Natal Beaches & Colonial Cities Tour
Natal, is the capital city of Brazil’s northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte. It’s known for its beautiful stretch of coastline and its bulwark, the star-shaped Forte dos Reis Magos (Three Kings Fort). Built by the Portuguese in 1599, at the mouth of the Potengi River, it provides views across the sea and Genipabu in the north, with towering dunes and a freshwater lagoon. In the south, Rota do Sol, passes dozens of beach resorts.
Brazil’s northeast coast is known for its white sand beaches, fringed by tropical forest. Enticingly dotted throughout this area are several exclusive beach resorts, accessible from the main cities of Salvador, Natal and Recife. The beautifully preserved city of Salvador de Bahia, has an interesting Portuguese-African culture and a rhythm of its own. Northeast, Praia do Forte is hard to surpass with endless beaches and a spectacular marine park making it a perfect tropical getaway.
TRAVEL ON THIS 18-DAY BRAZIL NATAL HOLIDAY…
And, experience stunning beaches and colonial splendour.
Natal Beaches & Colonial Cities Tour Paraty, Tiradentes, Ouro Preto, Salvador Olinda , Natal
(18 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive
Rio de Janeiro Welcome to Rio de Janeiro, the city of mountains and sea, samba and carnival, and a relaxed way of life. You are transferred to your hotel along Copacabana Beach.
Day 2 & 3 – City Highlights Tour
Rio de Janeiro Take a private morning transfer to the Iguassu airport for your flight to Rio de Janeiro.
The city of Rio de Janeiro is magnificently set on a narrow strip between the mountains and the sea. The combination of a dark blue sea, studded with rocky islands. The best known of these rocky masses are the Sugar Loaf, and the Corcovado, a jagged peak rising 710 metres behind the city.
The Sugar Loaf Mountain can be reached by a modern two-stage cable car ride. Enjoy the limitless view over the city, its mountain range in the back, the bay cut by the blue waters of the sea below. At the top of Corcovado Mountain, reached by a small train, is the majestic statue of Christ that stands 36.5 mtrs high.
Rio is the only big city where you can find a National Park just 5 minutes from downtown. One day, take a private Hiking adventure to Tijuca Forest, considered the largest urban forest in the world - It offers a wealth of trails with different settings and characteristics, and most having one feature in common: spectacular views.
Day 4 & 5 – Colonial Town
Paraty Take a private transfer to Paraty, a colonial town, 250 km south of Rio and about 3 ½ hr by road. In the afternoon, explore the historical town and learn about the story of the city while passing through streets and visiting well known points.
The Paraty town is remarkable for its centuries-old architecture with cobblestone streets, making it a delightful place to stroll about. Elegant white buildings adorned with fanciful multihued borders and latticed windows blend harmoniously with the natural beauty that envelops the town. Dozens of pristine beaches are within a couple of hours of Paraty which you can visit during your stay here.
Explore the town at leisure or take an optional full day jeep tour to visit Serra da Bocaina (Mata Atlântica) and Caminho deOuro. This tour will take you to the National Park that offers beautiful waterfalls, great for a swim in crystal clear waters. Enjoy and appreciate the marvellous panoramic views of the mountain range and stop at Villa Verde Restaurant for lunch near a small waterfall. This trip is combined with walks through the Atlantic Forest and the preserved area of Golden Route, that was used for the African slaves to carry gold and other natural resources from Minas Gerais to the port in Paraty.
Day 6 – Historical Town
Tiradentes Morning transfer to Rio airport for your flight to Belo Horizonte. Meet and greet and transfer to Tiradentes, a beautiful historical town in Minas Gerais State, also known for its lively arts. Enjoy the typical Mineiro food in one of the many authentic restaurants of the city. In the afternoon, take a walk through the historical centre and visit the important sites that include the baroque churches.
Overnight at Solar da Ponte or Pequena Tiradentes (B, L)
Day 7 & 8 – Brazilian Religious Architecture
Ouro Preto With your private guide, take a leisurely walk through the old streets of Tiradentes or explore the local shops.
With your private guide and driver, explore Ouro Preto, an incredibly beautiful town of cobble stone streets winding up and down hills all crowned by churches and chapels. The highlights of a visit include Church of St. Francis of Assissi, a masterpiece of Brazilian religious architecture, designed and sculpted in wood and soapstone; Museum of the School of Mines: gives a complete mineralogical view of Brazil, Church of Our Lady of Pilar: a church that marked the culmination of Golden Age architecture, with carved works painted entirely in gold.
Overnight at Nossa Senhora do Rosário or Pousada do Mondego (B, L)
Day 9, 10 & 11 – African Folk Culture
Salvador Travel to Mariana village and explore an old gold mine where we descend with strollers to the old dark entrance. After lunch, transfer to Belo Horizonte, for your flight to Salvador.
Salvador is where Brazil was born and her early history remains, both in colonial monuments and African folk culture. Your morning historical tour of Salvador ventures from the colonial-era slave auction site and grandiose baroque Sao Francisco Church, to the newer Upper City. In the evening transfer to the Miguel Santana Theatre for a folkloric show which presents the main manifestations of the African-Bahian culture. Dinner at a local restaurant with typical Bahian food. (except Sundays and Tuesdays).
Next day, explore Cachoeira, a colonial town - 100km from Salvador and situated by the Paraguaçu River. Built in the mid 17th and 18th Centuries during the peak of the sugarcane economy, it has fine examples of baroque residences with Portuguese tile covered façades and wrought iron grilled balconies of intricate beauty. To this day, Cachoeira presents the Black Culture heritage brought to Brazil by African slaves. A fair on Saturdays is an attraction for the people that attend their wares and exhibition of goods.
Overnight at Convento do Carmo or Casa do Amarelindo (B, L)
Day 12 & 13 – Baroque Architecture
Recife Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Recife. Meet and greet and transfer to your hotel.
In the afternoon, private tour to visit the cities of Recife and Olinda, a UNESCO site is famous for its fine examples of Baroque architecture that is translated in churches, convents and monasteries. Narrow and steep streets, lined with colonial style houses that are now artists’ ateliers opening up to beautiful views of Recife, and surrounding palm-lined beaches.
Overnight at Pousada Sete Colinas or Pousada Quatro Cantos or Pousada do Amparo (B)
Day 14 & 15 – Beach & Dunes
Natal Transfer to Recife airport for your flight to Natal. Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Visit Natal’s main tourist attractions such as Reis Magos Fort - a Portuguese fort built in 1598; Via Costeira - seaboard road that runs south; downtown Natal and shopping centres.
Experience the fixed and mobile dunes of Genipabu Beach on a buggy. This tour on beach buggies is a lot of fun as each driver makes this buggy ride a rollercoaster sensation. After the thrills of the dunes tour will enjoy the beach and the optional horseback riding or jangada (log raft) ride.
Overnight at Manary Praia hotel (B)
Day 16 & 17 – Beach Destination
Praia de Pipa AM road transfer to Praia de Pipa, an old fishermen villa, which has been transformed into a worldwide attraction by its pretty beaches and charming atmosphere due to its excellent restaurants, bars and nocturnal life. You will have a day at leisure before you finish your tour in Brazil.
Overnight at Toca da Coruja (B)
Day 18 – Depart
Natal Transfer to Natal airport for your flight connection (B)
End of services
Make this your holiday
Getting There There are plenty of choices of carrier to Brazil from the UK, with São Paulo and Rio being the usual points of arrival. If your ultimate destination is neither of these cities, it is usually best to connect in Rio, or connect with a flight on the continent, where your options are TAM to Recife from Paris, or TAP via Lisbon to Recife, Salvador, Fortaleza, Natal, Belo Horizonte and Brasília. If you only want to go to the Amazon, Manaus via Miami with TAM is your best bet, but it’s unlikely to be cheaper or quicker than a flight to Rio or São Paulo and then a connection north.
When to go When thinking about the best time to visit Brazil, it’s worth bearing in mind that the country splits into four distinct climatic regions. In January, the rains are coming to an end and it is a good time to visit Rio. But the warmer days are accompanied by the start of the rains in the Amazon and the Pantanal. February is Carnival time in Brazil. In April temperatures begin to decline and by May, Pantanal enters its dry season. June and July is winter in Brazil but temperatures rarely hit freezing overnight.
August and October are perhaps the best time to visit the Pantanal, and also great for spending time in Rio, where spring is arriving, there are few clouds in the sky and the temperatures are on the rise. Summer arrives in November, and you can expect high temperatures across the country. Rio de Janeiro in December tends to be hot and dry, but it gets busy during Christmas and New Year.