Enchanting Isles and Beyond 11 Days

Priced from: $2711

Start your adventure with a discovery of Rio de Janeiro, the city that will capture your heart in a matter of seconds. From the view atop the Corcovado Mountain with the Christ Redeemer Statue to the stretches of golden sand beaches and trendy beach neighborhoods, the “Marvelous City” provides a marvelous backdrop to one amazing journey.
“Heaven on earth” is what travelers say about Ilha Grande, the pristine tropical island off Brazil’s southeastern coast, offering stunning vistas, hidden bays, and hills covered by the Atlantic Forest. You will not find any cars or banks on Ilha Grande, but with a hundred and two magnificent white, black, and golden sand beaches to choose from, what you will find is much better! Schooner trips, kayaking, amazing trail hiking, charming waterfalls, snorkeling and surfing is what this island is all about.
Your journey then continues to the historical village of Paraty, which is highlighted by the perfect blend of nature and architecture with its classical 18th century Portuguese colonial buildings and cobbled streets combined with nearby forests, waterfalls, and islands in emerald-green seas. Enjoy Paratyʼs fascinating culture and nature by day, and indulge in romantic and refined culinary experiences by night.

Charming Destinations does not have fixed departure dates, and any of our suggested private luxury trips to Brazil can be easily customized for you. Please call our Destination Specialist at +1 (415) 871-0531 or e-mail us at info@charmingdestinations.com. If you are outside of the US, please dial our office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at +55 (21) 99595-6057.

Day 1: Rio de Janeiro

Your journey begins when you arrive in Rio de Janeiro, the “Marvelous City” known for its  stunningly beautiful beaches and culturally rich heritage.  At the airport you will be met by your private driver who will bring you to the Copacabana Palace Hotel, an exquisite Orient-Express landmark hotel on the famous Copacabana Beach. After check in, take the rest of the day to repose in absolute luxury. Enjoy exquisite spa treatments at the hotel, or take a pleasant walk and explore the famous Copacabana Beach. Spotting a movie star in the vicinity would not be surprising!

As the sun starts to set and you begin to make your dinner plans for the evening, we recommend a  dinner at one of Rio de Janeiro’s most chic and talked-about steakhouses. You will find the finest cuts of beef served up one after another. Our favorite is picanha, a lean, tender rump steak that will melt in your mouth.

Note: Sample some of the finest restaurants on your trip with Charming Destinations. We will provide you with a complete list of fine dining suggestions as part of your pre-departure package. Please advise on your preferences, and we will be happy to make reservations for you at the top dining establishments of Brazil.

Day 2: Rio de Janeiro

After breakfast, meet your private guide and start your day at one of the most beautiful beach viewpoints of Rio. You’ll feel yourself unwind in the presence of so much natural beauty. Visit the famous Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, then travel to the heights of Corcovado Mountain, located inside the world’s largest urban Atlantic rainforest, the Tijuca National Park. Here you will enjoy the spectacular views of Rio sprawled out below as you stand next to the one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the Christ the Redeemer statue that towers 120 feet above. For an even higher vantage point, take an unforgettable helicopter ride over the Corcovado Mountain, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches (optional). Upon landing, you will get a taste of old-world Brazil when you continue on to the historical part of the city.  Pause for a moment to taste traditional Brazilian pastries and coffee at the elegant Confeitaria Colombo Restaurant, a part of Rio since 1894. As you stroll and explore this part of the city, you will come across buildings dating back to 16th and 17th century, when Brazil was a Portuguese colony, and things moved a little slower than they do now. You will see magical and dazzling landmarks like the Cathedral at Lapa Arches and the Opera House. Complete your tour in the picturesque Santa Teresa neighborhood, home to many of Rio’s artists and writers.

For your night out we recommend you head out to the exclusive neighborhood of Leblon, where you will dine at one of the most sophisticated Portuguese restaurants in Rio. Soft candlelight at each table combined with a fine bottle of wine will make this a night to remember…

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3: Rio de Janeiro

What better way to begin your day than with a relaxing stroll with your private guide who will take you to discover the stunning grounds of Botanical garden (optional tour), one of the most beautiful and best preserved green areas in the city and home to more than 6,000 different species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees, including 900 varieties of palm trees. You will literally have to stop and smell the flowers!

Then, be sure to stop for a delicious lunch at Cafe Celeiro in Leblon, considered to be one of the best organic cafes in town and often frequented by Brazilian celebrities. Your guide will then take you to visit Sugarloaf Mountain for panoramic views of Guanabara Bay and Rio’s famous sandy beaches (optional tour). While here, you breath deeply, relax, and take in a stunning sunset… Reflect on all you have seen and imagine all of the possibilities the rest of your trip holds in store.

After freshening up at your hotel, treat yourself to a culinary delight by sampling the Amazonia menu at the award-winning restaurant led by French chef Roland Villard.  Chef Villard spent years traveling all around Brazil to perfect his recipes, which will amaze and satisfy the most refined and cultured taste.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Rio de Janeiro/Ilha Grande

This morning you will depart Rio for the pristine tropical island of Ilha Grande. Your driver will transfer you to the coastal city of Angra dos Reis, where you will board a private boat, and 30 minutes later you will arrive. Ilha Grande (“Big Island”) is a true unspoiled paradise, one of the top Brazilian ecotourism getaways, with no cars, no banks, and very small-scale development. Pirates once used Ilha Grande as a hideout – and it remains secluded from the outside world. The countless protected bays surrounded by a thick tropical jungle provided the perfect refuge where pirates could hide their boats, which we now use to hide from the sun and relax. With only 4 rooms, the Atlantica Jungle Lodge is your perfect hideaway that guarantees peace and serenity. You will enjoy marvelous panoramic sea views from Lodge’s deck, and see amazing local fauna up close (Capuchin monkeys are known to visit the Lodge daily!). Settle in your stylish and charming room, refresh and unwind, then savor some of the amazing homemade dishes made out of freshest fish and seafood by the Lodge’s chef Claudia.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Ilha Grande

After an absolutely delicious tropical breakfast buffet that features natural juices, exotic fruits, cold cuts, cereals, cakes and of course freshly made famous Brazilian coffee, head up for a private hiking tour. The island features over 77 square miles (200 square kilometers) of mountains, jungle, historic ruins and over 100 beaches of the clearest green hued water. Many of these beaches are completely remote and secluded, making them a true nature lover’s dream. Visit Lopes Mendes beach with its huge stretch of gorgeous white sand, few tourists, and great waves. Then you continue to Dois Rios beach – untouched and strikingly beautiful, with thick green vegetation, a freshwater lagoon and crystal clear waters. Depending on the season, you might spot turtles or playful dolphins!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Ilha Grande

There are so many wonderful activities to choose from on Ilha Grande. There are 360 Islands in the Ilha Grande Bay, and the locals like to say, “There is an island for each day of the year!” We suggest you take a private schooner trip and set sail on a full day of discovery. All of these perfect islands have something dazzling to offer, with their hidden bays, calm waters and remote beaches.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Ilha Grande

Spend your day at leisure, enjoying the lush grounds of Atlantica Jungle Lodge and sipping caipirinhas on your panoramic deck. Or choose from any of the numerous optional activities – jungle trekking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, surfing, snorkeling (we recommend Macacos Island, Blue Lagoon and Green Lagoon as the best snorkeling spots), canoeing and fishing.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8: Ilha Grande/Paraty

Today you will say farewell to the lovely Ilha Grande, and continue your adventure to another real treasure of coastal Brazil  – the colonial village of Paraty. Magical and pastoral, Paraty is a favorite of Brazilians from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. There is an incredible amount of things to do – relax, enjoy refined restaurants, bathe at innumerable and beautiful jungle waterfalls on hot days, take a walk along Jabaquara beach, set on jeep jungle treks, visit colonial churches, and participate in numerous Art and Literature festivals. Paraty is famous for all of these things.

A private transfer will bring you to the exclusive and luxurious Casa Turquesa Hotel in Paraty. This boutique retreat recreates the original architecture of an 18th century colonial house.  Casa Turquesa is a real gem, a house that is most likely featured on dozens of postcards. With only nine rooms, it provides real comfort, sophistication and plenty of charm. Turquoise, green, yellow, pink… You are free to choose the color of your Deluxe Suite! All of them have en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, LCD TV, a safe, a mini-bar, and a phone. Extremely comfortable beds feature mosquito netting made by craftsmen from the south of the Brazilian state of Bahia. Each room has marvelous views of the bay of Paraty, the tiled roofs of the historic center of the town, the mountains, and the dome of Santa Rita Church. A rustic internal patio, swimming pool with whirlpool, a bar, wine cellar, gazebo and garden, and a reading room with a fireplace for colder days are all there for your enjoyment. Unwind, refresh, and spend the rest of the day at leisure, walking down the cobbled streets of Paraty. Find your way to one of the amazing local restaurants, which offer exotic combinations of seafood and tropical ingredients.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9: Paraty

Enchanting and tranquil are the two words that best describe Paraty. The streets of the town are calm and one may unhurriedly observe every detail of the architecture. In the evening, the flight of the swallows around the dome of the Church of St. Rita is a sight to behold. Another can’t miss sight requires an early morning visit to the Pier, where you will see the fishermen arrive with their fresh fish. Spend the morning and early afternoon discovering the treatures of Paraty with your private guide. Then, come back to relax in your perfect deluxe suite in Casa Turquesa before you head for an amazing culinary experience at Yara’s Culinary Academy.

Internationally acclaimed chef Yara Castro Roberts will take you on a trip inside Brazil’s culture and history – through its food. Chef Yara graduated from Boston University School of Culinary Arts, and holds degrees from the Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre. She is the author of  “The Brazilian Table,” an incredible cookbook that was a finalist at the International Book Awards competition. Ms. Roberts was host of the PBS Emmy-nominated Cook’s Tour television series before she moved to Paraty, Brazil, where she operates the Culinary Academy. Featured in UltraTravel and the New York Time, she is currently the subject of Delicious Brasil, a new series about Brazilian cooking and lifestyles in production for American and Brazilian television.

Your evening will start at 8PM sharp with a glass of perfectly made Brazilian caipirinha (and of course, you will be shown a unique way to make it!). Next, you will be invited to gather around the stove in Yara’s ultra-modern kitchen to join or just watch the preparation of the dishes representing the best traditions of regional and historical cuisines, such as Minas Gerais, Bahia, Amazon, and Cerrado. Yara’s cooking demonstration includes fascinating stories about cultural traditions of every region and origin of respective food ingredients. Then you will sit at a beautifully decorated table and enjoy the exquisite four-course dinner, accompanied with excellent Argentinian or Chilean wines. You’ll end the meal savoring a perfectly aged cachaça… You will definitely bring home new cooking skills, great memories and new recipes to share with friends and family!

Meals Included: Breakfast; Dinner at Yara’s Culinary Academy

Day 10: Paraty

After an absolutely delicious breakfast you will head out on a private jeep tour of the Atlantic forest. Your first stop could be the Gold Trail. Gold was discovered in the Brazilian interior in 1696, and the old Indian trails became the main route for gold transported from the mines to the port of Paraty, and onward by ships to Rio de Janeiro and then Portugal. Made out of huge rocks that were manually carried by the African slaves during the 17th and 18th centuries, this road was over 700 miles long. In the 19th century the road was repurposed for the transport of coffee from plantations to the port of Paraty.

After hiking the natural unspoiled trail through the rainforest your next stop would be Toboga waterfall. Once there, enjoy the natural water slide, and then find the Tarza waterfall and take a refreshing swim. Afterwards, your tour continues to the distillery of cachaça Engenho D’Ouro, where you will taste various kinds of this traditional Brazilian spirit made of sugar cane (try the cinnamon and cloves one, it’s a yummy!)

Ready for lunch? Why not stop by Villa Verde (“The Green Villa”), where the specialty is the freshest homemade pasta dishes!

You will cross a rope bridge to enter this bungalow style open-air restaurant property. The place is absolutely wonderful; the grounds offer a perfect view, filled with flora and fauna. After lunch, relax and take a plunge in one of the natural pools on Villa Verde’s premises. Then continue to discover the Jequitiba tree, one of the biggest trees in the Atlantic Forest. Afterwards, you can visit Pedra Branca’s waterfall, and finally arrive at Bromeliad Exhibition Park where 300 bromeliads & orchids are on display.

On your last evening in Paraty, dine at one of the most romantic restaurants. Perhaps you could order Ponta Negra, a fabulous fish dish served in a coconut sauce with shrimp? Or be adventurous, and try a squid dolled up with a banana-and-cheese stuffing and served in coconut milk. Whatever dish you choose here will be a dish you’ll remember for a lifetime…

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11: Paraty/Rio de Janeiro

Enjoy every last moment at the delightful Casa Turquesa this morning. Depart beautiful Paraty for Rio de Janeiro this afternoon, where later that evening you board your international flight home and say tchau to Brazil and hello to the unforgettable memories you have made.

Meals Included: Breakfast

If you’re looking to add even more adventure to any of our incredible packages, consider adding one of our Trip Extensions.

  • Five Star Deluxe
  • Sofitel Copacabana Hotel
  • Hotel Antantica Jungle Lodge
  • Casa Turquesa
  • $2711
  • INQUIRE

Land Only. Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy. Seasonal surcharges may apply.

Packages Include:

  • Luxury accommodations in Hotels and Lodges mentioned in the program based on your selected Category (Five Star)
  • All breakfasts; Dinner and selected drinks (wine, beer, water) at Yara’s Culinary Academy in Paraty
  • Private car transfers mentioned in the itinerary in air-conditioned vehicle; boat transfer to/from Ilha Grande
  • Private sightseeing as indicated in day-by-day itinerary
  • English speaking guide during sightseeing and land transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, Paraty Churches, cachacaria (distillery) in Paraty
  • Airport check-in assistance by your private host or by your English speaking driver, handling of 2 luggage pieces per person
  • Pre-departure travel package, which includes detailed day-by-day itinerary, fine dining recommendations, suggested packing list, suggested reading list, information on recommended vaccination, contact information for hotels and lodges on your itinerary, and Charming Destinations’ 24-hour emergency contact line in Brazil

Additional fees and/or charges not included in the package:

International flights, domestic flights, airport taxes, excess luggage charges, travel or medical insurance, passport and Brazilian visa fees, vaccinations cost, meals not mentioned in the itinerary, drinks , tips for drivers or guides, laundry, personal expenses.

Note: Guided tour and entrance fees to Botanical Garden and Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiroare optional and not included into pricing.

Options:

Please inquire about:

  • Panoramic Helicopter Rides over the Corcovado, Sugar Loaf, Rio beaches and the Lagoon
  • Visiting Samba Schools rehearsals (pre-Carnival only)
  • Rio’s Favelas (slums) tour
  • Tickets to Soccer games

Useful Information: Ilha Grande does not have banks, and credit cards are not accepted by all establishments on the island. It’s recommended to bring some cash when travelling to Ilha Grande. Please avoid using high heels on cobbled streets of Paraty. Sneakers or flat sandals would do the best.

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