On this tour, you’ll be accompanied from start to finish by one of our exceptional Journey Latin America tour leaders
. From the moment you land in Latin America until the day the tour ends they will deal with all the practicalities, expertly adapting to the circumstances and individual needs of the group. Rather than different guides in different cities, your leader will get to know the group and keep you informed and entertained as you go.
3 flights (longest 5-6 hours with connections), 4 road journeys (longest 5-6 hours).
For our Discovery Journeys we aim to use good quality, value-for-money accommodation, in a mix of larger more modern and smaller family run hotels. All the properties we use are well maintained and rooms will have a private bathroom with hot water.
The focus of these trips is on getting outside, seeing the sights, and experiencing local restaurants and cafes, therefore a few hotels may not have evening dining facilities. If you prefer more luxurious accommodation, please see our classic tours selection.
Examples of hotels used on this journey include:
• Rio de Janeiro: Hotel Augustos
• Paraty: Pousada Do Principe
• Foz do Iguaçu: Hotel Taroba
• Pantanal: Pousada Aguape
On very rare occasions these hotels can change, however please speak to one of our consultants who can provide full details for each departure if you have any doubts. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.
Breakfast daily,full board at the Pantanal lodge.
• Rio: city tour, Sugar Loaf mountain and Corcovado mountain
• Paraty: join a schooner cruise among the bays and islands
• Foz do Iguaçu: Excursions to both sides of the falls
• Pantanal: 3 day full programme of excursions on foot, horseback and by boat or road
Summary of nights
12 days, 11 nights: Rio 2; Paraty 2; Iguaçu 2; Pantanal 4; Rio 1.
Included in the journey price
• Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
• All land and domestic air transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and insurance
• Meals other than specified
• Optional excursions
There are a few optional excursions available during this tour, which are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America. Not all excursions available will suit everybody, whilst others only operate within certain seasons, with minimum numbers or may not be included due to time constraints. A budget of around $60 USD should cover participation in most of the following options, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of the party and so cannot be provided accurately until travel commences.
• Iguazú: bird park
• Iguazú: helicopter or boat trip
• Iguazú: make a visit to the nearby Itaipu Dam
There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with a same-sex member of the group who is usually also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to be sure of having their own room there are a limited number of single supplement places available, which carry a surcharge.
The unit of currency in Brazil is the real.
A budget of around $45 USD per day should cover the cost of meals, drinks and the odd souvenir.
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 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. ATMs in Brazil close at 10pm.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than the amount covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. These bills should be in good condition as soiled or torn bills may be refused. Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured by travellers who find them awkward to change as well as offering a poor rate of exchange. If you do decide to carry some with you they should be US dollar cheques only (American Express are by far the most accepted brand).
Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $3 USD (or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.
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.
If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 and $6 USD per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
International departure tax from Rio is included in the ticket price. Domestic flight taxes are also included.
There are some long days spent travelling (including a number of internal flights) and in the southern summer the heat can be tiring. No previous horse riding experience is required for the horse back trip in the Pantanal.
In tropical Rio and Iguazú, December through March are the hottest and most humid months, with temperatures reaching 40°C, and rain which falls in heavy showers. From June to September, temperatures are more moderate (16-28°C) and there is plenty of sunshine, but cold fronts can usher in periods of up to several days of cloud and drizzle.
On the coast the verdant mountains can attract rain at any time but sunny days are frequent. The best weather is Mar through to May, a quiet season except over Easter.
In the Pantanal from January to March, heavy rainfall results in widespread flooding, with wildlife packed onto islands above the water level. April to June the waters recede and water-birds return to the isolated lakes, while July to September (winter) wildlife is at its most abundant - though it can take cover during cold snaps. The highest temperatures are reached in November and December.
Clothing and special equipment
For day-to-day wear you should take loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Comfortable shoes are important and sandals are useful. A sun hat, sun block and sunglasses are necessary, and you should take a light fleece for cool nights and a Gore-Tex layer, as well as swimwear, a towel, insect repellent and a torch.
Binoculars are useful for wildlife spotting in the Pantanal. At the Iguazú Falls you can also get very wet from the spray; you are advised to take dry clothes in a bag and simply wear swimwear and flip flops.
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).
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.
Reduce plastic waste
Journey Latin America has partnered with Water-To-Go to offer JLA Group Tour passengers the opportunity to purchase 75cl filtered water bottles for a 50% discount. 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. Please call your contact at JLA to add it your booking and it will be delivered to your address. More information about this initiative can be found on our website here
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.
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. Clients with different nationalities should enquire with us or check with the Brazilian 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 USD per person. This must be done by you personally. Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). 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.