Fly into Rio de Janeiro and spend a couple of days exploring the beaches, nightlife and mountains of this metropolis. Head to World Heritage listed São Luís, capital of the state of Maranhão, exploring its pastel-coloured colonial mansions, Afro-Brazilian culture and museums. From here, travel to Lençóis Maranhenses National Park to explore its sand dunes, lagoons and Rio Preguiças. Travel next to the beach town fo Jericoacoara, where you can laze on beautiful beaches sipping caipirinhas, or go surfing, horse-riding or swimming. Head back to Fortaleza for your departure.

Good to know

  • This tour can be done year-round, but to see Lençóis Maranhenses National Park's lagoons at their best visit between May to September.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Rio de Janeiro, São Luís de Maranhão, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Jericoacoara, Barra Grande, Fortaleza
Activity Activity Beach, Nature & Wildlife, Culture
Physical Level Physical Level Easy
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Explore colourful Rio de Janeiro

Explore colourful Rio de Janeiro

Day 1–3 in Rio de Janeiro

Is there another city on earth that can match Rio's beauty? Mountain peaks, lush forests, beautiful beaches and playful inhabitants make Rio a must-see on any Brazilian itinerary. From the famous beaches of Copacabana to edgy Botofago, Rio is the perfect bookend to a Brazil trip.

Spend several days exploring Brazil’s bustling coastal city — and home to the world’s biggest carnival. Visit the city’s famed beaches and diverse neighbourhoods, as well as the urban rainforest of Tijuca Forest. Ride the rack railway up Corcovado Mountain to see up-close the 30m-high statue of Christ the Redeemer — perhaps one of the most recognisable icons of Brazil. Then drive through Santa Teresa neighborhood to explore the area’s history and beautiful 19th and early 20th century mansions.

Don't miss

Climb Sugarloaf Mountain

Climb Sugarloaf Mountain

Take a relaxed cable car ride up to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for panoramic views of Guanabana Bay, Corcovado Mountain, Santa Cruz Fortress and Rio-Niteroi Bridge.

Visit Rio’s vibrant beaches

Visit Rio’s vibrant beaches

The 4km-long Copacabana beach is one of the city’s most popular, offering a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. For a less touristy experience try some of the lesser-celebrated beaches, including Barra da Tijuca Beach and Joatinga Beach.

Get arty in historic São Luís de Maranhão

Get arty in historic São Luís de Maranhão

Day 4 in São Luís de Maranhão

Known for its Afro-Brazilian vibe, the World Heritage-listed centre of Sao Luis is a great place to stroll around admiring colonial mansions, art galleries and museums. Look out for the Bumba-Meu-Boi do Maranhao festival, which transforms the historic centre with music, folklore and food.

Swim in the lagoons at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

Swim in the lagoons at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

Day 5–6 in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park

A perfect mix of smooth sand dunes, hidden lagoons and ocean views, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is one of Brazil’s most beautiful natural wonders. Make sure to take a dip in one of the many lakes and lagoons.

Don't miss

Take a speedboat trip up the Rio Preguiças

Take a speedboat trip up the Rio Preguiças

Hit the water in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park by taking a speedboat ride up the Rio Preguiças, taking in views of the lighthouse and stopping at remote Caburé for both ocean and river views.

Visit the wind capital of Barra Grande

Visit the wind capital of Barra Grande

Day 7 in Barra Grande

Brazil northeastern coastline is full of beautiful beaches, but Barra Grande is one of the best. Conditions here are perfect for kite-surfing and wind-surfing, so join the professionals on the water for an exhilarating experience.

Go kitesurfing in Jericoacoara

Go kitesurfing in Jericoacoara

Day 8 in Jericoacoara

The small fishing village of Jericoacoara is the perfect place to try out some adventure activities. Get on the ocean water to try kitesurfing, windsurfing or paddle boarding, or kick back with a caipirinha in one of the many beachside bars.

Head to Fortaleza and depart.

Head to Fortaleza and depart.

Day 9 in Fortaleza

In the morning, transfer on a four-wheel drive vehicle over a landscape of dunes and roads to the airport of Jericoacoara and fly to Fortaleza airport for departure to your next destination.

Where to stay

Classic

Mirador Rio Copacabana Hotel

Situated just 700 yards from Copacabana Beach, Mirador Rio offers guests comfortable rooms, a buffet breakfast, restaurant serving local and international cuisine, sauna and fitness centre and an outdoor swimming pool boasting panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro.

Superior

Blue Tree Towers São Luis

Overlooking São Luís's Calhau beach, Blue Tree Towers hotel offers guests modern air-conditioned rooms, an extensive outdoor pool, sauna, fitness centre, and tennis court.

Deluxe

Miramar Hotel by Windsor

Located opposite Copacabana Beach, the Miramar Hotel by Windsor features luxurious accommodation in the heart of one of Rio's most popular neighbourhoods. Guests can enjoy the outdoor green granite pool with panoramic views of the coast, fully-equipped gym, rooftop bar and restaurant.

Book this itinerary

This route booked with one of our specialist tour operators would cost from $3,047pp. Pricing varies by accommodation class, and can be tailored to suit your budget.

Pricing is typically inclusive of hotels, transfers, meals, and all guided excursions and activities.

Learn more

Contact us now and we'll connect you with a specialist tour operator with more information on how to tailor and book this itinerary.

Other itineraries you might like

Why Horizon Guides?

Impartial guidebooks

Impartial guidebooks

Our travel guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for impartial travel advice.

Expert itineraries

Expert itineraries

Suggested itineraries and routes to help you scratch beneath the surface, avoid the tourist traps, and plan an authentic, responsible and enjoyable journey.

Specialist advice

Specialist advice

Get friendly, expert travel advice and custom itineraries from some of the world’s best tour operators, with no spam, pressure or commitment to book.

Loading...