Recommended Brazil Travel Itineraries


Brazil is a massive country that requires a fair amount of dedication to travel completely.  Personally, I spent 3 months in the country and felt like I could have spent a year exploring each nook and cranny.  I would like to say that I hit nearly every major spot in the country during my exploration, but that isn’t to say that I couldn’t have visited more places.  I have included below a number of travel itineraries that I recommend for Brazil.  They have been put together in a way to make sure that you get the most out of your time in Brazil.  Whether you only have 10 days or 2 months, there is a Brazil travel itinerary set up for you.  These itineraries are written as though your means of transportation is bus but, of course, there is always more than one way to skin a cat.  Personally, I travel nearly all the time over land, but air travel in Brazil is widely popular and quite affordable if booked in advance.

Of course, these travel itineraries for Brazil are meant as a guide and are by no means the only way to travel the country.  If you have any questions about travelling Brazil in any capacity please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Itinerary 1: The Loop (39 Days)

The loop itinerary is meant to give you the most extensive possible travel experience in Brazil.  This itinerary offers a little bit of everything: beaches, cities, wildlife and natural wonder.  If you have a lot of time to spend in Brazil this might be the itinerary for you.  You might also want to check itinerary 6 if you have a lot of time and prefer not to do a loop.

The Loop Itinerary for Brazil

The Loop

  • Days 1-4 Rio de Janerio
  • Days 5: Bus to Ilha Grande
  • Days 6-7: Explore the island, maybe go for a hike
  • Day 8: Bus to Paraty
  • Day 9: Explore Paraty
  • Day 10: Visit beaches nearby Paraty
  • Day 11: Bus to Sao Paulo
  • Day 12: Explore Sao Paulo (Football museum is a must)
  • Day 13: Morning in Sao Paulo with night bus to Floranopolis
  • Day 14: Arrive in Floripa, head to Barra Lagoa
  • Days 15-17: Florianopolis
  • Day 18: Bus to Curitiba
  • Day 19: Curitiba
  • Day 20: Morning in Curitiba, Afternoon bus to Iguazu Falls
  • Day 21: Iguazu: Brazilian site
  • Day 22: Take day trip to Argentinean side of falls
  • Day 23: Bus to Campo Grande
  • Day 24-26: Pantanal wildlife tour
  • Day 28: Night bus to Brasilia
  • Days 29-30: Brasilia
  • Day 31: Night bus to Salvador de Bahia
  • Days 32-34: Salvador
  • Day 35: Bus to Porto Seguro
  • Day 36-37: Porto Seguro and Trancoso
  • Day 38: Night bus to Rio
  • Day 39: End in Rio de Janeiro

Itinerary 2: The Southern Loop (24 Days)

The southern loop itinerary is meant to give visitors to Brazil a quick look at the highlights of the country without over extending all too much.  This itinerary still gives travellers the chance to see some of the most amazing places in the country while not travelling the massive distance to get to the north of the country.  This itinerary is meant for those who do not have a whole lot of time in the country but still want to experience a little of everything.

The Southern Loop Brazil Travel Itinerary

The Southern Loop

  • Days 1-4 Rio de Janerio
  • Day 5: Bus to Paraty
  • Day 6: Explore Paraty
  • Day 7: Visit beaches nearby Paraty
  • Day 8: Morning in Paraty, night bus to Curitiba
  • Day 9: Curitiba
  • Day 10: Bus to Florianopolis
  • Days 11-13: Florianopolis
  • Day 14: Night bus to Iguazu Falls
  • Day 15: Iguazu: Brazilian site
  • Day 16: Take day trip to Argentinean side of falls
  • Day 17: Bus to Campo Grande
  • Days 18-20 Pantanal Wildlife tour
  • Day 21: Bus to Sao Paulo
  • Day 22: Explore Sao Paulo
  • Day 23: Morning in Sao Paulo with night bus to Rio
  • Day 24: End in Rio de Janeiro

Itinerary 3: Cultural Brazil (19 Days)

Cultural Brazil Travel Itinerary

Cultural Brazil

If you find yourself on a search for history rather than a hunt for beach destinations than you might want to consider the “Cultural Brazil” travel itinerary.  This itinerary guides visitors to some of the more important historical regions of Brazil while still offering some time on the beach to catch a bit of that Brazilian sun.  Obviously, with a little bit more time one could also include a trip to the famous Iguazu Falls to this trip.  Brazil has a lot of offer in terms of history and culture and this itinerary will be sure to fill your spirits with the Brazilian character.

  • Days 1-4: Rio de Janeiro
  • Day 4: Bus to Paraty
  • Day 5: Explore Paraty
  • Day 6: Explore beaches near Paraty or historical hiking trail
  • Day 7: Bus to Sao Paulo
  • Days 8-9: Explore Sao Paulo
  • Day 10: Overnight bus to Belo Horizonte (10hrs)
  • Days 11-12 Belo Horizonte
  • Day 13: Night bus to Salvador de Bahia
  • Days 14-16 Salvador
  • Day 15: Bus to Porto Seguro
  • Days 16-17: Porto Seguro
  • Day 18: Bus to Rio
  • Day 19: End in Rio de Janeiro

Itinerary 4: From Uruguay to Rio (24 Days)

From Uruguay to Rio

From Uruguay to Rio

If you are coming from Uruguay and heading to Rio de Janeiro you will basically have everything laid out for you in terms of Brazilian destination hot spots.  This is probably the most popular route of travel, especially for travellers that fall in the class of backpackers.  If you don’t really care about visiting Florianopolis, and prefer not to cross Uruguay, this itinerary is also possible if you start from the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Porto Alegre
  • Day 2: Porto Alegre
  • Day 3: Bus to Florianopolis
  • Days 5-7: Florianopolis
  • Day 8: Night bus to Foz do Iguacu
  • Day 9: Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls
  • Day 10: Day trip to the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls
  • Day 11: Night bus to Curitiba
  • Day 12: Curitiba
  • Day 13: Night bus to Sao Paulo
  • Days 14-15: Sao Paulo
  • Day 16: Bus to Paraty
  • Days 17-18: Paraty
  • Day 19: Bus to Rio
  • Days 20-23: Rio de Janeiro
  • Day 24: End in Rio

Itinerary 5: From Bolivia to Rio (27 Days)

Coming from Brazil and travelling to Rio perhaps gives you the greatest swath of available destination opportunities starting with the wildlife rich Pantanal and ending with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.  This itinerary will give you a great means of exploring the best of what Southern Brazil has to offer.

From Bolivia to Rio

From Bolivia to Rio

  • Day 1: Arrive in Campo Grande from Bolivia
  • Days 2-4: Pantanal wildlife tour
  • Day 5: Campo Grande and Night bus to Iguazu Falls
  • Day 6: Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls
  • Day 7: Day trip to the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls
  • Day 8: Bus to Curitiba
  • Day 9: Curitiba
  • Day 10: Bus to Florianopolis
  • Days 11-13: Florianopolis
  • Day 14: Night bus to Sao Paulo
  • Days 15-16: Sao Paulo
  • Day 17: Bus to Paraty
  • Days 18-19: Paraty
  • Day 20: Bus to Ilha Grande
  • Days 21-22: Ilha Grande
  • Day 23: Bus to Rio de Janeiro
  • Days 24-26: Rio
  • Day 27: End in Rio de Janeiro

Campo Grande-Iguasu-Curitiba-Florianopolis-Sao Paulo-Parati-Ihla Grande-Rio

Itinerary 6: Complete Brazil: From Uruguay to Venezuela (73 Days)

When I travelled Brazil, I basically did a variation of this Itinerary Although my itinerary was different since I left Brazil for French Guyana instead of Venezuela (although I did eventually cross the border from Brazil to Venezuela).  This trip is a true adventure if you have the time, or if like myself, you are circumnavigating South America trying to see all its glory.  Quite obviously, this itinerary can be manipulated with a quick flight back to Rio de Janeiro at the end if you are trying to avoid Venezuela.  This itinerary is extensive and long, however, if you are up to it, this is a great adventure.

From Uruguay to Venezuela

From Uruguay to Venezuela

  • Day 1: Porto Alegre
  • Day 2: Bus to Florianopolis
  • Days 3-5: Folianopolis
  • Day 6: Bus to Curitiba
  • Day 7: Curitiba
  • Day 8: Catch the train to the coast and boat to Ilha do Mel
  • Day 9-10: Ilha do Mel
  • Day 11: Bus back to Curitiba and overnight bus to Foz do Iguasu
  • Day 12: Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls
  • Day 13: Day trip to Argentineans side of Iguazzu Falls
  • Day 14: Bus to Campo Grande
  • Days 15-17: Panatanal wildlife tour
  • Day 18: Bus to Sao Paulo
  • Days 19-20: Sao Paulo
  • Day 21: Bus to Parati
  • Days 22-23: Parati
  • Day 24: Bus to Ilha Grande
  • Days 25-27: Ilha Grande
  • Day 28: Bus to Rio de Janeiro
  • Days 29-32: Rio de Janeiro
  • Day 33: Bus to Belo Horizonte
  • Days 34-36: Belo Horizonte
  • Day 37: Bus to Porto Seguro
  • Days 38-40: Porto Seguro and Trancoso
  • Day 41: Bus to Salvador de Bahia
  • Days 42-44: Salvador de Bahia
  • Day 45: Bus to Recife
  • Days 46-48: Recife and Olinda
  • Day 49: Bus to Fortaleza
  • Days 50-51: Fortaleza
  • Day 52: Bus to Jericoacoara
  • Days 53-56: Jricoacoara
  • Day 57: Bus to Belem
  • Days 58-60: Belem
  • Days 61-62: Boat to Santarem
  • Days 63-65: Santarem
  • Days 66-67: Boat to Manaus
  • Days 68-71: Manaus and Wildlife excursion
  • Day 72: Bus to Boa Vista
  • Day 73: Bus to Venezuela


27 Comments

  1. Brazil is awesome. I would love to do the last one! If you don’t mind sharing, about how much money was it for you to do?

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Maggie… no problem sharing. I didn’t exactly live on a shoestring in Brazil like I normally do. When I did it I spent about 50US$ a day (mostly because of the fact I was there during the high season and carnival) but I’m sure that I could have done it for about 40$ a day had I tried a little harder.

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  2. I am parked at the moment in Buenos Aires and one thing I need to do is make a plan for Brazil so this should prove very helpful. I think I am going to try a variation of that last itinerary, possibly with a quick foray into Paraguay. Thanks for sharing. If I want to do the Guyanas also before Venezuela how would you recommend modifying the route? Also, I wasn’t planning to bother with Manaus but what do you think, is it skippable or a must-see?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Jeff,

      I actually did the trip to the Guianas, and it’s really simple. When you get to Belem you just either take the 24 hour boat ride to Macapa or you can fly to Macapa. The from Macapa it’s about a 12 hour bus ride to the border town called Olapoque where you cross into French Guiana.

      Manaus is amazing for wildlife, but if you do the Pantana it would be much of the same thing, you could skip it.

      Post a Reply
  3. Heyyy, so glad to know that you came to my home country!
    I’m from São Paulo, but there’s a place called Maragogi, in the state of Alagoas that is really beautiful here. If you come another time, be sure to go to this beach, cause it’s quite amazing! =)

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks for the tip Barbara… I’ll make sure to check it out next time I’m around!

      Post a Reply
  4. Hi Brendan,

    I’m travelling to Brazil in a group of four this August/September and we are looking at doing a route similar to your 39-day loop.

    Could you tell me more about the Pantanal wildlife tours? Is it best to book in advance through an operator or to arrange tours when we get there? How much does the Pantanal cost? (I understand that the lodges are quite expensive).

    Post a Reply
    • Beej, If you’re looking for a budget trip into the Panatanal give Ecological Expeditions in Campo Grande a look. I don’t have their website on hand but they’re good and low budget for sure. You will likely only need to give them dates a week or two in advance. The pantanal is sweet the time of year you’re going. That’s when it’s easiest to find cats. Also, there’s less rain and mosquitoes.

      Post a Reply
  5. Hi Brendan,

    First of all: thanks for all your stories, I love them!
    I fly to Suriname the end of august, and my plan was to travel over land to Brasil. I had a question about the visum for French Guinea: how did you get this? I think you also don’t have an outgoing flight because you were travelling over land?
    I also saw that most of the long travels, you use a full day in you itinerary. Is that because there are no nightbuses, or is it not safe? I would like to use them because it also make a difference in the accomodationcosts.

    Greetings, Esther
    The Netherlands

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Esther,
      French Guiana is a French department, so it’s just like entering a European country. You don’t need a visa if you’re a European citizen.
      In Brazil, the night buses are fine, and I normally would do the night bus personally. However, most people find them quite uncomfortable. They aren’t really nice buses like in Argentina. Still, to save time, take the night buses. Just make sure it’s a safe line as bus robberies used to be a major problem in Brazil, although it’s getting better.

      Post a Reply
  6. Hi…Great post and very helpful for newbies like myself to Brazil.
    I wondered if you may be able to assist me?

    I am travelling from London and I have about 3 weeks for Brazil and possibly somewhere else. My plan is to fly from Lon to GIG, stay in Rio for 4-5 days, then take a bus to Paraty and stay there for 2-3days. After this is when I get stuck with my plans as I want to also visit Salvador, the falls on both sides, The Amazon for 4 days and possibly the Pantanal, I just don’t know what order to do these trips in, I do know that I want The Amazon to be my 2nd to last stop. As it looks like I will have some spare days I was thinking of leaving Brazil and going to Buenos Aires then fly back to GIG to get flight home. The reason why I will fly back to GIG is because the return flight from Lon to Gig to London is the same price as me leaving Buenos Aires and taking a one way flight home to London.
    Do you have any suggestions as to what route to take and also where possible to take a busother than Rio to Paraty?
    Thank you very much
    Kelly

    Post a Reply
  7. Thank you for simplifying what has been an overwhelming trip to plan. How would you add the Iguazu Falls to the 19 day Cultural Brazil trip to make it a 22-24 day trip?

    Post a Reply
    • Pleasure Gena! From Sao Paolo there are direct buses to Iguazu Falls. It’s done quite easily. If you plan on visiting both sides of the falls, you’ll want a half day on the Brazilian side and a full day on the Argentinean side. For accommodation, and in general as a tourist staying the night, the Argentinean side is much better.

      Post a Reply
  8. Hi Brendan, have to thank you for this site, it’s been a great source of knowledge in advance of my trip to arg/bol/bra.

    One question I have is whether it’s best to book bus trips and flights in advance. A friend advised me not to book buses whilst in the location you want your bus to depart from. He also said that you get better deals on inbound flights if you book in South America and not prior to your trip.

    I’ve since read the opposite on a few sites and would be very grateful to know your opinion on booking transport in advance.

    Post a Reply
    • Jack, I’m not sure about the buses as I always booked them in the location of departure. I’m not sure it matters much. But, honestly, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard of that so it could be the case.
      As for flights, they are right. You’ll find better prices with the South American carriers. BUT, you can book with these airlines in advance too. It just takes more digging. The earlier you book, the better deal you’ll get, generally speaking.

      Post a Reply
  9. Hey Brendan,

    I’m planning a trip to Recife for a wedding and I have about 4 additional days to explore the area outside of the wedding itinerary which includes Recife, Maracaipe, and Porto de Galinhas. Do you have any recommendation of what to do those 4 days that isn’t too expensive? I’m thinking of traveling to either Salvador or Rio or both?

    Post a Reply
    • If you only have 4 days, I’d pick either Salvador or Rio as the moving would be too much. Personally, I love Salvador. However, it doesn’t have the same amount of tourist attractions Rio has. That said, I much prefer Salvador to Rio, in general.

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks for the quick response Brendan! One quick question, I’ve heard Salvador is similar to Recife, do you find that to be true as well?

        Post a Reply
        • Similar, yes. But not the same. I feel like Salvador has far more history and is more interesting for tourists. But from a local culture and atmosphere sense, yeah, they are fairly similar. There is a divide in Brazil between the south and the north. Both Recife and Salvador have that “north Brazil” feeling.

          Post a Reply
  10. Hi Brendan,

    I’m planning g to go to Brazil on August as one of my good friends lives there. She stays in florianapolis but ill be flying in from sao Paulo as it’s just much cheaper. I’ll spend about a week with her and was thinking to then do do something like your 21 day tour. Do you have a rough estimate on what a trip like hat would cost (excluding flights to Brazil) obviously I would do the trip the other way around as well. Any other tips are more then welcome too. Thanks

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Britt,
      I’d say something like $50-55 a day would be reasonable in Brazil these days. I did it for $45 but I travel on a pretty strict budget.

      Post a Reply
      • Hi Brendan,

        I will be in Brazil from September to December, during which I will have a month long leave during september, after which my classes will start at FGV Rio, which I will be attending as a part of semester exchange program. I intend to tour places far away from Rio during september, as I will be in Rio from october to december.

        Can you please advise me regarding planning my trip.

        Thanks

        Post a Reply
  11. Hi Brendan,

    We are planning a month trip to Brazil in February for 2 people. We are 21 years old so we are trying to make it as cheap as possible.
    We want to do something like the itinerary number 3, but we can’t find information for the transportation from Belo Horizonte to Salvador. Do you remember the bus brand that you used?

    Thanks for the amazing information.

    Micaela from Chile.

    Post a Reply
    • Fly. It’s not worth it to bus. The flights will likely be cheaper anyways. If you book the flights a month or so in advance you’ll get very cheap fares. Check kayak.com for the lowest prices on the airlines in Brazil.

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  12. Hi Brendan, my 22 year old son has booked a flight to Sao Paulo in June, returning end Aug. He is interested in doing some volunteering work as well as seeing as much as he can. He is a student and so he needs to be doing things on a budget… Can you give us any advice?

    Many thanks

    Post a Reply
  13. I’m planning on doing a similar route as the last itinerary but starting in Manaus and ending in Rio, January to March. I’m having trouble figuring out how much I should set aside for transportation expenses and adventure/activity expenses. When should I look into flying/busing and which cities should I set aside more/less for activities and adventuring? Right now I’m budgeting about $70 Canadian a day.

    Post a Reply

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