Brazilian meal before flying out.

Day 9: Depart Brazil - End of Trip

Sugar Loaf at dawn

Today the trip comes to a close. You'll head to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!

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

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