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Trogon: Natural Brazil

12 days from £2,694pp

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Trogon: Natural Brazil :
Trip Dossier

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.

Short itinerary

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.

Detailed 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.
Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio

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.

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Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio

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.

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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.

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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).
Iguazu Falls
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.

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Iguazu Falls

Day 11

Return to Rio.

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

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Day 12

Depart for international flight or extension.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

Essential information

Tour Leader

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.

Included excursions

• 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

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

Travelling alone

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 page.

Airport taxes

International departure tax from Rio is included in the ticket price. Domestic flight taxes are also included.

Journey grade

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.



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