São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

Explore these magnificent mega-cities whilst enjoying some of Brazil’s legendary beaches, delicious local dishes and spectacular landscapes.

Our 11-day itinerary to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is a fabulous introduction to the myriad of historical highlights of the country whilst staying at some of Brazil’s most ‘classy’ properties. Explore the cultural richness of São Paulo, São Luiz do Paraitinga and Paraty, and end your trip immersed in the lively spirit of Rio de Janeiro.

Day 1 Arrival in São Paulo

Upon your arrival at the airport, you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel, where you will be spending your first two nights. Tucked between Bela Cintra and Haddock Lobo streets, the city’s luxury hub, you will never be far from the buzz of the city. A wonderful blend of a contemporary aesthetic with rich textures and classic details, Hotel de São Paulo is perfectly situated in Jardins, the city’s most beautiful and sophisticated neighbourhood.

Stay: Fasano Sao Paulo

Day 2 Tour of São Paulo

Embark on a half day tour of São Paulo with your private guide. Start off the tour exploring the major historical highlights of the city, including the colonial-style Pátio do Colégio church and the architectural monument of São Paulo cathedral. Delight in the astounding panoramic view of the city from the roof terrace of Edifício Martinelli, the first skyscraper in Latin America. For cultural and art enthusiasts, do not miss out on excellent Brazilian artwork in Museu de Arte de São Paulo and Museu Afro Brasil.

An exquisite blend of European, Indian and African ingredients, do try traditional São Paulo classics like virado à paulista. Made with fried bananas, eggs, pork chops, and tutu de feijão – a lovely mix of cooked beans, cassava and pasta, and served on a bed of steaming rice., It is a Paulistan (residents of São Paulo) favourite.

Stay: Fasano Sao Paulo

Day 3 - 5 São Luiz do Paraitinga

Head east of São Paulo towards the historic town of São Luiz do Paraitinga. Boasting more than 450 Portuguese colonial buildings declared as National Heritage Sites, its historical centre is packed with exceptional colonial architecture. Away from the city find rolling hills, rivers, forests and your home for the next few days.

You will spend the next three nights at Fazenda Catuçaba, a luxurious hotel situated inis a vast coffee farm nestled in a coastal mountain range, bordering a UNESCO nature reserve. Tranquillity is key here – you will not find televisions, mobile reception or internet access in your traditional cottages and villas. Instead at your disposal are plenty of activities such as guided hikes, rafting, birdwatching, canopying and of course experiencing the many historical colonial towns.

Stay: Fazenda Catucaba

Day 6 - 7 Paraty

Explore beautiful colonial Paraty, renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a 2-hour private walking tour around this fascinating coastal town. Go back in history and trace the developments of Paraty through its gold, coffee and sugar booms as you wander along the cobbled streets lined with white-washed buildings and churches clad in bougainvillea. Take in the galleries and boutiques or perhaps head in to the hills for a hike along the historic Gold Trail or a horse ride through the forests. A boat trip amongst the 365 islands is not to be missed. If you still have some energy, visit a historic distillery to sample some cachaça, the Brazilian sugarcane alcohol used to mix caipirinhas.

Spend two nights in the most serene part of Paraty’s historical downtown at Casa Turquesa – Maison D´Hôtes. A restored 18th-century mansion overlooking the docks, each room is made out of wood and stone and surrounded by a lush orchid garden.

Stay: Casa Turquesa

Day 8 - 10 Rio de Janeiro

Your final destination, the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro, where you will spend a full day on a tour around Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountains. Atop the scenic Corcovado Mountain stands the magnificent Statue of Christ the Redeemer. Located in Tijuca National Park, you’ll be met by capuchin moneys and toucans in the thriving Atlantic rainforest. Take a cable car up to the peak of Sugar Loaf and admire a bird’s eye view of Rio, known as Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City).

Spend a day at leisure relaxing on one of Rio’s beaches. The golden beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema are a part of Rio’s backyard for the cariocas (Rio’s residents) – perfect for fun in the sun and sand. Sail through Guanabara Bay, or partake in rock climbing and a visit to the Tijuca rainforest against the cinematic backdrop of Rio’s picturesque landscape.

Pamper yourself on the last three nights at Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro. Located on Avenida Vieira Souto in gorgeous Ipanema, hit the rooftop pool for incredible views of Ipanema Beach and the surrounding coastal mountains. A trip to Rio will be incomplete without visiting a live samba club in the neighbourhood of Lapa.

Stay: Hotel Fasano

Day 11 Departure

You will be privately transferred to the airport for your return flight.


Duration Description Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in São Paulo Fasano Sao Paulo
Day 2 Tour of São Paulo Fasano Sao Paulo
Day 3 - 5 São Luiz do Paraitinga Fazenda Catucaba
Day 6 - 7 Paraty Casa Turquesa
Day 8 - 10 Rio de Janeiro Hotel Fasano
Day 11 Departure



  • Personalised itinerary to Brazil
  • Travel Consultancy Service
  • 24 hour emergency contact
  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary

Not Included

  • International and domestic airfares
  • Visa fees and/or visa authorization
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Entrance Fees on the Monuments
  • Other expenses not mentioned on the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for all Lightfoot Travel holidays)


1 to 2 - São Paulo 3 to 5 - São Luiz do Paraitinga 6 to 7 - Paraty 8 to 10 - Rio de Janeiro