Brazil Highlights Holiday
Rio de Janeiro, is a seaside metropolitan city in Brazil, famous for its white sand Ipanema and Copacabana beaches and the dramatic Sugarloaf Mountain. Tijuca National Park surrounds Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado, with expansive views of Guanabara Bay and the city below. The exclusive Lagoa neighbourhood, sits around a large lagoon, Rodrigo de Freitas. On its west, the Botanical Gardens features towering palm trees and over 600 species of orchids.
Begin with a tour of Sugar Loaf Mountain, then drive to Cosme Velho. Board the funicular railway through Tijuca Forest to Corcovado Mountain for spectacular views of Rio de Janeiro. Salvador stands on the magnificent Bahia de Todos os Santos, a sparkling bay dotted with islands and pristine beaches. And, the exquisite Iguazu Falls display a jaw dropping spectacle of 275 drops that has awed tourists, locals and indigenous inhabitants for centuries.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 8 DAY BRAZIL HIGHLIGHTS TOUR…
And, experience a barbeque dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse.
Brazil’s landscape is as diverse as the people who inhabit it. Few tourists venture far from Brazil’s spectacular beaches but a trip into the interior reveals a different Brazil, one with a great deal to offer the visitor. The population of Brazil is a big melting pot of races, including indigenous people, descendants of slaves from Africa and the offspring of European immigrants. This variety is reflected in the food, architecture, music and culture of Brazil. It is this massive assortment of places, people and traditions that makes Brazil such an interesting country to visit.
Rio - sensuous, chaotic, sophisticated, open and friendly - is one of South America's gems. The Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City,) as Brazilians call it, displays a unique blend of contrasts: old and new, tremendous wealth amid crushing poverty, an urban metropolis nestled around mountains and a huge forest. And all of this is symbolically embraced in the outstretched arms of Cristo Redentor, the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain.
The exquisite Iguazu Falls (also Iguassu Falls) that display a magnificent spectacle of 275 individual drops has awed tourists, locals and indigenous inhabitants for centuries. They originate from the Iguazu River and are located on the border of Brazil and Argentina. This river forms the boundary between Brazil and Argentina, making it a significant part of the political and geographical structure of the continent of South America. It was only officially ‘discovered’ in 1541. Today, these are owned by the Iguazú National Parks of Argentina and Brazil.
Salvador (often known as Bahia) is the capital of the state of Bahia. Salvador stands on the magnificent Bahia de Todos os Santos, a sparkling bay dotted with 38 islands. The city’s wealthy came during cultivation of sugar cane and tobacco plantations with workforce from West Africa. The Salvador today has over 15 forts and over 100’s of beautifully designed Catholic churches and temples.
There are plenty of choices of carrier to Brazil from the UK, with São Paulo and Rio being the usual points of arrival. If your ultimate destination is neither of these cities, it is usually best to connect in Rio, or connect with a flight on the continent, where your options are TAM to Recife from Paris, or TAP via Lisbon to Recife, Salvador, Fortaleza, Natal, Belo Horizonte and Brasília. If you only want to go to the Amazon, Manaus via Miami with TAM is your best bet, but it’s unlikely to be cheaper or quicker than a flight to Rio or São Paulo and then a connection north.
Rio – Iguassu – Salvador
(08 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 01 – Arrive
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Welcome to Rio de Janeiro! Meet and greet on arrival and transfer to your hotel. (Private).
Copacabana Palace: A delightful hotel with history and culture, this beachfront hotel is set along the Copacabana Beach. Enjoy the timeless lure of the oceanfront – from a truly world-famous beach address. This luxurious icon hotel offers a thoroughly relaxing, sun-soaked environment. Explore the distinguishing features of this friendly Rio de Janeiro oceanfront hotel – from the warmth of the lobby and elegantly appointed guest rooms.
Overnight: Copacabana Palace (B)
Day 02 – City Highlights Tour
Rio de Janeiro Morning tour to Sugar Loaf Mountain: Drive through the residential areas of Rio to reach the downtown historical center and business district. Then, proceed to the Urca District, where a cable car ascent is made in two stages to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
The first stage of the ride goes to Urca Hill is 215 meters, where there are gardens and lookout points; for those who wish to venture even higher, the second cable car goes to the very top of Sugar Loaf itself- 395 metres – for breathtaking views of sunset, the city, beaches and harbour. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon tour: Drive to Cosme Velho to board the funicular railway for a 20-minute climb through Tijuca Forest. As the train climbs Corcovado (hunchback) Mountain, enjoy spectacular views of Rio and the Bay peeking through the dense vegetation. At the top of Corcovado, is the majestic, 120-foot high statue of Christ with outstretched arms. The panoramic view is breathtaking.
On your return stop at the artsy and hip Santa Teresa neighbourhood where you will visit the Chacara do Ceu Museum – perhaps one of the best small museums in the country. For lunch we recommend Aprazivel restaurant, Rio’s best contemporary Brazilian cuisine restaurant which has stunning views of the Guanabara Bay.
(Optional) Barbeque Dinner: Tonight you will be picked up at the hotel and taken for a barbeque dinner at a churrascaria- a Brazilian steakhouse. (Dessert and drinks are not included). After dinner continue to Plataforma Nightclub for an exciting samba and folklore show. If you have never experienced Carnival in Rio, this show will offer a glimpse of what the excitement is all about. The hypnotic sounds, along with the lavish, feathered and sequined gowns, are the very essence of a samba show. Return to the hotel shortly after midnight.
Overnight: Copacabana Palace (B)
Day 03 – The Surrounds
Rio de Janeiro Today after breakfast you will be met at your hotel for a full day tour to Petropolis.
A trip to the Imperial town of Petropolis offers a nice respite from hectic Rio. It involves a 40-minute drive north into the Organ Mountains. The road winding through the dramatic scenery, with forested slopes and mountains shrouded in clouds, is in itself a dramatic experience.
When you arrive in Petropolis, enjoy an introduction to this pretty resort town, with its mansions and alpine chalets and visit the neo-Gothic Cathedral Sao Pedro de Alcantara. Inside are the tombs of Dom Pedro, the Princess Regent Dona Isabel and several other royal personages. Also visit the Imperial Museum, which is housed in a former royal residence and stands in beautifully maintained gardens.
Day 04 – Transfer
Iguassu Falls Transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguassu Falls. Meet and greet on arrival and transfer to your hotel.
The name Iguaçu (Iguazú or Iguassu) means “Great Waters” in Guarani, which hardly seems to do this natural masterpiece justice. Taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide, this wonder combines 275 falls in a massive, magnificent cascade stretching for nearly 1.7 miles. Situated on the border between Argentina and Brazil, its waters pass over luscious sub-tropical greenery.
This afternoon enjoy a private tour of the falls from the peaceful Brazilian side. Set back from the falls themselves, it offers a panoramic view of the immense gulf and its seemingly endless series of cascades. Once at the falls, the tour takes you over an easy walking path. Take the trail through the subtropical rainforest that surrounds the falls within Iguassu National Park, as toucans and cobalt blue butterflies sail overhead and a sleek coatimundi may cross your path.
Day 05 – Iguassu National Park Tour
Salvador The Argentine side of the falls is your destination today.
Arriving at the Iguazú National Park, board an ecological train shuttle to the Cataratas Station where you will disembark to walk through paths that lead along and above the spectacular Falls. Beautiful flowers, ferns, tropical plants, butterflies and exotic birds add to the exciting experience of close contact with nature. You will then board another train shuttle to "Devil's Throat” station,” where you can walk onto a catwalk that extends 1100 meters over the lush tropical basin of Devil's Gorge.
After the tour, enjoy a buffet/barbeque lunch at Botega Restaurant (or similar) located on the Brazilian side of the Park. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your flight to Salvador. Meet and greet on arrival and transfer to your hotel.
Salvador: This striking city, Brazil's former colonial capital, lies on the beautiful Bay of All Saints (Bahia de Todos os Santos), the second largest bay in the country. A strong African influence derives from the slaves brought to work in the sugarcane fields more than 400 years ago.
Overnight at Convento do Carmo (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Historic City Tour
Salvador Bahia Half-day historic city tour of Salvador: Salvador is divided into an Upper Town and a Lower Town. Both are linked by the art deco Lacerda elevator, which offers outstanding views. The Pelourinho is the largest intact colonial centre in the Americas. Its twisting, narrow cobblestone streets are lined with pastel mansions and stunning baroque churches and convents.
But, it’s at night that this area really comes to life. Salvador’s Saturdays are almost as lively as the legendary Tuesdays as every bar and restaurant in the district opens up its windows and doors to locals and tourists alike who come to samba the night away to the music that emanates from them.
Overnight at Convento do Carmo (B, L)
(Optional) Bahia by night: dinner in a local restaurant followed by a folk show.
Enjoy a typical barbeque and Bahian Folk Show that is devoted to a demonstration of capoeira, a fighting style introduced to Brazil by the African slaves as a means of defence. The “capoeira” is a kind of fight combined with acrobatic dance, whose rhythm is given by the “berimbau”, a stringed musical instrument with an incomparable sound.
Overnight at Convento do Carmo (B, L, D)
Day 7 – The Surrounds
Salvador, Bahia Full day excursion to Praia do Forte and the Tamar (turtle) protection project. North of Salvador are the lovely fishing villages and beaches of the Coconut Coast, including Arembepe, Imbassai and the more upscale Praia do Forte, which borders the Sapiranga Ecological Reserve. The reserve protects one of Brazil's last areas of ancient Atlantic rain forest. This evening, enjoy dinner and show at the Solar do Unhao.
Overnight at Convento do Carmo (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Depart
Salvador, Bahia Transfer to the Salvador airport for your flight to Rio de Janeiro International Airport and onward connecting flights.
The true price is customised based on final choice of hotels, travel dates, and other custom preferences. All prices exclude international flights.
Price Includes: hotels, airport transfers and transportation within the country, unique experiences guided by local experts and 24X7 support during your trip.
Make this your holiday
Overview Brazil is bigger than the United States (excluding Alaska) and the journey from Recife in the east to the western border with Peru is longer than that from London to Moscow, and the distance between the northern and southern borders is about the same as that between New York and Los Angeles.
Roughly two-thirds of Brazil’s population live near the coast and well over half live in cities. In Rio and São Paulo, Brazil has two of the world’s great metropolises. Most Brazilians speak Portuguese but there are also Spanish speakers who won’t understand Portuguese.
In the extreme south German and eastern European immigration has left distinctive traces; São Paulo has the world’s largest Japanese community outside Japan; a large Afro-Brazilian population is concentrated in Rio, Salvador and São Luís; while the Indian influence is very visible in the Amazon.
Where to go The three largest cities in Brazil; São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte are worth visiting but Rio, which really is as beautiful as it seems in pictures, is the one essential destination.
The South, encompassing the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul includes much of the enormous Paraná River system. Further south-west are the spectacular Iguaçu Falls on the border with Argentina, one of the great natural wonders of South America.
The Central Brazil is dominated by an enormous plateau of savanna and rock escarpments. In the middle, lies Brasília, the country’s space-age capital, and gateway to Mato Grosso. It includes the Pantanal, the largest wetlands in the world and the richest wildlife reserve anywhere in the Americas. North and west Mato Grosso shades into the Amazon, the world’s largest river basin that also contains two major cities – Belém, at the mouth of the Amazon itself, and Manaus, some 1600km upstream.
The Northeast, the part of Brazil that curves out into the Atlantic Ocean is a region of dramatic contrasts: a lush tropical coastline with the best beaches in Brazil. Two of its largest cities; Recife and Salvador, are most heavily Afro-Brazilian and a fascinating place to visit.
When to go When thinking about the best time to visit Brazil, it’s worth bearing in mind that the country splits into four distinct climatic regions. The only part of Brazil that ever gets really cold is the South and Southeast, the region roughly from central Minas Gerais to Rio Grande do Sul that includes Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Porto Alegre.
In January the rains are coming to an end and it is a good time to visit Rio. But the warmer days are accompanied by the start of the rains in the Amazon and the Pantanal. February is Carnival time in Brazil. In April and May the temperatures begin to decline and by end April, Pantanal enters its dry season.
June and July is winter in Brazil but temperatures rarely hit freezing overnight. It is a good time to visit the Green Coast between Rio and Sao Paulo; evenings are cooler, but the air is fresh and the sea still warm. Bahia's rainy season tends to begin in June, with one or two showers that arrive in the afternoon.
August and October are perhaps the best time to visit the Pantanal, and also great for spending time in Rio, where spring is arriving, there are few clouds in the sky and the temperatures are on the rise. Summer arrives in November, and you can expect high temperatures across the country. Rio de Janeiro in December tends to be hot and dry, but it gets busy during Christmas and New Year.
Visa Visas for Brazil are not required by all nationals of EU countries for stays of up to 90 days. Visas are required by nationals of Australia, Canada and the USA. Other national to check with Brazilian Consulate in their respective countries.
For UK Travellers: British nationals can normally enter Brazil without a visa as a tourist.
Make sure you comply with Brazilian immigration laws on arrival in the country. You must satisfy the Federal Police (the Brazilian immigration authority) of your intended purpose of visit. You will need to be able to demonstrate that you have enough money for the duration of your stay, and provide details of your accommodation and evidence of return or onward travel. Make sure your passport is stamped. If it is not, you may be fined on departure. Keep your immigration landing card. You’ll need it when you leave. If you lose it you may be fined.
Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Brazil.
For further information about visas see the website of the Brazilian Consulate in London.
Visa information source: www.gov.uk