Luxury journey Brazil

21 days - from € 11.175 per person

self-drive - Pantanal - history

  • Admire the view of Rio de Janeiro from the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Visit the colorful fish market in colonial Paraty
  • Spend the night a stone's throw away from Iguaçu falls
  • Search for jaguars from your eco lodge in the Pantanal
  • Learn how to dance Capoeira in the Salvador neighbourhoods

Travel itinerary

Day 1: Amsterdam – Rio de Janeiro

Today you will fly from Amsterdam to Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our local staff, who will accompany you to your hotel. You will stay in the historic Santa Teresa district, the oldest part of the city. Most of the beautiful villas in this part of the city date from the end of the nineteenth, beginning of the twentieth century. A number of these villas have been renovated in recent years into small-scale boutique hotels. The main attraction in the Santa Teresa district is the Escadaria Selarón, the colorful staircase with all kinds of tiles made by the Chilean artist Jorge Selaron and of course the Santa Teresa tram. It is a nice and lively neighborhood with nice bars and good restaurants just around the corner.
Overnight stay: Hotel Santa Teresa | bed & breakfast

Hotel Santa Teresa

This luxury boutique hotel is an oasis of tranquility and sophistication in the vibrant metropolis of Rio. From the lush green garden and several rooms of the hotel you have a spectacular view over the city and the famous Guanabara bay. The building in which the hotel is located is originally a historical fazenda, dating back to ancient colonial times. Before Rio developed into the famous metropolis it is today, this farm was surrounded by vast coffee plantations. The Santa Teresa Hotel has a typical "Carioca" atmosphere. Several prominent architects and designers, such as Sergio Rodrigues, Rock Lane, Studio Vitty, Zemog and Oficina de Agosto, were involved in the development of the hotel. The interior has a tropical design, inspired by the typical Brazilian atmosphere from the northeast of the country, interspersed with African influences which were brought from the motherland by slaves in colonial times.

Day 2: Rio de Janeiro

This day you will be picked up by a private English-speaking guide and visit the famous Corcovado with its huge statue of Christ the Redeemer, the symbol of this vibrant city. By the statue you have a great view over the city. After this you drive through the city to the Sugarloaf Mountain where you take a cable car up. From here you have a completely different view over the city and you will see the statue of Christ the Redeemer where you just stood. A very impressive experience in this beautiful city! Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Hotel Santa Teresa | bed & breakfast

Day 3: Rio de Janeiro

In the morning you will make a bike tour of approximately 3 hours. You will get acquainted with the southern part of the city, with its famous attractions but also traditional neighborhoods. You will start at the beach of Copacabana, an important meeting place for the Cariocas, as the inhabitants of the city are called. From here you will cycle to the Sugar Loaf Mountain. You will also make a stop at the Praia Vermelha (red beach), a small oasis in the metropolis. From Praia Vermelha you will cycle further to the lively district Botafogo, where you will get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Cariocas when they are not on the beach. Here you will find the colorful favela of Dona Marta, the first pacified favela of the city. The last part of the bike ride takes you to the Lagoa, the city's large lake, which is surrounded by green hills and chic neighborhoods. In the evening you will be taken to the nicest bars of the Santa Teresa district. Here you will mingle with the Cariocas and be pleasantly surprised by the informal culture of the city's nightlife.
Overnight stay: Hotel Santa Teresa | bed & breakfast

Day 4: Rio de Janeiro – Paraty 

After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to Rio de Janeiro airport. Here you can pick up your rental car and once you have it you can drive to Paraty on your own (approx. 250 km / 4.5 hour drive). When you pass Rio de Janeiro, you will drive mainly via the Rodovia Rio-Santos, one of the most beautiful roads of the Brazilian coast. The road runs parallel to the coast, surrounded by Atlantic rainforest. The town of Paraty is situated on the waterfront and has its own characteristic, colonial atmosphere. Paraty was founded in 1667 and has fulfilled important functions in history as a transit port of sugar cane, gold and diamonds to Portugal. Over the past 20 years several (pirate) feature films, series and video clips have also been recorded in Paraty. The center is completely car-free, so you can relax and stroll through the streets. Paraty had its flourishing period in the 17th century when the mined gold and diamonds from the state of Minas Gerais were shipped from Paraty to Europe. However, after the independence of Brazil in 1822 this came to an end, but the beautiful colonial buildings remained intact and since 1966 the car-free center has been on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.
Overnight stay: Pousada Literária de Paraty | bed & breakfast

Pousada Literária de Paraty

Is an elegant pousada located in the colonial center of Paraty. The pousada has a fine atmosphere that reflects the art and culture of Paraty. The name 'Literaria' is a reference to the eponymous 'literary' festival at the beginning of July and to the library of the accommodation. Additionally the accommodation has a beautiful garden and restaurant Quintal Das Letras under the inspiring leadership of chef Claudia Mascarenhas.

Day 5 & 6: Paraty

These days are at leisure. We recommend visiting the fish auction and the fruit and vegetable market. You can also visit the Igreja Santa Rita, a church building that houses a small museum. You can also make a nice ride with your rental car around the city of Paraty to get acquainted with the various beaches in the area. For example, you can drive to Ubatuba, which is often visited by Brazilians or the small fishing village of Picinguaba. When staying in Paraty, you should also make a boat trip along the various paradisiacal islands that can be found here.
Overnight stay: Pousada Literária de Paraty | bed & breakfast

Day 7: Paraty – São Paulo – Foz do Iguaçu 

In the morning you leave Paraty and drive to São Paulo airport. You can choose the fastest route or a longer but beautiful route along the Costa Verde. When you take the fastest route you will drive approx. 260 km / 4.5 hours, when you choose the most beautiful route you should take into account that you drive approx. 330 km / 7.5 hours. During the long route you will drive along beautiful beaches and you will see a lot of the Mata Atlântica rainforest. From the coast you will drive through the mountains to reach the urban area of São Paulo. Despite the many thresholds, lombadas in Portuguese, you will certainly enjoy this route. Upon arrival at São Paulo airport you will drop off your rental car and board your domestic flight to Foz do Iguaçu. Upon arrival in Foz do Iguaçu you will be welcomed by our local staff and brought to your hotel. 
Overnight stay: Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas | bed & breakfast

“The waterfalls are great and the hotel is a big dream. Indescribable, really! To never forget.”

One of our customers travelling with us

Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas

This charming hotel is the only accommodation located in the Brazilian part of the Foz do Iguaçu National Park with a direct view over the waterfalls. Because your hotel is located in the natural park, you also have the possibility to view the waterfalls after closing time when the other visitors are gone. This hotel was opened in 1958 and has been thoroughly renovated several years ago. Since then it has been part of Belmond. The pink hotel has an atmospheric colonial style and is located directly on the walking route to the viewpoint of the waterfalls.

Day 8: Foz do Iguaçu

You can visit the Brazilian side of the waterfalls on your own on this day. Foz do Iguaçu is located on the border of the three-country point Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Here the Iguaçu river plunges in 275 waterfalls into the Paraná river. The lush green national park in which the waterfalls and Foz do Iguaçu are located adds an extra dimension to this mighty spectacle. The park is part of the UNESCO world heritage list. Foz do Iguaçu is best to visit in the morning when the light on the water is at its best. When the sun rises, rainbows appear on all sides. There is a path all the way down to the bottom of the thundering mass of water with several beautiful viewpoints.
Overnight stay: Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas | bed & breakfast

Day 9: Foz do Iguaçu

Today you will visit the Argentine side of the waterfalls under guidance of an English speaking-guide. When you look straight into the "Garganta del Diablo" (Devil's Throat) from above, you will immediately understand how this part got its name. Here nature shows its true nature. It really is a unique experience to be so close to this waterfall. You will have to pay for this with a wet suit, but in the form of the sun nature also provides a dry suit! 
Overnight stay: Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas | bed & breakfast

Day 10: Foz do Iguaçu – Campo Grande

This day you will be taken to the airport of Foz do Iguaçu, from where you will take a domestic flight to Campo Grande. Upon arrival in Campo Grande, you will be welcomed and brought to your hotel, where you will stay one night before continuing to the Pantanal nature reserve.
Overnight stay: Hotel Deville Prime | bed & breakfast

Day 11: Campo Grande – Pantanal

After breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to your accommodation in the Pantanal. Your will stay at a beautiful location, in the middle of the nature reserve of the Pantanal. During your stay, professional English speaking-guides will be ready to take you through this impressive nature reserve with lots of wildlife.
Overnight stay: Refugio Ecologico Caiman | full board

Refúgio Ecológico Caiman

This small-scale lodge is located on a 53,000 hectare ranch near the town of Miranda, in the southern part of the Pantanal. The impressive landscape where the lodge is located is home to beautiful flora and fauna. Refúgio Ecológico Caiman consists of two lodges Cordilheira and Baiazinha Lodge. Both lodges combine the privacy and exclusivity of a property with the comfort and convenience of a hotel. This gives you the chance to experience the Pantanal in a special and new way. During your stay you will get acquainted with the eating habits of the Pantanal. Local ingredients such as freshwater fish, fine meats and fruit from the Cerrado, such as Pequi, soursop and guavira, are often used. Maybe during your stay you will be introduced to a traditional barbecue, with special pieces of meat served on large wooden posts and the Oreada, a special kind of meat that has been dried during cool nights.

Day 12 & 13: Pantanal

These days you will stay in the Pantanal on a full board basis and you can choose from different activities each day, in consultation with the guides. Two activities are during the day and one in the evening. The activities include: photo safari, walking tours, canoe trips, jeep safaris and night safaris. The Pantanal is Brazil's most important nature reserve after the Amazon rainforest. It is a kind of seasonal swamp that is flooded for half the year and falls dry for the other half. During the rainy season, water from the surrounding areas flows into the Pantanal, forming a kind of bowl that slowly but surely fills up during the rainy season. As the water 'gradually' flows out again, the nutrients that make the Pantanal a biologically very rich area are left behind. The rivers are filled with fish and the banks are filled with waterfowl and caimans. Other characteristic animals of the Pantanal are the giant anteater, the giant otter, the anaconda, the capibara and the beautiful hyacinth macaw.
Overnight stay: Refugio Ecologico Caiman | full board

Day 14: Pantanal – Cuiabá – Salvador

On this day you will say goodbye to the Pantanal nature reserve and travel on to Salvador. You will be brought to the airport of Cuiabá by the lodge employee, from where you will take a domestic flight to Salvador. Once you arrive in Salvador, our local staff will be ready to accompany you to your hotel. Salvador is the most African looking city of South America, because most of the slaves were transported to this region to work on the sugar cane plantations. Even more than in other parts of Brazil, here you can taste the sizzling atmosphere of a swinging and vibrant culture. Stroll through the old city center of Pelourinho or visit the city's main attractions, such as the Praça Castro Alves, the place to be during the Bahian Carnival. You will stay in the district of Pelourinho. Just like the city of Lisbon, this city center has two levels that are connected by an elevator. Salvador is also the home of Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music.
Overnight stay: Villa Bahia | bed & breakfast

Day 15: Salvador

In the morning your guide will pick you up at your hotel for a walk through the historic center of Salvador, known as the Pelourinho. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985, this area is an eminent example of colonial history and the symbol of the black movement in Bahia. Here you will find several churches, museums, studios of local artists, shops and restaurants. The main attractions include the home of the famous Brazilian writer Jorge Amado, the cultural group Olodum, known for Michael Jackson's hit 'They don't care about us' and the Church of São Francisco. You will also visit the Elevador Lacerda, an elevator built in 1873 to connect the upper town of Salvador with the lower town. From here you can enjoy a panoramic view over the bay of the All Saints' Day and the Mercado Modelo. In the Mercado Modelo you will find many handicrafts, a nice location to buy souvenirs. 
Overnight stay: Villa Bahia | bed & breakfast

Day 16: Salvador – Morro de São Paulo 

Today you will be picked up at your accommodation and sail (together with other tourists) by speedboat to Morro de São Paulo. On Morro de São Paulo you will stay a few days in an atmospheric stay in a quiet place. The accommodation offers you plenty of comfort.
Overnight stay: Villa dos Orixas | bed & breakfast

Day 17 & 18: Morro de São Paulo

You will stay at Praia do Encanto, 6 km south of the city center of Morro de São Paulo. Here you will find a paradisiacal landscape of jungle and coconut trees with fine sandy beaches and mangroves. Praia do Encanto is also the most pristine beach of Morro de São Paulo. On this island you will also find a nature reserve of approximately 10,000 m2. On the central square you will find many nice restaurants, markets and handicraft exhibitions. Here you can enjoy the beach, the beautiful surroundings and the local culture. 
Overnight stay: Villa dos Orixas | bed & breakfast

Day 19: Morro de São Paulo – Salvador – Rio de Janeiro

Your stay at Morro de São Paulo is coming to an end today. From Morro de São Paulo you will take the boat back to Salvador. Then you will be brought to the airport of Salvador where you will take a domestic flight to Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro you will be brought to your hotel, where you will stay another night before flying back to The Netherlands.
Overnight stay: Hotel Santa Teresa | bed & breakfast

Day 20: Rio de Janeiro – Amsterdam 

Unfortunately, your journey through Brazil comes to an end today. You will be taken to Rio de Janeiro airport where you will board your intercontinental flight to Amsterdam. You will arrive here the next day. 

Dag 21: Amsterdam

You arrive in Amsterdam today.  


From € 11.175 per person

  • On the basis of 2 persons travelling together
  • Depending on the time of booking, flight availability and period of travel


  • domestic flights, economy class
  • 16 overnight stays, meals as mentioned
  • 3 overnight stays in Refugio Ecologico Caiman with full board and all excursions accompanied by professional English-speaking guides
  • 3 days rental car (Cat. GX: Renault Duster 1.6 or similar alternative) incl. basic insurance, pick-up in Rio de Janeiro drop-off in São Paulo
  • all transfers and excursions (with English-speaking guides) as mentioned 
  • our 24/7 backup; locally and in the Netherlands
  • extensive travel document package with small attention

Not included:

  • international flights, if desired we can book these for you
  • early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability, sometimes given by hotel. If you want to be sure that you have this, please enquire about the surcharge
  • (Dutch) public contribution Calamity fund; € 2.50,- per booking
  • SGR contribution of € 5,- per person per booking
  • travel and cancellation insurance

Request travel proposal

Do you want to make this trip too? We can of course arrange the above journey for you, but we are also happy to put together a programme based on your wishes and ideas. Feel free to contact us. Call +31 73 610 62 04, send an e-mail to or request a customized quote below. We will be happy to help you. 

Request travel proposal

Return to luxury holidays in Brazil

More inspiration - Read our blogs