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Hikes & Beaches around Rio de Janeiro

This 10-day guided trip will take you through the state of Rio de Janeiro, from the imperial cities of Petropolis and Teresopolis, through lush green valleys of Serra dos Orgaos National Park and Tres Picos State Park, and ending nicely on the azure beaches of Costa do Sol. Hike along some of the most scenic trails in Brazil, stay in charming mountain huts, go horse-riding, taste organic delicacies from the mountains and then relax on the beach for a few days. Many of the trails can be done with children, being short, scenic and well-signposted. Stop for beautiful picnics in nature. Heading towards the coast, white sands and incredible shades of blue-green are waiting for you in Buzios, Cabo Frio and Arraial do Cabo. The Lagos Region is a true paradise worth visiting at least once in your life. Between June and October, you may come across whales during boat trips, which appear off the coast. Can you imagine how incredible it is to see these giant mammals up close? This is also a great destination for diving and you are surely to swim past turtles in this area. The program can be adapted, depending on your interests. It is a great choice for active travelers, with a relaxing time on the beach at the end.

10 Days – From £2,080 per person 

*equivalent in USD, EUR accepted

Itinerary: Rio de Janeiro, Petropolis, Teresopolis, Nova Friburgo, Buzios, Cabo Frio, Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro

  • Price is per person, based on two people sharing in a double/twin room
  • Accommodation with breakfast (more hotels HERE)
  • All the excursions mentioned in the itinerary 
  • All transfers by car on a private basis
  • Entrance & guiding fees to all the mentioned National Parks
  • All mandatory local taxes
  • Visa, where applicable
  • International Flights (See Flights to Brazil)
  • Domestic Flights 
  • Personal Expenses
  • Insurance
  • Tips & Gratuities
  • Meals not mentioned in the description.

International flights are not included in the package price. We give you the freedom to book the flights yourself, use miles and choose your preferred airline, and if you are stuck we can help you find the right connections. Return flights to Brazil start from £800 per person, depending on the connections and time of the year. Fly to Rio de Janeiro (GIG).

For families and groups (starting with 5 pax), we can book domestic flights in Brazil, during the high season, and if the trip is part of a more complex itinerary. This is to ensure a seamless travel and no complications.

Send us a message on WhatsApp or email us at to check availability, discuss your preferences and get a quote.

This is a sample itinerary and prices are correct at the time of writing. We can tailor it to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities. More days can be added. Other hotels can be chosen, according to your liking. You can also combine this trip with other sights in Brazil, like the cosmopolitan Rio de Janeiro, the exciting Amazon rainforest, the fascinating Pantanal or the deep canyons of the south. For more travel inspiration check our Brazil Itineraries.

Best time to visit: year round. It is best to avoid February, public holidays and the weekends when the beaches are very crowded. Best to start all the excursions early, before the crowds flock in. November to March is the rainy season. 

To avoid unpleasant weather surprises, we recommend to check our Brazil Weather Guide to plan your trip in the right season. Click on the month you want to travel in and see the tours which are best for each month of the year. 

Day 1 - Rio de Janeiro to Petropolis

In the morning depart to the former royal summer residence of Petropolis (1,5 hours / 68 km). The city was founded by Dom Pedro II, the last emperor of Brazil, in the 19th century. This is a great destination for a romantic getaway, as well as one full of history and culture. Visit the Quitandinha Palace, the neo-gothic cathedral, the historic center with beautiful architecture, museums and theaters. Petropolis is also one of the best places in Brazil for beer, offering a complete brewing experience in Latin America. Visit a local brewery and learn about the process of beer-making, tasting different beer types. Overnight at Alcobaça Pousada.

Beautiful view of Petropolis

Day 2 - Teresopolis

Today continue to Teresopolis (1,5 hours/55 km), the gateway to Serra dos Órgãos National Park. At the entrance to the city stop at Mirante do Soberbo to appreciate dramatic views of the mountains. Welcome to the land of hikers! Here you will find dozens of trails of all levels of difficulty. After check-in, head out and follow a trail of a moderate difficulty, called Trilha Cartão Postal (1 km), followed by a 15 min easy walk to a natural spring. The path presents a beautiful view of the mountains, Dedo de Deus, Escalavrado, Santo Antônio and Dedo de Nossa Senhora. After the hike enjoy a cold beer at Villa St. Gallen. Overnight at Verde Novo Chales.

The beautiful cones of Serra dos Orgaos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Day 3 - Pedra do Sino Hike

Today take a longer guided trek along Pedra do Sino trail (8 hours return), reaching the highest point of Serra dos Órgãos National Park. The trail is 11km long, passing through the forest and then climbing up. You will first take an easy hike along a historic paved road through the forest. On your way, you will find two waterfalls, where you can stop to recover. This is considered a moderate to difficult trail, but the reward is well worth it. Once at the top, enjoy breathtaking views of Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro and even Vale do Paraíba. Overnight at Fazenda Rosa dos Ventos.

Serra dos Orgaoes National Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Day 4 - Tres Picos

After breakfast, take a nice walk is a peaceful environment, passing through the pleasant pastures, waterfalls and forests of Tres Picos State Park. Hike along Vale dos Deuses and Vale dos Frades historic path with breathtaking landscapes, farmlands and giant araucaria trees (15 km/4,5 hours). Enjoy fantastic views of Pico Maior, Pico Médio, Pico Menor and Capacete that form all kinds of incredible shapes. Stop for picnics and take your time to contemplate the surroundings. Finish the hiking at  Cachoeira dos Frades waterfall with a refreshing bath. Return to Nova Friburgo at the end of the trek. Overnight at Fazenda Auberge Suisse.

Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Day 5 - Dois Bicos & Buzios

Before heading to the coast, take one last guided hike along the scenic Dois Bicos trail, located in Vale das Sebastianas, considered one of the most beautiful in the region (6 km/3 hours). This trail is easy and fun for beginners, passing through green hills and farmlands. After refreshing in the waterfall, start making your way to the beach (4,5 hours). Reach the charming town of Búzios in the late afternoon. The lively nightlife, art galleries, high-end boutiques, sophisticated restaurants, and the exquisite cuisine make Buzios quite a popular destination. Everyone who visits Búzios falls in love with it. Stroll along Rua das Pedras and Orla Bardot and have a delicious dinner at the seafront. Overnight at La Chimere.

Statues of fishermen and wooden boats in Buzios at sunset, Brazil

Day 6 - Buzios & Cabo Frio

Buzio is surrounded by green crystal-clear waters and the local infrastructure blends harmoniously with the gorgeous beaches. Praia de João Fernandes is one of the most beautiful, Geribá and Praia da Ferradurinha are peaceful and perfect for families with kids. You can try stand up paddle or go snorkeling. In the afternoon, head to Cabo Frio (45 min). Visit Forte São Mateus, built in the 1620s to protect the brazilwood trade from pirates. Later, take a short boat ride to Ilha do Japonês, a true haven of calm and beautiful waters, located very close to the downtown. At sunset, take a walk along Praia do Forte, one of the most beautiful urban beaches in Brazil. Try a refreshing coconut drink. Overnight at Solar do Arco.

Wooden boats in Cabo Frio, Brazil

Day 7 - Diving

Today is the diving day. Jacques Yves Cousteau was amazed by the region’s crystalline waters with high visibility up to 30 m. The cool southerly and warm northerly currents of the Atlantic meet here, creating an underwater paradise for marine species. You will encounter sea turtles, groupers, moray eels, queen angelfish, seahorses, lobsters, squids, dolphins, and rays. There are several underwater caves and canyons to explore.  Choose from such dive spots as Gruta Azul, Ilha Comprida, Ilha Dois Irmãos and Ilha dos Papagaios. You can also explore several shipwrecks: Pinguino Wreck, Carolina and Dona Paula. There are over 40 sunken vessels. Overnight at Bravo Pousada Design.

Scuba Diving in Arraial do Cabo, Brazil

Day 8 - Arraial do Cabo

Today take a moderate hike to Mirante da Cabocla (3 hours). Starting at Prainha, the route passes by Praia da Graçainha, Mirante do Forno, Mirante da Prainha, finishing at Mirante da Cabocla. The views along the way are incredible! Later, head to the beach. Arraial do Cabo is one of the best destinations in Brazil for snorkelling and diving. The waters have good visibility and the marine diversity is great. Take your snorkel and get ready to meet turtles and lots of colorful fish! Head to Praia da Graçainha or Praia do Forno and observe the marine life without having to take a boat trip. Snorkel or practice stand up paddle. These beaches have calm waters and a relaxing atmosphere. Overnight at Bravo Pousada Design.

Beautiful beach in Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Day 9 -  Arraial do Cabo

At 08:30 depart from Praia dos Anjos or Porto do Forno on a boat trip (4 hours). Start very early to enjoy the paradise beaches before the flocks arrive. Visit Praia da Ilha do Farol, an impressive reserve of the Brazilian Navy. Continue to Fenda da Aparição and Pedra do Gorila rocks, then reach Gruta Azul, a charming little corner. You can see turtles in the cave, and with some luck one can also spot dolphins and whales. Continue to the dreamy As Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia for snorkelling and relaxation. On the right corner of the beach visit Gruta do Amor cave. It’s a spectacle of nature. Return to town and enjoy the sunset. Overnight at Pousada Enseada das Garcas.

Escadaria das Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia, Arraial do Cabo, Brazil

Day 10 - Return to Rio de Janeiro

Today return back to Rio de Janeiro (2,5 hours / 165 km), leaving behind the white sands and a striking blue tone of the sea. We hope that these azure beaches were a good reward after hiking. While departing to Rio, pass by Praia Seca in Ararauma, a hidden gem and almost an untouched piece of paradise for those seeking tranquility. Most of the sand strip is pretty empty and perfect for a late afternoon walk. Continue to Saquarema with waves up to 3 meters high, known as a surfing spot. The beaches here are wide and peaceful. Stop for lunch. Once in Rio, after check-in, relax and enjoy the pool. Overnight at Casa Beleza.

Beautiful view of Rio de Janeiro

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