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Private Journeys

Family Brazil: Rio, Iguazu Falls and Bahia

15 days from £4,780pp

Brazil

Rights Managed

Essentials

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.

Summary Of Nights

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

Currency

The unit of currency in Brazil is the real.

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.

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.

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.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

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

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 long 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 include 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.

Country info

When's the best time to visit Brazil?

Brazil is an all-year destination, but it’s a vast country: when you go will depend on your chosen itinerary and interests. Late Dec-Mar are the hottest months – very hot (over 40°C) from Rio northwards – and the local holiday season, so attractions can be very busy. During the Amazon’s wet season (Jan - Jun) it’s easier to get round by boat, the dry season is sunnier and better for wildlife-spotting but very hot. The Pantanal may be best avoided during the wettest months (Nov - Mar) when there are many mosquitoes. However this is the best time to visit the beaches of the south where it’s cool outside this period.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What's the official language of Brazil?

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

How do I get local currency in Brazil?

Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs at airports and in larger towns and cities. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. Banco do Brasil, HSBC accept UK credit or debit cards allowing daily withdrawals of 1,000reais. Bradesco allows a lower limit. Other banks eg Banco 24horas do not accept foreign cards. Most towns have a Banco do Brasil. ATMs close at 10pm. Currency also obtainable in banks and money exchanges.

What's the time difference between Brazil and UK?

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

What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Brazil?

Carnival: 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable.  Live bands, costume balls, over -indulgence and general frivolity in towns and cities all over the country: the best parades are in Rio, Salvador and Olinda.

Which countries combine well with Brazil?

Argentina: The crossing at Iguazú Falls is convenient for many visitors.  

Peru: There is a direct flight from Lima to Rio de Janeiro (5 hours) and to São Paulo (4-5 hours with many connections to other cities).

What's included in the 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

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 Capao Valley and Fumaca waterfalls

What's not included in the price

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

What's included in the 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

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 Capao Valley and Fumaca waterfalls

What's not included in the price

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

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Expert

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

Meet the team