Brazil: Baroque to Modern

Brazil: Baroque to Modern

Purpose: Architechture, Culture, History
No. of days: 10 days - 9 nights
First & Last Cities: Rio de Janeiro - Brasilia
Other cities: Belo Horizonte, Congonhas, Ouro Preto, Brumadinho
Starting cost: $2,959
Day 1 – Rio de Janeiro
Arrival in Rio de Janeiro, transfer to your hotel. Rio de Janeiro was founded by the Portuguese in 1556 as Saint Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro and became the capital of the Colony of Brazil in 1776. In 1807, just days before Napoleonic forces invaded Lisbon, the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil along with a court of almost 15 thousand people, and settled in the city bringing a surge of progress. Rio, as the city is known, became the main cultural, political and economic center of the Portuguese empire. In 1889, when the republic was proclaimed, Rio was confirmed as the country's capital, which it remained until 1960, when Brasilia, the new country’s capital was founded. Situated on a privileged area, bordered on one side by the blue sea, on the other by the lush vegetation, almost 8 million cariocas, how the locals are called, celebrate their way through life. That is just the way Rio is, surrounded by natural beauty on all sides, with the famous Christ the Redeemer blessing the city from atop of Corcovado Mountain, and the imposing Sugar Loaf, guarding the entry of the Guanabara Bay. Remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 2 – Rio de Janeiro
Full day Historical Tour of Downtown Rio & Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow).  
Depart your hotel towards the city center. Stroll the narrow but busy streets of downtown Rio, and visit old historical buildings that were built by the first European settlers of this city.  In contrast with colonial era architecture, you will see modern constructions such as the Sambodrome: where the Carnival parade takes place, and the Metropolitan (Catholic) Cathedral inaugurated in 1979.  The Cathedral is a pyramid shaped building that, according to some historians, was inspired in the NASA Apollo program.  Have lunch at the traditional Confeitaria Colombo, opened in 1894. Following, visit the new pier area where the state-of-the-art Museo do Amanhã stands (ticket not included). From there you have an incredible view of Guanabara Bay and Niteroi city, located directly across from the bay. On your way back you will traverse Flamengo Park. At 265 acres it is the largest public park in Rio; thought up by Lota de Macedo Soares, it boasts modernist park gardens and landscapes designed by world-renowned landscape designer and artist Roberto Burle Marx. The park connects downtown Rio to Copacabana. [B/L]
Day 3 - Rio de Janeiro
Full day tour Niemeyer’s signature in Niteroi. Today you will cross the 9-mile long bridge across the Guanabara Bay and head to Niteroi, the second largest city in the state.
Most of Niemeyer´s projects in Rio de Janeiro are located there. See the Niemeyer Pathway, an area that was revitalized by the architect, where you will find seven urban facilities (some still under construction): the Roberto Silveira Memory Center, the Oscar Niemeyer Foundation, the Popular Theater, the JK (Jucelino Kubitschek) Square, the Petrobras Cinema Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Charitas Waterway Station. Our tour includes a visit to the Contemporary Art Museum (MAC), an iconic saucer-shaped structure situated on a cliff edge with the aesthetic signature of Niemeyer and brilliantly framed panoramic views of Rio. Our lunch will be at Olimpo restaurant, also created by Niemeyer. At day’s end, return to Rio de Janeiro.  [B/L]
Day 4 – Rio de Janeiro
Full day tour to Corcovado & Sugar Loaf.  Your day starts with a visit to the Corcovado Mountain - the most important site of Rio, where Christ of Redeemer stands!
The panoramic ride begins at the Corcovado Train Station where a cogwheel train takes you through the lush Tijuca forest to the base of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. Enjoy the spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of the entire city. The tour continues with a drive through the famous beaches of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana. Our next stop is in the neighborhood of Urca, home to another iconic symbol of the city: the Sugar Loaf. Two cable cars will bring you to the top. Admire the beautiful view of the Guanabara Bay, Flamengo Park, Copacabana beach, the downtown area and Niteroi. At the end of the day return to your hotel. [B]
Day 5 – Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte was the first brazilian city to be planned, and emerged at the end of the 19th century taking over Ouro Preto as the Capital of the state of Minas Gerais. It was there that the architect Oscar Niemeyer designed one of his first creations, the Conjunto Arquitetônico da Pampulha and  is also home to one of his last works, the Presidente Tancredo Neves administrative city, built in 2010.
The gastronomy of Minas Gerais is an attraction in itself. Every visitor should try the feijão tropeiro (prepared with flour and sausage), and the cachaça at the Central Market. There you will find these and other delights. The city is also an excellent starting point for those who want to visit the historic cities of Minas Gerais: Ouro PretoDiamantinaMarianaTiradentes and São João Del Rei. And, also nearby, is Brumadinho, where you will find Inhotim a large open air museum with one of the most expressive contemporary art collections in the world.
Early transfer to the airport to board your flight to Belo Horizonte. Pick up at the airport and immediate departure for your panoramic tour of Pampulha. The Pampulha Modern Ensemble was the center of a visionary garden city project created in 1940. Designed around an artificial lake, this cultural and leisure center included a casino, a ballroom, the Golf Yacht Club and the São Francisco de Assis church. The buildings were designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, in collaboration with innovative artists. The Ensemble comprises bold forms that exploit the plastic potential of concrete, while fusing architecture, landscape design, sculpture and painting into a harmonious whole. It reflects the influence of local traditions, the Brazilian climate and natural surroundings on the principles of modern architecture. This complex was recently declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Now it’s time to go to your hotel. [B/L]
Day 6 – Belo Horizonte, Congonhas, Ouro Preto
This morning you will start your journey to the countryside of Minas Gerais. Gorgeous landscapes and crop fields adorn the roads where historic cities were built during the Gold Rush. Your first stop is in Congonhas. Located 56 miles from Belo Horizonte, the city bewitches its visitors with the beauty of its rich Baroque heritage.  The city hosts important works from Aleijadinho – the foremost representative artist of the Brazilian Baroque style. The architectural and artistic collection of the Basilica is simply breathtaking. This masterpiece of Aleijadinho stands out in its rich carvings of 12 large soap stone statues of the Prophets and the six Capelas dos Passos distributed on a hill outside of the temple. In the chapels, which recreate in a theatrical and educational way the passion of Christ, there are 66 realistic statues carved in cedar and colored masterfully by Mestre Ataíde, a great Brazilian painter and decorator of sacred art. Unesco declared the sanctuary a world heritage site in 1985 and Congonhas is known today as the “City of Prophets”. Our next stop is Ouro Preto where you will overnight. [B/L]
Day 7 – Ouro Preto
Declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1980, Ouro Preto Is located just 60 miles from Belo Horizonte. The city was the capital of Minas Gerais province until 1893, and retains its picturesque stone roads, an important remnant of Brazil’s history. Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was the main starting point for the gold race in the mountains of Minas Gerais, which made it an important economic and political center. Wandering through the historic center alleys and streets you will find rich fountains, townhouses, chapels and churches of the 17th and 18th centuries. Your tour includes the Baroque style church Nossa Senhora do Pilar, that is decorated with more than 400 kg of gold; the elegant Museu do Oratório, which houses pieces of different styles that celebrate the miners religiosity; the São Francisco de Assis Church, designed and decorated by Aleijadinho and considered his most important work; and the Museu da Inconfidência, which guards the memory of one of the most important separatist uprisings of the colonial period. You will also visit the beautiful Nossa Senhora do Carmo church. [B]
 Day 8 – Ouro Preto, Inhotim, Belo Horizonte
Today you will visit the newest open-doors art center of Minas Gerais: The Inhotim Institute. Located in Brumadinho, 36 miles from Belo Horizonte, it has a collection of contemporary art with works by artists from all over the world such as Cildo Meireles, Adriana Varejão, Doug Aitken, Chris Burden, Cristina Iglesias, Helio Oiticica, Vik Muniz and Tunga. The whole collection is distributed throughout a large park, making the place unique and charming. Everything is organized in 110 acres and more than 20 galleries, surrounded by huge gardens and trails. Many galleries have interactive works that allow contact with the art piece, turning the experience into something even more special. Inhotim also has a collection of rare plants from 4,200 different species. Next we go to our hotel in Belo Horizonte. [B]
Day 9 – Belo Horizonte, Brasilia
Early morning transfer to the airport to board your flight to Brasilia. Brasília is the federal capital of Brazil and the seat of all three branches of government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The city is located along the Brazilian Highlands in the country's Central-West region. It was planned and developed by architects Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. Founded in 1960, the city replaced Rio de Janeiro as the new capital of the country. Brasília was chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its modernist architecture. Upon arrival your tour guide will meet you at the airport and take you on your half-day tour. Visit the Our Lady of Fatima church, the Army Head Quarters and the Military Cathedral of Brazil, Niemeyer project whose shape resembles a tent. Next visit the Juscelino Kubitschek memorial. JK, as Kubitschek was known, was the president of Brazil between 1956 and 1961 during the construction of Brasilia. Jucelino encouraged the industrialization of Brazil and left the new capital as his greatest construction legacy.  Following, climb the impressive TV Tower and its observatory that stands 225 feet above the ground and allows a 360-degree panoramic view of the city and the Buriti Square with its lakes, fountain and wide garden. After the tour go to the hotel for overnight. [B]
Day 10 – Brasilia, USA
At agreed time transfer to the airport to board your connecting flight back to the USA [B]
[B] = Breakfast | [B/L] = Breakfast and Lunch





Tour includes
  • Round trip private transfers between airports and hotels
  • Accommodation for 9 nights:
    • Rio de Janeiro 4 nights
    • Belo Horizonte 2 nights
    • Ouro Preto 2 nights
    • Brasilia - 1 night
  • Meals:
    • Breakfast daily
    • 4 lunches
  • Private tours as described
  • English Speaking guides
  • Tickets to attractions mentioned
  • All hotel taxes
Not included in tour
  • International or domestic air tickets
  • Airport taxes or surcharges related to air tickets
  • Early check-in or late check-out at hotels
  • Services and food not listed in the itinerary
  • Beverages during the meals
  • Hotel extras and personal expenses.
  • Daily tax charged by the Local Convention Bureau at hotels (optional)
  • Tips for guides, drivers and in restaurants’ personnel

Hotels in your Tour

Category Hotel Name Tripadvisor
First Class
Rio de Janeiro Arena Leme 4
Belo Horizonte Mercure BH Lourdes 4
Ouro Preto Pousada Classica 4.5
Brasilia Brasilia Palace 4.5
Rio de Janeiro Miramar By Windsor 4.5
Belo Horizonte Fasano Belo Horizonte 5
Ouro Preto Solar do Rosario 4.5
Brasilia B Hptel 4.5
Accommodation provided in Standard rooms.
Hotels of your choice will be confirmed at time of booking

Tour Pricing

Season Double
2020 Departures
First Class $2,959
Deluxe $3,029
Rates are minimum per person sharing a room and may change without notice.
Rates may change depending on the date of travel.
Prices tourist and deluxe hotel categories, and for single travelers and triple rooms are available on request.
Valid through December 20th 2020. Not valid for Holidays and big Conventions.
Other blackout dates may apply.
Tour code: BR06RIO20DB