1. Petrópolis: Imperial City Tour
In the past, Petrópolis was the place where the Brazilian imperial family, as well as many other important people from high society, used to spend their summer vacations. Nowadays, people come from all over the world to see the well-preserved villas and palaces where they stayed. Your tour begins with pick-up from your accommodation between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. You’ll then take the approximately 1-hour drive to Petrópolis on a comfortable air-conditioned bus. On the way, you’ll catch beautiful views of the mountains and the green spaces of the National Park of Serra dos Orgãos. Once at the city, start your visit with Quitandinha Palace, which used to be the biggest casino hotel in Latin America. Take some pictures at the palace, and then continue with a tour of the Imperial Museum, once the summer house of Emperor Pedro II. There, you’ll be able to see many important artifacts from the imperial family, such as jewels and the Emperor’s diamond crown. Your guide will teach you about the history of the Brazilian Empire and about the everyday life of the imperial family. After a break for lunch, you’ll visit São Pedro de Alcântara Cathedral, a marvelous Gothic building which is the mausoleum of the imperial family. Afterward, explore the city and see its German-engineered architecture. Stop in at the Crystal Palace, an erstwhile events venue for the imperial family. Finally, you’ll visit the Flowers Watch and see the Santos Dumont house. Arrive back in Rio at approximately 7:00 PM. Upgrade your tour to include a visit to a beer factory which makes the oldest beer in Brazil. Learn about the history of beer during a 1-hour tour with tastings included.