We’re lucky enough that our location independent business means that we can travel extra slow. If this is an option to you, we strongly recommend that you take your time, really getting to know and appreciate each country you’re in rather than try to cram as many passport stamps as you can into a few months. We would advise at least one month in each country in Latin America, perhaps with the exception of Panama, which has less going on. However, that’s not always possible, as we are often asked by people who only have a 2 week holiday from their jobs where we would prioritise in the given time. So behold! Here is our 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary for anyone who is tight on time but still wants to soak up the best that this incredible country has to offer.
Remember, Brazil is GINORMOUS, like almost the size of Europe, and plane or bus transport internally tends to be both long and relatively expensive compared to the Latin American average. It’s not unusual to see 20, 30 and 40-hour buses running up and down the country, but luckily we have guides for you on what to look for in a night bus in South America and how to stay safe and comfortable on night buses. When planning your 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary, you need to factor in these increased travel times, as well as the fact that routes between cities can’t always be assumed to exist, even if they are both major or they look close on the map. Brazil needs a bit more travel prep than other countries in Latin America, in our experience!
As you only have a fortnight in North Brazil, we highly recommend you fly as much as you can afford so as to save time – for the below 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary, this would mean flying from Porto Seguro to Salvador, then Recife to São Luis, and onto Rio de Janeiro to fly back home.
Even though this is a 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary, we’ll start you off from the most southerly point of the trip, but it’ll probably be in your best interest to connect through Rio de Janeiro as this tends to offer the cheapest flights from Europe or North America. If you’d rather stay around the Rio area, don’t miss out on our 2 weeks South Brazil itinerary, too.
Where to stay
Fly into Rio de Janeiro, internal flight to Porto Seguro
Visit the hilltop church of Santa Cruz Cabrália, join the beach parties at Axé Moi and Tôa Tôa, hop on the ferry to Arraial d’Ajuda and add a ribbon of Bonfim (Bahia wish bracelet) to the wall of the Matriz Nossa Senhora D’Ajuda church for good luck
Watch a sunset under the lighthouse in the Barra district, browse Pelourinho in the daytime, have lunch on the balcony of Cafélier (you need to reserve a table in advance!), chill on the beaches of the Rio Vermelho district before checking out its nightlife
Even better! Definitely add in a trip to Natal (below) and Pipa in between Recife and São Luis, though note that the transport between those places isn’t great so your cheapest option afterwards may be to return to Recife to catch a flight or 27-hour (gulp) bus to São Luis. An easier beachy alternative is to extend your time in the vibrant city of Salvador, getting the ferry over to Morro de São Paolo for a couple of days. If you’re done with the beach life, catch a flight up to Manaus and take some tours down the Amazon river to explore the rainforest.
If you haven’t yet decided where in Latin America to spend your 2 weeks holiday, you might also want to check these out before booking those flights!