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Cycle the Coast to Rio

10 days
Grade 1

About the challenge

Undulating roads take us past hidden bays and fishing villages, with beautiful sandy beaches and blue sea to one side, and green mountain slopes thick with rainforest to the other. It is one of the most scenic cycling destinations you could hope for without climbing mountains! Although the hills we encounter are fairly gentle, we have some long hot days in the saddle, and will be glad to reach Paraty, a beautiful small town tucked away at the end of the historic Gold Trail. After time to enjoy this little gem, we head to Rio, the most famous city in South America, where we have time to celebrate and explore.

Part payment option availabe on this challenge

Dates & prices

Departs Days Charity Availability Registration fee   Fundraising target   Payment option  
05 May 2017 10 Open challenge Spaces £499 + £4400 Or £1975 Book now
15 Sep 2017 10 Open challenge Spaces £499 + £4400 £1975 Book now
04 May 2018 10 Open challenge Spaces £499 + £4500 £2025 Book now
14 Sep 2018 10 Open challenge Spaces £499 + £4500 £2025 Book now

The itinerary

The Highlights

Coastal gem of a ride – lined with beaches, islands and rainforest
Finish at colonial Gold Trail town of Paraty
Time for sights of Rio de Janeiro
Fantastic beach ride to secluded jungle camp

Concise Itinerary

Day 1-2: Fly to Sao Paulo; drive to Guaruja on coast

Day 3-4: Beautiful coastal cycling with some strenuous climbs through small towns and around bays

Day 5-7: Over hilly headlands through fascinating rainforest, pass fishing village in hidden bays, end in Paraty

Day 8-9: Time to explore Paraty; drive to Rio for day of sight-seeing

Day 10-11: Fly Rio to UK

Download full challenge details


What makes it challenging?

Short sharp climbs and descents
Cycle 40-85km each day
Mainly paved roads with some beach riding
Can be hot and humid
Stay in small pousadas; one night camping

Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.


For details of our extension trip to see the magnificent Iguassu Falls on the Brazil/Argentina border (adds 2 days min) please contact us

Detailed information

What's Included?

The cost includes all accommodation as well as all flights and transport; all meals except four as specified in the itinerary, and entrance to any sites visited as part of the itinerary. A bike is also included. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders/mechanics and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of guides, cooks and drivers.

What's Excluded?

It does not include personal travel insurance, airline taxes charged by the airline (capped at £225 by Discover Adventure), four meals as specified, tip for local crew, entry visa or international departure tax (if applicable). It also does not include any entrance fees to any optional sites or attractions. Remember to allow extra for drinks, souvenirs, sight-seeing in Rio and other personal expenses.  Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.

Flight Information

Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with TAP Portugal. However, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost. Y


We camp while cycling, in permanent campsites with good facilities, though expect some variation. Many are within walking distance to the beach and have stunning views. Camping is generally in two-man tents. Our hotels are on a twin-share basis and may vary between simple pousadas (guesthouses) and more international-style hotels. Please do not expect hotels to be the same as a tourist hotel in the UK – they may be better in some ways and more basic in others!


The food is great and there is plenty of it – expect meals to be local in style, and varied. Four meals as detailed in the itinerary are not included.

Dietary Requirements

Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you have other requirements, there may not be as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities and you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget.

Trip Support

Discover Adventure Crew

Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.

All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size) – who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: cyclist ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

Local Support Crew

Our local support crew is made up of local guides / mechanics and drivers. Your local guide knows the local area well, and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Drivers and cooks do not always speak English but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your ride. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! Your leader will let you know if there is any change to this guideline. All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in this country is considerably lower than ours.


Support vehicles are with the group all the time. All luggage, spares, food and water is carried by them. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack or large waist-pack for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

Trip Safety

Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, mobile extensive medical kit, first-aid kits and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate.
Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance is all done with your safety in mind.



Preparing for the challenge

Cycling Information


Cycling distances range between 40km and 85km each day; these distances should be manageable for cyclists of all experience levels provided you train in advance. Cycling is on tarmac roads – some smooth, some more worn and uneven. The cycling is undulating, with most climbs relatively gentle, though some are quite long; there are some great descents! The heat will add to the challenge. Weather may have an impact on road conditions. Traffic is usually light and we will cycle at our own pace, but when we pass through a busier section we may go through as a group. We will always take safety into consideration and reserve the right to change the itinerary on that basis. We are always happy to talk through the trip in more detail with you if you are worried about your fitness at any stage.


We will be using 18-speed mountain bikes fitted with semi-slick tyres. You are welcome to bring your own saddle or pedals. It is imperative that you supply your own helmet and wear it at all times while cycling, with straps done up.

Bike Repairs

There will be a range of spares in the vehicle along with a full tool kit; however, it is impossible for us to carry spares for every eventuality. It is vital that if you decide to bring your own bike it is in excellent working order before departure.


It should be warm and sunny, though it could be cooler in early mornings, and there is always a possibility of rain, though this is usually a tropical localised shower. It can get quite humid in the forests. Weather can change quickly in these coastal regions. We should be prepared for anything!

Clothing & Equipment

We are travelling through remote areas where we could be exposed to difficult conditions at any time. The information above gives you an idea of the climate, but be prepared for all weathers and a range of temperatures. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

Fitness Levels

Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

Passport & Visa

A valid ten-year passport is essential; it should be valid for at least six months from date of entry into Brazil. British passport-holders do not need a visa; other nationalities should check entry requirements.


We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and recommend protection against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Malaria is not present in this region of Brazil. You should always check with your GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

Cultural Differences

For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow cyclists and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you! Our experienced tour leaders and local crew will help bridge the cultural gap; take advantage of their knowledge so you can come away with an understanding of a new culture as well as the achievement of completing a challenging cycle ride.

Worldwide Sustainable Tourism

Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through. 

Discover Adventure Projects

We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s project in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.

Carbon Offsetting

We actively encourage all our customers to offset any emissions connected with their trip.  You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them.  Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at or call 01302 388883.