Rio de Janeiro Stopover Trip Notes

Rio de Janeiro Stopover

Last Modified: 29 Aug 2016
Rio de Janeiro Stopover
Trip code: GGHM-C
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
See the best of Rio de Janeiro with this Stopover tour. Get under the skin of this bustling metropolis, laze away on the stunning beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, stand in the shadow of the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, ascend Sugarloaf mountain and enjoy a local barbecue before checking out Rio’s other great icon – the famed nightlife.
Table of Contents
StyleGroup sizeEmergency contact
ThemesYour fellow travellersVisas
Is this trip right for you?AccommodationWhat to take
Why we love itMeals introductionHealth
MapMealsTravel insurance
ItineraryMoney mattersA couple of rules
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Physical ratingSafetyThe Intrepid Foundation
Included activitiesJoining pointFeedback
Important notesFinish point
Short Breaks
Is this trip right for you?
- This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip.
- This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.
Why we love it
- Stand in the shadow of Christ the Redeemer
- Frolic on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema
- Enjoy Rio's exciting nightlife
- Gaze out of the city from Sugarloaf Mountain

Day 1 Rio De Janeiro
Bem-Vindos! Welcome to Brazil.
Take your complimentary arrival transfer to the joining hotel. The rest of the day is free.

The locals like to say that 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio'. In this heaving metropolis, set against the luminescent green of Guanabara Bay and surrounded by the slopes of Sugarloaf and Corcovado, it's hard not to be caught up in the passion of the city's residents (known as Cariocas).

The French were the first to settle here as they logged wood along the Brazilian coast, but they were soon driven out by the Portuguese, who built a fortified town named Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro and quickly amassed wealth during the gold rush of Minas Gerais. In the 19th century, the Portuguese monarchy fled from the threat of Napoleon in Europe and took up residence in Rio, where they built grand buildings that still stand today.

These days Rio is a fascinating and diverse city best known for its contrasting images of favelas (shanty towns) and the glitz and glamour of Carnaval.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Rio De Janeiro
Pick up will be at 9am today. Embark on a full-day guided tour of the city, including some of Rio's most iconic sights. Head up to Santa Teresa, a beautiful artistic neighbourhood situated on a hill overlooking the city. Wander its cobbled streets to discover eclectic architecture, art galleries and restaurants before stopping by the colourful Selaron Steps. Continue on to Corcovado for a bird's-eye view of the city from the base of Christ the Reedemer. One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, this enormous white statue stands over Rio, offering sweeping 360-degree views of the city’s natural wonders. Next, it’s time to experience a different side of the city with a visit to the Santa Marta favela. Accompanied by our local guide, wander the narrow alleys, learn about local life and meet some of the people who make up this vibrant community.
Included Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Guided tour including Santa Teresa and Selaron Steps
    Hotel (1 nt)
    1 breakfast
    Day 3 Rio De Janeiro
    There are no activities planned for the final day, departure flights can be at any time.
    1 breakfast
    Itinerary disclaimer
    ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
    Physical rating

    Included activities
    Rio de Janeiro - Guided tour including Santa Teresa and Selaron Steps
    Important notes
    This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip.
    This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own. This trip is operated by one of our local partners in Brazil and therefore you may be joined by a mixture of Intrepid-booked passengers and other travellers during activities.
    The maximum number of travellers is indicative of maximum number of travellers during join-in activities only.

    There are no activities planned on Day 1 or the final day of this trip, so you are free to arrive/depart at any time.
    This trip includes a complimentary airport arrival transfer, please advise us of your flight details at time of booking

    Group size
    Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    On this Short Break Adventure the fellow travellers that may join you during activities can come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of their various needs and preferences - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep others waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best adventures we operate are those where the dynamics between travellers works well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your Short Break Adventure prior to departure.

    As a single traveller on a Short Break Adventure you will always get your own accommodation. Unlike a group adventure we are unable to match single travellers up in order to share a twin room. Solo travellers will always need to pay the single room price for this Short Break.
    Hotel (2nt)
    Meals introduction
    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your leader or local guide will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where and what to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility.

    Breakfasts can be quite simple: toasts, spreads, juice and coffee or tea.
    Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stools, markets, etc.
    More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.
    2 breakfasts
    Money matters
    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

    Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).

    For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out?

    Breakfast. If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

    Lunch. If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15.

    Dinner. At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

    These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

    Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

    ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout this trip (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.

    Traveller cheques have become less accepted and generally quite cumbersome to exchange. The best “Plan B” is to carry USD100 – USD200 in small notes in case of an eventuality (your bank card doesn’t work, you are unable to withdraw funds, etc.)

    In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase.

    Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip.

    Brazil has an international departure tax of US$50 which may or may not be included in your air ticket, please check with your travel agent or ticket issuer as to what applies for your ticket.

    Brazil currency information:
    The currency of Brazil is the Brazilian real (BRL). 
    Please note that after 10pm ATMs in Brazil are not operational, this is for safety reasons.

    Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier.

    Usually around USD5 – USD10 a day to cover tips is fine, but your leader might raise the idea of a group tip kitty. Each traveller contributes an equal amount to the pool, and your leader can pay the tips as you go.


    To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

    - Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest USD1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

    - Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide alongside your trip leader. We suggest tipping these guides about USD2 – USD3 per day.

    - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers.

    - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    Group leader
    The aim of our local guides is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. On this Short Break Adventure you will get to enjoy the variety of having someone different for each day and/or activity. They will be able to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and, where possible, introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
    Joining point
    Americas Hotel
    Rua Barata Riberio, 550
    Rio de Janeiro
    Finish point
    Americas Hotel
    Rua Barata Riberio, 550
    Rio de Janeiro
    Emergency contact
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

    For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at

    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below (remember to drop the +xx country code if you are calling from within the country):

    +55 21 96940 9208
    As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking.
    Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

    As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required.
    Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

    Also remember to check whether a transit visa is required on route to join this trip or on the way home.


    Nationals from Australia, Canada and the United States require a visa for Brazil and this must be applied for before leaving your home country.

    Please ensure you lodge your application at least 5 weeks before leaving home.

    The Brazilian Tourist Visa has a validity of 90 days from the first day of entry to Brazil and it can be used multiple times within its validity.

    In order to apply for this visa, you will be required to provide the following documentation:
    A – Original passport valid for a minimum of six months with at least two blank pages.
    B - One recent professional passport-size photograph, frontal, on white background
    C. Visa Request Form. To complete this form and for more information on this process visit:
    What to take
    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. 

    Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although a small suitcase with wheels is ok too. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even short walking distances (max 30 minutes).

    In terms of weight, keep in mind that if you are flying domestically (either on this itinerary or during your personal time) airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage.

    Finally, you'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc. for day trips.

    Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:


    Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document
    Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
    Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
    Money belt and small padlocks
    Personal medication
    Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
    Torch/flashlight (your phone’s may suffice)
    Electrical adapter plug (view
    Toiletries/travel wipes
    Insect repellent
    Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
    Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!)
    Refillable water bottle
    Phrase book
    Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates
    Wind and waterproof rain jacket
    Travel Towel
    Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
    Camera with spare memory card and charger/batteries
    Swimwear (dependent on itinerary)
    Emergency fund as mentioned in the Money Matters section
    Clothes! Bear in mind that laundry facilities are widely available throughout this trip. The cost varies between USD1 to USD3 (approx.) per kilo and it can normally be dropped off and picked the same day.

    It’s not essential that you bring a sleeping bag for any of our trips however on some itineraries we will recommend either bringing one from home or hiring one on the ground. If this is the case it will be mentioned in the ‘region specific’ packing list.
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

    The World Health Organization has identified the following mosquito transmitted diseases in this region:

    Dengue, Yellow Fever, Malaria and Zika (amongst others)

    For more information, please visit

    Zika virus.
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there has been an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in parts of Central and South America. This virus is mostly concerning to pregnant women as recently in Brazil local authorities have linked the virus to an increase in babies born with microcephaly (smaller than normal skull).
    In addition to the risk mentioned above WHO have reported that Zika symptoms may include mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
    In line with the above, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip to Central and South America.
    At this stage, WHO is not recommending any travel or trade restrictions related to the Zika virus.
    More information on the Zika virus can be found at the following links:
    World Health Organisation:

    A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

    It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

    When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

    In Brazil, The Intrepid Foundation currently supports the Roupa Suja Project.

    Uniao de Mulheres Pró Melhoramento da Roupa Suja (UMPMRS) - translates roughly to the Union of Women for the Improvement of Roupa Suja. This area is part of Favela Rocinha - one of the biggest slums in Rio, with approximately 250,000 people living there. Most of the residents have poor health, hygiene, education and material conditions. Most of their houses are made of rough concrete and have no access to basic facilities. When the mums are out seeking work, children are often left home alone and are at risk.

    UMPMRS works to improve the lives of families and children in the neighborhood through:

    - Day care and preschool of children beginning from 3 months old - currently for about 45 children from 3 months to 5 years.

    - After school support classes, English classes and computer classes for more than 70 elementary school students from the neighbourhood - helping prevent them dropping out of school.

    - Social assistance for young and single mothers.

    - General family assistance (pediatrician, social worker and psychologist).

    - The women's group.

    - Job training and support (predominantly for women).

    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.