Discover Brazil Itinerary - A 24 day cultural adventure offering travelers a comprehensive and enchanting experience. Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Manaus, The Amazon Rainforest, Salvador da Bahia, Trancoso, Inhotim Art Park, Minas Gerais Colonial Towns - Ouro Preto, Congonhas, Tiradentes, Reserva do Ibitipoca, and Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro
Arriving at Rio's International Airport you will be greeted by your private guide, and transferred by private car to the Fasano Rio Hotel. You will quickly find yourself admiring the stunning views of Ipanema Beach from your suite, as we have you pre-registered and checked-in before you arrive at the hotel. As a Virtuoso member we are able to offer complimentary early check-in and check-out, $100 spa credit, Wi-Fi, and one category room upgrade.
In the Afternoon explore Santa Teresa with your private guide.
Perched high up on top of the Santa Teresa Hill, this neighborhood is famous for its twisting cobbled stone streets, artist's ateliers, stately mansions and spectacular views.
In the 17th century, the neighborhood of Santa Teresa grew up around the Santa Teresa Convent located on the Desterro Hill. By the beginning of the 20th century, Rio's upper class moved in, claimed it as their own and built many beautiful colonial-style mansions along the winding cobbled streets. Although many of the wealthy inhabitants have mostly moved out, their stately residences remain standing. Today Santa Teresa has been brought back to life by the arrival of artists and musicians restoring the aging mansions and bringing life and energy back into the area.
Visit to the Chácara do Céu Museum in Santa Teresa
Chácara do Céu Museum was the residence of Raymundo Castro Maya (1894-1968), a successful entrepreneur who had a vast collection of art. Among the artists of the collection are: Matisse, Modigliani, Degas, Seurat, Miró, Guignard, Di Cavalcanti, Iberê. Camargo, Antonio Bandeira, Portinari (considered the greatest public collection of this Brazilian artist), Taunay, and Debret. Besides the impressive collection, the museum and gardens have a spectacular view of Guanabara Bay.
Meet your guide in the lobby of the Fasano Hotel. Travel by car to the beautiful southern beach area of Grumari about an hour and a half from Ipanema.
Beyond Grumari, the road winds through mangrove swamps and tropical forest. It's an apt setting for the plantation-turned-museum where Brazil's famous landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx is memorialized. Marx, the mind behind Rio's swirling mosaic beachfront walkways and the Atêrro do Flamengo, was said to have "painted with plants," and was the first designer to use Brazilian flora in his projects. More than 3,500 species—including some discovered by and named for Marx as well as many on the endangered list—flourish at this 100-acre estate. He grouped his plants not only according to their soil and light needs but also according to their shape and texture. Marx also liked to mix the modern with the traditional—a recurring theme throughout the property. The results are both whimsical and elegant. In 1985 he gave the farm to the Brazilian government, though he remained here until his death in 1994. His house is now a cultural center full of his belongings, including collections of folk art. The grounds also contain his large ultramodern studio (he was a painter, too) and a small, restored colonial chapel dedicated to St. Anthony.
Lunch at Bira Restaurante, one of the 101 best places to eat in the world according to Newsweek Magazine. The restaurant specializes in Brazil's famous moqueca de peixe, a delicious seafood stew made with coconut milk, shrimp, peppers, dendê oil, tomatoes, onions, limes and cilantro served in a family style cauldron.
After lunch a visit to the Casa do Pontal Museum.
The Casa do Pontal Museum, in Rio de Janeiro, is considered the largest and most complete museum of folk art in the country. Its collection - the result of forty years of research and travel throughout the country by French designer Jacques Van de Beuque - is composed of about 8 thousand pieces of 200 Brazilian artists and covers the production made from the twentieth century. The permanent exhibition of the museum brings together, in 1,500 m² of galleries, works representative of the diverse rural and urban cultures of Brazil. Thematically, the collection encompasses everyday activities - festive, imaginary and religious.
Return to the hotel. Dinner suggestion: Oro Restaurante
A Grand overview of the city as seen in a historical, chronological and fun way. Main Attractions: Historical downtown, New downtown, Municipal Market, Higienópolis, Pacaembú, Av. Paulista,Jardim America, Jardim Europa, Jardins, Vila Madalena, Ibirapuera Park, and Morumbi. Your expert guide Flavia also includes studio visits and meetings with some of Sao Paulo’s famous graffiti artists in the Beco do Batman (Batman's Alley) in Vila Madalena.
Flight to Manaus and transfer to Hotel Villa Amazonia
Manaus and The Amazon Rainforest
Arriving in Manaus you will be met at the airport by your private guide and transferred to the Hotel Villa Amazonia located adjacent to the Teatro Amazonas Opera House.
The Solimões River and Rio Negro flow side-by-side over distance of six kilometres. The reason they never mix is because of the stark differences in temperature, speed and water density between the two. The Solimões is faster, cooler and denser, its waters flowing up to 6 km/h at 22 degrees Celsius, and the warmer, slower waters of the Rio Negro flow at a more leisurely 2 km/h, and maintain a temperature of around 28 degrees Celsius. After several kilometres, the two rivers eventually converge thanks to a blast of fast-moving whitewater, and become part of the Lower Amazon River.
Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge
Tucked away among the islands of the Ananvilhanas Archipelago on the Rio Negro, this luxury resort is unparalleled in its sophistication, combining beautiful cabins with superior guiding and expectional food. Guests are greeted upon arrival with a fresh fruit juice in the elegant, thatched-roofed living area. The cocktail bar, comfortable sofas, and pool table make this area a hub for mingling. All rooms are elegantly furnished with comfortable beds, air-conditioning, mini-refrigerators stocked with drinks, and porches strung with hammocks. The fantastic buffet offers regional delicacies as well as fresh fish and tasty salads. Guests are given personalized itineraries upon arrival, all of which are undertaken in speedboats that jet off from the hotel's charming pier and are led by expert bilingual guides. Classic experiences include visiting pink dolphins and hiking through the forest to visiting local villages. Exploring the surrounding igarapés ( tributary rivers) is a highlight. Feel like playing hooky? Sit back by the lovely infinity pool, surrounded by trees and with views over the Rio Negro.
Return to Manaus by Seaplane over the Anavilhanas Archipelago
Flight to Salvador da Bahia
Salvador da Bahia
From the Amazon, fly on to the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture, Salvador da Bahia on the North East coast of Brazil. Bahian culture is infused with African traditions—religion, music, cuisine, art, dance and festivals where they all merge creating a great kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, rhythms and spiritual beauty. Your five star boutique hotel is located in the heart of the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Pelourinho.
This locale is considered the most important district for colonial architecture in the Americas and has been officially designated a National Treasure. In the evening attend a dance performance by the Balé Folclórico da Bahia featuring a seamless presentation of the multiple African traditions that underpin Bahian culture. On the following day visit Our Lady of Rosarios dos Pretos Church, which was built by slaves in the 18th century. If your visit coincides with the Sunday Mass service, hundreds of devotees fill up the church and the street outside. The ecstatic drumming and singing, is a fusion of Catholic liturgy and the music of Bahía’s Candomblé religion.
Hotel Fera Palace, Salvador da Bahia - Day 11 - 14, 3 nights
Of all the exquisite colonial towns scattered around Minas Gerais, Ouro Preto is the jewel in the crown. When mining companies struck it rich during Brazil’s 18th century gold rush, they paved the hilly streets of Ouro Preto with cobblestones and built stately red-tiled roof mansions and terraced gardens. Portuguese intelligentsia moved in, and artists and sculptors started a Baroque revival. All roads lead to Tiradentes Square where you can find important public and private buildings such as the old Parliament House (1784), today the Museum of the Inconfidencia, and the Palace of Governors, which has become the School of Mines and Metallurgy. The Sao Francisco de Assis Church, considered a masterpiece of Brazilian architecture, is also considered a masterpiece of collaboration between the genius of Aleijadinho, who carved the pulpit and altars from soapstone, and the painter Manoel da Costa Athayde, who painted the “Glorification of the Virgin”, on wood in the roof of the main nave.
Solar do Rosario Hotel, Ouro Preto, Day 17 - 19
Antônio Francisco Lisboa, known as Aleijadinho, stands for little cripple in Portuguese. he was the son of Manuel Francisco da Costa Lisboa, a Portuguese man and his African slave, Isabel. His father, a carpenter, had immigrated to Brazil where his skills were so in demand that he appears to have been elevated to the position of architect. When Antônio was young his father married and he was raised in his father's home along with his half siblings. It was there he is presumed to have learned the fundamentals of sculpture, architecture and the combination of the two. n 1777 he began to show signs of a debilitating disease, probably leprosy or possibly scleroderma, and he received the name "o Aleijadinho", "The Little Cripple." Although disfigured and disabled, popular belief holds that he continued sculpting with a chisel and hammer tied to his fingerless hands. His crowning achievement was the Twelve Prophets at the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos at Congonhas. A wealthy businessman, Feliciano Mendes, had built the church to fulfill a vow made while he was desperately ill. Between 1800 and 1805 Aleijadinho sculpted the twelve soapstone figures by having his assistants strap his hammer and chisels to what remained of his hands, which did not at this point include fingers. Since he no longer had feet to stand on he had pads strapped to his knees up which he would climb the ladders needed to get him off the ground. The Twelve Prophets are arranged around the courtyard and stairway in front of the church. (See photo above)
Day 19 - 21
Solar da Ponte - Tiradentes
Perhaps nowhere else in Minas does the colonial charm and picturesque natural setting blend so harmoniously as in Tiradentes. Quaint historic houses, fringed by exuberant wildflowers, stand out against a backdrop of pretty blue mountains threaded with hiking trails and waterfalls.
Head into a wonderland of tropical forests, waterfalls, and quartzite formations on hikes and horseback rides on the reserve, and venture off the property to explore traditional villages and the spectacular Ibitipoca State Park. Take a dip in a natural waterfall pool near the lodge and enjoy an amuse-bouche or a freshly made caipirinha without leaving the clear, copper-tinted waters. Cap off an exhilarating day of hiking with a massage on the river’s edge and a private dinner under the stars. Savor excellent cuisine made with ingredients produced on site, and pop into the kitchen to learn regional recipes and cooking techniques from the chef.