8 days / 7

Day 01
Morning: Arrive in Rio de Janeiro with accommodation at selected hotel. Afternoon: African Heritage Tour This orientation tour of Rio offers a fascinating introduction to the roots of African culture in Brazil. We will visit a temple of Candomblé where this uniquely Brazilian religion combining both the Yoruba and Catholic faiths will be explained and used to illustrate how African culture shaped the Brazilian identity of today. Evening at leisure.

Day 02
Daytime: City Tour This exciting tour will take you to Sugar Loaf, Rio de Janeiro''s famous mountain set at the mouth of Guanabara Bay, and reached by a series of thrilling cable car rides. After enjoying the view, you will begin an excursion into the Afro-influenced world of samba and Carnival, with your first stop at the Sambadrome, the locale for the city''s famous carnival parades. Here, the cultural and historical aspects of this incredible celebration are explained at the Carnival Museum. Next, you will proceed to a nearby barracão, or workshop, where you will meet the local artisans designing and creating the fantastic floats and costumes that will appear in the renowned parade (visit to barracão available from October to February only). Evening: Traditional Afro-Brazilian Dinner and Dance In this excursion, you will enjoy dinner in a restaurant specializing in feijoada, the native Brazilian dish developed by slaves. Next, you will proceed to downtown Rio and stop by a famous gafieira, or traditional dancehall originally established by emancipated slaves.

Day 03
Daytime: Corcovado Excursion After touring Rio´s beautiful beaches, you will pass through the charming neighborhood of Cosme Velho, home to the base of Corcovado Mountain. From here, take a small gauge railroad through the lush Tijuca Rainforest to the mountain''s top, where the fabled Christ the Redeemer statue stands. Enjoy an unsurpassed view of the Cidade Maravilhosa from this worldrenowned landmark. Evening: At leisure Optional excursion, “Rio by Night”, will be offered to those interested in a trip to one of the city''s favorite nightspots for a review of Brazilian Carnival, dance and folklore. We also suggest dinner at a churrascaria, a typical all-you-can eat Brazilian barbecue dinner at a fine restaurant.

Day 04
Transfer to Rio airport for flight back to Salvador. Arrive Salvador da Bahia, meet and transfer to your selected hotel. Evening at Leisure

Day 05
African-oriented historical city tour We trace the African roots of Salvador on a city tour which combines the newer, modern section and the older Historical Center of Salvador, the Pelourinho area, so called after the pillory which stood in the main square, in front of the central slave market. We visit the Afro-Brazilian Museum which traces the West African origins of the city and see the superb wooden, sculpted panels of the orixá''s by Salvador''s most celebrated artist, Carybé. We visit the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, the famous Black church, built with meager resources over a period of almost 100 years. The Casa do Benin (Benin House) nearby further investigates this permeating African influence. We look in on artists and sculptors at work and let the senses do the rest as we soak up the feel of this vibrant city. The buildings may be European but the rest is African. Evening excursion to a uniquely Bahian event: a rehearsal (show) or “ Olodum”, one of the many Afro-blocos, or musical groups, enjoying great success in the current renaissance of Afro-based rhythms in Salvador. This frenetic, pulsating music is directly derived from the music of West Africa. This visit is particularly interesting, as Olodum is famous for their collaborations with Paul Simon on the “ Rhythm of the Saints” album.

Day 06
We leave the city behind 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 cacao plantation. Nearby we stop at a small but self-sufficient farmstead with it''s own manioc flour mill and have a great insight into rural life in Brazil. We also visit the Sisterhood of the Boa Morte, a sorority which traces it''s origins back to the time of slavery. A journey back in time to the Brazil of yesteryear!

Day 07
Am visit THE TREET CHILDREN OF BRAZIL. The question of the street children in Brazil is one of the country''s most pressing problems. These are the children who spend their days on the streets and their nights in the alleyways and doorways of Salvador. The AXÉ PROJECT was set up to help these children find their way in society by offering them real opportunities for education and training as well as involving them in creative and cultural activities. We will visit one of their training centres where we will see the positive work of the Axé Project and given an explanation of the aims, hopes, challenges and success stories of the project. Afterwards we will visit a traditional capoeira school to see these kids at leisure, learning this martial art of Angolan origin. Tonight features “Bahia by night”, an excursion that takes us to Solar do Unhao, one of Salvador´s oldest and most eerily atmospheric buildings, originally used as a loading station for the importation of slaves. We begin here with a full buffet of the best in the exotic cuisine of Bahia. Soon after, a dazzling folklore show of Bahian music, dance and pageantry follows, illustrating all that is unique in the Afro-Brazilian culture.

Day 08
Check out and transfer to Salvador International airport for flight back home

FROM USD 2241.00 *

(*) Land only based on double occupancy