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.
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.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Rio de Janeiro
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.
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.
Paraty – Ilha Grande
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.
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.
Rio de Janeiro
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.
Rio de Janeiro
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).