Group - Discovery

Trogon: Natural Brazil

12 days from £2,964pp

Brazil / Iguazu Falls

Itinerary

map marker Map

Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, arriving the same day.

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Days 1-2

City tour of Rio including Sugar Loaf and Corcovado mountain.

Those of you arriving on an international flight will be met at the airport by the tour leader or a local representative and escorted to the group hotel in Copacabana. The drive from here into the city gives a fleeting glimpse of the docks and commercial centre as you head towards the magnificent stretch of sand at Copacabana beach.

You spend 2 days in Rio, with time to explore this extraordinary city of extremes. Sumptuous apartments overlook the sparkling bays against a backdrop of half-built shanty towns, favelas, which cling precariously to the hillsides. Rio squats among towering jungle-clad granite mountains, fringed with white sand beaches which swoop down into the Atlantic surf.

There is an included tour of this iconic city, including the cable car up to Sugar Loaf mountain, a twin-peaked vertical mountain protruding over the ocean, and enjoy the views back over the city and into the lush mountains beyond. You'll also board a steep rack-and-pinion railway which glides up through tropical Tijuca National Park, the largest urban forest in the world dripping with fruit and flowers, to reach the summit of Corcovado Mountain. Here the famous 40m art deco Christ the Redeemer statue soars above the city, arms outspread benevolently. On a clear day the views over the city and out across the ocean and outlying islands are stupendous.

Day 3

Drive along the ‘green coast’ to Paraty.

Travel by private bus (4.5 hours) down the scenic 'green coast' to the bay-side colonial town of Paraty; the road is fringed by steep mountains covered in Atlantic forest on one side, and the deep blue ocean on the other. Paraty, meaning 'river of fish' in the indigenous Tupi language, is located on a beautiful stretch of the bay of Ilha Grande. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is faced by tropical islands in the bay. Wander the town’s cobbled streets, explore baroque churches and check out the local art work in the many contemporary galleries. There are also some excellent places to eat fresh fish close to the front.

Parati

Day 4

Explore the emerald coastline by boat.

Board one of the many schooners that operate in the area and cruise south along the coastline, stopping to explore hidden bays, leafy islands and picture-perfect swimming beaches.

Days 5-6

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

A scenic drive (5-6 hours) by private vehicle from Paraty takes you across the state border to São Paulo for the flight to the Iguazú Falls. Situated where the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay converge, the town of Foz do Iguaçu is your base for 2 days. A total of 275 falls thunder through dense forest over a 2.5km stretch. The u-shaped Devil's Throat is a thunderous gorge where the frothy water of the Iguazú River crashes over a 1km wide precipice and columns of vapour are thrown skyward. Elsewhere the river flows decorously through the rainforest breaking up into dozens of smaller falls. You can often spot colourful toucans perched in the foliage above the tumultuous waters.

From the Brazilian side there is a broad panorama of these magnificent falls, while a series of walkways on the Argentine side take you through the abundant forest, beneath and even behind some of the dramatic cataracts. Walking within touching distance of these thunderous cascades, your clothes and hair soaked with the spray, is one of the most invigorating experiences to be had.

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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).

To the north of Iguaçu lies a vast area of wetlands known as the Pantanal, a flight to Campo Grande (normally with a change of planes in Sao Paulo) followed by a few hours by road take you into this vast wilderness. This huge territory of rivers, marsh, savannah and cattle ranches is considered to have the world's most dense flora and fauna ecosystem, and in the wet season 80% of the land is submerged by the overflowing rivers which nurture a rich variety of aquatic plants. You are based in a lodge which is also, a working ranch. Take a 4WD by road and track tour through the open grasslands, stunted cerrado vegetation, swampland and permanently flooded bays.

Ride a horse across the savannah, motorboat down the local rivers or paddle a canoe on one of the numerous waterways. Set out to explore the countryside at night, when the Pantanal comes alive with the sounds of frogs and insects.

Over 3 full days knowledgeable local guides take you to areas inhabited by giant storks, caiman, giant anteaters, armadillos, howler monkeys and capybara. There is also an extraordinary variety of birdlife: in addition to the aquatic birds egrets, macaws, parakeets and toucans all provide clusters of colour in the low trees. Whatever the season, the wildlife is abundant.

pantanal

Day 11

Return to Rio.

Fly back to Rio for a final night in one of the world's most exciting cities.

Day 12

Depart for international flight or extension.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

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.

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Real Latin America Experts

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    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.

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    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.

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    It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

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