Updated: Oct 5, 2021
1. Take a Rio de Janeiro City Tour
I’d 100% recommend taking a city tour to visit some of Rio’s hot spots. As I only had one full day in Rio, the city tour allowed me to see everything I wanted to see in Rio in such a short period of time. My favourite part of the day was of course the visit to the famous wonder of the world - Christ the Redeemer! We also visited the colourful Lapa Steps, the Rio Cathedral and then took the cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. This gave me the most incredible 360 views of Rio and it really was breathtaking.
2. Activities in Ilha Grande
Ilha Grande is easily accessible by ferry and it is one of the most beautiful island’s I’ve ever visited. There are so many activities do to on the island including: hiking the island’s remote trails, going snorkelling in the crystal clear water, relaxing on the beach and scuba diving. You can get across to the island via the port of Angra dos Reis and the ferry journey is 1hr30mins. If you’re looking for the best time to snorkel in Ilha Grande then I’d recommend visiting from November to May. Snorkelling hotspots include the Blue Lagoon, Green Lagoon and Abraazinho Beach.
3. Party in Ilha Grande
If you love to party, then Ilha Grande is the perfect place for you. They have some really fun clubs with a great atmosphere and a guaranteed good night out – I speak from experience! We all went as a group and the music was a mix of mainstream pop and Brazilian music. Drinks were significantly cheaper in the local bars than in the clubs but that is to be expected. The night out summed up the vibes in Ilha Grande – chilled out and so much fun!
4. Visit Paraty
You can’t go to Brazil without visiting the colonial city – Paraty! Paraty is known for its cobblestone streets and cachaça distillery. You can take a tour of a cachaça distillery where sugarcane juice is used to create the most popular distilled spirit in Brazil. In Brazil you’ll become very used to drinking the country’s national cocktail, a Caipirinha! The cachaça is used to make this famous drink. You can also go on a 4x4 Jeep Tour where you enter the Serra de Bocaina National Park. Here you can visit waterfalls and travel along the Gold Trail road which was constructed by African slaves to transport gold mined inland and transported to Paraty port heading for Portugal.
5. Spend a day at Iguazu Falls
There are two sides that you can visit Iguazu Falls – the Brazilian side and the Argentinian side. I was lucky enough to visit both but if you are only visiting Brazil then I’d highly recommend you take a day trip to see the breath-taking Iguazu Falls. To get to the Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls you need to take a public bus from Puerto Iguazu to the town of Foz do Iguazu. Once there you’ll need to take bus 120 from the bus terminal to get to the Brazilian side. This will take at least 1hr30mins. You must remember your passport for the crossing otherwise you won’t be let in! Although it is true that there are a vast number of people visiting the Falls – they are SO worth it! They are not just a sight; they are an experience. I’d definitely recommend taking a jet boat ride where they take you under the Falls as you get such a unique experience. On the other hand, if you want a bit more adrenaline, you can opt to take a helicopter ride over the Falls which is a once in a lifetime opportunity.