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Cycle the Coast to Rio

Brazil Cycle CHALLENGING
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About the Challenge

This exciting cycle challenge takes us along the beautiful coastline towards Brazil’s most famous city, Rio de Janeiro. 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.


Cycle the Coast to Rio

10 DAYS
  • Arrive São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, and transfer straight to the coast. Guarujá is a popular coastal resort with wonderful beaches, which we can enjoy this afternoon. We also ensure our bikes are comfortable and prepare our kit for tomorrow, before dinner and a full trip briefing. Night hotel.


    Drive approx 1 hour

  • After a good breakfast, we get our bikes and set off! Guarujá is set on one of the many small islands dotted along this stretch of coast, and we head over the bridge connecting it to the mainland. We then ride east along the coast, our roads quickly becoming quieter as we pass through the small town of Bertioga, with its white sandy beaches stretching into the distance. We can see the steep green slopes of the Serro do Mar Mountains rising inland. Atlantic Forest used to cover much of the continent, but it is now limited to these sea-facing slopes stretching along the east coast of South America. The forest is protected, and home to many endemic species, such as lion tamarins and woolly spider monkeys. As the day progresses the scenery becomes more impressive, with inspiring views of mountains inland and green islands off the coast. We cross several rivers which wind from their source up in the mountains through lush forest down to the sea. After a stretch that runs closer to the sea, we come to our pousada, within a stone’s throw of a lovely white sandy beach. Night pousada.


    Cycle approx. 5-6 hours / 90km

  • Today is a spectacularly beautiful day, as we ride towards the thickly forested mountain peaks ahead. It’s the hilliest day, but the shortest, and the views are wonderful. After a flat stretch along the coast, we start to climb, a long drag which twists through dense rainforest over a headland, with fabulous views over the lush green interior and blue sea. An exhilarating descent awaits us once over the top, and we continue on flatter terrain, passing Maresias, a well-known surf beach. The mountains are situated much closer to the coast here, with thickly forested ridges jutting out into the sea; we ride over these unspoilt headlands, surrounded by lush vegetation – look out for macaws and other exotic birdlife. The road often emerges from the forests at small bays or villages with brightly-painted houses and red roof tiles. We finally come to São Sebastião, with lovely views across the water to Isla Bela. Night pousada.


    Cycle approx. 5-6 hours / 50km

  • We say our farewells to this lovely island and take the ferry back across to the mainland. We set off from the small ferry port, crossing São Sebastião and heading on through Caragua, a large town spread out along its many beaches. Travelling by bike is a great way to get a feel for a culture, and these more populated areas give us a great insight into how people live in this part of Brazil. After the towns the terrain becomes hillier and wilder again, with the forest coming right to the edge of the roads again, and more headlands to cross. Towards the end of the day we have longer stretches riding next to the sea, and can enjoy the more open roads lined with palm-trees with views of the surf pounding on the white sands. Night pousada.


    Cycle approx. 5-6 hours / 55km

  • Another scenic day beckons as we head northwest along the coast, cycling past small secluded bays hidden between headlands. We follow the coast around to the town of Ubatuba, which lies on the Tropic of Capricorn and is an international surf mecca, and then ride past more white sandy beaches with the green rolling hills in view as always. We are headed for Picinguaba, a conservation area which also preserves the way of life of the caiçaras, the traditional inhabitants of this coastal area. Night pousada.


    Cycle approx. 6-7 hours / 65km

  • Today’s ride is shorter, and takes us through dense tracts of rainforest as we cross an unspoilt peninsula to Paraty. The road is undulating and very beautiful, and forms a wonderful end to this very scenic cycle ride. As we approach Paraty we can see the wide curving bay, scattered with isolated beaches and green forested islands. Paraty itself is a beautiful colonial city with striking houses and churches; its wealth came from its position at the foot of the Gold Trail, a 1200km route which transported gold from mines far inland to Paraty and then via Rio de Janeiro to Portugal. It’s a wonderful place to end our ride, and we should have plenty of time to explore its picturesque cobbled streets after finishing our ride. We meet up again for a slap-up dinner to celebrate our achievements this week. Night pousada.


    (Dinner not included)


    Cycle approx. 3-4 hours / 40km

  • We have the morning free to enjoy Paraty before loading up and driving to the wonderful city of Rio de Janeiro. This iconic city is home to Carnival and the Maracanã football stadium, as well as world-famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema, and known for its larger-than-life party atmosphere and beautiful views. Night hotel.


    (Dinner not included)


    Drive approx. 4 hours

  • Today we have plenty of time to enjoy Rio. Highlights include the Corcovado– one of the new Seven Wonders of the World – where the statue of Christ the Redeemer towers high over the hills of the city, and Sugarloaf Mountain, with its famous cable car, which dominates the bay. Spend some time relaxing at one of the many beaches with a caipirinha, the national cocktail – watch the locals taking part in beach volleyball or capoeira, a graceful and fascinating blend of dance and martial arts which is a real symbol of Brazilian culture. We meet later to transfer to the airport.


    (Lunch and Dinner not included)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,600 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,600 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £2,050 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,600 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,600 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £2,050 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,700 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,700 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £2,100 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £4,700 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target £3,700 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £499 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £2,100 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed 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 do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. 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.

  • All food is included except for a few meals as specified in the itinerary. The food is plentiful, generally local in style, freshly-cooked and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we have packed lunches, sometimes meals are buffet-style, other times we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at our hotel, depending on accommodation.

  • Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we are often in very rural or remote 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 we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • 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. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but an average-sized overseas group would be led by two leaders and a doctor. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. In some destinations we work together as a team with local guides to help set up or break camp, or prepare meals.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is carried by vehicles, porters, mules, etc (depending on terrain and accessibility) from one night-stop to the next. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft 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 to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • 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 mobile phones, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. 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 – is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for all conditions. 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.

  • 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.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is up-to-date and any visas are obtained in good time. For further information please see our Factsheet and Visa information page.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • 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 trekkers 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!

Extension

Iguassu Falls

The largest sequence of waterfalls in the world, the mighty Iguassu Falls lie on the border of Brazil and Argentina, and are simply breath-taking. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Iguassu Falls are also listed among the New Wonders of the World.

Set among lush green rainforest, the horseshoe-shaped falls are at points 82m tall and stretch 2.7km wide – twice that of Niagara. As the force of the water plunges down into the long chasm of Devil’s Throat, it’s impossible not to be awed by the beauty and sheer power of nature. We discover the spectacle of Iguassu from both countries, exploring this natural wonder by a series of walkways which bring you very close to some of the cascades.

The lush tropical rainforest around Iguassu is home to a great diversity of wildlife, including the raccoon-like coati, toucans and other birdlife, and an amazing array of butterflies and other insects. Additional boat trips are available to heighten your Iguassu experience; you can book and pay for these locally if you wish.

This is a great adventure, and an unforgettable way to round off your experience in Brazil! 

Extension

Discover Rio

Rio de Janeiro is arguably the most iconic city in South America. Home to Carnival, it’s a city with a larger-than-life party atmosphere, as well as a magnificent cityscape dominated by striking green hills and calm harbours. If you were inspired by the backdrop of 2016’s Olympics, don’t miss your opportunity to visit!

Kick off with a trip to the famous Sugarloaf Mountain, one of Rio’s highlights. The cable-car ride up is famous for its views, and its James Bond associations! You’re then free to explore – relax at one of the many beaches with a caipirinha, the national cocktail, or watch the locals taking part in beach volleyball or capoeira, a graceful and fascinating blend of dance and martial arts which is a real symbol of Brazilian culture. Our hotel is located close to famous Copacabana beach.

After Sugarloaf Mountain, this extension does not have an organised itinerary. You are free to spend your time as you wish.

Cycle Training Weekends

Cycle training weekend

£160 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Cycle Training Weekends take place in and around the valleys and ridges of the chalk downs around Salisbury. They are designed to gauge your fitness so that you can be confident you are well prepared for the challenge ahead!

MORE INFORMATION

grade | CHALLENGING (1)

This trip is designed to be challenging for those of good health and fitness, but is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance. We will supply you with a thorough training guide when you have registered. Training for the challenge is all part of the preparation and requires commitment! Without it, you will find the challenge less enjoyable - and we want you to have the time of your life!

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