3 weeks around Brasil: our travel plan and recommendations

I’m just back from the holidays in Brasil, the trip lasted a total of 24 days although 3 days were only for traveling from Europe. So, I spent 3 weeks in Brasil doing a trip from the vibrant Rio de Janeiro (still hosting the Paralympic Games) to the incredible North-East of the country and the unbelievable Amazonia. I will soon post some detailed posts on the different areas I visited. Here, I want to explain you my travel plan, why we visited such places and other recommendations I will consider for my future trips to this incredible country. I traveled with my partner and a friend living in Rio de Janeiro joined us for parts of the trip.

WHY BRASIL?

There are so many places and countries in the world to visit that sometimes coincidences and people make you decide your destination. 4 years ago, a friend of us moved to Rio de Janeiro for love, and some months later, another friend did the same. So, we had a motivation to visit Brasil: see our two friends again and know their city through their point of view. And, Brasil has one of the most stunning natural places on Earth: Amazonia. So, once the idea was on our mind we quickly found the time and money to visit Brasil.

THE TRAVEL PLAN:

Day 1: Flight BCN – Rio

Day 2-3: Rio de Janeiro

The two first days in Rio de Janeiro we did the most touristic activities: 1) Visit the Corcovado and the Cristo Redentor, walking down through a trekking path and walk on the area of the Botanic garden. 2) Rent a bike and visit the South coast: Copacabana & Ipanema (and in the evening we took a flight to Recife).

Day 4: Recife & Olinda

We visited the city centre of Recife (Casa do Cultura, Caixa cultural, Praça Barao do Rio Branco) and then went to the peripherical and colorful town of Olinda.

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Day 5-6: Jacuma

The next destination was the coastal area at the south of the city of Joao Pessoa: Jacuma. We spent a couple of days in those magical beaches with low tourism and walking along the coastal mountains (“falesias”). We even did a nocturnal trekking route without light and barefoot with our Airbnb host, who has an adventure & sustainable tourism company.

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Day 7-8: Pipa

We followed with our “dream-beach” tour towards Pipa, at the south of Natal. And… do you know that there is a beach where dolphins and marine turtles live? You can just spot them 1m from you while having a bath.

Day 9: Pipa – Jericocoara

From Pipa to Jericocoara we had to travel the entire day: bus to Natal, flight to Fortaleza, bus to Jijoca de Jericocoara and a “jardinera” to Jericocoara. A “Jardinera” is a bus-truck that can drive over the dunes of the park.

Day 10-12: Jericocoara

We spent 4 days in the Jericocoara area: beach, lagoons, dunes, sunsets and beach parties with caipirinha.

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Day 13: Manaus

This city in the middle of Amazonia had a curious atmosphere. The city was improved for the Mundial 2014, but improvements didn’t finish. There is a high unequity among citizens and only a small area in the city centre is safe for tourists. However, the mix of cultures and people, the food markets and the architecture were great.

Day 14-17: Amazonia (Rio Negro and jungle tour)

For me, the best part of the trip. Even my high expectations, Amazonia was even more amazing. We joined a tour of 4 days through the Rio Negro and the jungle at the south of Manaus. Walking through and sleeping in the jungle, spotting wildlife, hugging sloths and pink dolphins, eating tasty river fishes and bathing in the beaches were incredible and left us speechless.

Day 18-22: Rio de Janeiro (incl. Petropolis)

Once back in Rio, we had thousands of plans and options, such as trekking paths around the city, a 3-day trekking route from Petropolis to Teresopolis or seeing and dancing samba in Pedra do Sal. However, most of them were outdoor activities and we were not lucky: our lasts days in Rio were under the spring rain. Instead, we visited the different neighborhoods of the city, joined a political celebration (we were there for the municipal elections and PSOL was elected for the second voting), do some short trekking routes within the city and enjoy chorinho and forró concerts.

Day 23-24: Flight Rio – BCN

Unfortunately… The end!

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Now, I would change some parts of my trip. I would suggest to people like me, who don’t like mass tourism, avoiding visiting Jericocoara. We didn’t know about the massification of this little town before being there and… it was too late.

Instead of that, you can do plenty of things that are now in my Brazilian wish list:

– Visit Salvador de Bahia. Although a lot of people highlight the risk of visiting this city (you know, as all Brasil in general), the roots of Bahia people and the high cultural pulse of this city must be incredible.

– Perform the trekking route Petropolis-Teresopolis. Once back in Rio (day 19), we wanted to spend 3 days for doing the trekking route Petropolis-Teresopolis. However, weather had other plans for us as it rained during all those days. But, it is already listed for a next vacation around Rio.

– Visit Ilha Grande. All the people living in Rio was in love with this island at the south of the city. One may spend 2-3 days in this island before leaving the country and enjoy the beaches, the trekking routes and the snorkel opportunities.

– Visit the national park of “Lençois maranhenses” in the north of the country (Sao Luis). This park is full of dunes and lagoons that compose a paradisiac landscape. One can only visit it with organized tours and boogies.

– Spend some relaxing days in Santarem, between Manaus and Belem. Our guide told us about the beautiful and calm beaches in this Amazonian town. However, one may know that this part of the Amazonia river is one of the most dangerous due to animal presence.

– Do a longer tour through Amazonia. 4 days were too short for our adventurous heart. Once we were comfortable in the river, the ship, the hammocks… the  adventure ended.

HOW MUCH?

We spent per person the following amount:

  • Return-flight Barcelona – Rio de Janeiro = 570€/
  • Domestic flights Rio – Recife, Natal – Fortaleza, Fortaleza – Manaus, Manaus – Rio = 405€
  • Stay costs (accomodation, food, other transport, visits, etc.) = 925€
  • TOTAL per person = 1900€
  • Daily expenditure = 79€/day&person
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34 pensaments sobre “3 weeks around Brasil: our travel plan and recommendations

  1. Your pictures make me want to visit Brazil so badly. I have been wanting to go there, but the journey from UAE takes forever (24 hours). You are so lucky to have visited such a amazing country. The pictures look great and I love those colourful buildings in Olinda. I might consider visiting some of those non-toursity places too whenever I visit Brazil. Thank for the tips 🙂

    M'agrada

  2. Hello! thanks for this post ! Will pin it too 😉 Brazil is on my bucket list but when you don t know anybody there it can be overwhelming and scary … so thanks a lot for the tip! your pics looks amazing. I really appreciated that you give some tips at the end to avoid mass tourism and the budget / We don t usually see that in blogs and I always feel like it looks too pricey for me at least here I have an idea of what it would cost me to do the same thanks !

    M'agrada

  3. Brazil! I’ve always wanted to go but haven’t had the chance – YET. Definitely thinking of heading to South America next year… I feel like Brazil is such a massive country, which is a little overwhelming for me (case and point: deciding where to go!). Really glad you’ve shared your itinerary, definitely going to help make planning easier for me…

    It’s unreal how the domestic flights almost costs as much as your flight from Barcelona! 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You brought me back so many memories from my last trip to Jericoacoara! I adored the area and the vibe to it, I remember going out at night bare-footed for dinner and having the most amazing caipirinhas on the beach. I’d love to come back to Brazil soon…

    M'agrada

  5. Seeing how much you spent, makes me want to consider again going to Brasil! I’ve been there once but for a series of unfortunate events, I left the country after less than a week. And I spent those days almost entirely on a bus, traveling from north to south! ^^ Just consider that the first (and only) city I visited after I landing in Maceiò, was Foz do Iguacu!

    M'agrada

  6. Brazil is somewhere I am yet to visit and so therefore itineraries like this are invaluable. I t certainly is more reasonable that I imagined and $79 per person per day is in no way undoable. Manaus has been on my bucket list for sometime and you photos have only concreted that. Hope the trip was as fun as it looked!

    M'agrada

  7. After reading your post, my desire to go to Brasil has increased. Brasil has always on our bucket list, but it is not a country I have a strong longing for. It definitely looks like we will need at least 3 weeks there though! Thank you so much for sharing your travel plan. You looked like you had an amazing time.

    M'agrada

  8. this looks like a great trip to me! I never considered going to South America, but more I read bout places like Brasil, the more I feel I want to learn more about them and possibly visit one day.
    Great job with sharing so much information in this blog!

    M'agrada

  9. Brazil is always on my list, but it is really so far from where I am right now. Traveling for less than a month is really not enough to explore a country, but we must work with our available schedule. I would skip the touristy places as well and go to where the locals go. And oh, I won’t skip the Amazonia too!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There cannot be any good reason than to get together with old friends to visit a country 🙂 The colorful town of Olinda is beautiful and the idea of nocturnal trekking barefoot sounds fascinating to us. Your captures of the sandy beaches are tempting and Brazil definitely sounds like a destination to be at the top of the bucket list. Looking forward to your travel trails from Brazil.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your post will be such an amazing resource for people headed to Brazil! I love that you detailed what you would have done different! We are headed to South America in February, but I don’t think we’ll have time to get to Brazil, although your pictures could convince me to change that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thaaaanks for your positive words about the post!😉 Actually, i started the post with the changes 😂😂😂 they were the most important part to communicate, so people could read my most-actual thoughts of my trip hehee errors in planning are real😂😂 wow! Enjoyyyyy a lot South América!

      M'agrada

  12. I would take a trip to Brasil – it was the plan to be at the Summer Games but that didn’t materialise. Do you think there is a post olympic scene at the moment of regeneration across cities like Pipa?

    Liked by 1 person

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