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Signature Argentina and Brazil: Amazon, Pantanal and Iguazú Falls

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This holiday concentrates on the twin wildernesses of Brazil, the Pantanal wetlands and the Amazon basin, but gives you time at the end in the lively city of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil has an incredible diversity of landscapes and flora and fauna, from tropical rainforests to vast wetlands, and one of the world's most impressive waterfalls. Here, we take you to all of them. 

However, the holiday begins in Argentina: Buenos Aires, the soi-disant Paris of Latin America, before continuing north to the Iguazú Falls, the immense, roaring cataracts which straddle the frontier of the two countries.

The vast Pantanal wetlands are a paradise for nature lovers, especially for wildlife observation. Unlike the areas of high jungle, the Pantanal is an open area of swampy grasslands, leaving some of the highest concentration of fauna in the continent exposed to view. Stay at one of our favourite eco lodges: there are plenty of excursions by boat, trail and on horse-back.

For many the seemingly impenetrable wilderness of the Amazon, sprawling across half of South America's vast territory, conjures an unrivalled sense of adventure which taps into some of their very earliest images of the exotic. Here you can make childhood dreams a reality, with a stay of several days at a jungle lodge not far from the city of Manaus but surrounded by the wilds of the rainforest.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Buenos Aires. Transfer to hotel in the chic Recoleta district.

Day 2

City tour in Buenos Aires.

Day 3

At leisure in the Argentine capital.

Day 4

Fly to Puerto Iguazú; transfer to Brazil via the Argentinian side of the Iguazú Falls

Day 5

Guided tour of the Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls.

Days 6-8

Fly to Cuiabá in the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands. Transfer to lodge. Activities from the lodge.

Day 9

Fly to Manaus in Amazonia. Transfer to city centre hotel.

Day 10

Transfer to your jungle lodge, Amazon Village.

Days 11-12

Activities from the lodge.

Day 13

Fly to Rio de Janeiro. Transfer to hotel in Copacabana.

Day 14

Excursion to Corcovado mountain and Tijuca forest.

Day 15

At leisure in Rio; optional excursions.

Day 16

Transfer to airport.

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What our experts say

Following in the footsteps of explorers and intrepid travellers, this holiday is perfect for those who want to discover the remoteness of the Amazon, the verdant grasslands of the Pantanal and the majesty of the Iguazú Falls. This holiday focuses on the wildness these two countries encapsulate – and to add spice to the mix, you’ll get to experience the vibrant and exhilarating cities of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

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Places visited on this holiday

Signature Argentina and Brazil: Amazon, Pantanal and Iguazú Falls

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Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Along with Rio, this is a city worth crossing the Atlantic for in its own right. Dynamic, stylish and nostalgic, it’s the continent’s most European city, but does not lack South American verve. Its contrasting neighbourhoods reveal colonial plazas, shady avenues, quirky antique fairs, street art, world famous theatres and football stadiums and spruced-up metropolitan port districts. Studded with extensive parks, cutting-edge boutique hotels, designer boutiques and a myriad of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, it’s a restless place, challenging to find your way around but well worth the effort. It’s the beating heart of Argentina, the hub for visits throughout the country.
When's the best time to visit Buenos Aires?

Buenos Aires is at its hottest Jan-Mar (very humid with tropical showers, occasionally over 40C during the day). It can be cold and cloudy Jul-Aug, so weather conditions are best for a visit in spring and autumn. Dec-Feb and Jul are local holiday times: Porteños head for the beach.

What's the official language in Buenos Aires?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Buenos Aires?

Argentine Peso.

Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. Please note that in 2016 many of the ATMs were not functioning properly; we are recommending that for the moment you take a good supply of US dollars cash. There are many banks and money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you can exchange US dollars cash; rates for euros and sterling frequently poor. 

What's the time difference between Buenos Aires and the UK?

GMT -3 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, but this is announced ad hoc on a year-on-year basis.

What places combine well with Buenos Aires?

Beach time in Mar del Plata (392 km by road, 5hrs); Colonia or Montevideo in Uruguay across the River Plate: travel by ferry, bus or plane; a stay on a working estancia in the pampa south and west of the city; Iguazú Falls (2hrs approx by air).

How long is the flight to Buenos Aires from the UK?

Average flight time is 14hrs 20mins on a direct flight from London. There are also flights requiring a change of plane in Europe or the USA.

What are the festivals and cultural and sports events in Buenos Aires?

Tango Festival: Aug. The world's – top tango festival, nine days  of concerts, shows, free classes, exhibitions, open-air milongas (Avenida Corrientes is closed for a massive display) and other tango-related festivities.

Opera season: Mar-Dec. Take in a concert or opera at the refurbished Teatro Colón which attracts internationally esteemed artists. 

Argentine Polo Open: Mid Nov-mid Dec. Polo is a passion for many Argentines. This is the year’s main attraction, taking place in Palermo’s 16,000 seater stadium.

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Iguazu Falls
Iguazu falls

Straddling the border between southern Brazil and northeast Argentina, The Iguazú Falls (spelt  Iguaçú in Brazil) are usually rated number one of the big three waterfalls, the others being Niagara and Victoria. They are often considered to be Latin America’s most awe-inspiring natural sight and a must-see for anyone visiting the highlights of the continent.

The 275 separate cascades form a curtain of foaming water which crashes through tangled sub-tropical jungle over a vast granite amphitheatre, protected by national park status. Both countries offer scenic walkways with breath-taking scenery around every corner and easily observed wildlife. From the Brazilian side you’ll get a panoramic view of the 3km cliff edge, on the Argentine side there is a series of walkways leading you above, below and even behind the water.

When's the best time to go to Iguazu Falls?

Iguazú Falls is a year-round destination, but water levels and weather conditions vary with the rainy (Dec-Feb) and dry (Jun-Jul) seasons. The water supply to the falls also varies according to the local control of the dams upstream. It can be busy with tourists in local holiday seasons, for example in Feb and at Easter.

What's the official language in Iguazu Falls?

Brazilian Portuguese; Argentinean Spanish.

How do i get to Iguazu Falls?

There are direct flights connecting Iguazú Falls to Buenos Aires (2 hours), Rio de Janeiro (2 hours), Lima, São Paulo, and Salta in northern Argentina.

What's the official currency at Iguazu Falls?

Brazilian Real.

Brazil: notes can be withdrawn from ATMs in Foz do Iguazú Banco do Brasil, Bradesco and HSBC accept UK credit or debit cards. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. ATMs close at 10pm.

Argentina: there are a couple of ATMs in Puerto Iguazú where the banks are only open in the mornings.

What's the time difference between GMT and Iguazu falls?

GMT -3 hours. There is daylight saving from October to the end of February (approx) when clocks are put forward one hour.

What countries combine well with Iguazu Falls?

Argentina: Buenos Aires - there are direct daily 2 hour flights from Puerto Iguazú; Salta in the northwest Andes: daily flights take 1 hour 50mins.
Brazil: Rio de Janeiro - There are daily flights from Foz do Iguaçú; Southern Brazil: there are flights from Foz do Iguaçu to Curitiba with connections; The Pantanal or the Amazon: there are daily flights to Campo Grande or Manaus with connections in São Paulo.
Peru: there are daily flights from Foz do Iguaçú to Lima, 4.5 hours.

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The Pantanal
Pantanal storks
Slap in the centre of Brazil is the world’s largest wetland, a mix of wilderness and cattle ranches with savannah, swamps and sluggish rivers. Just one road (the Transpantaneira) leads into the heart of the region, giving access to farms and eco-lodges.

You could spend a week or more in the Pantanal but 3-4 days can provide a memorable experience of its remarkable wildlife and inexplicable beauty. Stands of trees are scattered, so that the huge array of wildlife: birds from giant storks to macaws, mammals from capybara to anteaters and reptiles from caimans to anacondas are easily viewed by nature enthusiasts exploring by boat, on foot and on horseback. Flooding after the rains brings vast lagoons reflecting apricot sunsets; the dry season reveals walkable trails.

The Mato Grosso region has much more to offer besides: the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park near Cuiabá is endowed with waterfalls, ridges and tablelands, a magnet for birders. Closer to Campo Grande, a nucleus of labyrinthine rivers and caves has turned Bonito into a soft adventure destination.
When's the best time to visit the Pantanal?

From Jan-Mar, heavy rainfall results in widespread flooding, with wildlife packed onto islands above the water level. Apr-Jun the waters recede and water-birds return to the isolated lakes, while Jul-Sep (winter) wildlife is at its most abundant - though it can take cover during cold snaps. The highest temperatures (up to 40°C) are reached in Nov-Dec. Insect life (including mosquitoes) is less abundant in winter.

What's the official language of the Pantanal?

Brazilian Portuguese, a more languid and musical version of Portugal’s mother tongue.

How do I get local currency in the Pantanal?

Brazilian Real.

Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in larger cities including Cuiabá and Camp Grande; withdraw what you need before entering the Pantanal (many lodges accept credit cards).

What's the time difference between the Pantanal and UK?

GMT -3 hours. There is daylight saving from Oct to the end of Feb (approx) when clocks are put forward one hour.

What places combine well with the Pantanal?

The Amazon basin, Brazil’s other wildlife-spotting and nature wilderness; region the waterfalls at Iguazú (most flights via São Paulo).

How do I get to the Pantanal?

Regular flights from Rio (2 hours 50mins) and São Paulo (2 hours 15mins) to Cuiabá in the north of the region and Campo Grande in the south (2 hours 20mins and 1 hour 30mins). It’s a long way from anywhere by road!

What are the festivals and cultural events in the Pantanal?

Lasso Festival: One of the most important events in Pantanal culture, the festival takes place at different times on various ranches. Attractions include cowboys in traditional costume taking part in lasso competitions and guitar- playing groups.

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The Brazilian Amazon
Brazilian Amazon
The Amazon basin: romantic, exotic, huge, and vital to Man’s survival. The Brazilian state of Amazonas is where the river really comes into its own. The black acidic waters of the Rio Negro merge with the sludgy brown waters of the Solimões at the giant city of Manaus, 1,000km from the sea, and form a waterway 10km wide. This vast wilderness with its secretive wildlife and undiscovered indigenous tribes also supports many human communities on its fertile banks, farmers, fishermen, tradesmen; old wooden riverboats still provide the only transport, although things are changing fast, with new bridges and roads opening up previously isolated areas.
When's the best time to visit Brazilian Amazon?

Amazonas is a year round destination with temperatures ranging from 25-40°C. Most rain falls Mar-May but it rains all the year round. When you go has more to do with the height of the water level in the river than the weather. At the maximum height (Jun), the river waters are 14-17m higher than at the lowest. The river floods the surrounding forest and you can navigate all these new creeks and lakes by canoe. When the river is high you can reach your lodge by boat more quickly. In the low water season the many trails through the forest are walk-able.

What;s the official language of Brazilian Amazon?

Brazilian Portuguese, a more languid and musical version of Portugal’s mother tongue; indigenous tribes’ languages.

How do I get local currency in Brazilian Amazon?

Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in Manaus but the amount you can withdraw may be lower than at home. There are also money exchanges where you can exchange cash.

What's the time difference between Brazilian Amazon and UK?

GMT -4 hours. There is daylight saving in Brazil Oct- end Feb (approx) when clocks are put forward one hour but frequently Amazonas sets its own agenda.

What places combine well with Brazilian Amazon?

The Pantanal, Brazil’s other wildlife-spotting and nature wilderness (flights via São Paulo); region the waterfalls at Iguazú (most flights via São Paulo).

How do I get to Brazilian Amazon?

Regular flights from Rio and São Paulo (each about 4 hours) to Manaus.

What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Brazilian Amazon?
Carnival: Manaus; 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable. Parades in the purpose-built sambadrome, modelled on Rio’s.
Festival do Amazonas: Manaus, Jun, with events and exhibitions of aspects of the region’s cultural life.
Festival de Opera, Manaus Opera House, annually Apr-May. The theatre also has other musical and theatrical events throughout the year.
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Rio de Janeiro
Corcovado Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Of the world’s great iconic cities, Rio is the most captivating. Romantic and laid back but oozing energy and optimism, it needs a few days to explore and time to sit back and share the outdoor life of its welcoming inhabitants.

With streets, beaches and parks spruced up for the World Cup and Olympic Games, now is the best time to go. The busy colonial centre is transformed, with literary cafés spilling out on to car-free lanes, the National Theatre all a-glitter, and boutique hotels nestle in arty Santa Teresa.

The lagoon behind Ipanema beach is circled by a pretty path and cycle route and the Botanical Gardens have undergone a luscious makeover. Vibrant street art, beach football, spontaneous musical events and cool bars all add to a joyous experience for visitors.
What's the best time to visit Rio de Janeiro?

Rio is an all-year destination, at its hottest Jan-Mar (humid with tropical showers, occasionally over 40°C during the day). It can be cool and drizzly Jul-Aug but the sun is never far away. Late Dec-Feb (and  to a lesser extent Jul) are local holiday times and can be very busy.

How do I get local currency in Rio de Janeiro?

Brazilian Real.

Notes can be withdrawn from the ATMs at the airport and in town. Banco do Brasil, Bradesco and HSBC accept UK credit or debit cards. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. ATMs close at 10pm. Currency also obtainable in banks and money exchanges.

What's the time difference between Rio de Janeiro and UK?

GMT -3 hours. There is daylight saving from Oct- end Feb (approx) when clocks are put forward one hour.

What places combine well with Rio de Janeiro?

Beach time in Búzios (136 km by road) or Ilha Grande on the Costa Verde (136 km); Paratí, quaint and arty colonial port surrounded by rainforested hills (236 km); Petropolis, former summer seat of the Emperor, in the tropical mountains behind Rio, (68 km, 1.5 hours by road);  Ouro Preto, exquisite colonial city in the mountains of Minas Gerais (280 km); Iguazú Falls (2 hours approx by air); Salvador da Bahía in the northeast (2 hours by air).

What's the flight time between Rio de Janeiro and UK?

Average flight time to Rio is 11 hours. Two airlines offer direct flights. There are flights with European connections to many other major cities.

What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Rio de Janeiro?

Reveillon: New Year’s Eve, 2 million white-clad Cariocas descend on Copacabana beach to celebrate the Festa de Iemanjá, launching candlelit boats on the Ocean. Fireworks and music accompany the fun. 

Carnival: 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable. Apart from the world famous parades in the purpose-built sambadrome there are street processions, live bands, costume balls, over-indulgence and general frivolity.

Football World Cup: 12 Jun-13 Jul 2014. Cities all over Brazil are hosting games but the Maracanã in Rio has been refurbished for the occasion and will leave the legacy of a spruced up stadium where visitors can enjoy regular games, usually on Sunday afternoons. 

Olympic Games:  5 - 21 Aug 2016. Rio is being given a face-lift for the event, if you visit before the games you’ll benefit from greater security, repaved promenades, streamlined transport links (they hope!), brand new restaurants and open air cafés and even Wifi on Copacabana beach.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

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Explore the dates and prices of this unique holiday to Latin America.

Due to flexible pricing and minimum room night requirements during peak times (such as New Year, Carnival and Easter) we may not always present all the dates we have available.

If your ideal travel date is not shown, call us on 020 8747 8315, or click on the 'Make an Online Enquiry' button to the right.

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