Your Brazil adventure with Southern Cross Tours & Expeditions
For our Brazil Highlights Tour we have chosen four of our favourite parts of the country:
- Rio de Janeiro, tropical metropolis with a wide range of scenic, cultural and architectural highlights
- Paraty, colonial town surrounded by the Atlantic Rainforest and beautiful beaches
- Amazonia, the largest and most bio-diverse tropical rainforest in the world
- Arraial do Cabo, beach Paradise and scuba-diving hotspot
Our aim is to offer you a very personalised travel experience, so that you can really get to know the country and its people in a way that mass tourism can not offer.
We emphasise the importance of authenticity and individualised service when choosing our partner firms, local guides and accommodation. Not luxury and comfort, but the travel experience itself is the main focus on this trip.
We look forward to organising your Brazil adventure!
Arrival in Rio de Janeiro and transfer to your hotel. Your small, cosy hotel is centrally located in the city district of Urca, just behind the famous Sugar Loaf, in one of the most beautiful and also safest parts of Rio de Janeiro. You will stay in a comfortable room with a great view over the city. Furthermore, there is a veranda with a swimming pool to relax after your sight-seeing trips and multilingual staff that are happy to help you out with anything you may need in Rio.
Rio de Janeiro is considered one of the worlds most beautiful and fascinating cities. Hosting around 7 million inhabitants, Rio is squeezed in between the green mountains of the coastal rainforest and tropical beaches at the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The city essentially shows the lifestyle of a South American metropolis, with a strong touch of tropical laissez-faire. A wide range of scenic, cultural and architectural highlights prove that the city does not strive exclusively on samba and carnival. A visit to the Sugar Loaf, the Corcovado mountain and a swim at the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema is obviously a must. However, the visitor should not miss out on a stroll through the historical part of the city.
Colorful, loud and busy, the city displays colonial architecture and – in contrast – modern office buildings, banks and business centres. But there are also quiet corners and hidden places, where one can relax and meditate, surrounded by the exuberant tropical nature that makes Rio de Janeiro so attractive for visitors and locals alike.
Day 1 program depends on your time of arrival in Rio.
At night you may want to dine in one of Rio's many fine speciality restaurants that we would be more than happy to suggest.
Our sightseeing tour begins in the historical Cinelândia square in front of the Teatro Municipal, built in 1909 imitating the style of the Paris opera house. Nearby we see Catedral Metropolitana / Petrobrás / BNDES, a fine ensemble of modern Brazilian architecture with gardens by Roberto Burle Marx, and the Convento de Santo Antônio, a magnificent baroque church and monastery from the 17th century, high above the Largo da Carioca square. Visit the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, a noteworthy old library from 1888 and the Confeitaria Colombo, Rio's finest coffee house founded in 1894.
In the afternoon we take you for a cable car ride to the top of the 396 m high Sugar Loaf, world famous symbol of Rio de Janeiro, featuring views of the ocean, the bay, the surrounding mountains and the city itself, not to speak of the exuberant tropical vegetation on this island mountain. Right underneath the mountain there is a charming coastal path where we can stroll along while watching guenons and several species of humming birds.
Return to your hotel. Feel free to ask us for suggestions for your dinner and your evening program.
The 704 m high Corcovado mountain with the world famous statue of Christ the Redeemer offers an outstanding view over Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara bay, neighbouring Niterói's ocean beaches and organ pipe mountains.
Next, a tour through the Floresta da Tijuca National Park, the world's largest urban jungle with breathtaking views, waterfalls and rich tropical vegetation. Visit the Capela Mairynck, a historic chapel from the 19th century with wall paintings by Portinari. Lunch at a restaurant located amidst the jungle. Nearby the Museo do Açude / Museo Castro Maya in the heart of the rainforest, features a permanent exposition of contemporary Brazilian artists as Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape and José Resende. Next is a visit to the famous botanical gardens. The Jardim Botânico, was founded in 1808, and is considered one of the world's most beautiful botanical gardens, with 7,200 species of flowers, plants and trees. The garden is designed as a landscape park and beautifully embedded at the foothills of the surrounding mountains. At night, instead of the usual tourist samba shows we take you to out to enjoy world famous Brazilian singers and musicians at the Teatro Rival or Canecão.
Early departure to the small seaport town of Paraty, that during the 18th century played an important role when gold from the mines in Minas Gerais was shipped from here to homeland Portugal. Today according to UNESCO it is one of the most harmonic existing examples of colonial architecture world-wide! Here you experience an exotic mixture of culture, nature, beach pleasure and activity holidays. The 4 hour scenic drive along the coast features great views of islands and little hidden beaches of overwhelming natural beauty. A charming pousada, located in the historic centre of the town awaits you.
After lunch in the historic centre you can go for a stroll around the town, or relax at the beach for the rest of the afternoon.
After breakfast we will take you around the small land marked baroque historical centre of Paraty: its architectural gems from Brazil's colonial epoch, its patrician buildings and churches from outgoing 17th and beginning 18th century. As an itinerary of contents should offer contrasts, you then board a schooner for a four-hour boat ride through a tropical paradise full of tucked away islands and unspoiled beaches. At various stops you may enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters. Return to Paraty late afternoon. The rest of the day is free.
Today we will take you to Brazil´s only Fjord – the Saco da Mamanguá, a real tropical Paradise. Starting from Paraty Mirim, you will explore the bay, beaches, mangrove forests and fishing villages by ocean kayak. We will paddle to the small village Cruzeiro, where we leave our kayaks behind to hike up the 400 m high Pico da Mamanguá. From the top of the mountain there are breathtaking views over the bay. Return to Cruzeiro and have lunch in a local spot. A short break on the beach before paddling back to Paraty Mirim and return to Paraty in the late afternoon.
Early breakfast and transfer to the airport in Rio for your flight to Manaus. Lunch stop on the way.
In Manaus you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel. Your hotel is located centrally, close to the city square where you can find several nice little restaurants and bars. There is always good live music at night. However, we recommend to go to bed early to be fit for an early morning start.
Arriving at the lodge you will be welcomed with local fruits and juices. After checking into your room and a short rest you will be ready to explore a part of the Amazon.
For the next 2 days you will enjoy canoe rides on the side arms of the Rio Negro river, take part in jungle hikes and night excursions to observe nocturnal animals, go piranha fishing and visit local communities. During your time in the jungle lodge you will enjoy full board and will get to taste a variety of local specialities.
Transfer to the airport in Manaus in the morning for your flight back to Rio. From there you will be taken to the beach paradise of Arraial do Cabo, located 3 hours north of Rio. You will be staying in one of our cosy suites with astonishing views over the city and the beaches.
This beach paradise is relatively unknown outside of Brazil. It is located some 150 km Northeast of Rio de Janeiro, on the extremes of a headland, neighbouring Cabo Frio and the famous Búzios resort. It has developed from a former pirate hide-out and a Japanese whaling port to a fishermen village and tourist destination for travellers like you, who prefer picturesque places to high life destinations. Apart from offering amazing beaches that may remind you of the Caribbean, Arraial is one of Brazil´s hotspots for scuba diving.
Arraial do Cabo is also the home town of our agency Southern Cross Tours & Expeditions. Here you will have the chance to meet all four team members personally.
Our program in Arraial is flexible and can be adjusted to your wishes. Possible activities in Arraial include a boat trip to the different beaches and islands, hiking, fishing excursions with local fishermen and a trip to the nearby beach towns Cabo Frio and Buzios (all included in the price). Optional options include scuba diving or surf lessons.
Transfer to the airport Rio de Janeiro for your departure.
Gabriele and Hans-Peter Korlath
It's been a few days now that we are back home in Austria. Even though it feels good to be home again we keep thinking back of these amazing two weeks we spent in Brazil. Brazil is absolutely beautiful and its people are extremely friendly and welcoming. The Pantanal safari was the absolute highlight of our trip, we still keep talking about our adventures there. But also Rio and Paraty were interesting and definitely worth a visit. Arraial's beaches were simply stunning.
The special about our trip was that we were able to get to know the country in a more intimate and authentic way, we really felt we were being treated as friends rather than tourists by all our hosts.
We really wanna thank Nicole, but also Peter for the excellent planning and organisation of our trip.
Prices & Travel Dates
|Travel Time||15 days / 14 nights|
|Group Size||minimum 2, maximum 7 participants (exceptions for closed groups)|
|Travel Dates ||all year round|
Included in the price:
- 14 nights in middle-class hotel + breakfast
- Full board in jungle lodge
- Local + English speaking guides
- All transfers
- All services and activities mentioned in the program
- International Flights
- Flight Rio-Manaus-Rio (we can book it for you – depending on time of booking between 100-150 Euro)
- Lunch and Dinner in Rio, Paraty, Manaus and Arraial