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Brazil Beach & Culture:
Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande & Paraty
Delve into Brazil's beautiful Costa Verde, traveling from lively Rio de Janiero, to the quiet natural paradise Ilha Grande, and on to historical Paraty. Experience the culture of Brazil in each of these diverse locations, while getting the opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in South America.
• 3 Nights Rio de Janeiro
• 2 Nights Ilha Grande
• 3 Nights Paraty
• All Ground Transfers
• Corcovado &
  Sugar Loaf Tour
• Rio Cooking Class
• Boat Tour
• Historical Walking Tour
• Waterfalls & Cachaça
  Distillery Tour
• Daily Breakfast

Upon arrival at Galeão Airport, meet your English-speaking driver for your transfer to your selected Rio hotel. After settling in, enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own this evening and the hotel staff will be happy to offer some restaurant suggestions.

(Accommodations, Rio de Janeiro)

Rio de Janeiro:

After an early breakfast, meet your guide in the lobby at 8:30 am for a full-day excursion that will highlight two of the city's signature landmarks, Corcovado and Sugar Loaf. After a scenic drive along Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, you arrive at the bottom of Corcovado Hill. Here, you'll board a comfortable train that transports you to the top of the mountain to view the art-deco statue of Christ the Redeemer, a cultural icon of both Rio and Brazil (2,300 ft above sea level!). Continue by elevator and escalator to reach the bottom of the statue. At this point, have your camera ready for magnificent views of Rio de Janeiro. Returning the same way, we'll continue to the other famous landmark, Sugar Loaf Mountain. Located in the middle of the Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf gives you another breathtaking panoramic view of the city. This solid granite monolith, standing 887 feet tall, overlooks the entrance to Rio's harbor and Guanabara Bay.

After your tour of Sugar Loaf, we'll stop for lunch at a nearby restaurant offering local specialties. In the afternoon, your tour will continue to downtown Rio to see some of the more historical sites including the Theatro Municipal, Rio's main opera house, "Centro", in the once notorious Lapa neighborhood, now known for its vibrant nightlife with samba and choro bars, and the Carioca Aqueduct, built in the mid 18th century as a way to supply Rio de Janeiro with fresh drinking water from the Carioca River. We'll pass the famous Maracanã Stadium, as their football (our soccer) is by far the most important sport in Brazil. We'll also visit the iconic Cathedral, a cone-shaped structure with a external height of 96m (315 ft) and a external diameter of 106m (347 ft). The architecture of the cathedral was inspired by a Maya pyramid on the island of Yucatan in Mexico.

Returning to your hotel at the end of the tour, dinner will be on your own this evening.

(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Rio de Janeiro)

Rio de Janeiro:

Today your guide will introduce you to the mysteries of Brazilian cuisine in an educational and fun cooking class. Classes feature ingredients that are readily available in the United States and Europe so that travelers will be able to recreate the recipes they learned back at home. You'll learn how the Indian, African and Portuguese people influenced Brazilian culinary culture, and then apply your new-found knowledge in a step by step lesson, preparing one of Brazil's typical dishes. And afterwards, enjoy your creation with a rewarding lunch. Returning to your hotel, the remainder of the day is free for relaxing or exploring on your own.

(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Rio de Janeiro)

Rio de Janeiro to Ilha Grande:

After breakfast, we will leave the city behind and catch the boat to Ilha Grande, Brazil's pristine natural paradise. Boats from the mainland arrive at Vila do Abraão, the island's biggest town. This sleepy fishing village was originally home to an infamous, now defunct penitentiary, and now flourishes as a base for eco-tourism. This car-free island provides a distinct contrast to bustling Rio as all the cobbled streets are totally pedestrianized. Ilha Grande is blessed with beautiful beaches and untouched rainforests. In essence, the perfect place to take in nature and relax. After checking into your eco-lodge, explore the beaches or relax in a hammock with your favorite book. For dinner, there will be several options just a 10-15 minute walk to the village. They include kilo restaurants, where you select your meal from a buffet and pay be weight. Besides a good selection of meat and salads, try the traditional moqueca fish stew, consisting of chunks of white fish, peppers, onions, lime juice and olive oil.

*Note: ATM's are becoming more popular, but best to carry some cash (preferably Brazilian reals) for small purchases and dining.

(Breakfast, Rio de Janeiro; Accommodations, Ilha Grande)

Ilha Grande:

Start your day with a tropical breakfast including mangoes, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya and guava. You'll have a wealth of activities to choose from in this eco-paradise. Take a boat tour to different beaches and islands in the area for swimming and sunbathing, especially Lopes Mendes beach, considered the prettiest beach on the island. In the afternoon, take a hike on one of the 93 miles of hiking trails connecting the coastal villages. For the experienced trekker, the classic hike goes from Abraão up to Pico de Papagaio (Parrot Peak), so-called because the mountain supposedly looks like a parrot's head. The trail is rough, but reasonably well-marked, and covers 11km (7 miles). There are less intense hikes to the old prison (about 2 hrs).

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Ilha Grande)

Ilha Grande to Paraty:

After breakfast, you'll depart Ilha Grande by boat and head back to the mainland, where you will continue by car to Paraty. Scenically set between high mountain peaks and a quaint harbor, this colonial town offers beautiful views and culture in abundance. After checking into your hotel, the remainder of the day is free for relaxing or independent sightseeing.

This is a lively town and its cosmopolitan flavor is further enhanced by the large number of artists, writers and chefs, both Brazilian and foreign, who have settled here and opened shops, galleries and restaurants. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

(Breakfast, Ilha Grande; Accommodations, Paraty)


After breakfast, start the day with a historic walking tour through the cobblestone sea-side streets of the city. Your guide will take you back through the fascinating history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, from the Portuguese colonization, to the sugar, gold, and coffee booms that that carried Paraty through the times. Discover the unique architecture and charming vistas that makes this town a photographer's dream. The Portuguese legacy is etched into the buildings' architecture that preserves the distinct colonial design of white houses with brightly colored door and window frames, and the cobbled streets that connect them. After the tour, take time for lunch at one of Paraty's many restaurants, choosing from local cuisine or international options. Fresh seafood will certainly be on the menu, but try some of the Brazilian specialties such as the prawn pastel, the pork ribs coquette and the deep-fried bean balls.

After lunch, spend the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps exploring the beaches like Barra do Corumbê which offers splendid views across the bay or the nearby Praia do Cão Morto beach.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Paraty)


Meet your guide for a tour into the beautiful National Forest of Serra da Bocaina. The first stop will be at Pedra Branca waterfalls, one of the most beautiful of the region. For bird lovers, you will have the opportunity to see many species of birds, such as hummingbirds, tanagers, and woodpeckers, as well as local flora typical of the Atlantic Forest. Afterwards, you will drive to the Tobogan waterfall. For those daring enough to try, passengers can slide down the natural waterslide that is formed by 30 meters of smooth rock. Next, visit a Cachaça Distillery to learn about the production of Brazil's favorite liquor. For the uninitiated, Cachaça is a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice. You'll also visit a Manioc Flour House. Manioc flour, also known as tapioca flour, is a coarse flour made from the cassava root. It is used largely in South American cuisines, particularly as a thickener for soups and stews, but also in some baking and desserts.

After whetting your appetite, we'll stop for lunch (paid locally) at a picturesque restaurant on the Perequê River, where you can enjoy the natural pools. Returning to your hotel, the remainder of the day is at your leisure.

(Breakfast & Accommodations, Paraty)


Depart Paraty after breakfast, for your 4-hour drive to Sao Paulo. Depart from the airport, or stay a night in this fascinating city before heading to your next Avanti Destination!

(Breakfast, Paraty)

** Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change