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14 days

Nature & Wildlife of Brazil

Enjoy world-class nature and animal experiences in the Pantanal wetlands. Swim in Bonito’s clear rivers and experience the impressive Iguazú Falls. The tour rounds off in magical Rio de Janeiro.

Nature & Wildlife of Brazil Nature & Wildlife of Brazil
14 days

Nature & Wildlife of Brazil

Enjoy world-class nature and animal experiences in the Pantanal wetlands. Swim in Bonito’s clear rivers and experience the impressive Iguazú Falls. The tour rounds off in magical Rio de Janeiro.

Choose this tour because…

Get right up close to Brazil’s stunning scenery and amazing wildlife.

The tour starts with a visit to the impressive Iguazú Falls, which you will experience from both the Argentinian side and the Brazilian side.

You then head to Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands and home to more than 600 different bird species. the beautiful hyacinth macaw, which is the largest in the parrot family. You are also in with a chance of seeing a lot of other exciting birds and animals, such as capuchin monkeys, caimans, anteaters, capybaras and tapir.

In Bonito, snorkelling in crystal-clear rivers among colourful fish and aquatic plants awaits you, as well as a visit to the large sinkhole, Buraca das Araras, where red-and-green macaws (Ara chloropterus) live and build their nests in the cracks in the rocks.

Spiced with a visit to Rio de Janeiro – the city with perhaps the world’s most beautiful location – we guarantee you the experience of a lifetime.

The tour can be extended to include a beach holiday in Búzios or on the island of Ilha Grande.

What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flight from the UK to Foz do Iguaçu and return from Rio de Janeiro
  • 2 domestic flights: Foz do Iguaçu – Campo Grande – Rio de Janeiro
  • Transfers to and from the airport in Brazil
  • Transfer between Campo Grande – Pantanal – Bonito – Campo Grande with a Portuguese driver
  • 8 nights at good hotels, including breakfast
  • 3 nights at Pousada Aguapé in Pantanal including full board
  • 4 x lunch (days 5–8)
  • 3 x dinner (days 5–7)
  • Individual tour; however, all excursions are in small, international groups with local, English-speaking guides.
  • ATOL certificate
  • 24-hour manned emergency telephone throughout the tour
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Option to extend the tour to include a beach holiday in Búzios or on the island of Ilha Grande

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • The Iguazú Falls from both the Brazilian and the Argentinian side
  • Guided excursions in Pantanal
  • Snorkelling in the river Rio da Prata in Bonito
  • Excursion to Buraco das Araras in Bonito
  • Guided city tour in Rio including a visit to Sugar Loaf and Mount Corcovado with the famous Christ the Redeemer statue
  • Admission to all attractions mentioned
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Gallery
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK

Departure from the chosen airport in the UK with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Arrival at Foz do Iguaçu – Iguazú Falls (Brazil)

On your arrival at Foz do Iguaçu, you will be met by a guide, who will drive you to your hotel. You have the morning to settle in and relax before heading out in the afternoon to see the Iguazú Falls from the Brazilian side.

The Iguazú Falls are so impressive, and they are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for that very reason.

This is the world’s largest waterfall, but actually consists of 275 waterfalls large and small over a 2.7 km stretch. The flow of water at Iguazú is 6.5 million litres of water per second. By comparison, the flow of water at Niagara Falls is 2.8 million litres of water per second, so it really is a huge waterfall!

The Brazilian side is where you enjoy the most spectacular panoramic view of all the waterfalls. You walk along small walkways round to different viewing platforms. Along the way, you will likely encounter the curious coati, who are always on the lookout for some food scraps from the many visitors. You will be accompanied by a guide who tells you all about the area’s fascinating flora and fauna.

Day 3: The Iguazú Falls (Argentina)

Today, you will visit the Argentinian side of the Iguazú Falls. On the Argentinian side, you walk around the waterfalls along walkways, allowing you to look down into Garganta del Diablo, which translated means the devil’s throat, and where noisy cascades of water crash down into a deep hole.
You continue along footpaths and walkways on the amazing walk around the waterfalls. The rainforest around the waterfalls is home to unique flora and fauna, including orchids, countless bird species and giant lizards.

NOTE: Remember to bring your passport on this day, as you will be crossing the border to Argentina.

Day 4: Foz do Iguaçu – Campo Grande

Today, you will be heading to Campo Grande. You are picked up at your hotel and driven to the airport, from which you fly to Campo Grande. You will be met by a driver, who drives you to your hotel.

You have the rest of the day to yourself to explore the city or just relax at the hotel.

Campo Grande is the capital and the largest city in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, which has around 900,000 inhabitants. The city is a mix of different nationalities from Paraguay, Bolivia and Japan to name but three countries. The Japanese came here to build the long railway that connects Campo Grande to São Paulo. The multitude of nationalities make for exciting gastronomy, and one of the city’s most popular dishes is Soba, a noodle dish brought to the city by the Japanese.

You can also visit one of the city’s many parks, such as Parque das Nações Indígenas, and go for a walk and see the locals diligently exercising or just relaxing with their family and friends.

Day 5: Campo Grande – Pantanal

Pantanal means swamp in Portuguese, and the wetlands, which cover an area of more than 200,000 km², are the largest in the world. Here, you can get right up close to armadillos, caimans, tapirs, anteaters and capybaras, the world’s largest rodent. Cats such as pumas, ozelots and jaguars live here too, but you’ll need a little extra luck to see them.

With more than 600 different bird species, Pantanal is also a mecca for bird lovers, and you are in with a chance of seeing the hyacinth macaw, which is the largest bird in the parrot family, the blue-and-yellow macaw, toucans, hummingbirds and many more besides.

Pantanal can be visited all year round, but each season has its pros and cons.

During the rainy season from November to March, much of the area is flooded, limiting the areas you can visit. On the other hand, the animals gather in the few remaining drained areas and it is far easier to find them.

In the dry season from April to October, the plains gradually dry out again. During this season, the animals have more space to move about in, however, the birds gather at the few remaining waterholes to fish.

After a good night’s sleep, you will be picked up from the hotel and driven to your lodge in Pantanal. The drive takes around 3 hours, the last 1.5 hours of which are on a gravel track. Your Pantanal adventure begins on your way to the lodge! At first glance, the surrounding fields and meadows seem only to offer various crops, horses and cows. But keep an eye out for the macaws, caimans and perhaps even an anteater on its eternal quest for food, in the treetops and waterholes you pass.

Upon your arrival at the lodge, you will be welcomed and shown to your room after which a delicious lunch is served in the restaurant.

In the afternoon, you will be going on your first excursion in search of exciting birds and wildlife. The tours are of varying duration from 2–4 hours.

Back at the lodge, dinner is served and you can fall asleep to the sounds of Pantanal’s plains.

Days 6-7: Experiences in Pantanal

The next two days are also all about wildlife, and you can look forward to various excursions – all based around your lodge. They depart in the morning and in the afternoon, when the temperature is at its lowest, and the animals are most active. These are the times of the day with the greatest chance of seeing the animals.

In the middle of the day, it’s “siesta” time back at the lodge where you can have a nap after lunch or relax by the small pool.

The following activities are offered at the lodge, and you will be told the final itinerary on your arrival:

  • Boat trip on the Aquidauana River with the chance of seeing both capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, caimans, capybaras and a host of different birds such as the kingfisher, the ibis and the beautiful macaws.
  • Jeep safari, where you drive around the area in open safari cars such as those you know from Africa, and look for animals such as pampas deer, nandus (in the ostrich family), crab-eating foxes, anteaters and tapir.
  • Hike – where you walk at a sedate pace and explore the beautiful area and wildlife.
  • Horseback ride – The beautiful Pantanal horses slowly carry you around the area, allowing you to get a bird’s eye view of the wildlife.
  • Fishing trip – where you can have a go at catching the ferocious piranhas living in the river.
  • Evening jeep safari, where, armed with a searchlight, your skilled guides look for nocturnal animals, such as the jaguar, ozelot, armadillo, raccoon, and nocturnal birds such as the owl.
Day 8: Pantanal – Bonito – snorkelling in the Rio da Prata River and excursion to Buraco das Araras

After breakfast, it’s time to leave Pantanal and drive to Bonito, where new adventures await. The drive from Pantanal to Bonito takes around four hours with a little break along the way.

Bonito is surrounded by scenic lakes, rivers, waterfalls and caves. The little town itself is not especially beautiful, as its Portuguese name suggests, but the surrounding scenery is amazing.

Once you have checked in your luggage at the hotel in Bonito, you will be driven to a large farm – known as a Fazenda in Brazil – where a delicious traditional Brazilian lunch awaits you. Afterwards, it’s time to change into a wet suit and snorkel, and you’re ready to jump into the crystal-clear river and snorkel with colourful fish.

The tour kicks off with a 2 km walk in the lush rainforest before arriving at the river. Your guide gives you a thorough introduction to snorkelling before the tour starts so everyone can join in, even if you haven’t snorkelled before. It is an indescribable experience to see the life below the surface right up close. Let yourself float along with the current in the water, which is about 26 degrees, and be entertained by the funny fish and beautiful aquatic plants. It’s like being in a huge aquarium!

From the crystal-clear rivers, you head on to Buraco das Araras, which is a spectacular sinkhole with a circumference of 500 metres and a depth of around 100 metres. The hole is surrounded by stunning scenery, but the main attraction is the beautiful, squawking red-and-green macaws (Ara chloropterus) that live here and build their nests in the cracks in the rocks.

After the tour, you will be driven back to your hotel in Bonito and have the evening to yourself.

Day 9: Bonito on your own

There are no activities scheduled today, so you can relax and go for a walk in the small town. Bonito is not all that big, so you can easily walk down to its small central square, Praca da Liberdade, or visit the shops along its main street.

Day 10: Bonito – Campo Grande – Rio de Janeiro

In the morning, you will be picked up and driven back to the airport in Campo Grande, from which you will fly on to Rio de Janeiro.

The drive back to the airport takes around four hours with a little stop along the way. On this stretch, you get a good sense of how important cattle farming is for this area of Brazil.

On your arrival in Rio de Janeiro, you will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel. The evening is yours.

Day 11: Guided tour of Rio de Janeiro

A tour to Brazil wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Rio! The city is magical – whether this is because of the infectious cheerfulness and joie de vivre of the locals (Cariocas), the music and dance, the outdoor life on the numerous beautiful beaches or the view from the top of Mount Corcovado or the Sugar Loaf is hard to say. Perhaps it’s just a good mix of it all.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and have a quiet morning because your guided tour of the city doesn’t start until the afternoon. You might like to go for a splash in the waves at Copacabana or take a walk along the stunning seafront.

On the guided tour, you will visit some of the main highlights of Rio. The first stop is the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, which stands atop Mount Corcovado at a height of 710 metres, watching over Rio’s inhabitants. Enjoy a stunning view of the city’s colourful favelas, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and the famous Maracaña Stadium.

Then visit the cosy Santa Teresa and Lapa districts, with the famous colourful Selaron steps, made by Chilean artist Jorge Selaron.

The tour concludes with a visit to the 396-metre high mountain, Pão de Açúcar, also known as the Sugar Loaf. To get to the top, you will have to take two cable cars. You will also enjoy a fantastic view of Rio from up here, as the sun sets behind the mountains on the horizon.

You will be driven back to your hotel and have the evening to yourself.

Day 12: Rio de Janeiro on your own
Day 13: Departure day

The time has come to say goodbye to Brazil. You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport in Rio. The time depends on your flight  home.

Day 14: Arrival back home

You arrive in the UK after an eventful tour of Brazil.

Extend your tour

Beach holiday extension to Ilha Grande, 3 nights

Price:
Per person in double room: + £330
Single room supplement: + £250

Round off your exciting tour with a relaxing beach holiday on the beautiful island of Ilha Grande.
On your arrival, you will be greeted by amazing, unspoiled nature with unique flora and fauna, as well as more than 100 beaches, including Lopes Mendes beach, voted one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil.

Make the most of the hilly island’s amazing hiking opportunities, go snorkelling and discover a colourful world under the sea or just relax at one of the many beaches while enjoying the tranquil island atmosphere.

Please note: Prices are not valid over the Christmas and New Year period. Please enquire regarding prices when traveling over this period.

Beach holiday extension to Búzios, 3 nights

Price:
Per person in double room: + £300
Single room supplement: + £230

Búzios is one of the most popular beach destinations in the state of Rio de Janeiro. And for good reason! The charming town is renowned for its unique atmosphere, culinary experiences, great shops and its many stunning beaches along the bays of the peninsula.

It was the French diva Brigitte Bardot, who sparked the international interest in Búzios and its beautiful surroundings in the 1960s. Today, a statue of Brigitte Bardot stands on the beach promenade, Rua das Pedras, by way of thanks.

Spend the days in Búzios at one of the many fabulous beaches, go on a boat ride and enjoy the beautiful area from the water, rent a beach buggy and explore the peninsula or sample the cuisine at some of the many wonderful restaurants.

Please note: Prices are not valid over the Christmas and New Year period. Please enquire regarding prices when traveling over this period.

Single supplement (when single traveler) £1500
Single supplement (when two or more travelers) £435
Discounts on larger groups
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