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Brazil, being almost the size of the United States, requires some type of itinerary, especially if your time is limited and you’re trying to explore as much of the country as possible. With the size of the country in mind, and knowing our Brazil itinerary had to be family-friendly, I had to do my research, including talking to locals to ensure my family got the most out of our Brazilian vacation. And boy did we! 

Below, I highlight three different Brazilian family vacation itineraries. After reading, you will have gained an in-depth understanding of Brazil’s most popular tourist destinations and how to interact with them for an unforgettable vacation. No matter if you choose a seven-day, ten-day, or two-week Brazil itinerary, you will be well prepared to experience their beautiful culture and enjoy your time there. 

Table of Contents show

Brazil Itinerary 

Family enjoying their Brazil itinerary in Rio
Cruising on Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro with the plane landing at the airport in the background

Strategically positioned in the tropical and coastal region of South America, Brazil has a plethora of breathtaking scenes that you must see. From magnificent waterfalls, beaches, lakes, and parks, the country has placed itself among the top tourist destination sites worldwide.

Its centuries-old art culture also sets it apart from other top tourist destinations. From ancient architectural buildings to luxurious and modern skyscrapers, you will find no shortage of artistic scenes.  There are a vast collection of artistic items showcased in museums and art galleries throughout the various cities. 

In addition, the country has a vibrant and dynamic culture. It is possible to sharpen your culinary experience by tasting delicious cuisines from various cultures around the country.  Plus the country is known for its vibrant music and dance culture. So no matter which Brazil itinerary you choose, you’re subject to having a great time. 

Keep reading for my different Brazil trip itinerary options and pack your bags if you haven’t already.

How many Days to Stay in Brazil?

Due to the size of the country, the minimum amount of days you should spend in Brazil is 7 days, especially if you want to explore more than one city.

Since Brazil has so many unique travel destinations, you could spend 10 days, 14 days, and even months in Brazil and still want to come back to explore more.

No matter how many days you plan to stay in Brazil, be sure to get travel insurance. While traveling in Brazil, I had an incident where the shower glass shattered on me. Needless to say, I was glad I had travel insurance.

✔️ Learn more about my favorite travel insurance, SafetyWing ✔️

Brazil Trip Itinerary: 7 Days in Brazil

Family enjoying their Brazil itinerary in front of the flag and Sugarloaf Mountain

On your family vacation, you can still get the most out of Brazil by following the 7 days in Brazil Trip Itinerary provided below. You will gain a lot of experience engaging with three of the country’s most famous cities during this period.

This is the itinerary I recently did with my husband, aunt, and twin toddlers. Let’s just say, it’s a relatively packed itinerary; however, we did have 2 days of relaxation in our Brazil itinerary – our first day in Sao Paulo and a day in Rio.

Itinerary #1

Brazil 7-Day Itinerary: Sao Paulo, Salvador, Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro 

1Sao Paulo
2Sao Paulo
3Sao Paulo
Salvador, Bahia
4Salvador, Bahia
5Salvador Bahia
Rio de Janeiro
6Rio de Janeiro
7Rio de Janeiro

Day 1-3: Sao Paulo, Brazil Itinerary

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and one of the most populous in the world. It has managed to place itself as one of the top tourist destinations in Brazil because of its rich artistic history, delicious food scene, and diverse population that reflects the many cultures that converged there over time.

Is Sao Paulo worth visiting?

Do you love a diverse food scene, beautiful art, history, and/or architecture? If so, Sao Paulo offers all of this and more. 

Sao Paulo is a major center for business and finance in South America, making it an important destination for business travelers. As a result, you will experience a dynamic collaboration of cultures when visiting- from the cuisine to the museums and art galleries, as well as the vibrant nightlife. 

Which Sao Paulo airport is the best to fly into?

Sao Paulo is a great city to use as a base to fly in and out of Brazil. Sao Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) offers several direct flights into the United States and Europe, making it the busiest airport in Brazil (remember it’s the financial district of Brazil.)

If you’re looking to fly to other cities within Brazil,  São Paulo–Congonhas Airport offers several nonstop flights to a plethora of cities within the country. Thus, maximizing your time in Brazil. Because who wants to spend an entire day with multiple flights getting from one city to another? 

Things to do in Sao Paulo

Ibirapuera Park
photo credit: Canva

When traveling to a city, one of my main objectives is to experience the destination like a local. Due to its rich cultural heritage, Sao Paulo offers a wide range of family-friendly things to do, including site-seeing, art exploration, swimming, shopping, dining, and more.

Museums and Galleries

So, let’s start with the great Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo museum, the oldest art museum in Sao Paulo and one of the most important museums in Brazil. 

The museum is home to a variety of Brazilian art, as well as European art and structures. Similarly, they host various art collections and cultural events. So be sure to check their website when planning your Sao Paulo, Brazil itinerary. 

For art lovers, Pinacoteca is just the beginning of the rich art that Sao Paulo offers. There are numerous art galleries throughout the city if you’d like to explore more art while there.

Another local must-visit thing to do in Sao Paulo is Ibirapuera Park. Now you may be thinking, a park, really? Yes! Why come to Sao Paulo and not go to the most visited park in South America?

People Watching and Cultural Activities

Ibirapuera Park is home to multiple museums, a planetarium, cultural events, pavilions, and trails. It’s a great addition to your Brazil itinerary if you want to experience various aspects of Sao Paulo in one place. 

Plus, it’s the perfect thing to do in Sao Paulo with kids! I mean, what kid doesn’t love a park?

Similarly, Paulista Avenue embodies the culture and heart of Sao Paulo. Within its almost 2 miles stretch, you can find a variety of restaurants, museums, art galleries, financial institutes, and more. It makes great people-watching!

Lastly, you can’t spend time in Sao Paulo without trying out its culinary scene. It has a wide selection of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops from various cultures, including Japanese. In fact, Sao Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. 

✔️ Learn more about Sao Paulo City Tour to maximize your time ✔️

Where to stay in Sao Paulo

If you have spent an exciting and eventful day with your family in Brazil, you will probably need an ideal resting place. Whatever your budget, Sao Paulo has a variety of accommodations.

Sao Paulo Budget-Friendly Hotel

A four-star hotel for less than $100. Say less.

The Mercure Sao Paulo Paulista Hotel is conveniently located within a short walk to Paulista Avenue, the metro, and buses. With clean rooms, friendly staff, and a great location, this hotel is a great option for those who want to be in the midst of the action without breaking the bank. 

Sao Paulo Mid-tier Hotel

L’Hotel Porto Bay Sao Paulo is a boutique, 5-star hotel that exudes luxury and top-tier service within walking distance of Paulista Avenue.  For those who enjoy spending time at the hotel, they offer a spa and gym, as well as a beautiful pool. 

Our Countryside Sao Paulo Family Vacation

Our vacation rental in Itu, Brazil

I personally have experienced the metropolis of Sao Paulo for work. So when one of my good friends moved to Indiatuba, Sao Paulo, 2 hours from the metropolitan, I knew we had to take a family vacation to Brazil

Instead of staying in Indiatuba, a decent size city, we opted for the countryside of Itu, which was less than an hour from where my friend lives. There’s something special about the countryside, where you slow down and can create beautiful, simple memories during your Brazil vacation.

We were going to need this rest day because our one-week Brazil itinerary was jam pack with action!

Family Vacation in Itu, Sao Paulo, Brazil

When traveling to Brazil with kids, our Itu vacation rental was everything we needed and more! As soon as our driver opened the van doors for us to explore our new home for the next few days, our twins immediately ran to the play area, which included a trampoline and playhouse. Between this play area and the soccer field, our boys literally stayed outside for hours, playing.

Gilda and her sister, the chef and housekeeping service cooked mouthwatering meals and kept the house and its facilities in immaculate shape. Not only was the home super welcoming, like going to grandma’s house, but it also had a pool, sauna, and jacuzzi, offering any luxury that you may want. 

The home itself was our vacation in Itu. We sat in the hammocks on the veranda and watched the kids play while drinking caipirinhas and listening to music. This was the perfect, slow start to a very busy Brazil itinerary. 

Day 4-5: Salvador da Bahia, Brazil Itinerary

Casa do Carnaval da Bahia

Salvador, Bahia in Northeast Brazil is known for its rich Black and African culture and history, as well as its artistic scenes, such as museums and art galleries. On top of that, Salvador has beautiful white beaches, so your family can have a variety of fun while vacationing. 

The best way to get to Salvador, Bahia from Sao Paulo

The best way to get to Salvador, Bahia from most cities in Brazil is to fly.

Sao Paulo is no different.

Sao Paulo is located in the Southeast region of Brazil, but driving northwards towards Salvador, Bahia will take over 24 hours. Thus, flying is the best option. All three Sao Paulo area airports offer direct flights to Salvador, making the flight only 2 hours. 

Personally, we flew out of the Campinas airport at 5 PM and made it to Salvador in time for dinner.  

I was so happy to learn that there is indeed Uber in Brazil, in over 100 cities! This made it super easy to get around Bahia and other Brazilian cities.

Is Salvador da Bahia worth visiting?

If you are a cultural enthusiast, Salvador, Bahia in Northeast Brazil, is the right place to visit. Due to its Afro-Brazilian population, it is considered the black city in Brazil. While peeking through the streets of Salvador, you may be dazzled by the city’s vibrant and dynamic culture, not forgetting the remarkable colonial architecture.

Also, prepare your taste buds for a savory culinary experience with a touch of indigenous African flavors and ingredients. As if this is not enough, you can enjoy that toothsome meal while watching your kids build sand castles along the beach.

Things to do in Salvador da Bahia

There are many things your family can do in Salvador during your one-week Brazil itinerary, but tackling them all one by one might be challenging. If you take a guided tour of the city from a reputable company, you can get a good feel for the city in a short amount of time. We took a private African city tour with Sayuri Bahia Local Experience.

Our Bahia tour guide

If you’re into history and understanding the intricacies of different religions and how people live, adding a Candomble house is a unique addition to your Brazil itinerary. Candomble is an Afro-Brazilian religion that fuses West African tribal practices brought by the enslaved with the beliefs of Native Brazilian Indians. The religion was technically banned by the government until as recently as 1970.

Visiting their place of worship opens your eyes to the history of Salvador and its people. Since a Candomble house is sacred, it’s not open to the public. You have to go on a tour. 

✔️ Learn more about the Candomble Religion with a tour ✔️

In my personal opinion, your Salvador da Bahia, Brazil itinerary is not complete without doing these three things: visiting the historical Pelourinho, going to the beach, and taking a tour, preferably an African tour, of the city. 

✔️ Learn more Salvador da Bahia city tour ✔️


Pelourinho is the frame historic district, declared one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. Here you will find the culture and soul of the city through its architecture, art and structures, cathedrals, and more. You can take the Lacerda Elevator which connects the lower city to the upper city (Pelourinho is in the upper city).

While in Pelourinho, be sure to stop at the square where Michael Jackson recorded the “They don’t really care about us” music video.

Casa do Carnaval da Bahia

The rooftop of Bahia’s Carnival House

Living in New Orleans, we were very curious about Carnival in Bahia, so we stopped at Bahia’s Carnival House as it’s not a far walk from the Lacerda Elevator. It was so cool to see how they celebrate Carnival. The kids loved the room where you can dress in carnival attire and learn different dance moves.

Oh and the view of the city from the top of the museum is breathtaking. It’s the perfect place to sit at their cafe and enjoy a caipirinha and coxinha. 

Salvador da Bahia Beaches

Salvador is known for its beautiful beaches. We personally stayed by and hung out at Porto da Barra Beach. It’s a local beach filled with families enjoying the calm waters. The street that lines the beach is filled with delicious restaurants, but it’s not uncommon for folks to grill on the beach in Salvador. 

✔️ Want to explore the islands around Salvador? Learn more here ✔️

Where to Stay in Salvador

I’m team “nice and lux lodging” So having an ideal place to relax after engaging in breathtaking activities throughout the day is a must!

We personally stayed at an Airbnb close to Porto da Barra beach. The location was perfect as it was only a block or so from the beach, restaurants, and lighthouse. The view from the living room was perfect, but the rest of the accommodations were just okay. 

If you want a Salvador, Bahia vacation rental close to the beach and large enough for a family, you can check it out

Where to stay in Salvador da Bahia

View from our vacation rental in Porto da Barra

Lodging Close to Salvador Beach, Porto da Barra

Grande Hotel da Barra– Located across the street from the beach, this hotel provides beautiful views of the beach. The accommodations themselves are a bit basic, but it’s one of the best options available if you’re looking to be close to the beach.

Close to Salvador Colonial District, Pelourinho

Hotel Casa do Amarelindo– Located within the historic district of Pelourinho, you are close to the action of the historic part of town. This hotel offers excellent service that includes car service and tours. Plus, the views of the city from the terrace are breathtaking. 

Day 5-7: Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer

So I must admit, when I first planned our one-week Brazil itinerary, I initially didn’t have Rio on the list, just Sao Paulo and Salvador. Well, my husband wasn’t having it. And I’m grateful.

Our family vacation in Rio was literally one of the highlights of our Brazilian itinerary. Rio is the perfect family vacation destination. The entire family enjoyed Rio so much that we were all sad when our time there came to an end. 

The best way to get to Rio de Janeiro from Salvador, Bahia

There is no need to worry about moving to the next stage of your fun-filled Brazil family vacation. Rio is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Southeastern region of the country, similar to Sao Paulo.

A 7-day Brazil itinerary vacation shouldn’t be wasted on day-long drives when you could be exploring Rio, a vibrant and exhilarating city. Taking one of the multiple flights from Salvador to Rio will save you much-needed vacation time with your family.

For us, we took a 4 AM flight from Salvador and arrived in Rio de Janeiro around 630 AM, with a fun-packed Brazil itinerary. Let’s just say we didn’t get to our lodging until 5 PM!

Why Rio is one of the most visited cities in South America?

Rio de Janeiro is a popular vacation destination site, attracting millions of tourists worldwide. Subsequently, the city is considered one of the most visited cities in South America.

Here’s why. 

Rio’s natural landscape is literally breathtaking. It’s picturesque.

Its beauty alone makes you want to explore its neighborhoods, beaches, and mountains.  On top of that, its rich and dynamic culture is so vibrant and filled with delicious food, kind people, and fun vibes. 

There’s literally something for everyone in Rio de Janeiro. 

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro 

Parque Lage

Rio de Janeiro offers a wide variety of things to do, and yes, even family-friendly activities. In fact, there is enough to do that one could fill an entire one-week Brazil itinerary in Rio alone.

If it’s your first time visiting Rio, navigating the city’s colorful mix of art and culture may be challenging due to its massive size and the minimum number of people who can speak English. Engaging a seasoned city guide who’ll take you through the city’s enumerating scenes would be beneficial. Since this was a family trip and there were 5 of us, including twin toddlers, we took a private tour. 

Tour guide that plans Rio itineraries

Our guide, Alex (Whats App +55 21 98112-6940), was both friendly and professional. He was amazing with the boys and a big help when they became tired or started showing signs of their age (my parents know what I’m talking about.) Working with him gave us the flexibility to maximize our Rio, Brazil itinerary while meeting our family’s needs. 

✔️ If you do choose to rent a car, check out these affordable rental rates ✔️

Our Rio Family Vacation Itinerary

Family enjoying their Brazil Itinerary with Sugarloaf Mountain in the background
Family enjoying their Brazil Itinerary with Sugarloaf Mountain in the background

When we landed in Rio at 630 AM, we hit the ground running. 

Christ the Redeemer- A Must-Do Rio Activity

Our first stop directly from the airport was Christ the Redeemer, one of the seven world wonders of the world. Leaving directly from the airport positioned us to be one of the first people there. We wanted to get there as early as possible to get good pictures to commemorate my boys’ second world wonder.

Machu Picchu was their first world wonder.

I recommend that you arrive at Christ the Redeemer as close to the opening as possible because, towards the end of our time there, it was starting to get crowded and more challenging to get a picture without someone in it. 

Another great option to get views of both Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain is the Estrada Mirante Dona Marta lookout. There is a fraction of the people there and the views of Sugar Loaf Mountain and the city of Rio are absolutely breathtaking.

On the same day, you potentially could include a stop at the famous Selaraon Stairs, or even have lunch with Christ the Redeemer in the background at Parque Lage.

Parque Lage

If you choose to go to Parque Lage, note that it’s more than just a restaurant. It’s also a park. One of my kids truly enjoyed exploring the park. We even saw monkeys running around.

If you just want to take a picture with the iconic scene of Christ the Redeemer in the background (featured in Pharrell and Snoop Dog’s ‘Beautiful’  music video), you have to make a reservation to take a picture.

However, a reservation is not required if you want to eat there. It’s first come, first serve. Our wait to eat was about 45 minutes to an hour. 

Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain is an experience within itself as you take cable cars to two different mountains, Urca and Sugarloaf. Each offers incredible and unique views of the city. At each stop, there are a variety of restaurants, shops, and more to stop and explore. 

Adventurous Things to do in Rio

If you haven’t had enough of an adrenaline rush from the city vibe, you might enjoy hang gliding and swaying leafless, taking in the unparalleled views of the city. Or even take a helicopter ride and take in the spectacular view of Christ the Redeemer statue, Copacabana, and Ipanema beaches.

The experiences in Rio are endless. From sailing on the Guanabara Bay to hiking to waterfalls, the infamous Telegraph Rock, or even the challenging Pedra da Gavea

No matter what you choose to do in Rio, you are bound to have a great time!

👉🏽 Adventurous Things to do in Rio 👈🏽

✔️ Hang Gliding ✔️

✔️ Sailing on the Guanabara Bay ✔️

✔️ Hiking Waterfalls ✔️

✔️ Hiking Telegraph Rock ✔️

✔️ Hiking Pedra da Gavea ✔️

Where to stay in Rio

Views from our vacation rental in Barra da Tijuca

Rio is such a massive city that finding the right neighborhood to stay in comes down to preference. Keep reading for where to stay in Rio de Janeiro!

Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro Hotel 

We personally stayed in a local, upscale neighborhood, Barra da Tijuca. This neighborhood made me want to move there as it’s home to its own beautiful, less crowded beach. As well as a variety of restaurants, boutiques, and other recreational sites.

Do note that it’s about a thirty-minute drive from most tourist hot spots, but that’s what I loved about it. You can drive to the ‘must-see’ attractions like Christ the Redeemer, do all of them while out, then come back ‘home’ and enjoy your time around locals. 

If you prefer to be in the midst of all of the action, Copacabana and Ipanema are wonderful options as well. Please note, that Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach are less than a mile from one another, so why choose one? You can stay in one neighborhood and walk to the other. 

Beach Hotel, Windsor Marapendi– This 5-Star hotel is perfectly located in front of the beach, which offers tremendous views of the beach from the rooftop pool. The rooms, breakfast, and service are all excellent. 

Copacabana Hotel, Rio de Janeiro 

Copacabana is the most popular Rio destination for tourists. This bustling neighborhood is home to the pristine, two-mile, crescent shape beach which is lined with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops. There’s always something to do in Copacabana, no matter the time of day.

Windsor California Copacabana– Directly, across the street from the beach and within walking distance to anything you may need, this hotel is a great option for anyone looking to be within close proximity to Copacabana beach. Not only is the location great, but also the accommodations and service, all at a pretty affordable rate.

Ipanema Hotel, Rio de Janeiro

Ipanema is Copacabana’s slightly more upscale cousin. The neighborhood also features a beautiful beach whose beauty draws tourists to sunbathe and even surf. Here you will find upscale boutiques as well as fine-dining restaurants. 

Hotel ArpoadorThis boutique hotel is located steps from the beach, offering incredible views from the hotel as well as hammocks in the rooms to enjoy the view. While here, you must try the breakfast, one of the things it’s well known for.

Brazil Trip Itinerary: 10 Days in Brazil

Selaron Stairs

Looking to explore and get the most out of Brazil’s unique attractions. This Brazil 10-day Itinerary explores and offers the best of all worlds- from the largest metropolitan in Brazil (Sao Paulo) to a natural wonder of the world (Iguazu Falls), to one of the seven world wonders (Christ the Redeemer), and so much more! 

Itinerary #2

10 Days in Brazil Sao Paulo, Iguazu Falls, Rio de Janeiro

1Sao Paulo
2Sao Paulo
3Sao Paulo
4Sao Paulo
Iguazu Falls
5Iguazu Falls
6Iguazu Falls
7Iguazu Falls
Rio de Janeiro
8Rio de Janeiro
9Rio de Janeiro
10 Rio de Janeiro

Day 1-3: São Paulo, Brazil Trip Itinerary  

Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo

Love experiencing the feel of a large, bustling city. Sao Paulo is your place. Take in the city’s rich history and art culture through its various museums and galleries before people-watching on the bustling Paulista Avenue or Ibirapuera Park.

And Sao Paulo can’t be a part of your Brazil itinerary without exploring its delicious gastronomy scene. Likewise, if experiencing nightlife in a different country is your vibe, you won’t be disappointed in Sao Paulo. 

Day 4-6: Iguazu Falls, Brazil Trip Itinerary

Iguazu Falls
Photo credit: Canva

Get ready to explore one of the remarkable natural wonders of the world, Iguazu Falls. Not only can you experience this breathtaking waterfall up close and personal, but the area offers a quaint town filled with restaurants and shops, as well as some parks and hikes. 

What is Iguazu Falls?

Iguazu Falls are one of the largest waterfall systems in the world.  It is spread out over two miles, on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná.

Which side is better to view Iguazu Falls?

When viewed from Brazil, the natural scenery is elegant and dashing. However, Argentina’s side has more activities and tours available.

Can you visit both sides of Iguazu Falls in one day?

Iguazu Falls from the Brazil side.
Photo credit: Canva

Yes, it’s possible to see both sides of Iguazu Falls in one day. If setting out to see both the Argentian and Brazilian sides of Iguazu Falls in one day, be prepared for a busy day. For a more relaxing and thorough experience, splitting each side into individual days is recommended.

In fact, there are tours of both sides over a 2-day period.  

Getting from one side to another takes about 1-2 hours, depending on the season and traffic. November through March is the busy season and can take up to 2 hours to clear customs. 

When driving from Brazil to Argentina, your car must have a Carta Verde (green card), as well as your passport. If you prefer not to drive, you can take a bus, which honestly has lackluster reviews, or use a tour/transport company.

The best way to get to/from Iguazu Falls

The best way to get to Iguazu Falls from Brazil is to fly to Foz do Iguazu International Airport (IGU). It’s conveniently located just five minutes from the Falls on Brazil’s side and a thirty-five minutes drive to Iguazu Falls from Argentina’s side (not taking traffic into consideration.) Airports from both Sao Paulo and Rio offer multiple direct flights to IGU. 

Things to do in Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls
Photo credit: Canva

As the area’s main feature, you must see the Iguazu Falls. As previously mentioned, the Brazil side is known to be the most beautiful side while most tours and activities occur on the Argentina side. 

A tour of the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls usually involves visiting the Upper Circuit, Lower Circuit, and Devil’s Throat, which offers panoramic views of the waterfalls and the jungle, as well as the spectacular sight of the plume of mist. Be prepared to do some walking, as the views are worth every step. Some tours include an optional boat ride for thrill-seekers. 

From Brazil’s side of Iguazu Falls, bus tours typically include visits to the panoramic terrace and the lower trail, where visitors can experience the power of the falls at the base. For the more adventurous traveler, take a helicopter ride for an unparallel view of both sides. 

For individuals who prefer to explore the waterfall on their own, you can visit both Parque Nacional Iguazu (Argentina side) and Parque das Aves (Brazil side) without a tour.

👉🏽 Iguazu Falls Tour Options 👈🏽

✔️ 1 Day Brazil and Argentina Tour ✔️

✔️ 2 Day Brazil and Argentina Tour ✔️

✔️ Brazil Tour ✔️

✔️ Brazil Helicopter Tour ✔️

✔️ Argentina Tour with Optional Boat Ride ✔️

Where to stay in Iguazu Falls

There are a variety of lodging options on both the Brazil and Argentina sides. I recommend choosing which side best suits your itinerary. If you desire to be near activities outside of Iguazu Falls, the Argentinian side is the best option.

Iguazu Falls, Argentina Hotel 

To maximize your family experiences around Iguazu Falls, stay at the Jasy Hotel on the Argentine side, just within walking distance of the amazing scenery. If you prefer to take in the relaxing views of the jungle, Selvaje Lodge Iguazu is a wonderful option.  

Iguazu Falls, Brazil Hotel 

Sanma Hotel By Nobile is the perfect home, away from home. This hotel offers excellent services and first-class accommodations. The hotel is ideal if you want to focus entirely on experiencing every deep refreshing breath of your interaction with the Iguazu Falls, as there are no other activities aside from visiting the falls.

 Day 7-10: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Trip Itinerary

Swimming in Guanabara Bay

Rio is the perfect finish to your 10-day Brazil itinerary due to its unique blend of nature and culture. Some must-dos during your stay in Rio are visiting the World Wonder, Christ the Redeemer, taking a boat ride on the Guanabara River, and enjoying the Brazilian beach culture. Whatever you decide to do in Rio, you’re subject to have an amazing time. 

Check out the first section, the  7-day Brazil itinerary for more suggestions on things to do in Rio de Janeiro. 

Brazil Trip Itinerary: Brazil 2 Week Itinerary

Cruising on Gunabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro

This Brazil 2 Week itinerary ensures that you and your family get to sample some of the most thrilling and unique experiences that Brazil has to offer. The journey explores popular destinations within the state of Rio de Janeiro as well as the metropolitan of Sao Paulo. 

Itinerary #3

2-Weeks in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande, Paraty, Sao Paulo

1Rio de Janeiro
2Rio de Janeiro
3Rio de Janeiro
4Rio de Janeiro
Ilha Grande
5Ilha Grande
6Ilha Grande
7Ilha Grande
10 Paraty
Sao Paulo
12Sao Paulo
13Sao Paulo
14Sao Paulo

Day 1-3: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Trip Itinerary 

Dona Marta Lookout Point with Christ the Redeemer in the background

During this two-week Brazil itinerary, it’s recommended to experience the culture and vibrant nature of Rio.  From going to the various restaurants, hanging out on Cocacabana or Ipanama Beach, or experiencing the Rio nightlife, this is the part of the itinerary to let loose and take in Brazil’s vibrant culture. Also be sure to check out the world wonder, Christ the Redeemer. 

If you don’t get the opportunity to do a boat ride or nature hike, that’s okay as both Ilha Grande and Paraty offer water and hiking adventures. 

Day 4-6: Ilha Grande, Brazil Trip Itinerary 

Aracatiba Beach
Photo credit: Carla from Where on Planet Earth

On your first two days in the Ilha Grande, make the most of your family vacation by taking boat rides, seeing one of the best waterfalls in the region, and engaging in outdoor sports like hiking and snorkeling. Lastly, no vacation in the town would be complete without a relaxing moment on one of the top beaches. 

Is Ilha Grande worth visiting?

Ilha Grande offers the complete package for a family vacation if you love nature. Beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and crystal-clear waters are some of the state’s most popular attractions. Hiking, snorkeling, and swimming are among the activities you can enjoy in the lustrous Brazilian state.

What’s the best way to get to Ilha Grande?

Ilha Grande is a car-free island. In order to reach the island you can either take the Rodoviaria bus or a shared transportation van from Rio to the Conceiço de Jacare port where you can take the ferry to Abraao for twenty minutes. The ferry offers frequent trips throughout the day, so you won’t miss out on any fun activities on the island.

If you prefer all of the logistics to be done for you, choose a transportation company that includes land and sea transportation services

Things to do in Ilha Grande

Lagoa Verde
Photo credit: Carla from Where on Planet Earth

Outdoor adventure awaits you in Ilha Grande. 


Your vacation to Ilha Grande is not complete if you have not visited two of the most outstanding beaches in all of Brazil; Lopes Mendes and Lagoa Azul. Both beaches have spectacular views of the crystal-clear ocean water. 

Aracatiba is another quaint and quiet beach


Not only does Ilha Grande offer some of the most beautiful beaches, but the hiking is spectacular. Experience a private hike or a midnight hike through the historical features of the island. If hiking is on your Brazil itinerary be sure to hike to the most visited waterfall in Ilha Grande, Feiticerira Waterfall.

Please note the hike to Feiticerira Waterfall is considered a bit challenging due to the dirt roads and some inclines and declines. On average it could take between 90-120 minutes to complete, depending on the person.

The good news is it’s worth every step as the waterfall is beautiful and you can bathe in it upon your arrival (although the water can be a bit cold.) Plus, if you continue the path to the public beach, there is an option to take a taxi boat for your return.

If you’re looking for an easy hike, lagoa verde (green lagoon) is a nice place to take an easy hike and hang out on the water. It’s a great addition to your Brazilian itinerary with children.

If you have little ones in tow, these hiking tips will help make the experience more pleasing for everyone.

👉🏽 Hikes in Ilha Grande 👈🏽

✔️ Private Hike ✔️
✔️ Midnight Hike ✔️

Where to Stay in Ilha Grande

Granted, Ilha Grande is no match for the lush apartments and hotels in Rio or even Sao Paulo. Nevertheless, the island makes up for what it lacks in modern styles with authentic, fresh, and serene environments.

Vila do Abraao is the island’s main village and hosts many hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals. The quaint town has several shops and restaurants within close proximity. Check out Vila Parnaiba for an ideal experience in the area.

Day 7-10: Paraty, Brazil Trip Itinerary 

Praid do Rosa
Photo credit: Carla from Where on Planet Earth

Paraty is perfect for those seeking to hike, explore the sites, and enjoy a relaxed moment at the beach. When visiting Paraty, be prepared to take it slow and take in the beauty this quaint town has to offer. 

Is Paraty worth visiting?

Yes! Whether you are a nature enthusiast or just a lover of outdoor scenes, Paraty is a treasure, allowing you to experience intimate moments with beautiful waterfalls and beaches.

You will also be privileged to witness how sunrise and sunset create an aura of deep calm and serenity as the cobblestone streets naturally blend in with the scenic beauty of the colonial town.

What’s the best way to get to Paraty

Much like Ilha Grande, Paraty is not accessible by plane, at least not directly. The closest airport to Paraty is the Rio de Janeiro-Galeao International Airport, which means you still have to take a bus or a car to the historic town.

Despite the small challenge in air travel, you can still make the most of your Brazil vacation by taking bus and boat transfers from neighboring towns such as Angra dos Reis, Ilha Grande, and Ilhabela. The transport from Ilha Grande is about 2 hours while the transport from Rio is around 90 minutes. 

Things to do in Paraty

Cachoeira da Pedra Branca.
Photo credit: Carla from Where on Planet Earth

If you are adventurous, you will find a lot of activities to do in Paraty.


Paraty is home to numerous waterfalls.

Two must-visit waterfalls are Cachoeira do Toboga and Cachoeira da Pedra Branca. These waterfalls bring out your inner kid as they have natural water slides. Perfect for an adventurous family vacation. 

Similar to Ilha Grande, you can’t come to Paraty without exploring its great beaches. There are plenty of beaches where you and your family can enjoy various water sports like boat riding, swimming, etc.


If you’re traveling with kids to Paraty, Jabaquara Beach is a great option as it’s easily accessible, the tides are low, and they have kiosks that sell food, snacks, and drinks. 

Most other beaches in the area are a little further from the city, and you may have to take a hike, bus, or boat to access them. But the views are worth it!

Some of the top options are Praia do Rosa, Praia do Sono, Praia de Antigos, which is close to Praia do Sono, and São Gonçalo, one of the most beautiful beaches in Paraty. 

For those who want activities outside of nature, Paraty also offers historic city tours and Alambique, a cachaca distillery, to name a few. 

Where to Stay in Paraty

Photo credit: Carla from Where on Planet Earth

Paraty offers a wide range of lodging, from budget-friendly, to luxurious, as well as beachfront hotels. The ultimate choice depends on your budget and personal preferences. 

Paraty, Brazil Mid-Tier Hotel

Calamar Flats Paraty is a modern, beachfront boutique hotel that offers rooms with views of the sea or mountains. The rooms are actually apartments that have a kitchen and living room. And the pool and garden area are gorgeous. 

Paraty, Brazil Luxury

Casa Turquesa – Maison D ́Hôtes is the epitome of luxury and detailed service. Located in the heart of the quaint town of Paraty, the staff of this boutique hotel treats guests like both family and royalty. You will not be disappointed to stay here; the reviews speak for themselves. 

Day 11-14: São Paulo, Brazil Trip Itinerary 

Ibirapuera Park
Photo credit: Canva

You will be able to explore great artworks, art scenes, grand architecture, and the general culture of the people in the city the moment you land in the metropolitan mega city. Be sure to get a taste of Sao Paulo’s wonderful food and nightlife scene. 

Reference the 7-day Brazil itinerary above to get more details on things to do in Sao Paulo. 

Activities that can be included in most Brazil Itineraries

Beachfront capoeira practice

Brazil has such a unique culture that embodies the vibrance and beauty of the country. It would be a miss not to add at least one of the following activities to your Brazil itinerary. Personally, my family did all of the below as we wanted to get as much of a local and cultural experience as possible. 

Luckily, most major cities, especially Sao Paulo, Salvador, and Rio offer these types of cultural experiences. 

Brazilian Cooking Class

Brazil is home to many unique and delicious dishes. Why not try your hand at preparing a Brazilian dish while exploring your Brazil itinerary? Plus, it gives you an experience with a local. 

Our boys LOVE to cook, so it was a perfect experience for our family. Our class was located at the home of a local chef, coordinated by our Salvador, Bahia tour guide Sayuri.

Tour guide that plans Salvador Bahia history tours

In our Brazilian cooking class, we made a traditional Brazilian appetizer made with shredded cheese and carrots wrapped in a cassava flour “wrap” of sorts. The boys were the sous chef with this dish as they shredded the cheese and carrots. 

The adults focused on making the moqueca, a Brazilian fish stew. The fish was already cut so all the adults needed to do was slice the vegetables,  layer them on top of the fish, and pour the freshly made coconut milk on top. 

After adding a little salt and pepper and boiling the dish, magic was created! The meal was delicious, but the opportunity to spend time with a local Brazilian, in their home, was priceless!

Samba and Afro-Brazilian Dance

This class was not only fun but it’s a challenge! 

With Samba you may think you got the moves while the instructor slowly explained each step. However, when he put those moves to the actual beat…help me!

The Afro-Brazilian dance moves were not as challenging, but they were still a great workout. The boys really enjoyed “dancing” to these songs and playing the drums. 

This class is perfect for those who love music and dance. 


An Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines an element of dance and more into its practice. 

My boys are at the stage where they love to kick and move, so this capoeira class was perfect. It taught them not only how to make the movements but about body and mind control and when to choose to use these movements. 

If you enjoy moving your body in unique ways while learning about other cultures, a capoeira class is a must-add to your Brazil itinerary. 

Conclusion: Brazil Trip Itinerary 

Dona Marta Lookout, Rio de Janeiro

Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world, offering an unlimited amount of things to do and destinations to explore. Therefore, one could literally spend months and years exploring cities in Brazil and not get to see everything.

However, these three Brazil itineraries: 7 days, 10 days, and 14 days, will give you and your family an excellent taste and variety of what this amazing country has to offer while you’re on vacation. Don’t hesitate to mix and match itineraries and make your Brazil vacation your own. 

Whatever you choose to do while in Brazil will leave you wanting to return to explore more of this unique and naturally beautiful country.  

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