Brazil 1-Month Itinerary

The Ideal 1-Month Brazil Itinerary

Brazil is a bucket-list destination, drawing travellers with its remarkable diversity. From the vibrant energy of bustling cities like Rio de Janeiro, to the pristine beaches of Florianopolis, Brazil offers a spectrum of experiences. Here's how to travel the country like a pro in this 1-month Brazil itinerary.

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How Many Days In Brazil Is Enough?

I would recommend two-four weeks in Brazil. Two weeks is more than enough time to see the two biggest cities – Sao Paulo and Rio, and the main attraction – Iguazu Falls.

 

3-4 weeks is ideal to do all this but to also spend more time of the beautiful beaches and islands that Brazil is famous for, such as Ihla Grande and Florianopolis. 

 

I think a month in Brazil is ideal to get lost, become sun kissed, learn to surf and see the entirety of the southern coast. 

Brazil 1-Month Itinerary

How To Spend A Month In Brazil

Brazil is a huge country. To put it into perspective, it’s roughly twice the size of the whole of the EU put together.

 

However, don’t stress as you don’t need to see the entire country and most of the hot spot destinations can be found along the coast. 

 

A month here gives you enough time to see the big cities properly, enjoy slow travel, and spend a good amount of time on a beach.

 

You can spend 5-7 days in Rio and see all it has to offer, spend a week on Ilha Grande, one of the most beautiful islands in Brazil, explore the whole of Florianopolis and then finish with Iguazu.

 

Here’s how I would spend a month in Brazil:

 

  • Day 1-5 – Rio De Janiero
  • Day 6-10 – Ilha Grande
  • Day 11-13 – Paraty
  • Day 14-19 – Itamanbuca
  • Day 20-21 – Sao Paulo
  • Day 22-28 – Florianopolis
  • Day 29-31 – Iguazu

Day 1-5: Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, with its vibrant culture, iconic landmarks, and lively atmosphere, is a city where the magic of Brazil comes alive.

 

From the pulsating rhythms of samba to the breathtaking vistas from Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio has something for every traveller.

 

5 days really is essential to see everything it has to offer.

 

    • Day 1: Arrival and settling in. I recommend either on or close to Copacabana or Ipanema beach.
  •  
    • Day 2: Start off your time in Rio by visiting two of its most iconic places. You can either trek or take the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain to marvel at Rio’s famous skyline. Then after, Christ the Redeemer. Stand in awe before the colossal statue and get another fantastic view of this incredible city.
  •  
    • Day 3: Copacabana and Ipanema Beach – Sink your toes into the golden sands and spend the day catching some rays. If you want to get active, challenge some locals to a game of beach volleyball or football. Then sit on the boardwalk and sip on caipirinhas until the sun goes down.
  •  
    • Day 4-5: Stroll through the vibrant mosaic staircase of Escadaria Selarón. Then take a stroll around Centro to see the unique architecture of Rio’s most famous buildings such as the Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião. Then in the evening, stick close to the Lapa Arches. No visit to Rio would be complete without an epic night out. The brazillians know how to party and you can dance the night away in this lively district.

Make sure you drop by Books Hostel in Centro. This is one of my favourite party hostels in South America. You don’t need to be staying there, just rock up outside and you’ll everyone drinking and getting ready for a big night out.

 

For more of my favourite party hostels:

 

 

Rio De Janeiro (View From Christ The Redeemer)

Return flights to Rio can often be one of the cheapest ways to reach the South American continent. Return flights to Rio from London can cost anywhere between £500-1000.

 

I used WayAway Plus to book all my flights whilst travelling around Brazil.

 

With the WayAway Plus membership plan, you can get access to premium travel support, travel content prepared by locals, and cashback on flights, hotels, car rentals and other travel services.

 

All features are available with a free 7-day trial so why not try it out and book a flight through them! 

 

You can also get 10% off if you sign up with the link below.

Day 6-10: Ilha Grande

Discover tranquillity on the secluded tropical island of Ilha Grande.

 

This secluded island paradise boasts pristine beaches, lush jungle, and a tranquil atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an escape for a few days.

 

Here’s how I would spend my time here:

 

 

  • Day 6: Arrival

 

  • Day 7-8: Ilha Grande doesn’t have any roads, so you have to hop over it by boat. Spend your first two days enjoying it’s incredible beaches. Head to Lopes Mendes Beach to unwind on one of Brazil’s most pristine beaches and check out Aventureiro Beach for the best snorkelling in crystal-clear waters.

 

  • Day 9: Pico do Papagaio – Hike to the island’s highest peak for panoramic views.

 

  • Day 10: Abraao Village – Explore the charming village and its local eateries. Then in the evening, take a boat trip to Lagoa Azul at sunset to end your time here in style.

How To Get To Ilha Grande From Rio

From Rio, you can take a public bus or taxi to the coastal town of Angra dos Reis, approximately a 2.5 to 3-hour drive.

 

My go to website for booking buses in South America is Bus Bud. It’s a single website that aggregates all the bus companies and their schedules, allowing me to easily book buses and not have to worry.

 

From Angra dos Reis, hop on a ferry or speedboat to Ilha Grande, a scenic ride across the sparkling waters that typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours.

 

Alternatively, travellers can opt for a direct shuttle service from Rio to Conceição de Jacareí, followed by a short boat ride to the island.

Ihla Grande (Brazil)

Day 11-13: Paraty

Paraty is a gem of city with buckets of colonial charm and natural beauty. It draws visitors with its cobbled streets, colourful facades, and historical architecture.

 

This is a nice stopping off point between Ihla Grande and our next stop, Itamambuca.

Nestled between lush mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, this coastal town offers a perfect blend of cultural richness and scenic allure.

 

Spend your three days here like this:

 

 

  • Day 11: Explore Paraty’s cobbled streets and colonial architecture, visit the Paraty Historical Museum, and try Brazilian cuisine at a local restaurant.

 

  • Day 12: Take a boat tour to nearby islands, enjoy water activities on pristine beaches, and witness the sunset from a beachside bar.

 

  • Day 13: Discover Paraty’s natural beauty with a hiking or jeep tour to waterfalls, experience a boat trip through Saco do Mamanguá, and embrace the vibrant nightlife.

How To Get From Ilha Grande To Paraty?

You have two options:

 

  • Ferry / Bus – Jump on the ferry to Angra dos Reis costing roughly R$20 and leaving in the morning. Then make your way to the bus station to jump on the Colitur public bus to Paraty. The bus takes about one hour and 30 minutes.

 

  • Ferry – Alternatively, there is a ferry that goes directly from Ilha Grande to Paraty, however the boats are less frequent. You’ll need to enquire about this whilst staying on the island. 
Paraty Town (Brazil)

Preparing for your first trip to South America? 

Here are 22 FAQ’s to help you prepare for the trip of a lifetime: 

Day 14-19: Itamambuca

Nestled on Brazil’s coastline, Itamanbuca is a surfer’s paradise surrounded by lush rainforests.

 

Beyond the waves, immerse yourself in the natural beauty, cultural markets, and yoga sessions, creating a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.

 

 

  • Day 14-17: Surf Lessons – Time to slow down with the activities and just focus on surfing. Catch your first wave in this renowned surf spot. BAI BAI surf hostel is my favourite. The beach front location means you can wake up and be in the water in seconds. Then in the evening enjoy oceanfront yoga sessions to help keep your body nimble for the next day surf sessions.

 

  • Day 18-19: after a few days of surfing, you might be worn out so it’s time to explore the town and its surroundings. Explore the local markets, rent a kayak and paddle along the coast at sunset and finally end your time here with a beachside bonfire under the stars.

How To Get To Itamambuca From Paraty?

This is an easy journey, just an hour along the coast by bus.

 

Either take a public bus or book yourself a transfer.

Itamambuca Beach At Sunset

Day 18-21: Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is a sprawling metropolis that offers a dynamic cultural scene, from world-class art museums to vibrant street markets.

 

Here’s how I would spend 4 days here:

 

 

  • Day 18: Arrival

 

  • Day 19: Museum hop – Pinacoteca do Estado and Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP) both have great collections. Then visit Vila Madalena where you can wander through the colourful streets adorned with street art.

 

  • Day 20: Mercado Municipal – Indulge in diverse culinary delights at the city’s central market. Then walk along Paulista Avenue. If it’s a Sunday, the avenue becomes car free and a huge market opens up. In the afternoon, head to Ibirapuera Park. Relax in this urban oasis, complete with lakes and cultural spaces.

 

  • Day 21: Go hiking in Estadual Jaraguá State Park. Trek to Jaragua Peek at 1,135 meters, where you’ll get a view of the entire

How To Get To Sao Paulo From Itamanbuca?

You have two options:

 

The first is a private shuttle which will take approximately 3-4 hours. This gives you greater flexibility and convenience for a personalized journey but will cost more. This was my choice whilst travelling in Brazil but I was with two other friends so we could split the cost.

 

The other option is by public bus. This will take a little longer at around 5-6 hours. It’s cost-effective and a common mode of transportation in Brazil.

Sao Paulo City

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Day 22-28: Florianopolis

Whether you’re into water sports, hiking, or simply relaxing on the beach, Florianopolis has it all.

 

This island city boasts a stunning coastline with over 40 pristine beaches, each with its own unique charm.

 

From the surfing beaches of Joaquina and Mole beach to the tranquil shores of Praia de Jurere, Florianopolis caters to water lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.

 

You have 7 days here:

 

 

  • Day 22-25: Surfs up again! Florianopolis has too many beaches to choose from and after your time in Itamambuca, you should be feeling pretty confident. Either take some more lessons or grab your own board and head out. Praia Mole or Joaquina Beach are two of the best or if you don’t want to surf just nwind on the soft sands of these beautiful beaches.

 

  • Day 26: Visit Campeche Island where you can snorkel in turquoise waters and discover hidden caves.

 

  • Day 27: Lagoinha do Leste Hike – Trek through lush landscapes to a secluded beach.

 

  • Day 28: Relax on the shores of Barra da Lagoa where you can enjoy water sports and explore the charming village. Then take a trip to the historic Downtown where you can immerse yourself in the colonial charm of Florianopolis.

Make sure you stay at The Search House Hostel. They have private access to the beach, great dorms, and regular events. This is one of my favourite hostels in South America:

 

 

How Do I Get From Sao Paulo To Florianopolis?

Two options: 

 

  • Flight – Flights take an hour and a half. One way starts at around $60 with Gol. Use Way Away to find the best deal and get cashback on your flights.

 

  • Bus – The bus takes 12-13 hours but this will be best for budget travellers. I recommend either taking an early morning one such as 7AM so you arrive at 8PM in the evening, or taking an overnight one so you can sleep for most of the journey. Again, Busbud is your best option here. Go with Catarinese as they have the best reviews. They have aircon, toilets onboard and reclining seats.

Florianopolis

Day 29-31: Iguazu Falls

Conclude your journey with the breathtaking grandeur of Iguazu Falls. As one of the world’s natural wonders, the falls offer a spectacular finale to your Brazilian adventure, leaving you in awe of nature’s beauty.

 

End your adventure like so:

 

 

  • Day 29: Brazilian Falls Trail – Witness the power of nature from the Brazilian side via a boat tour – Get up close and personal with the falls on a thrilling boat tour

 

  • Day 30:  Cross the border into Argentina and see the falls from a new perspective. Both sides offer a completely different experience.

 

  • Day 31: Return to Rio and prepare for your return flight home

 

Check out the best Iguazu Falls tours below: 

How To Get To Iguazu Falls From Florianopolis

This is an 18-22 hour overnight bus so I wouldn’t recommend it. Best to take a short 1 hour flight.

 

One-way flights start from $90 with Azul.

Is Brazil Worth Visiting?

Brazil is a country that offers diverse culture, vibrant cities, and stunning natural wonders. Is Brazil worth visiting in 2024? The answer is a firm yes!

 

This South American gem offers so many experiences that will cater to every type of travellers.

 

Embrace the warmth of the Brazilian sun on it’s many beaches, immerse yourself in the rhythms of samba, and travel to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world.

 

From the majestic Iguazu Falls to the pulsating energy of Carnival, Brazil promises a journey like no other.

Click here to read why Brazil should be your next travel destination in 2024:

 

 

Iguazu Falls (Brazil)

When Is The Best Time To Visit Brazil?

Brazil is a big country with multitude of microclimates. However, most people will be visiting the coast, going south from Rio to Iguazu.

 

The best time to visit this region will be from December to March. This is high season and you’ll have the best weather – hot with little rain.

 

However, the shoulder seasons of October-November and April can also be good. The weather will be warm but there will be more wet days.

Downloadable PDF timetable demonstrating the best time to visit south America

To download this chart in a handy infographic, head to the link below:

 

 

Travel South America Like A pro

Budget South America Itinerary (Free PDF)

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