• 15 Day Catholic Tour of Brazil and Paraguay

  • Rio de janeiro, Guaratingueta (Sao Paulo), Iguassu Falls, Bella Vista, Asuncion – Belo Horizonte, Tiradentes – Ouro Preto, Salvador
    Brazil has one of the largest Catholic Communities in the world. 64% of the population is Catholic;and Paraguay’s Catholic community comprises of 89% of the population. During this tour  you will delve deeper into your faith while also experiencing South America’s most breathtaking sights, world class metropolises, and stunning natural beauty.

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SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 01: Rio de Janeiro

Arrival in Rio de Janeiro. You will be met and transferred from the airport to your hotel. Rio de Janeiro, the so called marvelous city, is the capital of Rio de Janeiro State. The city spreads along a 24 kilometer long strip of land, nestled between mountains and sea. Overnight in Rio deJaneiro.

Day 02:  Rio de JANEIRO  B

In the morning, enjoy a half day (4 hour) city and Sugar Loaf tour. Leaving the hotel we celebrate Mass at the Church Nossa Senhora de Copacabana.

7h40 – Pick up at the hotel and transfer by bus (with guide assistance) to the Church.

8h00 – Mass at the Church Nossa Senhora de Copacabana

8h45 – Departure for the half day city tour and Sugar Loaf excursion.

Downtown is the business center of Rio. Here colonial Rio meets modern skyscrapers. Drive through Rio Branco Avenue with the remarkable neighborhood composed of 3 generations of buildings dating from the twentieth century. See the Candelária Church. Its ground stone was laid in the late 18th century and completed a century later. See the Opera House (Theatro Municipal), Carioca Square, the Church of Santo Antonio built in the 17th century as well as the Petrobrás headquarters and the new Cathedral. You will see Rio’s aqueduct built in the 18th century and now serving as a bridge for the streetcars connecting downtown to Santa Teresa district, an old residential area. Drive through one of the highlights of this tour: the Flamengo Park, from where you have a privileged view of the top highlight of this tour, the Sugar Loaf.

You shall visit this famous mountain. It is 1,200 feet tall and we will take you to the summit by cable car. The view overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most spectacular views of the world and one you will never forget. Afternoon free at leisure.

Day 03: Rio de Janeiro  B

In the morning a half day (4 hour) Beaches and Corcovado. The group will leave the hotel 1 hour before for the Mass at the Church Nossa Senhora de Copacabana.

7h40 – Pick up at the hotel and transfer by bus (with guide assistance) to the Church.

8h00 – Mass at the Church Nossa Senhora de Copacabana

8h45 – Departure for the half day Beach Tour & Corcovado.

In the Cosme Velho district we board the cog-wheel train which takes us through the Tijuca Forest to the top of the Corcovado Mountain. The ride takes 20 minutes and is a wonderful opportunity to have a close look at the tropical forest’s lush vegetation and to enjoy scenic views of the beaches and the city of Rio. Disembark at the top of Corcovado. You may climb the stairs or take the elevator and escalators to the very top of the mountain where you will stand next to one of the Modern World Wonders: The Statue of Christ the Redeemer. From here you have a really divine view of the “Marvellous City”. After your descent you will see some of the most beautiful beaches in Rio.

Afternoon free at leisure.

Day 04: Rio de Janeiro-Aparecida do Norte-Guaratingueta  B

7h30 – Pick up at the hotel and transfer by bus (with guide assistance) to the Church.

8h00 – Mass at the Church Nossa Senhora de Copacabana.

8h45 – Transfer from Rio de Janeiro to Guaratinguetá (260 km from Rio de Janeiro) visiting Aparecida do Norte en route to visit the statue of the Virgin.

Day 05: Guaratingueta-São Paulo-Iguassu  B

7h00 – Transfer from Guaratinguetá  to São Paulo – 188km – visiting en route “Canção Nova” (New Song) located in Cachoeira Paulista – where the Priest will be able to officiate a Mass to the group (8hours) at Santa Rita Chapel.

After celebrating Mass continue to São Paulo.

Half day (06 hour) São Paulo.

Description: The group should leave from Guaratinguetá to São Paulo in the morning around 8h00am. They will arrive in São Paulo approx. at 10h00 AM to start the full day tour. Visit and stop (approx. for 1h00) at the Tomb of Frei Galvão located at Mosteiro da Luz. After your visit stop (approx. for 1h00) at the Tomb of José de Anchieta located at Pateo do Collegio and “en passant” Sé Cathedral, Liberdade – oriental district, Anhangabaú Valley (Chá and Sta. Ifigênia) and Municipal Theatre (Ramos de Azevedo Square). A stop will be made for lunch (approx. 1h30) at a local restaurant. After lunch around 3h30 or 3h50pm they will visit “en passant” Pacaembu district with its Football Stadium & Football Museum as well as the Higienópolis district. Afterwards continue to Paulista Avenue, Jardins upscale/luxury and Ibirapuera Park, the largest leisure area in the city. Group should leave for the airport around 5h30pm and arrive around 6h30pm or 7h00pm.

Transfer to Sao Paulo airport for your flight to Iguassu . Transfer from Foz do Iguacu airport to your hotel on the Brazilian side located close to the point where the Iguassu River empties its waters into the Parana River forming the world’s widest waterfalls and giving rise to the double border of Brazil and Argentina, the city of Foz do Iguacu, is of great tourist interest.

Day 06: Iguassu  B

After breakfast visit the Brazilian and Argentinian side of the falls- 07 hours.

* Due to the late arrival in Iguassu, the group will leave at 9hs00 to visit the Brazilian and Argentina Falls and celebrate a private mass at “Chapel Santa Terezinha” or similar will be at the end.

Leaving Bazil/Argentina hotels we visit the Brazilian side of the falls in an exclusive air conditioned vehicle crossing the Iguassu National Park as far as the Brazilian Falls. Walking along the paths following cascades and then walking along the catwalk that leads very close to the bottom of the Devil’s Throat. Taking an elevator to go up to the road and there boarding the motorcoach to continue the tour with a short drive and a quick customs check, cross the Tancredo Neves Bridge over the Iguassu River, which forms the border between Argentina & Brazil.

Once in Argentina your tour takes a scenic highway up the Argentinian Iguazu National Park. Tour starts with ample time to visit the Argentinian falls. Stop at the Visitors’ Center and proceeding from there on the Superior Circuit, the up-river cascades to the Inferior Circuit, the down-river falls and then take the Ecological JungleTrain that leads visitors to and from the most impressive observation point of the falls – The Devil’s Throat.

Day 07: Iguassu – Paraguay  B

* The local guide from Paraguay will meet the group at the Hotel in the morning.

9h00 – In the early morning, departure from the Hotel Falls Galli in Foz do Iguassu.

Border crossing Brasil – Paraguay. En Ciudad Del Estewe will visit the shrine Teruño with a private mass for the group.

On the way visit to the Virgin Shrine Itacua (Encarnacion) and Jesuit reduction Trinidad (near Bella Vista).

Day 08:  Bella Vista-Asuncion  B

7h30 – Drive from Bella Vista to Asuncion – capital of Paraguay.

Departure at 8hs, on the way visit to San Ignacio Jesuit settlement and visit to the Virgin shrine Caacupe.

At approx. 3pm, we will make a stop en Yaguaron for a private mass. The construction of this marvelous church was initiated by the Franciscans in 1640 and was finished in 1775, with a beautiful main altar. The pulpit is particularly beautiful and very ornate. The Church of Yaguaron is the prototype of the sanctuaries from the middle of the 18 century.

Arrive in Asuncion against 7pm.

Possibility at 7pm – 8pm (without surcharge): visit to the modern shopping center a few steps from the hotel.

Day 09: Asuncion (Paraguay) – São Paulo – Belo Horizonte (Brazil)   B

* 6h30 – Mass in the “San Cristobal” church of Asunción (ca. 1 km distance from the hotel).

– The pastor from this church will hold a common mass together with the Priest of the group.

– The time for the mass is 06:30 in the morning. It is the normally time for the Mass in this church and it will have also other participants.

– It is possible to have a cup of coffee or tea early in the morning at 5:45 and after the mass breakfast in the hotel.

At 8h00 we will start the city tour in Asuncion.

During the half day downtown city tour, you will get to know the colonial and modern neighbourhoods of the capital city. Discover a city with millions of inhabitants without stress and at the same time authentic and provincial. Admire the oldest railroad in the South American continent (no longer operates) HD City Tour including: Cabildo, the old Senate building, Cathedral Metropolitana, Panteon de Los Heroes.

At due time transfer to the airport to take your flight back to Belo Horizonte, where passengers will be greeted by our local bilingual speaking guide and transferred to the hotel.

Being so young, the city of Belo Horizonte has no historical buildings itself, but it is surrounded by mankind’s richest treasures in colonial art, in the so called historical towns, the remnants of a glorious past when gold abounded in the area, in the 17th and 18th centuries.  The cities of Sabara, Ouro Preto, Mariana, Congonhas, Tiradentes and Sao Joao Del Rey (the two last ones at a farther Distance from Belo Horizonte) form the most impressive set of Baroque art and architecture in the world.

Day 10: Belo Horizonte – Congonhas – Tiradentes  B

Transfer from Belo Horizonte to Tiradentes visiting Congonhas.

After breakfast we leave Belo Horizonte for a full day historical cities tour including. We will take an air-conditioned vehicle from Belo Horizonte to Congonhas (driving time it is 1:15 h – 80 km distance).In the morning, a half day city tour. Leaving the hotel to visit the highlights of Belo Horizonte. Visit to Pampulha Lake, a district where one can see the first works by the architect Niemeyer, landscape projects by Burle Marx and paintings by Portinari. This district is looked upon as an early example of contemporary architecture in Brazil, which reached its climax in Brasilia. Visit the Church of Saint Francis of Assis, Museum of Art and the Soccer Stadium. Continue to Congonhas do Campo.

Congonhas  do  Campo, although not a preserved colonial  town  as Ouro  Preto  and Sabara, presents what is considered as  Brazil’s greatest  artistic treasure:  the statues of the twelve  prophets sculpted in soapstone by Aleijadinho, at the front yard of the BOM JESUS  DOS  MATOSINHOS  CHURCH,  a pilgrimage  center;   and  the stunning  life-size sculptural representation of the Via  Crucis, 66 statues in polychromatic woodwork, in the most realistic style and with political implications. The tiny mulatto angels and bucolic motifs abounding in the works of Antônio Francisco Lisboa, Aleijadinho, were the marks, which came to define a decidedly Brazilian baroque style. The life-size sculptures constitute Brazil’s most important artistic treasure.

The realistic reproduction of popular figures so common in Brazilian art was the result of contributions coming from all the races composing the colonial society. And that is what distinguished Brazilian baroque from the European model.

After visiting Congonhas, we continue our trip to Tiradentes city with lunch en route. One of the most charming towns in Minas, Tiradentes has lovely inns, highly rated restaurants, tempting shops and a generally up-scale ambience.  The city has irregular streets, on the hillside of plain, it is a picturesque city and it is good for handcrafts shopping.

Arrive in Tiradentes, Check In and time for a first stroll.

Day 11: Tiradentes – São João Del Rei – Mariana and Ouro Preto  B

We leave Tiradentes and continue our trip throughout the historical cities including lunch en route ending in Ouro Preto where you will learn about the history of civilization.

A visit to São João del Rei is a must ! Here the religious traditions of colonial times live on in the churches, processions and habits of the faithful. The very air of its winding streets is thick with religious fervor as the church bells toll out their sundry announcements. Also to be admired are the decorative objects made in pewter – a recently revived local tradition.

In Minas the designing of churches marked the beginning of more than a century of construction during which projects were constrained within the narrow limits of Jesuit tradition. The results were temples with simple exteriors but richly decorated interiors. The first capital and diocese of Minas, Mariana was founded in 1711. Its principal attractions are the Archdiocesan Museum, the Carmo and Saint Francis churches and the Cathedral. On the road between Ouro Preto and Mariana lies the old Passagem gold mine, which offers tours to visitors.

Arrive in Ouro Preto, Check in and overnight.

Day 12: Ouro Preto  B

Full day city tour in Ouro Preto with typical lunch.

Founded in the early eighteenth century, Ouro Preto is a masterpiece of colonial Brazilian architecture and art. Indeed, UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site. Ouro Preto is the living image of a culture, a refinement and a life style characteristic of the eighteenth century.

We begin our guided walking tour with a visit to the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the most important church in the city and a testament of Brazilian religious architecture designed by the famous artist Aleijadinho (and associate) with wood and soapstone sculptures. Continue and visit Museum of the School of Mines, a complete mineralogical view of Brazil along with displays of geological artifacts from the other countries. Next, we visit the Church of Our Lady of the Pilar with an extravagant baroque interior. Stop for tasting a “Feijão Tropeiro” and Tutu a Mineira” the typical dishes of the region. We cap off our tour with a visit to the Oratorio Museum which houses are a wide array of sacred religious art, more specifically oratories which eventually harmonized the relationship between the indigenous cultures of the region and their newly arrived European-catholic co-habitants.

Day 13: Ouro Preto – Salvador  B

After breakfast, we be picked up at The Hotel In Ouro Preto, transferred to the airport an Belo Horizonte and proceed to Salvador.

Transfer to the hotel, Check In and time for a first stroll.

Enjoy the Brazil’s land of happiness: BAHIA, where Brazil was discovered and where the sun shines year-round. You can sample delicious the bahian food, visit the markets and the churches and watch the fascinating ceremonies of the Candomblé religion brought by the black slaves from Africa. Bahia is considered to be the most impressive Brazilian city.

Day 14: Salvador  B

In the morning starts a sightseeing tour. This tour will give a good overall impression of Salvador and its principal historical landmarks. Departing from the hotel directly to Farol da Barra (Lighthouse) at Barra district, continue to Municipal Square with a stop at the Lacerda Elevator for a breathtaking view of Baía de Todos os Santos (All Saints Bay). Walking through the cobblestone streets of the Pelourinho district, the city’s historic old town, UNESCO world heritage. Visit the Baroque Cathedral, built by the Jesuits in 1672 and Sao Francisco Church, Brazil’s most famous religious structure with its intricately carved gold-leafed rosewood interior, fine paintings and sculpture and valuable silver ornamentation. Visit also the Pelourinho Square and walk back to the bus parking. Return to the hotel. The afternoon is free for leisure.

In the afternoon, visit MID (Sister Dulce Memorial).

MID is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am on time to 17h and Sundays from 10h to 15h.

A permanent exhibition on the legacy of love and charity of Sister Dulce. So is Sister Dulce Memorial, opened in 1993, a year after the death and situated in a building attached to St. Anthony Convent, at the headquarters of OSID. The habit worn by her, photographs, documents and personal effects can be seen in the MID, which still preserves intact the room of Sister Dulce, where is the chair in which she slept for over thirty years because of a promise. Other milestones in the life of Mother of the Poor are remembered through models, books, diplomas and medals. Among the pieces of the collection, is the image of St. Anthony of the eighteenth century, belonging to the family of religious, before which she used to pray. In Social Work, she used to present the holy visitors as the “Treasurer of the house.” A visit to Memorial spans the Relic Chapel at the Shrine of Sister Dulce where since June 2010, the tomb that holds relics. Part of Memorial, the core memory of OSID meets today a collection of more than nine thousand pieces, helping to preserve and keep alive the ideals of Sister Dulce.

Day 15: Salvador  B

At due time transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Land Tour Includes:

  • All airport transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary.
  • Hotel accommodation based on double occupancy.
  • Meals as specified (B-Breakfast; L-Lunch; D-Dinner).
  • English speaking local guides
  • Entrance fee to the monuments.

Not Included:

  • Airfare, taxes, meals not specified, insurance, gratuities.

**In case of very early departures we cannot guarantee the included breakfast at the hotel.