Along the Emerald Coast
Brazil's natural beauty and energy is a seductive combination. This ten-day Brazilian break offers just that, with a slice of Rio followed by a luxury beach break on a private peninsula. Explore Rio's famed landmarks and carioca (Rio residents) lifestyle and then unwind on soft white sand overlooking sparkling emerald water.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Explore Rio's landmarks and local favelas with a private guide and dive into the samba music scene
- Soak up the sun in a romantic beach hideaway
- Enjoy dinner on a private island
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When To Travel
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Day 1: Brazil Bound
Your flight to Rio de Janeiro departs from the UK at lunchtime. Flying time is roughly 11 and a half hours so make sure you've consulted our handpicked reading lists and downloaded your exclusive Brazilian playlist made for in-flight inspiration.
Touch down into Rio in the evening and you will be met for your private chauffeur transfer into the heart of the city. The journey takes around half an hour to your ocean-facing hotel. You'll arrive in the late-evening, so there may be time for a late dinner at your hotel. If you fancy a taste of local nightlife, head to a bar for your first caipirinha of the holiday (we have some great recommendations in our detailed and regularly updated Rio Dossier).
Day 2: Rio Roundup
After breakfast, your private guide and chauffeur will show you around Brazil's most iconic city. Start at the fruit and vegetable market - a dizzying explosion of coconuts, herbs, spices and tropical fruits. Look out for cachaça (the distilled sugar cane used to make a caipirinha), or if you're more health conscious, make sure to order an açai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry juice from one of the juice stalls.
Then visit one of the most famous of Brazil's landmarks, Christ the Redeemer, atop the 2,300ft Corcovado mountain. Soak up the views of the sprawling city stretching from the forest-clad mountains all the way to the sea. Nearby, wander the bohemian neighbourhood of Santa Teresa with its resident artists and musicians. Feeling peckish? The restaurants here are full of local charm - serving traditional Brazilian staples such as feijoadas (a delicious bean and pork stew).
After lunch, your guide will take you through the Lapa district to visit the colourful Selarón stairs, covered in more than 2,000 brightly coloured tiles. End the day catching a cable car to the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain for superb views of the city at sunset. Then return to your hotel in plenty of time to relax and get ready for dinner.
- Artist's studios
- Museum of Tomorrow
- Museum of Modern Art
- Visiting samba schools
Day 3: The Favelas of Rio
This morning you will see a different side of the city, exploring a neighbourhood favela (shantytown), one of the many found in the surrounding hills. Your guide today is a favela resident who can give you unparalleled insight into the community. Walk through the maze of alleys for a taste of the local life, past painted walls and houses built from exposed brick, cement and steel. You'll learn about schemes aimed at social development including a reforestation project. From these heights, you may also find that the views here are some of the most rewarding.
Head back to your hotel for lunch and you have the afternoon to relax or explore at your own pace.
This evening your guide will take you to experience Brazil's lively nightlife scene. You'll return to the Lapa district which comes alive at night with people spilling out on the streets from bars and nightclubs playing live jazz or reggae. Tonight, we've reserved front row seats at a buzzing samba bar where you can listen to local bands play and watch Cariocas (Rio residents) dance late into the night.
Day 4: Fly to Florianopolis
After your night out in Rio, you may be in need of a leisurely morning. After lunch, your guide will meet you for your transfer to the airport for your onward one hour 30-minute flight to Florianopolis.
On arrival, you will be met by a private chauffeur who will whisk you away through tropical scenery to your beachside hideaway. You'll arrive in time for supper, when you can taste your first fresh fish dish - a speciality in this region.
Days 5-8: Paradise Found
Revel in four whole days of complete R&R on a private peninsula pretty much made for barefoot luxury. Drink in the dazzling views of lush rainforest and soft white sand that melts into shimmering water. Even better, you don't have to move an inch from the picturesque beach, as seafood snacks and ice-cold drinks are delivered to your sun lounger.
While absolute indolence is tempting, there is plenty to entertain those with itchy feet. The more active can go paddleboarding, snorkelling and canoeing on the emerald sea or take a boat out for an island-hopping adventure with a picnic. Divers can enjoy the colourful marine life and surfers can ride waves further out to sea with a private instructor.
Every day is a culinary adventure. Foodies will no doubt be delighted to taste the famous Santa Catarina oysters straight from the sea - best enjoyed on a traditional fishing boat with salt, a dash of citrus and a glass of sparkling wine.
One evening, we have included dinner on a private island where you can dine while listening to the sound of the waves. And when you thought it couldn't get more romantic than this, we can also arrange champagne picnics with sublime ocean views and private wine tastings.
- Cooking classes
- Helicopter tour
Day 9: Rio Once More
It's time to say goodbye to the beach and in the early morning, you will be transferred back to Florianopolis airport in time for your domestic flight to Rio. Arrive in the late morning and your private chauffeur will take you to your hotel in the leafy Santa Teresa neighbourhood. As before, we will recommend restaurants and bars, and can make bookings in advance.
Day 10: Home
Spend your final day exploring your surroundings at your own pace, perhaps doing a spot of shopping or enjoying a long lunch to celebrate your holiday.
You'll no doubt be relaxed and revived for your afternoon private transfer to Rio International Airport and then your overnight flight to the UK. Remember to charge your iPad for the journey ahead.
Day 11: Arrive in the UK
Your flight into London will arrive at around lunchtime.
Ollie is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.