Following morning pickup from your hotel in Rio de Janeiro, board your vehicle for the 1.5-hour ride to Petrópolis. Pass by waterfalls and through scenic forests on the way, learning about the history of the 'Imperial City' from your guide as you drive.
When you arrive in Petrópolis, tucked in the forested hills of the Serra dos Órgãos, start your tour at the Imperial Museum. Located in the former palace of Pedro II, the Austrian-style palace from 1845 gives a glimpse into how Brazil's royalty once lived. See the ostentatious imperial crown, decorated with over 600 diamonds as well as luxurious tapestries and antique furniture.
Visit St Peter of Alcantara Cathedral to admire its Gothic-style architecture and pay respects to the burial place of Brazil's last emperor. Then, take a walk through a tranquil park to the Crystal Palace, a glass and steel ballroom imported from France as a gift for Princess Isabel. Listen as your guide describes the lavish parties and royal exhibitions once held there.
Head back to the center of town to purchase lunch (own expense.) After lunch and some free time to explore on your own, your vehicle will head back to Rio for drop-off at your hotel.
Tour Upgrade: Visit to Cervejaria BohemiaTake a tour of the factory to learn about Brazil's popular lager, which was first produced in 1853. Use your coded wristband to take advantage of the brewery's interactive exhibits and learn about the history of beer. End the tour with a taste of some freshly-brewed Bohemia, then spend some time trying other beers (own expense) or snacks in the brewery's bar and restaurant.
At the conclusion of your day exploring Petrópolis, enjoy drop-off at your Rio hotel.