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Family Brazil: Rio, Iguazu Falls and Bahia

Transport

2 domestic flights, scenic road journey between Salvador and the Chapada Diamantina (6-7hrs ); return journey between Lençois and Praia do Forte also takes around 7 hours: on Thursdays and Sundays there's a one-hour flight (charged extra if you opt for this). .

Accommodation

We have selected a modern beachfront hotel in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro; a family-friendly property at Iguazú and good mid-range options in Salvador, Lençois and Praia do Forte.  All have well-equipped rooms, private bathroom and air-conditioning or heating.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch days 10,11.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 30 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Included excursions

• Visit to samba school in Rio.
• Cable-car ride up Sugar Loaf Mountain (helicopter ride optional, charged extra)..
• Guided visit to bird park at Iguazú..
• Guided discovery of the Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls; boat safari.
• Full day guided exploration of the Argentine side of the Falls.
• Panoramic guided tour of historic Salvador.
• Guided opportunity to swim in the natural pools at Rio Serrano, Chapada Diamantina.
• Full day highlights tour of Chapada Diamantina National Park, near Lencois.
• Full day walking-based excursion to the Valley and Fumaca waterfalls.

Summary of nights

15 days, 14 nights: Rio de Janeiro 3; Iguazú Falls 3; Salvador 2; Lençois 3; Praia do Forte 3.

Included in the journey price

• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.

Not included in the journey price

• Tips and gratuities.
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
• Optional excursions.

Currency

The unit of currency in Brazil is the real.

Daily spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$50 per person per day (less for children evidently) should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and tips.

How to take it

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.

We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

Tipping

Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. 

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. 

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey grade

This is a busy trip, ideal for the active family, and we recommend children should be over 10 years old. There are a couple of road journeys, and we've included two very rewarding full-days out in the Chapada Diamantina, where the terrain is rocky and hilly and where it can be hot and humid (especially Dec-Mar). One of these excursions includes 12km of walking. You need to be fit but no special equipment or extra training are necessary. If you prefer to do less hiking or spend more days at leisure simply let us know. If you have a disability or other special requirements, please call us.


Climate

The weather in Rio is very hot, humid in December to March with temperatures frequently reaching 40 °C and tropical storms are common. The rest of the year is a bit cooler, especially June to August which can see some lovely sunny days at 25°C but also periods of cloud and drizzle. Iguazú is also a tropical destination, similarly hot in the southern summer Dec-Mar, cooler and sunny at other times but it can be cold at night in June and July. Salvador is an all-year destination, hot and humid with most rain falling from April to July. The Chapada Diamantina is also hot (27-32°C) all year round with most rain April to July.

Clothing and special equipment

For day-to-day wear you should take loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Comfortable walking shoes sandals are recommended.  A sun hat, sun block and sunglasses are essential, and you should take a light fleece for cool nights and a Gore-Tex or waterproof layer (and or umbrella), as well as swimwear, insect repellent and a torch. 

If you plan to go to good restaurants or out on evening entertainment trips, you might want to bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).
At the Iguazú Falls you can get very wet from the spray. Some travellers like to take dry clothes in a bag.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

As of 2018, visitors to Brazil travelling on our holidays should be protected with a vaccination against yellow fever, and carry the corresponding certificate. In April 2013, the World Health Organisation Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation concluded that a single primary dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and lifelong protection against yellow fever disease, and that a booster dose is not needed.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a some nationalities' passports do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins.  Clients should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

APIS and ESTA - important flight information:

ESTA - If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online

This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally.

Passports must also be digital e-passports with an embedded chip. Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.

APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.

Water-To-Go

We’ve partnered with Water To Go to offer Journey Latin America clients a 50% discount on 7cl filtered, reusable water bottles with every booking. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink.
Contact your Travel Consultant for more information and to include the purchase in your booking.
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Family Brazil: Rio, Iguazu Falls and Bahia

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