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Trogon: Natural Brazil

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Brazil has an exotic variety of wild life thriving in spectacular natural settings. This journey takes you to a selection of these remarkable places. 

The trip begins in Rio de Janeiro, an imposing city clinging to forested mountains and the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. From here, head to Paraty, a colonial waterfront town with sun-kissed tropical islands just a short boat ride away. Head west to view the roaring waters of the Iguazú Falls, where a foaming torrent pours over 275 separate cataracts and walkways lead you through subtropical forest to stunning view points.

Next stop is the Pantanal wetlands, Latin America's wilderness safari park, and a wonderful place to observe thousands of aquatic, forest and grassland birds as well as a host of  exotic mammals, before you head back to Rio for one last caipirinha cocktail and a stroll along Copacabana beach.

Holiday itinerary

UK clients depart on a direct flight arriving Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the same day.

Days 1-2

City tour of Rio including Sugar Loaf and Corcovado mountain.

Day 3

Drive along the ‘green coast’ to Paraty.

Day 4

Explore the emerald coastline by boat.

Days 5-6

Drive to São Paulo, fly to the Iguazú Falls. Visit both the Brazilian and the Argentine sides.

Days 7-10

Fly to Campo Grande and drive to the Pantanal wildlife wetlands. Excursions by boat and on foot, based at a traditional pousada (lodge).

Day 11

Return to Rio.

Day 12

Depart for international flight or extension.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

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What our experts say

The Trogon tour showcases a selection of Brazil’s most epic landscapes and awe-inspiring views. Survey one of the world’s great cities, Rio de Janeiro from the top of Sugarloaf mountain. Travel down along the lush emerald coast to colonial Paraty and marvel at the thunderous Iguazu Falls. Finally, spend 4 nights in the continent's greatest wildlife spotting arena, the wetlands of the Pantanal.

Jim

Jim Ashworth

Travel Consultants

Places visited on this holiday

Trogon: Natural Brazil

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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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Paraty, Ilha Grande and Costa Verde
Parati
Head southwest out of Rio along the exquisite winding coast road, with waves of steep mountains cloaked in dense mata Atlântica rainforest tumbling to tiny sandy bays. These harbour fishing ports and leisure resorts including the conserved colonial masterpiece at Paraty, seemingly paused in time centuries ago. The jade-green ocean is peppered with islands, one of the largest being unspoilt Ilha Grande, ringed by sugary beaches and with a choice of laid back pousadas and hiking trails. Swimming everywhere is a delight in a natural aquarium of tropical fish.
When to go

The verdant mountains can attract rain at any time but sunny days are frequent. The best weather is Mar – May, a quiet season except over Easter. The local holiday season Dec - Feb and Jul, weekends and public holidays can be very busy.

Language

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

Getting local currency

Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the ATMs of Bradesco in Ave. Roberto Silveira just outside Paratí’s historic centre using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. ATMs close at 10pm.

Time difference

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

Combines with

Ilha Grande with Paraty, 100 km or 1.5 hours further down the coast; Rio de Janeiro (136 km by road from Ilha Grande, 236 km from Paraty).

Getting there

To Ilha Grande: 3 hours by road and 1.5 hours by ferry from Rio de Janeiro; to Paraty 4-5 hours by road from Rio (6-7 hours with shared transport), a bit longer from São Paulo.

Key events
Carnival: 5 days in Feb/Mar variable.
Easter: Religious parades and folk singing in Paratí.
Paraty International Literary festival: International book festival with world-renowned authors, Jul annually.
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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.

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

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today. Trogon: Natural Brazil

  • Buzios 4 days from £861pp

    Head along the Atlantic coast from Rio, passing lagoons and wild, surf-lashed beaches to the chic beach village of Búzios. The low-key, but upmarket, European-style resort is renowned for art shops and fine dining. Here a peninsula of cliffs and low hills is dimpled with little coves and speckled with boutique-style hotels.

    Day 1: Transfer by road (2.5-3hrs) from Rio de Janeiro to Búzios, crossing the spectacular 12km Niterói Bridge over Guanabara Bay. Once a tiny fishing village, Armação dos Búzios is now one of Brazil's most sought-after and lively beach resorts. Secluded beaches in craggy bays and nearby tropical islands can be reached by schooners. The friendly, small boutique hotel Casas Brancas is perched on a bluff with fine views over the bay.

    Days 2,3: The centre of Búzios is just a short walk away and has a good selection of restaurants, bars (some with live music) and boutiques. The pousada itself is a lovely place in which to relax. Facilities include a small pool, spa, sea-front restaurant and sun terrace shaded by white drapes. The nearest beach is about 10 mins’ walk away.

    Day 4: By road back to Rio de Janeiro to continue your holiday or to the city’s airport for your international flight.

    UK clients arrive home the following day.

    Breakfast daily.

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