If we only had 2 weeks: North Brazil itinerary

2 weeks north Brazil itinerary: North-East Brazil things to do Salvador Pelourinho Brazil Bahia

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We’re lucky enough that our location independent business means that we can travel extra slow. If this is an option to you, we strongly recommend that you take your time, really getting to know and appreciate each country you’re in rather than try to cram as many passport stamps as you can into a few months. We would advise at least one month in each country in Latin America, perhaps with the exception of Panama and Belize, which have less going on.

However, that’s not always possible, as we are often asked by people who only have a 2 week holiday from their jobs where we would prioritise in the given time.

After this ideal 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary, I recommend also reading:

So behold! Here is our 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary for anyone who is tight on time but still wants to soak up the best that this incredible country has to offer. Most visitors flock to the coastlines and landmarks of the South of the country, so by choosing to spend your in the North you’ll definitely being seeing some different spots to the usual Brazil itinerary.

This 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary will have you alternating from colonial cities to beaches in a whirlwind tour of the coastline, ending in an awe-inspiring trip to see the out-of-this-world sand dune lagoons of Lençóis Maranhenses in Maranhão. Even though I’ve been there, I’m still jealous that you’ll go!

Porto Seguro Bahia Brazil 2 weeks north Brazil itinerary: North-East Brazil things to do

Things to consider when planning a trip to North Brazil

Remember, Brazil is GINORMOUS, like almost the size of Europe, and plane or bus transport internally tends to be both long and relatively expensive compared to the Latin American average. It’s not unusual to see 20, 30 and 40-hour buses running up and down the country, but luckily we have guides for you on what to look for in a night bus in South America and how to stay safe and comfortable on night buses.

When planning your 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary, you need to factor in these increased travel times, as well as the fact that routes between cities can’t always be assumed to exist, even if they are both major or they look close on the map. Brazil needs a bit more travel prep than other countries in Latin America, in our experience!

travel blogger girl on chapel on beach of praia dos carneirhos - 2 weeks north brazil itinerary

As you only have a fortnight in North Brazil, we highly recommend you fly as much as you can afford so as to save time – for the below 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary, this would mean flying from Porto Seguro to Salvador, then Recife to São Luis, and onto Rio de Janeiro to fly back home.

However, if you’re on a budget you can save money on accommodation but taking some of the journeys via night bus – you just may feel a bit groggy the next day!

Even though this is a 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary, we’ll start you off from the most southerly point of the trip, but it’ll probably be in your best interest to connect through Rio de Janeiro as this tends to offer the cheapest flights from Europe or North America. If you’d rather stay around the Rio area, don’t miss out on our 2 weeks South Brazil itinerary, too.

2 weeks North Brazil itinerary:

Here’s a quick run-down of my suggested 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary with recommended places to stay; below I’ll tell you more about what to do in each of these destinations.

Turn your phone to the side to fit everything in!


DayWhereWhere to stay on a budgetWhere to stay for more luxury
1Fly into Rio de Janeiro, internal flight to Porto SeguroVentura HostelHotel Estalagem
2Porto Seguro
5SalvadorMar à Vista Hostel in BarraApartamento Cloc Marina
8MaragogiPousada Barra GrandePousada dos Jangadeiros
10São Luis (then bus to Barreirinhas)Aquarela Hostel, or Pousada Vilas Boas to be more in the action of the town and riverEncantes do Nordeste
13Barreirinhas (bus back to São Luis)
14Fly to Rio de Janeiro to connect with flight home


What not to miss in your 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary

Days 1 to 4: Porto Seguro

Kick off your 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary with a stroll along the port edge to see all the beautiful houses. Take a bus or rent a car to visit the hilltop church of Santa Cruz Cabrália and then join the beach parties at Axé Moi and Tôa Tôa. on your way back.

The next day, hop on the ferry to Arraial d’Ajuda and add a ribbon of Bonfim (Bahia wish bracelet) to the wall of the Matriz Nossa Senhora D’Ajuda church for good luck before spending an afternoon on the beach. Grab cocktails from one of the stalls on the Passarela do Álcool (alcohol catwalk).

Click here to read my full Porto Seguro guide.

santa cruz cabralia in porto seguro as a 2 weeks north brazil itinerary

Days 5 to 7: Salvador

Eat grilled cheese as you catch a sunset sitting under the lighthouse in the Barra district, browse Pelourinho in the daytime, have lunch on the balcony of Cafélier (you need to reserve a table in advance!), chill on the beaches of the Rio Vermelho district.

This is the best point in your 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary to soak up some spicy city nightlife; the area around Rio Vermelho is a good place to be for it!

2 weeks north brazil itinerary exploring recife and salvador

Days 8 to 9: Maragogi

Get a tour to Praia dos Carneiros to see some gorgeous beaches and check out the famous green chapel at the water’s edge.

Back in Maragogi, swim in the Gales natural pools and walk the La Barra sand bar out into the sea.

Click here to read my full Maragogi guide.

Days 10 to 13: Barreirinhas (for Lençóis Maranheses)

With absolutely zero doubts in my mind, this will be the highlight of any 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary.

You have a few days here not only to get through the cumbersome transport necessities (like a flight to São Luis via Recife) but also to have a chance to really appreciate the natural wonder of Lençóis Maranhenses. You can also grab some downtime on the sandbacks of Atins.

Click here to read my full Lençóis Maranhenses guide.

tour in Lencois Maranhenses as part of a 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary to the best sand dunes in Brazil at sunset

Day 14: Rio de Janeiro

Ok, so depending on your flight times this will likely be a fleeting visit, but it’s a perfect way to sign off your 2 weeks North Brazil itinerary. Rio is an absolute hub of vibrance, and there’s a lot you can cram in during a one day stop-over before heading home.

My parents actually hired a taxi driver during their 12-hour connection in the city and ticked off 4 or 5 activities from the list of fantastic things to do in Rio de Janeiro.

rio de janeiro stopover 2 weeks north brazil itinerary

Got 3 weeks in North Brazil?

Even better! Definitely add in a trip to Natal (below) and Pipa in between Maragogi and São Luis, though note that the transport between those places isn’t great so your cheapest option afterwards may be to get to Recife to catch a flight or 27-hour (gulp) bus to São Luis. Recife itself is a cool place to spend a couple of days, too.

An easier beachy alternative is to extend your time in the vibrant city of Salvador, getting the ferry over to Morro de São Paolo for a couple of days. If you’re done with the beach life, catch a flight up to Manaus and take some tours down the Amazon river to explore the rainforest.

Natal Morro sand dune 2 weeks north Brazil itinerary: North-East Brazil things to do

If you haven’t yet decided where in Latin America to spend your 2 weeks holiday, you might also want to check these out before booking those flights!


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Last Updated on 17 October 2022 by Cuppa to Copa Travels

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