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Trip Inspiration

12 Days Exploring Southern Brazil

Discover Beautiful Brazil

Get to know Brazil in this fascinating trip of discovery. Explore the sophisticated and iconic city of Rio de Janeiro, and dive into Brazil's rich history in Paraty. Behold the wonders of Brazilian nature as you survey the mighty Iguaçu Falls and the landscapes of Ibitipoca.

Trip Highlights


  • 3 nights in Rio de Janeiro at Belmond’s Copacabana Palace
  • 3 nights in historic Paraty at Pousada Literária
  • 3 nights at Comuna do Ibitipoca
  • 2 nights in Iguaçu Falls at the Belmond Cataratas


  • Cable car ride up Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Visit Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro
  • Culinary experience aboard a traditional schooner in Paraty
  • Jeep tour into the Atlantic Forest
  • Soak up the culture and nature of Minas Gerais
  • Iguaçu Falls Tours and scenic helicopter flight
What does “Trip Inspiration” mean?

At Travel Beyond, we believe your trip should be designed just for you, not for the masses. Our travel consultants create a custom itinerary for each client, offering recommendations for places and experiences that best fit your style. The itinerary below was planned for a past client, but we’re sharing it for travel inspiration and as an example of what a trip to Brazil might look like. Let us know when we can design a trip just for you!

Day 1

 Arrive Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Welcome to Brazil! Upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro, you will be met for your private transfer to the Belmond Copacabana Palace where you will spend three nights in a Deluxe Ocean View room, including breakfast daily.

Over its nearly 500 years of history, Rio de Janeiro has been the spring board for Brazil’s principal cultural exports, and the port of entry for everything from major art exhibitions to contemporary music events. Rio’s architecture embraces churches and buildings dating from the 16th through 19th centuries, while seamlessly blending with world renowned designs of the 20th.

This afternoon, you will be met by your private guide and driver for your Sugarloaf Mountain tour. The trademark of Rio de Janeiro, Sugar Loaf Mountain (12,99ft), has a privileged location in the city. On the first part of the cable-car ride you can see the entire Guanabara Bay, Corcovado Mountain with Christ the Redeemer, and the Rio-Niteroi Bridge. On the second part of the cable car ride you can see, in a unique perspective, the beach of Copacabana, the Santa Cruz Fortress and some beaches of Niterói.

Following your tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your evening at leisure.

Belmond Copacabana Palace Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 2

Rio de Janeiro

This morning after breakfast, you will be met for full-day Corcovado & Santa Teresa tour, including lunch.

Your day begins by visiting the Christ the Redeemer on top of Corcovado Mountain. This is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, with a height of 124ft. Board a centenarian eco-friendly electric train, which does not pollute, and cuts through the well-preserved Atlantic Forest – part of the Tijuca National Park. The ride takes about 20min each way. Upon reaching the top and at the foot of Cristo Redentor, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

Continue to Santa Teresa, an old neighborhood in the hills of Rio de Janeiro. Stop for lunch at Aprazilvel, with lovely views over the bay far below, before exploring the neighborhood. Santa Teresa seems to have stopped in time. Known to have historical buildings from 1750, and for the French architecture inspired by that time, this was where the old carioca aristocracy lived. This charming place attracts local artists who live and work here, and is also home to the famed and colorful Selaron Staircase.

Following your tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel.

Belmond Copacabana Palace Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 3

Rio de Janeiro

This morning after breakfast, you will be met for half-day Botanical Garden tour. Explore this magical destination with a private electrical cart and find some of the rarest plants in Brazil along with many species of tropical birds, fish and mammals. The garden is located at the foot of Corcovado Mountain and occupies about 350 acres. It is part of Floresta da Tijuca home to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife of the Atlantic Rainforest. You will also visit Parque Lage, which delights with 52 hectares of pure green, plus cultural and art programs.

Following your tour, you will enjoy lunch at Parque Lage and then be transferred back to your hotel. The afternoon is yours at leisure.

Belmond Copacabana Palace Meals: Breakfast / Lunch


Day 4

Rio de Janeiro to Paraty

This morning after breakfast, you will be met for your private transfer to Paraty and the Pousada Literária Hotel. Enjoy three nights in Paraty, including breakfast daily.

This afternoon, you will be met for your Paraty Walking Tour. Immerse yourself in the beautiful colonial architecture, street design ahead of its time, exiled Portuguese royalty, and the dark past of the slave trade. In the eighteenth century, Paraty was an important port in the transportation of the gold and precious stones that were to be shipped to Portugal. Unfortunately, pirates took refuge in Paraty’s beaches, and their assaults ultimately changed the gold route and left the city in economic isolation. Today, it is a beautiful colonial city, considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that has preserved its natural and architectural charm. After your tour, you will return to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Pousada Literária Meals: Breakfast


Day 5


This morning after breakfast, you will be met for your private Sea Gourmet Excursion aboard the Maria Panela, a classic schooner that has been adapted and equipped to offer an exclusive gastronomic experience.

The adventure begins with a speedboat ride to the Maria Panela, which will be anchored in the Saco do Mamanguá or a similar place, depending on where the tide is most favorable. Upon boarding, the chef will welcome you with a refreshing drink and some delicious snacks. You can then choose to stay on the schooner, enjoying its comfort and relaxing in the sun, or enjoy some water activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkeling. Later, return to the boat to enjoy a wonderful lunch, centered on caiçara flavors and traditional cuisine.

Upon completion of your tour, you will be returned to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Pousada Literária Meals: Breakfast / Lunch



Day 6


This morning after breakfast, you will set off on an exciting jeep tour through the Atlantic Forest, discovering Serra da Bocaina National Park and its diversity of fauna, flora, and stunning waterfalls.

The first stop will be at the Gold Trail exhibition, where you can learn about the importance of this trail for Paraty’s development. Afterwards, you will hike towards Tobogã Waterfall, famous for offering visitors the chance to slide down it along the stone. From there, continue on a short walk to Tarzan Waterfall, where you can choose to swim.

From there, you will depart for a visit and tasting at a cachaça distillery, where Brazil’s iconic alcoholic beverage is made from the sugar cane. Your morning will conclude with a delicious farm-to-table lunch at Bananal Farm, a historical old mansion surrounded by nature and known for its diversity of bird species.

Following your tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel.

Pousada Literária Meals: Breakfast

Day 7

Paraty to Ibitipoca

This morning you will be transferred to Rio de Janeiro via helicopter. Upon arrival, you will be met by a private driver for your road transfer to Comuna do Ibitipoca.

Along the way, after about an hour and a half, you will stop in Petropolis for lunch and a tour of the city. Often referred to as the Imperial City, Petropolis was the residence of Brazil’s only two emperors– Pedro I and Pedro II. Tucked away in Serra dos Orgaos National Park, here you will visit the Imperial Museum and the Sao Pedro de Alcantara Cathedral. You will then continue on to Comuna do Ibitipoca, your home for the next three nights,  including all meals, non-alcoholic beverages and guided walking tours (shared basis). Other optional tours (horseback riding, electric bike, 4WD tours) are available at extra cost and can be booked directly at the lodge.

Comuna do Ibitipoca defies description and has been a well guarded secret of the global jetset who seek meaning, connection and transformation in their travels. Created by one of the wealthiest families in Brazil starting in the early 1980s, the private reserve now totals 13,000 acres. Comuna do Ibitipoca is equal parts luxury lodge, sustainability initiative, art gallery, conservation project, wellness retreat, rewilding initiative, wildlife sanctuary, adventure center, rural regeneration project, organic farm, historic preservation site and model community.

The highlands of Minas Gerais are made up of endless rolling hills, some covered with thick Atlantic rainforest where parrots fly free, and others smothered by lush green pastures – punctuated by brilliant white quartz deposits thrust from underground. Hundreds of cool streams cascade over cliffs to disappear through caves, emerge as tranquil pools begging to be swam in, then meander out through verdant valleys populated by smiling farmers.

The centerpiece of a visitors experience here is staying at the Fazenda do Engenho, a rural farmhouse built in 1715 that was meticulously restored in 2006 to retain its history and charm while incorporating modern luxuries. With just 8 guest rooms, magic emanates from this place.

Comuna do Ibitipoca Meals: Breakfast

Days 8 & 9


Spend two days exploring this stunning landscape.

Set off on foot, atop mangalara horses, via a modern fleet of electric assisted mountain bikes, stand up paddleboards, or jeeps and encounter something magical around every turn. This paradise includes a sculpture garden of 30 foot tall steel figures by Californian artist Karen Cusolito, originally displayed at the Burning Man festival and many remote vista points where thoughtful surprises await.

Discover thundering waterfalls and exotic swimming holes ringed by crystalline quartz beaches. Explore a fully staffed rehabilitation center for the northern Muriqui monkey, the most critically endangered primate species on earth. Encounter small mountain communities and farms populated by jovial and welcoming locals growing organic produce, distilling cachaca, and creating incredible handicrafts. Your days will be filled with unforgettable activities and surprises at every turn.

Comuna do Ibitipoca Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 10

Ibitipoca to Iguacu

This morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to Zona Da Mata Airpoirt for your flight to Iguaçu, with a stop over in Sao Paulo.

Upon arrival, you will be met for your private transfer to Belmond Das Cataratas Hotel, the only hotel within Brazil’s Iguaçu National Park. Enjoy two nights in a Deluxe Falls View Room, including breakfast daily.

From its source located here in Brazil, the Iguaçu River grows into a winding course of more than 300 miles before emptying into the Paraná River and culminating in the spectacular Iguaçu Falls, a 1.5-mile-wide spectacle with more than 200 drops. The largest drop is dauntingly known locally as the “Devil’s Throat,” where the water plummets more than 2,230 feet, exploding onto the rocks below in a haze of fine mist.

This evening, enjoy sunset with champagne and finger foods at the Belmond Tower, which will be reserved for your exclusive use. This is the highest point in the national park, and you will be spellbound as the sun sets over majestic falls.

Belmond Das Cataratas Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 11


This morning after breakfast, you will be met by your private guide and driver for your full-day tour of the Argentina side of the Falls, including lunch. You will need to complete border formalities en route.

The Iguazú Falls are an extraordinary sight. It is said that Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed: ‘Poor Niagara!’ when she saw the broad, tranquil river tumbling into the immense chasm of the Devil’s Throat, surrounded by the emerald colors of the subtropical rainforest below, where butterflies dance and birds flit and dive.

The Argentine side of Iguazú brings you in direct contact with the immense power of this UNESCO World Heritage site. With well-constructed metal and wooden walkways, you can walk through the rainforest, across the rushing Rio Iguazú, and stand in awe at viewpoints right on the edge of the precipice. You will take the eco-train, which was designed exclusively for this park and allows you to get up close to the verdant scenery as it has neither windows or doors. Disembark to visit the Upper Circuit, overlooking the cascade from above, and the Lower Circuit on the bottom end of the falls with a sweeping view across the expanse of cataracts. Along the way, you will also find a few other waterfalls in the midst of the rich green tropical forest.

Following your tour you will be returned to the hotel.

Belmond Das Cataratas Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 12

Depart Brazil

Early this morning, before the park opens to the public, meet your private guide for a walking tour on the Brazilian Side of the Iguazu falls. Follow the half-mile path and admire the falls from different viewpoints. At the end of the catwalk you will encounter and feel the magnitude of Iguazu’s largest cataract, Devil’s Tower (262ft high and 1.75mi wide), next to you, beneath your feet, and in the surrounding landscape. Be prepared to get wet!

Following your visit, return to your hotel for breakfast and checkout. After, you will be met by for your private transfer to the Foz do Iguacu Airport. On the way, stop for a 10-minute shared panoramic helicopter ride over the Iguazu Falls. Take in aerial views of both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides, including Devil’s Throat, San Martin Island and San Martin Waterfall. Your pilot will circle around the falls a few times to allow each passenger to shoot photos from every possible angle.

You will the continue onto the airport where you will check in for your international flights home.

N/A Meals: Breakfast