This is the perfect itinerary for those looking to experience some of Brazil’s most dramatic coastal scenery, whilst staying firmly off the beaten track. You will enjoy just the right balance of tropical beach downtime with adventure and adrenaline from quadbikes to kitesurfing.
After starting in Rio de Janeiro this twelve-night itinerary will whisk you north to Brazil’s capital of reggae, São Luis de Maranhão, where you board a light aircraft, flying low over giant sand dunes of Arabian proportions, punctuated by iridescent freshwater lakes. From here on it’s an adventure like no other, racing by speedboat through mangrove lined rivers, driving along mile upon mile of deserted beach by 4×4 or perhaps trying your hand at kite surfing in this one of the world’s premier destinations for the sport. The itinerary ends at the legendary boho chic village of Jericoacoara with four nights in a suite from where you can enjoy one of Brazil’s most spectacular sunsets from the privacy of your own plunge pool.
What’s the route?
Arriving in Rio de Janeiro you will fly north to São Luis, take a private light aircraft and speedboat to Atins, a speedboat and off-road SUV transfer to Barra Grande and carry on by SUV to Jericoacoara, where the itinerary ends. There are regular flights from Jericoacoara to Sao Paulo to connect to an international departure or further travel in Brazil.
When you arrive in Rio de Janeiro international airport, our driver and guide will be waiting for you in arrivals, ready to whisky you by executive car to your luxury hotel overlooking the sea on Ipanema beach. Settle into your room before taking a relaxing stroll down Ipanema or perhaps you just want to recharge your batteries around the hotel pool. Our concierge will be happy to book you a table at one of Rio’s top restaurants to enjoy your first evening in Brazil in style.
After a leisurely breakfast your guide will meet you for a day of private guiding in the "Cidade Maravilhosa". Rio is a city that is famous first and foremost for its stunning natural beauty - despite having a population of over 6 million people, the urban areas of the city take second place to the rainforest covered mountains, Atlantic beaches and tropical lagoons that make up the geography of the Guanabara bay. The tour will include many of the "must see" sights such as the Christ the Redeemer statue, and give you an overview of the different historical stages that have shaped the city, from the arrival of the first colonial settlers to the 1930s Art Deco hey-days of Copacabana and right up to the modern day and the new developments heralded by the 2016 Olympic games. But most importantly it will
focus on the local culture and help you see one of the world's most famous tourist cities through the eyes of the Cariocas - understand where the locals go to eat and drink, to listen and dance to live music or to simply relax with their friends.
Today you will have a free day in Rio. For those with itchy feet our experts will be delighted to tailor make an action-packed day to make the most of your time in this world-famous city. Perhaps you might like to answer the call of the wild with a private guided hike in the Tijuca rainforest, or maybe surfing lessons are more your style? For foodies we can arrange for one of the city’s top chefs to meet you in the morning for a tour of a local market and masterclass in Brazilian cuisine before you enjoy an exclusive tasting menu at their restaurant later that evening; or else art enthusiasts might enjoy a day with a curator, visiting a selection of galleries, private collections and ateliers meeting a selection of the key figures in Rio’s contemporary art scene.
Having got your Brazilian bearings a little it’s now time to fly north to begin the next stage of your adventure. First you will board a commercial flight to São Luis, the capital of Maranhão state and a picturesque colonial city, little visited by international tourists. Depending on your flight time you will have time for a short tour of the historical before heading to a small private airport to board a light aircraft for a spectacular panoramic flight over the sand dunes of the Lençóis Maranhenses national park. Landing at the riverport town of Barreirinhas you will be taken to a waiting speedboat for the final stage of your journey, whizzing up the mangrove lined Preguiças river to arrive at the tiny village of Atins, located where the river meets the sea by the entrance to the national park. Enjoy the evening to relax into your hotel and tuck into a delicious organic dinner with ingredients from the hotel’s own garden.
Today your guide will meet you back at the hotel for a trek into the unique, otherworldly landscape of the Lençóis Maranhenses national park. The park is a geological phenomenon formed over thousands of years, and despite its desert like appearance, the region receives approximately 300 times more rain than the Sahara, creating the seasonal large tropical oases which make mandatory stops for explorers. Swimming in the middle of a desert, with no-one else in sight, is an experience unlike any other.
You will have a free day to relax and enjoy Atins - perhaps another trip to the park to swim in one of the lagoons, or else this is also one of the best places in the world to learn how to kite surf, speak to one of our experts to arrange for a day’s tuition and equipment hire.
You will board the speedboat again for a short trip across the mouth of the river to the remote outpost of Caburé where your private driver will be waiting ready with an offroad SUV for the next part of the journey. First you will race along deserted sandy beaches before dipping in land to explore the “Pequenos Lençóis”, a smaller version of the main national park , again with a series of surreal sand dunes and natural lagoons, but which you are allowed to drive through by motor vehicle - this is off roading at its most thrilling! Arriving at Tutoia you will leave the 4x4 behind for now and board another speedboat for a transfer through the stunningly beautiful Parnaíba River Delta - the largest river delta in the Americas. As the late afternoon sun begins to drop in the sky you will be able to witness the spectacular sight of the huge flocks of Scarlet Ibis coming into roost. Your driver will meet you at the other side of the delta in Parnaiba for the short transfer to your next hotel, located in the sleepy village of Barra Grande, just over the border into the state of Piauí.
You will have a free day to relax and enjoy the hotel and beach in this remote but picturesque corner of Brazil.
After a day’s rest it’s time to hit the road again. Your driver will be ready with the 4x4 for another day of off-roading along beaches, alongside paradisiacal lagoons and through mangrove forests, with plenty of time to stop and enjoy the scenery or perhaps for a quick dip in the sea. In the early afternoon you will pull up at the hip oasis town of Jericoacoara and check-in to your hotel - the very best in town. There’ll be time to freshen up, or for a quick swim in the pool before we recommend you take a short hike up the neighbouring sand dune to enjoy Brazil’s most iconic sunsets - one of the few places along the country’s 3000km of (mostly east-facing) coastline where the sun drops straight into the sea.
The end of the trip is set aside for you to really kick back and relax before heading home. There are plenty of options for doing nothing from the beach that is right on your doorstep to your hotel’s giant 1300 square meter swimming pool. Breakfast can even be served on a floating tray in your own private plunge pool, so really there is no excuse to wear anything other than a swimsuit all day here! Again for the more active our team is on hand to organise a wide range of activities, whether you want to hire quad bikes or horses for the day or perhaps hone your kite surfing skills further at neighbouring Preá beach.
Your driver will take you the sort distance off road through the sand dunes to Jijcoa airport in neighbouring Cruz, where you can connect to a flight south to Sao Paulo in time for your departure from Brazil.