Planning Your Trip to Brazil
To have enough time to explore several areas of Brazil comfortably, plan to book at least a seven-day trip. If you have five days or less, selecting a targeted itinerary is your best bet—choose a specific tour, activity, or region to get the most out of a shorter visit. On the other hand, if you are looking to take your time, you can visit a healthy number of regions and destinations–around four–in two weeks laced with plenty of relaxation time, from cities to beaches to rainforests.
Brazil in 5 Days
With five days in Brazil, it's best to commit to a specific itinerary based on your interests. You can take a historical tour, an active trip to an outdoor destination, or even enjoy an artsy getaway with a local community.
This authentic trip to Rio is an excellent introduction to Brazil's iconic Wonderful City. First, discover the Metropolitan Cathedral of São Sebastião, along with neighborhoods like cultural Saara and art-clad Santa Teresa. Next, experience the magic of Carnival through Samba City (home to the dance). Sip caipirinhas, and take a cable car to tour Sugarloaf Mountain, complete with a guided hike in nature. The following morning, visit Corcovado Peak and the famed Christ the Redeemer by scenic train and tour historic Little Africa before enjoying Harmony Square and several other historic sites.
Alternatively, embark on an Amazonian adventure, the perfect mix of culture and nature. Begin in Manaus to see the Amazon Theatre, an opera house within a rainforest, shop for crafts and food at Mercado Adolpho, and stroll the stunning Manaus Botanical Gardens MUSA. In the morning, board a speedboat to Careiro to reach the Amazon Jungle Lodge for a scenic, three-day trip featuring canoeing, piranha fishing, day and nighttime walking tours, birding, and more.
You can also immerse yourself in a unique art and culture experience in the Jequitinhonha Valley. Upon arrival to Minas Gerais, take the four-hour trip to Campo Buriti for an introduction to the local community. Take in the stunning trail to Barreiro to harvest clay and get creative, take a painting workshop, view the art in Campo Alegre, and visit a local bar with one of your hostesses. Spend time with a ceramics master, whip up tasty confections and attend the last-night firing ceremony where your art will head into the kiln as the grand finale.
Brazil in 7 Days
With a whole week in Brazil, you have several choices: split your time between two different regions and commit to a hiking trek to a bucket-list destination. Or, you can discover up to three areas on a focused tour.
This Brazilian adventure blends history and nature. Begin with an action-packed day in Corcovado, explore the Tijuca Forest, stop at the World-Cup famed Maracanã Stadium, see the Sambadrone and take in Sugarloaf. End the day touring the city's famous beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. Then, it's off to Anfra dos Reis, home to Ilha Grande, to tour the islands and take a swim. Next, transfer to Manaus to the sites of the Amazonian town before arriving at the Amazon Jungle Lodge. Here, you can learn about the local flora and fauna, fish for piranhas, and take a nocturnal excursion to see wildlife.
Want to head off the beaten path? Take a hiking trip through the Pati Valley in Chapada Diamantina, one of Brazil's most beautiful crossings. Once you arrive in Salvador de Bahía, make the five-hour trip to Lençóis for some pre-hiking relaxation. Begin the 50-mile (80-km) journey by car to the Pati Valley and embark on a trek hiking along the Black River to the Valley of Cachoeirão (home to the breathtaking Cachoeirão Waterfall), up to the Morro do Castelo Rock, among a tree wall and into the coffee region of Andaraí.
If you're an ornithophile, enjoy a week of birding in the great outdoors of Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland. Upon arrival, take the 62-mile (100-km) ride to Santa Tereza Farm, where you can paddle down the Pixaim River, take forest walks and relish a sunset on the river. Next, take a photo safari down Transpantaneira and bird along the swampy plains of Campo Jofre. Then, travel to the biodiverse Pouso Alegre Hotel Farm for additional excursions. Once on Pousada Piuval Farm, take in a sunset birdwatching tour, an early morning and full day of birding on the water, and more time to explore at night.
Brazil in 2 Weeks
If you have 14 days to visit Brazil, you can take a trip that merges highlights from major cities to nature destinations and everything in between. From sightseeing to excursions, there's no shortage of options. Plus, thanks to Brazil's many gorgeous beaches, there are plenty of worthy stops for much-needed downtime.
This well-rounded trip covers three exciting-yet-unique destinations. Start with a tour of Rio taking in the historical sites, then bike to viewpoints along the famed beaches. You can board a ferry to Ilha Grande for plenty of beach exploration, transfer to Paraty to tour cobbled streets and 17th-18th century buildings—and spend a boat day on the Bay of Paraty to swim and snorkel—and then go hiking in Mata Atlantica and Saco Mamangua. The grand finale: three days exploring the otherworldly Iguazu Falls visiting the best viewpoints from the Brazilian and Argentinian sides.
This romantic beach escape is the perfect trip for couples looking to explore three different areas, honeymoon or not. From the seaside resort of Búzios, make stops at João Fernandes Beach and Feia Island to swim and relax. Explore Orla Bardot Boardwalk, fine dining along Armação Beach, and nightlife and culture on Rua das Pedras. Head to Rio to tour the iconic beaches and enjoy samba and caipirinhas in Lapa. Wake up to a day of sightseeing followed by a tour of the Cargarras Islands Archipelago, an abundant ecological reserve. Next, fly to Salvador de Bahía to arrive in Itacaré to surf and paddle the blue waters. Toast the end of your trip with local fresh-fruit cocktails and devour seafood with a view.
More Great Brazil Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Brazil? Check out these other Brazil itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and wildlife tours to hit the highlights.