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'The Natural Brazil'

What makes this trip special?

The marvellous city

The marvellous city

Rio de Janeiro

Known to Brazilians as 'the marvellous city', Rio de Janeiro has undeniably the most beautiful setting of any city in the world. Rio also has style, culture, spirit, and an irrepressible thirst for life as it should be lived.

Iconic Rio

Iconic Rio

Christ the Redeemer

The statue of Christ the Redeemer, arms outstretched, is one of the most iconic sights in the Americas. The views from the foot of the statue are to die for. Straight ahead is Sugar Loaf mountain and Guanabara Bay, with successions of pepper-pot hills stretching to the horizon.

Cable car to stunning views

Cable car to stunning views

Sugar Loaf

Take the cable car to the top of Rio's Sugar Loaf mountain for stunning views across the city, along the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, across to Christ the Redeemer, and over Guanabara Bay.

Wildlife and waterfalls

Wildlife and waterfalls

Iguazu Falls

The Iguazu Falls lie on a triple border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The majority of the falls (around 70%) are situated on the Argentinean side of the border, which offers visitors a more up close and personal experience of the falls, but the best views, are from the panoramic viewpoints on the Brazilian side of the falls.

Rainforest metropolis

Rainforest metropolis

Manaus

Manaus is an extraordinary city, packed and bustling in its splendid isolation in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Rubber boom riches created its most well-known building - the 'Amazon Theatre' opera house, decked with statues of Carrara marble and 198 chandeliers of Murano glass.

Wildlife on the Rio Negro

Wildlife on the Rio Negro

Amazon cruise

Cruising on a river boat is the traditional, and best, way to explore the rainforest. Conveyed in comfort, you stop at the best places to delve into the forest, by day and sometimes by night, to see its wildlife.

Wildlife watching paradise

Wildlife watching paradise

The Pantanal

The wetlands of the Pantanal offer wonderful wildlife experiences, with some of the best opportunities to see the animals and birds that are most emblematic of the South American continent.

Itinerary map for Brazil 'The Natural Brazil' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Rio de Janeiro
  • 2 Rio de Janeiro
  • 3 Iguazu Falls
  • 4 Iguazu Falls
  • 5 Iguazu Falls
  • 6 Manaus
  • 7 Acu Creek
  • 8 Anavilhanas
  • 9 Novo Airao
  • 10 Cuiaba
  • 11 Araras Ecolodge, North Pantanal
  • 12 Araras Ecolodge, North Pantanal
  • 13 Araras Ecolodge, North Pantanal
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'The Natural Brazil'

DAY 1

Rio de Janeiro

Most flights from Europe arrive in Rio de Janeiro in the morning. Your English-speaking guide/driver will meet you at the airport and drive your chosen hotel in the south zone of the city where you will stay for the next 2 nights. The rest of the day is free to relax and acclimatise. Perhaps do as 'cariocas' (natives of Rio) do and grab a fresh fruit juice whilst strolling the beachside promenade from Copacabana to Leblon

DAY 2
BL

Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf

Today you will be taken on a full day guided excursion (shared with others) to see two of Rio's iconic landmarks. Take a train up Corcovado hill to see the statue of Christ the Redeemer. The view from the top of the hill showcases Rio's greatest landmarks: Sugar Loaf, the Guanabara bay, the beaches of the southern zone of the city and the Rodrigo Freitas lagoon. You will then be taken to the neighbourhood of Urca to ride the cable car up to Sugar Loaf mountain for further fantastic picture-postcard views of Rio. Lunch is included.

DAY 3
B

Iguassu Falls

This morning you are transferred to Rio de Janeiro airport to catch your flight to Iguassu. You are met on arrival at Iguassu airport and transferred to a mid-range hotel in Iguassu, where you stay for the next 3 nights, set within well-maintained grounds a short distance from the entrance of the Iguassu National Park. The rest of the day is free to relax at your hotel.

DAY 4
B

Brazilian side of the falls

This morning you are collected from your hotel and taken on a private tour of the Brazilian side of the Iguassu Falls. You begin at the modern visitors centre at the entrance to the National Park where there is a small museum with interactive exhibits, information and facts about the falls. You are then taken to the start of the 'Waterfall Trail', a 1,200m paved trail dotted with superb viewpoints looking onto different parts of the falls, culminating in a catwalk that leads you to the base of the almighty Devil's Throat cascade, a sheer mass of thundering water that is undoubtedly the most impressive part of the falls. This trip ends at the upper part of the Iguassu river which is accessed by a panoramic lift, which gives you a view of the falls from above. You will then be taken on the 'Macuco' safari boat trip, which starts with a 3km ride through the forest in a wagon pulled by an electrical vehicle (which sounds corny but is actually quite good). There is an English-speaking guide with you who will point out the surrounding flora and fauna and tell you something about them. After a 500m walk in the forest to the riverbank you board an inflatable speedboat specially designed to get as close as possible to the waterfalls. Prepare to get soaked! We have not included today's lunch so that you can choose from the several places to eat around the park.

DAY 5
B

Argentinian side of the falls

This morning you are collected from your hotel and taken over the border to Argentina for a different perspective of the falls. Board the small 'Tren Ecologico' or Rainforest Ecological Train which winds through the National Park dropping visitors off at the various walkways. Visit both the lower circuit catwalk, a 1.5km loop offering views of smaller but spectacular falls such as Ramirez and Bosetti and the upper circuit catwalk, a short trail in the forest above the first few waterfalls. Keep your eyes peeled for 'toco' toucans. You are then taken by train to Devils Throat station from where you walk 1,100m along a flat catwalk suspended over the Upper Iguazu river. The lookout point at the end of the catwalk offers stunning views over this side of the Devil's Throat falls, a very different view from the one you experienced yesterday. Next, a change of scale to visit Puerto Iguazu town and the garden of a local family which has been transformed into a delightful 'Jardin de los Picaflores' or hummingbird garden, full of flowers and suspended water feeders filled with sweetened water which attract a variety of different species of hummingbirds. It is a magical sight to see so many of these tiny birds up close and hear the fast-paced buzz of their wings as they hover at the feeders. You are then transferred back over the border to your hotel where the remainder of the day is free to relax. There may be time for an optional excursion at additional cost. You might visit Itaipu Dam, go on a canopy tour, go walking on a nature trail in the National Park, or visit the rather incorrect 'Parque das Aves' or Bird Park - a series of aviaries within the humid subtropical forest, which houses over 800 species of birds, as well as alligators, butterflies and anacondas.

DAY 6
B

The Amazon and Manaus

An early start this morning to catch your flight to Manaus, the cosmopolitan heart of the Amazon. You are met on arrival at Manaus airport and transferred to the Hotel Tropical Manaus, located on a river beach 16km from downtown Manaus where you stay for the night. Manaus is the financial and industrial capital of the Amazon and the chief port and hub for the region's extensive river system. In the mid-afternoon you are collected from your hotel for a tour of Manaus, visiting its famous Opera House, the Indian museum (with fine collection of ceramics, sacred masks and replicas of Indian dwellings), the rubber museum, which shows the great wealth of the city during the rubber boom and the local fish market where weird river fish are laid out for your inspection. Afterwards you are driven back to your hotel where the rest of the day is free.

DAY 7
BD

to Amazon Clipper cruise (Wed)

Morning at leisure at your hotel. Mid-afternoon you will leave the Hotel Tropical landing-stage and board your Amazon Clipper "Premium" riverboat for the start of your 3 night cruise. Presentation on board of the staff, route and facilities. Navigation to the Pagodăo river (tributary of the Negro). Canoe trip shortly before sunset, returning after dark, with the possibility of observing nocturnal animals and perceive the change in the forest as night falls. Dinner. Navigation to Açu Creek or nearby tributaries.

DAY 8
BLD

Canoe trip at sunrise for bird watching. Breakfast. Walk in the forest with commentaries by the specialist. Observation of the flora. Visit to a "caboclo" family. Chance to see the local way of life, preparation of manioc flour (the staple foodstuff of the Amazon), the health and education situation of the children etc. Lunch. Fishing for piranhas. Navigation through the Anavilhanas, the world's largest fresh water archipelago, more then 1000 miles from the ocean. Navigation. Dinner. Night trip to see caimans and possibly frogs, sloth, snakes and other species, depending on the season.

DAY 9
BLD

Breakfast. Visit to the village of Novo Airăo, with its handicraft boat yards where the "AMAZON CLIPPER" was built, sawmills, market and other activities. Navigation to Praia Grande or other white sand beach. Swimming if conditions permit, and observation of the vegetation of sandy areas. Lunch. Canoe trip in Lake Acajatuba or adjacent lake domains to see typical flora (rubber trees, Brazil nuts, useful palm trees of various types). Dinner. Navigation.

DAY 10
B

Pantanal

Visit January Lake. Canoe trip at sunrise for bird watching. Breakfast. Navigation to the "Meeting of the Waters". Return to the Tropical Hotel landing-stage, with fine views of Manaus waterfront mid-morning You will then be transferred to Manaus airport to catch your onwards flight to Cuiaba You will be met on arrival at Cuiaba airport and be transferred to a downtown hotel where you stay for a positioning night before you travel on to the Pantanal the following day.

DAY 11
BLD

Early this morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred (with others) south into the Pantanal along the Transpantanera Highway (2-3 hrs) to stay for 3 nights at Araras Lodge private reserve. The Pantanal is the world's largest seasonal wet land (an alluvial plain) where cowboys ranch cattle it is home to the endangered Hyacinth Macaw, to Caimen, Capypara, Jabiru, Howler Monkeys and huge numbers of water birds. Late afternoon boardwalks for sunset from the observation tower. The lodge is a rustic regional architecture 32km from Poconé. It has 14 rooms with ceiling fans, mosquito nets, private facilities with hot and cold water, a bar swimming pool, large corridors with hammocks and a nice tree-top lookout.

DAY 12
BLD

Full day dedicated to observing the Pantanal’s flora & fauna a.m. 2-3 hr horseback ride through thet pastures, woods and wetlands lunch a the lodge, p.m. hike with guide in a different area of the reserve allowing you to observe and learn more about the local environment.

DAY 13
BLD

After breakfast travel down private dirt roads, to Sentinela Camp on the edge of the Clarinho river. Canoe tour to spot aquatic wildlife, birds and flora; possibility of piranha fishing. Brazilian churrasco style picnic lunch along the banks of the river. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

DAY 14
B

Depart Brazil

After breakfast you will be transferred with others to Cuiaba airport in time to catch a flight to Rio/Sao Paulo to connect with your onwards international flight home

Guide prices for 'The Natural Brazil'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Guide price 2 people sharing £3,395
Prices are per person and include:
  • all accommodation
  • all land/boat transport in Brazil
  • meals as indicated: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
  • tours as described with an English speaking local guide
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • domestic flights
  • airport and departure taxes
  • travel insurance
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc

Customer reviews for 'The Natural Brazil'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average

Seasonal information for 'The Natural Brazil'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'The Natural Brazil'

Days 1 - 2

Olinda Rio

Copacabana beach. Elegant lobby and restaurant decorated in a classic 1940's style with chandeliers and Italian marble floors.

Each of the 100 rooms have  A/C, telephone, direct dial telephone, mini-bar, desk, flat-screen cable TV, hairdryers and either internal or sea view.

N.B ocean view rooms have wonderful views over Copacabana but the hotel does not have double-glazed windows so noise from the street and beachside promenade can be a problem at night.

Olinda Rio
Days 3 - 5

San Martin Hotel & Resort

The San Martin Hotel & Resort is located 5 minutes from Iguassu airport and a short walk from the main entrance to the Iguassu National Park. It is set within well-maintained grounds and has a swimming pool and numerous leisure facilities on-site such as a tennis court, gym and hiking trails

San Martin Hotel & Resort
Day 6

Tropical Manaus

The Hotel Tropical Manaus is located on the  fluvial beach of Ponta Negra, 10km from Manaus airport and 16km from downtown Manaus.

This is the only upmarket hotel in the Manaus area. Alternatives here would be more budget city hotels located in downtown Manaus.

The 589 rooms each have air-conditioning, cable TV, wi-fi internet connection, hair-dryers, mini-bar, safe.

There are a huge vareity of leisure and entertainment activities on offer, numerous swimming pools, tennis court, gym, shops, restaurants.

Clients should be aware that there is a zoo on-site with animals including a jaguar in small cages.

Tropical Manaus
Deluxe Room
Day 10

Golden Tulip Pantanal, Cuiaba

rating

Average rating 5.0 (1 ratings)

Located in downtown Cuiaba 8km from the airport, Golden Tulip Pantanal has 104 well-equipped rooms spread out over 7 floors each with A/C, plasma TV, private bathrooms with shower, hot water.

Facilities include a swimming pool, restaurant, 24hr reception, business centre, room service, fitness centre.

Golden Tulip Pantanal, Cuiaba
Days 11 - 13

Araras Lodge, Pantanal

rating

Average rating 4.4 (5 ratings)

Araras Lodge is situated 132km from Cuiaba and 32km from Pocone in the northern Pantanal.

The lodge is designed in a rustic regional architecture, with a total of 19 guest rooms, all with  air conditioning and ceiling fan, private bathrooms with hot and cold water, large verandas with hammocks.

There are two on-site observation towers (12 m and 25 m in height), a swimming pool, bar, restaurant.

Araras Lodge, Pantanal
Aerial view of the lodge