Darwin's Rainforest Trail

Rio/Sao Paulo Brazil: (IT-BRRT12)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/brazil_rio_de_janeiro_darwin_trail.aspx

Rio/Sao Paulo Brazil
Simply Enchanting...

In 1832 the Atlantic rain-forest overwhelmed Charles Darwin with its spectacular beauty and biological diversity. This exotic trail introduces you to the same exuberant and lush Brazilian forests of ancient trees and promises to enthrall you the same way it enchanted the young Darwin. Ride through the rural landscape of rolling hills with local pigs and goats visiting us along the way.  The melody of singing birds will follow us as we ride and we may spot a toucan with its brightly colored beak or a lengthy lizard scurrying up the hillside for cover. We will make steep climbs, up and up to the top to enjoy some the most breathtaking mountain vistas you will ever find around the globe. Verdant rain-forest will change into deep, thick jungle that will eventually climb upwards into impressive jagged mountain tops. Then onward we horseback ride through fields of grazing cattle and splash through the cool mountain springs.  Dismount and  refresh with a dip and a swim in a cool and shady pool below a splashing waterfall, and then  dry yourself off on a rock in the sunshine like one of the many lazy lizards who sun bathe themselves during the day. If this sounds inviting to you keep on reading – this may be the trip of a lifetime for you.

The state of Rio de Janeiro is home to some of the best-preserved parts of the Atlantic Rain-forest of Brazil thanks, in part, to the tough inaccessibility of some of the remote mountainous areas. The vegetation is thick and lush and simply fantastic. Many trees absolutely drip with epiphytes and there are an enviable variety of orchids and bromeliads. The dramatic mountains of this area can be seen all the way from the city of Rio de Janeiro! Despite so much beauty on the way, for many the best of the ride is still the end, the last day of riding on some of the most beautiful beaches of the Brazil.

During the week you ride on narrow tracks through the rain forest, over pastures, crossing rivers and following winding mountain trails on one of our well trained and lovingly cared for Peruvian Paso horses. The horses are calm and comfortable, and the breed offers the namesake paso llano gait, so much easier than trotting on your behind and back! Your accommodations vary from rustic and simple refuge on the first night to comfortable farm guesthouses along the trail.

Come fall in love with the enchanting rain-forest of Brazil - it's people, wildlife, ancient flora and unique Peruvian Paso horses!


This is a progressive ride where nights are spent in 5 different locations.

Your accommodations vary from rustic and simple refuge on the first night to comfortable farm guesthouses along the trail.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Day 1: Refuge
Day 2: Pousada Tapinuã
Day 3: Pousada Tapinuã
Day 4: Farm hotel Acacias
Day 5: Fazenda São João Pousada
Day 6: Massae Guest House

The refuge is built with mud and wood (wattle and daub). It offers 2 rooms with bunkbeds and a shared bathroom. There is also the option to stay in a comfortable tent in the Mountain Viewpoint (spectacular view) next to the Refuge. There is no Wi-Fi.

Pousada Tapinuã
The pousada has 8 chalets with double bed and a house with 3 bedrooms. All rooms have a ceiling fan, a private bathroom and a balcony with hammock. The water heater for the showers uses firewood from fallen trees or twigs resulting from pruning. Wi-Fi is available in public areas and there is a sauna that guests can use to relax.

Farm hotel Acacias
This farm hotel offers simple and comfortable accommodation in small cabins. Each cabin has access to free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a TV, a private bathroom and a small patio with a hammock.

Fazenda São João Pousada
This fazenda is housed in a beautifully preserved 18th century colonial style house. It offers accommodations in simply decorated rooms, all equipped with air conditioning, a TV and private bathrooms. The fazenda also has a fitness room, beautiful gardens and an outdoor swimming pool. There is free Wi-Fi access.

Massae Guest House
This guesthouse offers 4 comfortable ensuite rooms and provides free Wi-Fi access.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory if we are unable to find another rider to share the room with you.

All meals are included with this trip from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 7.
Breakfasts and dinners are eaten at the accommodations and lunches are eaten on the trail.

Brazil has a rich cuisine. The country is a mixture of European, Indian, African, and Asian cultures and is reflected in the way the Brazilians cook. Italian and African cuisines have great influence on Brazilian cuisine. Well before Europe spoke about fusion cuisine, Brazil was combining ingredients found from different continents to a new, typical Brazilian cuisine. They also often serve dishes from different countries on one table.
The Brazilian cuisine is very good, varied, and serves many naturally made dishes. The main dishes are mostly rice and beans (Feijão) and sauces, with lots of meat or fish and salads. Each region has its own traditional dishes. Very popular is the Churrasco (Brazilian BBQ).

Alcoholic beverages are not included in this trip but guests are welcome to bring their own if they wish.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to all dietary restrictions with prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.


The Peruvian Pasos, a gaited-breed known for their smoothness of ride, are used for this ride. It is distinguished by a natural, four-beat, lateral gait called the paso llano.

Walk, paso llano, and canter. Around 6 hours per day and 25km per day covered (except first day where you will spend 3 hours in the saddle riding in the forest mostly at a walk).

English and German-speaking guides.


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival & Jequitibá Reserve Ride
Morning transfer from Rio de Janeiro to the farm in Cachoeiras de Macacu. Reception and coffee - Start the ride to Jequitibá Reserve, exploring trails that pass through forest, mountains, with unforgettable landscapes. Arriving at the Reserve, you'll take a tour to its beautiful waterfalls. Dinner and the first night in the Refuge (built with mud and wood /pau a pique) with option to stay in a comfortable tent in the Mountain Viewpoint (spectacular view) next to the Refuge.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Refuge

Day 2 (Monday): Ride to Fazenda Pirineus
Breakfast and departure to Fazenda Pirineus in Silva Jardim. One of the most beautiful days of the ride, through trails inside a primary forest with millenary trees. We'll en up crossing the main mountain range that separates the mountainous region from the coast. The trails go up a thousand meters of altitude following the thick forest until arriving at the Fazenda Pirineus, where the horses will stay that night. Riders can take a waterfall bath near the Fazenda main house before continuing on the support car to the Pousada Tapinuã (20 minutes) where we will overnight on this second day.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Pousada Tapinuã

Day 3 (Tuesday): Fazenda Pirineus to Pousada Tapinuã
After breakfast we return by car to Fazenda Pirineus where our horses will be waiting to start the ride towards the hinterland of Bananeiras. The paths traces dirt roads with a stop at the Vitoria Farm for a river bath and swimming with the horses, followed by a snack. Then the ride continues cutting through farms and climbing another 500-meter high mountain range with beautiful landscapes. Arrival at Pousada Tapinuã for late lunch. The rest of the day free to relax in the natural pool, sauna and tasting of homemade cachaça produced on site (tasting not included).
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Pousada Tapinuã

Day 4 (Wednesday): Pousada Tapinuã to Aldeia Velha
Breakfast at 8 am and departure at 9:30 am in the direction of Aldeia Velha. The ride passes through a dirt road and mountain ranges through two picturesque villages: Bananeiras, which belongs to the municipality of Silva Jardim and Aldeia Velha, part of Casimiro de Abreu, our destination on the fourth day. Aldeia Velha is a picturesque village, relatively hidden and still little known even by cariocas. It is part of the São João / Mico Leão Dourado Environmental protection area. Dinner is a delicious pizza. Overnight in the farm hotel Acacias with horses grazing in front of the rooms.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farm Hotel Acacias

Day 5 (Thursday): Aldeia Velha to Barra de São João
After an early breakfast, departure to Barra de São João. The mountains are behind and the paths are flat, revealing a wide and beautiful rural landscapes of crossing streams, pastures and fields, and farms with herds of cattle and buffalo. Stop for lunch at the Fazenda in Casimiro de Abreu. In the afternoon, the ride skirts an old volcano (São João hill) arriving in time for a relaxing sauna or massage (not included) at Fazenda São João Pousada.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Fazenda São João Pousada

Day 6 (Friday): Pero Beach to Fazendinha Pousada Búzios
Breakfast at 8am and departure at 9am with the support car passing by the old village of Barra de São João where you still find the true path of Charles Darwin. We pass through the alleys and colonial houses of São João until reaching the beach. The first sight of the sea at the end of a street of this historical village is very beautiful. After half an hour the car arrives on the beaches of Pero in Cabo Frio, where our horses will be ready. We follow on horseback to visit one of the most beautiful beaches in Rio de Janeiro, the beach of Conchas. We continue towards Búzios passing by dunes and a beautiful beach where we make a stop for sea bathing with the horses. We continue along trails until we reach the beach of Caravelas in Búzios where we stop for lunch at the edge of the beach and make a toast to the arrival in Búzios. After lunch, we continue along a dirt road cutting the Pau Brasil reserve until arrive at our final destination, Fazendinha Pousada Búzios. At night after dinner, we will go out to visit Buzio’s famous stone street and Brigitte Bardot waterfront.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Fazendinha Pousada Búzios

Day 7 (Saturday): Departure
After breakfast, transfer back to Rio de Janeiro
Meals included: Breakfast

Rates and Dates for Darwin's Rainforest Trail

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals & 5 riding days
English and German-speaking guides available

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    20217 day trip, AP$2655

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:

2021 Transfers from and to Rio de Janeiro (up to 3 passengers), roundtrip
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
2021 Single supplement (Not available on first night) $455
2021 Group discount (5-6 pax), dbl, pp $-480
2021 Group discount (7-8 pax), dbl, pp $-630

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 09/19 - 09/25 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP 2 /8 Expired

Dates Note:
This ride is available any date between March and November (expect for the month of July). We need the booking at least 1 month before the date of the ride)

Rates do not include:

Transfers from/to Rio de Janeiro & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Rio de Janeiro
Airport: Rio de Janeiro
Transfer: Rio de Janeiro

                                        Armação dos Búzios area














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Source: NOAA

Situated in the tropical South Atlantic, the Rio de Janeiro province of Brazil is warm all year round.

Summers, between November and March, are very hot and humid. Autumn (March to May) sees temperatures rapidly decline into the upper 20s (Celsius). Winters are cooler and dry, but never cold, with some precipitation, lasting only from June to September. Spring (September to November) is usually warm and dry, with a low humidity level, making these months pleasant and enjoyable for a visit.

What To Bring:
It is recommended to put your luggage in travel bag instead of a hard suitcase. 10 bags are easier to get in the backup vehicle than 10 suitcases.

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Visa (check with your consulate)
Travel Insurance
Pocket money (you can change money on arrival at the airport)

Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!) - as they are not too hot, and they dry out quickly if they get wet.
Riding boots (short) or hard-soled shoes + Minichaps or Longchaps
Riding helmet - please bring your own. NOTE – It's not mandatory in Brazil.
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat
Tall boot socks to prevent chaffing
4 to 5 Long-sleeved shirts for protection sun
Water canteen
This list is only a general guideline for you from Ride in Brazil
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Underwear and socks
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit / Bathing suit

Personal Toiletries
Insect Repellent
Personal medications (please consult with your G.P. for health advise)
Sewing kit
Adapter for electric appliances
Small Camera/Phone with Camera and batteries
Belt pack
Sunscreen (spf-30 or higher) and Lip Balm with sunscreen
One towel
Torch / Flashlight