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Family Brazil: Waterfalls, rivers and rainforests

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Visit lively Rio de Janeiro, with mountains and jungle in the heart of the city.  Stroll along the beaches, whizz up the Sugar Loaf in a cable car and climb Corcovado mountain in an open-topped jeep. Thrill to the power of the Iguazú Falls, which crash over cliffs through tropical jungle filled with toucans and monkeys, exploring by boat and on foot. The exuberance of the Amazon jungle will not fail to impress: everything is on a huge scale, from towering trees sheltering monkeys, armies of soldier ants and electric blue butterflies.

The holiday ends with a few days on the coast with some of Brazil's best beaches. Praia do Forte is a relaxed former fishing village, while your eco-resort has something for all the family, from educational activities to horse-riding and snorkelling. There’s a turtle preservation project there too.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, transfer to hotel in Copacabana.

Day 2

Guided tour to Sugar Loaf mountain.

Day 3

Jeep tour of Corcovado mountain and Santa Teresa.

Day 4

Fly to Foz do Iguaçu on the border with Argentina. Visit the famous Bird Park.

Day 5

Guided visit to the Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls with Macuco safari.

Day 6

Full day guided exploration of the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls.

Day 7

Fly to Manaus on the River Amazon. Transfer to jungle lodge.

Days 8-9

Guided adventures from the lodge.

Day 10

Transfer to Manaus airport; fly to Salvador, transfer to Praia do Forte.

Days 11-13

At leisure on the beach, optional excursions and activities.

Day 14

Transfer to airport.

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What our experts say

I loved putting this itinerary together as it really has something for all the family. From the hotels we’ve chosen, which offer horse-riding and the chance to visit a turtle preservation project, to taking a trip down the Amazon to spot creatures as small as soldier ants or as big as monkeys, excitement and adventure beckons on this holiday. It’s a great way to see a lot of Brazil with an itinerary packed full of fun.

David

David Nichols

Product and Marketing

Places visited on this holiday

Family Brazil: Waterfalls, rivers and rainforests

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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.
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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 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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Beaches of the northeast
Praia de Pipa
The northeast of Brazil, once wealthy with vast sugar plantations, has a cultural identity all of its own to complement its wonderful beaches.

Near Natal is Pipa, whose gorgeous top-ten beach is visited by turtles and the bay by porpoises. Close to Recife is Olinda, a preserved cobbled town of traditional baroque Portuguese churches and houses, a centre of culture and the arts with an effervescent display at Carnival. Sweeping beaches at Porto de Galinhas and Maragogi can be reached from here while the marine wonderland of Fernando de Noronha is a diving and snorkelling magnet with Unesco status.

Further south, Bahia's seemingly infinite tropical coast has something to suit everyone: typically Brazilian beach towns such as Praia do Forte and Morro de São Paulo have attractive palm-lined beaches within easy reach of Salvador. Upmarket Trancoso has fine boutique hotels and a gorgeous village square. Meanwhile, Boipeba island, the Marau peninsula and the remote village of Caraiva remain off the beaten track and perfect for those seeking unspoilt Brazil.
When's the best time to visit the beaches of northeast Brazil?

It’s hot with plenty of sunshine all rear round, but most rain falls between Mar and Jul, so the Brazilian summer is relatively dry. Beaches can be busy in the local holiday months of late Dec to Feb.

What's the official language of the beaches of northeast Brazil?

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

What's the time difference between the beaches of NE Brazil 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 beaches of NE Brazil?

Salvador da Bahia, Brazil’s most exotic city (1.5 hours by air from Natal, 1hour 20mins from Recife); Lençóis in the Chapada Diamantina, via Salvador and a 6 hour drive.

How do I get to beaches of NE Brazil?

Flight time to Recife 12 hours, to Natal via Lisbon is 13 hours 40mins.

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events at beaches of NE Brazil?
Carnival: 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable: 28 Feb – 4 Mar 2014. Olinda’s carnival is world famous and one of the most exotic and colourful.
Football World Cup: 12 Jun - 13 Jul 2014. Cities all over Brazil are hosting games, Natal and Recife among them.
How do I get local currency at beaches of NE Brazil?

Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs of Banco do Brasil, Bradesco and HSBC in Recife and Natal using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. ATMs close at 10pm.

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

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We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

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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.

Prices exclude international flights at the beginning and end of the trip.

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