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Rio de Janerio
Beautiful beaches of Angra dos Reis - £65 per person - Complete your stay in Rio de Janeiro with a leisurely day at some of the city’s very best beaches. This tour takes you to the paradisiacal location of Angra dos Reis, a favourite site for relaxing both for locals and tourists due to the extraordinary beauty of its beaches. Come along and discover the whitest sands, the bluest seas and make your friends green with envy.
Angra dos Reis is located at the South district of Rio de Janeiro. Although originally discovered as far back as 1502, it was then colonized for the first time 54 years later. Throughout history, it has been in the hands of the Spanish, the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese. And it is no wonder the big colonizers were so eager to take it; as well as being a strategic location on the sea route, with its outstanding beauty, who wouldn’t want a piece of it?
This earthly paradise is now a hotspot of national and international tourism for that same reason. It has no less than 365 islands along the seashore – some of which are owned by famous celebs! The largest and most important is simply known as Grande, and it is located amongst the splendid lush green entourage referred to as the Mata Atlantica (Atlantic Forest). Other top beaches in the area include Guaratecaia, Mambucaba, Conceicao de Jacarei and Scrocaba – all of them safe bets for feeling a bit closer to heaven!
Corcovado, Maracana exterior and Sambadrome - £45 per person - Contemplate the Wonderful City from atop the breath-taking vantage point of Corcovado Hill, a staggering 710 metres high. See Rio de Janeiro at your feet looking smaller even than a toy city. This tour takes you not only above Rio but also to some of the city’s most notorious landmarks.
The ascent to the top of Corcovado Hill is a small trip that lasts no longer than 20 minutes. Along the way, the scenery is more than beautiful so as to make the stroll entertaining. As you walk, pass the Floresta da Tijuca, which gives you a taste of the view you will see at the top. But the truly memorable experience is when you reach the summit. You are welcomed by the iconic Statue of Christ, who stands embracing the stunning view of Rio with open arms, evoking both the religious symbol of the crucifix and, through its similarity with a hugging gesture, the Christian notion of love.
Once you are back at the bottom of the hill, make your way to the Mario Filho Stadium, which is known over the globe as Maracana. Enjoy an informative external visit with some great sites and interesting facts. Later on, you head to the Sambodromo, a creation of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer that is used as the stage for Brazil’s most famous celebration: the wild, colourful and eclectic Carnival that fills the streets with mirth once a year.
Sugarloaf with city tour - £59 per person - Explore the Wonderful City on this astonishing tour of Rio de Janeiro’s most famous landmarks. Rio’s beauty is renowned throughout the globe; a capital of carnivals, a metropolis of marvels, a centre of sensuality, you won’t want to miss this chance of getting to know the wonders of the city in depth.
You might feel like you’re travelling back in time as you pass by some of Rio’s historical monuments, but not so with the Catedral Metropolitana. When in front of this staggering must-see, you might believe you are on the set of a futuristic film. Its dark conic structure reaches for the sky like an alien pyramid. From the inside, admire how the light plays and brings life to its huge stained glass windows; a strong blend of old tradition with modern design.
While recovering from the awe produced by the cathedral, continue through the lush park Aterro do Flamengo. Another feat of design, its many hues and forms make the park thrive with life. Arrive then at Urca, a delicatessen of a neighbourhood filled with traditional houses and little local businesses. From here, admire one of Rio’s most renowned sites come into view: Sugarloaf Mountain. Ascend to the top of the hill on a fun cable car ride in two stages. First you will rise to the Morro da Urca, a smaller mount preceding the big one. From there you hop onto the cable car that will take you to the single best vantage point for contemplating the panorama of Rio de Janeiro.
Fly from the UK to Rio de Janeiro. Once you have arrived at your hotel and checked in, you have the afternoon to relax and explore.
Day 2 - 3: Rio de Janeiro
Your first day in Rio is perhaps best spent getting oriented to the city. Get a bird’s eye helicopter view of the marvellous city guarded by giant granite rocks and vast blue oceans. Alternatively roam downtown on foot or bicycle and mingle with the charming locals while learning of the city’s fascinating lore and history. Follow this up with a delectable seafood lunch cruise that sails past the beaches of Niteroi. When the sun sets it’s time to take out your dancing shoes! Catch a samba show and enjoy a famous Brazilian steakhouse dinner.
A holiday in Rio is incomplete without a tour of the famed trifecta of Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf which includes a ride through the Tijuca Rain forest by cog train! Opt for either a half-day or full-day tour and save some time to explore the quaint town of Buzios, known for its architectural finesse. Alternatively visit Petropolis, the lap of luxury, home to Brazil’s two emperors. End your Brazilian sojourn with a sumptuous carnivorous buffet at Porcao or taste some traditional Portuguese fare at the famous Antiquarius.
Day 4: Start of your 5-Day Tour - Rio de Janeiro to Ilha Grande
Transfer from your hotel in Rio to Conceico de Jacarei to catch the ferry across to Ilha Grande, a largely undeveloped island well-known for its rugged landscapes, lush vegetation and beautiful beaches. The entire island is a protected area and cars are not allowed, so upon arrival, your guide will accompany you to your hotel on foot.
Day 5: Ilha Grande
Today you may opt to take a water taxi for an unguided trip to Pouso Beach where you can follow a trail to Lopes Mendes, a stunning white sand beach, often noted as one of the best in Brazil. Alternatively head out on a relaxing boat tour to Lagoa Azul. A couple of stops will made to enjoy a couple of different beaches and for snorkelling in the clear blue sea. (B)
Day 6: Ilha Grande - Paraty
Morning at leisure before transferring to Paraty, a pretty town brimming with well preserved historic buildings and centuries old architecture. This evening, perhaps dine out at one of the many inviting restaurants. (B)
Day 7: Paraty
Start the day with a fascinating half-day walking tour of the old town. See beautiful colonial architecture and learn about Paraty's colourful history. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the local shops or for relaxing on the beach. This evening there's an optional dinner and cooking demonstration with a well-known chef (additional cost). (B)
Day 8: Paraty - Sao Paulo
A transfer to Sao Paulo for your onward flight. (B)