Costa Verde - the Green Coast - stretches from Mangaratibe, just south of Rio de Janeiro, to São Sebastião in São Paulo state. The steep, rainforest-clad Serra do Mar mountains rise up dramatically from the emerald sea, pristine sandy beaches and sleepy coastal towns and villages of the Costa Verde. It's a world away from the pulsating concrete streets of Rio de Janeiro and, easily tied into a tailor-made holiday of southeast Brazil. As such, the Green Coast is the perfect place to soothe your bones after the kick of the Rio Carnival.
Costa Verde has lots to see and do. Angra dos Reis is a busy port and the first stop on the route south from Rio. From here, ferries head out to the nearby islands of Ilha da Gipóia and Ilha Grande, two of the region's most majestic and beautiful islands. Inland is the Parque Nacional do Itatiaia, Brazil's oldest national park and a magnificent natural playground where brown capuchin monkeys swing above the forested trails and over 350 bird species - many endangered - flutter about the skies.
Another popular stop-off is Paraty, one of Brazil's most spectacular colonial towns, known for its whitewashed buildings topped with terracotta roofs, and annual literary festival.