Want to visit Brazil? This country has much to offer, so where do you start? Brazil is a gorgeous country known for having some of the best beaches in the world. They also have the Amazon Rainforest. Which means it has something for every traveler.
We created three versions of a 10-day Brazil Itinerary to help you navigate this unique and breathtaking country.
Brazil Itinerary Suggestion #1
Day 1-4: Rio de Janeiro
Start your trip to Brazil by flying into the main airport in Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro–Galeao Airport (GIG). The airport is only 1.24 miles away from downtown Rio de Janeiro. A large seaside city in Brazil that is notorious for its gorgeous beaches. Making it a great area to spend multiple days during your Brazil getaway.
Day 1: Arrival & Christ the Redeemer
After landing in Rio de Janeiro, you can take an uber from the airport to the city center. Here you will spend your first day exploring the city’s infamous surrounding architecture and monuments.
Christ the Redeemer
This infamous landmark is one of the seven wonders of the world! Located only 40 minutes from Rio. You can get to the monument from the city via the cog train. The train brings you through a gorgeous green forest while passing by Sugar Loaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay.
Buy tickets to the cog train in advance on their website here. Then, take time to marvel at this infamous monument. Which is known for protecting the environment and protecting the souls of the people of Rio.
The train will drop you at the foot of the statue, a convenient option without trekking up the mountain it sits on.
Day 2: Urca & Sugarloaf Mountain
Spend your second day getting out in nature by heading east of Rio. A quick thirty-minute drive from the city center is the Urca neighborhood & Sugarloaf mountain. You can take a $3 uber each way to visit this area. To save some money, take the Metro Line from Rio to Botafogo Station, only $1.30 each way.
This relaxed suburb is located on a small peninsula. This quaint beach town sits at the foot of the breathtaking Sugarloaf Mountain. Providing both beach and mountain views. Hike the nature area of Morros Natural Monument. Take a walk on the Transcarioca Trail, surrounded by marshes and rocky beaches.
From Urca, you can take a small cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. For the more adventurous, you can hike the mountain. The hike is 30 minutes through the lush rainforest. This short 1.9-mile trail has an elevation gain of 629 feet. Marvel at the surrounding city views and blue ocean waters from the summit.
Day 3: Parque Lage & Jardim Botânico
Next, head south to have a park day and visit the botanical gardens.
Parque Lage is a public park located south of Rio. It sits at the base of Corcovado Mountain, a 710-meter granite peak. In this area, you will be surrounded by tropical rainforests and may even spot some monkeys.
Marvel at the colonial-style mansions surrounding the park. Enjoy lunch in the garden at Plage Café. A gorgeous area where you can even spot views of Christ the Redeemer in the distance.
Only a thirty-minute walk or 4-minute taxi ride from Parque Lage is Jardim Botanico. These botanical gardens are home to many different plant species. You can leisurely walk the park or rent an electric car. Visit the greenhouses and the Japanese Gardens!
Afterwards, take a stroll around the area. The streets are lined with chic restaurants and cafes. Try a fresh pastry from La Bicyclette before heading back to Rio.
Day 4: Copacabana & Ipanema Beaches
Your final day in Rio will be spent in the sand. Brazil is known to have some of the best beaches in the world, so having a beach day is a must! Located about twenty-five minutes south of Rio are the two most famous beaches in the area. In addition, you can take an uber from the city for an average of $10 round trip.
This beach is one of the most famous beaches in Brazil. The boulevard and architecture were designed by Brazilian architect Roberto Burle Marx. It showcases dining and shopping. The black and white marble of the streets and buildings draw visitors from all over the world.
The beach has volleyball courts and areas to lounge out and get your tan on. After the sun goes down, the streets get lively with their nightlife scene. Bars and nightclubs are filled with music and dancing.
Tip: The beaches in this area have become very touristy. As a result, trash and pollution are sometimes left in the area, making your beach day short-lived. If you are looking for a remote option, visit some of these unknown beaches. Praia da Joatinga, Praia de Grumar and Ilha de Paquetá are just a few to name!
Ipanema Beaches have been known since the 1960s. A two-mile stretch of white sand and crystal blue waters. This beach is known for its people-watching. Spend the day laying on the sand while locals play frescobol.
A tennis-like game commonly spotted on Brazilian beaches. This beach is famous for swimming and even has lifeguard stands to help protect the visitors. Enjoy your true Rio beach day before heading back into town.
Accommodations in Rio
Ritz Copacabana Boutique Hotel – This affordable hotel averages about $50 a night. It is located one block from Copacabana beach. Which is perfect for those wanting to soak up the sun while always dancing the night away. This boutique property is walkable to restaurants and has stunning ocean views.
Granada Hotel – This property is located in the center city of Rio with an average of $22 a night. Enjoy city views from the rooftop lounge and pool. You will be walkable to shopping areas, restaurants, and more. These modern rooms will have you relaxing after your day out exploring Rio.
Day 5-7: Paraty
Located four hours west of Rio de Janeiro is the small town of Paraty. You can reach Paraty by taking a five-hour bus ride for $12 one way.
Day 5: Explore The Town & Samba Club
Explore The Town
Partay is a Portuguese colonial town that is lined with 17th Century buildings. Take a walk down the cobble-stoned streets accompanied by quaint street lights. No cars are allowed on the roads, making it great for exploring on foot.
Try one of their restaurants, such as Restaurante Chafariz. A local dining establishment that is top-rated by travelers. Indulge in their grilled fish and take in the views of the historic town.
Visit a Samba Club
At night, the streets of Partay are filled with Samba music. Visit their Samba Clubs and dance the night away. Watch the locals do this cultural dance while listening to the fun Samba music. Then, visit BalacoBaco Beach Bar to experience Samba for yourself!
Day 6: Paraty Harbor
Paraty Harbor & Cooking Academy
Visit the Harbor of Paraty. Here you can still see the ruins of old stone walls and the cannons of Forte Defensor. Which is one of the seven fortifications built by the harbor.
Walk around the harbor and take in the history. Glance at the colorful boats in the water, with backdrops of the lush green mountains.
Academy of Cooking and Other Pleasures
Spend your evening tasting an authentic Brazilian meal at the Academy of Cooking and Other Pleasures. Renowned Brazilian Chef Yara Castro Roberts & Richard Roberts cook you an authentic dinner at this event.
This two-and-a-half-hour experience will show you how to make what you are eating. Then, watch the Chef’s prepare the meal before your taste buds enjoy the four-course dinner. Something unique to add to a foodie’s Brazil Itinerary.
Accommodations in Paraty
Casa Turquesa – A famous hotel by locals with a white exterior with bright blue doors. Relax in their refined and cozy suites that are average $200 per night. Go swimming at their gorgeous pool or talk to the dedicated hosts to learn about the area’s culture.
Imperatriz Paraty Hotel: A more affordable option is Imperatriz Paraty Hotel. For only $40 a night, relax in your private room. Some suites even offer a private pool. Dine in their restaurant that is located on the property. They even have a game room and cable TV.
Day 8-10: São Paulo
Next, you will be visiting São Paulo, which is 4 hours west of Paraty. This financial center is one of the world’s most populous cities. You can take a six-hour bus ride which would cost about $25.
Day 8: Paulista Avenue & São Paulo Zoo
Spend some time on Paulista Avenue, a famous avenue in Sao Paulo. The street is filled with tourists and shopping enthusiasts on any day of the week. Moreover, the street is busy since it is lined with live music, art galleries, and food.
Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand is a famous art museum located on the street. Marvel at their golden art sculptures and modern galleries.
São Paulo Zoo
Next, head 30 minutes south to visit the São Paulo Zoo. Which is the largest Zoo in Brazil. It was originally the Atlantic Forest but was later used as a home to these wild animals. You can see endangered species such as Lear’s Macaw and the White Bengal Tiger.
The Zoo has over 2000 animals ranging from birds to amphibians. Unfortunately, you must purchase tickets in person at the Zoo, since the online service is temporarily suspended.
Day 9: Ibirapuera Park & Football Museum
Spend your morning relaxing at Ibirapuera Park. This beautiful park is home to a bright green lawn, huge fountain, and art sculptures. It is the most visited park in South America, drawing over 14 million visitors each year. Walk around the 390 acres and take in the city views in the distance.
Get a workout on one of their many bike paths and running trails. Want to relax? Throw a blanket down in front of one of their three lakes and spend the day reading under a shady tree.
Visiting the Football Museum is a popular activity in Sao Paulo. It teachers visitors about the history of football in Brazil. The space was built inside Pacaembu Stadium on the west side of Sao Paulo. They have over five exhibits ranging from The King of Football to 1970 World Cup Memories.
After exploring the museum, take a break in their shop and cafe, which offers coffee and dining. You can purchase tickets to the museum online here.
Where to stay in São Paulo
Bourbon Convention Ibirapuera: This hotel averages $30 USD per night. Stay in the center city in Moema, located next to the shopping section. This skyscraper hotel has clean and modern rooms with warm lighting. Walk the streets to the surrounding restaurants and shops.
Meliá Paulista – This affordable luxury hotel is located on one of Brazil’s main urban streets. Meliá Paulista averages about $60 a night. This hotel has a gym and a pool. You will also be within walking distance for shopping, dining, and art galleries. A great place to shut off after a day of exploring.
Brazil Itinerary Suggestion #2
The second Itinerary starts with the same four days in Rio De Janeiro! Then you will explore Salvador & the Amazon Rainforest.
Day 1-4: Rio de Janeiro
same as in the first Itinerary.
Day 5-7: Salvador
Next, you make your way over to Salvador, the capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia. This trip is a 2-hour 30-minute flight bringing you to North Brazil. Round trip flights average anywhere from $100 – $300.
Day 5: Explore Salvador
Abelardo Rodrigues & Casa do Benin Museum
Salvador is a UNESCO World Heritage designation. Known for its colonial-style buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Explore Salvador’s upper town. Here you can visit the City Museum, which showcases a lifesize Candomblé figure.
Next stop by the Abelardo Rodrigues Museum, a folk art museum located in a mansion from 1701. Your final stop will be Casa do Benin, a quarter dedicated to the slaves that were once shipped to Bahia.
These three historical attractions are a ten-minute walk from each other. Take in the colorful streets while walking around town.
São Francisco & The Cathedral
São Francisco is a gold-covered church surrounded by gold wood carvings. This church was built in the 1700s and is a must-see for all architecture lovers. Located next to the church is Igreja da Terceira Ordem de São Francisco.
Statues of angels and saints cover the church. Walk over to the Cathedral, a church of the former Jesuit College built in the 1600s. The Cathedral is decorated with Baroque style and Portuguese styles.
End your day in Salvador by taking the Elevator To Uptown. This Salvador landmark brings you to a terrace that overlooks the whole city. You will be able to view the harbor and lower town. A unique way to see the architecture of Salvador with a quick elevator ride.
Day 6: Farol da Barra & Salvador Beaches
Make your way south of the center city. Located twenty minutes south of the city center, Salvador is one of the best beaches in the area.
Farol da Barra
Before hitting the beach, it is time to overlook it. The lighthouse of Farol da Barra is a landmark and a local’s favorite. You can climb the lighthouse staircase to view the endless ocean. After soaking in the views, head over to the Nautical Museum of Bahia. A site that was the first beacon from shipping in the Americas.
The museum showcases archeological treasures found from the Portuguese Galleon in the 1600s. Then grab some much-needed lunch at Cafeteria Santa Clara, next to the lighthouse.
Beaches in Salvador
After viewing the beaches from above, it is time to see them up close. Since Salvador is located on a peninsula, you get both the bay and the ocean coasts.
Here you can swim and relax at Farol da Barra Beach. This is an excellent beach for surfing due to the rocky nature of the area. You can rent surfboards at the Salvador Surf Hostel. They will also update you on current surf reports.
Where to Stay in Salvador?
Pousada Solar dos Deuses – This cozy hotel is located in Center City Salvador. It is an affordable option averaging about $58 per night. The rooms are decorated in Afro-Brazilian and display local culture. They even offer homemade breakfast that is brought directly to your room.
Bahia Flat – Stay at this beachfront property that averages around $36 per night. Enjoy your own balcony that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. A lovely property that is walkable to restaurants and beach cafes. Relax on the balcony while watching the sunset over the ocean.
Day 7-10 Hello Amazon!
Get ready to explore the Amazon Rainforest! The only way to get from Salvador to the Amazon is via flight. The flight to Manaus (MAO) is 8 hours and 25 minutes. One-way flights range from $70 – $150.
Day 7: Arrival to Manaus
After spending your day flying to the Amazon, it is time to relax. Spend your evening exploring Manaus, Brazil. The hub for all travel to the Amazon Rain Forest.
Catch a show at the Amazon Theatre. This Opera House is the location of the annual Festival Amazonas de Ópera. In addition, the Opera regularly performs here with musicals and choirs. It was even chosen by Vogue Magazine as one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world. You can check our current performances on their website here.
Meeting of Waters
Located between the Rio Negro and the Amazon River is the Meeting of Waters. A unique attraction in the area. The reason there are two different colors between the water is because of the difference of temperatures and speed. Watch the bright brown water collide with the dark blue water. A fun stop during your time in Manaus.
Day 8: Tree Climbing and Water Activities
The Amazon is a vast place to explore. Home to a place with more water than the eight largest rivers combined. It is even twice the area of India! This is why it takes days to get the whole Amazon Rainforest experience. Day one will be a day of adventure.
When you are a child, tree climbing is a common activity. When you get older, not so much. Luckily, in the Amazon, you can take a trip back to your childhood with a day trip of Tree Climbing. The Amazon Jungle 3-Hour Tree Climbing Activity is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Begin your tour in the Amazon Jungle climbing on specially chosen ancient trees. Some over 70 meters high! Don’t worry, you will be with an experienced guide, who will keep you safe while teaching you all about the area.
Learn Fishing in the Amazon
Amazon-Angler.com offers different fishing excursions in the Amazon. Spend the day out on the water with your own personal guides. Trips can range from one to nine days! Fish commonly caught are Monkey Fish, Bicuda Jacunda, and Shovelnose Cats.
If you want to stay overnight, you can stay on one of their houseboats. All tours can be customized, so call them directly to set up a tour for you and your time limit.
Day 9: Hiking Day
Hiking the Amazon can be an intimidating activity solo. However, guides located in the Amazon Forest can take that trek with you. Wildlife found in the Amazon range from Jaguars to giant spiders.
It is best to stick with a guide if you encounter one of these species. Take the Amazon Forest Tour 4-Hour Trekking with your own educational guide. You can book the tour directly on Viator here.
Day 10: Amazon Waterfalls
Explore the Waterfalls of the Amazon on a day trip from Manaus. A guide will bring you to a lush jungle with crystal clear water. Visit the cave of Gruta do Refugio does Maroaga before viewing the waterfalls of Presidente Figueiredo.
The tour is offered every day and can be booked online here. They will pick you up and drop you off from your hotel in the area. The time takes about six hours to complete, a fun day trip into the Amazon!
Accommodations in the Amazon
Vista do Lago Jungle Lodge: Spend your evening out in the nature of the Amazon Rainforest. The lodge offers a restaurant, boating, and even a beach. Try their fresh fruit and plantains with views of the surrounding water. The rooms over a lodge feel of wooden walls and rainforest views. This property averages about $68 a night.
Cirandeira Bela Amazon Cabins: Stay in a Cabin in the Amazon Forest! This property averages about $70 a night and is once in a lifetime experience. Enjoy bird watching and even a natural bath. They even have a water park for children and families. Relax in the rainforest while still being pampered at this unique property.
Brazil Itinerary Suggestion #3
Day 1-3: São Paulo
Start your trip to São Paulo by flying into the São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport. This financial center is one of the world’s most populous cities. The city features colonial-style buildings and churches. You can take a quick bus ride from the airport to the city, which is $1. The buses run every 15-25 minutes from the airport.
Day 1: Paulista Avenue & São Paulo Zoo
It is exactly like day 8 in the first Brazil itinerary suggestion above 🙂
Day 2: Ibirapuera Park & Football Museum
It is also like day 9 in the first Brazil itinerary suggestion above 🙂
Day 3: Mercado & São Paulo Cathedral
Go shopping at the Mercado Municipal, which is a historic market. The market is known for selling rare produce and local crafts. It is also known for being very busy with tourists. It is recommended to go for lunch and try some of the local food. You need a few hours exploring the market in full due to its size. A fun day to barter with locals while trying Brazilian cuisine. The market is an excellent place for foodies!
São Paulo Cathedral
A quick 15-minute walk from the market is São Paulo Cathedral. This 20th-century Cathedral is massive. It showcases gothic-style architecture and even a dome. The church is free to the public and is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Take a quick taxi ride over and spend a few hours taking pictures of the glass windows and renaissance style awnings.
Day 4: Time to Check Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls are one of the most photographed places in the world that constantly tops the list of Instagram Feeds. The waterfalls are of the Iguazu River, which is on the border of Misiones in Argentine. Because of both sides, they make up the largest waterfall in the world. Luckily you can visit both sides of the falls in one day!
To get the best view of the falls, walk to the Argentine side of Iguazu National Park. Once you enter, take the lower circuit. The hike is 1.4 miles with a slight elevation gain of 219, an excellent hike for all levels. This trail provides multiple views of the falls.
You can even take a guided small-group tour. The tour is six hours long and provides a personalized guide. You will travel to both the Lower and Upper Circuit Routes. Book this tour directly on the website here.
Now it’s time to view the Brazilian side of the falls. The visit starts at the Visitors Center on the Brazil side. This five-hour tour will show you the species in the area more so than the falls. Only 25% of the falls are on the Brazilian side, but it still provides spectacular views. Rainbows are commonly spotted on this tour and frequently cascade over the falls. You can book this tour online as well on the website here.
Accommodations at Iguazu Falls
Panoramic Grand Hotel: This hotel averages $79 a night. It offers suites, dining, and a spa. Enjoy the river views right from your room. They even have a casino attached for those looking for nightlife.
Gran Meliá Iguazú: A luxury option that averages about $326 a night. From this hotel, you have views of Iguazu Falls. They offer three restaurants and four bars. They are the only hotel that has rooms that overlook the waterfalls.
Day 5-8 Ilha Grande!
Ilha Grande is an island in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. The best way to get from Iguazu Falls back to Rio is either by a direct two-hour flight, which is $80-$300. The other way would be an overnight bus that takes 23 hours and is $70.
Once you get back to Rio de Janeiro, it is time to head to Ilha Grande. You will take a bus to the port of Mangaratiba. The ferry is 1 hour and 40 minutes and costs $16, one way. The island is worth the journey!
Day 5: Vila do Abraão & Preta Beach
Vila do Abraão
Since your day will mostly be traveling, there will only be a few hours to enjoy Vila do Abraão, where the boat drops you off. The village is located in a cove and is the largest urban center on the island. Therefore, this is where most visitors stay when visiting the island.
Watch the sunset at Preta beach! This unique beach has black and yellow sands. The best part is, it’s only a 20-minute walk from the village. Which makes it super convenient to relax before heading to dinner or your hotel.
Day 6: Speedboat Tours
Take a tour of Ilha Grande via speedboat! First, take the boat to Lagao Azul for a bath and photo opportunity. Then head over to Grumixama Beach to explore the crystal blue waters. After the tour will take you to Freguesia de Santana Beach. Here you can take a walk to the Historic Church!
Finally, you will end at Maguariquecaba Beach, where you will eat an optional lunch. This is a great way to visit the islands while floating in the ocean. A once in a lifetime six-hour tour, all alongside your personal guide. You can book this excursion on the website here.
Restaurante Pé na Areia
Try this delicious seafood restaurant located in Vila do Abraão. This adorable restaurant has beachfront dining, allowing you to soak in the sunset during your dinner. The fresh seafood is caught right off the coast. Enjoy the freshness of the meal to end your day of adventure.
Day 7: Lopes Mendes Beach
Rated the best beach on the island is Lopes Mendes Beach. It can only be accessed by a short boat ride from the village or a two-hour hike, each way. The jungle hike is rated as moderate and, most importantly, fun.
The boat taxi leaves from Abroaa and is about a 25-minute ride with an additional 15-minute walk. This area offers white sand beaches and turquoise green waters.
Lopes Mendes Beach is known for its surfing! Rent a surfboard or bodyboard from the local shops on the beach. Even huts along with the shore offer ice-cold drinks and snacks for your perfect beach day.
Day 8: Candido Mendes Prison
A two-hour walk from Abraao is the Candido Mendes Prison. This was once a maximum-security prison. It was home to hundreds of Brazil’s most dangerous criminals. The prison eventually was closed in 1962, and today it has become an island destination. Take this day hike from the village and spend the day seeking this destination.
Read also: Amazing 12 Things to do in Ilha Grande
Accommodations at Ilha Grande
Pousada Lonier Nature Inn- This Inn is the only place on the island that has 24-hour service. They also have partnerships with restaurants in the area which will help you experience local cuisine. Stay in one of their rooms for a relaxing night on the island, averaging about $50 per night.
Pousada D’Pillel – This hotel has rooms available for around $40 a night. The balconies have their own private hammocks for you to rest in. The jungle vibe of the property compliments the island breeze.
Day 9-10 Back to Rio
It is now time to head back to Rio and spend the last days enjoying some Brazilian delights!
Day 9: Traveling Back
Spend your last day traveling back to Rio! Take the ferry back to the harbor and wait for the bus that takes you back to the city. Now that you explored the streets and attractions, it is time to explore the dining scene.
All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Churrascaria
Take advantage of your last dinner in Rio by signing up for the All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Churrascaria. This tour offers a transfer from your hotel to the restaurant. There you will try a traditional Churrascaria.
You can eat as much as you want since it is all included! They will cut the fresh meat off the stick right in front of you. A fun way to learn about Brazilian food while enjoying it first hand. You can sign up for the tour here.
Day 10: Departure
End your trip to Brazil by flying out of the main airport in Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro–Galeao Airport (GIG). The airport is only 1.24 miles away from downtown Rio de Janeiro. Take a cheap cab back to the airport or the bus that runs every 15 minutes.
What to Know Before Planning Your Brazil Itinerary
Culture & People in Brazil
The culture & people of Brazil are known for being lively!
Their love of dance makes the nightlife unique for anyone visiting. They also have regular festivals, the most famous being the Brazil Festival. They are very proud of their culture and love sharing that with travelers when visiting!
Food in Brazil
The food in Brazil is known for its barbecued meats and hearty stews. Pork and black beans are some popular dishes.
Brazilian Feijoada is their most popular dish, a rich stew that includes different cuts of pork, except for bold spices and mouthwatering meat to be common when visiting Brazil.
Cost of Travel in Brazil
The cost of Brazil is cheap compared to other countries, such as the United States and Europe. Except to spend about $65 a day when visiting Brazil.
The average cost of hotels ranges from $30-$60. The current currency exchange in Brazil is 1 Brazilian Real to .18 USD. Not a bad cost for such a beautiful country.
Language in Brazil
Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, and it is spoken throughout the country. However, English is not widely spoken, which can be frustrating for travelers.
Big cities like Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo have more English speakers than other locations. Using Google Translate during your visit can cure a lot of confusion.
Visa to Brazil
You do not need a visa if you are from the US and traveling to Brazil for tourism, business, transit, artistic, or sports activities, with no intention of establishing residence.
For countries in Europe and Tunisia, visas are not required for stays up to 90 days.
Safety in Brazil
Brazil is relatively safe for travelers entering the country. Most crimes that occur involve pickpocketing or muggings.
These do not often occur for tourists. However, staying in big cities is recommended due to higher police presence.
Using Tour Guides for hiking or outdoor activities in remote areas is also recommended. You can view the current Travel Advisories here.
Final Thoughts about Doing a Brazil Itinerary
Brazil is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Its turquoise waters and white sand beaches are just the beginning. The lush green Amazon Rainforest and cascading waterfalls are some of nature’s best.
Their delicious dining and lively culture is another reason to add it to your bucket list. Plan your trip to Brazil using one of our 10 Day Brazil Itineraries above!