Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls, and the Pantanal
11 Days/9 Nights
From $3,939 per person
(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
Explore Brazil’s fascinating culture, natural attractions, and unique wildlife on this amazing tour. In Rio de Janeiro, capture views of the city and Botafogo Bay from the top of Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain and enjoy Samba music and world-famous beaches. At the Iguazu Falls, appreciate the majesty of one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Earth. And, in the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland area, set out on photo and wildlife safaris and seek out the elusive jaguar.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 9 nights (3 nights in Rio de Janeiro, 2 nights in Puerto Iguazu, and 4 nights in the Pantanal), and 16 meals (9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners).
Best Time to Go: June-October.
Day 1: Rio de Janeiro.
Depart to Rio de Janeiro via overnight flight.
Day 2: Rio de Janeiro-Ginga Tropical Show.
After passing through immigration and customs, proceed to the reception area, where our inbound services representative will be holding a sign with your name on it. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel.
In the evening, you will see the Ginga Tropical Show at the Teatro Fashion Mall. The show perfectly combines a variety of Brazilian dances that developed from African rhythms via the slave trade and from the natives that lived in Brazil before colonization. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro.
Notes: 1.) Check-in time in Rio de Janeiro is typically 2:00 PM. We can request early check-in for you but cannot guarantee it. 2.) The Ginga Tropical Show is available on Saturday evenings. We can offer an alternative activity for other nights of the week.
Day 3: Rio de Janeiro-Christ the Redeemer Statue (Corcovado)-Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Depart from the hotel after breakfast to visit the two most famous landmarks of the city and see the natural beauty of Rio de Janeiro from up above. After a scenic drive along Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, you arrive at the bottom of Corcovado Hill. You then embark on a comfortable train that ascends the mountain, where the statue of Christ the Redeemer is located 2,300 ft. above sea level. The Christ statue, known as the “Wonder of Rio”, was recently voted one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. Upon arrival at the top, you use the panoramic elevators or escalators to arrive at the foot of the statute. There, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro and discover why it is called the “Marvelous City”. Afterwards, you descend the mountain and stop for a delicious Brazilian Barbecue lunch.
Over a million tourists each year visit the world-famous Sugar Loaf Mountain, which has become an iconic symbol of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Rising up from a small peninsula at the entrance of Guanabara Bay, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of a concentrated, refined sugar loaf. The journey to the top is made in glass cable-cars. The first cable-car takes you to the top of Urca Hill, which rises 215 meters above sea level and offers spectacular views of the entire bay and its surrounding islands. From Urca Hill, you continue in a second cable-car to the top of Sugar Loaf which rises 395 meters above sea level and offers a 360-degree view of the entire city including Botafogo and Copacabana Beaches, Corcovado Mountain, and downtown Rio de Janeiro. (Duration: approximately 8 hours. Lunch will be served at Estrela do Sul BBQ). Following the tour, you will be returned to your hotel. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro. (B,L)
Day 4: Rio de Janeiro.
Free day. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro. (B)
Day 5: Rio de Janeiro-Iguazu Falls (Brazilian Side).
Early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguazu Falls. Upon arrival, you will have a 1 and ½ hour tour of the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. Located in Iguazu National Park, these spectacular falls are comprised of 275 individual cascades, and are more than 1.90 miles wide and 260 ft. high. You will walk along the main trail (one mile) on a catwalk above the lower Iguazu River to the series of falls that comprise the Devil’s Throat. Then you will take an elevator to an observation deck for a spectacular panoramic view of the falls. At the end of this tour, you will be transferred to your hotel on the Argentinian side. Overnight in Puerto Iguazu. (B)
Day 6: Iguazu Falls (Argentinean Side)-Great Adventure Tour.
In the morning, you will return to Iguazu Falls to view the falls from the Argentinian side and for the Great Adventure Tour. On the Argentinian side of the falls, you will visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the biodiversity of the jungle and the culture and history of the surrounding area. You can also take the Ecological Forest Train to the Garganta del Diable (Devil’s Throat) Station and the Cataratas Station, which will take you to the upper and lower circuits, and other walking trails.
In the afternoon, you will have the Great Adventure Tour. First, you will ride semi-rigid zodiac boats to reach the bottom of San Martin, Bosetty, Tres Mosqueteros and Canon de Garganta del Diablo falls and down the river rapids up to Puerto Macuco (two miles from the falls). Then, you will ride in an open jeep along the rainforest, observing the local flora and fauna with the aid of specialized guides. Overnight in Puerto Iguazu. (B)
Day 7: Iguazu Falls-Cuiaba-Photo Safari through Transpantaneira Park Road and Introduction Walk.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuiaba. After a briefing on your trip, departure at 1:20pm or 5:00pm, depending on your flight schedule. This transfer is divided into two different stages. The first is a journey on a paved road along farms and cattle ranches. After reaching Poconé – we take the Transpantaneira Park Road at km “0” (108 km / 67.1 mi. from Cuiaba). This is a park road at its best, allowing us to drive above the water level, watching the flora and fauna of the Pantanal ecosystem – a photo safari along 146 km of dirt road with several stops along the way for photos and information. Welcome drink on arrival and accommodation.
Later, the guide will lead you into an introductory walk through the surroundings of the lodge, explaining our concepts and many conservation projects. Continue to the Great Egret Lookout, a 12 m / 39 ft. high observation tower. After dinner, night walk under the Southern Hemisphere sky. Overnight at the Lodge. (D)
Day 8: Pantanal Canoeing and Trekking.
After breakfast, take a photo safari through private dirt roads towards the Clarinho River. Reaching its banks, board a canoe and paddle down the river, exploring the forest that grows by the riverbanks and mangroves. Here lives a colony of “ariranhas” – giant river otters. With some luck, you may spot a family playing with their babies and teaching them how to swim and fish. Chance of fishing the elusive piranha, not an easy task, but fun. Enjoy a barbecue lunch under the shadow of the trees (*). Hammocks available to enjoy a “siesta”.
Return to the Lodge in time for the afternoon tea. Later, trek the Howler Monkey trail to the Howler Monkey Tower, our highest observation point – 25 m high -, for a magnificent view of the sunset. After dinner, join a night drive in search of nocturnal animals. Overnight at the Lodge. (B,L,D)
(*) If the Sentinela Camp is not accessible (depending on the weather and terrain conditions), this canoeing tour will take place on the Corixo River. In that case, we will return to the lodge for lunch.
Day 9: Horseback Riding and Trekking.
After breakfast, enjoy a horseback ride, which will allow you to explore the diversity of the Pantanal landscape including some flooded areas of the Pantanal plain. The Pantaneiro horses are docile and have adapted, through the centuries, to eat with its nose underwater. In this region, the horse is the Pantaneiros’ best friend, a daily companion during work and leisure. Return to the lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon, trek the Rondon Trail towards the 13 m high Jabiru Stork Tower, where you can watch a Jabiru Stork nest. Return to the lodge for dinner. Overnight at the Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Jaguar Boat Safari.
After breakfast, departure towards Cuiabá River at the end of Transpantaneira, 115km that will take approximately 2h30. Join one of our boats for a six hour safari looking for the elusive and admired Jaguar. We will be exploring Cuiabá river, Piquiri, Three brothers riverbanks, bays and channels. The jaguar is the 3rd largest feline in the world, and uniquely bite its pray in the skull, paralyzing it instantly. Our lunch will be a lunchbox with fruits and sandwiches prepared by the Lodge cuisine, in order not to miss a unique chance of meeting this magnificent predator. Return to Jofre region around 17h00. Board our safari vehicle back to the lodge, arriving for dinner. Overnight at the Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Departure from Araras to Cuiabá.
Early rising, to witness the awakening of the Pantanal at dawn. Breakfast and departure at 7:30am or 12:30pm to Cuiaba, with stops along the Transpantaneira Park Road for photos and a last glimpse of this unique ecosystem. (B)
Note: The order of the activities may be modified according to the program at the lodge and weather or terrain conditions. The Araras Pantanal Eco Lodge team commitment is for a full enjoyment of the Pantanal Flood Plains, making it an unforgettable stay.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
- South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
- Airport/hotel transfers including baggage handling.
- Hotel accommodations including taxes and service charges.
- Excursions as indicated on the itinerary including all applicable entrance fees.
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary.
- Local, English-speaking tour guides.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare.
- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Gratuities, gifts, and personal items.
- Travel insurance.
We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare and travel insurance and to make these arrangements for you.
Group Private: All airport/hotel transfers are private. In Rio de Janeiro, the Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain excursion is a group tour for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations, and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodation. In Iguazu Falls, the tours of the Brazilian and Argentinian side are group tours for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodations. The Great Adventure Tour is a group tour. In the Pantanal, all services are operated on a group basis.
Passport/Visa: For Brazil, U.S., Canadian, and Australian citizens require a valid passport (for the duration of their stay) and visa (effective October 1, 2023), sufficient funds, and a return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. EU Citizens are only required to have a valid passport (for the duration of their stay), sufficient funds, and a return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months of valid term beyond your departure date. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Brazilian embassy in their country before traveling. For Argentina, U.S., Canadian, Australian, and EU citizens require a valid passport (for the duration of their stay), sufficient funds, and a return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months of valid term beyond your departure date. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Argentina embassy in their country before traveling.
Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.
To Book This Trip: We require a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person plus the cost of the international airfare (if we make the arrangements for you). The balance of the trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.
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