Precious Journeys Brazil

Discover Brazil's colonial past, its art and culture as well as its sophisticated cities.

Country Information


Precious Journeys Brazil Precious Journeys

(Countries Visited)


(Interest Type(s))

Adventure Travel


Family Travel

(Tour Length)

8 Days

Tour Highlights

Starting at: $4,290
  • Savor the views from atop Rio’s Corcovado Mountain on a private tour and visit the 120-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer statue
  • Discover Belo Horizonte, and its Pampulha District, famous for the works of three of Brazil’s renowned artists, who helped create the neighborhoods around its man-made lake
  • Explore Ouro Preto’s well-preserved Portuguese colonial architecture, its 18th- and 19th-century churches decorated with gold and the sculptured works of Aleijadinho
  • Visit other fascinating gold towns including Mariana and Sabará
  • This year, Rio is once again the site of a sustainability conference, the Rio +20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, which builds upon the 1992 Rio Earth Summit where the pattern was set for the sustainable development of today


Day 1:  Arrive Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Welcome to Rio de Janeiro, the city of mountains and sea, samba and carnival and a relaxed way of life.  After claiming your luggage, exit the Customs Hall where a representative from Big Five will be waiting to escort you to hotel.  Begin by exploring the 15th of November Square in the heart of downtown Rio, where you see the influence of French architecture.  The Casa Franca-Brasil building, for example, was designed by the famous French architect Grandjean de Montigny, and is the finest example of neoclassical style found in Rio today.  Tour Marechal Floriano Square, also known as Cinelandia, to see the best of late 18th-century French-style architecture in Rio de Janeiro:  the Municipal Theatre, a scaled-down of the Paris Opera; the Fine Arts Museum; the National Library (reputed worldwide for the copies of Gutemberg's bible and other first editions dating back to 1500, and brought to Brazil by the imperial family of Portugal when they moved to Brazil fleeing Napoleon's threat).  Stop at Confeitaria Colombo Restaurant for a quick coffee in this traditional restaurant. Then, you will visit the Sugar Loaf, known world over as Rio's postcard and a must to visit.  Sugar Loaf is reached on a two-stage cable car ride.  Sofitel Rio De Janeiro – Deluxe “My Bed” Ocean View Room

Day 2:  Rio de Janeiro
Enjoy a private tour of Tijuca Forest and Corcovado Mountain.  Tijuca Forest is the largest urban forest in the world.  It covers the hills of Rio and is easily accessible from the city.  You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Tijuca Forest.  Enter through the tree farm where the contrast between the "Stone Jungle" and a tropical forest in the middle of a city can be seen.  Stop at "Vista Chinesa" to learn the history of the reforestation process of the forest and the importance of the Atlantic Jungle.  See Emperor's Table, where the imperial family used to picnic, Cascatinha Waterfall, and Mayrink Chapel, with its fantastic views, tropical vegetation, colorful butterflies and birds.  You may even see monkeys and sloths.  Enjoy a trek of approximately one hour on an easy trail to learn about the botanical aspect of the forest.  Visit one of the impressive 120-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer atop the Corcovado Mountain.  At Corcovado train station, you will board the cogwheel train for a short ride up the mountain to the statue's base at an elevation of 2,400 feet.  Once there, marvel at the outstretched arms spreading above the spectacular panorama of Rio de Janeiro; its beaches, the Guanabara Bay, buildings and bridges fanning out in a magnificent 360-degree panoramic view.  After lunch the balance of the day is at leisure to explore the city independently.  Sofitel Rio De Janeiro – Deluxe “My Bed” Ocean View Room (B)

Day 3:  Rio de Janeiro
Enjoy free time today to explore or pursue your own interests  This evening, travel past the floodlit beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, and cross Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon to Plataforma 1 barbecue restaurant for a traditional dinner.  This restaurant is a favorite with “cariocas,” city dwellers.  After dinner, enjoy an evening performance of Brazilian music and a glimpse of the rich carnival costumes and the contagious sound of the drums.  Sofitel Rio De Janeiro – Deluxe “My Bed” Ocean View Room (B,D)

Day 4:  Rio De Janeiro / Belo Horizonte
Fly to Belo Horizonte, a mix of contemporary and classical influences, and explore Pampulha District, famous for the work of three of Brazil’s renowned artists:  Oscar Niemeyer, Roberto Burle Marx and Candido Portinar.  This project incorporates Oscar Niemeyer's first public buildings, Roberto Burle Marx’s integrated gardens and landscaping, and Candido Portinari, who painted the interior of the Saint Francis of Assissi Church.  Pampulha area also houses the art museum, yacht club, soccer stadium and the Minas Gerais University Campus.  Ouro Minas Palace – Premium Room (B) 

Day 5:  Belo Horizonte / Ouro Preto
On the way to Ouro Preto stop in the mining town of Congonhas to visit one of Brazil’s artistic treasures, the famous sculptural masterpiece the Twelve Prophets carved in soapstone. These life-size figures were created by sculptor and architect Aleijadinho in the late 18th-century.  The artist also crafted the nearby Via Crucis Chapels, with some 66 figures, also life-size, carved in wood between1780 to 1790, and set in pavilions along a long courtyard depicting scenes from the Passion of the Christ.  Then travel to Ouro Preto, founded in 17th century.  It reached its height in the golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule.  It remains a gem of colonial architecture and a UNESCO Cultural Patrimony of Mankind Site.  Solar Do Rosario Hotel – Double Deluxe (B)

Day 6:  Ouro Preto – Mariana 
Discover Ouro Preto, a former colonial mining town.  This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its outstanding Baroque architecture.  Highlights include the basilica, which features an 18th-century organ from Germany with gold-inlaid wood panels decorated in oriental style; the Church of St.Francis of Assissi; Museum of the School of Mines; and the Church of Our Lady of Pilar, which marked the culmination of Golden Age architecture with carved works painted entirely in gold.  This is also the only area where you find the beautiful imperial topaz.  Casa dos Contos is an 18th-century building that houses a collection of gold coins from the colonial period.  Lunch will be a taste of typical Mineira dishes of the regions: Feijão Tropeiro and Tutu à Mineira (two different dishes using beans).  Then, you visit the town of Mariana, another former mining center founded at the same time as Ouro Preto.  It was Minas Gerais' state first capital.  When it was first, discovered gold could be easily found in riverbeds.  Mariana is a National Heritage Town, known for its historic preservation.  Visit the Archdiocesan Museum with an important religious Baroque art collection, furniture, paintings and silver objects; Minas Gerais Plaza, an architectural complex with the chamber house and jail; and the churches of Carmo and São Francisco and the Pillory (place of punishment of slaves).  Like many areas of the time, slaves were brought in to work the mines.  Solar Do Rosario Hotel – Double deluxe (B,L)

Day 7:  Ouro Preto – Sabará
Sabará was one of the most productive gold mines at the time along with Ouro Preto and Mariana.  Highlights include a Gold Museum; with models of gold mines, mining systems and artifacts, and Our Lady of Carmo Church, home to one of only two Elizabethan theaters in Brazil.  Solar Do Rosario Hotel – Double Deluxe (B,L)

Day 8:  Preto / Belo Horizonte / Sao Paulo / Depart
Transfer back to Belo Horizonte to connect with your flight home. (B)

Departure Dates:  Jun 1- Sep 30, 2013

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Starting from $4290

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