Arrival transfer accompanied by a local bilingual guide to your hotel. The local guide will be waiting for you right at the exit of the luggage claim area. There are cities whose secrets can be told in few words. Others, one is unable to imagine without the aid of pictures. One has to sketch their profiles and colour them. With Rio de Janeiro, it is even more difficult. Its colour and profile are unique in the world. There is no way to describe such a wealth of sensations. Rio de Janeiro - a city of contrasts. Contrasts of colour, of life styles and dazzling scenery that will always fascinate and make one long to be there. Rio de Janeiro is a city sculptured in space that sits capriciously on a thin strip of land between the mountains and the sea. Its horizontal dimensions and hills provide a unique vertical perspective. Every segment of the landscape is different: on the ocean side of the city, islands reflect the sun and the other side is bounded by a forest with its lush greenery. Winding through the midst of all this, sits the city, with its avenues and skyscrapers. Rio is the capital of happiness, the sun washed city of Carnival, build around the most beautiful bay in the world.
After pick-up from your hotel, we start our half-day tour downtown to visit the highlights of the city that has been the capital of Colonial Brazil, the Portuguese and Brazilian Empire and now the Republic. The many attractions are the highlights of these periods and are part of the Brazilian National Heritage. The Sugar Loaf, known world over as Rio’s postcard shot and a must-see. Since the best time of the day to go up the cable car is later in the day, our tour will close at the Sugar Loaf. Sugar Loaf is reached on a two-stage cable car ride. This cable car is of Italian manufacture and takes 80 people per trip on a 2-minute ride, each stage. The first stage, Morro da Urca - barely 170m high, has a restaurant, amphitheatre, a helipoint for scenic rides and a privileged view of the Yacht Club and Botafogo Bay. The second stage takes one up to the Sugar Loaf - thus named because of the loaves of sugar that were commonly used by the Portuguese at the time of the discovery of the city. The all-encompassing view of this privileged 270m high lookout is unrivaled.
After pick-up, this half-day tour takes the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (lagoon) expressway to reach the Rebouças tunnel, a 2.6km long complex that links the southern and northern parts of the city cut in half by the Tijuca ridge, making Rio the only city in the world to have a national park 5 minutes from downtown. Reaching the Cosme Velho district, you will then board a cogwheel train of Swiss manufacture that climbs the mountain from its base at 15m to almost its summit at 670m. The very top is reached by climbing a flight of steps reaching the base of Christ the Redeemer statue. This statue covered with a mosaic of soapstone is one of Rio’s finest Art Nouveau monuments. The view, from this vantage point, with the surrounding Tijuca National Forest spreading below and a circle of mountains closing the horizon at the very back of the Guanabara bay. Continue taking a different route to return the hotel. Your guide will take around 40 minutes to show you the city and the statue. After this, return to the train and descend to Cosme Velho to board the bus to visit São Conrado and Pepino Beach, where the hang-gliders soar.
Tour leaves the hotel, taking the south route that leads to the Rio/Santos highway. Driving as far as Itacuruçá, formerly a fishing village to board a schooner (a typical wooden boat built to sail in bays and along the coast). Itacuruça is today the place to start an Angra dos Reis bay tour. After some 40 minutes sailing, the schooner will stop at Jaguanum island for a swim in its balmy and tranquil waters. After this stop, the schooner will take you to Ilha do Martins for lunch. Buffet lunch includes barbecued cuts of meat, sausages and chicken, a variety of salads and desserts. There is ample time for a lazy time in a hammock or beach sports just after lunch. Return trip will start at around 4pm when the schooner will leave Ilha do Martins for Itacuruçá. Board the bus for the return trip to Rio.
Transfer accompanied by the local guide, from the hotel to the airport.