Brazil: Rio de Janeiro + Paraty + Southern Amazon

Select Experience Tour, Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Paraty & Southern AmazonSelect Experience Tour, Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Paraty & Southern Amazon

Brazil

Rio de Janeiro + Paraty + Southern Amazon

overview

You can feel the excitement in Rio de Janeiro, vibrant by day with sparkling bay vistas, historic neighborhoods, and museums, and pulsing with samba and nightlife after dark. Affectionately called the Cidade Maravilhosa, or “Marvelous City,” this bustling metropolis is set amidst beautiful mountain ranges, rainforests, and wetlands. Coastal Paraty is a quieter locale and a favorite with Brazilians looking to step off the beaten path. Pleasures here include sightseeing, rainforest walks, snorkeling, excursions in a traditional escuna (boat), and a delicious interlude at the Paraty Cooking School.

Then, slip away from civilization. From the comfort of an award-winning jungle lodge designed for sustainability, you will have an authentic Amazon adventure in a region of astounding biodiversity. Spectacular birds, mammals, butterflies, and orchids are revealed as you glide along trails, from a canopy tower, and by canoe or kayak. Your hosts and naturalist guides are passionate about the rainforest—their knowledge will ignite your enthusiasm for this fertile corridor of life.

Activity Level
Activities vary and
are accessible to
most fitness levels;
see full itinerary
Meet
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Depart
Alta Floresta, Brazil
Daily Itinerary
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itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
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9 days, 8 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Accommodations for eight nights (with private bath)
  • Meals: 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 4 dinners
  • Private guided walking tour of Paraty
  • Private hands-on cooking class with dinner at Paraty Cooking School
  • Private boat excursion of Paraty Bay (including cachaça tasting with an artisanal producer)
  • Private guided walk in Nature Reserve of Cairuçu (with boat transfer to Paraty)
  • Sitio Burle Marx gardens and estate visit
  • Private guided visits of Rio’s highlights including Sugar Loaf Mountain, walk in Tijuca National Park, Corcovado, Santa Tereza district, Cinelandia Square or Project Morrinho
  • Guided, small-group, activities with bilingual expert naturalist at Cristalino Jungle Lodge, including bird watching, boat rides, and nature walks
  • Ground Transportation from meeting to departure point (excludes internal flights)
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW staff
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $0 
Internal airfare additional-call for details

*Surcharges may apply for New Year’s, Christmas, or other national holidays

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Paraty
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2
Paraty
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3
Paraty
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4
Rio de Janeiro
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5
Rio de Janeiro
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6
Cristalino River
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7
Cristalino River
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8
Cristalino River
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9
Cristalino River
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Day 1

Paraty

Transfer from Rio to Paraty. Private guided walking tour of Paraty, 1-1 ½ hours, easy; hands-on evening cooking class and dinner

Upon arrival at the Rio de Janeiro airport, you are met and transferred (approximately 3 hours) to the city of Paraty, founded in 1677, about 124 miles south of Rio. Located on an island-filled bay and with a backdrop of vibrant green mountains, this exquisitely preserved colonial town invites exploration of its pedestrian cobbled streets and squares, enticing boutiques cafés and restaurants. Part of the “Green Coast,” this laid-back Brazilian destination offers gorgeous beaches, forest, and history. After checking in to your pousada (inn) in the historic center, you meet a local guide for a private walking tour of the town and its lovely 18th- and 19th-century white-washed and stone home and buildings. Afterward, for a delectable culinary introduction to the cuisine of this and other Brazilian regions, you make your way to the Paraty Cooking School for a hands-on cooking class and dinner. Your engaging instructor is international chef Yara Roberts, who welcomes you in her state-of-the art kitchen and prepares a menu with dishes from the Amazon, Bahia, and Minas Gerais regions, among others. Your chef not only explains cooking techniques, tips, and nutritional information, she also weaves in the cultural and historical background behind Brazil’s varied influences and backgrounds—a crossroads of Portuguese, African, and native cuisines. You savor the meal and delightful conversation with Yara and her husband, both of whom have traveled the globe.

Pousada Porto Imperial

Paraty, Brazil

Located in the historical center of Paraty, a beautifully renovated 19th-century inn with spacious comfortable rooms—individually decorated with period antiques, contemporary artwork, and rich fabrics—surrounding an interior garden; also with a pool and sauna.

Day 2

Paraty

Boat excursion of Paraty Bay including Catimbau Island and cachaça tasting (5 hours total)

After breakfast, you head to the port to board a boat for a half-day excursion around Paraty Bay, allowing you to take in the perspective from the water of its backdrop of steep jungle peaks, azure waters, and tropical islands. You stop to enjoy a swim (and maybe snorkel) and indulge in a relaxing lunch at Catimbau Island. Later, you continue by boat to the Cachaçaria Maria Izabel, the private home of Maria Izabel Costa, an artisanal cachaça producer. This distilled alcoholic derivate of sugar cane is one of the key ingredients—along with sugar, limes, and ice—of Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha. Paraty was founded on sugar cane production and at one time had over 250 cachaça distilleries. Maria Izabel provides a tasting of her beautifully presented cachaças and offers the opportunity to enjoy a swim in the inviting waters of her beachfront home. By mid-afternoon, you return by boat to the port of Paraty to relax in your hotel, and later step out to enjoy Paraty’s many inviting shops, cafés, or restaurants, perhaps happening upon some spontaneous Brazilian music performance.

Pousada Porto Imperial

Paraty, Brazil

Located in the historical center of Paraty, a beautifully renovated 19th-century inn with spacious comfortable rooms—individually decorated with period antiques, contemporary artwork, and rich fabrics—surrounding an interior garden; also with a pool and sauna.

Day 3

Paraty

Laranjeiras to Praia do Sono trail, Nature Reserve of Cairuçu; 2-3 hours walking, easy to moderate

After breakfast this morning, a short transfer of 30 minutes bring you to the small village of Laranjeiras and the trailhead of the Praia do Sono trail. In the heart of the Cairuçu Nature Reserve, you rise through lush vegetation to a waterfall where you may choose to cool off with a quick dip. Continuing through South Atlantic tropical forest you reach the Praia do Sono (meaning “sleepy beach”) and its crystalline waters. After a break, you continue past the villages of Praia Da Velha and Praia Dos Antigos before arriving at the fishing village of Ponta Negra where your boat is waiting with lunch on board to return to Paraty for your last evening in this delightful town.

Pousada Porto Imperial

Paraty, Brazil

Located in the historical center of Paraty, a beautifully renovated 19th-century inn with spacious comfortable rooms—individually decorated with period antiques, contemporary artwork, and rich fabrics—surrounding an interior garden; also with a pool and sauna.

Day 4

Rio de Janeiro

Transfer from Paraty to Rio De Janeiro; Visits to Sitio Burle Marx and Sugar Loaf Mountain

You depart Paraty and the Green Coast after breakfast this morning to make your way to Rio de Janeiro, as one Portuguese king put it, the “once mighty capital of the Brazilian empire.” Making the urban transition, you make a stop in the outskirts, along a scenic coastal drive at the Sitio Burle Marx, home of Brazilian landscape architect and artist Roberto Burle Marx, a luxuriant testament to his modernist designs departing from formal European gardens and parks, and his lifelong work in preserving native plant species. With artwork displayed throughout Rio, he is best known for the striking mosaics and palm and native plant groupings lining Copacabana Beach. After strolling the estate grounds, and lunch nearby, you continue on to your hotel on Rio’s famous beach.

Your first experience in Rio is the view from Sugar Loaf Mountain, the 1,300-foot peak rising from Rio’s harbor. A perfect introduction to Brazil’s second largest city, the cable car ride to the top provides unparalleled views of the city, Guanabara Bay, the Rio-Niteroi Bridge, and, of course, the iconic Corcovado with its Christ the Redeemer statue. Returning to your hotel, you may choose to enjoy its exceptional cuisine or venture out for dinner.

Sofitel Copacabana Hotel

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Located between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and considered one of Rio’s best hotels, featuring luxurious rooms with terraces and beach views. Other amenities include swimming pools, saunas, two outstanding restaurants and bars, and views of the beaches and Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Day 5

Rio de Janeiro

Tijuca National Park walking options, easy to moderate, 2½ hours, including visits to Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer statue) and the Santa Tereza district

This morning takes you to the trails of Tijuca National Park, the world’s largest urban forest containing hundreds of protected plant and animal species unique to the Atlantic Rainforest. Rio’s lush backdrop of granite rock is crisscrossed by trails leading to its best viewpoints, such as the Chinese View at the Emperor’s Table, the Taunay Cascade, or to the summit of Tijuca Peak, Rio’s highest at 3,300 feet, as well as a visit to the 130-foot tall Christ the Redeemer statue. For lunch, you are high up in the picturesque Santa Tereza neighborhood with its cobbled winding streets and 19th-century mansions, now full of galleries, art studios, and cafés.

In the afternoon, you have to option to visit the Morrinho project, a successful teen-founded and art-centered nongovernmental organization based in the Pereira da Silva favela in the south of Rio de Janeiro, promoting social and cultural transformation, and now emulated worldwide. Or you could visit the traditional Cinelandia Square to tour Rio’s historic Municipal Theater, National Library, National Museum of Fine Arts, and the Lapa Arches. Before returning to your hotel, you make a brief stop at the Bohemian Lapa neighborhood to listen to a typical “Roda de Samba,” an informal gathering of musicians playing samba, rounding out this tour of the Cidade Maravilhosa—the “Marvelous City.”

Sofitel Copacabana Hotel

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Located between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and considered one of Rio’s best hotels, featuring luxurious rooms with terraces and beach views. Other amenities include swimming pools, saunas, two outstanding restaurants and bars, and views of the beaches and Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Day 6

Cristalino River

Depart Rio de Janeiro; flight to Alta Floresta and transfer to Cristalino Jungle Lodge

After your last view of Copacabana Beach this morning, following breakfast, you are transferred to the Rio airport to catch your flight to the Amazon Mato Grosso region and the city of Alta Floresta. After an airport meeting, you travel first 45 minutes by jeep and then 45 minutes by boat along the Cristalino River to the heart of the Amazon region—the Cristalino Jungle Lodge. With a warm welcome to this unique and deluxe eco-lodge in a private reserve, you are given an overview to the setting and accommodations. The day concludes with a candlelit dinner and retiring to your individual bungalow.

Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Cristalino River, Brazil

A state-of-the-art eco-lodge comprised of architecturally designed luxurious bungalows, comfortable common and dining areas, and floating sun and swim dock situated on thousands of acres of preserved habitat on the Cristalino River, a tributary of the Amazon. The lodge was honored by Condé Nast Traveler as a World Savers Awards winner.

Day 7

Cristalino River

Rainforest walking options: Canopy Tower; Ficus Trail; Taboca Trail, easy; optional piranha fishing

Awakening to the sounds of the rainforest… and fabulous coffee, a short walk leads you to the 164-foot Canopy Tower with its three observation platforms for a bird’s-eye overview of the reserve and the region. Ascending above the tree canopy line, you rise through the many strata of the rainforest; monkeys, macaws, and falcons are some of the species of bird and animals you may see as you reach the viewpoint. A second walk today takes you along the Ficus Trail, to an enormous Ficus or Fig tree towering above a myriad of rainforest flora and fauna, such as multi-hued butterflies. Another walking choice is the Taboca Trail, through a seasonally flooded forest that is preferred monkey habitat. Additional activities include piranha fishing or relaxing in the lovely grounds or floating river deck. This evening, enjoy a dinner of fresh grilled fish served under the palapa.

Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Cristalino River, Brazil

A state-of-the-art eco-lodge comprised of architecturally designed luxurious bungalows, comfortable common and dining areas, and floating sun and swim dock situated on thousands of acres of preserved habitat on the Cristalino River, a tributary of the Amazon. The lodge was honored by Condé Nast Traveler as a World Savers Awards winner.

Day 8

Cristalino River

Rainforest walking options: Saleiro House; Brazil Nut Trail; optional kayaking or canoeing

This morning’s walk takes you to the Saleiro House—a rustic screened tree house located in the middle of the forest reserve where the soil is naturally rich in minerals and thus visited by large forest mammals such as the South American tapir, collared peccary, white-lipped peccary, the giant anteater, and the Southern tamandua.

This afternoon, board the boat and head 40 minutes up the Cristalino River to the Brazil Nut Trail, named for the massive nut-producing trees. This area is also home to birds and primates that specialize in feeding on the trees’ fruit, such as the endangered Saci monkey and the elusive Uirapuru bird. Upon returning to the river bank, kayaks or canoes are available to return home an alternate way—skirting the river banks in search of giant river otters and with luck, tapirs pausing to take a drink. Enjoy a final celebratory caipirinha and candlelit dinner.

Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Cristalino River, Brazil

A state-of-the-art eco-lodge comprised of architecturally designed luxurious bungalows, comfortable common and dining areas, and floating sun and swim dock situated on thousands of acres of preserved habitat on the Cristalino River, a tributary of the Amazon. The lodge was honored by Condé Nast Traveler as a World Savers Awards winner.

Day 9

Cristalino River

Rainforest walking option: Tapiri Trail. Transfer to Alta Floresta and departure

There is time this morning for a short easy walk along the Tapiri Trail, where the white-whiskered-spider-monkey, symbol of Cristalino State Park, can be seen. Later, you depart the lodge and make the transfer back to Alta Floresta, where you enjoy a final lunch before your onward flight.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

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