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10 Days in Brazil: Itinerary Ideas

Brazil is a large and diverse country. And planning a 10-day vacation here is incredibly hard. First of all, make a list of the things you must see while in Brazil. Then take a long look at the map and the distances between the places. Most likely you’ll have to fly between the cities unless you plan to lose a lot of time in buses.

This itinerary visits Salvador – with a day trip to Cachoeira -, Rio de Janeiro, Iguacu Falls and Sao Paulo.

Itinerary assumptions

  • Fly into Salvador and fly out of Sao Paulo
  • Staying in budget hostels is preferred over hotels
  • Flying is a good option if you want to minimize the time traveling between places; otherwise choose the buses.

Day 1-2 Salvador, Bahia

Salvador, Bahia is considered one of the birthplaces of the Brazilian culture. Plan to start your day with a walk in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To get between the lower and upper sections, take the Elevador Lacerda ( cable car).

Don’t miss visiting the Igreja de São Francisco, a church built in barroco style. And you should also check out one of the oldest parts of the town, Largo do Pelourinho. For an incredible sunset , head to Solar do Unhão, an old style house located at the Baía de Todos os Santos.

Day 3: Day trip to Cachoeira

Rent a car or take a bus from Salvador. The drive is about 2 h. Cachoeira is small so you can walk absolutely everywhere. Start at Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora do Rosário, a beautiful church in the city. Visit the museum and then stop for lunch. Make sure to try the traditional Brazilian food .

In the near-by Sao Felix there’s Dannamann Cigar Factory. Even if you don’t smoke cigars, it’s interesting to watch how they are rolled. Plus they make excellent gifts for those back home.

Day 4-5 Rio de Janeiro

Fly from Salvador to Rio. The direct flight costs from €70 one way (depends on when you fly and how far in advance you book the ticket). And the flight time is about 1h.

>>book a hotel near Copacabana Beach

The second largest city in Brazil offers breathtaking views, excellent beaches, shopping and the famous carnival. If you plan to be here for the carnival, your budget will most definitely skyrocket.

Start your vacation in Rio with a trip to Corcovado and the sight of the most famous and beautiful postcard, or photo, from the city. You can take the funicular or choose to hike to the top. During the rest of the day, check out some of the interesting churches or visit a museum.

Spend the next day in Rio on the beach. Copacabana and Ipanema are a must. Get a tan, taste the food and do some people watching.

>>read about the Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Day 6-7 Foz do Iguaçu

Direct flights from Rio to Foz de Iguacu start at €80 one way (the price depends on when you fly and how far in advance you purchase the ticket). The flight time is about 2 h.

>>read more about Getting from Rio de Janeiro to Iguacu Falls

Foz do Iguacu is famous for being the gateway into Iguacu Falls , one of the great natural wonders of the world. During the first day here, have a look at Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay from the Three Borders Landmark.

On the second day, head to Iguacu Falls. Plan to walk on the trails and see the falls from various viewpoints. After this, you can take a self-guided tour in Parque das Aves (Birds Park) to see different types of exotic birds.

>>book a hotel near Iguacu Falls

Day 8-10 Sao Paulo

Fly from Foz de Iguacu into Sao Paulo. The single fare starts at €51 and the flight time is about 1 ½ h.

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. The night life is amazing and there are a lot of sights to check out, too. Avenida Paulista (Paulista Avenue) is the largest cultural area in the city. Pubs, coffee shops, bookstores, you name them…they have it. It’s an excellent start point for a vacation and a good location for a stay, too (so look up hostels in this area).

Every city is magnificent when seen from above and Sao Paulo makes no exception. Some of the viewing points are: Banespa Tower , São Paulo Jockey Club and Restaurant Skye within Hotel Unique. You can see the city for free from either; but a meal with a view might just be a perfect end to your trip.

When you want to take a break from the busy city, head to Parque do Ibirapuera. Maybe even plan a picnic.

>>read about the Things to do in Sao Paulo

Photo credits: Salvador, Bahia , Cachoeira, Rio de Janeiro , Iguacu falls , Sao Paulo