Two weeks in Brazil allow you and the family plenty of time to explore Rio de Janeiro and take a leisurely trip down the Coral Coast. Start in the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City), with its culture, cuisine, and gardens, then head to historic Olinda and Recife and dance your cares away. From here on, it's all about the sea, with Porto de Galinhas, Maragogi, and Maceió offering kid-friendly beaches, boat trips, and plenty of uncomplicated fun.

Highlights

  • Savor panoramic views of Rio from the feet of the statue of Christ the Redeemer 
  • Try your hand at frevo dancing in Recife
  • Spot colorful fish in Maragogi's kid-friendly natural pools
  • Relax with the little ones on Marceió's picture-perfect beaches

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas Bike Ride Rio de Janeiro
Day 2 Christ the Redeemer & Sugarloaf Mountain Tour, Visit Cidade do Samba  Rio de Janeiro
Day 3 Praia do Leblon Beach Day Rio de Janeiro
Day 4 Green Tour: Botanical Gardens & Parque Lage Rio de Janeiro
Day 5 Fly to Recife, Explore Boa Viagem Beach & Neighborhood Recife
Day 6 Highlights Tour of Olinda & Recife Recife
Day 7 Transfer to Porto de Galinhas, Natural Pools & Mangroves Boat Tour Porto de Galinhas
Day 8 Catamaran Trip to Praia dos Carneiros Porto de Galinhas
Day 9 Transfer to Maragogi, Moses Path Boat Trip Maragogi
Day 10 Discover Maragogi's Best Beaches Maragogi
Day 11 Transfer to Maceió, Coastal Walk Maceió
Day 12 Praia de Paripueira Beach Day & Barrier Reef Reserve Maceió
Day 13 Pajuçara Markets & Natural Pools Maceió
Day 14 Depart Maceió  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas Bike Ride

Copacobana
Get in the holiday mood with a family stroll along Copacabana's shoreline

Welcome to Rio de Janeiro! Your driver will be waiting at the airport to transport you and your family to your waterfront hotel. Once refreshed, head to nearby Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, a heart-shaped lake and leisure area. Hire bikes and take a relaxed ride around its 4.3-mile (7 km) circumference. With plenty of skate parks and playgrounds, there are many fun places to stop off with the kids. Alternatively, hire paddle boats and explore the lake. Round the day off with a sunset stroll along Copacabana beach before heading to one of Rio's many family-friendly restaurants for dinner. 

Day 2: Christ the Redeemer & Sugarloaf Mountain Tour, Visit Cidade do Samba

Visit Rio's must-sees
Take the kids to the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue for memorable views

Start the day with one of the Seven New Wonders of the World—the 98-foot (30 m) statue of Christ the Redeemer. Avoid the transfers and keep things simple with the little ones by traveling up via train and escalator (the train ride itself is a drawcard, with plenty of chances to spot wild monkeys in the Tijuca Forest). After your descent, briefly stop at the colorfully-tiled Selaron Staircase on your way to Sugarloaf Mountain. The kids will love the cable car ride up and seeing the city from so high. Let them run around the playground while you savor a coffee and the panoramic views. 

After lunch, it's time to get your dance shoes on and celebrate a little Rio Carnival culture. Head to Cidade do Samba (Samba City), a massive 14-building complex celebrating every aspect of Carnival and samba dance. It's the perfect place to take a samba workshop, get some family photos in authentic carnival clothing, and explore the extravagant floats and costumes from previous years. Enjoy a three-hour tour, then return to your accommodation and relax over dinner.

Day 3: Praia do Leblon Beach Day

Going to the beach with the kids: play area key point
Praia do Leblon provides the perfect set-up for an easy family beach day
Slow the pace with a relaxing day at Praia do Leblon, the ideal spot for a family beach day. More sheltered and quieter than its more famous neighboring beaches, the clean sand and surf will provide hours of fun. You'll also find a playground, Baixo Bebê, at Posto 12, equipped with the usual slides and playhouses, a changing table, and a shady area where you can purchase ice cream and cold drinks. An abundance of nearby restaurants and boutiques allows you to spend time shopping and enjoying fine food without leaving the area. When the family has had its fill of beachy fun, return to your hotel. 

Day 4: Green Tour: Botanical Gardens & Parque Lage 

A Green tour in Rio with kids
The kids will love meeting the inhabitants of Rio's expansive Botanical Gardens

It's not just the coastline that makes Rio an excellent destination for outdoorsy families—the city is also home to expansive stretches of tropical forest and gardens. Start the day at Parque Lage, a historic mansion with gardens at the foot of Corcovado. Enjoy a delicious breakfast surrounded by rainforest, then linger over a coffee while the kids make the most of the playgrounds and a castle with artificial caves. For a change of scenery, head inside to the park's aquarium.

Within walking distance, you'll also find the Jardim Botânico, Brazil's oldest botanical garden and a UNESCO biosphere reserve of the Atlantic Forest. You and the kids will be awed by the imperial palms, which can reach the height of a 15-story building, as well as over 3,400 different plant species. With a museum, playgrounds, and plenty of wildlife, you and the kids can easily spend the rest of the day here. Be sure to visit the sundial and its neighboring lake full of little turtles—there's also a café nearby for those family members worn out by all the playing.

Day 5: Fly to Recife, Explore Boa Viagem Beach & Neighborhood

Welcome to Recife: our tips
Get dancing with the kids in Recife, the birthplace of frevo

You and the kids are off to the Coral Coast today, with a three-hour flight to Recife. On arrival in the Pernambuco region's vibrant capital, your driver will meet you and transport you and the family to your hotel. You'll be staying in the Boa Viagem neighborhood, a hub for cuisine of every variety, from fine dining to kid-friendly ice cream parlors and bakeries. Head out for a stroll and take a few delicacies to Orla da Praia—this scenic beach is the perfect place to relax.

Alternatively, head into town and soak up the vibe. Recife is a tourist hotspot during the Carnival season and is known as the birthplace of frevo, an expressive and acrobatic dance. If you're lucky, you'll see live demonstrations on the street, but if not, head to the Paço do Frevo Museum to see rehearsals and displays. The dance style is lively, complex, and bound to keep even the littles happily entertained. There's an on-site café if tummies start to rumble or hold out for a tasty dinner on the beachfront back near your hotel. 

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Day 6: Highlights Tour of Olinda & Recife

City tour Olinda and Recife
Enjoy a family tour of the colorful historic towns of Olinda and Recife

It's time to explore local culture today, and a full-day tour of Olinda and Recife is an ideal start. Begin in Recife at Marco Zero Square, with its colorful colonial mansions. Hear about the city's history as you travel to the Old Town in Rua do Bom Jesus. On the way, you'll have the chance to see genuine local craft at the Pernambuco Handicraft Center, catch an exhibition or two at the Cultural Box, and visit the Sertão Pier Museum (a fascinating exploration of life in the remote Sertão region).

Next, you'll head 30 minutes north to Olinda. The timing is perfect for lunch with a view over the two cities at the Arte Grill. From here, you'll head to the Casa dos Bonecos Gigantes, where you'll see a fine display of the giant dolls paraded during the city's famous Carnival. Colonial fine art also features on the itinerary, as Olinda's churches contain astonishing examples, such as the gold-leaf altar at the São Bento Monastery. Tick off landmarks such as the City Hall and then round the day off shopping for souvenirs at the Ribeira Market before you head back to Boa Viagem. 

Day 7: Transfer to Porto de Galinhas, Natural Pools & Mangroves Boat Tour 

Transfer from Recife to Porto de Galinhas
In Porto de Galinhas, you'll find white sands, clear waters, and colorful jaganda fishing boats

After a delicious breakfast, pack your things and head to the reception, where a driver will meet you and sweep you off to your next destination, Porto de Galinhas. One short hour later, settle into your accommodation and head out to explore. Start with a trip on a jaganda, a traditional flat-bottomed fishing boat. As you glide through crystal-clear waters, the kids will love spotting the colorful reef and fish as you stop to enjoy the natural pools. Take an additional tour to the mangroves to visit a seahorse conservation project where you'll get a chance to see these tiny creatures up close.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beaches of Ponta de Serrambi. This tranquil area has natural pools perfect for snorkeling with the kids and a good expanse of clean, sandy shoreline just waiting for sandcastles to be built. It's the ideal place for any certified scuba divers in the family to explore the local underwater world or any would-be divers to take their first lessons. As the day draws to a close, relax at one of the beach bars or dine out at one of the waterfront restaurants before returning to your accommodation. 

Day 8: Catamaran Trip to Praia dos Carneiros

Shared tour in catamaran to Praia dos Carneiros
The soft sands, gentle waters, and historic buildings make Praia dos Carneiros an excellent day trip

Today brings a relaxing day trip by catamaran to trendy Praia dos Carneiros. The kids will love the fun of the boat ride there and back, and the beaches themselves are ideal—clear, calm waters and soft sands spell hours of happily absorbed play. Lie back on the loungers provided, or take a gentle walk to the 17th-century Chapel of São Benedito. Stop for a delicious lunch nearby at the well-known Bora Bora Restaurant and Hotel.

After lunch, take the catamaran up the Río Arikindá to the mangroves, where there's a clay bath to enjoy. Once you're back down the river, explore the natural pools with the kids. Take your fill of swimming and snorkeling, then, as evening draws close, take the catamaran back to Porto de Galinhas. Relax over a beachfront dinner with the family, then take a last stroll on the sand before turning in for the night. 

Day 9: Transfer to Maragogi, Moses Path Boat Trip

Shared boat tour in Maragogi
Maragogi's natural pools are perfect for the kids to spot tropical fish

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and then head to reception with your luggage to meet your driver for a transfer two hours south to Maragogi. A favorite with families thanks to its calm beaches, clear waters, and kid-friendly natural pools, it's an ideal spot to relax for a couple of days with the kids. Check into your accommodation and then head to Praia de Xaréu, where you and the kids can splash around in the shallow waters on your way to its neighboring big brother beach, Praia da Barra Grande, home to some of the area's main sights.

Be sure to check your timing, as tours are timed around the tide—the main sights are only visible at low tide. You can sometimes access the natural pools from the shore, but generally, it's easiest to take the three-hour boat tour and head on out. This is another excellent place to snorkel with the kids before heading to the famous Moses Path, named for how the sandbar appears to part the ocean at low tide. The kids will love walking far out into the sea along the sand. Once you're back on shore, return to your accommodation and head into Maragogi township for dinner. 

Day 10: Discover Maragogi's Best Beaches 

Maragogi! What to do, beaches, tours and all the Brazilian Caribbean tips!
Maragogi's clear, calm waters are perfect for the family to try snorkeling

Situated amid protected coastline, Maragogi comprises pristine beaches, coconut groves, and coral reefs—a beach lover's paradise. For a fun start to the day, head to Praia de Antune via buggy. This is an easy place to spend a few hours with the kids, as the inviting waters and sands are also complemented by handy kiosks selling food and drink. It's a popular stop-off due to its perfect backdrops, so make the most of it and take a few family photos.

In the afternoon, head a little off the beaten path to Japaratinga, an old fishing colony steadily increasing in popularity due to the resort now located there. It's still peaceful, though, with five beaches, natural pools, coral reefs, and sandbanks to enjoy with the kids. There's a convenient infrastructure of restaurants and other facilities, but you'll still be comfortably away from the crowds—the best of both worlds. Afterward, return to your accommodation in Maragogi and relax for the evening. 

Day 11: Transfer to Marceió, Coastal Walk

Welcome to Maceio
Get to know Maceió's famously beautiful coastline with a relaxing evening walk

After breakfast, gather your things and head to reception to meet your driver. You and the family will be heading about 2.5 hours southwest to Maceió. A modern city and the capital of Brazil's Alagoas region, this is a great place to explore local culture and cuisine, as well as 25 miles (40 km) of coconut-lined coastline. Settle into your accommodation, then head out for a stroll. The beaches here are linked, so you can walk as far as you like, stopping here and there to play in the sand or take a dip as you wish.

In the evening, head to one of Maceió's many fine restaurants. With a mix of Asian, European, and local offerings, you'll find something to suit every taste—if you're a fan of fresh fish and seafood, you'll be particularly well-catered for. Stop off at a beach hut on your way back to your accommodation. Let the kids play in the sand while you enjoy a refreshing beer and savor the relaxed atmosphere and gorgeous sunset before turning in for the night. 

Day 12: Praia de Paripueira Beach Day & Barrier Reef Reserve 

Praia de Paripueira beach day tour
Don't miss the chance to show the kids manatee calves in Praia de Paripueira 

Rise bright and early this morning for a day trip to Praia de Paripuerira. You'll explore the world's second-largest barrier reef reserve, the Municipal Marine Park. Not only is this an excellent place for the kids to spot all manner of colorful tropical fish, but it's also a conservation area for manatees. The kids will love the chance to see these extraordinary creatures up close, and, with some luck, you'll even see some cute manatee calves. The beach is also a drawcard for young families, with calm, shallow waters and a generous expanse of sand.

In the evening, choose one of Marceió's family-friendly restaurants with dedicated kids' entertainment areas so you can linger over your meal. If you'd like to try traditional Algoan cuisine, head to Filé do Zezé and let the kids loose on their play area outfitted with toys and a trampoline. For bar food and craft beer, head to Terraço Bar and Brewery, which has plenty of space for kids to busy themselves with playing and drawing. Salt and Ember and the Villa Maceió Food Park provide hearty steaks, multiple food stalls, and great kids' spaces for plenty of happy play. 

Day 13: Pajuçara Markets & Natural Pools

Beaches to go with children in Maceió
Barro de São Miguel is perfect for young families with its clean, shallow waters 

Linger over a delicious breakfast, then head about 1.2 miles (2 km) out of town to Praia de Pajuçara, located next to one of Maceió's most popular neighborhoods. Clean and calm enough for little ones, plenty of handy food and drink stalls are located nearby, making it an ideal spot for families to spend the day. A 20-minute jaganda trip will take you and the kids to the nearby natural pools or simply enjoy the shallow waters and beautiful coastline. If you're on the lookout for mementos, check out the nearby Pajuçara Markets for local crafts and souvenirs.

Those keen to experience some of the area's other highlights can pop over to the adjacent Ponte Verde, considered one of the region's most beautiful beaches, or head for surfing hotspot Jatiúca to satisfy more active family members. If you're up for a destination a little farther away (18.5 miles / 30 km), try Barro de São Miguel. This is another spot you can happily spend a few hours or even the day—natural pools, walking trails, watersports, restaurants, and the nearby picture-perfect Praia do Gunga with its floating restaurants make this well worth the trip. 

Day 14: Depart Maceió 

Transfer out - end of the program
Head out for one last session on the beach before departing Maceió
It's the last day of your relaxing Brazilian getaway, but if time allows, take one more trip to the beach. You'll find Praia do Frances just out of town, which has something to suit all family members in one spot. At one end of the beach, you'll find calm shallows for your younger ones; at the other, you'll find surf fit for your more adventurous family members. Meet your driver back at the hotel in good time to travel to the airport and take your onward flight. Safe travels!

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Map

Map of Relaxing Family Holiday in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro & the Coral Coast - 14 Days
Map of Relaxing Family Holiday in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro & the Coral Coast - 14 Days