Relax into the rhythm of Rio de Janeiro with this week-long adventure that takes you to the heart of the buzzing coastal city. The locals—fondly nicknamed Cariocas—know the key to a good life is taking it easy, so switch down a gear and enjoy the vibrant energy and rich culture of the city. With the help of a few local guides, you'll learn to dance the samba, discover the secret to a good caipirinha, and visit some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil.


  • Soak in city views from the Christ the Redeemer statue
  • Feel the carnival beats and learn to dance or drum at a samba school
  • Learn the art of the caipirinha cocktail with the locals
  • Swim in paradise at the beaches of Buzios

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 Corcovado Mountain & Christ the Redeemer Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 Rio de Janeiro City Tour  Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 Day Trip to Buzios Rio de Janeiro
Day 5 Free Day in Rio de Janeiro & Boteco Tour Rio de Janeiro
Day 6 Explore Carnival Culture Rio de Janeiro
Day 7 Depart Rio de Janeiro  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Rio de Janeiro

The famous mosaic sidewalk at Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro
Welcome to Rio de Janeiro, the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City). From the rich cultural scene to the geographical diversity of mountains, tropical forests, and stunning beaches, if you're looking for both adventure and relaxation, Rio is your perfect destination. Experience the friendliness and hospitality of the Cariocas, as locals are known, as you discover their culture and cuisine over seven fantastic days

After dropping your bags at the hotel, there's no doubt you'll want to start exploring the city's world-famous beauty right away. Use this afternoon to find your feet and explore solo—checking out the world's largest urban forest at Tijuca, visiting the birthplace of samba music at Pedra do Sal, or picking up one-of-a-kind souvenirs at the Feira de Arte de Ipanema Sunday market (also known as the Hippie Fair). 

Day 2: Corcovado Mountain & Christ the Redeemer

Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)
Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)
No trip to Rio is complete without a visit to its most iconic landmark and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World: "Cristo Redentor" or Christ the Redeemer. Perched atop the 2,300-foot-high (700 m) Corcovado Mountain, this giant representation of Christ looks down over the city with wide open arms. Transfer from your hotel to Tijuca National Park, which at 8,300 acres (3,357 ha) is the largest urban park in the world. A 20-minute train ride will take you through lush forest to the peak. There, you'll meet Cristo Redentor, the largest Art Deco statue ever built at 98 feet (30m) high.
Every year, around two million tourists make the trip to marvel at this sculptural accomplishment—plus this is the best view of Rio. From here, you can see all of Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, the south beaches, and far north to the adjacent city of Duque de Caxias. You can even look out across the bay to the eastern cities of Niterói and São Gonçalo. After the visit, the afternoon is yours to explore. Why not venture down to the famous Copacabana Beach to stroll the promenade or go for a swim?

Day 3: Rio de Janeiro City Tour

Rio de Janeiro City Tour & Municipal Market
Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant city filled with street art
Today's city tour kicks off at the Maracana, the most popular soccer stadium in the world. Next, wander Santa Teresa, one of Rio's most charming neighborhoods to take in breathtaking views of Guanabara Bay and the city center, and enjoy graffiti-covered walls and street art hidden between the hillsides and old mansions. Stop at Selaron Steps and the famous Parque das Ruinas, pass through the financial center of Rio, where modern and colonial styles clash, and visit the famous Cathedral of San Sebastian.
Plan your trip to Brazil
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Enjoy a delicious tropical juice made from local fruits and try a Brazilian snack before heading to the CADEG, a traditional food market. Discover national and imported products such as cod, cereals, vegetables, fresh fruits, dairy products, beverages, and gorgeous flowers. After a busy morning of exploring, enjoy a long, slow lunch at one of the many great restaurants where you can taste even more delicious Brazilian cuisine. 

Day 4: Day Trip to Buzios

The beautiful beaches of Búzios
The beautiful beaches of Búzios

Looking for paradise? Today's day trip from Rio will take you there. Located 105 miles (170 km) from the city, Búzios is a small charming town and peninsula that's home to 23 stunning beaches. With so much coastline, there's a beach for everyone. Geribá is for surfers, João Fernandes and João Fernandinho are for those who like low tides and clear water, and Azedinha offers calmer waters for families.

A group bus tour takes three hours to reach the coastal town. Wander through cobbled streets rich with quaint charm, made famous by the French actress Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s. Board a cruise to explore the best Búzios beaches and stop for a blissful swim at Azedinha, João Fernandes and João Fernandinho, Ilha Feia or Tartaruga beach. After the boat, enjoy lunch in a delicious restaurant with several options before heading back to Rio. 

Day 5: Free Day in Rio de Janeiro & Boteco Tour

Ipanema Beach
Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro

Your fifth day in Rio de Janeiro is yours to explore. Simply relax into the Carioca lifestyle at Ipanema Beach, use your time to conquer Sugarloaf Mountain, explore nature in the National Park of Tijuca, wander the Botanical Gardens, view art at the Museu de Arte do Rio or Museu do Amanha (Museum of the Future), or join a day trip to places such as Petrópolis or Niterói.

When night falls you'll explore Rio's great botecos. These are the bars where locals congregate to share snacks and cold beer after a long day. Start in the Lapa neighborhood, known for its nightlife among locals, and learn about cachaça. Hear the history of this essential alcohol used in Brazil's most famous drink, then taste a spectacular caipirinha. Afterward, visit three bars in Ipanema and Copacabana where the party keeps going. You'll end the night feeling like a real Carioca!

Day 6: Explore Carnival Culture

Immerse yourself in the art of Carnival!
Immerse yourself in the art of Carnival!

There is nothing more representative of Brazil than the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, a massive annual event that attracts people from all over the world. Today's tour gets to the heart of this iconic celebration as you discover the people and culture of Rio's samba schools. Kick-off with an exploration through the commercial and historic center, learning about the customs, commerce, and joy of the local Cariocas. Wander the Saara neighborhood, enjoy delicious tropical juices, and stop for lunch at Confeitaria Colombo, one of the oldest and most historic restaurants in Brazil. 

After lunch, it's time to dance. Feel the joy and warmth of the Brazilian people when you visit the Cidade do Samba (Samba City), where they prepare for Carnival throughout the year. A local guide will lead a tour of the Pimpolhos project, a social scheme that seeks to transform the community by training professionals in dance, production, music, and arts. Hear about the history of samba music, dance, and carnival parades. Try on costumes, take pictures, and learn a little bit of percussion and samba to really feel the carnival atmosphere! After all that dancing, a delicious caipirinha awaits.

Day 7: Depart Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

It's your last day in Rio de Janeiro. Sneak in one final caipirinha before you transfer to the airport and wave goodbye to this magical Brazilian city that's no doubt stolen a piece of your heart.

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Map of Highlights of Rio de Janeiro - 7 Days
Map of Highlights of Rio de Janeiro - 7 Days