On this 10-day active adventure, you'll hike, bike, dive, and swim around some of Brazil's most beautiful natural wonders. Get ready to cycle around Rio de Janeiro's famous beaches, observe marine life on a dive in Ilha Grande, and enjoy a boat excursion around the Iguaçu Falls. You'll also visit several one-of-a-kind trekking spots like the Pedra do Telégrafo and Pico do Papagaio.


  • Visit Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue
  • Bike along Ipanema Beach
  • See Iguaçu Falls, the world's largest system of waterfalls
  • Enjoy scenic hiking and diving in Ilha Grande

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 Experience the Carioca Lifestyle & Tour Rio's Beaches by Bike Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 Day Tour of Sugarloaf Mountain & Christ the Redeemer Statue Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 Hike to Pedra do Telégrafo  Rio de Janeiro
Day 5 Fly to Foz do Iguaçu, Half-Day Hiking & Cycling Excursion Foz do Iguaçu
Day 6 Iguaçu Falls Hike & Gran Aventura Boat Tour Foz do Iguaçu
Day 7 Travel to Ilha Grande Ilha Grande
Day 8 Diving in Ilha Grande Ilha Grande
Day 9 Full-Day Hike to Pico do Papagaio  Ilha Grande
Day 10 Hike to Lopes Mendes Beach & Depart from Rio de Janeiro  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Rio de Janeiro

Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro's coastal neighborhoods
Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro's coastal neighborhoods

Welcome to Rio de Janeiro, the "Cidade Maravilhosa" (Marvelous City)! Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. From there, you'll get to enjoy the world-famous beauty of Rio, from its rich cultural scene to its geographic diversity. Rio is home to mountains, tropical forests, and stunning beaches, making it the perfect place for travelers looking for both adventure and relaxation.

Here, you'll experience the friendliness and hospitality of the Cariocas, as the locals are known. Rio offers a wide range of attractions and activities to explore that showcase the local culture and cuisine. Check out the world's largest urban forest at Tijuca, visit the birthplace of samba music at Pedra do Sal, or pick up unique souvenirs at the Feira de Arte de Ipanema Sunday market, which is also known as the Hippie Fair. 

Day 2: Experience the Carioca Lifestyle & Tour Rio's Beaches by Bike

The world-famous Ipanema Beach
Rio's world-famous Ipanema Beach

This morning, head off on a relaxed walking tour with a local guide. Stroll to the nearest subway station and take a 15-minute ride to the city's commercial and historic center. From there, you will explore the highlights on foot, including the Metropolitan Cathedral of São Sebastião and the Saara neighborhood, home to a bustling open-air market. Take this opportunity to soak in the rhythms of daily life in Rio. On your way, stop to try some delicious natural juice made from fresh tropical fruit. Then return to your hotel for lunch and a short break.

In the afternoon, see Rio's beaches and lagoon on a three-hour bike tour. Start in Copacabana, cycling along the coast toward Ipanema, and stop at Arpoador for a panoramic photo. Then, ride along the bike path near the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon). Head to the Mirante do Leblon and pause for some ice-cold coconut water before returning to the starting point. If the day is sunny, you may get the chance to enjoy a classic Arpoador sunset. It's traditional for Cariocas to applaud as they watch the sun go down.

Day 3: Day Tour of Sugarloaf Mountain & Christ the Redeemer Statue

An aerial view of Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer Statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro

Start your day with a visit to the famous Mirante de Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). The tour begins by driving to Praia Vermelha in the Urca neighborhood, where the cable car station to the Pão de Açúcar is located. From here, along with your local guide, walk along the Cláudio Coutinho track, also known as the Bem-Te-Vi trail. This 45-minute hike is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the woods and to see animals such as marmosets and tropical birds. At the end of the trail, ride the cable car to the top of Pão de Açúcar, then return to your hotel for a break.

In the afternoon, head over to Corcovado Peak to see the Christ the Redeemer Statue. Meet your guide at the hotel and drive to the base of the mountain, where you will take a train through the beautiful and lush Tijuca Forest to the top of the peak. Corcovado Peak is 2,330 feet (710 m) high, and the 125-foot (38 m) statue at its summit is considered one of the wonders of the modern world. 

Day 4: Hike to Pedra do Telégrafo

The Pedra do Telégrafo viewpoint
The Pedra do Telégrafo viewpoint

Today, you'll hike to the Pedra do Telégrafo hilltop, which is 1,161 feet (354 m) in altitude and located in the Pedra Branca State Park in Morro de Guaratiba. The hike begins with a 2.2-mile (3.5 km) moderate trek that passes by several scenic lookouts. One of the area's most famous photo ops is a large pointed stone you can sit on, giving the impression of hanging off a cliffside (but don't worry, it's an optical illusion—you'll be only a few feet off the ground). 

During the tour, you'll be treated to exuberant views of the surrounding region, including Praia do Perigoso, Praia do Meio, and Grumari, also known as the Wild Beaches Circuit. You can also observe the mountains of the Pedra Branca State Park and, farther in the distance, the Tijuca National Park. The natural beauty of this area creates a sense of freedom and peace. 

Day 5: Fly to Foz do Iguaçu, Half-Day Hiking & Cycling Excursion

Aerial view of Iguaçu Falls
The Iguaçu Falls

Meet your driver at your hotel in Rio de Janeiro, and head to the airport for the two-hour flight to Foz do Iguaçu. Once you've arrived and settled into your accommodation, get ready to enjoy a half-day tour on foot and by bike.

Transfer to the visitor center in the Iguaçu National Park, where your bicycle will be waiting. Then, hit the trail with your local expert guide. All told, you'll pedal about 6 miles (10 km) along forest trails on the Brazilian side of the Iguaçu Falls. Along the way, you'll be treated to epic views of the area's 275 cascades. The most majestic waterfalls you'll see from these trails include Floriano, Deodoro da Fonseca, Benjamin Constant, and Garganta do Diabo.

Eventually, you'll leave your bike at a viewpoint and hike along a footpath with your guide, enjoying the stunning scenery of jungle landscapes and waterfalls. At the end of the trail, return to the visitor center by bike, or, if you're too tired, hop on a park bus for the return. There's also the option to experience the falls from above on a helicopter tour—the views you'll see of the falls and surrounding region from the air are truly breathtaking.

Day 6: Iguaçu Falls Hike & Gran Aventura Boat Tour

Foz do Iguaçu
A rainbow over Iguaçu Falls

On today's easy hike, follow a scenic route along various trails and boardwalks that lead to lookout points offering stunning views of Iguaçu Falls. The lower circuit keeps you close to nature, while the upper boardwalks take you along the sheer face of the falls, its river islands, and the famous Garganta do Diabo (Devil's Throat) cascade. This one section comprises a third of Iguaçu and is made up of a confluence of three massive waterfalls plunging 262 feet (80 m) into a gorge. You'll have a full five hours to explore these trails, with time left over to enjoy a nice lunch in the park. 

After lunch, continue to explore the area on the two-hour Gran Aventura safari and boat excursion. This group tour begins with an offroad trip in a 4WD vehicle to the Puerto Macuco forest base. There, board a boat and head 4 miles (6 km) down the lower Iguaçu River Canyon toward the falls. Continue to the Salto Tres Mosqueteros, where you'll enjoy stunning views from both the Argentinian and Brazilian borders. You'll also visit Salto San Martín, the second-largest waterfall in Iguaçu that's reachable by boat. The tour ends at San Martín Island. From there, return via the lower circuit walkway on the Brazilian side of Iguaçu Falls. 
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Day 7: Travel to Ilha Grande

The clear blue waters of Ilha Grande
The clear blue waters of Ilha Grande

Transfer to the airport of Foz do Iguaçu for your return flight to Rio de Janeiro. After arrival, travel by road to the coastal town of Conceição de Jacareí, where a taxi-boat will be waiting to transport you to Vila do Abraão, the only town on the island of Ilha Grande.

Ilha Grande is largely undeveloped and is known for its quiet, unspoiled beaches. It was closed to the public by the Brazilian government for nearly a century, leaving its natural beauty in pristine condition. The island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its biodiversity and lush Atlantic rainforest. It is home to many endangered species, including broad-snouted caimans and brown howler monkeys. Check in at your hotel, and head out for a stroll along the beach to experience Ilha Grande's peaceful atmosphere. 

Day 8: Diving in Ilha Grande

Explore the underwater world
Enjoy a diving experience in Ilha Grande

Get ready to explore the underwater world in one of the best places for diving in Brazil and beyond! During the dive, you'll experience the sensation of zero gravity and observe the underwater beauty of Ilha Grande up close. Double dive tours can be done by certified divers of all levels. If you're not a certified diver, you can try discovery scuba diving, guided by an instructor.

The seas around Ilha Grande are home to a rich variety of coral and fish. You'll have the chance to see some of the different types of marine life living among the island's rocky coves and may come across sea turtles, starfish, sea urchins, or even dolphins during the course of your dive. Subtropical, tropical, and temperate-zone sea creatures can all be found in the island's surrounding waters, making this a truly remarkable spot for nature lovers. 

Day 9: Full-Day Hike to Pico do Papagaio 

Papagaio Peak
Climbing on Papagaio Peak

Today, visit the Pico do Papagaio (Parrot's Peak) and hike Ilha Grande's most challenging trail. The path you will climb through the Atlantic rainforest has a steep incline and uneven ground, with many stones and roots. The Pico do Papagaio is an unusual rock formation that, seen from Vila do Abraão, looks like a parrot's beak. However, when seen up close, it has other features that resemble a dog, a mouse, or an elephant, depending on the angle.

The ascent takes about three hours and requires a high degree of fitness and lots of hydration. Tours typically leave as early as possible in the morning to avoid the midday heat and humidity and to account for the duration of the hike, including resting time and pictures. The length of the hike is 5.7 miles (9.2 km) roundtrip, with a total elevation gain of 3,030 feet (925 m). If you're not feeling up to an intense trek, you can head to the beach for a day of relaxation instead. 

Day 10: Hike to Lopes Mendes Beach & Depart from Rio de Janeiro

Hike to Lopes Mendes Beach
Hike to Lopes Mendes Beach

In the morning, depart from Vila do Abraão and head off on a hike to Lopes Mendes Beach. Walking with your private guide, you'll pass by Palmas Beach, Mangues Beach, and Pouso Beach along the Enseada das Palmas (Palm Cove). Once you reach Pouso Beach, follow a trail for 15-20 minutes toward Lopes Mendes Beach.

With its fine white sand and crystal-clear water, this peaceful beach is one of the region's gems. Its gentle mid-sized waves will appeal to swimmers as well as experienced surfers. At the end of the 1.5-mile (2.4 km) stretch of sand, you'll find a clean and pleasant stream, as well as a small chapel and a mosaic by Silvio Cavalheiro on an old ship's barrel. Once you've had a look around and enjoyed some relaxation, return to Pouso Beach to catch a taxi boat back to Vila do Abraão.

Then, at the appropriate time, transfer by regular boat and private vehicle back to Rio de Janeiro, where you will be taken to the airport for your departure. Boa viagem!

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Map of Hiking & Beaches in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguaçu & Ilha Grande - 10 Days
Map of Hiking & Beaches in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguaçu & Ilha Grande - 10 Days