All the fiery hotspots, from Rio to Ilha Grande

Sun, sand and plenty of samba – see some of Brazil’s hottest highlights all packed together in an eight-day Lonely Planet Experience, powered by Intrepid. Start the party in Rio de Janeiro, where Copacabana, Ipanema and Christ the Redeemer all vie for your attention. Travel to the cobbled streets of colonial Paraty, then cruise to the pristine Ilha Grande – an island where lush green rainforests meet untouched sandy beaches. You’ll have local knowledge to guide your way and plenty of time to explore at your own pace, and when it comes to free time in Brazil, all you need to know is the word ‘praia’ – beach.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Finish
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Destination
Brazil
Style
Basix
Theme
Lonely Planet Experience
Code
GGBR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

A powerful partnership

Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel share the same philosophy: we help curious people explore the world.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Let loose and samba the night away in Rio de Janeiro – South America’s party capital. Arriving in this bustling metropolis is the perfect way to start your Brazilian adventure.

  • Party down with the locals in the streets of colonial Paraty, where Portugal meets Brazil, jungle meets sea and your adventure dials up a notch.

  • After seeing its virgin rainforests, blue lagoons and splendid beaches, you’d never imagine that Ilha Grande had such a treacherous pirate history. This is true natural beauty, Brazilian style.

  • You’ll have plenty of time to choose your own adventure at Ilha Grande with two full days on the island. So if hiking, boating, kayaking or lazing on a beach is your thing, we’ve got you covered.

  • With some of Brazil's biggest icons, including Christ the Redeemer, Ipanema Beach and Sugarloaf Mountain all at your fingertips, why not consider extending your stay in colourful Rio?

Is this trip right for you?

  • At certain times of year temperatures can be high in Brazil, but don’t let the heat keep you from exploring! Just make sure you use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water.

  • While the crew will do their best to follow the itinerary, variations may occur due to weather or local conditions. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world, no matter what happens.

Itinerary

Bem-vindo! Welcome to Brazil. Your Lonely Planet Experience begins at 1 pm today with a leader-led orientation walk around Rio. In the evening, there will be an important meeting at 6 pm where you’ll talk through the details of your Brazilian adventure. Rio locals like to say that 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio'. In this heaving metropolis, set against 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. Known for both the glitz and glamour of Carnaval and the contrasting image of the favelas, Rio is a fascinating and diverse centre of all things colour. Tonight, after your briefing, why not keep the introductions going with an optional welcome dinner with your group.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Orientation Walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning, take a local bus from Rio to Paraty (approximately 4 hours). The remainder of today and rest of tomorrow are yours to explore Paraty. Admire the architecture as you wander along the town’s cobbled, pedestrian-only streets, which become partly covered in seawater at high tide. You might prefer to explore the rainforest trails in the surrounding national park, which is rich in wildlife and waterfalls. Otherwise, a boat trip on the island-studded bay for scenic views along the coast could be on the cards, or join an excursion to the nearby village of Trindade, which boasts some of Brazil’s best beaches. The best thing is you get to decide.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Paraty - Boat trip - BRL65
  • Paraty - Trindade excursion - BRL80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
Today, jump on a shared transfer to Angra followed by a ferry to the island getaway of Ilha Grande, taking approximately 5 hours, in total. This paradise of pristine beaches and rainforest has been largely untouched by development. Previously a pirate's lair, a leper colony and a prison for violent criminals, the island has a fascinating history to uncover. The ruins of the prison can still be seen today. Once you’ve arrived and got your bearings, head to the beach – it’s calling your name.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There are no banks on Ilha Grande, so it’s important to bring cash with you to pay for incidentals or any optional activities you might want to take part in while on the island.
Rise and shine in paradise, ready to enjoy two full free days exploring Ilha Grande. Wander along rainforest trails to beautiful and remote beaches – Lopes Mendes and Aventureiro Beach are two of the best. You could book yourself in on an optional boat trip out to the Blue Lagoon, beach-hopping through Ilha Grande Bay along the way. There are plenty of opportunities to stop for fresh seafood, and to swim and snorkel in the clear water. Or just plonk yourself on the beach with a good book and laze the day away. In the evening, why not meet up with some of your travel pals and relax with a caipirinha at a restaurant or bar in Vila do Abraao – the island’s main town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Ilha Grande - Boat trip to the Blue Lagoon - BRL70
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Bid farewell to this slice of heaven as you board a boat to the small port of Mangaratiba today, and from here, take a minivan back to Rio de Janeiro. The total journey should take about 3.5 hours, so you should be back in Rio in the early to mid-afternoon. The rest of the day is free to explore the city or simply hit up Copacabana and relax. Tonight, get together with your travel crew for a night of food, drinks and some samba – speak to your local leader who’ll have some great recommendations for what to do tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Sugarloaf Mountain cable car - BRL116
  • Rio de Janeiro - Botanical Gardens - BRL15
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Teresa tramcar - BRL20
  • Rio de Janeiro - Maracana football game (schedule dependent) - BRL150
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Teresa Discovery Urban Adventure - USD59
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave the accommodation at any time, provided you comply with the hotel’s internal check-out policies. That doesn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to continue soaking up the sun in Rio, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Included Activities
  • Final Day TRIP NOTES (Global)
Optional Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Total Rio Tour Combo 1: Santa Teresa, Corcovado, Christ & Copacobana - USD149
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Teresa Discovery Urban Adventure - USD59
  • Rio de Janeiro - Total Rio Tour Combo 2: Old Town, Sugarloaf & Urca Urban Adventure - USD149
  • Rio de Janeiro - Beaches, Views & Bays Bike Tour Urban Adventure - USD59
  • Rio de Janeiro - Total Rio Bike Tour: Beaches, Bays & Carioca Sunset Urban Adventure - USD119
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This trip is a Lonely Planet Experience
Our Lonely Planet Experiences include plenty of free time so you can do the things that suit your budget and interests. Between your Intrepid Travel leader’s local knowledge and Lonely Planet’s trusted travel tips and recommendations, your trip will be more epic than ever.

Meals

4 breakfasts

Transport

Boat, Ferry, Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi, Van

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Included activities

  • Rio de Janeiro - Orientation Walk
  • Final Day TRIP NOTES (Global)

Lonely Planet extras

  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Best of Brazil trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. This trip starts with an Orientation Walk on Day 1 at 1 pm. 
2. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase tickets to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays in providing this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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