Hit the Highlights with our Carnival Classic
12-day holidays to Brazil's carnival cities for £1895pp
If you think about holidays to Brazil, what do you think of? Perhaps it's miles of white sands and crystal-clear waters? The famous Christ statue with his arms stretching out over Rio de Janeiro down below? Wandering the cobbled streets of pretty colonial towns? Or maybe it's the green, tropical forest with its cool rivers and waterfalls that captures your imagination?
Well, if you're looking for anything like the above, then this is the perfect holiday in Brazil for you: combining two of Brazil's most famous carnival cities in Rio and Olinda with a trip to the amazing Iguazu Falls and some beach time in beautiful Porto de Galinhas.
- Day One: Arrival in Rio
- Day Two: Corcovado and Tijuca National Park
- Day Three: Sugarloaf Mountain and City Tour
- Day Four: Free day to explore Rio
- Day Five: Iguazu Falls tour (Brazil side)
- Day Six: Iguazu Falls tour (Argentina side)
- Day Seven: Fly to Olinda
- Day Eight: Tour of Recife and Olinda
- Days Nine to Eleven: Beach time in Porto de Galinhas
- Day Twelve: Overnight flight back to the UK
Day One – Begin your holidays to Brazil
You’ll land in Rio on an evening flight as you begin your holidays to Brazil! We’ll be there to meet you at the airport and drive you to your hotel in the stylish Copacabana area of the city - once you’re settled in, you might want to take a walk along the waterfront or take in an evening meal on your first night here in Rio. Of course, since this is your first night on holiday in Brazil, Copacabana is a great place for a night out if you’re feeling up to it.
Day Two - Tour of Corcovado and Tijuca National Park
You'll have some free time this morning to recover from your journey, and then this afternoon we will pick you up from your hotel and drive through Rio to the base of Mt. Corcovado. Here we will board a funicular railway which carries us up through the dense Tijuca Atlantic Rainforest to the top of the mountain and the base of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that has become one of the most famous symbols of Rio, and indeed Brazil. The views over the city from the top are absolutely amazing and it's the perfect way to get your bearings and pick out where to visit next. (Breakfast included)
Day Three - Sugarloaf Mountain Tour
You’ll have a free morning to explore Copacabana, and then after lunch we’ll pick you up from your hotel and take you for a tour through downtown Rio. You will pass the famous Sambadrome, which is the heart of Rio’s annual Carnaval celebrations, and the Metropolitan Cathedral, which stands like an immense 80-metre-high pyramid. We will also enjoy some of the republican and old colonial buildings such as the Municipal Theater, the National Library and the National Museum of Fine Arts. We will finish this section of the tour in the neighbourhood of Urca, at the foot of the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, where we will board a cable-car heading first to Urca Hill. Here, at a vantage point of 215 meters, we’ll have beautiful views of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niterói Bridge, and Corcovado Mountain. A second cable car takes us the all the way to the top of Sugarloaf, from where you can enjoy the amazing view of Rio spread before you, with its hills, beaches, favelas and bays. (B)
Day Four - Free day in Rio
A holiday isn't a holiday if you don't have a chance to relax so today is all yours - you could head to some of Rio's other neighbourhoods, such as Ipanema or the bohemian Leblon area. You could take a trip to the Maracana or head up into the hills to the arty Santa Teresa area, or even just relax in Copacabana and go for a stroll along the beach... (B)
Day Five – Iguazu Falls (Brazil side)
We'll pick you up after breakfast this morning and take you back to the airport to catch a short flight inland to the town of Foz do Iguacu, on the border with Argentina. Upon arrival we’ll be waiting to take you for your first visit to the incredible Iguazu Falls. Higher than Niagara Falls, and wider than Victoria Falls, Iguazu will take your breath away with its spectacular beauty and awesome power! We will visit this afternoon from the Brazilian side, where a long walkway along the canyon top allows you to appreciate the true scale of Iguazu from above. You’ll get some fantastic photos, as you work your way along to a viewpoint giving you a panoramic vista of the famous Devil’s Throat, where 14 separate falls combine in a single 350-foot drop, sending spray over 100 feet into the air for a dramatic permanent rainbow. After the tour we’ll take you to your hotel for the next couple of days, in the laidback town of Foz. (B)
- For an added taste of adventure on your holidays to Brazil, how about taking a white-water rafting trip on the Rio Iguazu?
- Or if wildlife is your thing, why not arrange a short trek in the Iguazu National Park?
Day Six - Iguazu Falls (Argentina side)
Today we will cross the border into Argentina for your second visit to Iguazu Falls, this time from the Argentinian side, where a system of walkways project right out into the middle of the waterfall system, allowing you to get close and really feel the power of the waterfalls all around you. Most people feel that this experience trumps even the amazing views of yesterday... (B)
Day Seven – Colonial Olinda
It’s now time for something completely different, as we take you back to the airport for a flight up to the north of Brazil to Recife, where we’ll pick you up for the short transfer to the beautiful colonial city of Olinda. Renowned as the home of the biggest free carnival in Brazil, Olinda has one of the best preserved historical centres in the country and is rightfully a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander round the lovely cobbled streets, admire the brightly painted houses and get a feel for the real Brazil! (B)
Day Eight - Tour of Olinda and Recife
Today we will pick you up and take you through Olinda before heading to nearby Recife, where we will see everything from Miami-style beach fronts to quaint colonial squares. The state of Pernambuco is well-known for its arts and crafts which we’ll see today as we explore the historic centre, including a trip to an old prison which has been transformed into a craft market! There’s also the chance to visit the home and gallery of one of Brazil’s most famous sculptors, Fransisco Brennand, which is set in a stunning jungle location. Of course we’ll also visit a carnival museum where you can try on some costumes and see the giant puppets used in the Olinda parade. (B)
Days Nine to Eleven - On to the beach!
This morning we’ll pick you up for a short drive down the coast to one of Brazil’s best beaches, Porto de Galinhas. These three days are about total relaxation, so it’s up to you what you do with them. The white sand beaches are a great place to sunbathe and watch the local vendors walk up and down selling all sorts of things from sunglasses to cocktails! The sea here is around 27 degrees Celsius so it’s really nice to take a raft out to the natural reef to snorkel and feed the tropical fish, or even try some water sports like surfing or stand-up paddle-boarding! (B)
Day Twelve - Last Day of your holidays to Brazil
Most flights to Europe from Recife depart quite late in the evening, so you’ll have some free time today to catch some sun and go for a swim. We’ll pick you up in the evening and take you back to the airport in plenty of time to catch your flight home. (B)
Options for our Holidays to Brazil
Amazon - 3 days from £1025pp
Get back to nature by adding on some time in the Amazon jungle. Just a flight away from Rio, Recife, Sao Paulo, and most major cities in Brazil are a range of fantastic jungle lodges where you can immerse yourself in the full rainforest experience (in comfort!) with our experienced local guides.
Salvador - 3 days from £375pp
If colonial Olinda has whetted your appetite for Brazil's culture and history, why not spend a couple of days in Salvador. With one of Brazil's best-preserved colonial centres, and at the heart of the country's Afro-Brazilian traditions, Salvador is a fascinating place to spend a couple of days exploring..
The Pantanal - 3 days from £875pp
This great way to extend your holidays to Brazil begins with a flight into the heart of Brazil and the state of Mato Grosso. We will land at the state capital of Cuiaba and from here will travel up to the edge of the giant Pantanal wetlands. Covering an area larger than England, the Pantanal is the best place in Brazil for wildlife-spotting (even better than the Amazon!) and on our trip downriver to the Rio Mutum lodge, we will hope to see some caiman, monkeys, capybaras and the hundreds of different species of birds. You’ll spend the next two days observing the area's wildlife by boat and on horseback, and you’ll see such as giant otters, iguanas, deer, anteaters and maybe even the elusive jaguars...
Similar Holidays to South America
Brazil Nutshell12 day holiday in Brazil from £2650pp
If you'd like to experience the best Brazil has to offer, but holiday time is limited, our Brazil Nutshell itinerary gives you all the highlights in just two weeks. From Copacabana Beach to Iguazu & the Pantanal: it's Brazil... in a nutshell!
Our standard price for our "Carnival Classic" holidays to Brazil is £1895 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees, plus breakfast every day.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2020.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.
Our Holidays are rated 5 out of 5 on the Feefo Independent Review Site