Chameleon Americas Brazil Brazils North East and Rio

Rio & North-East Brazil | Salvador, Olinda & Fernando de Noronha

11 days

Explore the highlights of Rio de Janeiro for three nights, then travel north to Salvador de Bahia for two nights. Enjoy three nights by beautiful beaches on Fernando de Noronha and a final night in colonial Olinda.

The Chameleon team have arranged many holidays to Brazil over the years and have prepared the following itinerary based on our personal recommendation and experience.

  • Spend three nights in Rio de Janeiro - the Cidade Maravilhosa
  • Take a cable car up Sugar Loaf
  • Explore Rio's bohemian Santa Teresa district
  • Enjoy commanding views over the city from the statue of Christ the Redeemer
  • Walk the colourful streets of Salvador's colonial Pelourinho
  • Sample the Afro-Brazilian food and culture
  • Relax on beautiful beaches on the remote island of Fernando de Noronha
  • Visit the colonial city of Olinda

This holiday can be tailor-made to your requirements and can easily be extended, in fact we would recommend doing so.

Rio and North East itinerary map
Day 1. Fly to Rio de Janeiro
Fly from the UK to Rio de Janeiro, there are a choice of daytime or overnight flights. On arrival in Rio you will be met at the airport and taken by private vehicle with English speaking guide to your hotel where you spend the first three nights. Stay three nights at the charming Casa Amarelo in Santa Teresa district of Rio. If you prefer to stay on Copacabana or Ipanema beaches this is possible, just let us know.
Day 2. Sugar Loaf and Corcovado
Today you'll have a shared, guided tour of Rio taking some of the main highlights. The first part of the tour visits the city centre, then proceeds through the old neighborhood of Urca towards the base of Sugar Loaf, where you take a cable-car for the exhilarating, steep, 215m climb up Morro da Urca. From this intermediate stage another cable-car soars high above the rugged, vegetated terrain to the 395 meter high summit, from where you can enjoy wonderful panoramic views and spectacular sunsets over Rio de Janeiro. Next, you travel to Cosme Velho district and take a cog and pinion railway up through steep forest to the peak of Corcovado. On the summit, at an altitude of 710 metres, you'll see the statue of Christ the Redeemer - one of the world's best-known and most-visited monuments. From here there are breathtaking views down to the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, the Botanical Gardens, the Jockey Club and Rodrigo Freitas Lagoon. After the descent through the forest, the tour stops at the Maracana stadium, and the nearby Sambodromo, designed by Oscar Niemeyer and the stage for Brazil's largest and most flamboyant carnival celebrations. The tour includes lunch at a typical steak house.
Day 3. At leisure in Rio
You have the day free to explore Rio on your own. You might like to visit the beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema.
Day 4. To Salvador de Bahia
You'll be collected at your hotel and driven to Rio airport for your flight northwards to the city of Salvador.

Brazil's first capital sits on a peninsula overlooking the bay that gave the state its name: Bahia. For Brazilians, Bahia is synonymous both with a more relaxed pace of life and a special intensity in all that Brazil represents: colour, music and religion. This is a consequence of Salvador being Brazil's strongest link with Africa, having been the principal port of entry for slaves. Eighty percent of the inhabitants are of Afro-Brazilian origin and are very proud of their roots. The best capoeira (a form of martial art) is found in Salvador, whilst Candombla, the Afro-Brazilian religious cult, permeates the city.

In Salvador, you'll be met and taken to your hotel in the Pelourinho - the historic centre of Salvador which is now a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, with a dazzling array of seventeenth and eighteenth century architecture. Clinging to the steep hillsides, Pelourinho's picturesque colonial houses and churches make this enchanting part of the city.
Day 5. Salvador
You will be taken on a walking tour of the Pelourinho. Sart by visiting the old medical school, currently being restored by deprived youngsters as part of a social project to prepare skilled future masions, jioners, locksmiths, restorers, painters, etc. Next you'll see the unusual and colourful work made in papier mache by local artist Roberto Barr. The old and almost forgotten Ordem Terceia do Carmo will be the last item of your cultural visit. Finally,to relax while appreciating one of the most beautiful views of Salvador, enjoy a caipirinha at a local bar. The you have the remainder of the day at leisure. We can arrange a number of extra excursions, including cooking or capoeira classes.
Day 6. To Fernando de Noronha
You'll be driven to Salvador airport for your flights (usually via Recife) to Fernando de Noronha. You'll be met and taken by shared transfer to your hotel where you spend the next three nights.

345km off the coast of Northeast Brazil, Fernando de Noronha consists of 21 islands with a total area of 26 square kilometres, all that remains of a volcanic eruption which took place over 10 million years ago. Secluded beaches and a variety of tropical flora and fauna reward visitors. Many species of exotic coloured fish and thousands of sea turtles inhabit the corals, making scuba-diving and snorkelling excellent. The top of Morro do Pico gives lovely views. As environmental protection is a top priority, no high-rise hotels have been built on the island and visitors are obliged to pay an environmental protection tax.

Days 7 and 8. At leisure on Fernando de Noronha
You have two full days at leisure to relax and explore the island.
Day 9. To Olinda
Fly back to Recife and you'll be taken to Olinda a short drive away where you spend your final night in Brazil.

Olinda is one of Brazil's largest and best preserved colonial towns. With its steep cobbled streets and colourful houses sitting majestically on the hillside overlooking Recife and the emerald sea, Olinda is one of Brazil's most charming and picturesque places. White colonial churches and monasteries stand elegantly against a backdrop of coconut groves, lush hanging gardens and the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 10. Depart Brazil
You'll have most of the day at leisure in Olinda, then in the evening will be driven to Recife airport for your overnight flights home.
Day 11. Arrive UK

11 days

Tailor-made holidays are just that, tailored to your own individual needs, wants and wishes. As such, each trip is different and each price is different. For pricing, we ask that you discuss your individual requirements with our travel specialists so that they may provide you with a ballpark figure, or a detailed itinerary and quotation. So, for a price, please just get in touch.

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