Brazil's Paradise Found Hike, Surf & Dive - Rio de Janeiro and Fernando de Noronha

Rio de Janeiro

This active itinerary begins in a city that many people consider the most beautiful in the world, Rio de Janeiro. While your international flight descends over the jagged peaks of the Serra dos Órgãos Mountains your anticipation and excitement heightens catching your first glimpse of Rio's iconic skyline. Nestled on an alluvial strip of land between Guanabara Bay and the Tijuca Forest and extending down to the sea, the dramatic setting has long been the inspiration for artists, musicians, poets and writers. Beyond its iconic sites – the glinting white sands of Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, the Art Deco statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio has much to wow visitors, including lush botanical gardens and historic neighborhoods whose architecture chronicles Brazil’s history.

Serra dos Órgãos Mountains

After clearing customs at Rio's Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport you will be met by your private guide and taken to your 5 star hotel situated on Rio's legendary Ipanema Beach.

Ipanema Beach

While your bags are brought to your room, head to the roof top pool bar and catch a glimpse of the stunning scenery.

Fasano Infinity Pool and Rooftop Bar

Enjoy lunch pool side at the Fasano Hotel and then put on your hiking shoes for an afternoon trek through the Atlantic Rainforest and Corcovado Mountain. The hike begins at Parque Lage tucked at the foot of Corcovado Mountain in the Jardim Botanico neighborhood. Once owned by industrialist Enrique Lage, the mansion was converted into a public park and walking trails were installed through the subtropical forests of Tijuca National Park that surround the property. Along the trail you may see toucans, monkeys, coati, and deer as well as delightful waterfalls.

Parque Lage - School of Visual Arts and Cafe

After a vigorous hike through the Tijuca Forest and ascending 2,330 feet you will be rewarded with breathtaking views a top of Corcovado Mountain.

View from Christ the Redeemer Statue
Christ the Redeemer Statue on top of Corcovado Mountain

The next day wake up early and meet your surf instructor on Ipanema Beach.

Sunrise Surfing on Ipanema Beach
Surfing Ipanema

Fasano Hotel Rio

Clockwise from top left: Fasano Hotel Rio - Suite - Breakfast on private veranda - rooftop pool

After your wonderful Brazilian breakfast, head up to Pedra Bonita in São Conrado where you will take your first tandem hang gliding flight. Get ready and go!

After an exhilarating flight and smooth landing on São Conrado beach, take a break while snacking on one of Brazil's most delectable street foods--acarajé, a wonderful deep fried black-eyed pea fritter filled with a savory paste of palm oil and shrimp. Enjoy with a freshly cut coconut water.

Acarajé and refreshing coconut water on the beach

Late this afternoon take the cable car ride up to Sugarloaf Mountain. The 360-degree view you'll enjoy along the ride and from the top of Morro da Urca and Sugarloaf Mountain encompass the Rio beaches—Flamengo, Botafogo, Leme, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon—as well as the Corcovado, Guanabara Bay, downtown Rio, the Santos Dumont Airport, the Rio-Niterói Bridge and Dedo de Deus (God's Finger), a peak that rises from Brazil's coastal range (Serra do Mar) in Teresópolis, about 50 miles from Rio. Enjoy the spectacular sunset.

View from Sugarloaf Mountain

Tonight dine overlooking Rio from Aprazível Restaurant. Situated in the verdant hills of Rio de Janeiro’s Santa Teresa district, Aprazível Restaurant is nestled within a tropical garden surrounded by exotic rainforest vegetation and with beautiful views overlooking Rio de Janeiro and Guanabara Bay. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more idyllic and romantic restaurant than this: open air tree-houses, gazebos, and wooden tables and chairs are scattered intimately underneath a canopy of leafy trees.

Clockwise Top Left: Arriving at Aprazivel in Santa Teresa, Sipping on a Caipibella (cachaça & passion fruit), view overlooking Rio de Janeiro, and Bananas Santa Teresa with homemade vanilla ice cream

Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha

This morning take a flight to the island paradise of Fernando de Noronha, discovered by Amérigo Vespucci in 1503, this isolated volcanic group of 21 islands lies just south of the Equator, about 200 miles off Brazil’s northeastern coast. It’s breathtakingly beautiful with dramatic rock formations, virgin green and crystal clear ocean waters with rich aquatic fauna. 70% of the archipelago has been declared a National Marine Park with research projects that include studying migratory bird species, marine turtles and the behavior of dolphins.

Map of Fernando de Noronha - location of Pousada Maravilha

Check into the only 5 star property on the island, Pousada Maravilha. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Sueste Bay from anywhere you look, whether from your king-size bed, from the restaurant, from the hammock hanging on your private balcony or while wallowing in the infinity-edge pool. Revel in your around-the-clock postcard-perfect experience exclusive to hotel guests.

Pousada Maravilha - Fernando de Noronha
View from the interior of Pousada Maravilha Bungalow - Champagne on your private deck

The accolades for Fernando de Noronha go on: A surfing hotspot. A honeymoon haven. One of the world’s top spots for observing spinner dolphins. Home to one of the largest sea bird breeding colonies in the South Atlantic. The best diving in Brazil, with underwater visibility of almost 100 feet, water that hovers at 82 degrees F, and coral reefs and nesting sea turtles protected by a national marine park. To maintain the fragile ecosystem, only 460 people are granted access to the island at any one time.

Baia dos Golfinhos, a sanctuary bay for spinner dolphins
Snorkeling and natural pools

Baía do Sueste, Baía do Sancho, Praia do Atalaia are some of the best snorkeling beaches on the island and also known as some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The surf beaches are all on the inshore side of the island, facing back toward the Brazilian mainland. From west to east they are Cacimba do Padre, Praia do Bode, Praia do Boldró, Praia da Conceição, Praia do Meio, and Praia do Cachorro.

Dining al fresco at Pousada Maravilha

After 4 days hiking, diving, boating and exploring, it's time to say goodbye to this island paradise. Surely this active itinerary will leave you exhilarated and inspired to return again and again. As expressed in the Portuguese language, "Até a próxima!" (Until next time!)

Jill Siegel is an award winning Brazil Travel Specialist who has been wowing her clients with her creative approach to travel planning for over 25 years. With her extensive network of key connections throughout Brazil and South America, Jill has been able to create extraordinary custom designed journeys that many of her clients have described as “once in a lifetime.” For the past 8 years, she has been recognized and included on the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler Magazine’s “Top Travel Specialists List.”


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Created By
Jill Siegel

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