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Value Brazil: The emerald coast

Day 1

Arrive in Rio de Janeiro. Transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
 
Rio from Corcovado

Rio de Janeiro is the most beguiling, seductive, intriguing and beautiful city on the continent. But it is a multi-layered place: Brazil’s economic indicators show that the gulf between the rich and the poor is the greatest of all Latin American countries. Sumptuous apartments overlook the sparkling bays against a backdrop of half-built slum dwellings, favelas, which cling precariously to the hillsides. 

Rio enjoys a truly awesome location among towering jungle-clad granite mountains, fringed by white-to toffee coloured sandy beaches that swoop down into the Atlantic surf.

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Rio from Corcovado

Day 2

Jeep tour up Corcovado Mountain and to the arty Santa Teresa district.
 
Santa Teresa Tram

Take an exhilarating trip by open-topped jeep through tropical fruit-laden vegetation up the sheer-sided Corcovado Mountain to drink in the views from beside the famous Christ the Redeemer statue on the peak. Continue to Santa Teresa, the colonial heart of the city which sits on a hill close to the Cathedral in the busy centre. 

This is a popular residential area for artists and TV personalities who occupy the stately shaded houses lining its cobbled streets. There are plenty of old-fashioned bars, or bodegas, and an ancient rickety tram still climbs around impossibly steep lanes lined by high walls sheltering museums, parks, art centres, smart restaurants and one or two luxury hotels.

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Santa Teresa Tram

Day 3

Drive along the Emerald Coast to Paraty.
 
Parati

You will be collected from your hotel for a shared drive down the Emerald Coast to colonial Paraty (4/4½-hours). The winding road is bordered by steep mountains covered in lush Atlantic forest on one side, and the ocean on the other. This enchanting bay-side town is steeped in history; Paratí, means ‘river of fish’ in the indigenous Tupi language.

The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s not hard to see why as you wander through its local boutique-lined cobbled streets, explore glorious baroque churches and check out the local art work in one of the many contemporary galleries. The divine blue, gold and white painted Portuguese architecture has been carefully preserved, and the centre of the town is vehicle free. There are also some excellent places to eat freshly caught fish on the sea-front. The bay itself is dotted with tropical islands and, rising some 1,000m behind the town are forested mountains intersected by rivers and waterfalls.

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Parati

Day 4

Half day schooner cruise to nearby islands and beaches.
 
Parati Schooner Cruise

Travel out to sea in the sheltered bay on the deck of a traditional three-masted schooner, in high season accompanied by other visitors and Brazilian couples and families. You’ll visit some of the virtually uninhabited little islands in the bay, each with its own hidden picture-perfect sandy coves where you can take a dip in the warm tropical waters. There’s lunch included and cool fruit juices to quench your thirst.

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Parati Schooner Cruise

Days 5-7

Travel by road and boat to the tropical island Ilha Grande. At leisure on the beach, mountain trails or swimming calm waters.
 
Ilha Grande

Travel by ferry to beautiful Ilha Grande. This is the largest of many rugged, forested little islets studding the bays. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was a pirate’s lair, and later a leper colony was established there. Finally, it was home to a notorious prison, which accommodated not only political prisoners but also violent criminals. The penitentiary was closed in 1994 but developers were restrained by the island’s reputation, and now much of the inland territory is preserved in an ecological reserve. 

The island was adopted by the backpacker set but now that there are low-key barefoot pousadas a variety of visitors makes the journey over. There’s nothing much to do apart from enjoy some of the continent’s most beautiful beaches and coves, accessible by track or boat.

There are few tracks connecting tiny settlements and no motorised vehicles are allowed. The Atlantic rainforest remains largely untouched, although several walking trails have been established, so you can appreciate prolific wildlife, including hummingbirds. The only town, Vila do Abraão, consists of a few houses and dirt roads. The island can get very crowded at holiday times.

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Ilha Grande

Day 8

Return by ferry and road to Rio de Janeiro.
 

Day 9

Transfer to airport for international flight home.
 

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today. Value Brazil: The emerald coast

  • Iguazu - Rio to Buenos Aires 6 days from £1,687pp

    One of the continent’s most awe-inspiring attractions, the Iguazú Falls – which straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil – is composed of a vast basalt amphitheatre veiled by a curtain of foaming water which crashes through tangled sub-tropical jungle. Continue to Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, the continent’s most vibrant and colourful city.

    Day 1: Fly from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú and continue to Hotel Melia Iguazu, a luxury resort inside the national park, just a short walk from the falls.

    Day 2: You’ll have a private guided tour of the falls from the Argentine perspective. A little train takes you to the Upper Walk, a sequence of causeways which links dozens of tiny, basalt islands at the top of the rock face. The myriad streams of the Iguazú river  cascade over the lip of the precipice, and a succession of lookout points allows you to watch the water as it plunges onto the rocks below.

    The train continues to a passarelle leading you across the river to the thunderous Garganta del Diablo, with a spectacular vantage point over the thundering vortex below.

    Day 3: By road across the border to Brazil with a visit to the Brazilian side of the falls.  There's a 1km walkway with viewpoints - you get a panoramic view of the whole sweep of the cataracts - an entirely different experience from the Argentine side. Towards the end of the walk, there's an observation tower and a walkway which leads out for a closer (and much wetter) look. Continue to Foz do Iguaçu airport and fly to Rio de Janeiro; transfer to your contemporary first class hotel, Windsor Atlântica, at the end of Copacabana Beach.

    Day 4:The beaches of Rio are legendary. But the city also has a huge urban forest, a restored colonial centre and excellent restaurants. Music and sport are everywhere. A guided tour takes you to the foot of Corcovado mountain; the cog-wheel train journey starts here, climbing through the tropical Tijuca rainforest, with its abundant flowers and fruit trees, to the steps below the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. At 701m above sea level, it offers stunning views of the city.

    Day 5:At leisure to enjoy Rio. Highlights abound – the cable car ride up Sugar Loaf mountain, the serene botanical gardens, the artists' colonial quarter of Santa Teresa, downtown museums and art galleries, and the stupendous Niterói Bridge over Guanabara Bay.

    Day 6:Continue your holiday or transfer to the airport for your international flight.

    UK clients arrive home the following day.

    Breakfast daily.

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Brazil Emerald Coast tour

9 days from £1,262pp

Price excludes international flights at the beginning and end of the trip

 

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