Day 1: Salvador
You will start your experience of Salvador with the African Oriented City Tour. This in-depth examination of modern and historical Salvador, led by a private guide, will walk you through the rich African roots of Salvador Bahia. You will explore the Pelourinho area, the Afro-Brazilian Museum, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary, and the Casa do Benin in an effort to identify the city’s African genesis. The Afro-Brazilian Museum, traces the West African origins of the city. Here you will observe the work of Salvador's most celebrated artist, Carybé before visiting the famous Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. This famous black church dominates Pelourinho Square with its unmistakable blue façade. Built with limited resources over a period of almost 100 years, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary is a constant reminder of a difficult past. Your enlightening afro-centric sightsee ends at the Casa do Benin (Benin House). Concentrating on the early expansion of the city, the Benin House highlights the permeating African influence that continues to exist in Salvador Brazil.
After a delightful lunch at a quaint Salvadorian restaurant, you will spend the afternoon touring Salvador’s lower city. A large contrast to the bustling upper city of Salvador, you will observe the calm waters of the Ithapagipe Peninsula and watch as locals catch shellfish and fisherman fish from dug out canoes. The Lower City Tour is a pleasant reminder of life’s simple pleasures. Offering a different perspective of city life, you will enjoy the breathtaking city views from the Monserrat district as well as test your bargaining skills at the Mercado Modelo.
Day 2: Salvador
Open leisure day to explore the city on your own.
At night you’ll be required to live it up. Observe the Bahia Folklore Company (Balé Folclórico da Bahia) at the intimate Miguel Santana Theatre in Pelourinho, as they exemplify the culture and movements of the people of Bahia. You will witness the sacred dances of the Candomblé; puxada de rede, a song by fishermen in honor of Yemanjá, the goddess of the sea and the samba de roda, a spinning, swirling version of the exuberant national dance.
Boutique Hotel – Villa Bahia
You will stay at the famous Hotel Villa Bahia. Located in Salvador’s historical center, Hotel Villa Bahia is only steps away from the world-renowned Jorge Amado Museum. Charming, exclusive and unique, this newly renovated boutique hotel includes 17 rooms, a gourmet restaurant and a large swimming pool. The rooms in Hotel Villa Bahia tell the story of the Portuguese maritime. Each provides an inside look at the history of courageous Portuguese explorers and navigators as well as the most important moments in the history of the spice trade. The Portuguese quickly changed the course of history by overturning the rules of international trade. Eventually Brazil became the most profitable Portuguese colony and Salvador da Bahia, became the most prosperous city in the southern hemisphere.
The furniture was handcrafted in the State of Minas Gerais and the decoration includes gorgeous woods and designs from the State of Bahia. The hotel has two hidden patios. One has a fountain surrounded with papyrus, ferns and palm trees. The other is a white patio that serves as backdrop to the pool. The hotel’s terrace offers a magnificent view of historical Bahia’s roofs, bell towers and colorful facades.
In addition to delightful amenities, Hotel Villa Bahia is led by gracious and informed personnel. While the hotel provides its guests with the best of the best, what also makes Hotel Villa Bahia so wonderful is its commitment to the community and its immense efforts to be sustainable. All of the employees study French through a collaborative effort with Salvador’s Alliance Française. The personnel’s uniforms have been designed by a group of students in Salvador’s school of fashion, and the metal plumbing fixtures, bathtubs and sinks come from the hands of Velhão’s ironmongers. Hotel Villa Bahia does it very best to showcase the work of its community. A local women’s association wove the duvets and the wooden furniture and objects in the rooms were tailor-made by the Oficina de Agosto workshop, which teaches locals how to restore worn objects and reuse them. Hotel Villa Bahia is proud of its bahian history. Their pride is showcased in their uniforms and stationery, which echo the “Carta de Caminha”, a letter addressed to the King of Portugal as well as the hotel’s restaurant, Restaurante Villa Bahia.
The executive chef prepares delicious meals with elements of Bahia. Each plate is seasoned with “dende” while Brazilian cassava, and tapioca cuscus are a must. Breakfast is served at the restaurant. Take in the tropical air and listen to the city sounds as you enjoy your sweet and savory Salvadorian specialties on the patio. Located in coffee country, the café at Hotel Villa Bahia is delicious.
Hotel Villa Bahia is the perfect place to stay in the historic old town of Salvador. Relax and unwind in elegance. This beautifully renovated colonial house is charming with modern comforts, and great service.
Day 3: Salvador
The next day you will leave the city behind to explore All Saints’ bay, home to sugar cane plantations, busy country markets, and quiet colonial towns. Your day in the life of rural Brazil will include driving to Santo Amaro and then onto the lovely country town of Cachoeira. Considered the hidden treasure of the Paraguacu River, we will tour Cachoeira before exploring the Danemann Cultural Center.
The regal streets of Salvador are lavish reminders of the colonial beginnings of this magnificent city. Beautiful baroque style homes, churches and monuments are easy on the eyes and maintain a vast historical significance. You will enjoy the Barra Lighthouse, the Teatro Castro Alves, Forte de Sao Pedro and Praca Castro Alves all en route to the historical city center of Pelourinho.? The focus in Pelourinho is the sacred São Francisco Church and Convent of Salvador known the significant amount of gold which adorns the interior.
Salvador, Bahia is a cultural masterpiece. Set apart by its diverse areas, afro-centric roots, and colonial chic design, you will uniquely experience the city before heading to Rio de Janeiro.
Day 4: Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro defies all expectations. Gorgeous mountains, white-sand beaches and thriving rainforests make Rio one of most spectacular metropolises in the world. It’s considered the cultural center of Brazil, the birthplace of samba, and home to some of the world’s sexiest individuals. You will explore this extraordinary city and it’s main attractions with a private tour guide. First you will reach Sugar Loaf Mountain by cable car and admire the impressive views of this spectacular city as well as and the endless beaches that stretch the horizon. From there you will observe the symbolic statue of Christ, The Redeemer, which sits on top of the Carcovado Hill and blesses the city. Rio is a fantastic combination of beaches, deep blue waters, mountains, forests and urban areas. Your exploratory tour of the area ends in the lovely city of Santa Teresa known as Rio's Montmartre. Sometimes described as the Brooklyn of Rio, Santa Teresa is full of culture, art, history and music. Charming little restaurants, bistros and bars exemplify sophistication and provide delicious food options for its visitors. Only minutes away from the buzz of Rio’s city center, Santa Teresa has a small town feel.
Boutique Hotel – Santa Teresa
You will stay at the magnificent Santa Teresa. The neighborhood of Santa Teresa, originated around the Santa Teresa Convent. The lovely Santa Teresa Hotel is a historical coffee plantation mansion whose design and décor was inspired by the golden ages of coffee and coca. The views of the city are exquisite. Perched on a hillside in the center of the city, Santa Teresa has preserved features of Old Rio and maintained the cultural treasures and historic buildings.
Hotel Santa Teresa is redefining the boutique, luxury experience in Rio de Janeiro. Chic, elegant, and exclusive, Hotel Santa Teresa is located in the heart of the historical Santa Teresa district. Gorgeous views, fabulous amenities, and superb service make this hotel the perfect place for guests touring the area. Close proximity to all the hot spots and easy access to the best beaches in and around the city; make Hotel Santa Teresa unique and convenient for a leisurely visit to Brazil.
The hotel has been undergoing renovations for almost two years, and while it has preserved its colonial façade, the inside of the Hotel Santa Teresa now has a modern twist. All of the rooms, the restaurant, lounge, and spa have been recreated using trendy tropical materials. The lavish furniture and artwork are proudly home grown and each piece, diligently created by contemporary Brazilian designers, portrays elegance and serenity. The comfort and elegance of the hotel’s unique design including tropical gardens, serene music, and simplistic décor allow guests to harmonize with nature. The entire hotel evokes the senses while the rooms and suites offer complete comfort and convenience. Each room has a unique view. You may enjoy the red-tiled roofs of colonial houses, the tropical gardens surrounding the hotel, the magnificent city of Rio de Janeiro, or even the Christ the Redeemer statue perched above the city. Rooms and suites include heavenly beds, extravagant bathroom amenities, LCD TVs with over 60 cable channels and complimentary broadband internet connection. Every detail of Hotel Santa Teresa has been carefully considered to provide the ultimate boutique hotel experience.
Hotel Santa Teresa’s greatest amenities include the lounge, restaurant, and spa. The lounge, Bar dos Descasados, the former slave quarters of this historic mansion, offers guests a trendy bohemian setting to sip drinks and enjoy appetizers. At night, the trendy lounge music, candles and starlit skies, give Bar dos Descasados a romantic vibe, perfect for beginning or ending your evening. The hotel’s restaurant, Térèze, is a sophisticated, yet casual eco-chic venue. Satisfy your palate with Brazilian cuisine and enjoy a wine that compliments your meal. It’s a fuse between Asian and Mediterranean cuisine. Experience distinct flavors, textures and aromas unique to Brazil and unique to Térèze ‘s executive chef Damien Montecer. The spa at the Hotel Santa Teresa provides an ambiance of tranquility and harmony. Highly trained, professional staff provide a wide array of treatments while an exclusive partnership with Eco-Amazonian Natural products, ensures complete satisfaction. Hotel Santa Teresa is chic, luxurious, and serene. The gorgeous views, unique amenities, and unparalleled comfort and convenience make it the perfect place to stay on a lovely vacation to Brazil.
Day 5: Rio de Janeiro
Wake up early and enjoy a light jog along the pure white sands of Copacabana beach before breakfast. Quench your thirst with natural agua de coco, and observe the gorgeous sidewalk mosaics as you head towards Flamengo Park. In the distance your can admire Sugarloaf Mountain and the arms of Christ the Redeemer perched atop Corcovado Mountain.
Your day includes a tour of downtown Rio. Culturally immerse yourself, explore old Rio, and enjoy the beautiful city center. This insider's tour to colonial Rio highlights the concealed, preserved, and authentic Rio de Janeiro so many fail to discover. You will visit the old Lapa district; Praça 15; the Candelaria Church; as well as the São Bento Monastery. Rio’s city center is vibrant. Always crowded, always lively, you will enjoy Av. Rio Branco, and the scenic Cinelandia Square during lunch.
Day 6: Niteroi
Today, it’s off to Niterói. Niterói is separated from the Rio de Janeiro by the Guanabara Bay. The city’s main attraction is the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói (The Museum of Contemporary Art), designed by world famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, its shape resembles a flying saucer. You will tour the museum as well as visit the Santa Cruz fortress, a XVII century colonial fortress, with canons, dungeons and solid rock buildings. Before arriving back in Rio, you will stop in the lovely Parque da Ciudade to enjoy a remarkable view of Niterói and the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Day 7: Rio de Janeiro
Today we enjoy a favela tour, an illuminating experience if you look for an insider point of view of Brazil. The tour introduces you to another Rio, within Rio city: the favela. There are close to 950 favelas in Rio. Mostly placed on former public areas on the hillsides, they are now home to 20% of Rio's population, however they remain a mystery for most people who don't live there. The tour is not only to explain about favelas, but to give you a whole new understanding about different aspects of Brazilian society. You will go to the favelas of Vila Canoas and Rocinha, the largest one in the country. Picturesque from a distance, once closer they reveal their complex architecture, developing commerce and friendly people. Most Samba Schools participating in the Carnival parade come from favelas. The tour changes their reputation of areas related only to violence and poverty. Don't be shy, you are welcome there, and local people support your visit. If you really want to understand Brazil, don't leave Rio without having done the favela tour.
Day 8: Buzios
Your final Boutique Brazil destination is Buzios. Known as the “St. Tropez” of Brazil, this hip cultural center is home to some of Brazil’s best shops, hottest beaches and a hoping nightlife. All the beaches are easily accessible. Considered a surfer’s paradise, Buzios is perfect for surfing, windsurfing, swimming, and snorkeling. The nightlife in Buzios revolves around Rua das Pedras. A beautiful area that attracts beautiful people, Rua das Pedras’ most popular bars and clubs include Privilege, Pacha, and Chez Michou. Chez Michou is the meeting place of gorgeous individuals. With a fantastic open bar, a lively crowd and a friendly and attractive bar staff, Chez Michou is always busy and always fun.
A trip to Buzios is not complete without delectable meals. Two restaurant musts are L’Escale, a panache French restaurant just outside of the city’s center and Restaurante David, known for big portions of delicious Brazilian cuisine. L’Escale is a rustic French café with savory homemade crepes, cooked to perfection right before your eyes. Restaurante David, also known as "Restaurante Do David” has great food, gracious servers, and good prices. Enjoy their delicious shrimp in coconut sauce for two followed by a tender and flavorful Kobe steak large enough to share.
Buzios is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the world.
Boutique Hotel – Vila d’Este
Your hotel, Vila D'este is located right on the ocean and provides its guests with gorgeous views of the beach, and blissful images of the sunset. Originally settled by European pirates and slave traders, this beautiful area became a picturesque fishing village famous for its architectural harmony and beautiful beaches.
Days 9-10: Buzios
A huge contrast from the hectic city of Rio, this gorgeous beach town is perfect for relaxing. Feel the soft white sand sink between your toes, sprawl out on a towel in front of the bright blue ocean and unwind. Vila D'este is a charming boutique hotel with twelve suites and two bungalows. Located within walking distance from Buzios beaches, this gorgeous property is designed for guests who seek relaxation, exclusivity, and VIP treatment. Perched on a hillside between Centro and Orla Bardot, Vila D'Este has amazing views, beautiful decor, and an excellent staff. It's everything you would like for a romantic getaway. Sip Capirinhas, enjoy the beautiful sunset, and listen to the DJ by the warm and inviting outdoor swimming pool. The hotel’s restaurant, Bistro Vila D'este, overlooks the sea and serves a wide range of Brazilian and Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant’s cozy bar and lounge provides guests with a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy exotic cocktails and soothing music before or after dinner.
Boutique Brazil is a unique cultural, culinary, and romantic excursion through Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, and Buzios, Brazil. Do something different. Enjoy this creative, exclusive, and exciting vacation. VIP Tour Group is bringing you the hidden treasures of one of the world’s most fascinating countries. Cultural delicacies revealed…it’s a journey you won’t regret.