500  YEARS  OF  DISCOVERY

Escorted Tour Packages

  
- Adventure and Ecology
- Brazil High Adventure
- Brazil's Secret Treasures
- Hidden Brazil
- South of Brazil
- The Brazilian Wetlands

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ACTIVITIES

HOTELS

RESERVATIONS

Imagine what it was like for the first European explorers who sailed to Brazil's paradisiacal shores! They encountered a land of unspoiled beaches, virgin rainforests and unparalleled beauty, which we will discover for ourselves. The grandeur of Brazil's colonial legacy has also survived on the cobblestone streets of centuries-old towns. We'll travel from the first Portuguese landfall near Porto Seguro to the Baroque colonial towns in the mining regions and the historic ports, and relive the story of Brazil's independence as well. We'll see works of art by the most significant Brazilian artists and walk the same streets found in the novels of Jorge Amado. Highlights of this tour include Rio de Janeiro, Ouro Preto, Congonhas, Belo Horizonte, Ilheus, Porto Seguro, Caravelas, Vit󲩡, and Vila Velha.

 Short itinerary

 

Day 1 -
Rio de Janeiro - Hiking excursion
Day 2 -
Rio de Janeiro to Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais
Day 3 -
Ouro Preto - Tour
Day 4 -
Ouro Preto to Teófilo Otoni
Day 5 -
Teófilo Otoni to Ilheus
Day 6 -
Ilheus - Biological Reserve tour
Day 7 - Ilheus to Porto Seguro
Day 8 -
Porto Seguro - Day at leisure
Day 9 -
Porto Seguro to Caravelas - Park visit
Day 10 -
Caravelas excursion
Day 11 -
Caravelas to Vitória, Espirito Santo
Day 12 -
Vitória - City tour - Schooner ride - Day at leisure
Day 13 -
Vitória to Rio de Janeiro
Day 14 -
Rio de Janeiro - Beaches and Sugarloaf - Farewell dinner
Day 15 -
Rio - Departure 

 Detailed itinerary

 Day 1
 - Rio de Janeiro - Hiking excursion
We will arrive early in Rio de Janeiro. You'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel on the famous Copacabana Beach in Rio. After a brief orientation, check in and relax. In the afternoon, we will have our first introduction to Brazil's spectacular natural beauty. We'll go hiking to Pedra da Gavea (Gavea Rocks). Set atop a coastal mountain at 842 m (2760 feet) above sea level, this impressive rock formation resembles a carved figure, a Sphinx-like giant face. Here, an inscription was discovered resembling Phoenician script. The rocks are surrounded by lush vegetation. We'll take an excursion to the Tijuca Forest, a tropical forest area of natural growth covering over 40 square miles; it is the majestic remnant of the rainforest that once surrounded Rio. We'll see waterfalls, a colonial chapel, lagoons, caves and gardens in Tijuca. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.


 Day 2  - Rio de Janeiro to Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais
Today, we'll drive from Rio de Janeiro to Ouro Preto. Ouro Preto (which means black gold) is located in the state of Minas Gerais. Gold was discovered in the area, and Ouro Preto got its start in the 1690s as a mining town. Ouro Preto is a baroque-style town with cobblestone streets, typical of some of the small towns that can be found amid the cool, mountainous wilderness of Minas Gerais. When many of these settlements were founded, Baroque was the prevailing style of architecture and towns like Ouro Preto still reflects this intricate character. The town was also the epicenter of the early independence movement led by martyr Tiradentes in the 1790s. In modern times, the Mercosur agreement was signed here. Our drive today encompasses a full 500 km (310 miles). Along the way we'll see the unforgettable scenery of mountains and fields. Overnight in Ouro Preto.


 Day 3  - Ouro Preto - Tour
After some delicious pãn de queijo (cheese bread, a superb good local specialty), we will drive to the historic cities of Congonhas, Tiradentes and Mariana, where we can board horse-drawn carriages to tour the historic cities. Here, the colonial churches are laden with gold. In Congonhas, we can observe the paintings and sculptures by the famous Aleijadinho (the little lame one). In this region, the cities' colonial jewels are protected as UNESCO Heritage Sites. Overnight in Ouro Preto.


 Day 4  - Teófilo Otoni
From Ouro Preto, we'll make the 7-hour drive northwest to Teófilo Otoni for a total travel distance of 441 km (272 miles). This small city is better known as the "precious stone capital of the world." Overnight in Teófilo Otoni.


 Day 5  - Teófilo Otoni to Ilheus
This morning we leave in the direction the city of Ilheus, located on the coast in the state of Bahia. Here we'll start the Discovery Coast tour along the beautiful coastline the first Portuguese sailors spotted when they discovered Brazil in 1500. During the journey, we'll begin to see the extensive cocoa plantations common to this area of Bahia. After the decline of sugar plantations, cacao became the ouro branco (white gold) of Brazil. Overnight in Ilheus.


 Day 6  - Ilheus - Biological Reserve tour
This morning, an early visit to the Mico Leão de Una biological reserve is planned. The reserve protects the so-called lion monkey in its natural habitat of coastal forest. Armadillos, capybara, agouti and deer are often spotted in the reserve. We return to Ilheus, where we'll have the rest of the day to tour the city. Surrounded by the Atlantic forest habitat, Ilheus sits on a small hill overlooking the prettiest beach in the state of Bahia. In downtown Ilheus you will find buildings rich in history as well as sites which were narrated in the romances from Jorge Amado, arguably the most famous Brazilian writer. You'll find that countless bars, restaurants and other enterprises here take their names from characters in Amado novels. Amado's books have been extensively translated and filmed; to deepen your enjoyment of the area, some prior familiarization or brushing up is recommended). The city's oldest church, the Igreja Matriz de São Jorge, dates to 1556; the modern gothic cathedral is also worth a look. Later we can take a stroll along the beach promenade, the Avenida Atlantica. Overnight in Ilheus.


 Day 7  - Ilheus to Porto Seguro
This morning, after an early breakfast, we leave Ilheus towards to the electric city of Porto Seguro (320 km or 198 miles) partly via the historic beaches, and partially via highways. Along the way, we will pass by Santa Cruz Cabrália, a small village near where Cabral is said to have first anchored in the year 1500. The first mass in Brazil was celebrated just south of here at the Coroa Vermelha (Red Crown) Beach. The Tapajos Indian tribe still maintains its way of life and Indian vendors gladly sell handicrafts to visitors. Overnight in Porto Seguro.


 Day 8  - Porto Seguro - Day at leisure
We'll have a full day in Porto Seguro to get a real taste of Brazilian culture. The nightlife here is really special! Porto Seguro was founded in 1526, and a number of edifices survive from that time in the old town, the Cidade Alta. Buildings here are limited to two stories in height, so the city has expanded laterally rather than vertically. In spite of that, Porto Seguro is a modern city. Overnight in Porto Seguro.


 Day 9  - Porto Seguro to Caravelas - Park visit
We leave Porto Seguro towards Caravelas, via Monte Páscoal National Park. Monte Páscoal, or Mount Easter, was the first site seen by the Portuguese on April 22, 1500. A number of ecosystems converge in the park, from Atlantic Forest to swamps and marshes, providing for a diversity of species such as several species of monkeys. A great number of bird species inhabit the area as well. We'll climb Monte Páscoal and take a forest hike. The interesting colonial town of Caravelas was founded in 1503, when the Portuguese returned to Brazil after their initial discovery. Caravelas, which is not a tourist destination, but a pleasant place to stay, is now a fishing village of about 20,000 inhabitants. Overnight in Caravelas.


 Day 10  - Caravelas excursion
Full day in Caravelas to visit the Marinho dos Abrolhos Marine Reserve, one of the best places in Brazil to see sea life. The Abrolhos reserve, visited by Charles Darwin in 1832 on the voyage of the HMS Beagle, protects beautiful coral reefs. The humpback whales come here from July to November, seeking shallower waters to give birth to their offspring. The crystal-clear waters of the reserve extend to a five-island archipelago offshore. We'll have the chance to take an optional day trip on a launch to see different areas of the reserve. Overnight in Caravelas.


 Day 11  - Caravelas to Vitória, Espirito Santo
Today we'll leave sleepy Caravelas to the historic city of Vitória, where we will spend two nights. Vitória, founded in 1551, is actually an island located on the coast of the state of Espirito Santo. Its jagged coastline and steep hills resemble Rio somewhat. The urban element and prolific bridges mesh interestingly with the scenic channel and uneven land formations. We'll try local specialties like the seafood pie, hear rhythmic congo music and browse the handicraft markets. Marlin fishing is a popular pursuit in the coastal waters. Overnight in Vitória.


 Day 12  - Vitória - City tour - Schooner ride - Day at leisure
A full day to enjoy in Vitória, a significant port city in Brazil. In the morning, we'll have a guided city tour, seeing the Palacio de Anchieta, a Brazilian landmark built by Jesuits in the 1650s. We'll see the tomb of Padre Anchieta, who was one of the founders of the city and also a staunch defender of the rights of Brazilian Indians. After lunch we will take an unforgettable escuna ride (schooner), from the port of Tubarao (which means shark) and Vila Velha. Overnight in Vitória.


 Day 13  -  Vitória to Rio de Janeiro
This morning we leave Vitória and drive back to Rio de Janeiro where we will overnight. Stay in to rest or take in some of Rio's fabulous nightlife.


 Day 14  - Rio de Janeiro - Beaches and Sugarloaf - Farewell dinner
Full day in Rio de Janeiro visiting the incomparable beaches as well as the Sugar Loaf Mountain, which we can ascend up to in a cable car. Once there, we'll have a superb view of the city and its beaches. The Sugar Loaf was first spotted on January 1, 1502 by Portuguese navigator André Monçalves, who was mapping the coast of Brazil. Guanabara Bay was mistaken for a river, and the association of the date of the siting and "river" led to the name Rio de Janeiro, or January River. In the evening we'll enjoy a special farewell dinner in one of the characteristic Brazilian steak houses at the beach. Overnight in Rio.


 Day 15  - Rio - Departure
You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight. This will conclude our special discovery tour, and we hope you'll be back to discover more of this beautiful country.

The ecobrazil family wishes you a great expedition!
 
  Tour package includes 
 

- Hotel accommodations
- Local ground transportation
- City tours in all cities
- Selected activities & admission fees
- Daily breakfast
- Bilingual guide services

 NOTE  Prices, as listed in our rates pages, are subject to availability and may vary by time of year. All prices are based on double accommodations and subject to change without notice. This is a preset departure bus tour and prices are based on groups of 20 passengers or more. Package does not include international airfares, airport taxes, optional tours, tips or items of a personal nature.


Aquatic Sports

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Canoeing

Cave Exploration

Fishing

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