Walking up to two miles throughout the day including up and down hill. The Samba night is an outdoor street party with crowded streets, optional steps with no railing, live music; weather dependent, does not take place in heavy rain. Driving, with periodic stops and short walks of 15-30 minutes with some steps - mainly descending. Visits of the favelas are done by vans as the area is inaccessible to motor coaches.
Breakfast buffets generally feature a selection of international and traditional local foods as well as fresh juice, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
We will depart the hotel in vans with our Study Leader and local experts to explore Rio’s favelas. Stopping in Rio's largest and smallest favelas, we learn about the architecture, urbanization projects, the public services, security and the local culture. We will walk through the commercial area of Rio's smallest favela, and the narrow alleyways that provide insight to daily life. We will learn how peaceful and community oriented each favela is, and how visits support community projects in education. We will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best views overlooking Rio.
At a local restaurant, choose what you like from the buffet of delicious, traditional Brazilian dishes representative of Minas Gerais state. Among the extensive and varied selections are tutu, made of black beans and manioc flour, roasted and stewed meats, vegetables, salads, as well as selection of desserts. Lunches generally include mineral water with other beverages available for purchase unless noted otherwise.
We will reconvene with our motor coach and local expert for a field trip to Corcovado, with the gigantic statue of Cristo Redentor — Christ the Redeemer — on the summit. Constructed from 1922-1931, it has become an iconic image of Rio and Brazil. We will board the Swiss-manufactured cogwheel train for a scenic ride through the Tijuca National Park to reach the 2,329 feet-high summit of Corcovado, whose name means “hunchback” in Portuguese. The view from the top provides a spectacular panorama of Rio and its bays. Afterwards, descend the hill via the cogwheel train and re-board our private motor coach to return to the hotel, where our local expert will present a lecture to explain the complicated economic layers of Brazilian society and discuss the impact on daily life.
At Pedro do Sal, dine as you like on snacks or light bites from street vendors or in the small cafes.
Your guide will give a historical overview of Pedra do Sol before departing by bus for the Lapa district. Upon arrival, your guide will give a guided tour of the area and explain the historical facts of this Bohemian neighborhood. Afterward, walk to the crazy and colorful tiled Salaron Stairways, work of Chilean artist Jorge Selaron, an important attraction of Rio. Later on, take a short walk to some of the famous street corners of Lapa where you will be free to choose a bar or sit and relax and listen to some Brazilian music.