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Travel through renowned Brasília, breathtaking Rio and more

  • 04/23/2020 - 05/02/2020
  • 10 Days
  • Starting price $4,995

See why Brazil was named the World Capital of Architecture for 2020 by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects. Experience Brazil’s incredibly influential Modernist architecture and culture in the country’s capital city of Brasília and the exciting city Rio de Janeiro. Marvel at the creativity and history of remarkable structures throughout the region including the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, stylized after Mayan pyramids; the Escaderia Selarón, or “Selarón Steps,” the world-famous mosaic steps; and the Gustavo Capanema Palace, one of the earliest examples of Modernist architecture in Brazil. See UNESCO World Heritage site Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, a remarkable home, garden, and cultural center created by landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Enjoy more of his work at the Flamengo Park and walk through his beautifully designed gardens. Dive into Brazilian culture from exploring colorful cities to walking through vast museums to enjoying an unforgettable meal at a classic Brazilian steakhouse.

Call now to book! 1.800.293.5725

Max. guests - 30

Architectural highlights

  • Explore monumental and everyday aspects of Brasília’s Pilot Plan, originally designed by Lúcio Costa and inaugurated in 1960. 
  • Visit iconic buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer’s team in Brasília such as the Cathedral, the National Congress, the Foreign Ministry, and the University of Brasília, along with structures by other Brazilian architects between the 1960s and today. 
  • Visit the Chapel, Ballroom and former Casino (currently a Museum of Art) designed by Oscar Niemeyer around Pampulha Lake in Belo Horizonte in the 1940s.
  • Visit the formally hybrid Hotel Ouro Preto in the early 1940s in the middle of 18th-century baroque churches and manors in the colonial town of Ouro Preto.
  • Admire Guanabara Bay, the site of metropolitan Rio de Janeiro from the water, taking a ferry to visit Niterói’s Museum of Art by Oscar Niemeyer, and from the sky, taking the train to Corcovado Hill, where Paul Landowski’s Art Deco Christ statue stands. 
  • Take in the diverse historical architecture of Rio de Janeiro’s built to symbolize its role as a capital city from 1763 to 1960. Walk through downtown Rio de Janeiro, visiting iconic modernist sites and structures such as the Ministry of Education and Health and Affonso Reidy’s Museum of Modern Art.


More highlights

  • Stroll through the beautiful Flamengo Landfill Park, Rio de Janeiro, designed by a group of prominent twentieth-century designers and botanists.
  • Learn about the Moreira Salles Institute and the Lage Park School of Visual Arts,  important art and culture centers occupying formerly private residences and gardens at the foot of the Corcovado Hill.
  • Opportunities to explore the nightlife in Rio de Janeiro during independent time.
  • Sketching is highly encouraged!
  • This trip qualifies for 19 AIA learning units.



  • Brasília Palace Hotel (Brasília) — Experience the design of Oscar Niemeyer himself from inside of one of his own buildings. Founded by Niemeyer in 1958, the Brasília Palace Hotel’s history tells the story of the glamor and style of life in Brasília in the 50s and 60s. Though recently restored to its initial elegance, the hotel remains a charming historic hotel. Located near a number of waterfront restaurants and just a quick drive away from many architectural wonders of Brasília, the location will not disappoint. Amenities include a pool and fitness center, as well as the Restaurante Oscar, where guests can enjoy Italian cuisine.
  • Hotel Solar do Rosário (Ouro Preto) — The Hotel Solar do Rosário is ideally located in Ouro Preto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and world famous for its magnificent colonial architecture. The hotel is within a pleasant stroll  from central Tiradentes Square, and it offers unique views of Itacolomi Peak and the magnificent adjacent Nossa Senhora do Rosário baroque church. Resting inside a mansion dating back to the 19th-century, the hotel has been renovated and restructured to accommodate guests with every comfort and sophistication, with the elegance and tradition of colonial architecture.
  • Pestana Rio Atlântica Hotel (Rio de Janeiro) — Recently renovated by architect Jaime Moraes, the hotel boasts contemporary style as well as an excellent location—by Copacabana beach. The Pestana is walking distance from numerous popular restaurants, shops, and parks. The city’s marvels designed by Oscar Niemeyer and other Brazilian architects are a short drive from the hotel. Amenities include a pool and fitness center, as well as a rooftop deck lounge bar and a restaurant serving typical Brazilian cuisine in a buffet style.


Also included

  • 8 nights accommodations
  • 17 meals: 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 1 reception and 3 dinners
  • 1 group transfer upon arrival and one group airport transfer upon departure
  • 2 economy class domestic flights within Brazil between Brasília and Belo Horizonte and between Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro.
  • An experienced Tour Director, in addition to the Architectural Adventures Educational Expert
  • All guided visits and entrance fees for all included visits
  • Ferry trip and land transportation by private motor coach as outlined in the itinerary.
  • Service charges, taxes and gratuities for guides, bus drivers, porters, and restaurant staff
  • Handling of two pieces of luggage per person upon arrival and departure at the hotels


What to expect

  • Appropriate for people in good health with overall good mobility
  • Traveler should be comfortable participating in a full day of sightseeing
  • Activities range from light to moderate intensity at an easy pace, but with lengthy walks, sometimes on uneven terrain, and climbing on stairs



  • Land only price: $4,995 per person, based on double occupancy
  • $695 single supplement
  • A deposit of $750 per person, payable by Master Card, Visa or check is required to reserve a space
  • Deposits are applied to payment of the total price and the final payment is due by January 14, 2020


Not included

International airfare and air departure taxes and fees; airline baggage fees and excess baggage fees; meals not specified in the itinerary; food and beverages not part of the included meals; items of a personal nature; gratuities to housekeeping staff; gratuities other than specified; travel and trip cancellation insurance; other items not specifically mentioned in the itinerary or as included.

Prices, itinerary, accommodations and experts subject to change.



Architectural Adventures tours are managed by professional tour operators retained as independent contractors by The American Institute of Architects. To read Architectural Adventures full Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer visit To read the tour-specific terms and conditions from our tour operator International Seminar Design, Inc. visit  




Begin your journey

Depart from your preferred airport for Brasília, Brazil.

Everyday Brasília

After settling in at the hotel, gather for a light welcome lunch before taking a tour of some of Brasilía’s monuments, including the TV Tower, JK Memorial, and the Buriti Plaza Complex. Continue to the Superblock housing complex S308, and the Superblock commercial strip, both designed by Lúcio Costa. Visit the Chapel of St. Mary of Fátima, by Niemeyer, and the Dom Bosco Sanctuary, by Carlos Alberto Naves.

Accommodations: Brasília Palace Hotel
Meals: Lunch

Monumental Brasília

This day is dedicated to Oscar Niemeyer,Lúcio Costa, Roberto Burle-Marx, and their collaborators. Visit the University of Brasília main campus building designed by Niemeyer. Visit the Three Powers Square, where the three branches of government come together surrounded by incredible buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer followed by tours of the National Congress building, the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (also known as Itamaraty Palace), the Pantheon of Homeland and Peace monument, and the National Palace of the president of Brazil. Learn about Brazilian architect and urban planner, Lúcio Costa’s plan of Brasília. Visit the National Theater of Brasília, also designed by Niemeyer.

Accommodations: Brasília Palace Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Belo Horizonte

Take a morning flight to Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minas Gerais state, designed by Aarão Reis in the 19th century. Ride to the Pampulha Lake Complex in the city’s outskirts, an urban-development project designed around an artificial lake. See the ballroom, Chapel, and Museum all designed by Oscar Niemeyer, Roberto Burle Marx, and Cândido Portinari. Visit downtown Liberdade Square, one of the most symbolic places in the city surrounded by important architectural landmarks. Almost as old as Belo Horizonte itself, the Square synthesizes architecture, landscaping, history, and quality of life. Until 2010, it was home to the city’s political activity. Today, it hosts a cultural complex formed by museums, a library, and a planetarium. Afternoon drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site town of Ouro Preto to take a walking tour of the city and visit the surprisingly hybrid Grande Hotel by Niemeyer. Check into the Hotel Solar do Rosário.

Accommodations: Hotel Solar de Maria
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Ouro Preto

Following breakfast, visit to Ouro Preto’s 18th-century buildings , including the Rosário and Carmo churches, works by Antônio Francisco Lisboa (Aleijadinho), celebrated Brazilian baroque architect and sculptor, such as the São Francisco church, and the small-gem Opera House.. Enjoy free time for touring the town. Afternoon bus transfer to the Belo Horizonte airport to board an early evening flight to Rio de Janeiro. Transfer to the Pestana Rio Atlântica Hotel hotel and check in.

Accommodations: Pestana Rio Atlântica Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Downtown Rio de Janeiro

Begin the morning with a walking tour of downtown Rio. Visits to the Ministry of Health and Education, designed by Lúcio Costa's team in collaboration with LeCorbusier. Continue to Cinelândia to see the Fine Arts Museum, which is located in a building designed in 1908 by Adolfo Morales de los Rios as the school of fine arts, which Lúcio Costa proposed to modernize in the early 20th century. Admire the eclectic architecture of the Municipal Theater, which is considered one of the most important theaters in the country. For lunch today, gather at the historic Confeitaria Colombo to see another gem of Rio among other historical buildings and taste local delicacies. Board a ferry to cross the Guanabara Bay to Rio’s sister city,Niteroí. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art to learn about Niemeyer’s design of the iconic chalice-shaped structure, sixteen meters tall and accessed via a swirling 98-meter long ramp. The hexagonal main hall provides 400 square meters of column-free exhibition space surrounded by a circular lookout promenade with windows slanted at a 45-degree angle. From here, take in a panoramic view of Guanabara Bay. Return to Rio and enjoy a reception at a private home with phenomenal views of the city.

Accommodations: Pestana Rio Atlântica Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Reception

Guinle Park and Flamengo Park

Start the day with a visit to Guinle Park, a residential complex consisting of three modernist apartment blocks designed by Lúcio Costa. Walk through Flamengo Park, created in the 1960s, which began as a landfill operation but became a recreational park designed by Lota Macedo Soares and Roberto Burle Marx. See the World War II Memorial in the park, which was designed by Mark Netto Conder and Helio Ribas Marinho. Next, take an architectural tour of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio, located in Flamengo Park, which was designed by Affonso Reidy with gardens designed by Roberto Burle Marx. The Museum is recognized internationally as a landmark of modern architecture in Brazil. Tour the museum collection. Complete the day with a visit to Sugarloaf hill for stunning view of Copacabana Beach and the Flamengo Landfill Park.

Accommodations: Pestana Rio Atlântica Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Architecture and Landscape

Visit the Moreira Salles Institute, a center of art and culture that occupies a formerly private modernist residence and garden designed by Olavo Redig de Campos and Roberto Burle Marx. Next, visit the “SARAH” hospital, an International Center for Rehabilitation and Neuroscience, which was recently designed by João Filgueiras Lima, commonly known as Lelé, and learn about its innovative design. Continue to the Burle Marx Estate, a remarkable home, garden, and cultural center created by landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour the public area of the 40-acre property which includes an extraordinary botanical-landscape collection, seven buildings, five reflecting pools, and a museum collection of over three thousand items belonging to Roberto Burle Marx. Return to Rio for an independent evening.

Accommodations: Pestana Rio Atlântica Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Christ the Redeemer

Begin the day with a ride to the historical Botanical Garden, designed in the early 19th century while the Rio de Janeiro was temporarily the capital of the Portuguese Empire, to see the diversity of Brazilian and foreign flora. There are about 6,500 species, including some endangered species. Discover Lage Park, a former exuberant private estate and garden and current public park housing EAV, the public School of Visual Arts maintained by the City of Rio, located in the Botanical Garden neighborhood at the foot of the Corcovado, the mountain upon which the Christ the Redeemer statue sits. Take a train up the Corcovado mountain to see the 125-foot Art Deco statue of Christ the Redeemer created by French sculptor Paul Landowski. From there, enjoy the best view in Rio de Janeiro.

Accommodations: Pestana Rio Atlântica Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Return Home

Depart Rio de Janeiro this morning for flights home.

Meals: Breakfast
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