Colonial Brazil

A luxury two week holiday to the Colonial highlights of Brazil

Colonial Brazil

This fabulous two week luxury itinerary showcases some of the best of Colonial Brazil. It’s ideal for those interested in history and begins at the city of Salvador da Bahia which prospered through slavery and today is heavily influenced by African roots. A guide will show you the best of Salvador as well as the near by town of Cachoeira, famous for its Day of the Dead processions before you fly on to Belo Horizonte the state capital of Minas Gerais which is renowned for its colonial cities of Ouro Preto, Mariana, Tiradentes and Conghonas amongst others which you will explore. From the beginning of the Gold Trail which starts in Ouro Preto to the finish at Paraty you will also visit Rio de Janeiro, finishing by the beach.  A wonderful Brazil holiday and ideal for anyone wishing to see colonial Brazil at its best..


Day 1 – Salvador da Bahia

After a flight from the UK you will arrive in Salvador, the principal city in the state of Bahia where upon arrival in Salvador you will be transferred to the your hotel for the next 3 nights and the remainder of the day will be free for you.

HotelIcon Hotel Villa Bahia

Villa Bahia, Salvador Villa Bahia, Salvador

Situated in the heart of the Pelourinho and in the Largo do Cruzeiro de São Francisco with its beautiful church lies the Hotel Villa Bahia, two former colonial homes which have been transformed into one of the most elegant hotels in Salvador. A wonderful place to stay. The beautiful Hotel Villa Bahia is perhaps our favourite in the city. The Villa is comprised of two adjoining 17th and 18th century colonial homes, remnants of the Portuguese era. Villa Bahia is overlooking the colourful facades of Pelourinho, the seventeen rooms of the hotel have been carefully renovated to preserve their original design. The hotel is really wonderful creating an authentic colonial atmosphere, enhanced by two garden courtyards, a refreshing plunge pool and a panoramic terrace. Not only this, each of the rooms have air conditioning, TV and DVD player, Wi-Fi and a safe. All of the rooms are unique and they contain their own charm such as high ceilings and four poster beds, our favourite room is Madagascar.

Day 2 Salvador da Bahia

Today you will be met by a private speaking English guide and for a full day tour of Salvador. You will head to the Pelourinho, an important historical area and a symbol of the black movement in Bahia. The Pelourinho is home to important churches, museums, Brazilian artists’ studios, galleries, shops and restaurants. Your guide will explain to you the significance of the area as you walk around the city with time to visit all the main sights of interest before a stop for lunch. You will head down the Elevador Lacerda, dating back to 1873 which connects the upper town to downtown and is an important way of transportation for tourists and residents. From the top there is a great view of All Saints Bay. You will head to the Mercado Modelo, the most important regional market of the area and continue the tour with a visit to São Joaquim Fair, supply centre of the city with many typical foods, African religious items and crafts from Bahia. Before returning to the hotel you will stop off at the famous Senhor do Bonfim Church, hugely important within Brazilian religion where the crossover between Candomblé and Catholicism can be viewed. The evening will then be free for you to relax.

Day 3 Salvador da Bahia & Cachoeira

Today you will leave the city behind with your guide and drive through the oldest farmland in Brazil. This is the land of sugar-cane and tobacco plantations, peaceful colonial towns and busy country markets. We visit an experimental cacau plantation. Nearby we stop at a small but self-sufficient farmstead with its own manioc flour mill and have a great insight into rural life in Brazil. We lunch in Cachoeira, a charming colonial town in a beautiful setting on the banks of the Paraguassu River and later take a walking tour of the town with its many wood sculptors ateliers, bustling market (open on Wed, Fri and Sat) and visit the Sisterhood of the Boa Morte, a sorority which traces its origins back to the time of slavery. It’s a real journey back in time to the Brazil of yesteryear.

Day 4 Ouro Preto

Today you will take the short flight to Belo Horizonte, the state capital of Minas Gerais, from where you will be transferred to the beautiful town of Ouro Preto, a 90 minute drive, where you can stay for the next 2 nights.

HotelIcon Pousada do Mondego

Pousada do Mondego, Ouro Preto Pousada do Mondego, Ouro Preto

The Pousada do Mondego is located in the centre of Ouro Preto and is near several of the town’s main attractions such as the St. Francis of Assisi Church and the main square, Praça Tiradentes.  There are several areas where guests can relax such as the Tea room, the Coffee room, the Convention room and the Reading room. Also they offer a bar where guests can enjoy a drink or beverage and sample typical snacks from Minas Gerais. The pousada provides its guests with internet access, as well as a small handicraft store with handmade souvenirs crafted by local artisans.  Pousada do Mondego follows the standard of the Brazilian colonial period buildings, which do not have any room like another. The rooms have different sizes, with different types of windows, some with unique views of Ouro Preto and other overlooking the roof, and occupy different positions in the plant of the mansion. All rooms have telephone, TV, self-bar, private bathroom and safe, besides counting on works of art belonging to the art gallery of the Inn. The decoration keeps the consistency of its history: authentic pieces of furniture from the eighteenth century and mining replicas rosewood. Among the furniture plays a unique crib mahogany field, and pezeiras frames in rosewood, with about 4m long.

Day 5 Ouro Preto and Mariana

Today you will enjoy a full day tour of Ouro Preto and Mariana, two of the most beautiful colonial cities in Brazil.

Day 6 Congonhas / São João del Rei / Tiradentes

Today you depart from Ouro Preto and head towards Congonhas where you will see the Bom Jesus do Matosinhos Sanctuary, which contains the famous Aleijadinho’s Prophets and the chapels that represent the Via Crucis. Visit the train station at São João del Rei before continuing on to Tiradentes where you will stay for the next two nights.

HotelIcon Pousada Solar da Ponte

Pousada Solar da Ponte, Tiradentes Pousada Solar da Ponte, Tiradentes

The Pousada Solar da Ponte is a beautiful 18-roomed country mansion set within peaceful shady gardens in the historical 18th-century mountain village of Tiradentes, with its winding streets and Baroque churches. The Colonial-style architecture creates a comfortable environment and the spacious interiors feature light colour schemes complemented by traditional décor and locally made furniture. It is run by an Englishman and his Brazilian wife. Healthy, light meals are served in the bar and delicious breakfasts and afternoon teas are served in a spacious room with tree-top views. The bedrooms are very comfortable and there aren’t many places in the world where you look out of your room and see small monkeys playing in the trees. There is a swimming pool in the lovely gardens.

Day 7 Tiradentes

Today you will enjoy a walking tour of Tiradentes, visiting the touristic points, especially Santo Antônio Church, Padre Toledo’s Museum, and the 18th Century Water Fountain.

Day 8 Rio de Janeiro

Today you will be transferred back to Belo Horizonte for a direct flight to Rio de Janeiro where on arrival a private guide will meet you and take you to your hotel for the next three nights.

HotelIcon Hotel Santa Teresa MGallery by Sofitel

Hotel Santa Teresa Hotel Santa Teresa

Up in the hills in the arty district of Santa Teresa, the hotel shares the same name and offers sheer luxury in relaxing surroundings. Close to Corcovado mountain the hotel is the perfect spot for those wanting to avoid the beach and find tranquility on a holiday to Rio. Set in the hills above Rio in the artistic area of Santa Teresa the hotel is a haven of peace and tranquility, the perfect place to relax and escape Rio’s crowds. It is considered one of the best hotels in South America. Complete with a beautiful swimming pool, a luxurious spa, the most romantic bar in Rio  and for gourmets, Térèze, a wonderful Franco-Brazilian,  the hotel has a something for all. Its rooms range from superior rooms through to a magnificent award-winning loft suite and is a favourite for celebrities hiding away from the beach crowd.

Day 9 Rio de Janeiro

After breakfast you will be met by your private English speaking guide and depart for Corcovado to see the most famous of all images of Rio, the statue of Christ the Redeemer. The views from the top are breathtaking and make you realise why Rio is considered by many as the most beautiful city in the world. The afternoon will be then free for you to explore independently or relax at your hotel.

Day 10 Rio de Janeiro

This morning you will head off to explore Sugar Loaf Mountain. This granite rock is an iconic Rio landmark and from the top you’ll once again have the most wonderful views of the whole city, it’s beaches and a breathtaking view of Guanabara Bay. On the way back to your hotel your guide will take you to the historic centre, an often overlooked part of Rio, but steeped in the colonial history of Brazil.

Day 11 Paraty

This morning you will be transferred south along the coast with a private driver to the town of Paraty where you can spend the next three nights.

HotelIcon Casa Turquesa

Casa Turquesa, Paraty Casa Turquesa, Paraty

The beautiful Casa Turquesa is situated in the colonial heart of historic Paraty and is a stunning property which combines charm and modernity to create a wonderful place to stay. Lying close to the pier in the centre of Paraty, Casa Turquesa is a picture perfect property typically representative of Paraty’s colonial past with its whitewashed walls and colourful windows and doors. The hotel contains only nine rooms, four deluxe suites and five master suites and all rooms are styled upon a different colour with exclusive décor adding that unique charm to your stay. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, LCD televisions, a digital safe, mini-bar and telephones.  Each room has postcard views; either of the bay of Paraty, the tiled roofs of the historic centre of the town, the mountains or and the dome of the famous Santa Rita Church. The hotel has excellent social areas with a swimming pool complete with whirlpool, a bar, wine cellar, gazebo and a delightful garden. The hotel offers a lovely breakfast and is close to a number of excellent restaurants in the town allowing you to explore a variety of local food. A beautiful place to stay on a Brazil holiday.

Days 12-13 Paraty

These days are free for you to explore the beautiful historic town of Paraty. Bordered by the Atlantic ocean and the Atlantic rainforest the colonial town of Paraty was once the end of the Gold Road which ran from Minas Gerais and where the Portuguese would set sail with the wealth of Brazil back to Europe. The town offers hiking and cycling opportunities whilst there are great beaches for swimming, diving or kayaking. The town oozes colonial charm with lots of excellent restaurants and bars.

Day 14 Fly home

Following a private transfer to Rio de Janeiro international airport, today you will wave goodbye to Brazil and board a flight back to the UK after what will have been an unforgettable Brazil holiday.

What’s Included

  • Return international flights to Brazil
  • All internal flights
  • 3 nights in Salvador at the Hotel Villa Bahia in a deluxe room with breakfast
  • Full day tour of Salvador with lunch
  • Full day tour of Cachoeira with lunch
  • 2 nights in Ouro Preto at the Pousada do Mondego in a junior suite with breakfast
  • Private tour of the colonial cities of Minas Gerais
  • 2 nights in Tiradentes at the Pousada Solar da Ponte in a superior room with breakfast
  • 3 nights in Rio de Janeiro at the Hotel Santa Teresa MGallery by Sofitel in a superior room with breakfast
  • Half day tour to Corcovado
  • Half day tour of Sugar Loaf and colonial Rio
  • 3 nights in Paraty at the Casa Turquesa in a deluxe suite with breakfast
  • English speaking guides for all transfers and tours.

Not Included

  • Beverages and meals which are not specified;
  • Phone calls and personal expenses;
  • Travel insurance;
  • * All other services stated as optional or not explicitly stated as included.*

From: £4,980 per person, based on 2 people sharing

This is a guide price based on the use of standard rooms at low season, all transfers, domestic and international flights (from Europe).

Please enquire and we will provide a full quote for you.

All our itineraries are tailor-made to your own requirements so can be modified however you wish.