From iconic cities to natural wonders of the world, Brazil has countless attractions. This itinerary spans the entire length of this stunningly diverse country, from the mega-cities of the south to the deserts and spectacular beaches of the northeast. Given the extensive distances involved, one may not be able to cover everything in a week, however even choosing a few highlights will give you a deeper insight into the natural and historic wonders of the amazing country. Brazil’s world-famous music, food, and art fill the streets in the outdoor markets as well as the festivals that take place throughout the year. So, celebrate your New Year Eve party in Brazil and welcome the new year with enlightened spirits.
Day 1: Arrival in Foz do Iguaçu
Day 2: A Day in Curitiba
Day 3: A Tour of Morretes
Day 4: Exploring Sao Paulo
Day 5: Visiting Paraty
Day 6: Relish Some Pristine Moments at Ilha Grande
Day 7: Heading to Rio de Janeiro
Day 8: Departure
Foz do Iguaçu, Curitiba, Morretes, Sao Paulo, Paraty, Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro
Begin your Brazilian journey with an arrival in the lively, multicultural city of Foz do Iguaçu. Bordering Argentina in the Brazilian state of Paraná, the city is most famous for the network of gigantic waterfalls that cascade along its border. During your stay in Foz do Iguaçu, visit Iguazu Falls National Park by footbridge and boat and also witness the falls from the Argentinean side. Do not miss Parque Das Aves where you can get up in close proximity with beautiful birds such as the toucan, cassowary, macaw, and pink flamingo.
From Foz do Iguaçu, this itinerary takes you east to the larger city of Curitiba. Long a significant economic center of Brazil, the city boasts restored historic architecture such as the Old City Hall and the colonial buildings of Largo da Ordem. On Sundays, a vivacious artisan market with more than 1,000 vendors can be discovered on the old cobblestone streets of Largo da Ordem and Praca Garibaldi. You can also have a view of the art exhibits at the Museu Oscar Niemeyer, which is an incredibly modern and unique building shaped like an eye. To relish some natural beauty, make your way to the Botanical Garden of Curitiba where you can wander through the palace-like greenhouses, the labyrinthine French gardens and the amazing Botanical Museum.
At some point during your stay in Curitiba, do take a short trip to Morretes, which is a quaint historic city just an hour away. Whether you opt the train or bus to Morretes, you’ll have the chance to relish spectacular views of the rainforest as you traverse down in elevation. In the city of Morretes, you can also witness restored churches that were constructed as far back as the 1700s, stroll the cobblestone path along the Nhundiaquara river and dine on barreado, which is the traditional beef stew of Paraná that Morretes is notably famous for.
The next stop on our itinerary is a short visit to the country’s largest metropolis, Sao Paulo. One of the most populated cities in the world and also the economic center of Brazil, Sao Paolo possesses grand museums, towering skyscrapers, and bustling urban markets. The city’s historical and eminent buildings are situated in Zona Central, including an impressive Neo-Gothic style cathedral. Head to Avenida Paulista to witness the exhibits at Museu Arte Sao Paulo, relish a relaxing stroll through Trianon Park and shop at Shopping Pátio Paulista.
Paraty is situated along the Bay of Ilha Grande and is surrounded by a backdrop of lush rainforests and mountains. The Trindade district has stunning white-sand beaches for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. To enjoy a secluded beach, you can also rent a kayak and paddle to one of the tropical islands located within the bay. Having a rich historic center and art scene, the Paraty’s mainland has much to offer tourists as well. In Centro Historico, you can visit many of the city’s old colonial mansions that have been transformed to restaurants, hotels, shops and art galleries. Later, go on a walking tour of the “Gold Path,” which is a historic cobblestone pathway that turns through dense vegetation in the Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina.
From Paraty, you’ll make your way to the pristine island of Ilha Grande which can only be described as a tropical paradise. In spite of its incomparable natural beauty, the vibrant history of this island has fortuitously forestalled over-development. The untouched beaches and rainforest in Ilha Grande have now become protected parkland, which has further preserved the island’s beauty. Stay in one of the lavish beachside resorts and absorb the local culture in Vila do Abraão.
Today, you’ll be visiting one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Rio de Janeiro. Home to the world popular Carnival festival, the city of Rio dances merrily to a Samba beat all year long. You’ll find the New Year Eve party celebrated at the outdoor music jams and samba clubs in Lapa, which is known as the center of Rio’s nightlife. By afternoon, you’ll be heading to Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach for some sun and surf or enjoy a view of Brazil’s historic relics and fine art at Museu Histórico Nacional. Look up from almost any street in Rio and you’ll be able to see Cristo Redentor, which is the open-armed statue of Jesus Christ sitting atop Corcovado Mountain. Reach this peak and relish an unforgettable view of the entire city by taking a narrow-gauge train.
Catch an early morning flight back home to complete your Brazil journey. Hope you had an amazing New Year Eve party!
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